CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY-ONE
“Show me,” the man said.
Sissy set her backpack on the floor. This man was so intimidating. Her heart racing a million miles a minute, she unzipped the bag. She tried to remember what Seth O’Malley always told her about scary old men. Whatever wisdom there was lost to her panic.
“Do you know Seth O’Malley?” the man asked.
“He is my Godfather,” Sissy said.
She heard the man and Dom speak quickly back and forth. The man was saying something like, “You can’t fault me for being suspicious.” Dom chided the man, and Sissy sighed. The sooner she showed the man the knife, the sooner she would be eating warm croissant back at home with Claire, Benjamin, and their glorious children.
Sissy stood up with the knife.
The man stopped talking. He gaped at Sissy.
“May I?” the man asked.
Sissy set the sword down on a broken chair sitting in the hallway. The man’s hands moved toward the knife, hovered above it, before retreating. His lips separated in a kind of a pant.
“Where. . .” the man started but seemed unable to finish his statement.
“The Castle Ponferrada in a chamber that is hidden to all but the Templars,” Sissy said. “There is a sword which matches this knife. The sword of Jacques de Molay is not a part of this donation.”
The man nodded.
“May I pick it up?” the man asked.
The man’s hands had retracted until they were covering his heart.
“It belongs to the Louvre, now,” Sissy said.
The man swallowed hard. He began to speak. Sissy did her best to keep up. Even though her French was fluent, the man was using a lot of words she didn’t understand. He was speaking excitedly. After a moment, he stopped talking. He looked at Sissy.
“I have looked my entire life for this knife,” the man said. The man pointed with his trimmed thumbnail. “Is this blood?”
“We did not clean the knife,” Sissy said. “We left it as it was because we knew that you would like to authenticate it.”
“And you got this from Templars?” the man asked.
“Yes,” Sissy said. “From the current Grandmaster of the Templars.”
The man mouthed the words Sissy had just said.
“They still exist?” the man asked.
“A number of them were killed recently,” Sissy said. “It’s my understanding that a group families have existed in secret since the 1300s. They wish to move into the light of day.”
The man began to laugh. Dom and Sissy looked at each other.
“It’s like a dream,” the man said. “Come, come, let’s get out of this hallway. I will make you coffee and you can tell me everything.”
“I will tell you what I know,” Sissy said.
“Fair enough,” the man said.
They followed him into a richly appointed comfortable office with a sign that read “Senior curator of French Antiquities” on the door.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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