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Professor John Morse picked up the astrolabe on the table and studied it in wonder.
He turned to the priest.
―I realize you must have brought the light down here.‖
―Of course.‖
―But other than that, is this exactly how you found this vault a few days ago?‖
―Yes, Professor Morse. Absolutely. I mean, I tried to open the door, of course, with
no luck.‖
―Other than that, nothing has been moved from how you found it?‖
―No, it has not.‖
Morse shined his flashlight in the corners of the stone passage.
―Father, I don‘t know what kind of game you are playing here, but you are not telling
me the truth.‖
―I don‘t know what you mean.‖
―This podium is tall and narrow. This astrolabe and ring are sitting on top of the
podium. If, as you say, there was an earthquake in 1909 violent enough to damage the
room where we were earlier standing, this podium would have most certainly tipped over,
and the astrolabe and ring would have fallen to the floor. So if this podium and other
articles were not planted by someone, then they most certainly would have been found on
the floor, not up here nice and neat where they stand today. And I notice that the wood
on the podium near the top is slightly damaged on the left side, which would probably
have occurred if it had fallen.‖