Langdon nodded, his expression serious. "Holy Grail is the literal meaning of Sangreal. The phrasederives from the French Sangraal, which evolved to Sangreal, and was eventually split into twowords, San Greal."Holy Grail. Sophie was surprised she had not spotted the linguistic ties immediately. Even so,Langdon's claim still made no sense to her. "I thought the Holy Grail was a cup. You just told methe Sangreal is a collection of documents that reveals some dark secret.""Yes, but the Sangreal documents are only half of the Holy Grail treasure. They are buried with theGrail itself... and reveal its true meaning. The documents gave the Knights Templar so much powerbecause the pages revealed the true nature of the Grail."The true nature of the Grail? Sophie felt even more lost now. The Holy Grail, she had thought, wasthe cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper and with which Joseph of Arimathea later caughtHis blood at the crucifixion. "The Holy Grail is the Cup of Christ," she said. "How much simplercould it be?""Sophie," Langdon whispered, leaning toward her now, "according to the Priory of Sion, the HolyGrail is not a cup at all. They claim the Grail legend—that of a chalice—is actually an ingeniouslyconceived allegory. That is, that the Grail story uses the chalice as a metaphor for something else,something far more powerful." He paused. "Something that fits perfectly with everything yourgrandfather has been trying to tell us tonight, including all his symbologic references to the sacredfeminine."Still unsure, Sophie sensed in Langdon's patient smile that he empathized with her confusion, andyet his eyes remained earnest. "But if the Holy Grail is not a cup," she asked, "what is it?"Langdon had known this question was coming, and yet he still felt uncertain exactly how to tellher. If he did not present the answer in the proper historical background, Sophie would be left witha vacant air of bewilderment—the exact expression Langdon had seen on his own editor's face afew months ago after Langdon handed him a draft of the manuscript he was working on.
兰登点子点头，表情严肃。"HolyGrail 就是Sangreal 的字面意义。Sangreal 由法语词Sangral 演变而来，最后分解为两个单词"SanGreal"。"圣杯。索菲为自己没能立即辨认出这几个词在语言学上的联系而感到惊奇。就算兰登所言不假，她还是难解其意。"我还以为圣杯是一个杯子。你刚才却说圣杯是揭示那些不可告人的秘密的文件。""是的，但那些文件只是圣杯珍宝的一部分。它们和圣杯埋藏在一起……它们可以揭示圣杯的真正意义。那些文件之所以能够赋予武土团极大的威力，就是因为它们揭示了圣杯的本质。"圣杯的本质？这下，索菲更加摸不着头脑了。她本以为圣杯是耶稣在"最后的晚餐"上用过的杯子，后来，阿里马西斯的约瑟夫曾到十字架前用这个杯子装过耶稣的鲜血。"圣杯是"基督之杯"，索菲说。"这再简单不过了。""索菲。"兰登将身体侧向索菲，小声说道。"郇山隐修会可不认为圣杯是个杯子。他们认为那个关于圣杯的传说是个精心编造的谎言。圣杯的故事另有寓意，意指一些更具威力的东西。"他停了一下。"那正是你祖父今晚竭力要告诉我们的东西。"索菲还是不大明白，但她从兰登那耐心的微笑和真诚的眼神中看出他正在针对她的疑惑作答。"如果圣杯不是个杯子，那它是什么呢？"索菲问道。
"This manuscript claims what?" his editor had choked, setting down his wineglass and staringacross his half-eaten power lunch. "You can't be serious.""Serious enough to have spent a year researching it."Prominent New York editor Jonas Faukman tugged nervously at his goatee. Faukman no doubt hadheard some wild book ideas in his illustrious career, but this one seemed to have left the manflabbergasted.
"Robert," Faukman finally said, "don't get me wrong. I love your work, and we've had a great runtogether. But if I agree to publish an idea like this, I'll have people picketing outside my office formonths. Besides, it will kill your reputation. You're a Harvard historian, for God's sake, not a popschlockmeister looking for a quick buck. Where could you possibly find enough credible evidenceto support a theory like this?"With a quiet smile Langdon pulled a piece of paper from the pocket of his tweed coat and handed itto Faukman. The page listed a bibliography of over fifty titles—books by well-known historians,some contemporary, some centuries old—many of them academic bestsellers. All the book titlessuggested the same premise Langdon had just proposed. As Faukman read down the list, he lookedlike a man who had just discovered the earth was actually flat. "I know some of these authors.
They're... real historians!"Langdon grinned. "As you can see, Jonas, this is not only my theory. It's been around for a longtime. I'm simply building on it. No book has yet explored the legend of the Holy Grail from asymbologic angle. The iconographic evidence I'm finding to support the theory is, well,staggeringly persuasive."Faukman was still staring at the list. "My God, one of these books was written by Sir LeighTeabing—a British Royal Historian.""Teabing has spent much of his life studying the Holy Grail. I've met with him. He was actually abig part of my inspiration. He's a believer, Jonas, along with all of the others on that list.""You're telling me all of these historians actually believe..." Faukman swallowed, apparentlyunable to say the words.
Langdon grinned again. "The Holy Grail is arguably the most sought-after treasure in humanhistory. The Grail has spawned legends, wars, and lifelong quests. Does it make sense that it ismerely a cup? If so, then certainly other relics should generate similar or greater interest—theCrown of Thorns, the True Cross of the Crucifixion, the Titulus—and yet, they do not. Throughouthistory, the Holy Grail has been the most special." Langdon grinned. "Now you know why."Faukman was still shaking his head. "But with all these books written about it, why isn't this theorymore widely known?""These books can't possibly compete with centuries of established history, especially when thathistory is endorsed by the ultimate bestseller of all time."Faukman's eyes went wide. "Don't tell me Harry Potter is actually about the Holy Grail.""I was referring to the Bible."Faukman cringed. "I knew that.""Laissez-le!" Sophie's shouts cut the air inside the taxi. "Put it down!"Langdon jumped as Sophie leaned forward over the seat and yelled at the taxi driver. Langdoncould see the driver was clutching his radio mouthpiece and speaking into it.
Sophie turned now and plunged her hand into the pocket of Langdon's tweed jacket. BeforeLangdon knew what had happened, she had yanked out the pistol, swung it around, and waspressing it to the back of the driver's head. The driver instantly dropped his radio, raising his onefree hand overhead.
"Sophie!" Langdon choked. "What the hell—""Arrêtez!" Sophie commanded the driver.
Trembling, the driver obeyed, stopping the car and putting it in park.
It was then that Langdon heard the metallic voice of the taxi company's dispatcher coming from thedashboard. "...qui s'appette Agent Sophie Neveu..." the radio crackled. "Et un Américain, RobertLangdon..."Langdon's muscles turned rigid. They found us already?
"Descendez," Sophie demanded.
The trembling driver kept his arms over his head as he got out of his taxi and took several stepsbackward.
Sophie had rolled down her window and now aimed the gun outside at the bewildered cabbie.
"Robert," she said quietly, "take the wheel. You're driving."Langdon was not about to argue with a woman wielding a gun. He climbed out of the car andjumped back in behind the wheel. The driver was yelling curses, his arms still raised over his head.
"Robert," Sophie said from the back seat, "I trust you've seen enough of our magic forest?"He nodded. Plenty.
"Good. Drive us out of here."Langdon looked down at the car's controls and hesitated. Shit. He groped for the stick shift andclutch. "Sophie? Maybe you—""Go!" she yelled.
Outside, several hookers were walking over to see what was going on. One woman was placing acall on her cell phone. Langdon depressed the clutch and jostled the stick into what he hoped wasfirst gear. He touched the accelerator, testing the gas.
Langdon popped the clutch. The tires howled as the taxi leapt forward, fishtailing wildly andsending the gathering crowd diving for cover. The woman with the cell phone leapt into the woods,only narrowly avoiding being run down.
"Doucement!" Sophie said, as the car lurched down the road. "What are you doing?""I tried to warn you," he shouted over the sound of gnashing gears. "I drive an automatic!"