Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The monastery was empty and had been for a long time. It gave him an odd feeling being there and left as soon as he was sure nothing of value or of potential threat was present. Yet he feel the possibility of a threat but is was only a feeling. It was probably only tied to these ancient walls and as soon as he left it would not bother him again. As he was checking out one of the towers he glimpsed a pile of wood that could be a crude hut about three kilometers away.
Normally he would have Yevgeni take a squad and explore the area but he decided he was going himself. He really didn’t want to stay near these buildings any longer than was necessary. He got back in the command car and headed towards where he spotted the pile of wood. He could not see it until he almost ran it over. It was very well hidden in a small crevasse. He sent in a private while he walked the area. When the private came out and stated that there was nothing of value in the hut he entered and lit his cigarette lighter to guide the way.
In the flickering light he saw possibly the most wretched hovel, he had ever seen. He was from Kursk and had seen many bombed out buildings that looked better than this space. Pieces of fish bones, fish skin drying by a fire pit, fish heads being mangled into some kind of tool and then there was the indoor toilet that was swarming with maggots and those were the things worth remembering.
As he turned to go the light from the lighter caught a glimmer of cloth or fabric. Normally he would not have looked closer given the circumstances and condition of the surroundings. But that is exactly why he did become curious. What was a relatively clean piece of cloth doing in here? On his way to ascertain what was there in that hiding place he kicked over a container of rotting fish bones and almost fell on top of the pooling slime.
Once he righted himself he carefully retrieved the wrapped bundle and quickly exited the hut. When he got outside he did not take the time to closely examine the package less the private see what he had and just put it in the inside pocket of his great coat and motioned the Private to get in and drive.
 Leonardo Da Vinci was well familiar with Armenian art and architecture, but must have certainly gotten his idea of “The Last Supper” (painted in 1495-1498) from an illuminated Armenian Bible manuscript (dated 1038, of Vanian school). This Armenian manuscript is the first and probably the only painting that shows among the disciples a woman, Mary Magdalene, lovingly leaning her head on the shoulder of Jesus!
Da Vinci may certainly have been influenced by this idea of Jesus at the table scene showing a feminine looking disciple sitting on his left.