“Si, capitano. Are you sure we should split up?”
Somewhere far off in the chamber, a few pebbles fell. Cannon glanced over his shoulder at the noise. “We’re poking around. For that, I want more firepower and fewer people in the line of fire. Let’s go, Burr.”
They struck out toward the far end of thechamber. Cannon stopped every now and then to root through the small piles of antiquities scattered between the rows of coffins.
“This would be worth something to a museum, maybe,” he said, turning over a fragment of stone painted with hieroglyphs, “but I think we might have cleaned out the Louvre’s scoundrel fund last month.”
Burr, keeping watch nearby, shifted uneasily from foot to foot. “This place still gives me the creeps.”
Cannon wrapped a figurine in rags and put it in the sack. “It’s a graveyard inside a cave. It ought to give you the creeps.” He stood, looked left and right, and pointed. “Over there. If this place has any charms, I’m not coming around to them either. We’ll find a few more things to unload on collectors and get out of here before anything bad happens.”
“No argument here, skipper. Why over here?”
Their destination was a rectangular block of stone, about eight feet tall and wider at its base than its top. “Because big means rich, and rich means treasure,” Cannon said. “Anyone who could have a monument this big, hauled somewhere this remote, could have all sorts of nice things for the next life brought along, too.” He passed a row of sealed clay jars, the knelt next to the remains of a box.
Burr watched him for a moment, then took a few steps to circle the monument. As Cannon put a golden plate and a few coins into the sack, she said, “Captain.”
That got Cannon’s attention—any time one of his pirates called him by something besides a jaunty nickname, it meant trouble. In an instant, he was on his feet, pistol in hand. He joined Burr on the other side of the obelisk.
She pointed with her flashlight. “Not a monument, captain,” she said, sotto voce. “Stairs.”