See Jack Die (PART 2) HTML version
Rupert met us at the large doors near the front entrance of the library. The library wasn't even
officially open, yet, but he had a set of keys and a look on his face that seemed to have been carved out
of stone. There were bluish bags under his bloodshot eyes.
“I would have called last night, but I didn't get word until just a few hours ago, and I had to make all
of the necessary skeptical inquiries.”
“Rupert,” Ricky said, “ . . . you sound a bit loco there, buddy.”
“You must excuse my crass nature this morning,” Rupert apologized as he led us to the 'dangerous'
books room. “It is quite rare that we find a book of this magnitude and cultural significance.”
We found ourselves sitting at the rectangular table, quietly staring at the Book of Sighs, while Rupert
shuffled through a stack of papers he had printed recently. They had that hot-ink smell.
“Alright, Rupert,” I said as I steepled my hands, “give us the goods.”
“Yes, of course,” he said as he pulled two pieces of paper to the top of the pile, then adjusted his
Coke-bottle glasses. “Gentlemen, our search yielded some remarkable results for this particular
volume. If it is what it looks to be, then it will be just incredible.” He shook his head, looking from the
printed pages, down the book, and back. “ . . . incredible.”
“Rupert?” Ricky nudged. “You’re killing us, here.”
“Oh, right. Well,” he said, clearing his throat several times in that kind of gross way that made me
want to clear my throat, and get a pneumonia shot.
He laid the first page down on the table, a few inches from the book. On the printed page there was
a small grainy picture of the book. Well, of some book.
“What we have here, this book, is one of three.” He lowered his voice. “This book, called the,
'Book . . . of Sighs' . . . ”
Ricky and I glanced at each other nervously.
My tumor just got a fraction smaller.
Rupert continued reading, “ . . . these books date back to three twenty-five AD. Do either of you
know the significance of that year?”
We both looked gloss-eyed at him, our shoulders and eyebrows lifting, and dropping.
He had a smug grin, deliciously sinister, “ . . . that dates back to the Council of Nicaea. A quick
lesson. In three-thirteen, Constantine—the new emperor of Rome—ended the persecutions of the
Christians. They were a small percentage at that time, but the religion, now protected, grew quickly.
The various other pagan religions made up the remainder of spiritual thought at that time. But there was
movement in progress.
“They all felt that they were fulfilling a mission and ministry based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
By three-fifteen, many people saw the advantages of belonging to Constantine's new imperial faith, and