SHAMBALA Mystery Series - Robert St.Clair - The Lost Master - Book Four
ROBERT ST. CLAIR tells his story of how and why he escaped from Happy Acres. We learn about his life, and also the lives of MAGGIE SINCLAIR, HOWARD JOHNSON, and SOPI NGUYEN—all in their late 70’s. In Japan they too meet the young Immortal Master. They continue on to Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Kathmandu, where Robert buys a small plane, and meets the same young Immortal Master, in another form, as his pilot. Robert faces his arrogance, and romance with the two elderly couple begins. Will Robert be able to find the lost paradise he left 35 years ago?
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Robert St. Clair
I was old. Eighty years old. After twenty-nine thousand moons I welcomed death, even though I entertained no good reason besides old age to suggest it. Still, it pulled me to itself . . . until finally . . . a stroke took me by surprise. In physical weakness, with mental and spiritual resignation, I thought I was ready, stood most willingly at the tunnel entrance, waiting for the passage light when, for reasons I didn’t then understand, that door closed; the passing was postponed. My entire being was suddenly shrouded in stillness. Starting in Aries, the days of Taurus were lost in coma, in the almost certain dark curtain of death. They said it would all end that still dark day in April; the monitors said so, the doctors knew.
The bridge to eternity beckons.
Two weeks before the detectives began the investigation:
After a satisfying dinner, my three best friends—Howard, Sopi, Maggie—and I, moved over to the bridge table.
t had been three weeks since I had given Mildred Rice one hundred thousand dollars in cash, and moved into Betty Wilson’s room, and a little more than a month since I miraculously recovered from my near certain death coma.
Happy Acres, which I indeed owned, was an executive gated facility, with twenty-seven “guests,” all of whom arrived with various stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. No one there, except Sopi, had any idea that the new patient had a healthy and active mind. If Howard were to tell anyone that I was the billionaire owner of Shambala Natural Foods, they would laugh it off as just another of his fantastic tales.
While shuffling the cards, I grinned, pleased that all was proceeding as planned.
I reflected back to the days after I purchased Happy Acres. I met with only one person, a general contractor. That man coordinated the architects, sub-contractors, carpenters, painters and interior designers. Within four months, he converted the huge mansion, set at the front of twenty wooded acres, into an upscale and exclusive retirement resort, with a price of admission well beyond the working class budget. The so-called guests arrived from rich, cultivated, privileged, groomed, and polite lives. All over seventy years old, they were constantly watched by Mildred Rice and her well-trained staff of caregivers, who led the guests through a daily routine of activities: exercise, arts and crafts, games, movies, and outdoor walks. One staff member played the piano and quite often they all joined in the singing of oldies but goodies, eliciting good memories and robust laughter. Nobody was allowed to sit for hours, vegetate, or stay in their room, unless death was imminent. The guests were encouraged to express their unique personalities, though some, like Howard and Betty Wilson’s, clashed. But for the most part they all liked being together, entertaining one another with stories of their lives before Happy Acres, either real or imagined. In the past weeks, my calm voice and funny stories made my three friends happy, and they all were grateful that I had come to join them; an old friend with a new name--Archibald Goodwin.
I focused on my plan and how I would execute it. I had been trained for many years in the conscious movement of energy. My study involved many disciplines--prana yoga, kundalini yoga, Reiki, and the conscious expansion of ki or chi--all forms of life-force energy. My daily meditation for the past seventy-five years included one form of energy work or another, and although invisible, it was directly responsible for the global success of Shambala Foods. At my darkest hour, the time of my death, I decided to turn this energy inward, and use it for self-healing. It worked. My current plan is to share this life-giving energy with my friends, and at that moment, facing Maggie, Howard and Sopi at the bridge table, I could only hope for the same result.
Watching her watching me shuffle the cards, I was drawn to the tiny white polka dots on her dark blue dress, the way her gray hair was held in a bun with waterfall strands touching her shoulders, and how her baby-skin complexion was accented with a touch of pale red lipstick. I could imagine her smell, maybe a light spray of sweet perfume--to me she was still very beautiful and I had no doubt of my intentions.
Maggie had short-term memory loss and although I had wanted to, I couldn’t tell her about my plan. She would agree with my explanation, and forget all about it five minutes later. Howard would listen to my story, but since his mind confused time, space and accepted reality, he would come up with an even better imaginary story to tell. Sopi would like Howard’s story better, even though she knew very well it probably wasn’t true.
I remained patient as the bridge game began. I was again impressed with how Maggie and Howard remembered hundreds of technical terms, the rules and intricate maneuverings of the complicated game. They could care less about keeping score, winners or losers; they wouldn’t remember anyway. In the midst of counting cards, making bids, plays and runs, they shared pleasantries as all bridge players do.
After twenty minutes and a winning trick, I took a Tony Bennett LP out of my white jacket pocket and gave it to the attendant, who thinking nothing of it, slipped it in the CD player and turned up the volume. Maggie loved Tony Bennett and shyly squealed with delight when I stood up and asked her to dance. I left my heart in San Francisco, high on a hill, it calls to me . . .
The bridge game was officially interrupted as I led Maggie to an open area and we began dancing cheek to cheek, which was easy since we were nearly the same height. Howard took Sopi’s hand, and then bending over, lifted her from the wheelchair and held her frail body. He put his cheek to hers, and joined us on the dance floor. This amused the two evening attendants, who would be shocked if they knew what I had in mind.
After about a minute of slow dancing I proceeded in doing what I most purposefully intended to do. Maggie looked curious as to why I placed one hand on her head, opposite my cheek. With my cheek next to hers I began the energy transference.
She felt the tinkles and they made her giggle. Something extraordinary was happening and without thinking, she was actually thinking about healing energy, which was what her life profession had been all about. She was conscious of her thoughts. “Archie,” she whispered into my ear, “what did you just do?” I smiled. “You know,” I whispered back, “prana, chi, ki. Do you remember what you were just thinking?” That question surprised her. “I do. I was thinking that you just sent life force energy into my brain. Did you?” We moved our heads back and looked into each other’s eyes. ”I did,” I answered. “I know how . . ,” she whispered in my ear, “but I never thought it could be used on the brain like this. What do we do now?” I put my cheek back to hers and whispered, “Act like nothing has happened. Now, work with me with the life force energy, you and I together on the rest of your body. Let’s fill it with healing light. Right now.” I put my hand on the small of her back and with no fanfare she helped heal herself of osteoporosis, arthritis, and the first stage of cancer she wasn’t aware she had. As the song came to an end, I bent Maggie over, which almost made her eyes pop out of her head, moments before physically impossible, and whispered in her ear, “How do you feel?”
“Great!” she answered, still whispering. “Can you do that to Howard and Sopi, too?” The next song came up, I’ve got the world by a string, sitting on a rainbow, got the string around my finger. What a world, what a life, I’m in love.
“I hope so. Sopi is next,” I answered. Tapping Howard on the shoulder, I looked at Sopi and asked, “May I have the next dance, madam?” Since I had to hold her, it was quite difficult, but before long I was able to heal her of terminal stage four cancer, a disease she knew nothing about. When the song was finished, I placed her back in the wheelchair and took it to the table. “Don’t tell anyone,” I whispered in her ear. “Except Maggie and Howard.”
Maggie smiled at me and began whispering to Sopi about what had just happened. I then leaned over to Howard and said, “You know that place we always talked about going?”
“Oh do I. You mean up in the mountains. That fishing hole. Under the stars and pines. Oh my, yes I do know that place.”
“I want to take you there, Reggie.” In private I often called Howard “Reggie”--after all, that was his real name.
“As soon as we don’t have to be here any more.”
“Well, I like it here, but you know, there’s still lots of places to go. When do you want to leave? I’m ready.”
I looked deep into my dear friend’s eyes. “You know I would never do anything to harm you. You know that don’t you?”
“Of course I do. Don’t be silly.”
“OK then. Let’s you and I go to the little boy’s room.” We excused ourselves and went to the men’s room where I cupped Howard’s head in my hands and sent healing energy into my friend’s brain. Later Howard told me that the Latin names of botanicals flooded his mind and the horticulturalist wondered about his office and lab and an experiment he was conducting before he forgot. All he could say was, “Oh my god.” He hugged me and we returned to the bridge table.
Maggie and Sopi were both grinning when we returned.
“Keep quiet, all three of you,” I whispered. “Stay in your wheelchair Sopi. Practice walking in your room. Don’t let anyone know, or even suspect anything, especially the attendants over there. Most especially Mildred Rice. You must act as if nothing has changed.”
“Why?” Maggie asked.
“I have a trip planned” I looked at my best friend. “It’s time for you and I, Reggie, to take that trip we talked about, and bring these two beautiful women with us.”
“So what’s the plan?” Howard asked, looking around to see if anyone else could hear.
“Well,” I paused. “I want to take the three of you back to Shambala with me.”
“Shambala? That’s just a myth,” Maggie offered, her mind suddenly as sharp as ever. “There is no Shambala, Archie.” Maggie had gotten used to calling me Archie, and although she knew my real name, she liked the new one better.
“Oh, there sure is a Shambala. I’ll prove it. Well go there next week.”