"Joseph Grant was a paleontologist who was pretty cutting edge for his day. I mean, he was one of the few who dared to theorize that dinosaurs were not clumsy and stupid."
Lewis Bodine, resident Titanic expert, related his findings on the early 20th Century scientist who was to bring the skull home to New York. Unfortunately, Grant, and the skull, went down with the ship. The skull laid at the bottom of the Atlantic for more than eighty years. Only Dr. Grant's notes and drawings survived the disaster; Grant had the good sense to entrust his wife Margaret with his writings.
"But what happened to those notes?," asked Brock. "There was no mention of a dinosaur skull or Dr. Grant..."
"Hold it, boss," interrupted Bodine, "let me finish." He flipped through pages of data on Joseph Grant's survivors, then mentioned one of Grant's New York contacts. "Lessee...Grant was to present the skull to a Henry Clay Sadler, a paleontologist with the American Natural History Museum and professor of geology at Columbia University."
He continued, "Grant was survived by his wife Margaret; a son, Joseph Jr., who later became a paleontologist himself; and a daughter, Helen, who, get this...Married one of Caledon Hockley's cousins, one of the not-so-loaded relations, if you catch my drift..."
Brock bolted, as did everyone else in that room. Brief silence, then a soft feminine voice, which up to now had yet to be heard, spoke up. "Brock, is this true? Why didn't Nana mention this in her recollections?"
This was Lizzy, Rose Calvert's granddaughter, who had returned from her grandmother's stateroom. They had only arrived on the Keldysh just yesterday morning. It was only yesterday that Nana recalled her experiences on the doomed ocean liner. At first, Lizzy didn't want ot believe her grandmother's stories of a free-spirited young man named Jack Dawson, and how he helped Nana escape a life she so desperately detested. But it was all true, and now another piece to one of Titanic's mysteries had surfaced. This time in the shape of a dinosaur skull, and the fact that one of Dr. Grant's children married Cal Hockley's distant cousin.
"And I know this woman," admitted Lewis Bodine, "And I know one of her partners although we only met in passing. The legend of the skull intrigued me, but I never gave it much thought, especially since we were really after the Heart of the Ocean."
Brock Lovett and Lizzy stared at Bodine in puzzlement. "You know her?," asked Brock. "Why didn't you say so in the first place?" Bodine stroked his beard and replied with a wry smile, "Because you never asked me."
Then, "Her name is Carson Hockley, and the last time I spoke with her, she was on a dig with Ellie Sadler out in Wyoming. I can look her up, but I doubt she'd tear herself away from her work..."
Brock simply and flatly said to Buell, "Find her. Get her on the phone. Offer to underwrite her entire dig if you must; do anything to get her here. If she has any clue as to the mystery of the skull, then she's our best bet."
They were all there: Thomas Andrews, her personal maid Trudy, Captain Smith, Fabrizzio, little Cora Cartmell and her family. She recognized Tommy Ryan, one of Jack's first acquaintances on board. She also recognized Helga, the lovely Scandinavian lady with whom Fabrizzio struck up an instant romance. There was William Murdoch, Ida and Isidor Strauss, Benjamin Guggenheim, John Jacob Astor, and the band.
And there was Jack Dawson, standing at the head of the stairs facing the clock which forever read 2:20 A.M. When she reached the top, Jack turned to her, took her in his arms, then kissed her to the applause of the 1500. Was she dreaming? Had she died and gone to that Great Ship in the sky?
Only she could answer that once the crowd stepped aside to allow two figures entrance. All eyes were now on the pair A highly unusual pair! as they made their way to the stairs. Rose's heart leapt to her throat as she recognized one: It was Joseph Grant, that paleontologist who so briefly befriended her and Jack that unforgettable Saturday night. It was Joseph's wife Margaret who had Jack draw portraits of both the dinosaur skull and what the animal would have looked like in life.
And the other figure accompanying Joseph Grant? Again, Rose's heart pounded and her eyes widened in disbelief. Those gathered stared in amazement as well but knew that this creature was also very much a victim of Titanic's ill-fated voyage as any human passenger. Although it was only her skull that traveled the North Atlantic and ultimately went down with the ship, this creature was very much a passenger, and her fate was sealed that dreadful Sunday night.
That creature was none other than an aged dinosaur a styracosaur to be exact. She ambled her heavy body towards the grand staircase, stopping every now and then to greet several of the 1500. She looked longest at Thomas Andrews then turned her eyes to meet those of Rose. With a grandmotherly glint in her eyes and warm soothing voice, she finally spoke.
"Don't be afraid, Rose. For you see, you are the one who will see that my remains are known. My name is Eema, and I've come to tell you that I've yet to complete my journey. I know you have completed yours well, almost...But I still need your help."
Rose descended the stairs and peered into Eema's face. It was a face
wrinkled and weathered from more than one hundred years of living. And
what a tale that face could reveal! But, as Eema pointed out, the journey
was not over yet; there was still that absolution that never came.
Eema laughed heartily, saying, "Now, baby, Eema knows you resolved your eighty-four year burden. Turning away from all you've known all your young life and, after all these years, throwing that necklace into the sea took a lot of courage on your part." She chuckled again as she added, "I've waited for an absolution for more than 65 million years! I'm still waiting to join my friends but I can't rest in peace until that man Lovett finds out about the skull. It is up to you, honey."
Rose didn't know what to say, but Jack came up from behind and offered words of encouragement. So did Joseph Grant.
"Listen to her, Rose," said Jack. "Meg Grant took her husband's notes, and my drawings to Dr. Sadler in New York, but he stashed them away. His great-grand niece has them now, and her partners know about the skull...But they don't know it's been found yet."
Now it was Joseph's turn."Rose, when Helen matured to marriageable age...I watched over my family from beyond, made sure they were happy in their chosen lots...Well..."
Then, "Helen met someone someone who was quite close to one you used to know...She married, had several children. One of her descendants is now in Wyoming, working with Ellie Sadler, my Dr. Sadler's great-grand niece..."
Rose still didn't quite comprehend what was to come. Then, gathering her courage, she asked Joseph, "And who, Dr. Grant, did your daughter marry? You said her husband is, or was, someone close to..."
She allowed it all to sink in. Her hand leapt to her mouth as if to catch an escaping gasp. It all came back to her...She knows who Joseph was talking about.
She felt herself fading, as if old Rose was waking from her dream. No! You can't wake up! No! This is my reward, my destiny, to join all those who perished on this ship. To be with Jack throughout all eternity!
In the fading mist of her dream, Rose heard Thomas Andrews' voice. It was warm and encouraging. "Young Rose, go back to the living. Face down the remainder of your demons."
He turned his eyes to Eema, then added, "Help this grand lady find her eternal reward..."
Then Jack offered these final words: "Go back, Rose. I know you can do it! You've come so far and had still have a great life. Now, I want you to help Eema and Joseph...When the time comes, we'll be waiting for you. Now, wake up and do this for Eema. Do you trust me?"
"I trust you."
She awoke in her bed, not knowing whether she was alive or dead. A dream, but so vivid. She could still feel their presence, especially Jack's. Then there was Eema, a creature who in reality died more than 65 million years ago. But, in unusual ways, Eema was also a Titanic statistic. Now, Rose had to summon all the courage to face the one who shared the name of a man she came to despise. After all, she promised Jack...
Rose ambled out of bed and made her way to the phone. She had to find Lovett and Lizzy. They had to be somewhere within the Keldysh, so she dialed the preservation room.
"Is Mr. Lovett available? And my granddaughter? Good. Tell them to come here at once. Oh yes, tell them to contact Carson Hockley Grant....Yes, that's right...She is a distant cousin of Cal's..."
Baylene gathered her fifty ton bulk upright and craned her long neck upwards until her eyes rested on the beautiful sunrise. Another lovely sunny day in the Nesting Grounds, she thought, as she took in the early morning air. The fine fair weather clouds drifted across the pinkish sky, forming wondrous shapes. Baylene stood and watched as several clouds took on an odd formation. She peered closer as the clouds took shape This is interesting!
Baylene could make out one shape in particular; it started to look very much like the images Sarama drew in the mud yesterday whilst retelling those frightful visions. The elderly sauropod could make the funnels, the masts, the bridge, the flag waving proudly on the stern. She could see the formation gliding as if on a glassy sea...
Baylene shrieked when she saw another formation behind the first: It looked like Eema! Oh my! I must be seeing things!
"Eema! Aladar! Plio! Sarama! Everyone! Come here and look at this!," she bellowed at the top of her lungs, awaking every creature in the Nesting Grounds. Then she heard a voice quietly call out from that cloud formation. It was young, feminine, and it pleaded with Baylene.
"Please, tell me what to do? I can't face her...Not Carson...She's part of Cal...I know she's not like Cal...She never did relish being part Hockley, which is why she blended the names...Please help me...Eema is depending on me to help her...She won't rest in peace until I do this..."
Baylene's eyes focused on the cloud formation which was on the verge of breaking up in the morning breeze. The next thing she heard was the voice of a young male, "Do you trust us?" A mesmerized Baylene could only quietly answer back, "I trust you...Whoever you are...But what does that have to do with me? With Eema?"
This time an older male spoke to Baylene. "Tell Eema that everything will be fine. But Rose will have to set it all right...She, besides Carson and Ellie, is the only one alive left to tell about Eema's last journey..."
When Aladar and Plio reached Baylene at last, the old brachiosaur was still in a trance, still gazing up at the sky. That cloud formation was still there, and Baylene commanded the others to look as well. There Aladar could see it the same image Sarama so brilliantly captured in recounting her latest visions. He was taken aback at this apparition. Never before had he seen such a thing. Perhaps Sarama was right all along, and maybe we all have that gift of foreseeing the future.
It was Plio who, after watching the cloudy image finally break up, said, "This is indeed a sign for what's to come...Dad, what do you make of it?"
Yar, the grizzled lemur patriarch, had just joined the group and listened as Baylene recalled the voices she heard. With a worried expression, old Yar stroked his white beard and said, "This is indeed profound...To see events that will happen in the distant future...And those voices!"
He turned to Baylene, who by now fretted over her friend. With soothing words, Yar told the brachiosaur, "Don't worry, Baylene. Perhaps it is Eema's time, or at least close to it...I don't want to think about it, but..."
Another shriek, overhead this time, called out to the animals below. A pteranosaur, just returning from a hunting expedition, could not wait to tell of her adventures. She didn't even wait long after she landed.
"Sorry to scare you like that."
She turned to Aladar, and said, "But I had to pass on this bit of news."
Her eyes were now on Sarama, the clairvoyant parasaurolophus. The flying dinosaur finally said, "Dear, it was on my way back from the sea...That's when I saw it!"
"Saw what?," asked Neera.
The pteranosaur replied, and rattled nonstop. "I saw it! Looked just like the thing Sarama drew yesterday! The very thing that she said Eema was on! Gliding across the water as pretty as you please...There was smoke coming out of its...What do you call those things? All tall and wide...And there were creatures on it! And Eema was with them!"
She turned to Aladar and asked, "Is Eema here? If she is, then kindly explain to me what is going on! First Sarama's seeing things, then Baylene, now me!"
Aladar noticed that Eema was not among the usual company. She's always up before most everyone else. Yes, where is Eema? And why is everyone seeing and hearing all these strange things?
GO TO CHAPTER 5
Copyright©2002 by P.R. Parker ("Sarama")