Written in Stone
If Cove-Jones was to be believed--and I, for one, no longer doubted his word--then he had only found three gemstones. I speculated that if these were three of the biblical Stones of Fire, there may be nine more, still where they were hidden by the Templars. Could Jacob Cove-Jones “discovery of immense importance” be lying amid a pile of overgrown rubble somewhere in the area of Napton Hill?
“If the Ark was Cove-Jones ‘discovery of immense importance,’ then it will not be among a pile of rubble,” I said. “It was four feet long, two and a half feet high, and two and a half feet wide. The workmen couldn’t possibly have missed it.”
“What if it was only part of the Ark?” said Jodi. “Perhaps whatever the mercy seat was? If the Ark was a geoplasmic device then the mercy seat might have been what made it work.” After some discussion, I agreed that it might be worth asking around to see if anyone knew of any strange lights in the area.
Could this wood really be where the pile of rubble ended up? A tiny stream ran right through the middle of it, and it was so overgrown that it was impossible to tell what was in the undergrowth. Days of torrential rainfall had also turned the area into a swamp, making many parts of the wood completely inaccessible. We were covered from head to foot in mud by the time darkness began to fall.
“We’ll have to give up for the day,” I said, exhaustedly. “It’s getting too dark to see a thing.”
“Maybe darkness is just what we want,” said Jodi.
“Sorry?” I said, having no idea what she was on about.
“We can use the stones.” Jodi suggested that if the stones were responsible for making the light appear over the lake, then they might be able to make the light appear here. And if the light was somehow related to whatever we were looking for, then wherever it appeared was where the artifact was buried.
Having collected the stones from the car, we each held the one we had found and made our way back to the wood. Walking along the muddy path that ran along the edge of it, the only sound on that calm winter’s night was the noise of the little stream babbling away in the blackness within the trees. We had only been there for a few minutes, when it began.
Somewhere at the heart of the copse there was a flare of blue light, as if someone had set off a flashbulb. A few seconds later, it came again, but this time--as I was looking right toward it--I could make out that it seemed to be a circular source of light, visible for just a second. It was difficult to determine how big it was, as there was no way of telling its distance.
“Come on,” shouted Jodi, as she climbed over the fence and began to push her way through the undergrowth among the trees. Geoffrey immediately followed, but I hesitated. I could not help but remember the verse from the book of Numbers: “And the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them.” All the same, I jumped over the fence and followed.
Somewhere before us in the trees, the light was now flashing regularly, getting faster and faster until it became a shimmering orb. We, however, were getting slower and slower, repeatedly falling into the mud and getting entangled in brambles and thorn bushes. Somehow, we eventually made it to a small clearing and got our first proper view of the light.
The shining blue sphere, about the size of a tennis ball, seemed to be hanging like a bizarre Christmas decoration in the bushes that grew along the edge of the stream. Jodi stopped suddenly, and Geoffrey and I almost piled into her.
Just as I was about to ask the others what we should do next, the orb blazed brilliant white and shot silently into the air, spiraling upwards before disappearing into the darkness.
This astonishing light had me more dumbfounded than the one we had seen at the lake. I had thought that the appearance of the first one was probably coincidence, but a second light--it had to be something more. I shone my flashlight into the palm of my hand and looked at the onyx stone. I wanted to say something, but could not think of any appropriate words. Jodi, however, was shouting for us to follow her to where the light had been.
Geoffrey and I began to tear back the undergrowth as Jodi jumped down to the side of the stream and began to shine her flashlight up and down the banks. She had only been there for a few moments when she called out, “I’ve found something!”
We clambered down to find her pulling away at something sticking out from the bank. After a few tugs it came free from the hardened earth. It appeared to be a flat slab of stone about an inch thick, a foot and a half long, and a foot wide.
“There are symbols or something carved into it,” said Jodi, holding up the stone. By the light of the flashlight, I could see that the one end appeared to be broken, while the other was rounded at the corners. Most of it was covered in silt, but at the top were clearly carved symbols that were filled with dirt. Washing it down in the stream, some of the sediment came away, and we could clearly see that the whole of one side was deliberately carved with what may have been foreign lettering.