Baden-Powell’s Beads: Jerusalem
This story began in South Africa in 1888 with Captain Baden-Powell of the British Royal Army removing a strand of beads from the corpse of the Zulu chieftain, Dinizulu—24 of which were different from the rest. Thirty years later, Baden-Powell started the Boy Scout movement and gave 19 of these beads to his first Scoutmasters.
In 2005, a dying patient gives one of these original beads to Dr. David Freeman, an orthopedic resident in Memphis Tennessee. Zulu warrior, Banta Manjabe, nearly kills Dr. Freeman and his girlfriend, Pam Blanchard, in his twisted efforts to reclaim all the original beads for his people. The two are rescued by covert Homeland Security Agent, Patrick Dartson and his Arab American partner, Adnan Fazeph, but not before Banta himself is killed and his three beads stolen.
The mystery of the beads continues when David is contacted by Sir Crestmore in England requesting an audience concerning his bead. David, Pam, Patrick, and Adnan travel to London and discover more deadly forces inside the Arab world are at work. David is killed and his bead stolen by Cheri Hassan, a contract killer being used by a rogue agent within Scotland Yard. With the help of Patrick and Adnan, Cheri is captured and Pam gets David’s bead back. The two Homeland Security agents also become bead holders with the deaths of Sir Crestmore and his longtime butler, James. The trio returns to the States with Dr. Freeman’s body.
But the Arab terrorists, led by the self-proclaimed rightful emperor of Ethiopia, Lij Mered, will not stop. He orchestrates a nuclear subsurface detonation in London’s subway system. Cheri Hassan escapes and reconnects with Lij Mered. Patrick senses this bombing is in some way linked with Baden-Powell’s beads, and he, Adnan, and Pam return to London, looking for clues. This leads the trio to Aksum, Ethiopia and Lij Mered’s terrorist training camp. There, beneath the Church of St Mary of Zion, is housed the Ark of the Covenant. Lij Mered has discovered the powers of the Ark are available only to those who wear the beads carved at the same time and of the same wood as the Ark…Baden-Powell’s Beads. Adnan infiltrates the camp which is later destroyed by American jets, but not before Lij Mered, with the Ark, flees.
In this, the final installment of the series, we learn that these and future events may not have been all happenstance. Perhaps there is some purpose to these events. Perhaps we are witnessing how events long predicted by the world’s great religions and philosophers might play out…if our three heroes can overcome tremendous obstacles and put the pieces together, even if it means two of them must die.