Sample Chapters


By Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

The Baja Redemption

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are figments of the authors’ imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen



CHAPTER 2: TWO AGAINST ONE ……………………….. 8





CHAPTER 6: WEEK 1 ………………………………………. 122

CHAPTER 7: WEEK 2 ………………………………………. 137

CHAPTER 8: WEEK 3 ………………………………………. 153

CHAPTER 9: WEEK 4 ………………………………………. 174

CHAPTER 10: WEEK 5 …………………………………….. 192

CHAPTER 11: WEEK 6, DAY 1 ………………………….. 222

CHAPTER 12: WEEK 6, DAY 2 …………………………. 224

CHAPTER 13: WEEK 6, DAY 3 ………………………….. 230

CHAPTER 14: WEEK 6, DAY 4 ………………………….. 235

CHAPTER 15: WEEK 6, DAY 5…………………………… 246

CHAPTER 16: WEEK 6, DAY 6 ………………………….. 249

CHAPTER 17: WEEK 6, DAY 6, MINUTE 1………….. 250

CHAPTER 18: WEEK 6, DAY 6, MINUTE 2…………. 252

CHAPTER 19: WEEK 6, DAY 6, MINUTE 3…………. 253


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

CHAPTER 20: 6-6-4 ……………………………………….. 254

CHAPTER 21: 6-6-5 ……………………………………….. 255

CHAPTER 22: 6-6-6………………………………………… 256

CHAPTER 23: POST MORTEM ……………………….. 258



THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

Authors’ Note

Much obliged to the three women—F, A and S–who read earlier drafts of this book and gave such helpful information.

R.D.H.B. and J.C.A.


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen



THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen


December 6, 6 A.M.

A homeless man stretched and scratched himself all over as he crawled out of his sleeping bag. He unstuck his clothes from his nether areas, adjusted his crotch, blew his nose and then rubbed the sleep granules away from his eyes. He warmed his hands over the hot air vent he had found wandering around the night before near the White House.

Camped out on Washington D.C.’s fashionable Constitution Ave, he squinted through the foggy darkness into the brightly-lit ‘Toys for Boys’ store window: the window, like the store itself, was divided into two sections, the left side and the right side. The left side was packed with items and contained all manner of Christmas gifts—including a full range of miniature firearms–for young boys arranged carefully around a Nativity Scene.

“This is a strange store,” he thought.

The right side was completely empty except for three large black plastic clocks sitting on top of three flat-screen TV monitors on a big shelf.

There was a neatly-printed sign under the shelf reading ‘The Three Nuclear Clocks’. Underneath each clock and monitor, the time was given in Iran, Israel and the United States:

“Teheran, 2:30 pm; Tel Aviv, 1 pm; and Washington D.C., 6 am.”

One per monitor, three grim-looking men–speaking over each other–were giving the same news in an endless loop in three different languages: Farsi, Hebrew and English:

“We never thought we’d be signing our own—let alone be using the expression–‘final solution’ but in the wake of the decisions taken lately by Teheran, Tel Aviv and Washington, we really have no choice. The only thing that could delay Fate is successfully hunting down the two terrorists who might have the key to ending this quagmire.”

At this point, a man and a woman were running across the White House lawn. There were helicopters in the air, CIA, Secret Service and FBI snipers on rooftops and the man was carrying a package in a black backpack. The woman was running behind him. They were wearing bulky helmets and coats. Just about everyone watching had their guns aimed on this couple. The couple was half-way across the lawn when


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

everyone raised their guns and cocked their triggers. The two people jumped up and stared out wildly at the homeless man and his neighboring assassins, all the while continuing to run in mid-air, as if they had been in freeze frame…


…Almost seven weeks earlier, in Stanford University, Professor Julius Mentor—dressed in ‘geek-wear’ including an oversized checked shirt pushed into high-cut yellow-brown polyester pants–was standing behind a wooden lectern looking intently out at his jam-packed political science class. Every seat was taken; students with clipboards and recording devices were crowding the aisles and back wall. Outside the lecture hall and standing in front of two monitors were dozens of students looking fixedly at the young already-tenured professor, Julius Mentor.

He rolled down a screen to show a film. Then he picked up a remote-control which he flicked at a projector at the back of the class. A full-face image of a comely French-Canadian reporter came on the screen. She was holding a microphone and began speaking. On the bottom of the screen was written,

‘CINN: Suzanne Lafarge reporting live.’

The professor looked at her and then nodded at the class: “My top former graduate student,” he said, “Got her Master’s and Doctorate in three years. She speaks English, French, Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic perfectly. She’d be the first to tell you that the word ‘Israel’ means both ‘he who fights alongside God’ and ‘God is strong; God will triumph.’ She could have been on any elite faculty in the country with the research she did. She was that good. Now she’s working for CINN.”

He said this with a mixture of pride and regret in his voice. Pride, because he was proud of what she had accomplished and because she was in the public eye; regret, because of what she could have meant both to the academic community and, to him.

Julius and Suzanne were both looking straight ahead. There was no mistake about it. They were the two terrorists from the White House lawn.



THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen


He was late.

“A man always waits for the woman, not the other way around,” Suzanne thought as she stared forlornly at her enormous empty cappuccino cup gone cold for at least ten minutes now. And it had taken her another ten to order it and sip it slowly. “Un chevalier ne fait jamais attendre sa dame,” her great-grandmother used to whisper to her, “A knight never keeps his lady waiting.”

This was her great grand-mother, ‘Grande Mamie Agnès’ who was born near the end of the nineteenth century and was very wise. She had basically brought Suzanne up because the child’s parents had to work long hours to make ends meet. Grande Mamie Agnès taught Suzanne all she knew outside of school where Suzanne was a straight-A student. Suzanne had always compiled top grades or marks (or so they were called in Canada) in all her subjects and she was always curious to learn more. She was a teacher’s dream.

“And I still am,” she said to herself in French because that was what ‘G-M Agnès’ used to tell her, “You’re a teacher’s dream, Chérie!”

“So why am I sitting here waiting for this guy? I should have left by now,” she asked herself again, looking at her watch. But then she rationalized that he wasn’t just ‘some guy’ but her esteemed Professor Julius Mentor.

G-M Agnès always made her feel good because she told Suzanne she was special and smart and intelligent and…The list of superlatives seemed to go on forever in her mind about how great she was and psychologically she developed an inner confidence from one very wise old woman. Suzanne never needed to boast; she was entirely self- confident and this was the greatest gift G-M Agnès could have given her.

She remembered sitting by the fire on those cold Montreal nights listening to Grande Mamie read her everything she could find. This went on from the time Suzanne was three until she had turned nine. Grande Mamie had started with the classic fairy stories and gone on to read her all the tales of the Arabian Nights. G-M Agnès had a very eclectic taste and had nurtured this in her great-grand-daughter.


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

Grande Mamie was also very religious and very Catholic and read her all manner of Bible Stories over and over again until Suzanne knew each one by heart. As for most children lost in the wonder of storytelling, the absurdity of some of the stories did not bother the young French Canadian. It was perfectly believable for Jesus to walk on the water, or to produce loaves and fishes to feed the poor, and for the Red Sea to part before the Children of Israel or for the world to have been built in seven days and seven nights.

Now, Grande Mamie had been a physicist during her career as well as a great student of the relationship between religion, science and politics. Consequently, it was perfectly natural for her to speak to her young progeny as if she were an adult and to remind her that there was no dichotomy between hard science and strong religious belief. On the contrary, she encouraged her great-granddaughter to always look for the relationship between the two and understand how religion provided a moral framework for, and link between, the hard sciences and politics.

Before long, Suzanne began to develop her own tastes in reading. She started to devour spy story after spy story—in both English and French—and she was only nine years old. She avidly read the great French writer Georges Simenon—he was her favorite—but she also liked John Le Carré and Raymond Chandler in English. When Suzanne asked her Grande Mamie why she spent so much time with her, G-M Agnès said, “Because you’re worth it and I enjoy myself with you. Your peers and brothers don’t want to listen to me. They think I’m an old bat from last century. They’d rather go out and ski, play hockey or socialize in cafés.”

“I like to ski too, G-M!”

“I know, ma Chérie. And you have to be careful and not hurt yourself. You don’t want to spoil your beauty. Ahh, Suzanne, with your big brown eyes, when you look up at me with wonder I want to hug and squeeze you to bits! You’re more beautiful than any of those princesses in the fairy tales I’ve read to you. And you’ve got something more. You’re incredibly bright!”

“I’m not bright, Grande Mamie!”
“Unfortunately, you are.”
“Why do you say ‘unfortunately’?”
“Because in today’s world, smart women sometimes finish last.

There are so many jealous people out there, ugly in soul and body as well


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

as ignorant, the women just as much as the men. And their worst fault? Their mediocrity. They are boxed in by it. No imagination, no daring. They are envious of girls like you who have it all, all that they don’t have.

And let’s not talk about the men; already the boys in your school are starting to tease you because you’re so smart. You’re not some intellectual ugly duckling but rather a girl swan with the mind of a genius.”

“You really think that, Grande Mamie? You’re embarrassing me!”

“And the boys don’t know what to do with that. They’re attracted by your beauty and overwhelmed by your mind, so some will be afraid of you.”

“So what should I do, Grande Mamie? Disfigure myself?”

“Of course not, my dear. You have to apply your natural ability to think outside the box. Examine problems from every angle possible. And as you do so, be neither the shrinking violet nor the ‘serpent under the flower’, as Lady Macbeth would put it. At times, you will have to be very aggressive—with your voice, your body, your mind—and at others, you will need your true, sweet nature and feign a passive defense. It will not be easy for you but I am confident you are tough enough and smart enough and up to the task.

I’m just warning you of what is to come, but remember, promise me never to waste your time with good-for-nothings and losers. Obviously, you need to be wary of the dumb ‘beau’…Dumbo…There you go! That’s the obvious stereotype, beaten to death like an old horse. But be wary of the other side of the coin, too: just because someone is ugly or clumsy does not mean he is smart. He could be dumber or worse, jealous and spiteful.

Seriously, if you can find a genuine intellectual who’s nice to you, don’t let him go. Hopefully, he’ll be easy on your eyes as well!”

Suzanne felt her eyes water as she saw herself snuggled next to G-M Agnès in her old clothes by the fire only sixteen years earlier.

Within six months of that time, a few weeks after Suzanne had turned ten, G-M Agnès died, the victim of a vicious stomach cancer.



THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

1566, the Village of Ziton in New Spain

Two suns burned forth. The one in the sky scintillated off the Conquistador’s golden helmet blinding everyone around. He was seated high on his horse while his fellow warriors stood stoically in front of him.

Spaced one yard apart and facing their twenty Spanish executioners, twenty Indian natives were aligned at point blank range. They stared impassively into the eyes of the other members of their tribe who had been forced to watch.

Each Conquistador aimed a flintlock Armor pistol at the heart of his intended victim.

The Conquistador Leader raised his sword for them all to prepare to fire. Suddenly, the searing light glanced off the upright blade into his eyes.

He gesticulated violently at a seventeen-year-old, black-haired beauty in front of him.

“Get her out of there! I can’t shoot her. She will be mine!” he bellowed.

“Put him in there instead.” He gestured at a weak-looking Indian, about forty, who was looking on.

Two Conquistadores seized the young woman and hoisted her up on the horse behind the leader. Frightened, she wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her head in his back. Another warrior grabbed the hapless Indian onlooker, tied his wrists together and stood him in the execution line-up.

The Head Conquistador brought his blade crashing down. Twenty Indians dropped to the ground. The beauty put her hand to her mouth and stifled a cry.



THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

“There he is!” she smiled to herself as he finally made his way to her table. She looked at her watch: a cool twenty-five minutes late! Was this man, the most esteemed Professor Julius Mentor, a ‘knight’? He sure didn’t look like one with his one-size-too-big Levis riding high over his over-large brown and orange checked shirt, tucked in tightly with a purple belt. His hair was a mess and he wore those ugly, thick lenses inside tortoise-shell glasses.

“How disfiguring,” she thought, “And that purple belt!” Maybe it was a statement he was trying to make but it was definitely uncool. Was he some sort of ugly duckling who still—at age twenty-eight—hadn’t turned into a swan?” He had done everything else; she had read his biography. Apparently, he had grown up in Riverdale, North Bronx, had become the valedictorian of both his high school and college class. Besides graduating from Harvard at the precocious age of twenty and with a major in history, he received his PhD in Political Science at age twenty-four from Stanford and then had immediately been granted an Assistant Professorship. He spent one year as an Assistant Professor, then went three years as an Associate Professor and by the time he was just twenty-eight, had become the youngest full Professor in the history of Stanford.

According to his biography, he was also good in sports which she could almost picture as she took in his tall muscular body, chiseled cheek bones and straight Greek nose beneath his large glasses and oversized clothes. He had obviously never attended fashion school. Was this Superman ready to jump out of his Clark Kent get-up and go rescue somebody? She liked that fantasy and stayed with it.

“I’m so sorry, Suzanne, I don’t have your cell number and got tied up in an Orals Exam with follow-up questions that went on for hours it seemed. Thank you for waiting,” said the Professor as he approached her table.

“Who was it? Did she pass?” Suzanne answered.

“Now, Suzanne, you know I can’t talk about other students. They’re not all like you! That’s against the rules.”

Of course it was. She knew that but there was no harm in trying, right?

“Did he or she have to go through what I did last week?”

“Go through what you did?!! Yours was a breeze, Suzanne. It was more like you asking us questions and our not being ready for you. You nailed down all our questions in less than an hour and then we spent


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

the next two answering yours: I felt like we were on your hot seat and you were the examining committee, not us.”

“Oh, look at that!” exclaimed Julius. “Your cappuccino’s gone cold. Let me get you another. Would you like something to eat as well? A brownie or some sort of croissant?”

“Well, thank you, Professor, I’ll take a bran muffin if you don’t mind.”

Julius Mentor was up and running again, this time to the Starbean’s bar to bring her some coffee and goodies. She’d have to go easy on that, not get too fat. Ironically, due to the baggy clothes she wore, people sometimes suspected she was fat—which she didn’t mind because she didn’t want to stand out physically amongst the ugly academics.

She chuckled to herself as she thought about those two beauty contests in high school she entered as a way of testing her conflicting feelings. She won one and came in runner-up in the other. The guys who would strut around with her on stage weren’t any better-looking than Professor Mentor and they were a lot less smart.

It was kind of him to fetch her cappuccino. She watched him move gracefully to the bar. He was transforming into Superman before her eyes. He had removed his big glasses to read the bill and then come waltzing back with a small tray packed with coffee and tasty stuff. She concluded that even in a geek disguise, her professor was a modern-day, multi-tasking knight.

He sat down and they stared at each other through large ‘academic-looking’ glasses: a couple of pairs of four-eyes across two cappuccinos and a laptop in the Starbeans of the Student Union.

She had finished her M.A. and PhD in record time, including all her coursework, orals preparation and doctoral thesis entitled ‘Two Against One: The Upcoming War between the USA/Israel against Iran’. As Professor Mentor admitted, not only did she thoroughly know the answer to every question her examination committee had readied for her, she had prepared even tougher questions for herself to respond to in her melodious, slightly French-accented English.

The Professor and his graduate student had arranged to meet today because of something that had come up during her Orals Examination the week before. All three major powers in the Israel/USA vs. Iran conflict had been beating their drums of war and the situation had


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

become critical. At Professor Mentor’s request, Suzanne was there to discuss an important article from the recent past.

She glanced down at her screen and began to read aloud quietly from a ‘Financial Times’ article from November of 2011. Ms. Lafarge had a quiet, caressing voice and Julius was captivated:

“…Israel’s Unit 8200 is the equivalent of the US National Security Agency or the UK’s GCHQ. These agencies are termed Sigints or signals intelligence which intercept, monitor and analyze electronic signals from enemy communications and data transfers from cell phone chatter as well as e-mail regarding enemy flight paths. Apparently, Unit 8200 is a highly secretive agency based in the Negev desert and its commander’s identity is unknown. In addition, its budget is classified just like the number of people in the agency. Everything is top secret. Rumor has it that Unit 8200 was responsible for the Stuxnet virus which attacked Iran’s nuclear installations in 2010 and that those operations were carried out by small teams of 20-year-olds.”

Suzanne stopped reading, took a sip of her cappuccino, sprinkled it with a little powdered chocolate, and looked up at her mentor.

He admired the delicacy of her movements, noticed the bit of milk froth on her upper lip which she quickly wiped away with a napkin as she shyly held his gaze through her black glasses. ‘If only she wasn’t wearing those glasses,’ he thought to himself. It was as if the two of them together were peering at each other but hiding at the same time.

There had been a constant hum of background noise in the café, but suddenly they heard the word ‘Iran’ distinctly enunciated by a CINN Reporter. Suzanne reached up and adjusted the sound of the TV monitor by their table. The Professor and his graduate student stared at the flashy Reporter barking out the latest, dismal news from Iran in a very nasal voice:

“The UN confirms that Iran has begun producing enriched uranium at an underground bunker designed to withstand massive airstrikes!

The International Atomic Agency is monitoring work at the Fordow facility located deep below a mountain near the holy city of Qom.

The US Fifth Fleet of 284 warships is in the Gulf—standing by in case of need.

Of course, Iran has been working on its nuclear program since the days of the Shah, but never has scrutiny been as close and security as


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

tight as in recent days. Primary sources tell us that the following locations are being used as follows.”

A series of diagrams and pictures with arrows and ‘explosion’ icons now appeared next to a mountain and the city of Qom. There was also the following list of cities and the role they played in uranium enrichment:

Fordow Arak Natanz Esfahan Saghand Bushehr

– uranium enrichment – heavy water plant
– uranium enrichment

– uranium conversion plant – uranium mine

– nuclear power plant

“This is Sally Shoaf reporting for CINN News.”

The graduate student coyly asked Professor Mentor what he thought.

“Of the news?” he responded, “It looks bad. But we knew all that and more.”

“No,” she clarified, “What do you think of the CINN Reporter we just saw giving the news? What do you think of Sally Shoaf?”

Julius Mentor laughed, “She’s pretty but her voice is very nasal; besides, it’s not the messenger, Suzanne, it’s the news he brings that counts!”

“She brings, Professor Mentor,” Suzanne responded, “It’s a she, not a he.”

Then she took off her glasses, placed them on the newspaper article and became very serious, and beautiful. Mentor couldn’t help but notice that her large black glasses were of plain glass only since there was no magnification of the text through the lenses. As he was wondering why anybody would wear disfiguring heavy spectacles for nothing, she shifted her upper torso slightly to reveal a ‘pin-up figure’ he hadn’t noticed before through her baggy, boring ‘Academia-wear’. Embarrassed with his own thoughts, he looked away from her briefly and noticed two student-waitresses behind the counter dancing to the sounds of the pop group LMFAO’s big hit ‘I’m sexy and I know it!’:

‘Just look at that body, just look at that body, just look at that body—I work out!’ they mouthed over the singers’ voices.


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

“Professor Mentor?” she asked as he looked at her strangely, still in his reverie. He felt she was smiling at him but in reality she was staring fixedly at him with her dark brown eyes,

“We say ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ when she or he brings bad news but what I’m looking at here is the role of the messenger and the media in general.”

The Professor shifted awkwardly to relieve the mounting pressure in his groin,

“The media is the media, Suzanne, like religion. Like the cliché says, ‘it’s the opium of the people,’ there for mass consumption by the populace. We have to look behind the reporter and the media at what is really happening and that is a very serious situation, just like we’ve been discussing in class.”

“Exactly,” Suzanne responded, “But the irony is that CINN and this reporter know a lot more about what is happening than we do, we in Academia who look down at the so-called ‘populace’ for not reading about, quote, ‘what’s really going on,’ like we supposedly do here at the university. Let me explain, and I hope you don’t think I’m trying to blow my own horn or put down Academia. Even though I speak Arabic and Hebrew-”

“Oh really? How did you manage that?”

“I spent a few summers on a kibbutz and my junior year abroad in Tel Aviv learning Hebrew and I taught myself Arabic as well. Anyway, even though I can read anything in those two languages as well as in English, French and Spanish—and I, along with other students of different nationalities have brought a lot of articles to your attention in class and to the graduate program—why should we ‘academics’ have the audacity to believe that we know more than that reporter and CINN? On the contrary, maybe they know a lot more than us since they not only have a lot of sources and researchers at their disposal, they also represent a huge media empire which can process and present this news however they want to. Just because they present the news in a simplistic way to reach people doesn’t mean that they don’t know a lot more behind the scenes. In addition, they have access to big advertizing dollars–unlike us here in Academia who have to depend on money in the form of grants– stemming from these same companies who blow their own horns loud on CINN.”

“So what are you saying, Suzanne, that you want to leave Academia and become a CINN reporter?”


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

“Yes. I didn’t tell you that Sally Shoaf was my friend and I will start my internship under her. After my Orals Exam last week, I applied to CINN and was immediately accepted. You see, Professor Mentor, I didn’t tell you but I really need to take a break from Academia. I start training next week.”

“You mean you’re not going to stay on here?” he said disappointedly.

“I need a break from graduate school, Professor.”

“But are you sure you want to do that? What about all the advertizing, posturing and showboating on CINN? And all those travelogues disguised as ‘news’ programs? It’s run by a mega billion- dollar company that puts profit ahead of everything?”

“So? Who cares? Does CINN have access to the most recent information available? That’s all that counts. I want to do whatever it takes, Professor. I was only able to go so far in my doctoral thesis. I was only able to deal with the recent past. The present and the near future are happening as we speak.”

“You wrote an excellent dissertation, Suzanne.”

“Thank you, Professor, but my thesis was only the beginning. I really want to know the truth about the Middle East and this two against one conflict,” she responded. “I want to know what’s really happening.”

“You can call me Julius, you know?” said the Professor casually. We’re colleagues now. You’ve got your PhD.”

“That feels strange, but okay, fair enough, J-Julius,” she whispered.



THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

1566, the Village of Ziton in New Spain

“What is your name?” he asked in Spanish.
Inside his modest captain’s quarters, the Indian beauty stared uncomprehendingly up at the Conquistador. She had not understood his question but she guessed what he wanted to know. She mouthed something that sounded like ‘Anna’.

“‘Anna?’” he repeated,

“I shall call you ‘Annabel.’ My name is Captain Antonio Kreusch Llagares Viva,” he said proudly while puffing out his chest. Then he repeated quietly to himself,

“Annabel Kreusch Llagares Viva, Queen of the new Spanish land in New Spain.”

Seeing that he was happy, she smiled and touched his arm. He immediately began to sweat and felt the blood rush to both his cheeks and his loins where he sensed that old familiar feeling.

“Oh, dear God, what am I doing, what am I feeling? I must return to Spain at once. I can’t take this native girl with me, but I can’t leave this beauty to the elements over here.”

She realized he was talking aloud and looking at her strangely, differently. The girl seemed concerned that the Conquistador was worried about something. She shook her head and instinctively moved next to him and put her fingers on his lips.

The Conquistador took her gently in his arms and lowered her on to the straw bed. She didn’t resist as he gently removed her clothes, probing, massaging and nibbling in all the right places. She abandoned herself to him, whimpering slightly as he entered her but then swooned as he overwhelmed her with his lustful craving.

His thoughts and concerns about ending ninety generations of Warriors in the God-forsaken wilderness of New Spain vanished as his desire climaxed.

They were spent in post-coital bliss when the Conquistador noticed an object tied to a string around the girl’s neck. He had seen such an object many times before. It was one which his ancestors had attached to their doorways. What was it doing on this Indian girl’s neck?


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

Professor Moische David was lost in thought as he peered up at the overweight travelers loading up on muffins in the Starbeans of the Los Angeles International Airport or ‘LAX Starbeans’. It wasn’t Starbeans’ coffee that was any better but the goodies—the muffins, cakes and chocolate—that people ate while sipping their cappuccinos and lattes. It was ‘genteel’ weight gain as opposed to that of the ‘Devilish Donuts’ greasy variety caused by gulping down bear-claws, donuts and sugar-packed milkshakes.

He warmed his hands around his double cappuccino, top loaded with whip cream and heavily sprinkled with chocolate. He took a tiny piece of the 300-calorie brownie and thought about ‘Biblical Historical’ and his upcoming archaeological digs.

He had started ‘Biblical Historical’ right after he had first received his B.A. then PhD from Harvard in Archaeology. He had equipped his team with the best and brightest of his fellow students. His friend and co-founder of the Company was Stan Wilson—who had also been a Harvard undergrad and had just received his PhD–and they were both interested in exploring Biblical sites in the Holy Land. With the Bronze Age research they did during the next two years all over Israel, they were both able to complete contribute greatly to the biblical knowledge of the area. Then their sabbatical grants ended and they returned to the San Diego area where they both became full Professors of Archaeology within only five years.

When Moische read one day that a Bronze Age Vessel of Purification had been found in nearby Escondido, California, he became ecstatic. The Vessel of Purification was believed to have been associated with the Prophet Moses over 3,300 years ago. Apparently, researchers had identified the distinctive Paleo-Hebrew writing upon the Bronze Age Art-Scroll. Its author was Moses or ‘Mosheh’ and the signature was artistically done. Vessels of Purification played a big part in the ancient sacrificial system of ceremonially cleaning animals. The article went on to say that the Vessel of Purification held great significance for Muslims, Christians and Jews.

This discovery meant that no longer would Moische and Stan have to travel all over the Holy Land to do their Bronze Age research. They could explore sites all over Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. In other words, they could dig right from home and still keep their name, ‘Biblical Historical’.


THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

Moische ran his fingers round the small espresso cup in front of him as he saw Julius Mentor emerge from the restroom and make his way over. The political science professor had been gone five minutes, just enough for his simple espresso to go cold. He had met Julius by chance in the LAX airport where each was travelling in the opposite direction and they had decided to have some coffee together. Julius had attended a political conference on Iran vs. Israel at UCLA where he had been a keynote speaker. Moische had driven down from Big Sur and San Simeon and was en route to San Diego.

Along with Stan Wilson, they had all been undergrads at Harvard where they were avid chess players and great friends. Moische and Julius had been interested in the other’s specialty which they summed up as the ‘Jewish Question’: Moische was especially interested in Israel’s archaeological past, Julius in its political present. Both men were obsessed with the Iran-Israel nuclear problem and how the United States was going to fit in.

“Sorry I didn’t have more time,” said Julius, downing his espresso without even sitting back down, “Let’s get together soon.”

“In Palo Alto or down in San Diego?” responded Moische. “Either place is fine by me.”

They shook hands warmly; as soon as Julius was gone, Moische looked up to see that fellow passengers were lining up to board the short flight to San Diego. Moische stood in this line thinking about his next dig. It was to be located around eighty miles south of Mexicali in the Baja California desert. Stan Wilson had mentioned that, just like with the Vessel of Purification find, there might have been sacrifices of animals there going way back to the Bronze Age.



THE BAJA REDEMPTION, by Richard Bonte, with James Crew Allen

1341 B.C. in Sinai by the Sea, Judea

Moses was 50. As could be expected, he was dressed in Biblical garb and had long wavy red hair and a full beard. Size counts, like it always has.

A great big bull of a man, he was at least a head taller than everyone else, and with his massive shoulders and broad back, he cast an imposing shadow on the diminutive Rabbis staring up at him from the edge of the Red Sea. Standing on a rock jutting up from the beach, with the setting sun flooding his massive jaw and prominent cheekbones, Moses’ deep-set eyes floated imperiously above his followers who had gathered to hear him speak. As for the Rabbis who reported to him and controlled Moses’ flock, in comparison they were all only insignificant silhouettes blending into the Red Sea. Moses’ voice was deep and gravelly and was automatically amplified by the rocks behind him:

“Oh, Children of Israel, never forget how blessed we have been! With nowhere to go but into the sea to be drowned, and with the Pharaohs’ henchmen close on our heels, we refused to kowtow. We put our Faith in the Lord. Faith is the key word, All My Children, for with Faith, we can do anything! Accordingly, Our Lord responded with a miracle. As we advanced into the water, the Red Sea parted, but as our enemies and slave keepers were tracking us relentlessly from behind, the Red Sea came back together; after our last man took the path of Faith, the Red Sea crushed our pursuers in our wake.

And now, here we are, relatively safe and sound for the time being, whereas our Egyptian evil doers have drowned. I do not say this to gloat, nor should you! No, I say this to remind you that we have made it here to Sinai because it was God’s will, and only God’s will that made it so! And I also say ‘relatively safe’ because we’ll never know what the Lord has in store for us and what the future will bring. Never forget that we thought we had it good in Egypt and our generations stayed there for four hundred years but things changed and look what happened! And do not be deceived by the similar Mediterranean climate we have here in Sinai. We have to always be on our guards because even though we appear to be better off here, this may in fact be a test, a lure, to see if we become complacent and slothful…”