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Greetings from the Dead...

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  • Greetings from the Dead...

    And so begins the video recording Maxwell Broadbent left to his three sons in The Codex By Doug Preston. I hope Doug doesn't mind if I post the letter from his novel here. As we all know, Forrest confided in Doug many years ago. He shared with Doug his idea of burying himself with his treasure. We don't have a lot of answers so we are left to seek them on our own. Yes, this novel is a work of fiction but I can't help but wonder how much of it could've been based on the conversations between Doug and Forrest.

    Dear Philip, Vernon, and Tom,

    The long and short of it is this: I’ve taken my wealth with me to the grave. I’ve sealed myself and my collection in a tomb. This tomb is hidden somewhere in the world, in a place that only I know of. For more than 100,000 years, human beings have buried themselves with their most valuable possessions. Burying the dead with Treasure has a venerable history, starting with the Neanderthals and running through the ancient Egyptians and on down almost to the present day. People buried themselves with their gold, silver, art, books, medicine, furniture, food, slaves, horses, and sometimes even their concubines and wives – anything they thought might be useful in the afterlife. It’s only in the last century or two that human beings stopped interring their remains with grave goods, that’s breaking a long tradition.

    It is a tradition I am glad to revive.

    The fact is, almost everything we know of the past comes to us through grave goods. Some have called me a tomb robber. Not so. I’m not a robber, I’m a recycler. I made my fortune on the wealth that foolish people thought they were taking with them to the afterworld. I’ve decided to do just what they did and bury myself with all my worldly goods. The only difference between me and them is that I’m no fool. I know there’s no afterworld where I can enjoy my wealth. Unlike them, I die with no illusions. When you’re dead you’re dead. When you die you’re just a duffel bag of rotting meat, grease, brains, and bones - nothing more.

    I’m taking my wealth to the grave for another reason entirely. A very important reason. The reason that concerns the three of you.

    This isn’t easy. I don’t quite know how to explain this to you three. When I was your age, I had nothing. Nothing. I came to New York from Erie, Pennsylvania, with just $35 in my fathers old suit. No family, no friends, no college degree. Nothing. Dad was a good man, but he was a bricklayer. Mom was dead. I was pretty much alone in the world. It was the fall of 1963. I pounded the pavement until I found a job, a shitty job, washing dishes at Mama Gina‘s on East 88th and Lex. $1.25 an hour. I can just see you three now. Philip, you are no doubt shaking your head sadly, Tom, you’re probably up and swearing. And Vernon, you think I’m just plain nuts. God I can just see the three of you. I feel sorry for you, I really do. This isn’t easy.

    Gina’s wasn’t far from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I went in there one day on a whim and it changed my life. I spent my last dollar on a membership, and I began going to that museum every day. I fell in love with the place. What a revelation! I’ve never seen such beauty, such… Christ, but you know all this. The point is I started with nothing. Nada. I worked very hard. I had a vision for my life, a goal. I read everything I could get my hands on. Schliemann and the discovery of Troy, Howard Carter and King Tut's tomb, John Lloyd Stephens in the city of Copan, the excavation of the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii. I dreamed of finding treasures like these, digging them up, owning them. I cast around: Where in the world were there lost tombs and temples still to be found? The answer was Central America. There you could still find a lost city. There was still a chance for me. I’m going to die anyway, why not enjoy my last few months. Right, Philip? Still smoking that pipe? I’d give it up if I were you. Anyway, I saved my money until I had enough to go to Central America. I went there not because I wanted to make money - although that was part of it, I’ll admit – but because I had a passion. And I found it. I found my lost city. That was the beginning. That got me started. I dealt in art and antiquities only as a way to finance my collecting. And look: Look. Here’s the result. One of the greatest private collections of art and antiquities in the world. These aren’t just things. Every piece in here has a story, a memory for me. How I first saw it, how I fell in love with it, how I acquired it. Each piece is part of me. Like this Olmec head, which I found in a tomb in Piedra Lumbre. I remember the day… The heat, the snakes… And I remember seeing it for the first time, lying there in the dust of the tomb, where it had been for 2000 years. For 2000 years it had rested there - an object of such exquisite beauty it makes you want to cry. I wish I could tell you my feelings when I saw that flawless Jade head just laying there in the dust. It wasn’t created to vegetate in the darkness. I rescued it and brought it back to life.

    I am your father. I’ve watched you three grow up. I know you better than you know yourselves. As I watched you grow up, I’ve been dismayed to see in you a feeling of entitlement. Privilege. A rich-kid’s syndrome. A feeling that you don’t have to work too hard, study too hard, exert yourselves – because you’re the sons of Maxwell Broadbent. Because someday, without lifting a goddamn finger, you’ll be rich. Look, I know it’s mostly my fault. I’ve catered to your whims, gave you everything you wanted, sent you to all the best private schools, dragged you around Europe. I felt guilty about the divorces and all that. I wasn’t born to be a married man, I guess. But what have I done? I raised three kids who, instead of living splendid lives, are waiting for their inheritance. Philip, you’re an assistant professor of art history at a junior college on Long Island. Tom? A horse vet in Utah. And Vernon? Well I don’t even know what you’re doing now, probably living in some ashram somewhere, giving your money to a fraudulent guru. And on top of that, you three don’t get along. You never learned to cooperate, to be brothers. I started to think: what have I done? What have I done? What kind of father have I been? Have I taught my sons independence? Have I taught them the value work? Have I taught them self-reliance? Have I taught them to take care of each other? No! After all this, after everything, the schools, Europe, the fishing and camping trips, I’ve raised three quasi-failures. Christ, it’s my fault that it ended up this way, but there it is. And then I found out I was dying, and that put me in a panic. How was I going to fix things? Nothing like having death poke his stinking mug into your face to make you think about things. I had to figure out what to do with my collection. I sure as hell wasn’t going to give it to a museum or some university for a bunch of Tweedle dums to gloat over. And I wasn’t going to let some scummy auction house or dealer get rich from all my hard work, break it up and disperse it to the four corners after I spent a lifetime assembling it. Absolutely not. I had always planned to leave it to you. But when it came down to it, I realized it would be the very worst thing I could do to you. No way was I going to hand over to you half $1 billion that you hadn’t earned. Look at me, still smoking. Too late now. And then it came to me. It was brilliant. All my life I’ve been excavating tombs and dealing in grave goods. I knew all the tricks for hiding tombs, every booby trap, everything. I suddenly realized that I, too, could take it with me. And then I could do something for you that would really be a legacy. You’re going to earn this money. I’ve arranged to bury myself in my collection in a tomb somewhere in the world. I challenge you to find me. If you do, you can rob my tomb and have it all. That’s my challenge to you, my three sons. I warn you: it’s going to be difficult and dangerous. Nothing in life worth doing is easy. And here’s the kicker: you’ll never succeed unless you cooperate. That’s it in a nutshell. I didn’t do much for you in life, but by God I’m going to fix that with my death. I’ve never been much on sentiment, so I’ll just say to you, goodbye. Goodbye, Philip, Vernon, and Tom. Goodbye and good luck. I love you.
    Last edited by Goldilocks; 09-16-2020, 07:52 AM.

  • #2
    omg partly through your post but what the hecki? What is going on Goldilocks ?
    "To be wrong for someone you have to be right for someone else."

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    • #3
      lol I know it's long but I think some things we can safely say are true to Forrest. I see parallels.

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      • #4
        I know that tomb it is a tunnel dug by slaves. It doesn't sound like we are talking about Forrest Fenn
        "To be wrong for someone you have to be right for someone else."

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        • #5
          We know DP got his idea for his book from ff. There was a lot more to that conversation than we know. I wonder if the 'rich kid syndrome' idea came from ff too?

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          • #6
            Forrest wanted Doug to write The Thrill of the Chase. And wished he could have been with Doug when they discovered, The Lost City of the Monkey Gods...

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            • #7
              Summer of the monkeys book bye Woodrow Wilson Rawls
              I don’t think I am overcooking

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              • #8
                It has a flair for the dramatic but it sounds like three have to cooperate somehow. I wonder if the Finder had a couple on his team? I just don't think so or one of them would be talking by now.

                who's talking? Answer The Father. Who's he talking to? Answer the Sons. Where is he talking from? Answer The Grave.
                The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The three in one. Didn't sound like old man Broadbent was religious though.
                Last edited by Stanley Steamer; 09-15-2020, 08:47 PM.

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                • #9
                  At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Forrest even pulled a "Saw 4"

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                  • #10
                    I loved that book along with Tyrannosaurus Canyon, the Gideon Crew series, Nora Kelly, and Pendergast series, all great! I think there’s a rumor of maybe a new book coming soon that has something to do with Victorio Peak. That’s not surprising considering the immense amount of mystery and cover-up surrounding that legend. Fiction or non-fiction, It seems like no matter what, there is always a deadly curse that is somehow associated with buried treasure. At least that’s the common theme that I have noticed.

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                    • #11
                      Rich-kid’s syndrome...“They spend too much time in the game room or playing with their little hand held texting machines.” Also, was cooperation the key we were missing?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Goldilocks View Post
                        Rich-kid’s syndrome...“They spend too much time in the game room or playing with their little hand held texting machines.” Also, was cooperation the key we were missing?
                        No, it was purely fiction. DP said he was not in on it and didn’t know anything more than the rest of us. I could smell that BS from a mile away but it’s so much harder to detect when it’s around you all day.

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                        • #13
                          I know a guy that said he went to high school with Doug, said he was a straight shooter. It did seem like those two were keeping a secret though.

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                          • #14
                            Forrest definitely referred to the Codex.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Goldilocks View Post
                              Rich-kid’s syndrome...“They spend too much time in the game room or playing with their little hand held texting machines.” Also, was cooperation the key we were missing?
                              That too, but I was thinking more personal as 'his daughters didn't know who Clarke Gable was'. In other words, nobody in his immediate family wanted to continue his Gallery business or his antiquity collecting and I wonder if that played a part in the idea of taking his treasures to the grave.

                              By the way, in the Codex book, didn't Maxwell intended to entombed himself with his treasure back where he found it, or most of it? Did DP got that from ff too? What did ff find in WY of value that we know of and was part of his collection? The arrowhead cache might have been from WY but he never mentioned taking that with him.

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