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Letter From Ephesus

    They traveled west to Mersin and on to Antalya where they visited the remarkable Greco-Roman ruins of Aspendos and Perga. Then on to Pamukkale, where Cleopatra had bathed in the hot springs and then on down to Marmaris of the Lydians, where Croesus once believed himself the happiest man alive, and finally on to Bodrum, where the Castle of the Knights of St. John still stands in command of the harbor. But outside the castle, in more ancient Halicarnassus, they came upon the field where the Mausoleum once stood. There, they saw nothing, save a grazing goat. It seemed impossible that one of the seven wonders of the ancient world had so completely disappeared.
    They enjoyed their visit at the excellent castle of Bodrum, but Travis was distracted, thinking more of the outline of his developing cold war thriller. Then, once again they turned north to Izmir, (ancient Smyrna) with just enough time for a walking tour of Ephesus, along the way. And it was at Ephesus that the final link in the chain of international terrorism and intrigue fell into place.

This is where it is believed Mary lived with her son James after the crucifiction, and it was here that Travis shared his new story line with Bond.  To crush 'Solidarity,' the Soviets hope to undermine Papal authority by releasing a letter, ostensibly from Mary to Saint Peter, denying the divinity of Jesus. A Turkish archeologist brings it to an American archeologist, who carbon dates a scrap to the time of Christ, but the Turkish archeologist's camp is ransacked by terrorists before it can be verified and the missing letter sets off a deadly chase across Turkey, with everyone involved under suspicion.  (Bond approved.)

This was the state of restoration at the Library of Ephesus when Travis and Bond visited in 1981. Ephesus was the jewel of Asia and its library, famous throughout the classical world. Cleopatra restored it in ancient times, replenishing its collection from her own great library of Alexandria, and Travis did his part to restore its prestige by referencing it in his award-winning epic rhyme, "Grumpuss."
              "Here's a text from the Library at Ephesus,
                               Alexandria, on the Nile,
      And Carthage and Rome." "Aye, and closer to home,"
                   Manuscripts from the Emerald Isle..."