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PREVIEW: ARIEL,The Child Who Walked With Christ

PREVIEW: ARIEL,The Child Who Walked With Christ

Travel the Med on the ship Fiona with Henery and Fiona as they seek the treasure shown on the map.

Chapter 1.                          The Journey Began

It was I believe in late March or early April when I first met Henry and Fiona. My yacht, ‘The Searcher’, a 20-meter schooner was docked at the marina in one of my favorite cities in the world, Cagliari on the Island of Sardinia. Hard to keep track of dates and times when you’re cruising the Mediterranean Sea, time does not seem that important. On a blissful late dreamy afternoon that day, I watched as a vessel, ‘The Fiona’ docked in a slip next to mine. Sweet looking boat, a large trawler, looks about 60 ft. She was painted a bright lemon yellow with navy blue trim lines, and flying a Portuguese flag which explained the colors of the boat.   Later, as the sun was setting, creating a vista only a Monet can capture the incomparable beauty of, I observed an interesting man go up to his top deck, curious I went to his boat and hailed him, come aboard he shouted, then I heard her, Fiona come up behind me, I turned and beheld an angel, my lord she is absolutely stunning, with a smile that melted my heart. They agreed to join me for dinner at my favorite restaurant in Cagliari, Brigantino, where we spent hours enjoying delightful foods, aromatic wines, accompanied by a rousing conversation. Some people you meet seem charmed, almost as if in a story, so different you are drawn to them as if you are connected in some way, Henry and Fiona, are such people. Henry gave me a glimpse of their purpose which I find intriguing, I told them both, I see destiny in your eyes, I can feel it, you must let me write the story when you get the ‘meat’. The next time we met was in Athens, they had made the greatest find in the history of this world, one which can change mankind, ‘if allowed’. Thus this historic story begins, I will start at the beginning where all should.

Henry Bordon, congratulations 94% very good, you will receive your papers showing you are now a Captain of the Sea, welcome aboard ‘Captain Henry Bordon’ said the Chief Petty Officer.  I am sitting at The Coast Guard Station in Charleston, South Carolina my heart full of joy, having passed the rigorous written test, a grueling 4 hours alone searching my mind for the correct answers, yet for some unknown reason my thoughts are on my father James who had made this all possible.

James came over the sea from Wales with his family when he was only 10 years old to escape the famine and the plight of working people in Wales. There had been a ceiling collapse in one of the major coal mines that James’ father, Martin worked in to provide for his family. Many men died that day, others refused to work unless additional safety measures were taken. The landowners rather than spend the sums needed to make the mines safe, closed them, thus putting thousands without jobs, without a livelihood. Faced with no hope in Wales, James’ family took the journey into the unknown, going to America. The family found work in the coal mines of West Virginia.

My father, James did not relish working in those miserable deep holes filled with a black thick dust encompassing the air, when the men completed their shift after 10 hours below, their skin so dirty black they were barely recognizable. James understood those dark particles could kill men forced to breathe the toxic air, inhaling into their unprotected lungs carbon particles that coat those vital lung tissues like the build up of dust on the bulbs of the lamps, causing the light to glow dim, the bulb can be wiped clean, the lungs cannot.

He had seen many a family left without a father in the coal mines of Wales, he desired no part of that life, he wished to live and breathe the fresh clean uncontaminated air that God provided. Martin, his father told James the family needed him to help provide for the family, he would have to work in the mines until he found work on the outside.

James was a resourceful young man always seeking a way out of those hell holes he called them. After one year of being forced to work in the horrendous bowels of the earth, James befriends a boy his age whose father owned a truck, they haul coal to local villagers who use it for heating. This man Stu Franklin, liked James, he hired him to help load and unload the truck. Within a year Stu purchased another truck, he hired James to drive it. James was consumed by an uncontrollable joy, he had escaped the clutches of hell, no longer needing to scrub for hours to remove the coal dust covering his body.

Father was energetic, within the ensuing next three years, he made many contacts, no, more like fast friendships with merchants, and their family’s throughout West Virginia, he was liked by all he met, he was honest, polite, and kind, traits valued by those Christian families who inhabited the mountains of West Virginia. He told me he got his big break, he called it, when one winter day in December the snow was over 3 feet high, the roads darn near impassable, a store owner in Welch, desperate to have a load of goods picked up in Richmond, Virginia, his town in dire need of supplies. There were none in the mountains who would undertake such a trek. It is over 300 miles each way, the weather a wicked storm as only a ‘Nor’easter’ can bring, snows near blizzard, blinding winds made the visibility about 6 feet, no telling if it was even possible through those mountains. Father told the shop owner he would do it for $300, a small fortune in those parts, if he paid half now and the rest when he returned. Left with no other option he agreed and paid James.

He took the cash and went to see Stu. He asked him to rent him the truck for a day and he would pay him $50. Where are you going to get $50 Stu laughed. James pulled out the cash peeled off five $10 bills. One day you say, you buy the gas, Stu asked. Yes, I will be back in the morning, you can’t use your truck anyway because the weather is too darn bad. James drove all night, he told me sometimes he could go less than 5 miles per hour, having to stop his truck, get outside in this violent storm to scrape ice from the windshield, he pushed on determined to keep his word. He picked up his load and headed back to Welch, arriving after 3:00 pm the next day, he had made it. He did not sleep all night but cared not, he made a profit of $227.00 which was more money than most made in a month. Two weeks later he made the same run, now the weather is not as bad, so the shop owner would only pay him $250.00. James had made $388.00 profit, this is more money than anyone in his family ever had at one time. Father told me he got down on his knees thanking God above.

Does God answer prayer? That is up to God, but for father, he believed he had.  Father used his cash to purchase a truck of his own. He had developed contacts in Richmond who wanted him to deliver goods to New York City, then bring goods back. He was always on time with his deliveries so was loved by the shippers who treated this young man as a son, and his business flourished. Within 3 years James now only 19 years of age owned 12 trucks. He began shipping to Charleston, South Carolina from Charleston to Richmond and on to New York City.  The port of Charleston is one of the busiest ports in the nation, so he decided to have his base there. He purchased a small house that he used as his office and terminal. He was becoming an important man around Charleston all the local merchants knew him and used his trucking.

Jordan Nash, who made fine furniture in Charleston used James trucks to deliver his furniture to the New York City market where they brought a higher price. Jordan suggested to James he set up a terminal on Long Island as he had many customers there, it seems all the furniture shops loved the workmanship of Jordan’s furniture, so it was natural. James agreed, and within the year sealed his business dealings forever with Jordan furniture by marrying his daughter, Clara, who would become my mother. My life began due to a snow storm, but it has been a good life, my mother and father were always happy together.

Bordon trucking continued to expand, and soon commanded a fleet of 32 trucks, with terminals in Charleston, Richmond, and Long Island in Freeport. James decided to move his base to Long Island because most of his major shippers were in New York City, land cost less on Long Island so that is where he purchased a large house and a warehouse with docks for his trucks. Sixteen months after they moved to Long Island, I was born. Fourteen months after my birth, my brother Andrew came into this world. Our family, like my father’s business, continued its expansion when my sister Tamara entered our life.

Mother lived like a Queen on Long Island, she was involved in everything, the city planning, the schools, the new library, all had mother’s hands on it, she was in her heaven. The new library became my home away from home. The City named the mother their Librarian which allowed her to decide which books to stock. She set aside an area for children’s books, with reading and play space. She desired the children be in an environment where their minds could grow along with their bodies.

My school was only two blocks from our house, my mother would walk me to school, then return to her library, and after school picks me up, we would walk to the library, my other home. There I read my first book on Archaeology. I was fascinated by the pictures of the diggings all over Africa, the entire Mediterranean region. Reading about all these strange lands, digesting the incredible pictures, I could travel the world in my mind, I was an explorer, I was Marco Polo, I could do anything, be anywhere that I could dream of, I was hooked, I wanted to become an Archaeologist. Shortly after my 7th birthday, mother wanted to move back to Charleston to be near her family, and my destiny was now set in motion.


Chapter 2                                                Yin and Yang


I finished high school in Charleston after only 3 years, I suppose my time at the library had accelerated my ability to process information in textbooks, saving me one full year of school. The following fall I entered Charleston University, while there I continued to devour every book on Archaeology available. In town, nearby is a gallery that specializes in artifacts which I love, not the objects so much, but what they represent, the shop is owned by an elderly couple named Samuel. Most days after school, I stop by their shop taking some sweet rolls which we shared with coffee and great conversation. The Samuels have no children so they rather enjoyed my company. One delightful evening they asked if I would like to work part-time in the store helping clean and catalog incoming artifacts. Wow, yes I yelled, yes, it was like a dream come true to me.

All through college and for 6 years afterward I worked in the Samuels store enjoying every minute, to me that was not work it was allowing me to handle, to touch history, not just read about it.

“Mr. Samuel, I found this bag of fragments in the locker, what are they?”

“Just some pieces found in Israel,” Samuel said.

“Why not try to reassemble them? What is the mark on this piece?”

“I don’t know, but we had them dated to be over 2000 years old.”

“Would you mind if I work on them?” I asked.

“Henry, please leave them be.”

Strange, I thought could be important somehow, I said no more, they are not mine. They could not afford to pay me much, I never asked for more, it was the opportunity to learn I desired. Those were the good days, the bad soon to come. Father came down with pneumonia and was unable to work, I had to leave my beloved store to manage Bordon Freight Lines. My responsibilities included billing, customer service, payroll, and our banking, along with all reports that needed to be filed. Life for me became repetitious, today, and tomorrow was, all the same, only a blur of passing eternal time. Four years later father died, and our beloved leader is gone. Mother was depressed, and my brother Andrew was in charge of the Long Island operation, he loved his work, and he thrived as did the business.

I was now 31 years old, I felt as if my life was slipping away, without any hope for the dreams I had as a child ever materializing, I was stuck in the ruts of routine many others are, hopeless and lonely. It was on a Thursday evening when my mother called me and my sister to come into her room at the house, she called Andrew in New York to listen in on what she had to say. Children, I have received an offer to purchase Bordon Freight Lines, I have accepted it, as I desire to leave Charleston and move to New York City, Tamara said she wants to live in the City. Andrew, the company wants you to stay on as manager, they will increase your salary. Each of you children will receive 25% of the proceeds, Henry, you will be granted this house in Charleston, Andrew you will receive the house in Long Island. I am purchasing a Co-Op in the city it will be in Tamara s name. The funds each of you receive will allow you to be independent for life, if you do not squander your wealth.

The hidden hand of God moves in a manner I have never understood, but accepted. One month after mother and Tamara left for the City, I was alone, without a job, without direction, when my phone rang, the call was from Mr. Samuel. He asked if I could come to the store to meet with him and his wife. Of course, I can be there in 15 minutes. Walking into this beautiful store filled with treasures from around the world, artifacts that I love brought long-held back emotions, this was as close to my dream as I have ever been.

“Henry, did you bring any sweet rolls?” asked Mr. Samuel.

“No sir, I just rushed over”

“Never mind we bought some, want coffee?”

“Yes. I cannot eat a sweet roll without coffee,” I said.

We sat at the table in the center of the store, no one spoke, just looked at one another.

“Mr. Samuel is everything alright?” I asked.

“Yes, Henry, my wife and I wish to emigrate to Israel, we have family there and none here. We have decided to sell this store that has been in our lives for so many years, it is a difficult decision for us, I believe you understand.”

“Mr. Samuel, I understand how you feel, I would do the same. Do you have a buyer?”

“No, the both of us thought of you, you know, and loved the store, we felt it was best to offer it to you before we list it. Would you be interested?”

“Samuel, yes I would very much. What are you asking?”

“Not sure as yet, but if you really want our place we can come to an understanding, we are not that concerned about the money, we have all we need, but knowing you would love it as do we, means more than money to us.”

“We are selling the house, would you have any interest in that?”

“I don’t have a need, I own the large house my father left me, I could buy it as an investment. When do you plan on leaving?”

“As soon as we make a deal on the store.”

“Mr. Samuel, if your house is not sold by the time you want to leave, you can rent it out, I will manage the property for you, or buy it myself, that is your choice.”

Within 3 weeks, the store was mine, my dream is beginning to be realized. I had it all, the inventory, all store records of buyers and sellers over the past 40 years, books, hundreds upon hundreds of books, along with a treasure trove of old maps. The bad of the past has turned to good today, I felt renewed.

Today, I am the happiest man in Charleston, I had a purpose and hope once again. For the next 6 months I poured all my energy into making my gallery a destination place for all within the region who held a love of fine pottery and antiquities. Relics thrived as never before. Clients came from Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Savanna, and even Atlanta to view the treasures I acquired from around the world, but it was the Middle East, I was fixated on, relics like my fragments, from the lands our Lord, Jesus Christ had walked upon.

I decided that it was time to restore the bag of fragments that had intrigued me for so long, now they are mine. At my house, I set a table, covered it with a canvas, and laid out all seventy-six pieces inside the bag. For the following six weeks, I spent at least three hours each night, fitting the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. Samuel was correct. There are missing pieces, but only a few. Now I can see what these fragments were from, a drinking cup. It appears only a couple of pieces from the top edge are missing. I could begin the delicate process of cleaning, then fitting together each piece. The bottom was simple to reconstruct, then work up the sides. The procedure is almost like surgery; each small fragment had to be carefully cleaned, glue delicately painted on each surface, and put together. When I finished now more than ever, I believe this cup has an extraordinary significance. What it is, I will learn, but it seems to speak to me, but what does it say? I formed out of Styrofoam, a container to hold my treasure securely after covering it with a plastic film. It is safe, now to find what this mark means, and who made it.

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