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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“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.”

“What is it?” asked Sam. “Another earthquake?”

“It just came five or ten minutes ago. Juan might know more.”

Sam, Remi, and George all climbed to the bridge and joined Captain Juan. When he saw them, he said, “It hit down the coast in Tapachula, in Chiapas. Right near the border with Guatemala.”

“How bad?” asked Remi.

“Bad,” he said. “They’re saying eight-point-three, eight-point-five. Since then, there’s smoke coming from Tacaná, the volcano north of the city. The roads are all closed by landslides for a long distance. People are hurt, maybe some killed, but they don’t know how many.” He shook his head. “I wish we could do something.”

Sam looked at Remi and she nodded. “We’ve got to make a phone call. Start getting the boat ready to move. Anything you haven’t done since we put in here, get it done now.”

Sam took out his satellite phone and went out to the foredeck. He dialed. “Selma?”

“Hi, Sam,” she said. “Coming home so soon?”

“No, there’s trouble. There’s been a major earthquake in Tapachula, down the coast from here. They need help and the roads to the city are blocked — maybe the whole area. I don’t know what sort of airport they have in Tapachula, but I’d like you to call Doc Evans. Ask him to order a standard disaster medical package to be flown in to whatever hospital there is standing — whatever they’ll need after a big quake. Tell him it’s our treat. Get him a bank credit for a hundred thousand dollars. Can you do that?”

“Yes. If I can’t reach him, I’ll get my own doctor to authorize it. The airport is a different issue, but I’ll find out if they can fly it in or if they have to drop it.”

“We’re going to head south as soon as we can get loaded.”

“I’ll stay in touch.” She hung up.

Sam hurried back to the bridge to talk to Captain Juan. He said, “We seem to be in a position to do something more important than tagging fish.”

“What do you mean?”

“The roads to Tapachula are out, right?”

“That’s what they say on the radio. They said it could take months to clear them.”

“Since we put in here, you’ve taken a lot of food and water on board already and filled the fuel tanks, right? I’d like to load up this boat with as much as we can carry and head down there. We can probably be there in a day or two.”

“Well, yes,” he said. “A little more, maybe. But the company that owns the boat won’t pay for a trip like that or for the supplies. They can’t afford it.”

“We can,” said Remi. “And we’re here. So let’s go buy the supplies.”

Sam, Remi, Captain Juan, George, and Miguel went to work. Sam rented a large van, and they all went through Acapulco together, buying bottled water, canned food, blankets and sleeping bags, professional-level first aid kits, and basic medical supplies. They loaded their purchases onto the yacht and went out for more. They bought cans of gasoline, fifteen auxiliary generators, flashlights and batteries, radios, tents, clothing of all sizes. When they had put as much as they could into the living quarters, the hold, the forecastle, and even the bridge, they crammed the decks with large containers of water, gasoline, and food and lashed them to the rails so they wouldn’t shift in rough seas.

While they were finishing the loading, Remi set George and Miguel to calling Acapulco’s hospitals to see if there were supplies and prescription medications that would be in demand in Tapachula. The hospitals sent packages of prescription painkillers and antibiotics, splints and braces for broken bones. One hospital had three emergency room doctors who wondered if they could get a ride to Tapachula on the Fargos’ chartered yacht.

The doctors arrived in midafternoon with their own supply of medicines and equipment for the voyage. Two of them, Dr. Garza and Dr. Talamantes, were young women who worked in the emergency room, and Dr. Martinez was a surgeon in his sixties. They immediately stowed their kits and helped Sam, Remi, and the crew bring the final vanload to the dock and onto the deck, then settled into the two unoccupied cabins belowdecks.

At four in the afternoon, Sam gave the order, and the yacht left the harbor to begin the five-hundred-ten-mile voyage by sea. Captain Juan worked the engines up to full speed and kept them there hour after hour, making for the disaster zone on a straight course that stayed well out in the deep water. The three crewmen and Sam and Remi each stood watches at the helm. When they weren’t sleeping or helping with boat chores, they worked under the supervision of the doctors to divide some of the medical supplies into kits that could be delivered to small clinics, emergency rooms, and individual doctors.

It was when they were moving back within sight of shore the next evening that they knew they were approaching the area of destruction. They were only a mile offshore from a populated area, but they could see no lights. Sam went to the helm and checked the charts. “Where are we?”

“Salina Cruz,” said Miguel. “It’s a good-sized town, but I don’t see any lights.”

“Can we go in a little so we can see better?”

“There are beaches, but there are also sandbars. We’re heavily loaded, so we have to be careful.”

“All right,” said Sam. “Go in as close as you can and drop anchor. We’ll take a party onshore with the lifeboat, see what we can do, and then come back.”

“All right.” Miguel moved in as close to shore as he dared and then dropped anchor. In a few minutes, as Sam, Remi, and George were preparing the boat, Dr. Talamantes came up on deck. She watched Sam and George lift one of the generators into the boat and then some gasoline to run it. She said, “Be sure to save some space for me and my bag. The rest should be food and water.”

Sam said, “We may need to make a few trips, but that’s a good way to start.”

They lowered the boat off the stern, and Remi, Sam, Dr. Talamantes, and Miguel climbed aboard. Miguel started the outboard motor, and approached the beach at an angle. When they reached the surf line, he turned off the motor and cocked it up to get the propeller out of the water. The boat glided in, was given one final push by a wave, and struck the sand.

Sam and Remi jumped out of the bow and dragged the boat a few feet up on the beach. Dr. Talamantes and Miguel then climbed out, and all four hauled the boat up farther. Miguel tossed the anchor out onto the beach in case the incoming tide reached it.

They began to unload the boat, and people ran down to the beach to help them. Miguel and Dr. Talamantes spoke to them in Spanish, and Remi translated for Sam.

“They’ve got some people with minor to moderate injuries,” said Dr. Talamantes. “They’re in the school a couple of blocks up there. I’ll go take a look at them and be back.” She took a flashlight and her medical kit and hurried up the road with two local women.

The others finished unloading the cases of bottled water, and Miguel spoke with a man for a minute, then said, “This man works for the local medical clinic and he wonders what we’re going to do with the generator.”

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