Daniel would be at the windmill to meet Antonio. There had been no letters between the Nuncio and Daniel, only that priest's first plea. If he was genuine, Antonio was to travel with him. If not, well, Antonio gave his body and soul to Christ.
The day was bright but cold. The paths were old and uneven. The old bike paths had not been used for years and stubble, new plants and rocks hindered the priest's walk. He had to sit down near a Saguaro near a large Creosote tree. He was tired and a bit low. The flesh pots of Texas had weakened his endurance, or so he thought. In reality, he was sensing, even dreading something dangerous and mysterious.
He looked up towards the mountains and his eye skimmed the scrub land in front of his feet. Then, he saw something which made his heart skip a beat-a large black Benedictine rosary, the kind worn by Benedictine nuns throughout the entire world. Antonio got up and walked over to the Pincushion cacti next to where this rosary lay. He bent over and picked it up. The beads were dusty and dry, and the cross was mottled. The rosary had been here for a long time. Was it a sign, "
A trap! Either the priest had been used for this set-up, or he had been intercepted, but at least three men at the windmill were obviously soldiers. The time was about one in the afternoon. Antonio decided, bravely, not to stay in this place, but to crawl down the hill on his hands and knees and move quickly north. The biggest problem was that the land beyond this hill and the section moving north was banded on the east, in the direction of the windmill by almost flat land. If he moved north, he most likely would be seen. He made up his mind to take the San Tan Trail up to the Dynamite Trail and back to the Goldmine during the night. He thought if he could get to the area of the Graves he would be safe to rest. But, getting through the lower parts without being seen seemed impossible.
Then, an act of God, or man, occurred. A great explosion and a huge light rolled out of the windmill area. Even from this distance, Antonio heard screaming. The windmill was gone in a burst of fire. In the chaos, Antonio realized he had a chance. He ran as fast as he could without looking back up the San Tan trail toward the Dynamite Trail, an appropriate name under these amazing circumstances.
The priest ran and moved into the Dynamite Trail, only when he was in the hills there, did he look back and see a plume of black smoke coming from the entrance area so far away, as it seemed. He kept going and after a long time got to the Graves. Antonio collapsed and took out a little flask of water. He looked up towards the mountains and he saw an extraordinary sight. Two nuns about 500 feet up were waving at him. Then, they just as quickly disappeared. Antonio was exhausted, but he had to climb this side of the Goldmines to get to where the two figures had waved at him. The Goldmine Trail lay below him to the south again, but he had to take that to start the steep climb up to the place where he thought the nuns would be.
He continued, slowly, very slowly and his heart was pounding when he reached the ridge where he saw the nuns. There was a hole in the side of the mountain about five feet in diameter, half hidden by two dead Fairy Duster shrubs. Instinctively, Antonio went in, feet first. He landed in a large room not quite on his feet, and a bit unsteady, and in front of him on the right, were two nuns, one holding a candle. "Come follow us, now." For the second time this day, Antonio moved in astonishment. He had found the monastery.
To be continued....