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Chapter 24

Silas gazed upward at the Saint-Sulpice obelisk1, taking in the length of the massive marble shaft2.

  His sinews felt taut3 with exhilaration. He glanced around the church one more time to make sure hewas alone. Then he knelt at the base of the structure, not out of reverence4, but out of necessity.

  The keystone is hidden beneath the Rose Line.

  At the base of the Sulpice obelisk.

  All the brothers had concurred5.

  On his knees now, Silas ran his hands across the stone floor. He saw no cracks or markings toindicate a movable tile, so he began rapping softly with his knuckles6 on the floor. Following thebrass line closer to the obelisk, he knocked on each tile adjacent to the brass7 line. Finally, one ofthem echoed strangely.

  There's a hollow area beneath the floor!

  Silas smiled. His victims had spoken the truth.

  Standing, he searched the sanctuary8 for something with which to break the floor tile.

  High above Silas, in the balcony, Sister Sandrine stifled9 a gasp10. Her darkest fears had just beenconfirmed. This visitor was not who he seemed. The mysterious Opus Dei monk11 had come to Saint-Sulpice for another purpose.

  A secret purpose.

  You are not the only one with secrets, she thought.

  Sister Sandrine Bieil was more than the keeper of this church. She was a sentry12. And tonight, theancient wheels had been set in motion. The arrival of this stranger at the base of the obelisk was asignal from the brotherhood13.

  It was a silent call of distress14.

塞拉斯抬头看着圣叙尔皮斯方尖碑,估量着巨大的大理石碑面的高度。他身上的肌肉因为兴奋绷得紧紧的。他再次环视了一下教堂,确认四周无人。然后,他跪倒在石碑的基座前。当然,这并非是出于尊敬,只是出于实际需要。

楔石藏在玫瑰线下。

在圣叙尔皮斯方尖碑的基座处。

所有隐修会的成员都这么说。

塞拉斯跪在地上,双手在石块铺就的地面上摸索着。他没有发现哪块地砖上有表明可以移动的裂纹或标记,于是就开始用指关节敲击地面。他沿着铜线敲击着方尖碑附近的每一块地砖,最后终于发现有一块地砖的回音与众不同。

地砖下是空的!

塞拉斯笑了起来,看来他杀的那几个人都说了实话。

他站起身来,在圣殿里寻找可以用来撬开地砖的东西。

桑德琳嬷嬷蹲在塞拉斯上方那高高的唱诗班站台上,屏住了呼吸。她最担心的事终于发生了。这个来访者的身份与他的表象不符。这个神秘的天主事工会的僧侣另有所图。

为了一个秘密的目的。

有秘密的又何止你一人呢,她想。

桑德琳嬷嬷不仅是这所教堂的看守人,还是一名卫士。今晚,那古老的隐修会机制又开始运行了。陌生人来到方尖碑的基座边是教友们发出的信号。

那是无声的痛苦呼唤。


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 obelisk g5MzA     
n.方尖塔
参考例句:
  • The obelisk was built in memory of those who died for their country.这座方尖塔是为了纪念那些为祖国献身的人而建造的。
  • Far away on the last spur,there was a glittering obelisk.远处,在最后一个山峦上闪烁着一个方尖塔。
2 shaft YEtzp     
n.(工具的)柄,杆状物
参考例句:
  • He was wounded by a shaft.他被箭击中受伤。
  • This is the shaft of a steam engine.这是一个蒸汽机主轴。
3 taut iUazb     
adj.拉紧的,绷紧的,紧张的
参考例句:
  • The bowstring is stretched taut.弓弦绷得很紧。
  • Scarlett's taut nerves almost cracked as a sudden noise sounded in the underbrush near them. 思嘉紧张的神经几乎一下绷裂了,因为她听见附近灌木丛中突然冒出的一个声音。
4 reverence BByzT     
n.敬畏,尊敬,尊严;Reverence:对某些基督教神职人员的尊称;v.尊敬,敬畏,崇敬
参考例句:
  • He was a bishop who was held in reverence by all.他是一位被大家都尊敬的主教。
  • We reverence tradition but will not be fettered by it.我们尊重传统,但不被传统所束缚。
5 concurred 1830b9fe9fc3a55d928418c131a295bd     
同意(concur的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • Historians have concurred with each other in this view. 历史学家在这个观点上已取得一致意见。
  • So many things concurred to give rise to the problem. 许多事情同时发生而导致了这一问题。
6 knuckles c726698620762d88f738be4a294fae79     
n.(指人)指关节( knuckle的名词复数 );(指动物)膝关节,踝v.(指人)指关节( knuckle的第三人称单数 );(指动物)膝关节,踝
参考例句:
  • He gripped the wheel until his knuckles whitened. 他紧紧握住方向盘,握得指关节都变白了。
  • Her thin hands were twisted by swollen knuckles. 她那双纤手因肿大的指关节而变了形。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 brass DWbzI     
n.黄铜;黄铜器,铜管乐器
参考例句:
  • Many of the workers play in the factory's brass band.许多工人都在工厂铜管乐队中演奏。
  • Brass is formed by the fusion of copper and zinc.黄铜是通过铜和锌的熔合而成的。
8 sanctuary iCrzE     
n.圣所,圣堂,寺庙;禁猎区,保护区
参考例句:
  • There was a sanctuary of political refugees behind the hospital.医院后面有一个政治难民的避难所。
  • Most countries refuse to give sanctuary to people who hijack aeroplanes.大多数国家拒绝对劫机者提供庇护。
9 stifled 20d6c5b702a525920b7425fe94ea26a5     
(使)窒息, (使)窒闷( stifle的过去式和过去分词 ); 镇压,遏制; 堵
参考例句:
  • The gas stifled them. 煤气使他们窒息。
  • The rebellion was stifled. 叛乱被镇压了。
10 gasp UfxzL     
n.喘息,气喘;v.喘息;气吁吁他说
参考例句:
  • She gave a gasp of surprise.她吃惊得大口喘气。
  • The enemy are at their last gasp.敌人在做垂死的挣扎。
11 monk 5EDx8     
n.和尚,僧侣,修道士
参考例句:
  • The man was a monk from Emei Mountain.那人是峨眉山下来的和尚。
  • Buddhist monk sat with folded palms.和尚合掌打坐。
12 sentry TDPzV     
n.哨兵,警卫
参考例句:
  • They often stood sentry on snowy nights.他们常常在雪夜放哨。
  • The sentry challenged anyone approaching the tent.哨兵查问任一接近帐篷的人。
13 brotherhood 1xfz3o     
n.兄弟般的关系,手中情谊
参考例句:
  • They broke up the brotherhood.他们断绝了兄弟关系。
  • They live and work together in complete equality and brotherhood.他们完全平等和兄弟般地在一起生活和工作。
14 distress 3llzX     
n.苦恼,痛苦,不舒适;不幸;vt.使悲痛
参考例句:
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。


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