The Gold of the Gods HTML version

3. The Archaeological Detective
"I think I'll go into the University Library," Craig remarked, as we left Norton before his
building. "I want to refresh my mind on some of those old Peruvian antiquities and
traditions. What the Senorita hinted at may prove to be very important. I suppose you will
have to turn in a story to the Star soon?"
"Yes," I agreed, "I'll have to turn in something, although I'd prefer to wait."
"Try to get an assignment to follow the case to the end," suggested Craig. "I think you'll
find it worth while. Anyhow, this will give you a chance for a breathing space, and, if I
have this thing doped out right, you won't get another for some time. I'll meet you over in
the laboratory in a couple of hours."
Craig hurried up the long flight of white-marble steps to the library and disappeared,
while I jumped on the subway and ran downtown to the office.
It took me, as I knew it would, considerably over a couple of hours to clear things up at
the Star, so that I could take advantage of a special arrangement which I had made, so
that I could, when a case warranted it, co-operate with Kennedy. My story was
necessarily brief, but that was what I wanted just now. I did not propose to have the
whole field of special-feature writers camping on my preserve.
Uptown I hurried again, afraid that Kennedy had finished and might have been called
away. But when I reached the laboratory he was not there, and I found that he had not
been. Up and down I paced restlessly. There was nothing else to do but wait. If he was
unable to keep his appointment here with me, I knew that he would soon telephone. What
was it, I wondered, that kept him delving into the archaeological lore of the library?
I had about given him up, when he hurried into the laboratory in a high state of
"What did you find?" I queried. "Has anything happened?"
"Let me tell you first what I found in the library," he replied, tilting his hat back on his
head and alternately thrusting and withdrawing his fingers in his waistcoat pockets, as if
in some way that might help him to piece together some scattered fragments of a story
which he had just picked up.
"I've been looking up that hint that the Senorita dropped when she used those words peje
grande, which mean, literally, 'big fish,'" he resumed. "Walter, it fires the imagination.
You have read of the wealth that Pizarro found in Peru, of course." Visions of Prescott
flashed through my mind as he spoke.