The Cross of Cortes, Part 1

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#171: “The Cross of Cortes, Part 1”
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Deuteronomy 6:13-15
13Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.14Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you;15for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.

Luke 4:8
8Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"

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Current user rating: 95/100 (47 votes)

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The Cross of Cortes, Part 1
“The Cross of Cortes, Part 1” is episode #171 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on November 9, 1991.

Summary

Whit and Eugene head to Mexico to help Dan Isidro. But when they get there, they set off on an adventure they hadn't planned on to find the Cross of Cortes!

Plot

The-cross-of-cortez.png

Whit receives a mysterious package from Mexico. He opens it and discovers it’s from Dan Isidro, his missionary friend from Nicaragua. Eugene wonders why Dan is in Mexico. The accompanying letter reveals that he is on furlough there. Since Whit and Eugene have planned a trip to the region, Dan has invited them to spend some time with him and requests that they bring along the enclosed parcel.

Whit and Eugene examine the parcel more closely and discover that it’s an ancient map. Dan’s letter cautions them to not let it out of their possession or sight. Whit and Eugene study the map and recognize certain landmarks and symbols. Among them are the ancient city of Tenochtitlán, which is modern-day Mexico City, and two volcanoes called Corazón del Diablo, “Heart of the Devil,” which has under them the symbol of a cross!

Whit and Eugene head off to Mexico to find Dan. When they arrive there, almost immediately they are met by Inspector Roberto Cordova. He claims Isidro stole the map! Once Cordova leaves, Dan sneaks in through Whit and Eugene’s hotel window. Dan tells Whit that Cordova is not a member of the Mexico City police, but of the Nicaraguan police. He has no authority in Mexico and, like Dan, is after the map.

The ancient map leads to an important find: the Cross of Cortes! It was worn by Hernando Cortes when he defeated the Aztec nation and conquered Mexico. Legend has it that the cross contains supernatural powers. It makes the wearer invincible.

Unfortunately, Dan can’t read the map any better than Whit or Eugene can. So he’s contacted an interpreter named Mendoza, who meets them at a bullfight the next day. Mendosa is a woman, and she is taken with Eugene, much to his discomfort.

But Eugene grows even more uncomfortable when Mendosa tells him what happens at a bullfight. Eugene doesn’t want to see the fight and excuses himself to go to the bathroom. But on the way, one of Cordova’s men directs Eugene to the bull pens and locks the door behind him! A furious bull then chases Eugene out into the ring!

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did everyone want the Cross of Cortes?
  2. Do things like crosses really have supernatural power?
  3. Explain.
  4. Why is the cross so important to Christians?

Cast

Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Cordova's henchman Phil Lollar
Dan Isidro Rick Najera
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Maria Mendosa Luisa Leschin
Inspector Roberto Cordova Nathan Carlson

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Connie Kendall Eugene Meltsner
Leonard Meltsner Eugene Meltsner
Thelma Meltsner Eugene Meltsner

Notes

Trivia
  • These two episodes were tied for 8th place in an audience poll where listeners named their favorite episodes.
  • Much of the story elements of this episode are derived from the "Indiana Jones" movies, in particular the search for the Holy Grail in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". Similar plot elements include a search for a religious relic, a villain who is also after the same relic, and a woman who finds herself involved in the situation, etc. A very specific parallel plot elements occurs near the end, when the sought-after relic ends up balanced on the ledge of deep pit, and the main characters have to decide whether to risk retrieving it.
Main article: List of Indiana Jones references

Quotes

Dan Isidro: Whit, I know where Eugene is.
John Whittaker: What? Where?
Dan Isidro: Down there in the arena!
Eugene Meltsner: Mr. Whittaker... HELP!

Eugene Meltsner: I'm much better with French and Greek.

John Whittaker: What is the Cross of Cortes?
Eugene Meltsner: Mr. Whittaker, it's the crucifix worn by Hernan Cortes when he defeated the Aztec nation and conquered Mexico.
John Whittaker: Well that much I do know.
Eugene Meltsner: Well legend holds that the cross is embodied by some sort of supernatural power.
John Whittaker: Power?
Eugene Meltsner: Yes, making the wearing almost invincible in battle, much as the sword Excalibur did in the King Arthur stories.
John Whittaker: Oh...
Dan Isidro: Yes, only the cross really exists.

John Whittaker: [reading from a letter] 'Just in case you were thinking about backing out of the trip, ha ha....' Don't ask, Eugene.

John Whittaker: Well, I'm part of his home church, he probably heard it through the grape vine!
Eugene Meltsner: Your church cultivates grapes?!

Eugene Meltsner: ¿Coma esta el baño?
Inspector Roberto Cordova: El baño esta por aqui.
Eugene Meltsner: A key? I don't need a key. I NEED EL BAÑO!!!