“I would never have guessed that you two were siblings,” said Denise to Rock and Crystal, “but I know you and Sky must be sisters, you could actually be twins.” Everyone laughed. “Actually Denise,” said Crystal, “Rock and I are not related at all, it was just something I thought of when I saw Mack and his friend out there.” “Crystal and I are not related either,” said Sky smiling, “though I must admit, she does look like my twin.” “So true,” said Crystal, “we could have some real fun with that.”
Everyone laughed again. “We are getting a DNA check done,” I said, “just to make sure if they are related or not, since they do look so much alike, and they even act alike too. But it would be interesting if we found out they were related somehow.” “Well,” said the lawyer, “everything is in order then and the sale is done.” “To be honest,” said Denise, “I am going to be very happy to get moved into my own little flat and relax after all this excitement. Now, do not forget, you all promised to help me pack and move as quickly as possible.”
“We will certainly do that,” I said, “right girls?” “Hey, what happened to the guys?” asked Sky. “Oh, they will be around to help with the heavy work,” I said, “but packing is better done by you girls, I think you will be more careful with things.” “Hmm, that is probably true,” said Tracy. Baldwin and his lawyers left soon after lunch and the girls spent the rest of the day packing.
“I was wondering where you had disappeared,” said Sky after finding me in the tall tower. “I needed to get away and do some thinking,” I said, “something is just not adding up here.” “Just thinking about the case again, I see,” she said. “Not totally,” I said, “I was thinking about how wonderful this big room would be for our bedroom. You can see for miles from up here, it is just beautiful. Of course the room would need a bit of redecorating.”
Sky looked around the room, it was her first time up here. “I agree with you,” she said, “this would be a nice bedroom. Were you really thinking about that, or did you just toss that in for good measure?” “Actually, it was my first thought when I came in here,” I said. “Oh, Denise said there is a basement, but it was closed off shortly after they bought this place,” said Sky, “and that would be before the jewel heist, and that little puppy could not be in there.”
“Hmm, so much for that idea,” I said, “did she say why they closed it up?” “Yes, she was scared of it,” said Sky, “it was so dark and so many weird things down there that she did not like. But she did not say what they were.” “Maybe there is an old torture chamber down there,” I said, rubbing my hands together. “How would you like to be slapped?” said Sky sternly. “Um, I do not think I would like that too much,” I said, “no more such jokes, I promise.”
“Okay,” she said smiling, “that is better. I suppose I better get back to helping.” “Forget that for a few more minutes,” I said, “we can enjoy this view together for a while longer.” Right then Muffin came out from under the couch that was in the room, dragging a stuffed puppy. “It is the puppy!” exclaimed Sky as she took it from Muffin. Then she picked her up and cuddled her. “Now that is being a good PI cat!” she said excitedly, “now we can go and show the others.”
“My puppy!” exclaimed Denise, “wherever did you find it?” “Muffin found it in the tower room under the couch,” said Sky. “Oh, now I remember,” she said, “I went up there to enjoy the view and I tossed the puppy on the couch, but it missed and went underneath. I meant to get him back before I left the room and just completely forgot. Now we can see if there is something inside him to help us find those jewels that are causing so much trouble.”
There was a small spot under the puppy that had obviously been opened and resewn, so Denise had it quickly opened. “Here my dear, you have younger fingers than I for feeling inside,” she said to Sky. She reached in and felt around and a big smile came on her face as she brought out a piece of paper. On one side was a hand drawn floor plan of the chateau and the surrounding yard, though nothing was marked.
On the other side was just a series of words that made no sense whatever. “My Ben loved puzzles, especially cryptic word puzzles,” said Denise, “and he often made them too for his friends to figure out. That is what he has done here I am sure. I am not good with such things though.” But Carine loved those kinds of puzzles too, so she was soon trying to figure out what it said. After two hours…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.