Well, the night passed quietly and quickly. I got up and went out to the kitchen and, there was a note on the table. Actually, there was three, “inherit, gone, watching” was all they said. “Okay you two,” I said, “which one of you fell asleep on duty?” Meow,meow.=We not fall asleep, stay awake all night, take turns. Meow.=Yes, no sleeping on duty, we know better. “Sorry about that,” I said, apologizing, “now how did someone get in here without being noticed. The doors are locked, with a type of lock that doesn’t even show on the outside, and the windows are all locked.” Meow.=That mean there is secret way in, another secret passage to explore. Mr. Cat was obviously excited, but not Muffin. Meow,meow=It mean ghosts, they just walk through walls.
“Then how can a ghost hold these notes, or even hold a pen to write the notes?”, I asked her. Meow,meow.=Hmm, that must be tricky ghost. “Okay, enough about ghosts, there are no ghosts,” I reminded Muffin, “now, there could be a tunnel, or secret passage between the chateau and the guest cottage, so let’s see if we can find it.” We searched for an hour but found nothing at all. Then we got a call that breakfast was ready so off we went to the main house. I showed Linnea the new notes. She seemed a bit more scared now. That’s good. The cats and I agreed the handwriting was from a woman, though that doesn’t mean Linnea.
After breakfast Linnea took us to the library, wow, I have never seen such a large private library before. The room was huge and on every wall there was shelves from floor to ceiling, full of books. I don’t think there was an empty space anywhere. There was a very large table in the middle of the room, surrounded with chairs, plus there was several small tables with comfortable chairs scattered throughout the room. Linnea pointed to one corner and said all the history books were over there. Good, that’s where we went and started looking through them. Linnea said she had some things to do and left us alone. Or are we? Meow,meow=Me think we are watched, I can feel it. Meow.=Yes, I think so too, it very bad feeling. Hmm, that’s interesting, maybe we are on the right track.
Up on the top shelf I found an old book, written in 1870 by one of the owners of this chateau. I sat down to read it, a cat on each side of me who were also reading. Not much interesting so I just read bits and pieces, until one chapter was named “The Tunnel”. So there is a tunnel from the chateau to the cottage, with several rooms for storage in times of siege. There was one large room for women and children to hide out. There was even an underground stream so they built a large pool to trap fresh water, before allowing the stream to continue. And supposedly there was some family jewels and gold coins buried down there somewhere. But it’s quite a maze of tunnels apparently, easy to get lost in them. That wouldn’t be enough for people to kill or scare away owners, they could just as easily just look for the buried treasure and leave with it and no one would know. What other secrets are hidden here I wonder? I called Lena again and she answered this time. I told her about the notes and said to be extra careful. She promised to do so and then had to rush off to a meeting before leaving that afternoon.
I went in the other room to check the fireplace, that’s where the tunnel should start. I looked around the room, no, something is not right, the fireplace is in the wrong spot. Linnea came in right then and I mentioned the fireplace. She said there are several fireplaces in the chateau and took me around to look at the place. Talk about a large house! But in one room on the main level, which Linnea called her sewing room, was a fireplace that matched the description of what we wanted. I looked around a bit and turning a knob I found inside the fireplace a door opened. Everyone came along and the door closed behind us. I took out my flashlight and we continued down the tunnel. It was well made from the same kind of rock that was used in the chateau and the cottage. The tunnel was narrow and about 7 feet tall, with a rounded ceiling. It is like a maze down here with tunnels going in every direction. I certainly hope we don’t get lost….
To Be Continued.
Photos of Mr. Cat are kindly supplied by his human, Nina.
Previous chapters of this story can be found on my home page under “The Investigators, Inc.” Previous stories can also be found on my home page under 20/20 Investigations, Inc.
©2021 Steve McLeod.