In part one of this story I introduced you to Daniel Carruthers a mild mannered archivist who has worked at the national library in London for over twenty years.
But Daniel was bored out of his mind there must be more to life than working as a civil servant.
He needed something to spice up his life.
And as luck would have it one day as he was sorting through a box of old books and letters.
He came across a journal that belonged to the famous explorer Sir Walter Raleigh.
As Daniel read the journal the came across that chapter that mentions el dorado and a map of it’s possible location.
Already the lust for gold has infected Daniel’s brain.
He quit his job and flew to Colombia where he met a local named Miquel who became his business partner.
Together they led an expedition of a dozen guides on the quest for el dorado where they travelled through the jungle looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
After two weeks of searching and finding nothing the group camp on the edge of a raging river to contemplate their next move.
The guides threaten to turn back if they aren’t paid immediately and soon an argument brakes out and Miquel is shot and killed.
Daniel and one of the Guido wrestle over the journal and fall into the swirling water below.
Taking the journal with them.
When Daniel and Guido hit the water they are immediately swept downstream where they tumble around like ragdolls scraping their bodies on some sharp rocks.
They both shoot to the surface bloodied and bruised but still alive Daniel is clutching the journal to his chest.
And miraculously it is still bone dry.
The remaining guides follow the two downstream in a couple of rusty old land rovers than one of them points ahead to a massive waterfall.
If they can get to the bottom of the falls before the two doomed men then they can get their hands on the journal and become rich beyond their wildest dreams.
Daniel and Guido are both struggling to stay alive when they both go over the edge to an almost certain death.
Beneath the falls the guides watch as Daniel and Guido go over the edge it is fifty metres down to a lagoon below.
There is no way that anyone could survive that fall.
As he goes to his death Daniel knows that he was a fool to travel halfway across the world seeking his fortune in gold.
El dorado has become hell dorado.
He closes his eyes says goodbye to his family and friends and waits for the inevitable.
All the way down he clutches the journal that has brought him nothing but pain and sorrow.
He wants to throw the journal into the water but for some reason he just can’t let go.
Than a hand grabs hold of Daniel’s left ankle and he and Guido are pulled into the waterfall.
On the shoreline the guides watch in disbelief as the two men disappear from view.
One second they were falling to their death than they just vanish into thin air.
They wait for an hour and still no bodies appear so they decide to hang around until they can get their hands on the journal.
When Daniel comes to his senses he realises that it wasn’t a hand that saved him and Guido from a certain death it was a tentacle.
And that tentacle is attached to a giant octopus.
The octopus is at least thirty feet in length with tentacles the same length again and it holds Daniel and Guido in a death grip.
Guido is slowly losing his mind as the octopus squeezes even harder ‘Listen here you motherfucker if you don’t put me down right now I will turn you into a big pile of calamari and shit you out tomorrow’
The octopus swings Guido down and holds him under you water to knock the fight out of him.
Than the octopus brings the tentacle holding a stunned Guido to its beak and Guido is eaten alive.
Daniel is shaking with fright as he hears Guido’s bones snap as he becomes a part of the food chain.
The octopus swings Daniel towards it’s mouth and Daniel knows that there is no escape this time,he is about to become dessert and there is nothing he can do about it.
But than the octopus brings Daniel up to eye level where they stare at each other.
Daniel looks deep into the big black orb and prays for a quick death an end to this foolish adventure.
But the octopus has other ideas because he lowers Daniel to the ground and disappears beneath the murky depths.
Daniel can’t believe his luck as he watches the beast dive to digest his meal
He turns away and for the for time he has a chance to take in his surroundings and he can’t quite believe what he is seeing.
The sky is crimson and the trees are a vivid orange and overhead shines a huge blue moon
He looks at the journal to get his bearings and slowly makes his way toward a distant snow capped mountain’
Hopefully he will find the famous lake guatavita and discover the gold f el dorado.
As Daniel walks he studies the journal and he even starts to whistle he has a good feeling about this place.
Than from behind him he hears the sound of approaching hooves.And when he looks back he is astonished to see a white unicorn trotting toward him.
When the unicorn gets level with Daniel it stops and squats to the ground.’Are you going to stand there gawking or are you going to jump aboard so we can be on our way?’
Daniel mounts the talking unicorn and commands’Take me to el dorado’
The unicorn winks at Daniel and trots off toward the distant mountain.
Daniel hangs on to the unicorn’s mane as it gallops along a rocky path and than without even a ‘hang on’ the unicorn unfolds its wings and takes to the sky.
Daniel says a few words that his mother wouldn’t like and hangs on for grim death as the unicorn weaves between the clouds on the way to el dorado.
After a few hours the pair reach the mountain and the unicorn flies lower and lower trying to find a good place to land.
Than a lake comes into view and the unicorn glides down and performs a perfect landing on the shoreline.
Daniel dismounts glad to be back on terra firma again.
Meanwhile the unicorn has wandered off to eat some orange leaves and pink grass.
Than it lifts its tail and deposits a pile of golden manure on the ground.
‘Holy crap’Daniel can’t believe his eyes as he stares down at the golden mound.
There is gold everywhere.
Daniel sits on he edge of the lake dangling his feet in the cold water when a figure appears in the middle of the lake guatavita.
Daniel stares in wonder at the man and righty assumes that this is non other than the legendary King El Rey Dorado.
The king stands seven feet tall and his body is covered in gold dust while his head is adorned with peacock feathers.
King El Rey Dorado raises both arms in the air and prays to the heavens than he reaches into a pouch on his waist and throws nuggets of gold into the lake to appease the gods.
And to bring good fortune to his people.
The king calls out to the unicorn who trots over to his master and after getting reacquainted
The king climbs onto the unicorn and the pair soon disappear around a bend.
Not once had the king even acknowledged Daniel’s presence.
When he is alone Daniel runs around like a madman scooping up as many nuggets as he can.
He fills all of his pockets and a backpack with the ill gotten gains and struggles to stay upright.
Now that he has proof of el dorado’s existence he will be able to convince the guides to come back and help him plunder the land until there is nothing left but dirt and dust.
Than it finally dawns on Daniel that he is lost and alone in a strange land but he is now very very rich what can be better than that?
He looks around at the magnificent lake and mountain than he sets course back toward the waterfall.
But he struggles under the weight of the gold.
He is having a rest on the side of the road when a dodo bird walks up to him ‘Need a ride?
Nothing about this land surprises Daniel anymore so he climbs onto the back of the dodo and tells it to head to the waterfall ‘Fly as fast as you can’
The dodo look back at Daniel with disdain ‘I am a dodo bird I do not fly but I can walk at a brisk pace’
Daniel nods his head and the dodo walks off toward the waterfall.
But it soon starts to tire.
‘You are too heavy please lose the excess weight or I will have to leave you here’
Daniel isn’t about to leave any gold behind so he dismounts the dodo who quickly waddles away.
Daniel is now stranded many miles and hours of travel time from the waterfall and there is no way he can walk that far carrying all the gold.
He doesn’t want to jettison any gold but now he mightn’t have any choice.
Than he remembers the journal in his backpack he pulls it out hoping against hope that the journal will somehow come to the rescue.
He lays the journal on the ground and opens it to a page where a crude map has been drawn by Sir Walter Raleigh.
As Daniel looks at the map it stirs and comes to life he watches as the river starts to run the mist shrouds the mountain and in the corner of the map way in the distance comes the sound of the waterfall.
Than the journal opens up and spreads out in the shape of a magic carpet than it hovers up to level with Daniels knees.
‘Well fuck me sideways Daniel whispers in awe ‘A freaking magic carpet’ He crawls into the middle of the journal.
And without a sound it glides toward the distant waterfall and home.
As the magic carpet makes toward freedom Daniel laughs with glee and waves his arms around in the breeze.
He is feeling a lot like Ali Baba but without the turban and the forty thieves.
And that gets Daniel thinking and he decides that he want return to plunder this beautiful land he will leave el dorado in peace.
As Daniel was daydreaming he has failed to notice that the magic carpet is closing in fast on the waterfall. Too fast in fact.
Daniel screams a warning to the journal but it takes no notice as it races full steam ahead.
But at least the octopus is nowhere in sight.
But Daniel has spoken to soon because just than the octopus rears its ugly head.
Daniel know if the octopus will be in a forgiving mood this time so he screams at the journal to give it all it has and the journal wraps itself around Daniel and takes off faster than a speeding bullet.
The journal with Daniel wraps all snug inside enters the beak of the octopus through the stomach past the bowel and intestines.
Then it explodes out of the bung hole like a runaway torpedo.
The journal crashes through the waterfall and lands with a splash in the lagoon on the other side.
Then the journal unfolds again and it floats to where the guides have been patiently waiting.
‘Well well well what do we have here one of the guides says as he pulls Daniel to his feet.
Then he notices the bulge in Daniel pockets ‘What’s in your pockets asshole?’
Daniel hangs his head he knows he cant beat all of the guides so he empties his pockets and one hundred gold nuggets tumble to the ground.
Except there isn’t any nuggets at Daniel’s feet all there are is one hundred pieces of coal.
Daniel laughs out loud’Oh well easy come easy go’
‘Sorry fellas but there is no el dorado the journal was a fake there is no gold it was a fools errand’
The guides are dumbstruck and offer no reply.
Daniel walks toward the land rovers but looks back just in time to see the journal floating back underneath the waterfall.
El dorado is safe.