Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Great Bear

We're going pink for October!

The state of TIAH

October 19th, 2006

in 1796, a series of editorials secretly written by Alexander Hamilton accuse Virginia's Thomas Jefferson of an affair with a black woman, ruining his political career. Unable to refute the claims, Jefferson retires to his home state and withdraws from politics completely. He writes profusely during his political exile, though, and his Monticello Papers formed the basis of a new political party, the Platonists. The Platonists are dedicated to an ideal state, one in which all men – and, at first, it is only men – share equally in society's pleasures and responsibilities. Jefferson frees his slaves during this period, and the party descended from his writings dedicates itself to the abolition of slavery. After they accomplish this goal in 1826, Jefferson makes one last appearance in public to congratulate them. At his side is his deceased wife's half-sister, Sally Hemings, who had been his companion during his years out of the public eye, and who was probably the source of the rumors that drove him to solitude.

in 1972, Dr. Yvette Montclair and Professor Karl Ainsworth keep watch over Father Laval, the parish priest of Montignac. During the day, he seems to fulfill the standard functions of any priest; he listens to confessions, helps with a few elderly parishioners, and visits with local politicians. At night, he just seems to pray and sleep in his small home next to the church. But, just as they begin giving up hope that Laval is going to do anything out of the ordinary, they catch a glimpse of a hooded figure slipping out and heading in the direction of the Lascaux Cave. They pursue him, only to find themselves surrounded by cultists. They struggle briefly, but are overpowered and bound tightly, then dragged to the forbidden passageway in the cave. The priest is waiting there for them, his hood thrown back, and a wild gleam in his eye. As the torchlight flickers around them, he chants briefly in Sanskrit, then leans in close to them. “They say that a man cannot serve 2 masters,” he whispers to them. “But, I praise the Christian God during the day, and I feed the Great Bear by the dark of night. You,” he says, pointing at them, “will soon know what it is to feed the Bear; in His belly, your souls will give Him strength.” He stands and begins chanting again, followed by the cultists. From the back of the cave, they hear the scraping sound of the ancient bear approaching.

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