Wordcarpenter Books

Chapter Five 


In which the story of our crusader's journey begins in earnest


After the assault of his person, Hellmantle was sore getting up the next day looking puffy and unsteady, limping to his motorcycle. As if to stay centered on his enterprise and ignore the soreness of his shin and swollen nose, he kept telling his cousin facts from history books he had read. D'Aqs, for his part, only nodded and tried to piece together this complex world that his cousin spoke of.

"Finding the map is imperative. We must do it for the Great Dane and for the Blonde Acquitaine. Our achievement will rival those of the Nine Worthies."

"Can I ask you something?"

"You may Mr. Testicleez," replied Hellmantle.

"Why are you so into this? The Desposyni? I mean, why does it all matter?" He couldn't really describe the look on Hellmantle's face, but after seeing his shock, he felt ashamed for asking. He cleared his throat before answering:

"Why do some people like chocolate?" He shook his head. "There's a lot you don't know about D'Aqs, but maybe in time you will come to know what I know - if you're interested that is. The great story of the Bible is still happening. The Old Testament is really just a story about a family. A big family tree. And we're part of this story. You'll see I due course." He let out a tremendous sigh that could be heard in the crosswinds and roar of honking horns of Manila's city streets.

Under a blue sky and in the tropical heat of December, they could hardly see the road in front of them through pollution and dusty air. The gray-brownish hue of the smog hung like a skirt above the city, but on the horizon it petered out to the fantastic blue sky with no clouds marring its purity. Escaping claustrophobic congestion of Manila's traffic was frustrating because potholes, lack of road signs and general disarray of streets slowed their speed. For Hellmantle, riding on the right-hand side of the road after riding on the left side in Hong Kong proved hazardous so he clung to the centerline because Jeepnies pulled over to the shoulder in quick movements never checking for traffic in its blind spot. Motorcycles with sidecars called Tricycles were also a menace on the roads because they disregarded traffic law in a reckless manner. But soon they found their rhythm, able to tackle traffic turbulence with little distraction. Hellmantle was giddy and could not help talking to himself as he rode his CR250, and spoke thus:

"Those who think for themselves have always stood on a slippery perch threatened with the punishment of death! Such is the fate of original thinkers since the beginning of time. Those that have a small mind dominate the petty, and by dominating the petty they exercise control over the other small minds that add up to a big voice. But not me! I break away and break out! I shall correct the mighty wrongs that have hurt humankind and injured those with sensitive antennae for truth!"




Volcanoes stretched across the horizon in a ridge of apexes, some bare as ping-pong balls. Palm trees covered the huge plateau that led to the apron of the mountains. After hours of dodging irresponsible drivers, breathing in leaded exhaust and enduring debris churned up on semi-paved roads, they pulled over for a drink of water in San Fernando that felt like liquid silk on their dusty palettes. Named after King Ferdinand II of Spain, St. Peter's Church, with its massive yellow dome, dominated the city.

"Since the church doesn't have a bell tower we don't need to check it out," said D'Aqs, making sure they were both on the same page.

"True, it is sans tower, but rather an attractive piece."

"Classic colonial architecture."

"I believe it's where the Good Friday Flagellantes takes place every year, where peoples dress like Christ, prostrate themselves until their backs are raw from whipping, and re-enact the crucifixion with real nails. Serious devotion."

"I've heard about that." The church courtyard was void of life.

"To me the church looks like Saint Sulpice seminary in Paris; the place where Saint Bernard de Clairvaux lived."

"Never heard of it."

"Try not to be embarrassed about that," said Hellmantle, the closest he could come to empathy. "Saint Sulpice is where monks and scholars have always worked with our forefathers; it was the spiritual nerve center of the First Crusade. If we find the map we could take it there for interpretation and safekeeping. Remember, the Catholic Church has its share of assassins who would try to kill any of us who wanted to reveal any of these secrets."

The intensity in his eyes surprised D'Aqs. A man on a mission, he reminded himself he was there to make sure Hellmantle wasn't killed by his recklessness. D'Aqs remembered before the onset of Aspergers that went untreated for so long, Hellmantle was every bit attentive to all practical aspects of life, from running his properties to managing his affairs with a balanced hand. Now his illness had clearly taken hold, particulary after his father had been killed in a car crash that some believed was instigated by Rome. But everything really changed after his identical twin brother Rhein was killed in a skiing accident during rade eleven when they were at boarding school together. D'Aqs wasn't on that ski trip but from he had heard Hellamantle was the one who was egging his brother on to take a steep jump that he himself was too afraid to take. Rhein broke his neck and died two days later, Hellmantle consoaling him on the skihill in a frozen puddle of tears. Much of his jois de vivre evaporated after that, him soon leaving the school at the end of that year. He head heard through his father that Hellmantle had become an extremist in everything he did, as if he flaunted death to take him to his twin brother the afterlife. The twins used to talk for hours afterdark in the dorm with other Desposyni offspring about details of adventures in history that were handed down only verbally generation to generation, a world of high adventure out there somewhere far beyond the steeples and spires of the private school.

For D'Aqs the story of bloodlines was a murky one at best, often making him dizzy remembering where each family line descended, but for Hellmantle it came easily because he had been immersed in Grail history since he could speak. D'Aqs had been brought up with its history of intrigue and secrecy, but to hear it swallowed and spouted as unmovable fact made him uneasy. He knew secret societies had protected the bloodline of Jesus and His true message but none of it ever touched him until now. This man in front of him was a living representative of this belief system. But D'Aqs was still quite skeptical as to whether it was true. It was one thing to believe something but another thing to prove it true.

"I suspect," he said, sensing D'Aqs skepticism, "that you have only a minimal interest in all of this, but I am the opposite. I began reading some books about this secret history many years ago, which has served to provide many missing pieces of the puzzle for me. Like the fact that the words ‘Holy Grail'' describe Jesus' bloodline, not a cup."

"Oh, how so?"

"Holy Grail comes from the French ‘Sangreal" or ‘Le Seynt Graal" or ‘le Saint Graal" meaning ‘Holy Blood.' Sangre is Spanish for blood. To seek the Holy Grail is to try to find a woman with the bloodline of Jesus. That's pretty important to know my preacher cousin! All those books of Grail lore were basically about knights going out to get laid!"

"That's the first time I've heard it expressed like that."

"The Blonde Aquitaine and the Prior de Sion maintained the belief that Jesus had children that were to be the hereditary kings of Europe for many centuries. Hey man, the fact is that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and that he had children - three to be exact. It was Jesus' second son, named Josephus, who had children and it is from his line that the Merovingian families come from. And as a Merovingian family, we believe we have the blood of the royal line that flows in our veins. Because of this we have the responsibility to protect His untainted beliefs until the Catholic Church loses enough power so the public is ready for the corrected truth!" Soaking wet from sweat from his little speech, Hellmantle turned on the engine, slipped into first gear and left D'Aqs in a dusty cloud.



TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                  
          The Family of the Bible
1.       Concerning the famous Hellmantle's position, character and way of life
2.       Concerning the ingenious man's visit with his uncle Jack Grosseteste
3.       Which relates to how Hellmantle is given his first adventure
4.       About what happened to our adventurer when he goes to the Philippines
5.       In which the story of our crusader's journey begins in earnest
6.       About Hellmantle's time in the city of sin on Christmas Eve
7.       About the brave Hellmantle's success on his adventure to Baguio City worthy of happy memory
8.       In which the courageous Hellmantle of Normandy journeys north into the Cordillera Mountain Range
9.       About what happened to Hellmantle in the mission in the mountains and the crucifixion of Jesus
10.     Concerning Hellmantle of Normandy in the land of the headhunters
11.     About the required riding techniques to reach the destination of Sagada and the church organist
12.     In which the German artist is tracked to the Shamrock Café and dangers of the northeast of Luzon Island
13.     In which Catharine is tracked to the Shamrock Café and an eery coincidence of a reoccurring dream
14.     About Hellmantle reaching the rice terraces and finding a way to the northwest
15.     About what happened to our intrepid philosopher in the middle of the Sierra Madre Mountains
16.     In which a record is given about the brave Hellmantle through uncharted territory on his trusted dirt bike
17.     Which relates to Hellmantle of Normandy reaching the northern coast and the rubble of Aparri
18.     About the final day of the motorcycle journey and discussing the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel in Vigan
19.     About the sermon in Agoo Basilica and what they find at the church with the rouge bell tower
20.     Concerning the Dutch Padre and what he knows about the hidden map
21.     About the return to Manila and the coup that causes the Great Man from Normandy grief
22.     Which brings Hellmantle of Normandy back to Hong Kong to re-evaluate the next step in his quest for truth
23.     In which their journey is related to Jack Grosseteste and a new task is set before the Man from Normandy
24.     Concerning the journey to northern Vietnam to track down the map hidden at a French prison
25.     About how Hellmantle and D'Aqs compare notes on their task at hand in Hanoi
26.     In which an account is given of the beginning of the journey of Hellmantle in Vietnam
27.     About how Hellmantle and his brave squire ride north to the place where the four rivers meet
28.     Concerning the French prison and what Hellmantle finds there
29.     Concerning the discovery of the bottle and what lies inside of it
30.     Concerning the journey to Dien Bien Phu in honor of their grandfather the Great Dane Hellmantle
31.     About what the motorcyclists see on the fields in Dien Bien Phu
32.     Concerning the motorcycling required to reach Hanoi via the other side of the Da River Valley
33.     Which tells of the final stage back to Hanoi and the discussion after their most beautiful ride
34.     Concerning the visit with the knowledgeable Jack Grosseteste and the sally to India
35.     Concerning the arrival and journey to Kashmir Valley
36.     In which the journey begins in earnest through the checkpoints to the foot of the Moghul Fort
37.     In which Srinagar is reached and how the houseboat was as it was hundred years ago
38.     In which Hellmantle reach their houseboat on the lake below the fort and beside the mosque
39.     In which Hellmantle sets out for the Tomb of Thome and his brother Joshua beside him
40.     Which relates to the agreeable history of the journey north to the monastery on horseback
41.     In which Hellmantle returns to Srinagar and finds the first translations of the black stones
42.     Which concerns the deciphering of the discovery at the monastery and the need to go to the Ganges River
43.     About Hellmantle of Normandy's meeting with the holy man after taking a dip in the Ganges River
44.     About Hellmantle's meeting at Jack Grossetests's place with D'Aqs and Catharine the artist from Sagada
o       Chronology of Historical Events


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