65th Octave Chapter Thirty Seven

by | Apr 11, 2022 | Content Updates

65th Octave

65cover

CHAPTER THIRTY SEVEN

An acrid taste of fear bit at Robin’s lips as he drove slowly through the early morning traffic of Cheltenham. Thick haze lay over the road yet the English drove in the fog like madmen. The fact that they could barely see did not seem to matter. His car had nearly been hit twice since leaving the Queens Hotel where they had stayed the night. He struggled with the car as he slowed and entered a roundabout. He was thoroughly lost, the pavement was slick, and he had to concentrate on staying in the left hand lane.

He laid out his plan again to Talking and Silent Panther. “The plan is simple. We’ll go to the post office Ian Fletcher described in his note. We’ll be able to get directions to the cottage he found. There’s got to be clues there that’ll lead us to him. Somehow, searching for that cottage is the key to finding the fields and castle from my vision.”

Once on the A40 London road, he drove past the village of Charlton Kings, up a road ascending steep chalky cliffs, and then turned right onto the narrow thoroughfare posted for the village of Dowdeswell.

Within minutes they reached the village which consisted of Cotswold stone cottages bunched against each other on a narrow strip of asphalt. Up a hill rising behind the village, several stately houses stood over the cottages and fields below.

Not seeing the post office, he stopped to ask a milkman sitting in his truck. The man replied, “Err, the post office be three miles on. In the village of Andoversford it be.”

Robin drove through Upper Dowdeswell, turned left on the A436 and saw the village he wanted. Andoversford was not a quaint sleepy Cotswold village, but was modern and built at the intersection of two busier country roads.

Shoppers already lined the streets and a crowd milled in front of the white pebbledash building that housed the post office. There had been a fire there. People were talking among themselves as they looked on curiously.

After parking the car on a side street, they entered the building, a typical English post office with a small shop selling sweets, cards and nothing more. The postmaster had probably lived in back and would have made a small but steady income providing the postal service.

The fire had been severe. The walls were heavily stained and streaked charcoal and brown. The distasteful smell of burnt grease hung thickly in the air.
An elderly woman came out of the back and spoke to them in a thick Gloucestershire accent. “I’m ever so sorry, Sir, but we’rr closed. I don’t know when, if ever, we’ll get this shop opened. There was a terrible terrible fire’ ere last night.”

MacAllen surveyed the mess. He felt that something was wrong and didn’t want to miss any clues. He looked at Silent Panther and Talking Panther, could see nothing in their faces, and spoke to the woman. “We aren’t here to buy anything. We just need to speak with Mr. Quinn.”

The woman’s face melted with sympathy. “Oh, was ee a friend?

“I’m so sorry but ee passed on last night. I’m so sorry. Such a good man. Dear, dear poor Mr. Quinn, such a shame. I just can’t bring myself to believe it. Ere ee was so well liked and seeming so healthy too. Been ‘ere thirty years ‘en now ‘ee’s gone. Such a shame.

“Ee’ll be missed. Died just last night and started that fire out back as ‘ee died. Had an attack or somethin while fixen his dinner. Must’ve knocked some grease on the burner. Wasn’t a big fire, just lots of smoke.

“They know the fire didn’t kill ‘im nor did the smoke. Don’t know the cause of death, but you can call Dr. Barnes down in the village. ‘Ee might know and ‘ee’ll know about the funeral. Just can’t imagine. So healthy, not that old. Started ‘ere as just a lad. Don’t think ‘ee was even pushing sixty, was ‘eet”

Bumps shot up Robin’s neck. “You have my condolences. I didn’t know Mr. Quinn. I just had a postal inquiry. I won’t keep you any longer. Could you tell me where I could get some postal information?”

The woman brightened, puffed up and took an officious look as she replied, “Oh, I’m the one’s in charge o’ postal records now. That’s why I’m ‘ere, luv. Didn’t really know Mr. Quinn meself. Post Office just sent me up to keep watch. But I may take over, and I’ll be more efficient too.”

She leaned closer and lowered her voice as she spoke again.  “You’re me first person who didn’t know Mr. Quinn, so I should put ye straight. Not that I would speak ill of the dead, but there’s been trouble ‘ere. Mr. Quinn was not as reliable as he should’ve been. I might take over now. Won’t be any more trouble if I do.”
Quinn’s death roused Robin’s suspicions. The Controllers must be back on his trail. Things were closing in. Is time running out? “Can you tell me where in Cheltenham I can find the postal records?”

The woman brightened even more. “Oh, dear, you won’t find any records in Cheltenham. No, they wouldn’t be there.”

His concern and sense of urgency were mounting steadily. He asked, “Where? Where can I find them?”

The woman looked as if she were surprised he did not already know. “But luv, they’re still ‘ere. That’s why I’m ‘ere-to guard the records. Must get them back in shape if I can.”

Relief rushed over MacAllen. “Perhaps you can help me then,” he said. “Mr. Quinn directed a friend of ours to a Thaxton Cottage, which received its mail here. I’m looking for this friend. Could you look in your records for directions on how to get to the cottage?”

The woman motioned for him to follow as she walked into the back of the house. “All the records will be back ‘ere. If we deliver mail to that cottage, there’ll be a note. Hmmm, dear, dear, this is strange, the files seem to be missing. I know Mr. Quinn kept them ‘ere. Can’t see them. Maybe the firemen picked them up. You know, keep’ em safe. ‘Ere, I’ll call the fire department.”

He clipped off a quick reply as he headed toward the door.

“Thanks, but don’t bother. The records won’t be there.”

Robin returned to the car and updated Talking Panther and Silent Panther as he drove away. “The Controllers have already been here. They must’ve killed Quinn and taken the records. They know we’re here. Innocent people are being killed! We’ve got to do something to stop them and we need to do it now!”

He glanced at Talking Panther and saw her eyes were shut. She said, “Yes, Robin, they know. They gain glimpses of us, though they do not know exactly where we are. For some reason they become aware of us just once in awhile. Silent Panther and I cannot understand, but we sense that some special event takes place occasionally which gives them sight of you.”

MacAllen sped towards Cheltenham. “I can’t understand how they know we’re here. But there’s an even bigger question. Why do they treat me with such care? They’ve had several chances to kill me. They don’t seem to hesitate at killing. They proved it last night. Yet every time they find me they try to take me alive. Those men in Ireland shot at our tires, not at me. I must have something they want. What could it be?”

Driving down a hill Robin saw a reservoir and Dowdeswell Wood on the right. He knew that Cheltenham would appear just around the bend.

“Let’s get back to the hotel,” he said. ”I’m not sure where to go from here. We just need a break. We’re close to Ian Fletcher. I can sense it.”

He had been positive the post office would lead them to Ian. Now he had no idea where to turn. A thick lump formed in the pit of his stomach as his spirits dove. He was lost for clues. An innocent man has died. How’d the Controllers find me?

Approaching the Queens Hotel, a man walking in caught Robin’s eye. For the briefest moment their eyes met. The man’s profile, the way he stood, seemed familiar. There was a furtive image… small, tough yet nimble. The man’s hands were wrapped in bandages.

“Little, that was Little,” Robin burst out.

Talking Panther and Silent Panther look at him, surprised by his outburst. “That man going into the hotel tried to grab me at Shannon Airport. He saw us drive by. We have to get out of town now!”

He stomped heavily on the gas pedal and the car lurched forward.

Through the rearview mirror he saw three men rush out the hotel’s entrance. A moment later a red sedan jumped out from among the parked cars and tore up the road after them.

Just then their car entered a bank of dense, blinding fog. Robin slammed the brakes, sending the car into a skid, its wheels striking the curb. The ashen face of a woman standing on the sidewalk dissolved into terror as they streaked by.

“The road splits somewhere ahead,” he shouted. “Look for it! It’s a one way grid and I don’t know which way to go!” MacAllen looked back. He could just make out the red car in the fog. It was nearly on them now.

And then the road divided. Robin held his breath, hesitated just a second, then tore to the right. Taking a hard left, he drove on, but when he looked back the red car was still behind, and closing in on them.

He rushed through traffic, oblivious of speed or danger. Cars swerved off the road as he raced by them. He sideswiped a blue van, twisted out of control, then regained control of his steering and darted forward again. More pedestrians scrambled to get out of his way. He drove off the road and along the sidewalk.

He hit a street sign, came to a stop and glanced for an instant at the women. They were holding on for support but still appeared calm. There was grim satisfaction for Robin in the fact that these men could not unsettle either sister. Then the red car emerged out of the haze once again.

MacAllen made a hard left. Out of the fog three cars promptly shot straight at him. “We’re going the wrong way!” Reacting virtually in a fraction of a second, Robin slammed on the brakes and spun down an alley so narrow and tight the car scraped the walls on both its sides.

There was a loud bang behind him. Brakes were screeching and a crash echoed in the distance. The red car, having half missed the turn, knocked solidly against the side of the building and bounced back into the road where it was suddenly slammed into by a huge truck. Little and Large had failed again.

The alley ended. Robin turned right onto another road. He stopped, checked to see which way the traffic flowed, and drove on slowly. Only then did he look at Talking Panther and Silent Panther. Both sat motionless, eyes closed, faces passive and untroubled. They said nothing. Robin shook his head, smiled and drove out of town into the countryside. Seven miles later, an old whitewashed building with a faded sign appeared. It was the White Swan.

“We’ll stop here. I don’t know why, but we should. Besides it’s time for lunch. We may be lost, but that doesn’t mean we have to starve.”

They entered a room with low ceilings supported by a patchwork of ancient smoke-stained oak beams. Seats of worn velvet flanked the booths next to the walls. Two battered round tables sat in the center opposite a wide-mouth fireplace in which a coal fire now sputtered and burned.

MacAllen looked at the modern mock-Tudor bar across the room, standing among the time worn furniture like a poorly fitting toupee. Two men in dirty overalls lounged at the bar drinking pints of bitter ale. The rest of the room was empty. Robin coughed at the smoke hanging in the stale air and heard floorboards creak as he approached a thickset woman standing behind the bar. “Could I have three ploughmans and three cups of coffee?”

“Ta, love,” she said. “Anything else?”

An inner compulsion made him ask, “Ever heard of Thaxton Cottage?”

The woman stood quietly for a moment and then asked the men, “Stan, Colin, ya know Thaxton Cottage?”

They shook their heads.

“Sorry, love, that’s not a name standin’ out in our minds, but there be so many little places scattered about’ ere. I’ve a map though. If you could look and point out the place I might be able to help you more.” She reached below the bar and handed him a map. Like many things in this room, it too looked well used, its creases torn and held together with tape.

“Thanks,” he said. “Let me study this and see.”

“Ta,” she replied.

Robin and the two women sat around a scarred table, allowing the blaze in the fireplace to lessen the cold inside them. Talking Panther carefully unfolded the map. Robin had to force himself not to shout out, “That’s the map I saw in my dream!”   It was an Ordinance Survey Map, a Landranger 1-1/4 inch per mile.   It provided amazing detail of the lay of the land, showing almost every building and landmark that existed. They pored over it.

Suddenly Talking Panther said, “Silent Panther has a theory, Robin.

This may seem wild, but look at these Roman burial mounds, they’re called tumuli, and other forts and castles marked here on the map. See how they all lie in straight lines. For example, those that start at Cleeve Hill run all the way to Cirencester and beyond to Ashton Keynes. Silent Panther sees an association here, a very significant link.”

She spread the map, reached over for a magazine and used it as a straight edge to run along a line of ancient sites.

“When our original civilization fell, the keepers of wisdom went far and wide and started many new great civilizations. One of these civilizations was Egypt, another was a great tribe in the Andes of South America. Others were in India and China.”

Talking Panther stopped speaking as the stout woman brought lunch and put more coal in the fire. As she walked away, Talking Panther continued.

“There is a story not often told of ley-lines in the earth that would speak to us if we listened. We know ancient civilizations used these lines to communicate with one another. Silent Panther thinks the Romans and other ancient civilizations knew of these lines and used them for communication. That is why they built so many sites along these straight lines.”

Robin watched her bite into her lunch. She stopped talking and became silent as she ate. He watched until she began speaking again.

“If there is a connection between the Romans and the American Indians it may be through Egypt. Much of Roman culture actually began in Egypt. There is a connection that few know about, that has been handed down only by the Carriers of the Word. But if you look at Egyptian art and much of that from the Americas, you can quickly see similarities.

“There was communion between them. But no one knows how, or how much knowledge was shared. Part of that knowledge was how to follow and use the ley lines. Silent Panther and I have known of this but have never used their force. These are subtle lines of energy that cross the lands. Part of this must have been learned by the Romans. This is why they built such linear, direct long roads. They believed building on the ley gave Roman travelers extra strength and energy. They also used the lines for communication. Similar sciences still exist in much of the world. The Chinese science of Feng Shui acknowledges these lines and measures their energy and flow.”

Talking Panther’s enthusiasm heightened and she made sweeping gestures with her arms and showed him points on the map as she spoke.

“See how the Romans used straight lines. Look at the roads on this map. See how the four main roads from Cirencester branch straight out like spokes from the hub of a wheel. Cirencester is at the beginning of a huge power source and those roads follow ley lines, every one of them. The Romans used these lines in other lesser-known ways, as well. Understanding this could explain how you have been followed all over the world. Ley lines are everywhere. They are connected in a global energy grid.”

She stopped talking as a man entered the room and looked around him. When the man joined the other two at the bar and ordered a bottle of ale, Robin’s tension relaxed. He returned his attention to Talking Panther.”

Every person is an electromagnetic device and generates a unique electrical signal. This signal is very subtle, but every time we cross a ley line, our electrical signal disturbs that line’s energy. The disturbance creates unique signals, and these can be tuned into like a radio broadcast. If someone has the right equipment and knows how, he could tune into your frequency when you pass through a ley line. These signals work like directional indicators and are as fast as radio waves. Whoever is seeking us has communication stations along the major lines.

“This explains what Ian Fletcher found in that cabin and how they locked in on him. This explains how you were gripped and paralyzed by an unseen force and how you have been followed since. And how they follow us even when you block your thoughts. They catch your signal when you cross a ley. There are many of these lines; that’s why they pick you up again and again. They are looking for us right now.”

Hearing this MacAllen stood to leave immediately, but was pulled back down by Talking Panther. “We are safe here. Everything depends on the ley lines. The map shows us this. I believe if we had passed a ley lines, they would already have sent someone here. Let’s wait. Moving around will increase our risk. A ley line might be just ahead. Also, we should stay because now I know how to show you where Thaxton Cottage must be.”

Talking Panther pointed to the map as she spoke.  “We can’t see ley lines but we can see the communication lines the Romans  and other ancient civilizati0ons used.   They followed the ley lines.  Look at this Roman tumulus located just to the northwest of Cheltenham on Cleeve Hill.  It shows on the map as a view point just as the burial mound at St. Paul’s Epistle to the southwest of Cheltenham does.

Now look what happens if we draw a straight line.  from one tumulus to the next, and then continue south.  Look at these other forts that were not Roman.  They were built along the lines. Older cultures understood the power too.

map

A straight line ran directly to yet a third tumulus in Cirencester.

“Cirencester was Roman and a central city”, Talking Panther said.  “The tumuli were used to communicate from one mound to the next.  This line extending from Cirencester is an important one.  See what happens when we extend the line a little further. It reaches two special termini that sit where Derry Brook and Swill Brook come together and form the River Thames. This is the most important river in the country.  Ley lines often follow or run under large lines  of water.  These lines could run all the way to London.”

Talking Panther’s face grew hard and her voice became severe.   “Now that we know how they follow us, we can follow them.”  We can follow the ley lines right to their home. Thaxton Cottage must set right on one of these termini. That’s why the golden orb that Ian Fletcher found was there.”

Robin grinned as a keen satisfaction rose within.  “Best we’ve been able to do so far is run.  Now it’s time for us to attack!”

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