(If you have missed any chapters, they can be found on my home page under “20/20 Investigations, Inc., previous stories are there as well. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!)
Okay, said Jessica, I’ll fill you in completely, I’m scared now and I don’t want you to leave. Good, it will be nice to have the truth, but no lies or we are gone. I honestly will tell you everything, she said. Bill and I bought this place, because it was cheap. The family of the original owners wanted to get rid of it quickly it seems. There was an interesting local legend about the hotel and mine. Apparently the original owners, when they sold the gold, turned some of their profits into gold coins and hid them either in the hotel or on the property somewhere. A lot of people have looked for it over the years but never found anything, not even a hint. But you and Bill thought the legend was real, I said.
Well, we did do a lot of research and in one document we found it mentioned a tunnel and a door. No one over the years ever mentioned a door or a tunnel, but we figured it must be in the cellar. So, we thought it was worthwhile to buy the place and look for the gold. I know it sounds crazy, but we both liked adventure and this just seemed like the perfect adventure for us. Anyway, it took us a week to find the door in the cellar, it had been hidden behind an old stone wall which we partially removed. Sure enough we did find the door, but there was nothing behind it except some hard packed clay. Bill tried digging but didn’t find any tunnel. Okay, let me ask a question, you keep saying “we”, but did you actually see the door and the hard packed clay? You said before that you didn’t like going in the cellar.
Well, yes, that’s true and no, I didn’t actually see the door, Bill just told me about it. Why do you ask? Because that tunnel is old, right from the door to the spot where we turned toward the old shack. That’s when the tunnel was new. I don’t understand, said Jessica, that would mean that Bill lied to me. I just can’t believe that. Sorry Jessica, time to wake up and realize that Bill had this planned out for a long time and he is still alive and now Trish is working with him. My guess is that they found something and they want you out of here so they can claim it for themselves. Poor Jessica, that was hard for her to take, but then she spoke up again. I know, she said, I just didn’t want to accept that fact. But it has to be Bill and that means he killed someone! Yes, and he tried to kill us as well, I said.
Muffin went over and sat on her lap purring away. I went and sat beside her and put my arm around her. Okay now, you need to keep telling me what’s going on, we are all in danger now. Yes, I know that now, she said. Okay, next we concentrated on the mine for a few days and after a week we found a trap door in the mine shaft floor. Bill almost fell right through it actually. We went down a ladder and followed that narrow tunnel until we came to an area that had collapsed. Bill thought maybe it had been deliberately done to hide something. Perhaps the real door that we are looking for. And that part of the tunnel was through rock, so we thought it must have been important. Then we got a note one night, someone had tacked it to our door. We heard the noise and Bill went to check but didn’t see anyone, just the note on the door.
The note just said, “Give up the search and leave, or something terrible will happen”. I was a bit scared by that and wanted to tell the police, but Bill was a big, strong and proud man. He said he had never been scared by anyone in his life and he certainly wasn’t going to be scared now. Then 3 days later he was dead, or at least I thought he was.
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.