The Three-legged Camel

The three-legged Camel Written by Gary Towner

 

Johnny Walker is an undercover Interpol agent. When he is called to Somalia, Africa, he thinks he has a dream come true assignment when he is asked to guard the harem of a visiting Arabian prince. But the dream turns into a nightmare when the ravishing beauties begin disappearing. He follows the trail to the abductors and discovers a flourishing White Slave trade. The Prince is so happy to get his harem ladies back, he offers Walker an old family heirloom. Walker graciously accepts, but privately he thinks the gold-plated statue caricature of a three legged camel probably was a made in Hong Kong label.

 

After a drinking bout with a friend, Walker drops the statue. When he examines the broken pieces, he uses tweezers to pull out a decaying map. He unfolds the parchment and he realizes the nomenclature is like none he has ever seen before. So, he seeks out a college professor, Loise ParkerR—an undeniably attractive history and ancient language major—to interpret the writings. Parker is ecstatic; she says if what Walker has is authentic, it is a previously undiscovered map to Mansa Musa’s lost city gold depository, reputed to contain the accumulation of his incalculable wealth. She tells Walker she wants to gather scientists from all over the world to mount a research safari to the area as soon as possible. Walker gives the map to Parker to study, but the next day both she and it have disappeared.

 

Walker finally traces the Professor to Mainland China. The snobbish scientists she has contacted are skeptical at first, but the safari into unexplored territory in the Sahara desert finally gets the necessary support. The starting off place is Timbuktu, at “the ends of the earth.” Walker says his function will be as “Party Leader,” because it’s his map. The Sahara proves it can be very grueling to those unfamiliar to the ways of the desert. The tribal guide Walker has hired is all that stands between survival and a slow death in the relentless heat. Water is running out, and the wells along the way are mostly dry as dust bunnies under a forgotten couch. The nearly exhausted group finally arrive at the geographic coordinates purported to pinpoint the lost city location.

 

All anyone can see in any direction is a huge sand dune with wind-blown ripples running up and down its side. The guide warns of an eminent dust storm and everyone takes cover. When the storm subsides, part of the dune has blown away, revealing stone steps pouring deep down into the earth.

 

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