Well, we have a key, but we need the directions. Hmm, perhaps inside the lamp. I took the lamp to my bedroom with everyone following me, and took it apart. Sure enough, inside was a small piece of paper with some directions. It’s made out sort of like a game, we have to find clues which will lead us to the next clue and finally to our destination. I hope. The first clue was the name of a town, with an addition that said, “remember the beginning”. The beginning of what? This kidnapping case? I guess we will just have to follow the directions and hope we can find each of the clues, I said. But, we need a car. I thought you had a car?, asked Karin. We can use mine anyway. No, we need a car the kidnappers don’t recognize. Our cars might be bugged or have devices on them so they can follow us.
We need a different car, like a rented one. There is a car rental business on the way to my flat, said Karin. That’s perfect, I said, is there a back way in to that place? Yes, there is a street that runs behind it, said Karin. Good, how fast can you jump out of the car? When it’s moving? No, no, I’ll stop the car on that back street, but you and the cats need to jump out fast while I continue over to your flat and leave the car there. Oh, not a problem, said Karin, I can move fast when I need to. Here, take my key and pick up my bag, it has clothes in it which I forgot to bring. Perfect, I said. Sure enough it wasn’t long and someone was following us. When we got to the car rental I raced past a bus and quickly turned down the street beside the place, then down the street behind the building.
Fortunately the car following was slowed down by the bus. Karin and the cats jumped out and hid by the building just in time and I took off turning down this other street heading for Karin’s flat and with that car still following me. I drove in behind and parked in Karin’s spot and got out, but as I walked to the door I suddenly snap my fingers like I forgot something and returned to the passenger side of the car and pretended I was talking to Karin. Then in I went, got to her flat, picked up her bag, changed my T shirt and then went out the kitchen window which was on the side of the building. I took my new rope ladder out of my backpack and it worked great climbing out the window. And I was able to unhook it easily too. I put on a different hat too, so now if anyone is watching out front I should look different enough they won’t pay attention to me.
I quickly walked over to another street not far away and Karin was there waiting with our new car. I got in and off we went to that town. It was nearly a 2 hour drive and when we got there it was just what Karin had said, a very small town, kind of a one street town. We drove through the town but Karin didn’t recognize anything so we stopped on the other side. Do you really think the directions were for me? You were the one she showed this to when you were visiting her, so it only makes sense, I said. We turn around and drive through slowly again, but still nothing. Except the cats were meowing quietly in the back, I wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying. Meow, meow=You see old house by stop sign? Yes, sort of, I said. Meow.=Muffin say it look just like old house in your first case. We drive back and stop. Sure enough, that house looked like an exact replica of that old house from our first case.
“Remember the beginning” she had said. What does that sign point to?, I ask Karin. Another town, she said. Okay, let’s go there next. Are you sure? Well, there is nothing else so far, we can always come back. It wasn’t far to this town and there was a big sign at a restaurant just as we came into town. What does the sign say? Karin said, well, literally translated it says “Island Palace”, but… That’s it, I said, it’s time to eat anyway so let’s stop in here. There was a pond out back with a small island, with a nice little bridge out to it and an outdoor patio on the island. That’s where we ate and I explained to Karin that a palace on an island was our next case. Karin’s eyes got real big at that point. That means the clues are meant for you, not me, she said. Yes, it would seem so, and that is rather strange since I have never met Katharina and how would she know about our cases?
To be continued.
©2020 Steve McLeod.