Clive Cussler: The Mayan Secrets

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Clive Cussler The Mayan Secrets
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    The Mayan Secrets
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    Putnam Adult
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    Морские приключения / на английском языке
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    New York
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The Mayan Secrets: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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The outstanding new novel from the #1 New York Times — bestselling grand master of adventure. Husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo are in Mexico, when they come upon a remarkable discovery — the skeleton of a man clutching an ancient sealed pot, and within the pot, a Mayan book, larger than anyone has ever seen. The book contains astonishing information about the Mayans, about their cities, and about mankind itself. The secrets are so powerful that some people would do anything to possess them — as the Fargos are about to find out. Before their adventure is done, many men and women will die for that book — and Sam and Remi may just be among them.

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They had volunteered to participate in a marine biology study run by the University of California at Santa Barbara to learn more about the movements and habits of great white sharks. The work of tagging them had been going on for years, but it had met with only limited success because most sharks that had been tagged were never seen again. Keeping track of individual great whites presented many difficulties. They were reputed to travel vast distances, they were very difficult to capture, and they were dangerous. But Isla Guadaloupe seemed to offer a special chance. It was a place where very large, mature great whites reliably appeared year after year. And if members of an expedition were willing to get in the water inside a shark cage, it might be possible to tag them without attempting a capture. Sam used his satellite phone to report the tag number and description of today’s shark.

As the boat moved along easily on the open water toward Baja California, Remi let the wind blow through her long auburn hair to dry it. Sam leaned close to her. “Still having fun?”

“Sure,” she said. “We always have fun together.”

“That’s not what you were thinking. Something’s bothering you.”

“To tell you the truth, I was thinking about our house,” she said.

“Sorry,” he said. “I thought spending some time away on a research project would help the time go faster. I figured you were getting tired of the repairs and remodeling.”

A few months ago, they had returned from the excavation of hoards of plunder hidden in crypts across Europe by the Huns during the fifth century. Three rival treasure seekers either believed that the Fargos had taken some of the valuable artifacts home with them or they simply wanted to take revenge on the Fargos for beating them to the treasure. They had mounted an armed attack on the Fargos’ four-story house on Goldfish Point in La Jolla and battered it to pieces. Since then, the Fargos had been overseeing the repairs and rebuilding.

“I was tired of it,” she said. “Contractors were driving me nuts. First, you have to go with them to the plumbing showroom to pick out exactly the fixtures you want. Then you need a meeting to hear that they’ve stopped manufacturing that model and you have to pick out another one. Then—”

“I know,” he said, and threw up his hands.

“I hate the repairs, but I miss our dog.”

“Zoltán’s fine. Selma is treating him like king of the pack.” He paused. “When we started this trip over a month ago, they were hoping we’d be able to tag ten sharks. That big guy we just got is number fifteen. I guess it’s time to hang up our tagger and head back.”

Remi pulled away a little so she could look into his eyes. “Don’t get me wrong. I love the ocean, and I love you. And who wouldn’t like to travel around on a state-of-the-art yacht, going from one gorgeous spot to another?”


“But we’ve been away for a long time.”

“Maybe you’re right. We’ve accomplished more than we set out to do, and maybe it’s time to go home, get our house finished, and start on a new project.”

Remi shook her head. “I didn’t mean right this minute. We’re heading for Baja already, and we’ll reach land at San Ignacio Lagoon. I’ve always wanted to see where the gray whales go to mate and calf.”

“Maybe after that we can keep going straight to Acapulco and get on a plane.”

“Maybe,” she said. “Let’s talk about it then.”

After another day, they anchored in San Ignacio Lagoon, then launched the plastic ocean kayaks. Remi and Sam climbed down into them, George Morales tossed their two-bladed paddles down, and they glided into the lagoon. It wasn’t long before the first of the gray whales rose to the surface before them, spouted water and steamy spray from double blowholes, and then made a rolling dive downward, its tail working to leave a roiling, bubbly trail on the surface. They were silent for a few seconds — an animal the size of a city bus had risen in front of them and sunk again, leaving their little, orange plastic kayaks alone on the lagoon.

The Fargos spent the rest of that day and the following out in their kayaks. Whenever they met a gray whale, it would come close to them, apparently curious. Sam and Remi petted each whale on its head and back and then watched it go.

In the evening, the Fargos would sit at the table on the rear deck of the yacht with the crew and share a dinner of fresh-caught fish or Mexican delicacies brought from a restaurant in the small town of San Ignacio. They would stay out until long after dark, talking about the sea and its creatures, about their lives and their friends and families, as the night sky filled with brightening stars. After Sam and Remi retired to their cabin to sleep, they could sometimes still hear the sound of the whales spouting in the darkness.

Next, they moved south along the coast, making for Acapulco. On arrival, they called Selma Wondrash, their chief researcher. They had given her and the young couple who worked under her, Pete Jeffcoat and Wendy Corden, the month off, but Selma had insisted on staying in La Jolla and supervising the construction while they were away.

Selma answered, “Hi, Remi. Zoltán is just fine.”

“It’s both of us,” said Sam. “Glad to hear that. And how’s the construction going?”

“Just remember, the cathedral at Chartres took a few hundred years to build.”

“I hope you’re joking,” said Remi.

“I am. There’s not a single piece of woodwork left with a bullet hole in it. The lower two floors are pretty much finished, and everything works. There’s still a bit of painting they’re finishing up on the third floor, but your suite on the fourth floor still needs at least two weeks of work. You know what that means.”

“That there will finally be enough closet space for my shoes?” Remi said.

“Yes,” Sam said. “And two weeks means four weeks in contractor language.”

“I love working for a pessimist. When anything goes right, you’re so surprised. Where are you, by the way?”

Sam said, “We’re through tagging sharks. We’re in Acapulco.”

“Is everything still okay?”

“It’s lovely,” said Remi. “Fresh fish, chicken mole, dancing under the stars, et cetera. It beats being shark bait. But we’re thinking of coming home soon.”

“Just let me know. The jet and crew will be waiting to bring you home. I’ll pick you up at the Orange County airport.”

“Thanks, Selma,” said Remi. “We’ll let you know. It’s time to have some more fun. Our dinner reservation is in ten minutes. Call if you need us.”

“Of course I will. Good-bye.”

They were staying in one of the two towers at the hotel, and that night, just after they got into bed, they felt a brief tremor. The building seemed to rock for a few seconds, and they heard a faint rattling, but nothing more. Remi turned over and held on to Sam, then whispered, “Another reason I love you is that you take me to hotels that have been remodeled to stand up to earthquakes.”

“It’s not a trait women usually list for the guy of their dreams, but I’ll take credit for it.”

The next day they checked out of the hotel and returned to the yacht. As soon as they reached the dock, they sensed something had changed. Captain Juan was up in the bridge listening to a Spanish-language radio station with the volume up so loud that they could hear it as soon as they were out of the taxi. George was standing at the rail watching them approach, his face a wide-eyed mask of worry. As soon as they stepped aboard, Sam heard the words “sismo temblor” and “volcán.”

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