Monday, January 31, 2011

Anasazi Strip - Chapter 18 - Part IV

“Listen to me. I’ve dug more Anasazi burials than anyone in the damn state. I’ve even dug some around the Paria here. So I know what I’m talking about.”

Jenny stepped back and walked over to the haphazardly-dug grave. Even with her life hanging in the balance, she couldn’t help being captivated by the elaborate trappings of this extravagant burial. This was, by far, the most impressive prehistoric grave she had ever seen on the Arizona Strip. The Anasazi did not go in for fancy tombs as a general rule. In fact, that was one of the many mysteries surrounding the Ancient Ones: few of their graves had ever been discovered. For some unknown reason, many Anasazi were never buried at all. Burials had been found under the floors of houses, under trash pits, in the bottom of kivas, under plazas, and outside their living structures in the middle of nowhere. It seemed like any spot in the ground was as good as another when it came to burying their dead. But given the central role of the kiva in Anasazi religious life, only a powerful medicine man or priest would get buried underneath the biggest kiva inside the largest pueblo on the Paria Plateau. To excavate a burial of this significance was a lifetime opportunity. Such a burial could answer many riddles about the Anasazi.

“You guys don’t even begin to know what you’re dealing with here. This is something like the Burial of the Magician.” The name had suddenly come to her like a vision. “I’ve never seen anything that comes near this sucker. And I’m warning you, you’re going to break twice as much as you find if you keep digging blindly without my help. Only a fool would throw away millions of dollars simply because he already had plenty, and you don’t strike me as a fool.”

B.T.’s face remained a blank mask, impossible to read. “Why would you help us dig this grave?”

“You might let me live, but, if not, what do I have to lose? If I have to die, then I’d like to get the chance to uncover a dream before I have to leave this life. I don’t expect you to understand what I am feeling, but something like this is what we archaeologists spend our whole lives looking for. And when you find it, you feel like you have found the Holy Grail. You saw Raiders of the Lost Ark, didn’t you? Well, it’s like that.”

B.T.’s smile came back on like a bright light. “I do know what you mean, Red. And I also believe that you know your shit when it comes to this excavating stuff. You could probably help double our profit.”

“So you will let me show you how to dig this thing the right way?” asked Jenny with excitement. She found she didn’t care about her life anymore; in relation to this royal burial, her life seemed almost insignificant. Everyone had to die, but few could die happy. Jenny would be happy if she could first have a crack at unraveling the secrets of the Burial of the Magician.

B.T. shook his head with respect. This lady had more nerve than he had seen this side of the Mekong River. By employing her talents, not only would they make more money, but he and the boys could learn a lot. It would be like going to school and would undoubtedly help them with their future digs. And they wouldn’t have to search blindly any place else on the plateau. They could get a whole goddamn shipment out of this one stinking kiva.

“You’re on the team, Red.” B.T. turned to the other two diggers and waved his gun in their faces. “This lady is off limits. I don’t want to see either one of you trying to poke her, or I will personally rip off your fucking cock and then make you eat it – RAW! You boys got that?”

Both of the bikers made faces like they had just gotten a whiff of something dead, and they spoke almost in unison. “We hear you, B.T.”

Jenny breathed a sigh of relief. All was not yet lost. And she still had a couple of aces hidden up her sleeve.

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