The Crystal Skull

       Brian Smith / Actions & Adventure
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The Crystal Skull

Dare Quest


Brian Smith




Copyright 2014
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Glossary

Ain’t - isn’t, aren’t
circumspect characters - suspicious people
debris - the remains of anything broken down or destroyed; ruins; rubble
dough - slang for money
Geetu - an Indian friend from earlier adventures starting with ‘The Tiger’
Lead - a heavy metal
Grand - slang meaning 1000
Minion - a servile follower or subordinate of a person in power
Obliterate - destroy completely
Pew - bench in a church
Pukka - real, excellent, first-class
Swell - slang meaning first rate, fine, beautiful
Uranium - a radioactive metal used to make nuclear weapons


1

1948 - Several thousand Indian soldiers were massed at the border of the state of Carackpore. India had become independent the year before after 300 years of colonial rule. The British were gone but a lot of India was still ruled by native kings, the rajas and maharajas. Most of them had agreed to hand over power to the new Republic of India, yet the Raja of Carackpore refused. He insisted that he was the ruler of his lands and that after the withdrawal of the British his little kingdom was fully independent. In response the Indian government sent troops. The little army of Carackpore was greatly outnumbered and when the Indian troops crossed the border the fight was over before it had begun. The native soldiers of Carackpore simply surrendered. The Raja of Carackpore, his wife Queen Geetu and their son Prince Adhip fled the country in a plane. They flew to America where they started a new life.

Many decades later, the last Raja of Carackpore and Queen Geetu were long dead, Edward and Anthony were having fun together at home. Suddenly Anthony spotted someone from the window and said “Dad, the postman’s just been.”
Their father went to get the mail. When he came back two minutes later he had a puzzled expression on his face.
“There’s a letter for you boys,” he said. “It’s from an American law firm.” He looked sternly. “Have you two been getting into any trouble I need to know about?”
The brothers shook their heads.
“Just open it, Dad,” Edward said eagerly. It was the first time he’d had a letter from a lawyer and it sounded intriguing.
Their father opened the mysterious letter and read it out loud:
We request the presence of Edward Laurence Smith and Anthony Leo Smith in our law firm on Monday, March 28th regarding the last will and testament of Queen Geetu of Carackpore.
“Queen Geetu of Carackpore?” their father said in a puzzled voice. “Whoever is that?”
The brothers looked at each other. There was only one person called Geetu they had ever met. She was only a princess at the time, but she had lived in Carackpore. It had to be from her. They felt excited to hear from their friend again.
“Dad,” Anthony said, “what is a last will and testament?”
“That’s a paper people write to say what they want done with their belongings when they die.”
The boys were shocked.
“You mean Queen Geetu is dead?” Edward asked.
“Well, I suppose she would have to be if a law firm contacts you about her testament. Let’s check the encyclopaedia, maybe there’s an entry about her.”
There wasn’t much in the thick book, only a brief entry:
Geetu of Carackpore, Queen (30 December 1889 Carackpore – 26 May 1969, New York USA)

“That’s strange,” their father said. “She died before I was born. How could she mention you boys in her testament? Anyway, we’ll find out soon enough. Monday’s just a few days away.”

Their father took the brothers to the American law firm. The secretary asked the boys to enter a room but requested their father to wait outside.
“This is getting more and more mysterious,” their father grumbled. “Well, all right, go in on your own then, but don’t sign any papers!”
Edward and Anthony sat down in two huge leather armchairs.
The representative of the law firm looked at them kindly.
“This is most unusual,” he said. “I have here a letter which is sealed and postmarked April 6th, 1958. It is definitely addressed to you two.”
He held up an old envelope:

Edward Laurence Smith
Anthony Leo Smith
Hong Kong

He looked at some papers on his desk.
“The instructions by the late Queen Geetu of Carackpore were very precise. We were to contact you boys and read her letter aloud to you on exactly this day. I just can’t see how she could write a letter to you. She died decades before you were born. Are you ready?”
The boys nodded. They knew exactly how Geetu could write a letter to them but it was not something they wanted to explain.
The American lawyer opened the sealed envelope and began to read it out loud as Geetu had instructed.

My dear Edward and Anthony,
It is now so many years since we met and I have never forgotten you and the pukka adventures we had together. The India that was mine when we first met is gone and my family were forced to flee to America. Our new life here started well, but now I am desperate.
I beg you, I dare you come to my aid.
Forever yours,
Geetu

Stars whirled around Edward and Anthony and the astounded lawyer saw them vanish into thin air in front of his very eyes.


2

Edward and Anthony were flung through space and time and moments later they both landed on a large, comfortable sofa in the middle of an opulent room, richly decorated with statues, paintings and tapestries of ancient India. In front of them was a coffee table and on the other side was an armchair. An elderly lady wearing traditional Indian clothes sat in it.
“Hello, you two,” she said with a smile and without the slightest surprise.
This was too much for the boys who simply stared at her, their mouths wide open.
“You don’t recognize me?” she said with a laugh that was both cheerful and bitter. “How could you. The last time we met I was but a little girl.”
She smiled at their disbelieving faces.
“Yes, it’s me, Geetu. Surely you can’t have forgotten me.”
Anthony looked at her in surprise and horror. “But we just saw you a few months ago.”
She smiled sadly. “For you it was a few months, maybe, but for me it’s been almost my whole life. You can’t imagine how I waited for you to come back to me.”
There were tears in her eyes.
“All my life I remembered you and the time we spent together. Just a few months for you but more than fifty years for me. Did you never think of me?”
The boys looked at each other feeling embarrassed.
“To be honest,” Edward said, “we’ve had other problems.” He told her about how the Earth had been destroyed by aliens and some other adventures.
While he was talking the boys couldn’t stop staring at Geetu. They remembered her as a young girl, yet now she was old, her face was covered in wrinkles and her hair was grey.
With a lifetime of experience she knew why they were staring. She smiled sadly.
“I’m still Geetu,” she said. “It’s just my outside that looks different, inside I’m the same. There now, give me your hands.”
She leant forwards and held out her hands across the table. The boys took them still feeling a little embarrassed.
“I missed you terribly,” Geetu said, “but now I need your help. To be honest with you, I’m desperate. I don’t know what to do anymore.”
“What has happened to you?” Anthony asked. “All we know is an entry in the encyclopaedia our dad found and it said…”
Edward slammed his elbow into his brother’s side. He felt embarrassed. How could they possibly tell Geetu when she would die?
She smiled at Anthony and understood. “It’s all right, I understand. There’s no need to tell me. It’s better if I don’t know.”
“We were very surprised to get your letter,” Edward said. “It was written so long ago.”
“Yes,” Anthony added, “our dad said it was written before he was even born.”
Geetu sadly tilted her head to one side. “I suppose,” she said with a heavy heart, “there are quite a few things I have to explain to you. You see, when you left me I was still a young girl, just as you are young now, with all my life ahead of me. I grew up and married and when my father, the Raja of Carackpore died, my husband became the new raja and I was queen, that was in 1924.”
“Wow, Anthony said, “that’s a long time ago. But when did we meet you?”
“You don’t know?” Geetu said in surprise. “That was in 1897. I was eight years old at the time.”
The two boys looked aghast. They found it hard to remember the old lady in front of them as the eight year old girl they had spent adventures with not so long ago.
Geetu sighed. For her sixty-one years had passed.
“My dear friends,” she said and squeezed their hands, “I think you will only ever understand when you have become old like me. Let’s not dwell on all those years now, for I have a far more important reason to call you here.”
Edward nodded. “You wrote you were desperate. What has happened?”
Geetu took a deep breath. “Here in America my family has found a new home. The people have been kind to us and
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