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Authors: Max McCoy

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Indiana Jones and the Secretof the Sphinx

BOOK: Indiana Jones and the Secretof the Sphinx
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Indiana Jones
and the
Secret of the Sphinx

Max McCoy

Don't miss any of Indy's
exciting adventures in

INDIANA JONES AND THE
SECRET OF THE SPHINX
INDIANA JONES AND THE
HOLLOW EARTH
INDIANA JONES AND THE
PHILOSOPHER'S STONE
INDIANA JONES AND THE
DINOSAUR EGGS
INDIANA JONES AND THE
WHITE WITCH
INDIANA JONES AND THE
SKY PIRATES
INDIANA JONES AND THE
DANCE OF THE GIANTS
INDIANA JONES AND THE
SEVEN VEILS
INDIANA JONES AND THE
GENESIS DELUGE
INDIANA JONES AND THE
PERIL AT DELPHI

Coming soon from Bantam Books!

IN THE ANCIENT SANDS OF THE MIDDLE EAST, MURDER AND GREED GUARD THE WORLD'S MOST MAGICAL TREASURE....

INDIANA JONES—He survived a trap-laden Chinese tomb, crossed the Himalayas and a land aflame with war to help a woman in distress and to locate a biblical artifact and the priceless, dangerous treasure it will unlock.

MASTER SOKAI—A Japanese spymaster of Bushido, the way of the warrior, he was once gravely wounded by Indiana Jones. Now he lives for one purpose: to track down the famous explorer and exact his revenge.

FAYE MASKELYNE—The beautiful American granddaughter of a famous English magician, she is a sorceress in her own right, searching for her child's missing father. But her illusions prove useless in her search until she conjures up the aid of a man named Indy.

JADOO—In the East, his name itself means magic. The most famous conjurer in the Orient, he claims to be 123 years old—but his lust for life is only exceeded by his thirst for evil... and his desire to possess the most powerful magical object of all.

THE STAFF OF AARON—In the Bible it turned into a snake, made the Nile run with blood, and blossomed into an almond tree in the Wilderness. Now the Staff of Aaron will lead to the Egyptian desert—and the most dangerous wonder of the world.

THE INDIANA JONES SERIES
Ask your bookseller for the books you have missed

Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi
Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants
Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils
Indiana Jones and the Genesis Deluge
Indiana Jones and the Unicorn's Legacy
Indiana Jones and the Interior World
Indiana Jones and the Sky Pirates
Indiana Jones and the White Witch
Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone
Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs
Indiana Jones and the Hollow Earth
Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx

INDIANA JONES AND THE SECRET OF THE SPHINX
A Bantam Book

PUBLISHING HISTORY
Bantam mass market edition published February 1999
Bantam reissue / April 2008

Published by
Bantam Dell
A Division of Random House, Inc.
New York, New York

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

TM and © 1999 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.
Used under authorization.
Cover art credit copyright © by Lucasfilm, Ltd.
Cover art by Drew Struzan

If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as "unsold and destroyed" to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this "stripped book."

Bantam Books and the rooster colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

ISBN 978-0-553-56197-5

Printed in the United States of America
Published simultaneously in Canada

www.bantamdell.com

OPM 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5

An S522 eBook conversion

For Mystery,
wherever you may find her

Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.... Now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.... But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.


Exodus,
7:10-12

Indiana Jones
and the
Secret of the Sphinx
1
The Tomb of Terror

Mount Hua, Shaanxi Province, China—1934

"The door," the villager croaked and rapped the side of the Sacred Mountain with his walking stick. "I leave now."

"No," Indiana Jones said as he batted dust from his fedora and struggled to catch his breath. The climb had been tougher than it had looked at dusk from the bottom of the mountain. Now half the night was gone and there was still much to be done. "The deal was to take me back down the mountain as well," Indy said as he placed his hands on his knees and leaned forward to ease the pain in his chest. "Or don't you think I'm coming back?"

The old villager smiled serenely. He hugged his walking stick and regarded the gasping American through milky eyes. Then he gave a lazy smile that revealed a mouthful of jagged teeth as he leaned forward.

"Jones pay Lo now," he said.

Indy gritted his teeth.

Looking at Lo's face from this distance reminded Indy of holding a pet rat and peering down its grinning snout—you didn't know when the rat was going to sink his teeth into your fingers, you just knew that eventually it would.

Lo was the best guide in the province, but he was the most notorious liar as well. When Indy first came to the village of Lintong, three days ago, Lo had bragged that he had been inside all of the important treasure tombs of the Wei Bei Plain. And although Lo could name the occupants of each of the tombs and describe in blood-curdling detail what horrors lurked in each, Indy knew it had been a long time since the villager had seen the interior of an unlooted grave, if indeed he ever had; otherwise, he wouldn't have found him living on top of a garbage mound, begging foreigners for money to buy opium.

"I don't see any door here," Indy said.

Indy took a rag from his back pocket and wiped the blood from his palms, injured from scrabbling for holds in the face of the mountain. His elbows and shins ached from several near-falls, and the muscles in his lower back quivered like rubber.

"Door there," Lo said. "Feel."

As Indy's fingertips touched the outlines of what did appear to be a doorway, his cuts and bruises were forgotten. His hands skittered over the granite like curious spiders, tracing a perfect circle about a yardstick in diameter as they followed the edges of the door, then moved inward. When his right hand came to a stone handle carved in the middle of the door, his fingers closed tightly around it.

He gave a tug.

It felt as solid as the mountain to which it was attached.

Lo giggled. The villager continued to chortle as he covered his mouth with his left hand, and eventually it became an insulting, lilting laugh.

"Told you," Lo said. "It cannot be opened. Some say it takes the right kind of magic, others say that the door is just picture carved into the mountain."

"What do you say?" Indy asked.

"I tell you when I get my money."

"All right," Indy said. As he counted out a fistful of bills of various countries and denominations from the pockets of his leather jacket, he asked Lo: "Why aren't you tired? I'm tired."

"Americans breathe too shallow, always out of air," Lo said and made an elaborate gesture with his hands of air flowing in and then out of his diaphragm. "Must breathe all the way to stomach and feed chi, the life force."

Indy shook his head.

"You're not so bad for an opium addict," he said as he thrust out the bills.

Lo snatched the colorful wad of money out of Indy's hand, counted it, then tucked it inside his sash. "Not always addict," Lo said. "Once best damn grave robber in mausoleum district. Then the Japanese come."

Lo spat.

"Now, no way for Lo to make honest living."

Since the Imperial Japanese Army had seized Manchuria, raiding parties had been crossing the border with some regularity and searching for plunder in the fabled mausoleum district. The district contained the tombs of eleven dynasties of Chinese royalty, and lay just north of the provincial capital of Xi'an—or Changan, as it was called in ancient times—the "City of Everlasting Peace" at the end of the Silk Road. Bristling over the plain like a dragon protecting her lair was the jagged outline of Mount Hua, the Sacred Mountain.

All of the easy tombs had long ago been plundered; for most, it was just a matter of digging into the conspicuous-looking mounds the locals called "lings." Still, Indy believed, there must be some that were beyond the reach of a shovel. Beneath the river, perhaps, or inside the mountain.

Indy was counting on the latter.

Besides, it wasn't all guesswork on Indy's part. He had been guided here by the inscription on the blade of a knife which said the Sacred Mountain was the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of China. The knife had been given to Indy by a descendant of Genghis Khan during an expedition across the Gobi.

"The Japanese raiders will be back at first light, so we'd better work fast," Indy said. "Tell me about this door."

"Just picture carved into mountain," Lo said arrogantly. "Once, seventeen years ago, Lo and his cousins came to this spot and tied a thick rope around the handle. Then we put a log over boulder there, tied rope to end of it, and all pushed on end of log."

"What happened?"

"Rope broke," Lo said and turned to leave. "Good-bye."

"Not quite yet," Indy said as he smoothly placed the fedora on his head, then grabbed the villager's shoulder with the same hand.

"What else to do?" Lo asked.

"Research," Indy said as he took his notebook out of his satchel. He held the pencil in his mouth as he flipped to a page marked by a rubber band. There was a sketch of a round door, along with its dimensions, that Indy had copied from an ancient Arab manuscript. The manuscript was unrelated to the Qin treasure, but Indy had discovered that the architects of secret places thought alike, even if they were from different centuries and cultures. The tip-off for Indy was the last line of the inscription on the knife blade:
The breath of the Sacred Mountain protects the tomb of Qin.

Indy now had a tape and was comparing the measurements of the door with those of the sketch. When he was satisfied, he took a piece of chalk from his satchel and, measuring carefully from a small indentation in the center of the handle, made an X on the right half of the door. Then he took a metal protractor, measured the angle from the edge of the tape, and made another X at the same distance, but forty-five degrees from the line of the first. Finally Indy measured the distance, halved it, and placed a larger X between the original marks.

"Qin, old man," Indy said. "X marks the spot."

"What kind of magic is this?" Lo asked.

"Geometry," Indy said as he replaced the chalk and notebook and removed a rock hammer and a chisel from the satchel. The chisel was tapered to a sharp, needlelike point.

"Now, I'm going to make some noise. It shouldn't take long, but it could attract some unwanted attention. Keep a sharp eye out."

Lo nodded.

Indy placed the tip of the chisel against the chalk mark, drew back the rock hammer, then struck the butt of the chisel hard enough that sparks flew.

BOOK: Indiana Jones and the Secretof the Sphinx
2.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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