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By A.J. Hartley

Six months in the past, museum curator Deborah Miller had by no means heard of Ek Balam, an imprecise Mayan archaeological web site identified for its carved figures. Now the following she is, having traded Atlanta’s city jungle for a distant village in Mexico’s Yucatan, tasked with overseeing Ek Balam’s excavation. but if a surprising rainstorm explanations a partial cave in on the web site, an unforeseen treasure is unearthed: a set of rough-cut rubies hidden from the area for thousands of years—and very out-of-place within the Yucatan. it's a locate of immeasurable worth, person who Deborah vows to protect—and but is powerless to avoid from being stolen quickly after its discovery. decided to retrieve the stones, she units out to track their complicated background throughout 4 centuries and continents, from Mexico to northern England the place the jewels as soon as performed a harrowing position within the Lancashire witch trials of 1612. yet Deborah isn't the just one looking for the stones; shut on her heels are archaeologists, occultists, and one very made up our minds fingers broker, all of whom will cease at not anything, no longer even homicide, to assert the prize for themselves.

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Even perhaps pre-Classic. Her middle used to be racing. this can be large. past large. it'll make headlines, which might pride Steve Powel and Cornerstone, no matter if they discovered not anything major within. yet until the chamber have been robbed, there will be issues to discover. She laughed with pride, however the sound died on her lips. She circled speedy, certain that there has been a person within the underbrush in the back of her. She had heard whatever. A snapping twig, possibly. A stealthy, wary sound. Deborah stared on the foliage, yet there has been no circulate. She discovered she was once conserving her breath, and exhaled slowly. nonetheless not anything, yet she felt a relax, and the hair on her fingers prickled. You’re imagining it, she informed her herself. There’s nothing... A leaf, a kind of large elephant ear issues, shifted fractionally regardless of the shortcoming of wind, and for a second she saw—or notion she saw—eyes gazing her. “Where is it? ” Deborah begun and seemed up. It was once Bowerdale, having a look flushed and expectant, Alice strolling to take care of. “It’s a tunnel? ” he known as, scrambling all the way down to the place she stood. “You’re definite? ” “A passage,” stated Deborah. “Built with stone blocks and roofed with slabs. definite, I’m convinced. ” He staggered over the asymmetric floor and thrust his face over the sting. “We should still toughen this area,” stated Deborah. “We’ve no notion how stable this lip is. ” “If it used to be going to break down, it is going to have performed so already,” muttered Bowerdale, watching into the cave less than. “But we’re going to wish to construct a brace around the most sensible, and get the winch so i will get down there. ” “You? ” “I’m the surveyor. ” “Of identified monuments,” stated Deborah. “This isn't really considered one of them and falls less than my jurisdiction. I’ll be the 1st one down there. ” Alice was once looking at Deborah conscientiously. “With all due admire, leave out Miller, this can be a in all likelihood harmful scenario and that i imagine a guy may be a more sensible choice to... ” Deborah simply laughed and peered down towards the water. “There’s a ledge over there,” she stated, pointing. “Lower me in, and that i can swing over to the passage. can we have the lamps? ” “They’re within the van,” stated Bowerdale, bowled over. “But I nonetheless imagine I could be the individual to enquire. My credentials as a surveyor were famous by way of the top experts, and never in basic terms in archaeology. I labored as... ” “Surveyor at White Sands,” acknowledged Deborah. “Yes, you acknowledged. ” “Well then,” he responded, as though that settled it. “Where’s James? ” she acknowledged, ignoring him and capturing a look at Alice. “He used to be over at the east side,” acknowledged the woman. “Go get him,” acknowledged Deborah, “and convey no matter what flashlights are within the van. ” Alice regarded fearful, yet she nodded as soon as, her faded face clean, after which she used to be long past. Bowerdale watched her depart then became to Deborah, his voice low. “Now glance here,” he acknowledged, “I am the senior archaeologist on web site. ” Deborah rose, took a step away, and drew her cellular phone from her hip pocket. “What are you doing? ” acknowledged Bowerdale. “I’m going to move up that damned mobile tower and get in touch with the lab at Valladolid,” she acknowledged. “They can convey extra equipment.

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