The air in the cavern whispered as soft, dripping echoes crystallized around them. Will couldn’t see a thing. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his lighter, hoping the wick wasn’t completely ruined and quietly cursing about having burned out the flash light on the way over. The cavern would have torches, but he’d have to find them without setting off traps. Dorothy’s shimmering face lit up under his orange flame. Although her eyes were darting to all corners of the cavern, she didn’t look scared. It seemed she took this sort of activity in stride.
The lighter cast delicate shadows on the cavern’s walls. The ceiling was about twenty feet up, and stalactites hung with aged precision and in some cases came all the way down to the hidden harbor. Taking a survey of his surroundings, Will tried to recall what Sinclair’s document said. It was less about discovering the correct path as it was about avoiding the wrong one. Stepping foot on the wrong shore of this cave could be very dangerous.
He treaded water for a moment and then noticed a darkened shadow off in the distance. Remembering a haphazard sketching in his mind, he figured that it must be where the staircase was. And where the stairs were, torches were. Light was the most important aspect of this part of the mission; without it, he could end up killing them both.
Gently taking Dorothy’s hand under the water, he began back-kicking toward the crevasse. When they got near, Will saw steps ascending from the water up into a hand-carved hallway no bigger than six feet across and twelve feet high. This was the place.
They landed on the stairs and slowly walked up them without a word. Will ran his finger along the wall until he felt the expected shape of a torch. There were four more down in the hall and five on the opposite wall. They would just need one. He ran the lighter on top of the torch, and it immediately sparked into life. Even after six hundred years the torches worked. It was no wonder—handcrafted mahogany with a silver head and wick. They were built to last indefinitely.
Their scope of vision was much broader now, but not broad enough. The cavern took form around them. It was a semicircle encased in stone. Will knew that in the time of Prince Henry, this was merely a cove. They’d built walls up around and constructed a false beach above.
The trick was that this cavern was well under the water level. Will was astounded when he read the trap Prince Henry had built. The Money Pit was an ingenious way to drain the cave. It was dug farther than 200 feet down. Flood channels were constructed leading to this cavern and then beyond up to Smith’s Cove. When the ninety-foot marker was breached, the flood channel was opened and this cavern was effectively drained into the Money Pit. It wasn’t a booby trap at all but a key into the cavern. The only reason the cavern wasn’t completely drained was because they stopped digging in the Money Pit. Had they gone deep enough, they’d be standing on the floor and not treading water.
The reason no one had found the cavern was because no one bothered to swim down the flood channel and up into the passageway that led to the cavern. Will wondered why the Poor Fellow-Soldiers never interrupted the treasure hunts, but assumed it was because they didn’t want to arouse suspicion about the island by cutting it off.
Now they stood in the hallway where it had all begun. This was the holy of holies, where the treasure was kept. As Will lit the torch, he spotted another ingenious diversion across the cavern. Sitting protected in a niche were eleven sealed chests. Another chest on top of them was wide open, with an explosive pile of gold coins, statues, gemstones, and jewelry piled on all sides of the chests. It was a flood of brilliance, especially reflective under the torchlight.
The sound next to him was that of Dorothy losing her breath.
Then there was another sound far more serious than that. Will at once realized he’d left his gun in the car.
In the fall of 1947, Will Shakespeare saw the world collapse around him. Shakespeare, a secret soldier for the Knights Templar, barely escapes the slaughter of his entire knighthood at the hands of a rogue militant arm of the Vatican in a small Montreal church. With orders to escort Templar business associate Dorothy Wilkinson back to her home in Bermuda, Will must locate and rescue the most important secret treasure in human history before it is devoured by a hurricane in the watery caves beneath her father's property. The spiraling quest sends Will and Dorothy into uncovering dark secrets that make up the origins of the knighthood as they confront the traps and puzzles that masterfully protect the world's most coveted treasure.
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Genre – Action, Adventure
Rating – PG
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