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Chapter Thirty-five 


 

Concerning the arrival in New Delhi and journey to Kashmir Valley

New Delhi, Haryana Province, India

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To Hellmantle the art of mulling was when thoughts could be played with in a mental sandbox, so during the five-hour plane journey to New Delhi he read through The Gospel of Thomas that his Uncle Jack had lent him. Amid exclamations and furious underlining with pencil, D'Aqs sat beside his cousin watching other passengers look at his cousin. After his illness from malaria, D'Aqs wanted a spiritual cleansing in the Ganges River as a symbolic spiritual rebirth. It was one thing he sought to do while in India that fell outside of the immediate mission at hand, like Hellmantle insisting they stop in Sagada to see Catharine. The Ganges was also a way to mark the beginning of perhaps a new life shared with the woman Asher, but he didn't let himself think that far ahead because too much hope unrealized could scar a man.

It had been tougher for Hellmantle to find more time off from the magazine. He had implored his editor to take four days vacation that were coming to him in order to "complete this duty given to me by God." Reluctantly his boss granted him the week, which was also an opportunity for him to mention that the quality of Hellmantle's articles was suffering and that he needed to put more time and research into his pieces henceforth. He almost replied that letting the quality of his computer articles slip was a small price to pay for the greatness of his other work.

After clearing customs first, Hellmantle was talking to a taxi driver at a taxi booth to ensure they wouldn't fall victim to a quick swindle when D'Aqs found him in the crowd.

"Good timing, man. Always a good sign at the beginning of an adventure," he said. "Snagging a pre-paid fare with a legitimate operator is important. This is Pradeep. Taxi driver, and a fair man." D'Aqs didn't bother scolding him for leaving him in the New Delhi airport without any idea where he had gone. But Hellmantle's decision was wise, especially at 2:30am Sunday morning. The ride into Delhi took an hour.

"There must be a fire or something," said D'Aqs. "I feel it in my lungs."

"No fire," said Pradeep. "Fog." Tough like a cop with bad skin but with a trusting face, there was too much of his personality displayed in Pradeep's posture to fear cunning or deceit.

"Thick. Very thick."

In the taxi they moved along the barely lit road to the city. Being an employee of the official Indian Tourism Board, Pradeep was concerned about the security up north because of the Muslim insurgency.

"I'd like to calm you my friend," said Hellmantle. "I am a seasoned traveler. I want to rent a motorcycle to ride up to Srinagar in Kashmir to find the tomb of Jesus." Pradeep showed no surprise at hearing these words.

"You don't want to go to the Taj Mahol?"

"No, Srinagar."

"How long are you here?"

"Return flight to Hong Kong leaves Saturday night - seven days hence," D'Aqs answered.

"One week? Impossible. Kashmir is too far and security is tight. Many checkpoints."

"No motorcycle?" The disappointment in Hellmantle's voice tangible.

"No, Kashmir too unsafe. Very dangerous there."

"Is the road open?" asked Hellmantle. Pradeep looked at him in the back seat.

"Too many roadblocks for motorcycle. You take bus. Much safer."

"Forget safe, man! Bus? No way." Hellmantle's features rigid, slouched.

"No, it's not good. The checkpoints are a problem. You need a reservation up there, papers to get in. It would be easier to the bus."

"How long is it?"

"It's one day and you need to register to get into Kashmir."

"What is another way to get there?"

"Airplane," replied Pradeep.

"No motorcycles to rent?"

"You cannot rent motorcycles in Delhi. Delhi is a big city. Only in beach towns can you rent."

Desolate at night in comparison with the nightlights of Hong Kong, they passed a roundabout and a colonial fountain, and arrived at the Red Castle Hotel just off the barren Connaught Place city circle. It was also right beside the Indian tourist office.

"The bus leaves at 1:30 tomorrow." Hellmantle and D'Aqs looked at each other for a second, knowing that going to Srinagar on the next bus was the best course of action.

"We could waste a day in New Delhi discussing it," said D'Aqs.

"Srinagar is our immediate destiny!"

"I make a call and reserve bus and houseboat for you, okay?"

"I think I'll get a guesthouse there on my own, thanks," replied Hellmantle.

"No, the law is foreigners must book houseboat in Kashmir Valley."

"Why?"

"Kashmir never part of British India, so houseboats the only accommodation for visitors throughout the British Empire." So they planned to meet Pradeepthe next day at noon for their tickets next door.

 

Ω

 

The sound of babies wailing woke Hellmantle up early, knowing from an ancient instinct that the crying was from hunger. Lying there for a while he listened to the cries of hunger from babies in the New Delhi night.

The heat crumbled soil underfoot and melted the will of man walking to the tourism building.

"It's as hot as a palm tree today." D'Aqs could tell from his swagger that Hellmantle was all set for the day's adventure.

Standing in line in the crowded office, Pradeep ushered them into his small office when he saw them. They paid for the tickets and tipped Pradeep for his efforts, but when they were waiting for a four-digit number for security, Hellmantle became claustrophobic so he stepped outside for a smoke. He walked down the road a little bit but was followed by Pradeep.

"Where you want to walk?" he asked, hesitant.

"Just down the street. Having a cigarette. Want one?" He kept walking under the mature trees lining the sidewalk until a violent rush of children and beggars charged him. Pradeep blocked the onrush by stopping them with his backside.

"Get out of here!" he yelled in English. "Away!" They had found the fair beard and long Merovingian hair, some children an arm's length away watching Hellmantle smoke, hoping for some coins. Barefooted, wearing torn shirts and skinny as chopsticks, there were too many of them and his bills were too large, so he returned to the office feeling thankful for Pradreep's body check. He handed Pradeep a Marlborough.

"Be careful Rolland. Hunger makes people do mean things. The world is not full of benevolent Christians."

The bus station was an old British airplane hangar, with a British World War Two airplane up on wooden blocks by the four buses parked on the yard, an emaciated cow grazing beside them.

"A little piece of the colonial past," said Hellmantle.

Hellmantle assertively took the front two seats, the prime real estate for the journey to the Great Himalayan Range and a small consolation for not having the chance to motorcycle. He found Delhi strange because there were no twenty-story apartment buildings lining the streets like Hong Kong. Colonial India was what he wanted to see but instead he saw dirt and filth, squalor and overcrowding, and extraordinary poverty.

Stirred, Hellmantle spoke thus:

"I see a planet covered with desperate people from the savagery of hunger. I want to offer my goodwill and humanity but I cannot involve my heart because I must protect myself from bleeding! To care too much can kill a man! To observe and see without feeling when seeing so much of the world as I do is best, otherwise I would be hurting myself, which defeats the purpose of living."

As if by divine providence, pieces had fallen into place and were now going north to Kashmir Valley nestled in the Himalayas to find a piece of land sketched on a papyrus map. So swiftly had Pradeep guided them that they both savored the familiar eager optimism at the commencement of a trip into the unknown.

The bus weaved aggressively past trucks that brought the countryside drinking water.

"Hey man, I'm Nathan." Immediately Hellmantle took a keen interest in discussing things with Nathan, especially after he was offered a hit from a bottle that he kept under his jacket. It passed back and forth between them while D'Aqs watched the countryside go by out the window. Thick lenses in Nathan's eyeglasses could not mask the intelligence radiating from the eyes, so Hellmantle felt compelled to share some of the more esoteric theories he had in religious history.

"Why do religious scholars studying the migration of Ten Lost Tribes of Israel believe that the Celts, the Scandinavians and the North American Indians all come from the Diaspora from 683BC? I believe there is a common footnote, but that's just me."

"I'm from Tel Aviv, so I know about the tribes of Israel. But I never hear they were the Indians before. Or Celts."

"The word Celt with a ‘C' or Kelt with a ‘K' comes from the Greek word "Keltoi" which means "people who are different. As you know, all those who were part of the Twelve Tribes of Israel were "different" from the Gentiles."

        "That's right. All those who are not descendents of the Twelve Tribes of Israel are called Gentiles."

        "You are from the lion of Judah."

        "How do you know the lion is from Judah?" 

"The House of Judah and the House of Israel; you are a descendent from the tribes of Judah and Levy."

"I'm a Levite actually, but it's not important."

        "Not important!" D'Aqs ignored the outburst, now accepting of his cousin's imperfections. "You're the priestly tribe with the symbol on your sheild being a breastplate."

        "Breastplate, yes. That's right."

        "Nathaniel, might I ask you a question about Israel?"

        "Go ahead man." He passed his bottle to the Man from Normandy.

        "As a non-Jew, that is not from the tribe of Levy or Judah, could I live in Israel? Would they let me in?" He scrached his thick red hair and shook his head.

        "Nope. It's just for Jews. It's our homeland."

        "Bloody right it is! And thank God you have Palestine back, despite the turbulence. Being an Israelite myself, from the tribe of Benjamin, I cannot make my home in your country. Is that correct?"

        "That is correct sir."

        "Then why is it called Israel? It should be called Judah, non?" Nathan busted a gut.

        "That's what my old man is always saying."

        "It's ironic because we're related by blood."

        "You could say that you and me are cousins through Jacob."

        "Well then say it man!" Nathan's eyes bulged. He took back the bottle thinking it was going to his head. "It's not until you get into the story of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel that you start to understand where the Ten Lost Tribes went, who they are, and in fact if they are the chosen through a New Covenant with God." Nathan was inclined to listen rather than look out the window so he had a question for the man from Normandy:

        "So if you're into all this stuff, let me ask you if you think Jesus was married and had kids. ‘Cause my old man thinks that." Hellmantle took the bottle from his hand without asking and took a big swig.

        "Well, Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had three children. First of all, Mary was not a prostitute as the New Testament states."

"The New Testament is a bit dodgy he thinks."

"Dodgy! Classic word. Mucho fudging by those chaps in Rome, such as minimizing the role of women. They purposely belittled Mary Magdalene but the truth is that she was from a royal line. She even wrote a gospel that wasn't included in the canon. It was their second son named Josephus whose offspring sprang the Merovingian kings that ruled France for over six hundred years. Up to 1307 the Merovingian line found it's rightful place as kings of France with documented lineage from the early times. They were also called the Long Haired Kings. That's why Napoleon had long hair, and chose the bee as his insignia, the symbol of the Merovingians."

"I've heard of the Merovingians."

"And it was through Jesus' brother Joseph of Arimathea, who moved to Britain and had a daughter named Anne that the royal Arimatheic line was introduced to the British Isles. She married a Scottish King, forget the chappy's name, that was the Fisher King line. Their symbol was the red lion. When these two lines intermarried Great Britian became the Israelite kingdom."

"That's amazing." Happy to have a keen ear, Hellmantle went on.

        "You've heard of King Arthur?"

        "Yeah, the guy in England."

        "Yes, well he was a king who for the first time in history had both strains of the holy bloodline: that of the Fischer Kings and the Arimatheic line. That's why what happened to him was such a tragedy." Nathan stroked his chin and took the bait.

        "What happened to him? Killed by Lancelot?"

        "No! That dud Lancelot wrecked everything! He was sleeping with King Arthur's wife Guinivere. Bad form. Very bad form. The Round Table fell apart after that. King Arthur died when he sided with the Romans and fought a two-day battle against his son Brantooth and was killed. Terrible what happened. Tragic. A total shame. They were both killed."

        "Brantooth? That's quite a name. Must mean brown tooth or something."

        "As a side note, King Arthur used the Round Table so that all knights were equal. King Arthur wanted his men to have equal say in discussions and planning."

        "Sounds democratic to me. But I have a question for you: Why Scotland? My old man said some Levites settled there. And they have the red rampant lion, right? What's so special about Scotland? Sure they wear kilts, which is sorta cool, and play bagpipes, but it's small and cold and far away from everything."

"Because Scotland remained outside of the yoke of Rome. It was a safe haven for the Templars who held Nazarene beliefs, Israelites and people who could play the bagpipes." His deadpan delivery was missed.

"The Templars were knights, weren't they? Or am I wrong?"

        "You're not wrong My Son! Hundreds of Knights Templars were burnt at the stake by the Roman Church, particularly their leader Jacques de Molay, but many escaped to Scotland because it was outside the power of Rome. It happened on Friday the thirteenth around 1310 I think, and that's why Friday the thirteenth is regarded as bad luck. But before thriteen was considered a number of fortune."

        "Why was thirteen a number of fortune?"

        "Well because for example, there were twelve disciples plus Jesus which is thirteen. And the twelve sons of Jacob were actually thirteen because Joseph had Ephraim and Manessah, which added up to thirteen. There were thirteen colonies and thus the thirteen olive branches and arrows in the eagle's claws in the United States emblem of the eagle. There are thirteen months in a given year."

        "And why were the Knights Templars burnt?'

        "Because they became builders of churches capitalizing on the sacred geometry they discovered during the First Crusade, so in due course they became one of the first banks in Europe. The Pope owed them a heck of a lot of money, so to deal with the problem the Pope simply declared them heretics and had them excommunicated. Rome rounded up most of them and burned them alive. There's more to the story but that's it in a nutshell." They took swigs from the bottle but Nathan was now weary of Hellmantle's sanity.

        "So I'm interested to know, do you honestly think the Indians in North America are part of the Ten Lost Tribes?"

        "You obviously haven't read the Book of Mormon."

"No, should I?"

"It's the fasted growing religion in the world."

"I don't believe that."

"Believe what you want. But the teachings mesh well with the Nazarene message of Jesus. They believe two tribes of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel sailed over from Palestine on 683BC during the Diaspora and the two tribes fought against each other, the Lammanites and the Nephites. The Lammanites won and killed off the Nephites, and they are today's Red Man."

"You can't be serious. The Native Americans?"

"Oui. Incidentally, when the first settlers arrived on the eastern shores it was discovered the some tribes called the Great Spirit Jhvhvh, the original Hebrew name of God in the Old Testament. Now, how does one explain that?"

"It doesn't make sense."

"Sure it does when you think about it. There are many records of early pioneers that noted the Natives were taller, more robust and had virtually no congenital diseases. And they were red because they thought white skin was sickly so they rubbed vermillion dye in their skin. But of course the best and bravest are up in Vahalla from the engineered genocide led by that bastard General Sherman. Nasty piece he was. The States went a bit overboard after Custer and his 216 men were massacred down to the last man in 1876."

"I was taught the Indians came from the Bering Strait."

        "Hmm. Have you heard of Kenwick Man?"

        "No."

        "It was a body discovered on the west coast I think in Washington state that was basically like you and me: European, or an Israelite. Found in a bog. Fair hair, European bone structure; the whole deal. And it was thousands of years old. The public doesn't know about it because it was discovered on Indian land and they won't give it to the government or anthropologists to study, but it's known and has almost single handedly debunked the Bering Strait theory. The Red Man doesn't look anything like the Chinese! Long noses, sharp cheekbones, highest IQ of any race, coordinated and athletic, and they had a great appreciation for the Spirit World. I'll tell you, if I had more time I'd love to study that aspect of history."

        "How can that be?"

        "The Phoenicians who existed way before 683BC had the sailing ability to go anywhere on the seas, so why couldn't a few tribes hop in a boat and sail across the Atlantic following the North Atlantic current?"

        "Anything else you'd like to tell me from your bag of tricks?"

        "You're Jewish so you likely know that long history of persecution in Russia?"

        "I do. My grandmother was from there. Left because of all that."

        "Do you know what the Bible calls the land of Russia?"

        "No."

        "The land of Magog. It's clear that there are no Israelites there and thus they have no prophecies of greatness."

        "That's the best thing you've said all day!"

  

 

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
         
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