Chapter 48

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The ferry had landed in Digby an hour ago and they were already in the heart of Nova Scotia.

“We are close,” said Nicole.  She unclasped the necklace and removed the pendant from around her neck.  The pendant’s dark emerald swallowed all of the light that hit the gem’s dull surface, encapsulating in the emerald’s center as a muted green fire.  Cameron watched as Nicole used her fingernails to pick at the seam where the green gem joined the metal setting.

“I wanted to ask you about that,” said Cameron.

“What did you want to ask?” replied Nicole, as she spun the setting, trying to pry the metal scrolling at the emerald’s edge from different angles.

“I was surprised that the necklace was so significant to Marie.  I mean given that it is a physical object and all.”

“This pendant is special because…” with a snap Nicole twisted the large gem away from the antique backing and held the now bare metal up to Cameron to show him what lie behind the stone, “it is a key.”

Across Nicole’s palm, the pendant was splayed open.  The emerald was still connected to the setting by a hinge and on the back of the gem and the face of the ancient setting was an image.  Engraved clearly and lightly in the metal of the setting’s face was a diamond shaped diagram.  Above the diamond to the side was set a tiny emerald chip.  A thin line ran from the center of the diamond to the chip.  Another engraved line led out of the center of the diamond diagram toward the large emerald, a deeper thicker line.

The Canadian highway atlas was on the seat between Cameron and Nicole, still opened to the provincial map of southern Nova Scotia.  She placed the pendant on the map and centered the emerald on an island in the Medway River.  Nicole spun the setting to the left until the line between the diamond and emerald chip were pointing at Bangs Falls to the northwest.  Cameron could see that the second line, the deeper thicker line, pointed toward the north side of Kejimkujic National Park, right about what Cameron judged to be their current location.  Nicole traced the lighter line from the center of the diamond toward the little emerald chip at the edge and continued passed the pendant by making an invisible line to a place on the map that satisfied her.

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