Langdon nodded, not hearing a word as he prepared to examine another niche.
Around the perimeter, interspersed with the tombs, a series of semicircular niches were hewn in the wall.
Vittoria slowed as the third niche loomed before them.
The niches, although not enormous, were big enough to hide someone in the shadows.
He had descended past a hollowed niche in the wall before him and suddenly found himself face to face with a collection of skulls.
"You certainly seem to be enjoying those niches!" the docent said, looking delighted.
Partially hidden in its niche.
They moved methodically, checking behind statues, inside niches, closets, under furniture.
Chapels were less rooms than they were hollows-semicircular niches holding tombs around a church’s perimeter wall.
They were nearing the Niche of the Palliums-the sunken area in the center of the basilica.
Chartrand enjoyed being out of the heavy goggles, and he stretched his neck as they descended into the sunken niche to scan the area.
As he moved across the niche, he came to a bulkhead grate covering a hole in the floor.
The niche smelled intoxicatingly sweet.
The guards had completed searching the Niche of the Palliums and were moving across the basilica again when their walkie-talkies went off.
He rolled his body over the banister into the niche.
Langdon felt like a cornered animal as he scrambled deeper into the semicircular niche.
Rising before him, the niche’s sole contents seemed ironically apropos-a single sarcophagus.
Langdon was now face to face with the rear wall of the niche.
As he caught his breath and looked around him, he realized the wall at this level was honeycombed with shelflike openings-burial niches-all filled with skeletons.
As the bullets erupted behind him, Langdon dove yet again, sliding out of control across the marble floor before crashing in a heap against the railing of a niche on the right-hand wall.
The men dug in again, and with an almost primal growl of stone on stone, the lid rotated off the top of the tomb and came to rest at an angle-the Pope’s carved head now pushed back into the niche and his feet extended out into the hallway.
As the chief surveyed the damage, trying to recreate what possibly could have gone on here, he saw a niche riddled with bullet holes.
The camerlegno had arrived at the Niche of the Palliums-the sunken chamber lit by ninety-nine oil lamps.
The lamps in the niche shone up from beneath, illuminating him like a ghost.
The camerlegno felt like he was floating as he descended into the Niche of the Palliums.
But as he moved across the Niche, the camerlegno paused.
In the Niche of the Palliums, the camerlegno had followed God’s will and anointed his body.