TSoA: Chapter 21, Part 2: Squaring the Circle
First of all, my readers rock. You guys came up with fantastic theories about circles and squares and Morehead City.
Needless to say, your ideas were all far more excellent than the actual “clue.”
To be fair, I now realize that maybe I wasn’t entirely and completely accurate in the last post when I said that Murphy’s internal Wikipedia entry had nothing to do with anything:
Then Murphy remembered that Morehead City had a section known as the Promised Land. It was settled by refugees from the whaling communities on Shackleford Banks.
The Promised Land! [Methuselah’s] clue must have something to do with the Old Testament.
Oh gee, DO YOU FRACKING THINK SO, MURPHY??? That’s one hell of an insight, given that you are currently obsessed with finding Noah’s ark, which is in the Old Testament, and Meth just told you that he was going to give you some help with THAT VERY SCHEME.
I mean, Jesus, Murphy, did you think the clue would have something to do with The Great Gatsby?
Having burned out both his brain cells with this astonishing idea, Murphy arrives at yet another abandoned warehouse. A round abandoned warehouse.
In the middle of the empty warehouse is a boxing ring, which Murphy assumes (correctly, no doubt, because he’s the hero) was used for illegal fights.
There’s an envelope in the middle of the ring, and Murphy finds that the envelope contains a picture of an angel.
Murphy needs to “ponder its meaning” while I, a lifelong atheist, knew what was coming.
I thought RTCs were into reading the whole Bible and taking it seriously, no? And Murphy doesn’t get it yet?
Well, he should get it pretty quick, because some huge dude enters the ring and begins wrestling (or rasslin’, if you will) with Murphy, while Meth cackles from an undisclosed location.
The huge guy gorilla press slams Murphy…
…thus marking the only point in the series that I wish I was there and had a camera. I’d watch the scene again and again and again…
So, Murph is a martial-arts “expert” (heh), up against this dude he estimates as weighing 350 pounds (ZOMG, YOU GUYS! More LaJenkinsian obsession with weight!), so he reaches into his bag ‘o tricks and pulls out…
Turns out Murphy was taught drunken boxing by an actual Chinese guy while on a dig outside Shanghai, because China is where all the best Biblical archaeologists go to find artifacts.
“When you go out, get very drunk, you don’t know how you get home. You keep falling down, bump into lampposts, walls, everything. But when you wake up next day, everything fine! No broken bones! Maybe just a bad headache. This is the secret of the drunken man,” Li had told him.
“Then you throw up, sit for hours in dark room clutching head, then have to call all friends on phone and apologize for night before. This how all Chinese people talk!”
“I’m afraid I don’t drink anything stronger than root beer,” Murphy had responded. “So I’ll just have to take your word for it.”
My Gawd, but Murphy is a smug bastard.
So, Murph goes all loosey-goosey. I know just how it would look because I’ve played a lot of Jade Empire:
The big guy tries to run Murphy down like a fucking freight train, and Murph responds by ducking and kicking the guy in the back of the head, just like a man would who had been drinking.
Not that Murphy would ever, EVER drink the Demon Liquor.
The kick sends the huge guy flying out of the ring, knocking him out, and Murphy beats cheeks. He who ducks and runs away, lives to rassle another day.
Good thing he only got slammed once, because Murphy needs all his brainpower to figure out Methuselah’s clue, which is of almost Agatha Christie-ish perplexity.
He started to go over every detail in him mind. The Promised Land. So they were talking Old Testament.
YES, WE’VE ESTABLISHED THAT
Then what? Of course—the sketch. An angel with outspread wings. Okay, an old testament angel. That didn’t narrow it down much.
So what else did he know?
Not much, by the looks of it.
He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel in frustration.
Yanno, I’d ask Murphy if he’d like me to draw him a picture at this point, but METHUSELAH ALREADY DREW HIM ONE!!!
That was it! Of course! The wrestling match. Who’d wrestled with an angel in the Old Testament?
And what did Jacob have to do with Noah’s ark? Murphy’s mind was in high gear now.
I’m sorry, Murphy, but it doesn’t help to be in high gear when your car is out of gas.
But Jacob and Noah’s ark can only mean one thing, right?
And needing to do some actual work means only one thing for Murphy, right?
Time to call Isis!
So, Isis takes her traumatized and endangered ass back to D.C. and the National Archives and Library of Congress, and has an answer for Murphy LATER THAT DAY.
Isis, you deserve so much better! RUN!!! Run while you still can!
But the big piece of info she finds is that some explorer from the 1830s claims that he was taken to a SUPER SEKRIT SQUIRREL ROOM of Noah’s ark artifacts, some of which were sent to Erzurum.
So, that was Meth’s plan all along! Send Murphy a FedEx card directing him to a town where he would get his ass kicked and get a card with an angel on it, so that he would call his sorta-girlfriend to do research for him, to lead him to a different town in Turkey where some Noah’s ark shit may or may not be, depending on how much you believe the second-hand tale of a nineteenth-century traveler.
Makes sense to me!