Wordcarpenter Books

Chapter Twenty-two 


 

Which brings Hellmantle of Normandy back to Hong Kong

to re-evaluate the next step in his quest for truth

Lamma Island, Hong Kong, China

After riding out the coup in the Philippines and listening to the Secretary of State about the plot to overthrow the President telling his story to a trusted reporter, Hellmantle and D'Aqs made it back to Hong Kong and immediately organized a dinner with Jack Grosseteste in Kowloon Tong to discuss their discovery. The get together was planned for the following weekend so D'Aqs used the time to let his ribs mend and the cut on his clutch hand to heal, and was thrilled when Catharine called him. Her interest was sincere and she planned to visit him in Hong Kong. He could think of nothing else, while Hellmantle ignored his duties at the magazine and threw himself into Holy Grail research. He was in a fever now and was now gathering the pertinent information required to crack it all wide open, so the night before his dinner with his uncle he invited D'Aqs over to compare notes.

Smoke, the waft of stale beer, heavy diesel fumes and faint body odor mixed with cheap cologne was what D'Aqs smelled with every breath on the ferry from Hong Kong Island to Lamma Island. He was on his way to Lamma to visit Hellmantle. It was his first visit to his place and first time to Lamma Island.

When he arrived D'Aqs could immediately understand Hellmantle's thinking for living here. To exist among the noise and pollution of cars, and the endless corridors of concrete was something Hellmantle didn't want so he had elected to live on Lamma Island: a small southern island with no streets or vehicles or high-rises, only fifteen minutes away by water from one of the most expensive cities in the world. It was an oasis of South Pacific peace, un-infringed upon by oppressive laws and subtle manifestations of rat-race oppression. It was a satellite expatriate colony where the enforcement of law was lax. Some called it a hippie colony, but to D'Aqs it was a rocky island with sandy beaches and small villages and laidback cafes. Lamma Island was Aldous Huxley's Greenland in a world gone mad. And it was on Lamma Island where Hellmantle had found his home. It was the only place where he could live. Poisonous snakes and pancake-size spiders didn't seem to bother him.

The thick aroma of blooming Jasmine tweaked his olfactory radar as D'Aqs passed under white nettles that kicked out the rotting stench of decaying sea life hanging on the shores on his way to the small village of Pak Kok. Hellmantle lived on a rock cliff surrounded by bamboo shoots. He was happy to have crossed the choppy waters of Aberdeen Channel.

D'Aqs found himself out on Hellmantle's balcony beside the sea listening to the birds and swatting beetle-sized mosquitoes. He tried not to judge but he had never seen a messier apartment. Aspergers manifest. Books scattered, ashtrays overflowing, dust in the corners, sink with mould, papers all over the place and discarded clothes everywhere, the balcony was the only spot that was clean. Even the guest room was a mess. With Hellmantle busy on the telephone, he took the electric-stringed mosquito racquet from the chair to defend himself against the mosquitoes. Popular here with the Chinese, it had a strong electric current running through the metal strings that singed the mosquitoes when you hit them. He had seen his share of Asian mosquitoes before, but indigenous Lamma Island mosquitoes were so big they bounced off the charged strings. Instead of swatting them he scooped them into the racquet face thereby electrocuting the plump mosquitoes between the wires. At first there was smoke, the singing of a wing and the initial struggle to get away from the electrocution. But the racquet had to be manipulated with enough technique to hold the malaria-carrying insect pinned against the strings moving towards him. First the wing separated from the body with a spark, then came a burst of smoke when the wing caught fire, and then a few more sparks rendered the insect severely wounded, burning but alive, in a burnt-wing crucifixion. After a few snaps of orange and the smell of smoke, the torso of the deadly mosquito finally exploded. It wasn't the exploding body that startled him; it was the sound. A bang was accompanied by a flash and dark slow-rising foul-smelling smoke. The crispy remnants of the aggressor party disintegrated into momentary confetti. Only a few dangling bodies stuck on the strings.

It didn't bother him because he regarded it as self-defence, but the thought he would always carry the dormant mosquito larvae in his liver that came to life every seven years for the rest of his life bothered him.

D'Aqs was cleaning the strings of mosquito debris when Hellmantle finally hung up the telephone.

"There's a woman who wants to meet up later. Man, is she ever tenaciuous."

"Is that not a good thing?"

"Perhaps in small hits but she's an Australian steam engine."

"This is a great utensil."

"An effective unit for a few bucks. Smells like you've taken on the whole army." He saw that D'Aqs was still sweating from the walk. "Here," he said, wanting the racquet. "Careful not to..." He pressed the metal strings on D'Aqs' exposed hand, the sweat acting as conduit for the current.

"Ouch!" Incredulous at the assault.

"...not to touch the strings or you'll get a shock." Hellmantle had to walk inside to expel the bulk of his laughter.

"Why-"

"Let's go for a beer by the water where it's cool," he said. "But first let me change into some shorts." After changing they walked twenty minutes along a trail to the cafes in the main village Yung Shue Wan. The path was dark already because there was a new moon and therefore no light for them to see the mature spider webs that hung low off the drooping branches with black spiders the size of a baseball.

As Hellmantle and D'Aqs sauntered towards Yung Shue Wan, D'Aqs noticed something black contrasting against the path ahead, a spider hanging from a single web dangling in the wind from a low-hanging branch. He could see its round web above his head where it was out of reach, but the spider had ventured down a thread bundled with its legs above it. He froze in his steps and tried to follow the movements of the spider. The problem was the wind was blowing it around and he couldn't find the stabilizing thread in the darkness. The spider shook violently in the wind so he dragged his body low enough not to disturb it. He quickly ran a hand through his hair to make sure it hadn't dropped on his head, and then walked with added spice along the path to the village on the beach. Hellmantle walked as if there was nothing dangling from any of the thousands of drooping branches along the trail.

"Why didn't you warn me about the hand-sized spiders waiting to jump down my neck?" This struck a chord with Hellmantle. D'Aqs could tell from the cadence of his laughter.

"Don't forget the different forms of poisonous snakes, especially the bright green Bamboo snake: the most poisonous snake known to man pound-for-pound." So nonchalant.

The televisions in the cafes on Lamma Island were a continual football match with each game getting the attention from its customers as if each match were a final.

"Never make the mistake of commenting about the competency of a team when not sure of where the supporters are from," he said to D'Aqs, as they reached his favorite café called "The Spicy" by the regulars. It was a restaurant that served Indian food and had a little bar at the back. The bar was separated from the main restaurant with a foldable divider, and behind the divider was where the regulars sat on stools around the semi-circle wooden bar. Here was where the expatriates engaged in conversations with folks from around the world. It was where the real UN conferences took place.

"Mosquitoes are big enough to fuck turkeys," a man at the bar said, all business. There were a number of red marks on his neck and hands.

"Hey Norton," said Hellmantle. "This is my cousin, D'Aqs." They shook hands but Norton appeared to be a gruff man of few words. The bar was small and there were a number of regulars there so Hellmantle suggested they take their beer and sit outside on the patio at the shore.

"Your beard is coming in. Should be a fine beard."

"Takes time." He thought of Catharine.

        "So have you been doing any reading?"

        "Actually lots. I-"

        "I have to, through my papers and some books in my library since we returned, and I'm now quite brushed up on things," he said, settling into the chair and waving at the people he knew as they walked past them. Every forty minutes or so a fresh wave of people arrived from Hong Kong Island on the ferry. They were located right at the busiest corner of the walking paths so Hellmantle saw everyone.            "Like what?"

        "I've been refreshing on the primary thrust of Jesus' Ministry vis-à-vis bringing the Lost Tribes back into the fold."

        "Yes, I remember your ideas of His primary thrust: to gather His lost flock who were the Lost Tribes, and His other primary thrust unite all Twelve of the tribes."

        "Nice one. So I asked myself: where did His disciples go? And this question yielded some insights. So I I think I mentioned in that church in Vigan, the Ten Lost Tribes were taken captive to north of the Black Sea in modern-day Ukraine in southern Russia. This area that was by the River Don is also known to historians as Scythia. It was where the Ten Lost Tribes were held captive by the Assyrians. When they were in captivity they were known as the "White Syrians," so there was the Assyrians and the White Syrians. Since the House of Israel had came from Palestine and what is modern-day southern Syria in old Greek terminology, they were called White Syrians because they contrasted against the dark-complexioned Armenians, or modern-day Syrians."

        "Where are you getting this information?"

"I need your Bible. You must have it with you?" He handed Hellmantle his crumpled Bible." Here, In Peter's first letter, he says: ‘To these people, the lost sheep of the House of Israel, the strangers among the Assyrians...'[i] And in Matthew, Jesus says after the Jews have rejected him: ‘I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel.'[ii] The House of Israel - rather than the House of Judah - is further shown to be the target of the twelve disciples after the crucifixion."

"But we are taught that His message is for all peoples of the world, meaning all the gentiles."

"That's how people read the New Testament. But His initial thrust was to get His old brehtren back into the teachings of their forefahters. Again in Matthew it says: ‘These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying: ‘Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.'[iii] And in the Book of James, it says: ‘James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.' This is the first verse. It is not addressed to the Gentiles but rather to all the Twelve Tribes of Israel." Hellmantle was a rock, unmoveable from D'Aqs's suggestions and objections, so again D'Aqs leaned back and let him speak.

"So where did the disciples go?"

        "In about 256AD some of the tribes from Asia Minor from along the shores of the Black Sea migrated to the Cymbric peninsula - which is Denmark."

"Why then? Why not some other time during the 800 years they spent in Sycthia?"

"Because of the Persian invasion in 226AD. The Iranians basically invaded Assyria and pulled rank. And these peoples who migrated to Denmark were, as Peter wrote in his Epistles, the so-called "White Syrians" who came from Scythia. Philip was assigned the areas of Scythia and upper Asia Minor. Scythia was the name of the vast plain north of the Black and Caspian Seas. It was here that a great colony of Israelites migrated after the fall of the Persian Empire in 331, many settling in Northern Europe. It was in the extreme western part of Scythia in a place called Dacia, which was where the Scots migrated from. And Peter knew about these peoples becuase it's where his brother Andrew went to do his preaching. Andrew taught in the Bosporus, and after he left there he took a ship and sailed across the sea to Sinope, which was north of the Black Sea in Scythia. It was where the ancestors of the Scots and Anglo-Saxons migrated from, which is why modern Scottish tradition holds the belief that Andrew taught the Scots."

"I've heard that Andrew brought the gospel to the Scots but I assumed he went to Scotland."

        "To be honest, so did I until I read this." Hellmantle was interupted by some motorcyclists who asked him about riding with them on the weekend. Without committing, he said he would see them Friday night and let them know.

        "An Irishman and a Scot: crazy about their motorbiking. And speaking of the Scots, have you ever wondered by St. Andrew's cross on the Scottish flag is like an ‘X'?"

        "No, not really."

        "Oh, well. So that's where Andrew went to preach: Scythia. And then Philip-"

        "Wait. Aren't you going to tell me why St. Andrew's cross is in an X shape?"

        "Oh, because he was martyred on a crucifix but it was not the same shape as the one Jesus' supposedly died on. Andrew's was in the shape of an ‘X.' That's why the Scottish flag has the white ‘X' against the blue background."

"Andrew was crucified in Scythia?"

        "I believe so. And his brother Peter was crucified upside down in Rome. Said he wasn't worthy to be killed the same way as Jesus." He stroked his beard. "There's some irony that the first Pope was crucified upside down like that."

        "Didn't know that about Peter. Sounds in character though, being a humble fisherman."

        "There were another people among the Assyrians known to history as the ‘Parthians,' which in Hebrew means ‘exile.' This people were also part of the House of Israel. They remained in captivity until 226AD. They were driven out by the Persians. The disciple Bartholomew preached in Armenia in Asia Minor, or so-called modern Turkey today, and Thaddeus taught also in the area Assyria, Mesopotamia and then Parthia - the ten lost tribes! Matthew also went to Parthia, and then traveled to Ethiopia. So many disciples went to this Parthian kingdom that was in fact a loose union of lost tribes of Israel that dwelt in central Asia, but when the Persians finally drove them out they all went to northwest Europe."

        "So where would Parthia be on today's map?"

        "Eastern Iran and modern-day Afghanistan."

        "What about Thomas? Where did he go?"

        "Well, this is what's interesting about all this: Thomas also taught in Parthia during his ministry beofre he went east of Persia into northwest India. As the Dutch Padre said, Thomas preached where the "White Indians" dwelt, or as they Greeks called them, the Nephthalite Huns. So it was the tribe of Naphthali that ended up in northern India, and when they were overthrown in the sixth century they migrated into Scandinavia. So that explains why Jesus would end up in India. Knowing what it's like to have a twin brother, it makes sense to me."

        "So you believe Thomas was His twin?"

"I think I told you already that there was a belief, primarily in both Spain and in Ireland, that Jesus had an identical twin brother. This belief was held for centuries, where it was accepted teaching that Jesus was a identical twin. This is after His crucifixion so one can deduce that it was acceptable on the part of Rome up until the time of the Council of Nicea." 

"I was taught that one of the oldest heresies about Jesus was that he had an identical twin brother," said D'Aqs.

"The point is that the idea of having a twin brother was a perfectly acceptable belief for centuries," Hellmantle continued, trying to get this knowledge off his chest and on the table for discussion. "Now one is forced to ask: why is there so little information about Thomas, who also happened to be Jesus' favorite? Did the Catholic Church purposely remove any and all reference to Thomas as Jesus' twin brother because it would have complicated the virgin birth story? How could Jesus have had an identical twin brother? If so, wouldn't there have been two Messiahs from the virgin birth? And why wasn't he the chosen one too if his identical twin was? It becomes tricky. But in the theory about Jesus surviving the cross, they have Jesus going to northern India to be with Thomas, his identical twin brother. Right? Well that's what this boils down to isn't it? Did Jesus die on the cross? If not, did he go hang out with his identical twin brother in the Himalayas?"

"So how does all this affect us and our quest?"

"Because it explains how he was able to go to India, where He, according to the Blonde Acquitaine legend, buried his journals."

Hellmantle finally leaned back, finished and proud of his sermon, and was attacking his pint with relish Norton dropped by with more pints."

"Seems like it's my round again Hellmantle."

"I'll say!" Sweat stains under Norton's armpits. "Just because this guy is named after a great motorcycle maker he thinks hes-"

"Better watch yerself Hellmantle, or I'll have to give you the gental cuff!" A Hellmantle favorite, he bellowed laughter as another wave of passengers arrived on the island. A woman pulled up a chair who spoke with a loud Australian accent, carrying a plastic cup of beer.  D'Aqs sat there irked and rankled, not because of what was said but because he didn't have a chance to talk about Catharine's call he had had earlier in the evening.


[i] Peter I 1:1

[ii] Matthew: 15:24

[iii] Matthew 10:5-6

  

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                             
          The Family of the Bible
FIRST PART
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
 
SECOND PART
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
 
THIRD PART
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
 
FOURTH PART
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
         
next  

  
 
 
 

   

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