“That is part of our job,” said Galyna, “oh, this is Rock, he is our team leader right now while Steve is having problems with that drug that he was given.” “So nice to meet you,” she said, “and I am so sorry about Steve, there are so many bad people around these days. It is hard to know who to trust, but I do trust all of you. Now, we should get back to packing, I want to move out of this chateau as soon as possible!”
Back to packing they went and Rock went and told Walter and Crandall to come in. They then joined us in another part of the basement. We came here through another secret passage and this part of the basement appears to be older than the other and there is a very sturdy looking stone wall separating the two. There is some old furniture down here and a few boxes, mostly empty, some with clothes and one small box full of old papers. That could prove interesting.
Meow!=Over here, me find door here! There was an old and heavy curtain covering a stone wall. Behind that curtain was a heavy wood door, but no way to open it. Rock likely could have broken it, but I did not want that. Rock noticed an iron handle up near the ceiling and he turned it. The door slid into the stone wall revealing a small, neat and clean room. There was a bed, a large comfortable chair and a very large old desk. There was also a couple of lamps which we turned on. It looked like it was used very recently.
Sky, Crystal, Kristina, Rock, Walter, Crandall and I sat down to talk. Walter and Crandall had gone to visit Mack and told him about Sofie, her son and their plan to get him out of the way so they could have the jewels to themselves. That angered him greatly so he was willing to do some talking. He had come earlier than he said to Sofie because he did not trust her. So he spent a few days watching the chateau. One night Thomas, son of Sofie, came out with his 3 friends and they were carrying Denise.
He followed them to that pond and watched from nearby trees as they went out in a rowboat and tossed Denise overboard, staying until she sunk out of sight. They waited a bit, then left. He took that same rowboat out and noticed that Denise was just barely 2 feet underwater. He jumped in and recovered her body and brought it back to the chateau after Sofie had gone to bed. He put the body in the trunk hoping it would be found and Sofie would be arrested for murder.
Then he could get the jewels. But we came along and spoiled everything. Mack then told all this to the police, so they will know this when they come to talk with Sofie today. “That should be interesting,” I said, “that could put Thomas and his friends in prison, but perhaps not Sofie, though she might get a short sentence.” “Unless Thomas will give evidence against his mother,” said Walter, “it was her idea and she covered it up.”
“True, but she could claim she was forced to go along with it by her son,” I said, “because of threats to her. At least we now know how Denise’s body got back here.” We start to look around the room a bit. Sky and I look through the desk. The one drawer was locked but MC had it open quickly. “Hey, this is her will,” I said to the others. It really did not say much, but Denise did leave everything she owned, including this chateau, to her sister Sofie.
There was also a small piece of paper with a note, apparently written by her husband Ben, which read, “To those looking for my treasure, you are without hope of finding it. I take the whereabouts of those jewels to the grave with me.” He signed his name at the end. “That is it!” I exclaimed, “that is where the jewels are! And Sofie knows it too.” “Well, where are they?” asked Sky. “In that big box with his ashes,” I said. “Hey, that makes sense,” said Crystal, “you do not need a big box like that for ashes.”
“And that is why she was so protective of that box,” said Sky, “she would not let anyone but her touch it. Now it is at her new flat.” “We need to get that,” said Walter. “Well, Galyna has a key to get into the building, and into the flat,” said Kristina, “so we could go without Sofie along.” “Good idea,” I said, “we can do that while the police are here questioning Sofie.”
Walter and Crandall discovered even more than I had hoped, but more on that later. We left just as the police were arriving, Kristina had gotten the keys from Galyna who wanted to stay behind and watch Sofie. Off we went and were soon inside the flat. Crystal remembered the box in which Sofie had packed the ‘urn’. It was sealed quite well, but we soon had it open. “Wow, look at all that!” exclaimed Sky, “it is all so beautiful.”
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.