Morgan reached into the pack and pulled out the Enochian primer.
Rev. Alcuin took the book from his hand. Peering over the tops of his spectacles, he began to thumb through it. “My goodness,” he said, his forehead arching upward. “Did this belong to your father?”
“It’s one of the books he left behind.”
“So apparently he was familiar with this Enochian script?’
“Yes. And the sword too!”
The Reverend glanced up at him.
“The Sword of Paracelsus,” breathed Morgan. “The Sword in the Stone.” He could feel his pulse pounding in his ears.
“Did you bring the drawing?”
“Right here,” Morgan answered, rummaging in his pack again.
“Let’s have a look, then.”
Peter opened the little book to the alphabetical table and laid it flat on his knee. Morgan pulled his chair over next to the minister’s and unfolded the picture of the sword.
“I’ve already copied out the inscriptions,” he said. “See? I’ve transcribed them into English letters. But I still don’t know what they mean.”
He pointed to the paper. Just below the first line of Enochian text—
—ran Morgan’s careful transliteration:
Ubi Soror et Sponsa Sub Scalis Iacobi
“Well!” exclaimed the Reverend straightening up in his chair, a satisfied smile illuminating his rosy countenance. “Here at last is something I can help you with! That’s Latin.”
“Latin,” murmured Morgan. “I knew I’d seen that second word before. Soror Mystica is Latin. It means ‘mystical sister.’ That’s a term from alchemy.” Then, in a softer voice, he added, “I used to say that Eny was my soror mystica.”
Peter looked up at him. “Sister. Precisely,” he said, readjusting his glasses on his nose. “‘Where the sister and spouse is, under the stairs of Jacob,’” he intoned. “That’s what the inscription means. Or something to that effect.”
“The stairs of Jacob?” repeated Morgan.
“Jacob’s Ladder,” said Rev. Alcuin with a nod.
“And Jacob’s Pillow Stone!” whispered Morgan. “The Stone of Destiny!”
For a moment they were both silent and thoughtful. Then the Reverend said:
“It looks like we were right, Morgan. There is a link between that sword—or at least the inscription on the sword—and Lia Fail. But what does it mean? And would it make any difference if we knew? Would it help us get the Stone of Destiny back?”
“It would have to help!” Morgan’s head was spinning with ideas and possibilities. “The connection must have something to do with the first part of the inscription—the part about the ‘sister and spouse.’ What’s a ‘spouse’ anyway?”
“Don’t you know? A ‘spouse’ is a married person. Sponsa is feminine—‘wife’”
Morgan felt himself blushing again. “What’s that supposed to mean? I don’t get it.”
“Nor do I. We need more information. But it seems to be saying that Lia Fail is a bride or wife. To somebody or something. To the sword, maybe?”
“Yes,” muttered Morgan, staring down at the drawing. “They belong together somehow.”
“Which brings us back to the Sword in the Stone,” observed Peter.
“What about the second inscription?” said Morgan after a pause. “This one—” and he laid a finger on the seven characters
“Is that Latin too?”
“Z … I … R,” said Peter, pronouncing the individual letters. “D … V … I … V. No. That’s no language I’ve ever seen before.”
Morgan got up, shoved his hands into his pockets, and stared disconsolately into the fire.
Rev. Alcuin sighed. “I’m sorry, Morgan,” he said, wiping his glasses on his sleeve,” but I’m afraid that’s as far as we can go for now. Maybe we should shelve the question for the time being and put our heads together some other day. Meanwhile, I’m famished. Will you stay for tea and toast?”
“No—no, I can’t stay,” Morgan answered abruptly. “But there is one more thing I wanted to show you. I almost forgot!” With that, he stooped and dipped into his backpack again. “I found it in my dad’s notebook. Just this afternoon, while sitting on the bench in gym class.”
Plopping down in his chair, he presented the minister with a small sheet of yellow paper.
(To be continued …)