We stopped at the hotel so Caren could let them know she was sick. They checked her temperature, it was 38.6C. Hmm, a little warmer than it should be, so I got her some water to take a couple of those pills from the doctor before she got any worse. I also let the owner know I would be gone a couple of days but I’m keeping the room. Then off we went back to Caren’s house. “Why did you let them know you won’t be in your room?”, asked Caren, “I’m sure those 2 men heard you say that.” “That’s what I want,” I said, “we need to bring these people out in the open so we can catch them. Don’t worry, the cats and I will be ready for them this time, this is our trap now.”
“I sure hope so,” said Caren cautiously, “I really don’t want you getting hurt…and especially not killed! I really don’t want your girlfriend just getting a body back.” “Girlfriend?”, I questioned, “you mean Lena, she’s not really a girlfriend, though we are friends. I actually think that Baldwin has his eyes on her, but he’s too nervous to let her know.” “Maybe it’s because he thinks you like her and he doesn’t want to interfere, ” said Caren. “Yes, that could be it too,” I said, “Baldwin and I have become good friends. I really think that he and Lena would make a great couple. But Baldwin is quite a bit older than Lena, so that could hold him back too.”
“That’s crazy, who cares about age?”, she said shaking her head, “I hope these pills kick in soon, this fever is getting worse.” Hmm, I hope I didn’t give her too much, I just followed the directions, I better keep an eye on her. We got to the house and the first thing we did was check the place to make sure no one was there and that everything was locked. I put a little gadget on the door locks that had arrived in that parcel from Baldwin. No one can come through the doors now, and the windows are safe with the locks they have on them. Then up to the attic we went. Someone had been going through things after we left! That’s not good, where’s that map? Meow!=Map on floor over here!
Someone must have looked at it and tossed it aside thinking it wasn’t important. And really, it doesn’t look important either. “What’s that thing?”, asked Caren. “Well, someone may have written something on this map at one time, perhaps in light pencil, which has faded over time, but it would have broken fibers in the paper and this little light here will show that,” I explained, “but first, the heat test to see if they used invisible ink.” They hadn’t done that, so next was my light and sure enough… “Look at this Caren,” I said, showing her the map now. “Um, there’s 2 graves marked on here with the names of the people who built this house,” she said, “but why would anyone be interested in that?”
“Notice it says this map was dated 1882, showing the house and garden,” I pointed out, “that means the garden is just as old as the house.” “Okay, that makes sense, but…hey, wait a minute, their graves are here, in the garden too, and now there over here on the side of the house,” she said, “did they move them?” “That is a possibility, but then why mark these old graves if they were already moved,” I said, “but the house was built in 1882, the owners died 20 years later according to some other papers I found.” “Then this map wasn’t made in 1882,” Caren said rather puzzled. “Unless the original owners died the same year the house was built and buried in these hidden graves and the place taken by someone else who died 20 years later,” I said.
“Well, that’s possible,” said Caren, “but that still doesn’t explain why anyone would be interested in those old graves.” “True,” I said, “but, perhaps something was buried with them, something valuable, for safe keeping,” I said, “it was a common practice for people at one time to hide valuables. Just then my watch lit up, someone’s inside. I call the cats over. Meow,meow.=We find something over there. “Good,” I said, “but someone is in the house.” We go downstairs and suddenly we’re surrounded by a cloud of gas. As I fall to my knees I heard a familiar voice saying, “thanks for your help Steve, and now, I no longer need you…”
To Be Continued.
Pictures of Mr. Cat are kindly supplied by his human, Nina.
Previous chapters of this story, and other stories, can be found on my home page under “The Investigators, Inc.” and “20/20 Investigations, Inc.”
©2021 Steve McLeod.