Looking over this little book briefly I notice a few interesting points about this chateau. Right from it’s earliest days it has been plagued with accidental deaths and murders, right up to the time the book was written, which was in the 1930’s. Apparently when the chateau was built they actually found some gold, not exactly common in this country but it has happened. They made some gold dishes, a shield and a couple of swords from this gold, plus a small crown for the original owner of the chateau and it was adorned with some beautiful jewels as well. All of this was kept in what was called the ‘treasure room’, a special room under the chateau among the rooms and passageways that were made for safety. But the location of that room has been lost, or forgotten, over the years and every owner has spent considerable time looking for it. Now we have something solid.
“That’s why Linnea hired us,” I said, “she found out about this treasure and wanted to look for it, likely telling at least one of the servants about it.” “That would probably be Henri,” said Calanthe. “Right,” I said, “and others found out what was going on so strange things began to happen which frightened Linnea, so she hired us to help her locate this treasure room, but she never had a chance to fully tell me what was going on. She didn’t like to talk about things inside where others could hear.” “That’s true,” said Calanthe, “whenever she wanted to talk to me privately, we always went outside.” Right then a huge gust of wind blew open the window in the room, so I ran over to close it quickly. I think that made all of us jump. I turned around, Calanthe was gone!
“Come cats!” I called to them and we all rushed into the hall. A flash of lightning lit up the entire hallway from the window at the far end. And right there…hanging from the ceiling…Calanthe!! I grabbed a chair from the room and cut her down as quickly as I could…it was too late. But it was not Calanthe! I wonder who this woman is? “They have Calanthe,” I said quietly, “I wonder where we will find her body.” Meow.=Not worry, we start to look for her right away. Meow,meow=Yes, we look fast, we find her. “But how do we look?,” I asked, “there are likely passageways in here we don’t even know about, Calanthe could be anywhere by now.”
Suddenly the cats ears go straight up! I turn…”Calanthe! What happened?”, I asked. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I needed to use the washroom.” “Next time Muffin will go with you, it’s just not safe,” I said. Calanthe hugged me again. Calanthe looked, “it’s Adalene!” I put her body in one of the bedrooms, then we all went back to the sitting room. “Is Adalene one of the servants on vacation?,” I ask Calanthe. “Yes, but they must be here. Claudin is her husband. He is tall, like Henri, but not heavy built like him, yet he is very strong, stronger than Henri. They used to wrestle in the yard and Claudin would always win. You do not want to fight with him,” she said. “Well, that’s good to know,” I said, “always use my gun. So, we have Francois, Karl, Claudin and Linnea.” “Also Claudin has a terrible temper, only his wife could control him,” added Calanthe.
“Is Linnea behind all of this?,” I ask, “or is she a prisoner right now? Are they looking for the treasure and think she knows where it is? Or is none of this about the treasure? It’s still kind of confused. Perhaps they are trying to hurt Linnea, or me, or both of us. But why?” Mostly I’m just thinking out loud, trying to figure things out. Calanthe also said that Claudin would do anything for his wife, so why would he let someone kill her? Or was he in a fit of anger and killed her accidentally and then hung her up, or someone did, as a warning? Questions, I want answers. We need to go back to the passageways under the chateau. Hmm, the fireplace in here is exactly the same as the one which took us to the passages the first time. I check around and sure enough, the whole fireplace swung open and off we went into the darkness…
To Be Continued.
Pictures of Mr. Cat are kindly supplied by his human, Nina.
Previous chapters of this story and other stories from this year and last year can be found on my home page under “The Investigators, Inc.” and “20/20 Investigations, Inc.”
©2021 Steve McLeod.