I was obsessed. My sleepless nights became longer. My imagination worked hard to find a way to solve the secret so well preserved in the millennium of existence. Certainly it was only something simple and ingenious.
How could I break it?
At night, I inspected the pyramid with the help of a flashlight, a successful way to reveal cracks unnoticeable in the bright daylight, but it was all in vain. In the game of archeology you are trained to be patient. Nothing comes easy or before time. Many of the discoveries are accidental. The same you have to learn to be a good observer taking notice of the many little details that normally are disregarded by many. I never gave up hope. I knew that day will come to repay my patience.
And finally the day of revelation came. I was inspecting once more the monolithic slab covering the floor of the temple above the pyramid. I was scrutinizing the details in the carving when I discovered that in each of the four corners originally it was carved a hole. Most likely after the slab had been set in place, the holes had been filled with some cement and grounded stone, and perfectly polished with the rest of the slab. Evidently the builders didn’t want the tomb seal to be removed. The discovery excited me and I called Maria who was at the base of the pyramid decoding some Mayan inscriptions.
When I told her of my discovery, she was as equally excited as I was.
“Yes Charlie, you are right. Those holes were originally made to set ropes into the heavy slab over the opening. It must be a cavity behind, or else the lid would have been slid into position.”
“That’s exactly my thought. All we have to do now is work in the reverse way. We have to set a winch above the thick floor slab and fit the slings in the holes to lift it up and …hope in our luck.”
It took a week, with the help of our Mayan laborers to set up a proper scaffold for this purpose. Finally, it was all ready and the winch lifted inch by inch the heavy stone, two feet above the floor. A dense humid stench was sucked from the bottom of the pit. My heart raced with emotion, something certainly was there. Behind the slab the torch lit up a steep stairway going down to the center of the pyramid.
I had found what I was looking for, since the day we first moved to the City of the Sun two years ago.
I was anxious to explore the chambers that I presumed were at the bottom of the stairs.
When we have a major discovery like this, we stick to certain ethics and procedure. Everything we were doing must be documented properly with photos, videos and notes. All for posterity, I suppose, to prove the veracity of the discovery. It is mandatory an explanatory speech, in front of the cameras telling of the artifacts and what we were expecting to find. This is always the worse part, at least for me. It takes away the pleasure of the discovery. After all it took over two years of my life of sweat, disillusions and hopes to reach that day of discovery and you are not in the mood to sacrifice your exuberance over crude rules of ethics. I wanted to be alone with the discovery. It’s something intimate, something like making love to a lover.
You don’t want to expose your emotions publicly with those who have nothing to do with your private life. Are crude rules imposed on us, compelling us to postpone the pleasure and intimacy of the discovery to sometime later, when the cameras have finished zooming around and finally all is silent, and the spotlights dark again.
I was euphoric and I thought it was time to drink some Champagne to celebrate.
Maria, read these thoughts crossing my mind, and I told her,
“Maria, when all the bureaucratic rules are over I’d like just you and me to enter the chambers again and have our private party. It will only be for you and me, with the best bottle of sparkling wine I still have. I owe so much to you and this is our baby, we have worked so hard to reach these discoveries haven’t we?”
“Ok Charlie, you’re right. Cut the talking over the cameras to the minimum, and let us go back again alone, in the middle of the night, and examine the secrets hidden in our pyramid.”
“Then our date is at ten when all the others are sleeping.”
And so we did.