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Chapter Thirty 


 

Concerning the journey to Dien Bien Phu in honor of their grandfather

the Great Dane Hellmantle of Normandy

Along the Da River Valley, Son La Province

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An Asian jungle covered the steep mountain range on both sides of the road that camouflaged its height. Trees so lush that it looked like one prolonged colony of abundant moss covering a long stretch of rock. The mountains were so high up that the origraphic factor kicks in. It was moist up there in the mountains of northern Vietnam but the sun still singed the treetops every afternoon. Since the valleys were so deep, a lot of the moisture from the rain remained unburnt in the underbrush. The river narrowed as Hellmantle and D'Aqs climbed along the dugout side of the mountains. The engines hummed as they closed on the site of the battle. A sign saying Dien Bien Phu in English told them they were close. The vegetation was still as thick as it was a thousand feet below. Hellmantle enjoyed leaning into turns around slow corners as he pressed on past steep drops with only a token, broken-down guardrail as a buffer against a freefall a thousand feet down.

It was past nine when they finally turned onto the main road in Dien Bien Phu. All the stores were shut but there were groups of people hanging around a motorcycle or two. Hellmantle rode all the way down the road until he hit the countryside on the other side of town. During the ride through the main road there was only one possible place he saw that could be a guesthouse, so he doubled back and found a dormant palm-tree laden inn that was open.

Hellmantle, feeling the effects of his bitter and chewy breakfast, barely had enough energy to walk to the kitchen and wolf down a half-dozen boiled eggs sans yoke with tough stale bread and water and beer. The still air caused him to feel the windburn on his cheeks. Sitting there at the table he looked down at his muddy boots. That moment he yearned for his nine-year old pair of Arizona Birkenstocks.

"We need your passport sir," said the hotel manager who had checked them in.

"Why?" Hellmantle asked.

"So I can enter data into the records." He forgot how much paperwork existed in a communist system.

"Oh yeah, the passport," he said slowly as he reached for his cold Double X beer.

"When sir?"

"I'll get it when I merge up to my room when I'm done here," he replied motioning to the pile of broken eggshells in front of him. Just as the small Vietnamese man was about to speak, Hellmantle gave him a nod indicating that he would prefer to eat in peace. He left the tall foreigners to their strict dinner of boiled eggs and bread and crackers and chips and packaged peanuts. The cook was thoughtful enough to bring a side dish of salt that clung to the hot albumin effectively, but to D'Aqs it was a feast fit for a king. The road had worked him hard and had awakened a deep faith in their purpose.

The hotel's café was empty so Hellmantle took out the papyrus map.

"If this map is of India, then what your father believes might be true."

"Are we certain it's India?"

"See, it shows the Ganges. And it says ‘Vale de Kashmir.' It's definitely India."

"What theory of his may be true?" Hellmantle gave him a look. "Well he has so many!" They both looked at D'Aqs' cut hand.

        "It's his idea that Jesus survived the crucifixion." Instead of his usual rolling of the eyes upon hearing this, D'Aqs no longer considered it utter nonsense, which was new.

"Do you really think Jesus survived the cross?" Hellmantle took a long swig from his beer and tried to open his eyes a bit more from the slits they were. The bridge of his nose was already peeling from the ravages of the sun.

"If it hadn't been for Simon Kokhbar's unsuccessful rebellion in 66AD, then perhaps things would have worked out differently after Jesus' crucifixion. But this was not the case. Instead Jesus' original message underwent a transformation into what is know as Pauline Christianity, named after the efforts of the Apostle Paul."

"Original name was Saul, was it not?"

"Yeah. The gospels went through an evolution where they changed the emphasis of the religion to ensure survival in a stricter, post-rebellion Roman province. That's why so much of the New Testament is written in code, like the Book of Revelation. In fact it was from this rebellion in Palestine that lasted from 66-70AD that essentially outlawed all adherents of non-Pauline Christianity. The real inheritors of the message of Jesus went to Syria and Mesopotamia and Egypt, where they carried on their ministry. But they had become a target for Rome to persecute and oppress.

"With the real descendents of Jesus' message outlawed and ostracized, the stage was set for the gradual body-checking out of the adherents to the uncorrupted message. The eventual domination was in Rome's favor. It wasn't until the Renaissance that the cult of the Merovingians resurfaced in the form of rebellious art and symbolism on churches."

"Leonardo da Vinci."

"And other leaders of the Prior de Sion. Sure. These were expressions of rebellion against the dominant Pauline thought of Rome. So with proper Nazarene teachings branded heresy, Paul's interpretation essentially hijacked the real message of Jesus leaving it discarded and forgotten in history except for those descendants of the bloodline of Jesus. You and I, who are descendents of Jesus' bloodline, the holy blood, represent the Desposyni. And some secret societies - like the Prior de Sion and the Blonde Acquitaine - carry on in secret against the monster power of Rome."

"But the Roman Church is still mammoth."

        "Yes. That's why they called Paul the ‘pseudapostolorum,' or a ‘false apostle.'" D'Aqs reached for the map and rubbed the bottom corner of what he thought was debris, but it wasn't. It was very small writing that read: "Deuter 33."

        "Look!"

        "I see it! Do you have your Bible here?" Hellmantle asked him. D'Aqs pulled out his mobile NIV and handed it to him. Hellmantle flipped to the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 33. "Here you read it. I know this by heart.

D'Aqs took the Good Book and read it aloud:

These are the blessings that Moses, the man of God, pronounced on the people of Israel before he died.

             'The Lord came from Mount Sinai;
he rose like the sun over Edom
and shone on his people from Mount Paran.
            Ten thousand angles were with him,
                        a flaming fire at his right hand.
            The Lord loves his people
and protects those who belong to him.
            So we bow at his feet
and obey his commands.
            We obey the Law that Moses
gave us,
                        our nation's most treasured possession.
        The Lord became king of his people Israel
                        when their tribes and leaders
                        were gathered together.
 
Moses said about the tribe of Reuben:
                        ‘May Reuben never die out,
                        Although their people are few.'
 
About the tribe of Judah he said:
                        ‘Lord, listen to their cry for help;
                        Unite them again with the other tribes.
                        Fight for them, Lord,
                        And help them against their enemies.'"

"See? It says unite them with the other tribes, as in the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel or otherwise known as the House of Israel. This isn't fiction My Son! We're onto something important!"

        "I see it. I am having a whole new take on this."

About the tribe of Levi he said:
                        ‘You, Lord, reveal your will by the Urim and Thummim
                        Through your faithful servants, the Levites;
                        You put them to the test at Massah
                        And proved them true at the waters of Meribah.
                        They showed greater loyalty to you
                        Than to parents, brothers, or children.
                        They obeyed your commands
                        And were faithful to your altar.
                        Lord, help their tribe to grow strong;
                        Be pleased with what they do.
                        Crush all their enemies;
                        Let them never rise again.'
 
About the tribe of Benjamin he said:
                        ‘This is the tribe the Lord loves and protects;
                        He guards them all the day long,
                        And he dwells in their midst.'

        "That's us! That's why you're so reckless. He loves us and protects us!"

About the tribe of Joseph he said:
                        ‘May the Lord bless their land with rain
                        And with water from under the earth.
                        May their land be blessed with sun-ripened fruit,
                        Rich with the best fruits of each season.
                        May their ancient hills be covered with choice fruit.
                        May their land be filled with all that is good,
                        Blessed by the goodness of the Lord,
                        Who spoke from the burning bush.
                        May these blessings come to the tribe of Joseph,
                        Because he was the leader among his brothers.
                        Joseph has the strength of a bull,
                        The horns of a wild ox.
                        His horns are Manasseh's thousands
                        And Ephraim's ten thousands.
                        With them he gores the nations
                        And pushes them to the ends of the earth.'
           
About the tribes of Zebulun and Issachar he said:
                        ‘May Zebulun be prosperous in their trade on the sea,
                        And may Issachar's wealth increase at home.
                        They invite foreigners to their mountain
                        And offer the right sacrifices there.
                        They get their wealth from the sea
                        And from the sand along the shore.'"
 
        About the tribe of Gad he said:
                        ‘Praise God, who made their territory large.
                        Gad waits like a lion
                        To tear off an arm or a scalp.
                        They took the best of the land for themselves;
                        A leader's share was assigned to them.
                        They obeyed the Lord's commands and laws
                        When the leaders of Israel were gathered together.'
 
About the tribe of Dan he said:
                        ‘Dan is a young lion;
                        He leaps out from Bashan.'
 
About the tribe of Naphtali he said:
                        ‘Naphtali is richly blessed by the Lord's good favor;
                        Their land reaches to the south from Lake Galilee.'
 
About the tribe of Asher he said:
                        ‘Asher is blessed more than the other tribes.
                        May he be the favorite of his brothers,
                        And may his land be rich with olive trees.
                        May his towns be protected with iron gates,
                        And may he always live secure.'
 
People of Israel, no god is like your God,
                        riding in splendor across the sky,
                        riding through the clouds to come to your aid.
God has always been your defense;
                        his eternal arms are your support.
He drove out your enemies as you advanced,
                        and told you to destroy them all.
So Jacob's descendents live in peace,
                        secure in a land full of grain and wine,
                        where dew from the sky waters the ground.
Israel, how happy you are!
                        There is no one like you,
                        a nation saved by the Lord.
The Lord himself is your shield and your sword,
                        to defend you and give you victory.
Your enemies will come begging for mercy,
and you will trample them down.'   

   D'Aqs finished reading and took a long drink from his bottle of Double X beer.

"You see? The Lord is our defender and shield. We are protected by the divine force of the world, and are invincible in the tasks we set for ourselves. Our blood is blessed and our life can be as rich and rewarding as we design. In the name of divine chivalry, God succors us and gives us the moxie to persevere in the face of adversity. So cast off doubt my dear cousin! And be at my side when we find this missing scroll and right the wrongs that have reverberated for centuries from our sworn enemy Rome!" There was madness in his demeanor, which caused D'Aqs to fear in his gut. Here, so far away from civilization, the madness was magnified. If challenged he might trip over his own words and fall into the abyss where he couldn't be retrieved.

"Yes. My doubt is quelling and I'm seeing the divinity of our mission."

"The people of Israel, all twelve tribes, are the flock that Joshua the Nazarene wanted to unite under his leadership. He was the shepherd who was in search of his lost flock. And this flock was the scattered lost tribes. And he was killed for it! This is my beef, D'Aqs! This is my biggie. Why aren't we taught this? Why does one need to spend years reading and researching on ones own to discover this truth? Why didn't anyone ever tell us in school that this was what Jesus was all about? It's nigh time that we present it to the world so people understand why the peoples of Northern Europe adopted Christianity. We are Israelites, the Ten Lost Tribes! Tell me this is not important to know! It's everything. It's our identity in history. It explains why the Bible applies to us. And it explains why the morality of the Bible is the very foundation of our legal system throughout the West. How can this not be taught?"

It was late now and not a single person stirred on the main street of Dien Bien Phu. Hellmantle went up to his room in a haze of betel nut without fetching his passport for the man waiting for it at the front desk.

  

 

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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