The dusk fell over the house. The little dressing room bed he lay on had him sleep soundly until dawn at 6am. Then as he stood looking out across the gardens from a window over the sink he noticed a strange vision linger among the tree belt that marked the drive. He could just make it out as it darted back into the undergrowth. It was a figure in white and visible as it glowed.
He hurriedly dressed and made his way down to the locked side door in the kitchens. Up at the place he had witnessed the figure he searched and down on the long grass his fingers touched a greasy substance. Lifting this substance to his nose he suddenly knew what he was up against.
At breakfast he said nothing of his find to the cook and ate in silence alone. At length the master arrived and selected kippers and so sat at far end of table from John.
” Sleep well John?” Said the master of the house as his fork took up the smoked fish.
“Yes thank you. How many retainers do you employ sir.”
“Well! Mrs Tuttle my cook ,been with me 12 years. Peter ,my do it all man. Drives me and gardens ,fixes problems around the place .Plumber joiner that sort of thing. 5 years to date. Used to have a kitchen maid but we fell out as I cook caught he stealing silver. Bad show too it was. Police and such. ”
“How old and what became of her sir.”
“Oh! 17 perhaps Ill check in my book. She left with our reference and went ,well who knows.”
“Matters little these days .factory more the thing. Worcester girl then. ”
“No thats the thing. London, orphan. Came through agency my dear wife rang.”
“So she lived in.”
” Of course. Why?”
‘ No matter just a hunch. Can I see her room sir. ”
Day went on and Detective John James sat reading a book he had taken down from the shelves in the lounge room. As suspected grease marks on the page that held the information gave the game away. In his mind the girl had read this book and many times the same page. It was a history of the owners family. The page 67 told of an ancient Lord who had buried a treasure in the grounds of his estate to save it from the soldiers hunting him.
It was Civil War in England the family lost at the battle of Towton in Yorkshire and the Knights father killed in fight leaving only his younger son to escape from the slaughter grounds. The Duke of York dead and so many Englishmen of Nevile line had joined the ranks of the dead there. He had raced back to the house and gathered all valuable together and buried in in sea chests in the area of the land around house. He had taken ship to France and died of fever in Paris two year later with no money in his purse.
James came to the line that suggested the treasure was in the area of the rear of house drive. The land then four times larger that today took the fields to the left away sold off by the Earl who came a century later.
“So there you are John .Good read is it. ”
” Sit down sir.We have much to talk over now.”
” This book tells of the family treasure. Your kinsman buried it in sea chests on the land behind this house.”
“Yes so they say but my father,God love him.He spent all he had searching for it. Someone dug it up years before was his conclusion.”
‘ I think not. You see the porch on the entrance was built in the years 1816.1820. Who was owner then.”
“God knows. Lord Harry I think. He fought Waterloo with Duke of Wellington you know.”
“Waterloo was fought in June 1815 so yes Lord Harry it must have been. You see this house is wrong way around.”
” What ?”
“By building that porch so grand and turning the drive to it it shortened the drive and altered the entrance. That is why your rooms and all in the sunshine. The old entrance is your great hall.”
” So that great stone lintel was over that doorway. ”
” Yes Queen Mary Tudors time that part was built it says here. So he turned it all about easily and made it grander by far .It also faces the sun in the morning room he also built and made an old dark house far lighter by so doing. ”
“Lord Harry hmmm!”
‘ You do see what this means.”
“Well my poor father dug over the wrong part of gardens looking for that treasure.”
“Yes but more so someone else worked that out too. ”
” Who else not me I had not a single clue.”
“No but that girl that you dismissed had read this book many times.Here see this greeze.Its kitchen stained by working hands. Either your cook or most likely the girl. Her name would be handy sir. ”
“Never Mary my cook. That girl .erm! let me check. Something like Alice something. Ill go and ask cook. ”
I must come with you as she may know something we need to know. ”
Part Three to follow.
Thank you for reading .Sir Kevin sends love to all.
Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020