Red Jaguar Rises Again

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Chapter Five

After they’d eaten, Becca asked George, “Senior Hor Hay can you show us the temple called Apartment with Writing in the Dark? I thought it was the most interesting temple here.”

“As you know, Mrs. Clark, it is in a different area of the ruins,” George said. So they walked past the main entrance and crossed over the highway and onto a crooked path between low shrubs and short, spiny trees to get to the section of the ruins that had the temple Becca was seeking.

The path ended at a wide spot in another part of the ruins. It was a large open square with four temples of various sizes around it. But in the distance, they could see many other stone buildings that branching off the plaza in several directions.

Becca went to stand in front of a low, stone building that was built on a big platform on the north side of the plaza. Two huge pillars stood in front of the entrance as if to guard the wide doorway that lead into the temple.

No one but the three of them were there. The tourists and Mexican soldiers were no where to be seen. It gave Cody an eerie feeling with no one around.

“Thank you for your service, Senor,” said Becca extending her hand to the guide. “From this point on, I’d like to show the ruins to Cody just by myself. So, please be excused. But, return for us at the hacienda in two days to take us back to the airport in Merida.”

“As you wish, Mrs. Clark,” said George who shook the hands of each of them aand briskly walked away.

Once they’re inside the temple, Becca thought about something, and snuck back outside. She went behind one of the large stone columns and peeked around it. “He’s gone,” she said with relief as the figure of the guide disappeared in the distance.

Cody came out the temple, too, when he saw her leave.. He rose up behind the other pillar and looked around the empty plaza.. “No sign of George. I thought you liked him. But, sometimes he acted as if he wanted to be somewhere else than with us. He lay around a lot, too. I didn’t think guides got paid to do that.”

Becca didn’t answer, just went back inside the temple. The room was small. A little stone statue of a seated man wearing a jaguar skin sat upon a raised stone right in the center of the space. He wore a big hat with feathers.

The only light came through the doorway. Becca fished a little black purse hanging hangs on a strap over her shoulder. She fished out a tiny flashlight. “There’s an unusual wall over there behind that seated figure,” she says. “It’s kindo of a gigantic puzzle. You’ll see once we get up closer.”

She flashed the beam of light past the little figure on the platform and onto the wall. The large space was made up of stone blocks, each about a foot wide and tall. Many have little red marks on them.

In several blocks there was the figure of a weird-looking man who held a spear. “Let’s go behind this platform so we can really see the carving up close,” said Cody.

“Great idea,” said Becca, eager to look for the block she was seeking.

With the tiny beam of the flashlight to guide them, they moved behind the platform. As they did, their feet struck bits and pieces of rock on the cold, stone floor.

Becca shone the light all over the wall onto several of the blocks. In many places there are empty spots with a block. One cube has no carving on it at all. The blocks each had a number.

Cody asks, “Who put the numbers on these stones? Why?”

“Archeologists must be putting this wall back together. They also number small pieces that might belong here. The numbers match up. The empty places must be where bits and pieces are still missing,” said Becca

Her flashlight moved onto a man who wearing a jaguar robe. “He’s the one, Cody. He’s the one I was looking for. I thought he was so handsome the first time I saw him.”

The figure has a big sloping forehead, a ski-nose, a big chin and a thin mouth. A wicked-looking smile was its wide chin.

Cody moved in closer to see a figure carved into one of the block. As he did, his foot hits a piece of stone on the floor. He picked it up and said, “Maybe I can find where this one fits in this big puzzle.”

Becca came over to put her hands on his shoulder. She moved the little beam of light as he went around the wall trying to place the jagged piece of stone the likely spots.

Cody stuck it into a block high as he is tall just above the stone with man in the jaguar robe. As he ddid, they came a loud and fierce animal scream above their heads.

His heart stopped. He cried out, “That sounded like a jaguar!”

“Sure did,” said Becca who moved in closer to him. She shone the beam around to find the source of roar.. The light hit the wall. The wall begins to slide. The ground clashed and scraped as it opened.

Half-way across, it stopped. Cool drafts of air come from below. Becca pointed the beam down.

They looked into a what appeared to be a very deep hole. Their feet are right on the edge of it. Cody looked down it and cried, “There’s a ladder! It’s looks wide enough to hold both of us. Let’s go down and see what’s there!”

“I can’t see the bottom,” Becca says. “I don’t know if we should. The ladder might be old and not safe.”

But, Cody could tell she’s just as excited as he was. They had to find out what was below.

“We might be on the top of another pyramid,” he said, keyed up. He broke away from the grip she had on his shirt and sat on the edge. His legs dangled below. The cool air from below washed over him and felts good on his legs.

Becca nestled beside him. “It might be safe. Unless this ladder is too old and can’t hold both of us.”

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