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The Mayan Secrets
by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry
A Fargo Adventure
Coming in hardcover September 3
The dazzling new novel in the #1 New York Timesâ€”bestselling series from the grand master of adventure.
Beyond midnight, Friar BartolomĂ© de Las Casas was still in his candlelit study in the Mayan mission at Rabinal. Before he went to bed, he had to write his daily installment of his report to Bishop Marroquin. Persuading the Church hierarchy of the success of the Dominican missions in Guatemala was going to be possible only if it was properly documented. He took off his black cloak and hung it on a peg by the door. He stood for a moment, listening to the night soundsâ€”the gentle coo of birds, the insects chirping in the stillness.
He went to the wooden cabinet on the wall, opened it, and took out the precious book. Kukulcan, a man of royal lineage who was famous for his great learning, had brought this book and two others to Friar BartolomĂ© so he could examine them. Las Casas set the book on the table. He had been studying the book for months, and tonightâ€™s work was going to be important. He placed a sheet of parchment on the table and then opened the marvelous book.
This page was divided into zones. There were pictures of six fantastic humanlike creatures he assumed were deities, all seated and looking to the left, and six vertical columns of complicated written symbols beneath them, which Kukulcan had told him was Mayan writing. The pages were a clean white, and the pictures were done in red, green, and yellow, with an occasional blue. The writing was black. Friar Las Casas trimmed his pen to make it as fine as he could, divided his sheet into six vertical columns, and began to copy the symbols. It was hard, demanding labor, but he saw it as a part of his work. It was as much a part of his Dominican calling as his clothingâ€”the white habit that signified purity and the black cloak over it that signified penance. He had no idea what the symbols meant or the names of the mythical deities, but he knew that the images contained deep knowledge that the Church would need to understand its new converts.
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