CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-SIX
“I’m here!” Seth yelled. “I’ve found it.”
The team jogged to him. He was twenty feet behind them and off to the left side.
“What did you find?” Alex asked.
“The entrance,” Seth said. “What did Pierre say?”
“We cannot get in up there,” Raz said. “It’s a rouse.”
“I agree,” Seth nodded.
“Pierre seems only to be able to speak in French,” Alex said. “He says it’s something to do with his childhood.”
“Makes sense,” Seth said.
The soldiers moved to around Seth. Pierre and Royce were the last to join the group. Ben put his hand on Seth’s shoulder.
“What are we looking at here?” Ben asked.
“This is an entrance to the mine,” Seth said.
“An entrance,” Ben said.
“One of a few,” Seth said.
“One of a few,” Ben repeated.
“Really? The whole repeat what I say thing?” Seth said.
Ben gave him a grin, but Seth shook his head.
“No stupid spy games,” Seth said pointing at Ben.
“Takes one to know one,” Ben said.
The men laughed while everyone else stood around them in uncomfortable silence.
“Sir, we are unsure of what you’re saying,” Margaret said.
“There are bound to be at least ten ways into this salt mine,” Seth said.
“Why so many?” Margaret asked.
“Most are booby trapped or there are other problems with them,” Seth said. “The idea is to exhaust the visitor and force them to try the main entrance.”
“Which we know is a fake,” Ben said.
“And where is this entrance?” Alex asked. She gestured to the wall.
Seth pointed down at his feet. He stomped a foot and they heard a hollow echo. Seth stepped back.
“It’s covered in an inch or so of dirt,” Seth said. “If you can help me get this open, I will head down and let you into the mine.”
“How can you be sure it’s not booby trapped?” Alex asked.
“I’m sure it’s booby trapped,” Seth said. “It’s just the most likely one to get into the mine.”
“And you know this because …?” Alex asked.
“I read the journal,” Seth said with a slight nod. He looked at Raz. “You’ve read it too.”
Raz squinted at Seth.
“There is a passage about …” Raz started.
“Root cellars,” Alex, Raz, and Seth said at the same time.
“Growing root vegetables to be stored in the cellar,” Raz said. “To be precise.”
Seth gave them a nod.
“You think that’s this?” Raz asked.
“Why?” Raz asked.
“Experience, mostly,” Seth said. “I’ve seen something like this before. But, we won’t know until we get it open.”
Margaret stepped up to him as if she were standing at attention, her shoulders were back and her head high.
“I will go with you, sir,” Margaret said.
Seth shook his head.
“I won’t take a Navajo down there,” Seth said.
“Racism has no place here,” Vince said quickly and firmly.
Seth raised his eyebrows at Vince.
“She’s terrified,” Seth said, nodded to Margaret. “Can you tell us why?”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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