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.
Did you know that Nantes was once a slave trade port?
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.
A rubbed etching of the Deveer vault inscription looks back at him.
BACK TO SCENE
His brows knit in puzzlement.
This left and then right.
This is too weird. It’s like a little city in here.
It’s called a necropolis. A city for the dead.
Rance repositions his earpiece.
E/I THE RIVIERE CRYPT
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.
Whoever did this did a first rate job.
And it is fresh. See, nothing worn yet.
I don’t know, maybe they were just frustrated.
(he points to the open vault)
Ben peers into the long narrow vault.
No gold here. If there had been it’s long gone now.
As clean as a bone, but no bones!
We’re a couple of unlucky treasure hunters.
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.
Knowing Lon, I’m sure he had a deeper plan in mind.
DeVeer sure ain’t here!
For a guest in a borrowed tomb, he has quite a prominent spot. I wonder why.
I could consult the cemetery records.
I’d say that it appears to point up river to the east.
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.
Hey, I didn’t notice this before, but it looks like this other vector runs through that island on the river that we crossed.
And intersects with this line on the other side of…
…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?