We had a great dinner when we arrived back at the chateau. I asked Denise about secret doors and passages, but she had no idea that there were any. She had never been in any either and only had been in the basement once, but it was full of old torture equipment and she wanted it buried away forever. That is why the doorway was sealed years ago after they had bought the chateau. But one of those secret doors, I figure there must be at least 2, just might lead to the basement.
Big Ben might have found them and not told Denise about them so she would not have them sealed too. There is a good chance he hid the jewels somewhere in the basement, or in a hidden room, or perhaps even in a passageway somewhere. Once I began thinking about all the places they could be hidden, it was too much. We need to solve that puzzle somehow. But we will start checking out any passageways we can find first thing in the morning. It is too late to start now, we talked too long after dinner.
An early night and we can get started exploring early in the morning. Everyone was happy about that idea. Some of the girls will continue helping Denise pack, plus Benson and Crandell will help with the actual moving part of things. Walter will come along to explore. Rock wanted to help also but I finally persuaded him and Annelie that it was time for their vacation to start. They left early the next morning to some south seas island for 10 days and then will go to his parents for Christmas.
Most of our team will be gone for Christmas this year, but everyone will be back for our wedding day January 1st. Sky and I want to start the new year off right, with a new life together. Oh my, if we only knew. It is probably a good thing we do not. “It is time for your shot Steve,” said Sky, “and do not worry, Chung showed me how to do this.” “I trust you Sky,” I said, and she did do a good job too, I barely felt it. Sigurbjorn arrived for my massage, and she gave one to Sky as well.
While she was doing that, Galyna came in with the cats. All 3 cats are here now and I wanted to ask them all something. “Okay Galyna,” I said, “what do you think about Denise, is she telling the truth or not?” “Hmm, that is a tough question,” she answered, “some people are expert liars. But I think she is truthful, and she is definitely forgetful. No one could play the part of being forgetful that well, they will always leave out some little things here and there to give themselves away.” Then she frowned a bit.
“What is wrong?” I asked her. “Well, I am not really sure,” she said, “but there is something wrong, I am just not sure what it is, something about Denise. But her friend is genuinely happy that Denise is moving into the same building so they can be close together. Her friend told me that she never liked coming to this chateau and she was always a bit afraid of Ben. He would constantly yell at Denise, something she never told us. In fact, the way she talks about Ben, it sounds like they had a perfect marriage.”
“Hmm, that is a lot of info Galyna,” I said, “now, what do you cats have to say?” Meow,meow.=Me not sure what to say, me like human Denise, but… Meow.=Yep, she not know we understand human talk… Meow,meow.=Yep, so she say something to us… Meow.=Yep, she say no one able to understand puzzle… Meow,meow.=Yep, she say not normal puzzle like her Ben make… Meow.=Yep, it just fake puzzle… Meow,meow.=Yep, to keep people from finding jewels…
Meow.=Yep, so now nobody not can find jewels… Meow,meow.=Yep, lost and gone forever she say. Storm had his head going back and forth from Muffin to MC and he almost fell over near the end. “Well Storm,” I said, “do you not have anything to say?” Meowr.=Me only get here today, so not know human Denise like others do, so me not can say something. Me only little bit confusioned. We all chuckle a bit.
“That is okay Storm,” I said, “I am a little confusioned too.” “What are you confused about?” Sky asked. Meowr.=You all talk about finding clue, but me thought clue in puppy toy. “Yes, that is right,” said Sky, “we found it in the puppy.” Meowr?=How you can find clue in puppy toy without finding puppy toy? “But we did find the puppy,” I said, “now you are really getting me confused.”
Meowr.=Me see picture of human Denise holding puppy toy, she say that her puppy. But that not puppy toy you find, it different. We all look at each other. Galyna runs downstairs and brings the puppy and the picture back to our room. Storm was right, it is not the same puppy toy. “Why did none of us see that?” I asked. “We were thinking too much about the jewels,” said Sky.
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.