Did you think that was the last Chapter? Well here is the end of my Story.

Hinomoto


Days went by. The government was polite, and put them up in a nice hotel near the coast. They were free to come and go, and to call whomever they wished. But they were not permitted to leave the country. Each day a young man from the Embassy came to visit them, to ask if they needed anything, and to explain that Queen Aldra was doing everything she could to hasten their departure. But the plain fact was that many people had died in a territorial possession of Hinomoto. The government of Hinomoto felt it had been misled and deceived by Earl Vance and his plans for the island. Under the circumstances, the government was not disposed to release survivors in a hurry. They did not even permit the burial of Claudette or Shizuka. They simply waited.

Each day it seemed to Grant he was taken to another government office, where he was questioned by another courteous, intelligent government officer. They made him go over his story, again and again. How Grant had met Earl Vance. What Grant knew of the project. Why Grant had gone to the island. What had happened at the island.

The same details, again and again, day after day. The same story.

For a long time, Grant thought they must believe he was lying to them, and that there was something they wanted him to tell, although he could not imagine what it was. Yet, in some odd way, they seemed to be waiting.

Finally, he was sitting around the swimming pool of the hotel one afternoon, watching Ethan and Nowa splash, when an angel wearing a tight sleeveless white top with a small white skirt. She also wore white full arm-length sleeves with pink ends, and on her left arm she has a small designed cloth and on her right arm she has a white glove with pink ends.

"We've never met," the Angel said. "My name is Hachiel. I'm your new Lawyer."

Grant asked, "You called me?"

That's right, yes." Hachiel sat next to him. "You must be eager to go home."

"Yes," Grant said. "I have only a few days left to dig before the winter sets in. In the Iron Mountains, you know, the first snow usually comes in August."

"The authorities won't tell you," Hachiel said finally. "Because they are afraid, and perhaps also resentful of you, for what you have done. But something very peculiar is happening in the rural regions."

"Is it related to the animal sightings?"

"Yes. This spring, in the Ismaloya section, which is to the north, some unknown animals ate the crops in a very peculiar manner. They moved each day, in a straight line-almost as straight as an arrow-from the coast, into the mountains, into the jungle."

Grant sat upright.

"Like a migration," Hachiel said. "Wouldn't you say?"

"What crops?" Grant said.

"Well, it was odd. They would only eat agama beans and soy, and sometimes chickens."

Grant said, "Foods rich in lysine. What happened to these animals?"

"Presumably," Hachiel said, "they entered the jungles. In any case, they have not been found. Of course, it would be difficult to search for them in the jungle. A search party could spend years in the Ismaloya mountains, with nothing to show for it."

"And we are being kept here becauseā€¦"

Hachiel shrugged. "The government is worried. Perhaps there are animals. More trouble. They are feeling cautious."

"Do you think there are animals?" Grant said.

"I can't say. Can you?"

"No," Grant said. "I can't say."

"But you suspect?"

Grant nodded. "Possibly there are. Yes."

"I agree."

Hachiel pushed up from her chair. She waved to Ethan and Nowa, playing in the pool. "Probably they will send the children home," she said. "There is no reason not to do that." She put on her sunglasses. "Enjoy your stay with us, Dr. Grant. It is a lovely country here."

Grant said, "You're telling me we're not going anywhere?"

"None of us is going anywhere, Dr. Grant," Hachiel said, smiling. And then she turned, and walked back toward the entrance of the hotel.


I hope you stay tuned for the Sequal, The Lost World. See you then!