Robert Langdon stared blankly into space, feeling too tired to urge the slow-moving taxi driver to pick up the pace. Beside him, Katherine had fallen silent, too, looking frustrated by their lack of understanding of what made the pyramid so special. They had again been through everything they knew about the pyramid, the capstone, and the evenings strange events; they still had no ideas as to how this pyramid could possibly be considered a map to anything at all.
Jeova Sanctus Unus? The secret hides within The Order?
Their mysterious contact had promised them answers if they could meet him at a specific place. A refuge in Rome, north of the Tiber. Langdon knew the forefathers new Rome had been renamed Washington early in her history, and yet vestiges of their original dream remained: the Tibers waters still flowed into the Potomac; senators still convened beneath a replica of St. Peters dome; and Vulcan and Minerva still watched over the Rotundas long-extinguished flame.
The answers sought by Langdon and Katherine were apparently waiting for them just a few miles ahead. Northwest on Massachusetts Avenue. Their destination was indeed a refuge . . . north of Washingtons Tiber Creek. Langdon wished the driver would speed up.
Abruptly, Katherine jolted upright in her seat, as if she had made a sudden realization. Oh my God, Robert! She turned to him, her face going white. She hesitated a moment and then spoke emphatically. Were going the wrong way!
No, this is right, Langdon countered. Its northwest on Massachu
No! I mean were going to the wrong place!
Langdon was mystified. He had already told Katherine how he knew what location was being described by the mysterious caller. It contains ten stones from Mount Sinai, one from heaven itself, and one with the visage of Lukes dark father. Only one building on earth could make those claims. And that was exactly where this taxi was headed.
Katherine, Im certain the location is correct.
No! she shouted. We dont need to go there anymore. I figured out the pyramid and capstone! I know what this is all about!
Langdon was amazed. You understand it?
Yes! We have to go to Freedom Plaza instead!
Now Langdon was lost. Freedom Plaza, although nearby, seemed totally irrelevant.
Jeova Sanctus Unus! Katherine said. The One True God of the Hebrews. The sacred symbol of the Hebrews is the Jewish starthe Seal of Solomonan important symbol to the Masons! She fished a dollar bill out of her pocket. Give me your pen.
Bewildered, Langdon pulled a pen from his jacket.
Look. She spread the bill out on her thigh and took his pen, pointing to the Great Seal on the back. If you superimpose Solomons seal on the Great Seal of the United States . . . She drew the symbol of a Jewish star precisely over the pyramid. Look what you get!
Langdon looked down at the bill and then back at Katherine as if she were mad. Robert, look more closely! Dont you see what Im pointing at? He glanced back at the drawing.
What in the world is she getting at? Langdon had seen this image before. It was popular among conspiracy theorists as proof that the Masons held secret influence over our early nation. When the six-pointed star was laid perfectly over the Great Seal of the United States, the stars top vertex fit perfectly over the Masonic all-seeing eye . . . and, quite eerily, the other five vertices clearly pointed to the letters M-A-S-O-N.
Katherine, thats just a coincidence, and I still dont see how it has anything to do with Freedom
Look again! she said, sounding almost angry now. Youre not looking where I am pointing!Right there. Dont you see it?
An instant later, Langdon saw it.
CIA field-operations leader Turner Simkins stood outside the Adams Building and pressed his cell phone tightly to his ear, straining to hear the conversation now taking place in the back of the taxi. Something just happened. His team was about to board the modified Sikorsky UH-60 helicopter to head northwest and set up a roadblock, but now it seemed the situation had suddenly changed.
Seconds ago, Katherine Solomon had begun insisting they were going to the wrong destination.Her explanationsomething about the dollar bill and Jewish starsmade no sense to the team leader, nor, apparently, to Robert Langdon. At least at first. Now, however, Langdon seemed to have grasped her meaning.
My God, youre right! Langdon blurted. I didnt see it earlier!
Suddenly Simkins could hear someone banging on the drivers divider, and then it slid open. Change of plans, Katherine shouted to the driver. Take us to Freedom Plaza!
Freedom Plaza? the cabbie said, sounding nervous. Not northwest on Massachusetts?
Forget that! Katherine shouted. Freedom Plaza! Go left here! Here! HERE!
Agent Simkins heard the cab screeching around a corner. Katherine was talking excitedly again to Langdon, saying something about the famous bronze cast of the Great Seal embedded in the plaza.
Maam, just to confirm, the cabbies voice interjected, sounding tense. Were going to Freedom Plazaon the corner of Pennsylvania and Thirteenth?
Yes! Katherine said. Hurry!
Its very close. Two minutes.
Simkins smiled. Nicely done, Omar. As he dashed toward the idling helicopter, he shouted to his team. Weve got them! Freedom Plaza! Move!