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Awakenings Chapter 5: Focusings, Page 3

Reaching into the stack of photos, Rick randomly pulled out another one. Studying it for a moment, his glasses began to steam up. “This is Illyrian text!  But the only writings that we have for Illyrian are carved in stone, in clay tablets, or are inscriptions on Jewelry.’ Looking up at Joe, “This could be an enormous find by your wife’s cousins.  You don’t know just how valuable this is.”  Rick pointed to some script unintelligible to either Simone of Joe. “See, this phrase is thought to be the term ‘Brisa’ meaning a bunch of grapes. While the Illyrian language went extinct in about the sixth century, many believe that modern day Albanian is descended from Illyrian.” Rick starred off into space momentarily.  “Some of this might be Messapian!  Only a handful of Messapian texts are known.  I need to show this to a friend of mine who is a paleographist!”  Rick paused for a moment.  “Of course, only when you are ready, Joe.”

Simone and Joe just stared at Rick, taking this all in.  Rick set down the photo and leaned back, taking another sip of wine.  A thin glistening of sweat on his brow caught the lighting of the room.  Simone reached into the pile, pulling out yet another photo.  Joe caught her, “Don’t get the pages of those mixed up, there are at least 30 pages in that group. Elise’s cousins said that those photo’s are of pages of a book made of smoothed out bark with a beaten copper binding.”

Simone looked at Joe with a puzzled look. Rick was suddenly even more intent.  Glancing at the photos, they could clearly see both Latin and Greek writing, one page showed a picture of a staff with two serpents entwined.  Another showed a cross with a serpent nailed to it.

Rick suddenly downed the rest of his glass of wine in one quick gulp. “This looks like it could be the lost book of alchemy once possessed by Nicolas Flamel, who lived in the Fourteenth Century!  This would be a most amazing discovery!”  Without asking, Rick poured himself another glass of wine and continued absorbing the information of the photographs.

Simone and Joe just watched, asked a few questions and sipped more wine while Rick rambled on.  Joe didn’t know whether to grab the photos and run, or to sit and continue to learn more about what his great grandfather was all about.  One thing was for sure, he was learning a lot.  He chose to sit and listen; it was all coming together even sharper.


Eric reached into his desk drawer for a stack of business cards.  Thumbing through the stack, he found one with the FBI seal on it.  On it was the name Alex Burgois.  Picking up the handset to his telephone, he dialed the number.

“Hello, Alex?  This is Eric Chatfield in United States Customs.  Remember, you visited me a couple of days ago?”

“What can I do for you Mr. Chatfield”

“You told me to call you if I came across anything regarding the shipments of grape juice.”

“What do you have?”

“I don’t want to discuss this over the phone.  Can you come to my office?

“Would 4:30 PM today work?

“I will see you then.” Eric fumbled with the envelope.

Continued ...    Back to Page 2