To the Son of Dane
As a fellow Legionnaire, I impart this
important message to you for safekeeping and execution. The brave Dane
Hellmantle, whom I had the honor of serving with during the siege, and who now
lies dead after weeks of intense fighting with the enemy's guns, gave me the
responsibility to make sure the story of the lost scroll may be kept within the
Hellmantle clan and that one day a Crusader from the descendents of the
Long-Haired Kings will complete what needs to be done to bring the truth to
he was killed in Indochine, the Great Dane said to me that if he were to fall in battle I was to tell
his son that he had found the map. I do not know where the map is because it
was the Great Dane's design that no one person knew everything. The secret of
the lost map was left with a valiant Dutch preacher who he had met while on
leave in Hanoi. All that I know about this Dutchman is that he returned to his
church on Luzon Island in the Philippines, where ‘the bell tower rings and the
color rouge glows.' Find the Dutchman and you will find the map.
Dane adamantly believed that this is a task for a Hellmantle.
If he is like his forefathers, then he will have the spiritual vigor and
undaunted courage to carry him forth to find the Dutch Padre and the map. These
sacred scrolls are said to be from Jude Thomas the disciple. If these scrolls
are found, it may change the course of modern religious history on par with his
Merovingian ancestors during the First Crusade.
God bless you to whom this quest is
Louis de Steward
Hellmantle bolted up. "The
hand of destiny touches me in the shoulder!" Eyes ablaze, sweat on his
forehead. "We must correct the fudging of the divine message that has been
carried out by Rome for two millennia!"
Professor Grosseteste dipped his brow
slightly at his son, who sat wide-eyed listening to the madman sitting across
from him. But for Hellmantle the letter in his hand had finally brought the
legendary Dane Hellmantle to life. This greater-than-life character from a
foggy past was now bringing him into the fold of great adventurers that had
served God for a thousand years. Hellmantle spoke thus:
"Time and perhaps my life might be the
sacrifice required for this adventure, but it falls on my shoulders and I
accept wholeheartedly the responsibilities of this assignment with God as my
witness. I shall flourish while I find this Dutchman and come into the riches
of hidden truths too long buried from our eyes. I seek to shatter the illusions
that hamper mankind and bring back the treasures that are bestowed to us and
D'Aqs watched his cousin with absolute
yes. Major fudging. At the Council of Nicea in 325AD." They both
looked at D'Aqs.
His pale skin took on a rose hue.
the Council of Nicea the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great decided to make
Jesus the product of a virgin birth, and a number of other very odd
tenets that still to this day rub people the wrong way because it goes against
very basic intuition," said his father.
"It was voted into
existence, almost three hundred years after Jesus' life, that He was a product
of a virgin birth and that He was the Son of God, not the Son of
Man," Hellmantle, eyes piercing. "They also voted to adopt the belief of
considered the virgin birth to be difficult to believe." D'Aqs sheepish and
embarrassed at his lack of knowledge.
"That's an understatement!" Even in the Quran
there's a passage that goes: ‘They sirely lie against God those who say, "God
is one of three in a Trinity." There is no god except One Allah. If they do not
stop themselves from their word of lies, a painful penalty will surely fall on
the liars among them.'[i]"
"From what I know about Louis de Steward,"
said Jack Grosseteste, "he and Dane were stationed in Hanoi before the war and
became friends. De Steward survived the war and lived in Laos after the
surrender of the French until his death in 1956. There were many dedicated
French soldiers who found it difficult to let go of a land they had ruled for
150 years. De Steward was one of these dedicated Frenchmen who believed the
land was theirs. From what I know he was stabbed by one of his servants who was
a secret communist." Hellmantle listened but had his back to him looking for an
atlas in his uncle's bookshelves.
"Damn shame," he said.
"Your grandfather's friend Louis de Steward
was one of these soldiers who kept fighting after a hundred-and-fifty years of
colonial rule. And you know that the Grosseteste and Hellmantle possessions in
Indochina were seized."
"When I was in Cambodia I could still feel
anti-French sentiment, fifty years after the French leaving," said Hellmantle.
At last he found an atlas, opened it to a detailed map of the Philippines out
on the balcony and found Luzon Island.
Meanwhile Jack Grosseteste confirmed with his
son that Hellmantle had Aspergers Syndrome and was precariously balanced on a
precipice waiting for the slightest gust of wind to push the poor young man
over the edge into the abyss. They agreed that his intentions were noble but he
was careless enough to invite danger. As family, and with his father dead and
so far away from home, the professor asked D'Aqs to accompany him to the
Philippines on his quest, insisting the fresh air and exercise of the trip
would do him good and contribute to his full recovery. D'Aqs shared his father's
concern and agreed to join Hellmantle on his task as long as his father could
cover the costs of the trip. D'Aqs thought it might be something he could
contribute to honor his father's interest in secret societies that
characterized the families' past.
Head buried in the atlas, studying the
minutia of gradients and shorelines and roads, Hellmantle suddenly erupted:
"Providence will show that this Dutchman is
still alive and that we shall find him!" Confident, spoken with a proud
"Will you be able to afford the time off work?" asked
"Work! ‘Tis secondary to me uncle! This is
everything! Finding the Padre is my focus now. Nothing will stop me and
no one will stand in my way."
"But it could be dangerous."
"Dangerous! I hope it is! I am fit to undertake
this sally without help or advantage. The journey must be executed with vigor
and integrity since God will witness our trials and hardships that will be the
road to salvation!" D'Aqs went to take the atlas from Hellmantle but he grabbed
it back, exclaiming:
"None shall hinder my research nor
obstruct my methods! Be not careless my cousin and get in my way!"
D'Aqs and his father exchanged looks again but this went
unnoticed by Hellmantle, who, being inspirited, settled into studying Luzon
Island on the map. D'Aqs, in an effort to keep things rational, asked:
"Do you even think that this Dutch priest
"Of course he exists!" exclaimed his indignant cousin.
"The question should be my dear cousin, is he still alive." He could see
Hellmantle doing some swift calculations in his head, his hand going to his
chin. "If he were 25 in 1954, then he'd be 72 years old, and priests never
really retire, do they?"
"Well, they do
Rolland." Using his first name was D'Aqs' effort to reach out to the sane part
of his mind, but this too failed to penetrate the wall of irrationality that
had taken hold of his mental fortress.
"But he must be
alive, don't you see? We are part of a secret brotherhood that has remained
together since the victorious find in Jerusalem when the original nine
crusaders from Normandy led the First Crusade in 1099 and found what they
sought under the Temple of Solomon in 1106. My poor D'Aqs! Do you forget that
our family history recorded that the Nine Worthies were following a map?"
"No, but what were they
"The treasure was the
discovery - or rediscovery - of sacred geometry that has since been the
foundation for building cathedrals throughout Europe for the last thousand
years. Do you forget your history, man?"
guess I do."
de Payens changed history. He believed in the whispered secrets kept
alive among the brotherhood to lead the First Crusade and persevere for seven
years, digging under Solomon's stables to find the buried booty. And nobody
knows his name. But we do. And some of his blood stirs through our veins.
Now it's our turn to believe, to have faith, and to succeed." Vehemence
overflowed in Hellmantle.
Grosseteste, savvy enough to seize the opportunity of his nephew being so
committed, took his cue and spoke thus:
"That's for you to find out,
Rolland. And when you go to the Philippines to discover the truth, you should
go with your cousin because he can learn about our family history, something he
has ignored his entire life. It behooves all people to know about their past
and family history. Our story happens to be a little more involved than the
average family." He looked at his hands. "Believe me, I would go with you but I
am not able. Remember, the only thing an older man envies of a younger man is
the bounty of time that lies at his feet in the fullness of youth."
his chin high up in the air, Hellmantle replied:
"Time is like malleable
clay within the reach of a sculptor teeming with untested ideas," proud of
his philosophical acumen. "I am a man who goes forth into the world to press my
thoughts against humanity with only Helios and God as my witness. For me
curiosity is the sparkplug to action. I have learned through hardships
of adventure that the bite is more profitable than the graze."
afraid more goes on than can be explained by your little philosophy," said Jack
words uncle," he replied.
"How?" asked D'Aqs. "How
are you going to find a Dutch priest in the northern island of the Philippines?"
"Motorcycles, man! The modern
horse. Stop off at all the churches with a bell tower we see while touring
the island." D'Aqs thought it was a joke at first but then realized that his
cousin was serious.
"It's an enormous task."
"I don't have a choice. If
you want to come with me then I encourage it because you ought to know more
about where you came from. Can you afford it?" D'Aqs looked at his father and
saw the subtle confirmation in his nod.
"Yes, I can." It was at this
moment D'Aqs committed himself to the challenge of finding a priest in the
Philippines that started the chain of events that would follow.
[i] Sura: 5.73