My Short Stories

"Mouth of the Mediteranean."

3.

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Before long Spellbinder returned to his underwater world where the absence of sound created a disconnect with the world above, as did this same hydroshere   to the terrestrial vissitudes of its weather.
 
They began in systematic fashion to comb the bottom in a grid like pattern, placing markers every three feet, one opposite the other in straight lines and separated by a hundred feet on so and systematically sifting the silt  through a sieve attached to a powerful vaccum, to a depth of 2-3 inches.
This they decided was a  productive way of exploiting the historical fact of a huge explosion which had ripped "the Orient" apart, scattering the contents of her hold over a wide area.
 
They worked in this fashion wherever there was some evidence of a wreck, and the surrounding areas.
 
The Maltese always famous for their craftmanship and inventiveness together with the enormous wealth of European metalcraft which the Knights of St John would have possessed as their royal inheritance  left no doubt in Spellbinders mind about the quality of any sunken treasure that may still be left. His earlier visitor however kept any great hopes of an enormous booty from rising within him. He was not as he had wondered earlier, the first underwater adventurer to these parts, only around thirty feet deep where he was, so it was not outside the realms of any amateur diver.
The fabled treasure of over two tons of gold plate plus millions in gold bullion and the 12 life sized statues in silver of the twelves apostles did not materialize, either they had been beaten to he punch or the Maltese authorites were right in theirs summation that they thought it unlikely that the French fleet would take such precious cargo into a war zone, and may have put out that this was the case, whilst secreting it back to France in another ship.
 But still, where were they; in some private collectors hands? ....  who was too greedy  to come foreward
and return them to their rightful owners - The Maltese Government ,and thus the entire people of Malta?
Had they been recovered from the Bay already by someone else? .... and, ditto the above!
Their search did uncover a number of Maltese gold coins and several artifacts of Maltese origin and many of French origin including the on board cannons.  Cali was not disappointed; nor the French government; but the Egyptian authorities were also  pleased and took a keen interest. The goods were placed on show at the Cairo Museum, whilst the Maltese and French governments began negotiations for their return. The Egyptian government also stepped up  its negotiations for the return of some of their own treasures, particularly the Rosetta stone in the care of the London Museum.
 
Spellbinder returned to Australia .... there was the commercial possibility of the Hiller-copter to look into; its ease of manufacture and operation,  lower cost and superior safety aspect over conventional helicopters would put it in the financial and operational range of most cattle and sheep  farmers in outback areas worldwide once mass production started, indeed it would put it in the financial range of most people living in remote regions, which was something else to think about drawing onto the horizon a new culture which if carefully monitored and controlled would ease the burden of isolation of vast numbers of people he surmised.
 
 In Australia he stumbled across, almost by accident, the story of the famed reef of gold discovered by Lasseter in the centre of Australia in the 1920's. It had been placed under an aboriginal curse, on whose tribal land it was  and thus, was  still waiting to be rediscovered .....
 
Whilst musing over his recent exploits in the Mediteranean, possible future ones and getting the blueprints from the Hiller Corp. in Palo Alto in California; in his hotel room at Lasseters Hotel, named in honour of the famous explorer; west of Alice Springs in Central Australia,  his wife called........
 
 "When are you coming home?" she said.
 

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