Nathaniel Cannon and the Secret of the Dutchman’s Cross No. 42

Burr stepped up beside him. A figure clad in sand-colored garments appeared in the gloom at the last corner. Burr and Cannon opened fire. Two more figures followed it, then another five.

Cannon looked over his shoulder and saw the door start to swing closed. He shoved Burr toward it, and she scrambled through as the door picked up speed.

“Cap’n!” Iseabail shouted.

Cannon judged the distance. He wouldn’t make it on the run. He took two steps, then launched himself into a dive, shooting through the opening and landing hard on the far side. A heartbeat later, the door slammed shut behind him with a final, reverberating thud.

Cannon rolled onto his back and sat up. di Giacomo offered him a hand up, and he took it. He reholstered his Mauser and put a hand against the wall. The door was nearly invisible again, but he could just feel someone pounding on the other side.

“Poor devils,” Cannon said.

Masaracchia barked out a laugh, but quickly swallowed it. Iseabail looked up at him inquiringly.

“You’ll have to run that by me again,” said Burr, “because I don’t have a lot of sympathy for—well, you know—who were trying to kill us.”

“The cultists?” Cannon said. “I wouldn’t have a drink with one, but I didn’t see any other ways out, and sealing them all into an ancient tomb seems a little crueler than just shooting them.”

“Cultists—oh, for crying out loud.” Burr pointed at the front of the temple and the desert beyond. “Unless they took their camels in with them, I don’t see how they got here, and they’d have had to be sneakier than anyone I’ve ever seen—or haven’t seen—to have given us the slip until they decided to attack.”

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