— Vasily, look at the sky now.
I turned my head, glanced through the window at the dark sky covered with rain clouds and said:
— I see it: it is dark and cloudy.
— But you know that now there are stars beyond those clouds, don’t you? And in the daytime there is the sun behind them, isn’t there?
— Yes, – I agreed.
— There is no need for you to believe in it, – he continued – no need to guess if it is the sun behind the clouds or not, – you simply do know that the sun is there, don’t you?
— Yes, I do – I replied – that is true.
— And so, Vasily, many people merely believe in me, believe in the fact that I exist, however, you, Vasily, are talking to me!
My Life Before Birth
Recently a moment from my childhood has come back to memory. It took me back to long ago stagnant eighties of the last century. How old was I then? Seven… or eight. I recalled a thunder-stormy night, huge dark clouds were looming over the houses and were darting thunders to the earth. First I was standing behind the door at the balcony and gazing at the threatening darkness but then I wanted to open the door and say to those clouds:
— Wo-o-h clouds! Come on, let it thunder stronger! You are so high above me and I am so far! I am not afraid of you!
…And at this very moment there was such a deafening thunderclap that I got frightened and immediately ran out of the balcony, closed the door and stood wondering if… if it… had been the clouds… which attended my words? Or is it my imagination? After all, it would be strange to think that a cloud can “hear” a man… The thunder-storm already ceased but I still could not calm down. I was afraid to simply look out of the window. Finally, I took courage in my hands and returned to the balcony squinting at the sunset light and inhaling the fragrance of the freshly squeezed clouds. “No, certainly not, – I thought – the clouds cannot take offence at me, it must have been a mere coincidence”. At this very moment I’ve had a feeling that someone poked me in the chest with an invisible finger threateningly: do not you dare joke with such a tremendous power…
As a child, I used to love books. First I would look them through. Large colourful pictures illustrating fairy tales for children and curved lines of letters, especially of capitals. Later, however, when I learned to read I would spend a lot of time scanning the lines and drawing in my imagination the cloudland pictures.
Once when I was housecleaning I came upon a book which was there behind the bed. It was a big heavy book, not like other ordinary books. Seemingly it differed from all others I’ve ever seen in my life by its impressive size. “What might it be about?”, I wondered leafing through the book. It turned out that among other things the book talked about the so called thought broadcasting and the belief that objects, plants, animals and people are capable of exchanging information. The book gave some vague explanations of how all this was possible and what kind of exercises a reader was supposed to do to verify its reliability. To be sure, I wanted to study all those schemes and pictures in the book to understand how the reader could get it right.
I tried to reproduce some experiments that were given in the book but none of them brought the desired results. I continued reading till I reached a chapter which kindled my interest notably. It talked about the possibility to communicate with one’s subconsciousness (it was claimed by the book’s author) by getting information from an instrument called pendulum (an object suspended from a rope held in a hand). I read about how to ask questions to the pendulum and receive answers from it – from “yes” or “no” to simple questions to full explicit sentences to be made by connecting separately standing letters. I remember a picture which illustrated a sequence of those letters. The picture resembled a hand fan with its each segment having a written letter on it. The pendulum was supposed to show (swinging) which letter is to appear next in the answer. I made a pendulum as implied by the book, bent over the picture the way a graphic man was bending in it and asked my question… Nothing came of it. The pendulum did not even swing. I reread the chapter again and again to consult about how precisely a hand should be held and the subconsciousness should be turned to, but… nothing came of it…
“Ha ha ha, – I laughed to myself – well, of course, it is impossible. The book is a bluff which the author created to attract readers’ attention and make money off it”.
Yet, I have looked through that book a few more times rereading the pages about the pendulum… What was there that I liked so much? Why could I not tear myself away from those pictures with a focused man in them? Years later I would read many other books where authors described the “communication” with the subconsciousness through a pendulum. Some of those authors would say that one could “make a deal” with a pendulum, that a pendulum was kind of a guide to the “Earth’s field of knowledge”, the “forces of light” and would describe how one should ask questions, thank for the received answers and many other things. Looking back, I can say: at that time all those things seemed to me unusual, contrary to the rules of nature, and I liked reading about it indeed but over time since I failed to gain any results in practice the interest I had in books dealing with the pendulum has dissipated.
Let me tell you a moment from my “past” life, from my job. Many of us tend to remember moments relating to job with a tinge of sorrow. My memory of that period of life is sad: I used to work in one of ordinary research institutes earning a small salary. Laboratory, research instruments all around, microscopes, clever people, specialists… Day after day. The same things. My colleagues believed that the job they were doing was pretty interesting but I was beginning to get sick of it. I wanted to find some creative job implying communication with new people, wanted to do the things that I really loved instead of boring researches, or at least to earn as much money as to afford to bring my interests into reality. It is true that many people would like to change their jobs but very few of them are ready for the real changes. For a variety of reasons. I had a reason not to change anything too.
And a day has come – a usual day – a day when I finally reached the boiling point inside me, so to speak. Accidents happen, don’t they? That very day a peculiar man came to our laboratory. I did not see him entering, but I knew that he had come to our chiefs, I was sitting in the room next door and could hear through the wall the way he was talking to them. His voice sounded to me pretty confident, such a distinct speech of his I have never heard even in the radio or television advertising. It seemed as though he knew in advance what he would be asked and therefore his immediate answers marched like soldiers on a military parade. I could not help popping in the room where they were talking. The mysterious guest looked impressive and his appearance delighted me: an ideal suit, perfectly cleaned shoes, a strict and a little bit severe look. In front of me I saw a well-dressed fashionable gentleman in his fifties. What on earth was he doing in our one-horse town?! How did he end up here?! From where?!
After a short conversation with the bosses this gentleman summarized the results and was already heading to the exit. I… don’t know… I can’t explain what came over me but like under sweet hypnosis – though I guess that from the outside it might look indecent and I have never done such kind of things before I, nevertheless, was determined to stand up and catch the stranger before he left and if possible even try to talk to him. But how could I, a usual laboratory assistant, interest him? What would I say to him? On the way out of the institute, on the stairs, I apologized and called after him. Introducing myself to him, I expressed my admiration of him for the way he carried himself and the content of his speech and let him know that if I had a chance to meet him again during his future visits to the bosses I would like to learn from him. He wondered: learn what? I replied: don’t know, at least, to speak confidently like you and if should You need an assistant (oh gosh, what nonsense I am talking about?! – I was thinking at the same time) I will be ready to learn and help You in your affairs.
The reply astonished me more than I expected: Alexander (that was his name) replied in the positive and even joyfully. I remember Alexander told me that he had always known that I would turn to him with a request…
From that moment my head whirled with happiness. “How did this happen? – I thought. – How could a timid laboratory assistant help such an unusual person?”. Can time change its course? The fact is that from the moment I talked to Alexander all around started to seem slow and dull. “Why do all look like being asleep? – I thought – Waste their time and make do with what they have and do not strive for more, do not use their capacity?”.
Yes, I did meet in my life what I thought of. I got an opportunity to change my life. At least I believed so. Several days after meeting Alexander we were already discussing the future plans including the development of our own business. He had so many ideas, themes, variants to realize that I lost my mind and spent all my free time satisfying my hunger for creative thoughts by listening to him and absorbing even more than my mind could absorb. I asked him questions and got clear answers to them. There was nothing that could remain unclear to me. All the ideas were in plain view. Alexander told me about talented people, scientists who lived and worked in various cities and each of them had their own designs which we could and needed to unite and implement within joint projects. My task which Alexander offered to me was to think about what projects could be developed. In fact, he allowed me to fully participate and help him to bring to life formidable ideas and consult him on how to govern those interesting projects cost effectively. I was so inspired by this opportunity that I never asked myself why such large-scale ideas were entrusted to me, to Vasia. Yes, this is Me name.
Yet, back home with a new portion of information in my mind, I had doubts. I did not believe in myself and was not absolutely sure of what was happening yet. Then I would ask Alexander:
— Why? Why did other people not agree among themselves earlier and thus did not do seemingly evident things?
He laughed and said exactly what I was thinking of:
— All around are living like in a dream but you, Vasia, has a great chance to “wake up” and do interesting, courageous things, embody the newest scientific, engineering, financial ideas, settle all the family issues, of course, and thus make your life happier… But to get a better life you need to take efforts.
I understood: in order to completely dedicate myself to my new job I needed to leave the scientific-research institute where I worked. Psychologically, mentally (in fact, by quitting my job I was going nowhere) it was not that easy because though none of your relatives would ever understand you, you needed to do your best to explain to them that from scratch you could build another world, a world which lives by other rules and in other scales. Is it not what I was thinking until very recently?…How was I supposed to tell my wife who was on maternity leave of my intention to leave a “good” job for the sake of ideas of another level? I never forgot of my responsibility to my family and always knew that whatever I planned to do would be for the good of my family and future. Will try to explain to her…
Skipping some moments from my life I’d like to stop and look back. Several months are already passed since I left the scientific-research institute. I am all engrossed in studying new materials and meeting new people – Alexander’s words are coming true. Right now I am in a big beautiful office. Alexander and I have just come to visit a well-known professor Butanovich who is specialised in studying and searching new oil and gas fields. There is a lot of equipment, printing machines, computers… I am standing in front of the professor’s room. I almost got used to the fact that each new person I met possessed a particular personality, but a real surprise was waiting for me ahead. The professor’s room was almost empty: a huge table, spread out pieces of wove paper, pencils, highlighters of several colours, a snuffed candlestick. On a nude wall there were several icons and bending over the table professor Butanovich was drawing contours and lines on the wove paper. From time to time he whispered to himself something, put aside a pencil, and… Then I noticed something in his hand that impressed me immensely. It was a pendulum, that same pendulum which was there in my books of my childhood. Alexander was pleased with that pleasant surprise he had prepared for me and said that he wanted to meet me with the professor long ago so that I could emulate the secrets of his mastery.
I decided, by all means, to learn from the professor everything regarding the pendulum: in what way the pendulum helped him, how and whom Butanovich asked for information, if someone else (hoping it could me, of course) but for him could handle the pendulum? It turned our that long before the professor had given birth to an idea to find on the map all the existing but yet unknown fields of oil, gas and fresh water. And all that was possible he claimed without complex geological exploration equipment but simply asking questions to the information filed of the Earth.
— Look, Vasily – Butanovich said spreading a contour map of Norway on the big table, – right now I am going to ask for information on whether there are any gas deposits in this region.
The professor started to make preparation for the inquiries: he lit a candle, whispered some sentences, took the pendulum and began to slowly direct it over the map. After a while the pendulum began rotating over one and the same area of the map.
— You see, the pendulum is rotating on its own and showing us where gas is?
I saw the pendulum rotating indeed but from the outside it seemed as though Butanovich was merely whirling it with his own hand.
— How can a pendulum rotate on its own? – I asked.
— Don’t know precisely – the professor replied – but right now I am feeling like somebody was guiding my hand and by asking questions I am receiving a feedback. I can ask any kind of question regarding the deposit I am looking for: about the seam depth, volumes of the deposit, the contours of an oil pool or fiery seam in depth section, chemical composition, etc.
I was looking at the professor. The pendulum in his hand seemed to be a universal informative tool. Butanovich continued asking the pendulum for information with regard to another object on the map.
— Does this seam contain oil?
The pendulum drew a vertical line in the air which meant “yes”. Putting aside the pendulum the professor wrote down the reply on the paper.
— Does this oil pool contain sulphuric impurities?
Once again, the calmly hanging pendulum swayed steadily. And now, he needed to learn the percentage of the sulphuric impurity in the oil pool.
— Is it more than 1%? – “Yes”.
— More than 1,5%? – “Yes”.
— More than 2%? – The pendulum said “no” and swayed horizontally.
Then the professor sectioned the paper and attributed digits to each of the sections: 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. He asked the pendulum to indicate the number of the tenths of the sulphuric impurity percentage and positioned the hand over the digits. The pendulum swerved in between 5 and 6, closer to 6.
— You see, the percentage of the impurity ranges from 1,5% to 1,6%. We could further detail the percentage till per mils – the content professor said.
I liked watching the professor working for long hours. During his work he was very concentrated, he could work for long hours and not sleep at night, he would sleep for only a couple of hours and then again got down to work. It seemed to me, however, as if he was in a hurry, was afraid not to make it in time to ask for information and was glad that his topographic maps, digits, notes – all this will not be but will benefit the mankind. It turned out later that the professor’s capability to get information from the pendulum had actually made him leave the oil research institute: he could not bear any longer to see his colleagues “sleeping” and using old-fashioned, to his mind, exploration technique which resulted in the ecological destruction caused by drilling hundreds of poor oil wells. Strange as it may sound, the professor, a respectable man, practically had become a hermit. He had spent almost all of his money for computers, plotters, office rental and now I he was ready to collaborate with Alexander (and with me). Alexander convinced the professor that he could attract the investors and sell at a profit his projects on oil and gas. No doubt that if one of the professor’s assumptions was confirmed and at least one new previously unknown deposit was discovered we would get many investors line up for collaboration with us. Our joint business would become kind of “engine” for all of us and we agreed that by investing relatively small amounts of money into the drilling of wells in the given areas our investors would be convinced that our new company had true information about water and oil reserves all around the world. On the other hand, it could prove to Alexander and me that the professor was really capable of “seeing through the earth”.
With every passing second my desire to touch the magic power of the pendulum was growing. I asked the professor:
— May I learn to work like you: to ask questions, get the answers, or are only the chosen ones capable of handling it? Whom are You talking to?
To my surprise I did not get a precise answer from the professor who, I believed, had kind of a master key to all the questions. The professor believed that he had an access to the Earth’s information field where you could find all the needed answers. However, he did agree to teach me his job. The professor showed me how I should hold my hand and asked me to try to talk to the pendulum and see whether it would get in touch with me or not. He said to me: draw a vertical line on the paper and put under it “yes” and a horizontal line with “no” and then ask a simple question to the pendulum: “Pendulum, may I receive information from you, am I allowed or not?”. Of course I never lost my common sense, yet I was interested to see what the result could be: either I would fail and nothing would come and I would admit that the professor was a unique person, or, though I did not believe it, I would somehow feel a reply from the pendulum… hit or miss.
I took a rope with a pointed piece of metal suspending from it, stretched it out, closed my eyes and asked mentally: “Pendulum, may I work with you?” – in a while I felt my insides undergoing some changes. It felt as though short scarcely perceptible electrical impulses rushed from the head through the shoulder and arm to the hand with the rope and the pendulum started to steadily sway along the vertical line which indicated “yes”.
Both Alexander and Butanovich were glad to see this, and even started congratulating me on the success but I, however, could not believe my eyes, and decided to repeat the experiment. I stopped the pendulum, outstretched my hand again, closed the eyes and repeated my question. This time the impulses were much stronger and the rope once again drew in the air a vertical line. My inner feelings at that moment were so unusual to me that I did not know whether I should rejoice or if it was just hypnosis. How was I supposed to react to what was happening to me and around me?..Inspired by new emotions I continued asking questions and with each passing hour I was getting more and more questions inside me. What is that force that makes my hand swerve the pendulum? Does that force exit after all? Is it allowed to ask serious questions and should I have trust in the answer of… the pendulum?
All the things seemed to be on the right path. Alexander and I were approaching the turning point when we could step out of the shadow and with our results assert themselves and prove to those who did not believe in us that working on another level was possible. Very recently one more talented scientist named Vetrov from Tomsk joined our team of like-minded people. Being acquainted with Vetrov and his ideas Alexander, as ever, confided the task of studying his designs for their future use to me. One of the remarkable inventions of the scientist was machines of new generation which separated the services by fractions by means of high speed eddy: thus, the machine could dry and clean the air, for example, at industrial plants and also clean the gases and separate liquid and liquid-gas mixtures. He developed machines which allowed to heat houses without tubular heating elements by separating water into cold and hot water and letting it pass through the intricate constructions – as a result, the water acquired a velocity of hundred meters per second and changed its features. It was a new approach, environmentally benign and very simple indeed… The scientist showed me the drawings of the future apparatus designed to separate associated petroleum gas into pure gas and hydrocarbon fractions, to purify wastewater, to air condition… I was just enjoying all these novelties and those opportunities that were awaiting me ahead…
On a sudden, however, I encountered the first disappointment in our job… A catch that I did not expect. Once we had a dinner with the scientist from Tomsk and there was a lot of liquor on the table. We were drinking toast after toast and very soon I saw my “partner” Alexander in such an awful state in which I would never expect him to see. I did not expect a person to drink so much and to transform from a “generator of ideas” into a beast… I did my best to help Alexander finish the dinner and the evening without any incidents. Since I myself did not drink alcohol to see Alexander’s metamorphosis was not that easy… It is a moment that I am not able to forget. I have never seen a man changing so dramatically, 180 degrees, and transforming into his complete opposite. In front of me I was seeing a ferocious aggressive man swearing like a trooper and threatening to kill everybody around him including me unless I fulfilled his wish and provided some more booze for him…
In that state I had to deliver Alexander from Tomsk to his home and in parallel hear him swearing at me and all the people around him… He was trying to pry the steering wheel out of the driver’s hands and was threating to throw all of us out of the car… I was almost going to lose my temper and was ready to get out of the car right in the middle of the way just not to see and hear him. At the same time, I understood that I could not leave Alexander even in that state. I totally depended upon him and could not break off relations with Alexander right now, quitting our business halfway. Upon courageously delivering him to his home already at night I heard Alexander telling me to shove off since I did not want to listen to him…
The middle of the night. I am approaching my house. On the one hand, I was almost indifferent and calm. On the other hand, I could not resist to the feeling of incomprehension inside me. How come? You do a man so much good, engross yourself in the work and the thoughts about the work, do your best and is that all to finish in a jiffy? Because of what? Because of alcohol?! And Alexander? Who did he allow himself to turn into?…I felt like yelling and crying… How many inconsistencies I had in my head!...It seemed strange indeed, Alexander had always told me that he was pious and went to church and all that was supposed to help us. Though, I must admit, I was skeptical about religious traditions and rites but since it helped Alexander, very often I would also attend worships with him and even fast to be on the same page with him… And now all of a sudden you were falling from that page and hitting the ground, it hurts… Is this fair?
Today is warm and sunny. I am standing on the bank of the river and looking into the distance. Several days have passed since we returned from Tomsk. I did not call Alexander on principle because actually I had no reason to explain myself to him. I waited till a genuine and kind man with whom we had been striving for our success for half a year already would be reborn in Alexander. The telephone rang – I could not hear Alexander’s voice at first. He apologized to me, saying that he himself did not know how that could have happened to him. He said that he had gone to church, had a talk with the priest and that the priest had forgiven him for that bad behavior (!) and added that we should proceed with our affairs…
It seemed that the call was kind of salvation. I agreed. Though thoughts like flies continued whirling in my head. “Ha-ha, – I thought – is it possible indeed that an ordinary priest in a church can forgive a man for bad behavior? Even not knowing what that man had actually done? If so, then such kind of behavior is acceptable, isn’t it? Not clear”
Gradually I was forgetting that incident and we continued working with renewed vigour. I wanted very much to get my labour and time spent bring results. For all that time I could not forget professor Butanovich, the way he worked with the pendulum. From time to time I conducted experiments with the pendulum at home. The professor as well as the books and the Internet told me that it was not allowed to ask the pendulum (or the subconcsiousness, or the “information forces”, or the “Earth’s poles” – still I did not whom I talked to) about whatever I wanted. I was not allowed to ask questions which had obvious answers, or to use the received information to cause harm to anybody or for profit. And I asked questions about the future, asked for permission to undertake some actions, wondered about the prospects of my and Alexander’s project. The pendulum did give me answers. It seemed to me that every time I talked to the pendulum the impulses making the pendulum sway in my hand became more and more sensitive to me. Sometimes, however, the replies differed from those that I expected from the pendulum, or over time they even tended to change. How was I supposed to explain that? It seemed as if either the future events were inclined to change depending on the present or it was just a big delirium of mine associated with the way I lived, saw and heard… I did not know why but right now the pendulum did not give me “yes” to the question about the eventual success in my and Alexander’s affairs. I never told Alexander about my experiments and the answers I got from the pendulum.
Let me skip some moments from my life. I am in Moscow now, in the capital of Russia. One more thing has been done. One more coin was dropped into the moneybox. I am holding the documents in my hand: a charter, a certificate, a bank statement, a tax statement. Yes, our dream seems to have come true! We have officially registered a commercial enterprise! With an office in Moscow! Two founders – Vasily Torpaev and Alexander Smelov. 42% of the authorized capital stock belong to me. For me it was like a holiday! Alexander and I had been living in Moscow for a month already and nothing reminded us of that unpleasant incident form the past, but… That very evening, however, when we were invited to celebrate the successful registration of the enterprise that alcohol-involved incident repeated with a much stronger effect. It happened in the presence of our future partners – well-known and esteemed people. Alexander’s metamorphosis from an intelligent man into the “state of nothing” took him only half an hour from the beginning of the event. For half an hour Alexander managed to get drunk and already was off to the races: he swore, crashed into the tables with dishes upon them, pestered the people around us, shouted obscenities at those people on whom, maybe, our future activity and the realization of our projects depended… A sound of a broken glass and the imminent scandal were enough to get us kicked out of the restaurant. Throwing us out they threatened us not to appear there ever again and promised to tell others of the incident just to warn them to keep away from us… Within thirty minutes all what we had done so far was practically cancelled: tremendous efforts and time spent for the project’s sake.
“Why?…” – I asked one and the same question to myself recalling the answers the pendulum had given to me a month before.
“Quit it all and go back to your family, – I thought, – right now, rush to the airport…”
I felt that I had no power and opportunities left. The exasperating point was that I simply could not tell anyone why all of a sudden everything had got ruined – neither to my family nor to my friends. The emotions were inside me, but in public I had to look as though the things were good. And they were, indeed. Until then…
The middle of autumn. The weather in October is unexpectedly warm in Perm Region. I still could not understand what all those events that were happening to me could mean. The talented people whose acquaintance I was lucky to have made continue to believe in me and Alexander but it seems that the rumours about the incident in Moscow had reached their ears too. Alexander called me once and told me that it had been his fault and he was sorry and promised that nothing of the kind would ever happen again…
My attitude towards him was not the same as it was when we had started our cooperation, and he is well aware of that, but at the same time Alexander knows that it was not easy to me either and that at his “invitation” I had left my former job. Yet, I do not know whether he cares for my life, for the lives of those who believed in us?...All of a sudden Mr. Smelov has put forward a new idea:
— Let us, – he says – go to the professor and ask him using his skills in geology, topography and the capabilities of the pendulum, of course, to search on the map for, say, old hoards, lost caches which could be hidden not too far from here. We would find, say, a small pot of gold or silver and use it as a seed capital.
“Where would such a mad idea finally take us, I wonder” – I thought.
We called professor Butanovich and told him of our idea. It turned out, however, that for weeks professor had been marking on the map the places of hidden old hoards asking the pendulum to tell him how much and what exactly was there in the hoards, what kind of coins they were – golden or silver, how deep in the earth they were buried, whether they were accessible or not in case the territory of burial had been turned into a private property and, say, a house had been built on it, etc.
I understood that searching for buried treasures was not quite what Alexander and I had always planned to do but considering the desperate situation of mine I could not back down: either I had to go till the end or to publicly admit that I was a complete idiot to have committed myself to a crazy alcoholic-hermit.
So here it is – we are in the professor’s office.
“Well, – I thought – since I have come to the professor I should get some points clarified regarding the pendulum”.
I told Butanovich of my home experiments with the pendulum and let him know that whenever I asked questions to the pendulum I always felt feedback and that those were natural feelings that could not be compared to anything. The professor smiled and, perhaps, by that smile he admitted that those feelings were no longer something individual.
— Well, I see now that I am not the only otherwordly one, – Butanvich said, – let us try to find some hoard together then!
The professor and I bent over the map. Everything was going well. Irrespective of whose hand it was to hold the pendulum – mine or the professor’s – it showed the same precise results. First, the professor asked the pendulum a question and then I verified the received reply. We needed to find the simplest but not very remote place for searching treasures. The process was happening just in front of my eyes: like an understudy I felt and practically foresaw even without the pendulum those places, which the professor was trying to find out on the map with the help of the pendulum. A couple of hours later we already had a map of the suburb with the marked coordinates of the potential hoards and their brief description: the year when a hoard was buried, the circumstances of its burial and its contents…
Our attention was caught by several hoards located almost next to each other. The professor learned from the pendulum that several centuries before near the modern city a road of rich merchants with caravans had passed and the merchants used to stop there to spend a night. Because of the fear of being robbed some of the merchants sometimes buried their money, precious jewels, silver utensils next to the stopping place. Some part of the treasures, however, was never claimed. It seemed that the professor wanted to make the most of the pendulum: how many coins were there in the hoards, what they were put in (a jar or a pot, wrapped in a mat or packed in some other way), under which circumstances the hoards were buried, if some murder had ever been committed because of the hoards…
Finally, everything was ready: maps, GPS coordinates, laptop, metal detector, shovel and our pirate mood, of course! We went there the following day at dawn. The bus stop was eight kilometers from the place and it took us two hours to reach there. A clearing that we saw in front did remind us, though remotely, of the old stopping place of merchants. We set to work immediately. The professor had already got the pendulum to clearly indicate the area where we were supposed to dig. Having turned the metal detector on, we walked all over but the device was silent.
— Nothing, – Butanovich said – perhaps, the hoard is buried too deep and the instrument is not able to detect the signal…
We dug till the evening, first – together, then – in turn, we felt exhausted and we dug a hole about two meters in diameter and more than a meter and a half deep. There was no sense to dig deeper because we supposed that even if a merchant had wanted to bury, say, a pot of silver, he would have to do it fast and quietly so he had no time to dig a deep hole whereas we already dug almost a well…
Certainly, we did not find anything. The professor, however, did not seem frustrated, he supposed that the hoard might have been bewitched and that was the reason of our failure…“Oh gosh, what a ridiculous idea… – I thought – Why did I get into that? We are all sane people, why do the things go wrong then?”