Babylon Rising, Chapters 16 & 17
So, Laura has fallen into a hole. Boy, sure is a good thing that not one other human being in 3000+ years traversed that section of ground.
Murph is understandably distressed to see his wife fall down the hole, and follows her, much as Mr. Salt followed Veruca down the garbage chute in the Chocolate Golden Egg Sorting Room.
(Fun fact! Murph once pulled a George Bailey and saved a kid who had fallen through the ice. Color me shocked.)
Turns out Laura has fallen into the exact buried building in which the Bronze Serpent must be located. Wow. What are the odds, right?
They’re looking for an amphora. These are amphoras:
Because Murph magically knows (somehow) that the tail of the Bronze Serpent will be stored in an amphora.
They find one and “something horrible and snakelike crawled out of it and slithered away.” Murph is nonplussed. Laura jumps away and falls through another hole.
‘Cause she’s a girl.
For the second time in ten minutes, Laura has accidentally fallen into the exact right place. A room filled with amphoras.
We are told that the floor of this room is “flat and free of water.” In a shocking coincidence, the floor of my room is also flat and free of water.
Obviously, the tail of the Bronze Serpent must be in one of these amphoras. Because hey, why would it not be?
So, the Murphy’s start devaluing and destroying priceless artifacts cracking open amphoras. I had no idea that ancient pottery was worthless unless it contained a mythical treasure.
Murph decides that the tail of the serpent wouldn’t be put in a “fat” amphora (like those pictured above), but that it would be wrapped in cloth and then put into a “tall, narrow” amphora so it wouldn’t rattle around.
Um, don’t those amphoras have thin necks anyway? And wouldn’t wrapping the thing in cloth prevent it from rattling no matter which container you used to store it?
But, as we know by now, Murph is never wrong. He unseals an amphora, takes out something wrapped in cloth, and…
…it’s the tail of the Bronze Serpent!
It is just that simple, folks!