Nathaniel Cannon and the Secret of the Dutchman’s Cross No. 41

Spreading out, they searched the wall. After a moment, Burr said, “Here.”

Cannon followed the sound of her voice, running his hand along the wall until he came to open space.

Blindly questing hands found his back. Behind him, Iseabail said, “Who’s tha’?”


“Glad you’re nae dead, cap’n.”

“Me too. Where are the rest of you?”

Burr said, “Someone just bumped in to me.”

“Si, that was me,” said di Giacomo. “My cousin is with me.”

“All right,” Cannon said. “Through the door.” He stepped over the threshold and said, “Burr, strike a match.”

Light flared, burning an after-image into Cannon’s eyes. He slipped a torch from its loop on his pack and held it over the match. The torch caught, fire slowly spreading over its head. Burr smiled at it. “Nice to see you again, skipper.”

From the cavern they’d just left came a deafening shriek, followed by the rising rumble of thousands of footfalls drawing nearer. Cannon ran off down the hall, working under the theory that he had already blundered into all of the traps. At each cave-in, he jumped up atop the rubble to hold the torch up while the others climbed over. As he tailed them around the corner, movement at the door from the cavern caught his eye.

Ignoring it, he looked forward to see the two flickering candles marking the tripwire. He stepped gingerly over it as the others waited for him, then picked up speed again. The five of them skidded around the final corner. Twenty yards ahead, light spilled through the door to the temple’s main gallery. A noise like a swarm of bees echoed past them.

“Yon trap!” Iseabail said.

Only a few yards from the door, Cannon stopped and raised his pistol. “Keep going!”

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