“I really would like to find that clue, or the treasure, before we leave,” I said to Jenny. “We will talk about that in the morning,” she said, “tonight I am staying in here with you, just in case you have trouble.” “Okay, that might be wise,” I said. The night passed quietly, and I slept well. In the morning I was feeling great, so we went back to that ghost town to look around some more.
John and Stanley had wandered off further away from the main cluster of buildings and came back after about half an hour, quite excited. They had found another log building and it was still standing complete. We all went over that way and went inside to look around. It was fairly large and had four rooms in it, plus some old furniture, not in very good condition.
We began to look around and John found a hollow spot in the floor of a bedroom. There was an old, small trap door beside the bed, but no way to open it. The big old bed did not move, so Angel began turning the knobs on the four bed posts. On turned and the trap door opened. In the large hole was a large metal box which John brought out and set on the bed. It had an old, rusty padlock on it which was not hard to break off.
Inside that box was a nice leather pouch, full of diamonds and a few other jewels. Under the pouch were a large number of gold coins, American coins, nice and shiny. They were all from the 1850s. There was a note also which read, “To which of my heirs finds this, here is your inheritance, enjoy it.” It was not even signed, very strange indeed. Right then Storm came running inside as fast as he could. I had sent the cats back to watch our vehicles.
Meowr, he whispered to me. “Okay everyone, outside, it is playtime,” I said, and most of our team vanished into the forest, with Tuva going up a small hill and beside a rock. Jenny, Sigurbjorn, Kristina and John stayed with me. We stayed inside and waited a bit until we heard noises outside. We went out and there was Mandar and his men, 15 of them. “Well, my good man,” said Mandar, “did we find another clue, or the treasure this time?”
“I do not understand how you can find me,” I said to him. “Oh my, that is really quite simple,” he said, “you are not hard to follow at all. I just wanted to give you time to find something before I showed up. But I am surprised you do not have your whole team with you, that is very foolish on your part. And now, what did you find for me? And please, do not resist, I have you outnumbered this time and I do detest using violence on such an admirable opponent.”
“I am sorry Mandar,” I began, “but we were hired by the heirs to find their inheritance, so it must go back to them.” “My good man,” said Mandar, “surely you did not believe the story those criminals told you. There are no living heirs whatsoever, I have checked quite thoroughly.” “We checked these people also, and everything they told us matches what we found,” I said, not believing Mandar at all. “That is because you checked out the names they gave you, which are just an alias that they use at times,” he said, “but check out their real names and you will then believe me.
However, I must insist on having that treasure right now, or my men will take it by force.” “I do not think so,” I said smiling, “just look around you, my team has you surrounded. Also, look up on the hill, over by that large rock. She had been in the Finnish military and is an excellent sniper. She has you in her sights right now, and she will not miss. If you move at all, it will be your last move, so please, tell your men to put their weapons on the ground.”
“Oh, very well,” he said, and he ordered his men to put their weapons down, “but please, check out these names before you do something foolish. Chuck and Sylvia Bowden.” I called Annelie and she checked the names. Mandar was correct, they were crooks and used different aliases, including the names they gave us.
Annelie kept checking on the family and Baldwin was checking with his lawyers about the treasure and who has the right to keep it. Since these people were not part of the family, and no other family members were alive, then Baldwin said we can keep the treasure. It has been about 170 years, so keeping it would not be a problem. So, I suggested to Mandar that I would be willing to share a portion with him. Suddenly my head felt like it was going to explode, it came on me so suddenly that I screamed and fell to the ground…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.