Rebel Treasure thirty fourth post

IMG_2011

INT THE CUTE LITTLE FRENCH CAR – DAY
A tight fit would be an understatement, without the luggage Ben and Riley have squeezed Ceci into the back, but she may as well be in front it is so close.

They disgorge onto a boulevard with a bridge ahead. Then cross the bridge to the island in the middle of the river that runs through the city.

CECI
Did you know that Nantes was once a slave trade port?

RILEY
No kidding?

CECI
Oui. The ships had their home port here on this island. I know all about it because my sister, she has a salvage business that she runs here. There is her ship.

She points to the salvage vessel, moored along a quai.

EXT ST BERTHOLD’S CEMETERY – DAY
Ensconced on a concrete bench high above the main cemetery, Rance watches the comings and goings of visitors, many clutching flower bouquets. His interest piques as Ceci comes in view, leading Ben and Riley. Rance drops his gaze to a scrap of paper at his side.

INSERT
A rubbed etching of the Deveer vault inscription looks back at him.

BACK TO SCENE
His brows knit in puzzlement.

CECI (O.S.)
This left and then right.

RILEY (O.S.)
This is too weird. It’s like a little city in here.

BEN (O.S.)
It’s called a necropolis. A city for the dead.

Rance repositions his earpiece.

E/I THE RIVIERE CRYPT

BEN
Here it is!

The marble walls of the crypt gleam in the sunshine, but the iron grill gate looks forbidding with a huge lock. Ceci slips a huge iron key into the lock, and the gate swings open at her mere touch. They fall silent and step cautiously into the crypt.

With the crunch of grit and rubble beneath their feet, they are greeted by a scene of destruction. Clearly the stone ornamentation of the walls have been hacked off and the results strewn about.

BEN (CONT’D)
Whoever did this did a first rate job.

CECI
And it is fresh. See, nothing worn yet.

RILEY
I don’t know, maybe they were just frustrated.
(he points to the open vault)
Look!

Ben peers into the long narrow vault.

BEN
No gold here. If there had been it’s long gone now.

RILEY
As clean as a bone, but no bones!

CECI
Gold?

BEN
(nods)
We’re a couple of unlucky treasure hunters.

RILEY
A dead end, then?

Ben sifts through a pile and comes up with two slabs that he puts together. They form the faceplate for the vault and the DeVeer inscription can be read.

BEN
Knowing Lon, I’m sure he had a deeper plan in mind.

RILEY
DeVeer sure ain’t here!

BEN
For a guest in a borrowed tomb, he has quite a prominent spot. I wonder why.

CECI
I could consult the cemetery records.

RILEY
I’d say that it appears to point up river to the east.

BEN
But the phrase “not here” could be a clue, as in not that direction.
(he stops and slaps his forehead)
Wait a minute, he’s a sailor and to veer is move off onto the other tack. Take the GPS bearing of the center of the chamber and reverse it.

He whips out his laptop and positions it on the central dias and powers up.

RILEY
Hey, I didn’t notice this before, but it looks like this other vector runs through that island on the river that we crossed.
(peers closely)
And intersects with this line on the other side of…

BEN
…the island at the mouth of the Loire. And under water, naturally!
(looks at Ceci)
Think we could hire your sister’s boat for a little job?

[next pt 35]

Rebel Treasure thirtyfirst post

Rebel Treasure thirtyfirst post

INT ABBY’S HOTEL ROOM – MEXICO CITY – MORNING
The early morning tropical sun cheerfully bathes Abby in its glow. She has her laptop open with the web browser logged onto her e-mail. She attaches a file to her note to Ben and clicks the send button. She powers down immediately and pops out the LAN card and turns to give it to Letitia Slidell.

ABIGAIL
Thanks, that was a real lifesaver. I have no idea what happened to mine.

MRS. SLIDELL
My pleasure, dear. I also feel fortunate to have made your acquaintance. What brings you to Mexico City, if I may ask?

INT INTERNET CAFE – NANTES – NIGHT
Riley packs two espressos across the crowded cafe to the counter where Ben is tapping away on the laptop.

BEN
(looking up)
Any leads on cemeteries?

RILEY
The barrista tells me that the only ones with Americans buried in them are up in Normandy.

BEN
Wrong war. Well, good news from Mexico, Abby has sent us another decoded section of the journal.

Their tattooed and pierced neighbor, a stunning brunette in Goth makeup, CECI POMPADOU, leans over to Riley.

CECI
Tourist, no?

Riley takes one look at her and gets tongue-tied.

BEN
No. We’re here on business.

CECI
(keeping her attention on Riley)
Me. I am a tour guide. I know all there is to know about Nantes and Brittany.

BEN
How many cemeteries are there in this city?

Ceci turns to her laptop and motions to them to join her.

CECI
Quelle est… Is there a certain name that you desire?

Ben turns their laptop towards her and points.

BEN
I believe that this inscription may be on the grave we are looking for.

INSERT OF INSCRIPTION
Don’t look for DeVeer He ain’t here.

BACK TO SCENE

CECI
A family name of DeVeer? Sounds Dutch.
(she clicks away)
The Riviere family crypt at St Berthold’s lists that name.

A look passes between Ben and Riley.

RILEY
How much do you charge?

CECI
It is but a small thing. How about an espresso and 200 francs?

BEN
Deal! Tomorrow after breakfast.

Riley dutifully goes in search of an espresso for her.

[next pt 32]