Nigel was thoroughly incommodious, and from the way he was walking, or better yet, blundering down to their camp site, Sydney would swear he needed to use the facilities, and badly at that! He kept tugging lightly at his belt every now and then, and if they weren’t in such terrible danger she would have laughed out loud long ago at the site of Mister prim and proper fidgeting inside his drawers the way he was. She really couldn’t stop staring at him all the way down the mountain.
He’d been wearing a very heavy sweater with a couple of shirts under that, and had his jacket now tied loosely around his waist. Maybe he was hot? She couldn’t be sure so she just kept her eye on him, and as he walked the jacket would occasionally open up in the front, revealing something Sydney would not have believed if she had not seen it for herself! That could NOT be for real...she thought, gaping at the unnatural bulge behind the fly of his khaki pants. It seemed to her she was the only one in on this joke thinking, there is no possible way that’s all him... those were ungodly proportions! Not to mention the fact that being rounded up by gun toting terrorists was not exactly an arousing activity.
The guard secured them inside one of the larger tents having not noticed at all what was going on, luckily for Nigel... That was the most unpleasant hike to anywhere ever! He stood impatiently beside a small table, furiously tapping his foot while the guard made sure there were no other escape routes, and than after placing two of his men on duty at the door he left. Nigel was almost doing a bloody Irish jig by the time they were finally left alone!
"For goodness sakes Nigel, what the hell is that thing?" Sydney asked at last.
He gave her a rather sneaky, self narcissistic smirk and removed his jacket. He really did look ridiculous. "That is for me to know and you to find out very shortly."
Aaron just shook his head, not terribly anxious too see what Bailey had hidden under there. He figured they both had gone crazy at the thought of their certain deaths.
Nigel dropped to the floor and lay on his back, much to Aaron’s dismay, and Sydney’s delighted, albeit stifled laughter. He crammed his hand down beneath his belt line and triumphantly produced his prize holding it high in the air for all to see... "There she is!"
Sydney was on the floor beside him in an instant. "So, she’s the one who had you prancing about like you had ants in your pants. That’s no way to treat a lady." She teased, and plucked the tiny doll from his hands.
"I’ll have you know she enjoyed every minute of it!" He cleared his throat and objected, picking out loose bits of straw from his trousers. "Best damned ride she ever got!"
"She’s beautiful..." Sydney held her in both hands, afraid to hold too tight, but didn’t want to drop her either. Her state of preservation was unlike anything she had ever witnessed, and she regarded Nigel with wonderment. "You’re simply amazing Nigel! Pretty soon you'll have my job at the rate you're going! How, when?"
He was obviously quite proud of this particular attainment, and after adjusting himself and his clothing, stood up. "Right before we ran for our lives, thank you very much."
Aaron’s eyes were wide and his voice all but gone. "You got this from, from..."
"From Noah’s Ark." Nigel finished for him. "This is the proof that it does exist, and there was such a thing as gopher wood."
"Did exist." Sydney corrected him, and handed the precious little girl to Aaron for his inspection.
She was made from a cotton material, and her insides felt like small sand pebbles. Her face was long gone, but her dress or robe still there, blue and a little bit tattered, but still there, none the less. The most fascinating part about her was the mane of what appeared to be real strawberry blonde hair sewn onto her scalp. Sydney stroked the hair gently as if it were a real child, forgetting herself for a brief moment.
"What do you think her name was?" She asked in a hushed, reflective voice.
"Sophia..." Nigel answered without really thinking about it. "Her name is Sophia."
Go to Part Twenty Nine.