Day Three Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I misread the reason behind the presence of the soldiers. They were there as escort to the last item mentioned by the Captain. Everyone was kept away from the area while it was winched up and stowed aboard. We were held in a makeshift guardhouse.

Then we were vetted before being allowed back aboard.

The soldiers will keep their station until we depart.

And we don’t yet know when that will be.

The Captain, in conversation with the commander of the soldiers, picked up a few pointers on pursuing his claim to the grain ship.

He has gone ashore today to follow them up. He asked if we wanted to accompany him. But we declined, preferring a day of rest.

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Rebel Treasure fifty third post

Rebel Treasure fifty third post

INT. BASEMENT OF THE OTHER GUARD HOUSE
All the third soldier can see through the basement windows are his comrades exchanging automatic gunfire with the Gatling gun in the tower next door.

BEN (ON THE TUBE)
Hello! Is there anyone there?

SOLDIER THREE
(picking up the speaker tube)
Hello! Mr. Slidell?

ON THE IRONCLAD BRIDGE
Ben slams the speaker tube back down.

BEN
Sorry, wrong number!

And picks up the next one, as Abigail pops up onto the bridge.

ABIGAIL
Those pollsters can find you anywhere.

He smiles and motions her to join him.

BEN (ON THE TUBE)
Is anyone there?

GUARDHOUSE

AGENT HOWIE
Boss, someone’s talking on this tube thingy.

The agent passes him the speaker tube.

RILEY
Let me have that!

BEN (O.S.)
Is anyone up there?

RILEY
Ben! It’s me, Riley!

BEN (O.S.)
Are you okay?

RILEY
Just fine. I’ve recruited some help. Sadusky and his crew. Is Abigail with you?

BEN (O.S.)
Yes. Can you get us back up there?

RILEY
Uh. I think we may be wanting to come down to where you are.

BEN (O.S.)
What?

RILEY
(to Sadusky)
How much time we got?

SADUSKY
The order should have been issued three minutes ago. It’s on the way. Say seven or eight minutes.

ON THE IRONCLAD BRIDGE

Ben and Abigail hold the speaker tube between them, both straining to hear.

RILEY (O.S.)
We’ve got a little situation. According to Sadusky, the whole mountain top is about to come down on top of us, courtesy of the US Government.

BEN
That’s extreme prejudice.

RILEY (O.S.)
Don’t take it personal. They don’t know we’re here.

BEN
Listen. The mechanism for raising the entrance is in the basement of the guardhouse across from the one with the ladder to the lower area.

RILEY (O.S.)
Gotcha. We’ll see what we can do.

BACK ON THE CATWALK
The Slidell boys clench each other, neither one strong enough to overpower the other, nor willing to back down. Rance charges up, kicking and screaming.

RANCE
We have no time for this!

In their blind fury they ignore him. Rance takes out his hand gun and fires once into the air. Horatio and Morgan break apart and scramble away from Rance.

RANCE (CONT’D)
Neither of you are worthy to lead the cause.

[next pt 54]

Rebel Treasure fortieth post

Rebel Treasure fortieth post

THE OUTER VAULT AREA
A stone fort rises from the center of a spherical cavern, hewn from the very rocks of its surroundings. Avenues of access radiate from it like spokes of a wheel, and weapons of all kinds are stacked row upon row between them; stands of rifles and carbines; and artillery parks of light and heavy cannon. The ramparts of the fort are festooned with banners and battle flags, and two Gatling guns in towers flank the entrance.

Lon strides purposefully down the main avenue his red leather map-case slung over his shoulder.

FORT ENTRANCE
TWO GUARDS, armed with rifles and fixed bayonets, snap to attention and step aside for Lon. As he mounts the stairs that traverse the gate, the MUFFLED CLANG of hidden machinery commences deep beneath his feet and a column begins to rise in the center of the fort.

THE FORT AREA
The column reaches its limit, disclosing another entrance. Lon pauses to check that he is alone before plunging through the opening.

THE FORT ENTRANCE
The two guards again come to attention at Louis’ approach.

LOUIS
(returning their salute)
What’s all the commotion?

GUARD ONE
Commander Turner is in the vault, sir.

Louis tries to push pass them, but they lock rifles and block his way. At this affront, Louis’ knife hand twitches.

GUARD TWO
Sorry sir. No one is allowed in, when the Commander is present.

LOUIS
By whose order?

GUARD ONE
The highest, sir. You can wait here if you like. He shouldn’t be long.

LOUIS
Be pleased to inform the Commander that I beg to see him in the guardhouse.

THE VAULT INTERIOR
Lon deposits his map-case on a shelf of a safe. He swings the door shut, and twists three dials. With a sigh of relief he departs.

THE FORT ENTRANCE
At Lon’s KNOCK, the two guards open the gate to him, just as Jonah and another arrive, suited up for guard duty.

LON
Just in time for the change of the guard, I see.

The guards exchange positions and the original duo are about to march away.

GUARD TWO
Lieutenant Toussaint left a request to see you in the guardhouse.

LON
Very well.

Lon and Jonah warily watch their retreat.

JONAH
All’s secure, sir. The workers have been liberated and are now on the way to the rendezvous.

LON
Excellent. Pass the signal to blow the train entrance. I’ll lock down the vault and throw away their “key,” so to speak. All that after I send our friend Louis away.

JONAH
Why? Why not leave him here?

LON
I know he wouldn’t hesitate to abandon us, but I can’t do the same to him.

JONAH
Let’s hope we don’t live to regret it.

[next pt 41]