Well, now we just need to figure out a way to open the door. “Here, let me put on your mini headlamps before we go in there,” I said, “it could be a nice hidden passageway for us to explore.” Muffin and Mr. Cat were jumping around like kangaroos, they were so excited about exploring another passage. After all, it’s been awhile. I hold Mr. Cat up higher so he can look around the door better. He’s our lock picker, there’s not much he can’t open I’m sure. Meow.=Door not up here, must be short door. Hmm, just a crawl through type door, they always make me more nervous. Meow, meow.=Yep, look, here is top of door. Both cats look around but there doesn’t seem to be any way to open it. That’s rather strange. But if this is part of the mystery to find the treasure, then it does make sense it would be hard to open.
There are 3 small shield decorations on the door so I try pushing them but nothing happened. Meow, meow.=Maybe push all 3 together. Hmm, so the cats each pushed one and I pushed the third. There was a clicking sound and my shield pulled out a bit. I tried turning it and…the door opened. Nice. Once open I put a box in the way so it can’t close again and lock us in there. I’m learning a bit about these secret passages. We all go in and right away there was a narrow stairway going down. The place was full of dust and cobwebs showing that no one had been in here for a very long time. That’s a good sign. Once inside it was tall enough for me to stand up which made it easier to go down the stairs.
Half way down the cats stop. Meow.=Look here, this step a trap, not joined at side. I look with my flashlight, sure enough it is a trap. The cats jump down to the next step. Nothing happens so I stretch down to that step as well. I wonder what that trap step does? Something tells me I don’t want to know. The steps turn sharply and keep going down. Now we’re at the main floor of the house. Another turn and… that takes us to the basement. At the bottom is…nothing, but walls. The letter said we would find the key to unlock the mystery. But there’s nothing here. Does that mean the treasure is nothing? Behind the one wall would be the basement, behind the other wall is the foundation, so the wall straight ahead of us could lead somewhere, but it sure doesn’t look like it would open.
Just then I heard a noise at the top of the stairs. I ran up to see and sure enough, the door had been closed and locked. But who would do that? Charlie and his friends want us to find the treasure so they wouldn’t do it. Chantelle is too sick to move around. That leaves Lena. But why would she do that? She knows we went to the attic, so if she saw the door open it would make more sense for her to come and join us. I started back down the stairs. On the way up I remembered the trap stair, but on the way back down I was thinking too much and…I stepped on it. I heard a noise coming from the bottom of the stairs and the cats meowing. I ran down. The wood floor at the bottom had opened revealing another passage.
We don’t have much choice now but to follow it, so in we go. It didn’t go far then there was a few steps going up. I pushed on the trap door above us and it opened easily. Once in there was…more stairs, going up this time over top of the stairs we just came down. How strange. But the letter did say stairs going up and down. Maybe it should have said down and up. It was just as dusty in here and more narrow, plus I couldn’t stand up, I had to crawl up. The cats went first again checking each stair along the way. Finally we were back at the attic level, but further down from where we started. There was also a square hole in the one wall. I shone my flashlight inside. There was an envelope! But do I want to reach inside? It seems too easy. There might be a trap inside. Still, it had to be done. I had to put my whole arm inside and…
To Be Continued.
Pictures of Mr. Cat are kindly supplied by his human, Nina.
Previous chapters of this story and previous stories can be found on my home page under, 20/20 Investigations, Inc.
©2020 Steve McLeod.