Detective Fox, one of the most renowned detectives in Googokia, took a long sip of his tea. He lived alone in his house on Grumphy Street, he hadn't had a major case in two weeks, and he was rather bored. His detective coat that was designed like Sherlock Holmes' hung on the railing. As he was having his breakfast he always thought about something, this time he recalled how his family came to live on Undemereth.
Andrew Fox's parents were the ordinary sort; they never thought much would come of them. They lived on Earth in America where David Fox, Andrew's father, worked as a history professor. He particularly enjoyed studying Undemereth's history. It was discovered in 3165, by a well supplied crew of astronauts that went off course from their mission to Mars. Undemereth was a very life sustaining planet, its gravity was twice that of Earth's, and the plants on Undemereth produced a chemical that could enable you to live to be two hundred years old. Undemereth's days are almost thirty six hours long, the people of Undemereth count their years in Earth years, and there are four days in an Undemerethian week.
Undemereth was quickly populated. Googokia was one of the first organized countries on Undemereth. But in 3372, 207 years after Undemereth's discovery the Googokian government decided that Christians should not be equal to the other citizens of Googokia. First there was just a "Christian fine", then speaking about your faith was punishable by jail, until finally it escalated to certain death if you were a Christian. In this dark period of Googokia's history the government ordered its soldiers to destroy anything related to Christianity. Fortunately many holy articles were saved from destruction. In a small town, a priest and a lay man saved everything in the church, except the church itself. One of the things saved was the only surviving relic of a thirtieth century saint who lived on Earth, Saint Coswert Tekra. The man who saved the relic could not put it with the rest of the other holy articles because the soldiers would have seen him, and searched the house where the other things went. So he went somewhere else hid the relic, and left a riddle to tell where he hid it. The riddle was passed down to his children, and they passed it down to their children, and so forth. No one ever found the relic. The persecutions in Googokia finally ended, and Googokia became the one of the greatest countries on Undemereth.
David Fox lost his job after his first child, Paula Fox, and he decided to move to Undemereth. The first few years were hard for his family. They learned Undemerethian English in no time (It is pretty much English, except everything is spelled exactly the way it sounds), but the new days, new weeks, new gravity, and new friends, was a major change. By the time they had their forth child, Andrew Fox, they had gotten used to Undemereth.
Andrew Fox took an interest in fighting crime at an early age. When he was twelve he had to be pulled out of school because he learned much faster than the rest of his class. He went to college at age fifteen (in Googokia that was allowable). When he graduated, he became an amateur detective, but the police begged him to become an official detective when they saw his skills. He said he would be a stay-at-home official, and the police agreed. Thus Detective Fox, average height, green eyes, friendly but quiet, and very intelligent, was at his table sipping his breakfast tea.
Mr. Fox finished his recollection and his breakfast as well. He made up his mind to look at old buildings around a nearby neighborhood. He put on a jacket and opened the door to a short plump man, who was very startled when the door he was about to knock on opened.
"G-Good day," the man stammered, even though that was a polite goodbye.
"Good morning Samuel" Mr. Fox replied, Samuel was a man named Calvin Garp's butler (more like an all purpose man actually).
"It's been a long time since we saw you last Andrew," Samuel said, " Well, ahem, sir, I was sent to tell you that Calvin wants you to inspect a series of break-ins, it's got him and the rest of the Garps worried."
"Very well then, I'll be there soon, Good day!" Then Mr. Fox ran over to his detective coat and swapped his plain jacket with that one.
"Good morning!" Samuel called after him then he left.
Mr. Fox stepped outside and said goodbye to his dog which freely roamed his extensive yard. As he walked to a road train stop at the end of the walkway to his house, he prayed "Lord you are a just God, help me to catch the villain, and help him to be sorry for what he did."
He came to the road train stop and said "Two-zero-eight-three Garp Mansion Road, Greenstays, Googokia."
Soon a small road train came along the tracks on the road, and a door opened. A screen on the inside showed the destination Mr. Fox had asked to be taken to, Andrew confirmed it, and off he went, leaving his scenic town of Fernsgrove. Detective Fox was sure that the break-ins were just members of the large and notorious Blik gang trying to get more money. The Blik gang was started in a small town called Blikton (where the Bliks got there name), first it was just one man with a big ego, who thought he should always get his way, and kill those who wouldn't let him. That man soon rounded up followers, mostly by bribing them to do his dirty work. The original leader of the Bliks was caught, but the Bliks just found a new one and kept up their villainous work. The Blik gang grew so large that they needed more than just a secret meeting house; they needed a whole underground town. Almost all crime in Googokia could be linked to the Bliks.
When Detective Fox finally came to the huge Garp mansion, he was greeted heartily by Calvin Garp and the head of the Garp Mansion, Ferdinand Garp. They showed Detective Fox inside. The Garp mansion was like a very ornate apartment building that housed many of the descendants of Calvin Garp's Great-great-great-great-grandfather. As Ferdinand and Calvin were showing him to the place where the break-in occurred, many children trying to see what Mr. Fox would do.
"That's where the break-in happened first." Ferdinand said pointing at a once decorative window that was now mostly on the floor.
"We didn't clean up the glass, just in case it might ruin something."
"Well," Detective Fox said "Do you know how the thief broke in?"
"We think they used some tool or something."
"I see, you said there were several break-ins, may I see all of them? Oh, and also was anything stolen? And what have you seen of the robber?"
"To the third question," Ferdinand said, "We have only seen him once in our house, snooping through the library, he was wearing a mask and gloves and all black, and three times we saw him dashing away through our yard. We have an alarm system that calls the police when someone breaks in, but the police never showed up. Nothing was stolen, that we know of. Here, I'll show you to the other break-in spots." They walked up a flight of stairs.
"The one I just showed you happened first, then the one in this hall," Ferdinand pointed to where they were heading, "Then one on the floor above us, the third floor, about the same place, and then on the third floor again a ways down the hall, that was the time someone saw him snooping through the library."
Mr. Fox thought about what he had heard. "Well, the reason the villain broke in through many different windows is so you couldn't predict where he'd go next. Now were there ropes or hooks by the windows at all?"
"Why yes, on all except on the bottom floor."
"May I see your library?"
"Of course, follow me."
Ferdinand showed Mr. Fox to the library, while Calvin was trying to tell his children not to bother the detective.
The library was a relatively small room with walls of bookshelves every where, mostly filled with old record books of the Garp family. Most of the books that the Garps actually read were downloaded on their ATSs (Advanced Tablet Systems). On one end of the wall there was a shelf that held important papers, like contracts, household rules, and letters from important people.
"Do you know the total value of these papers?" Mr. Fox asked
"Er, probably not more than... I guess about 100 pecos. Mainly that is from a letter from President O'Connellson." (1 peco is worth a little less than a dollar)
"The criminal must want something in this house, which he knows is here, why else would he risk getting caught four times? Would you mind if I took a look through your papers?"
"No I don't mind." Ferdinand was very unsettled by the thought that some robber knew what was in his house.
Detective Fox looked through the papers; there was really nothing of interest, until he came to a very old paper in a frame with a typed copy of it on another piece of paper.
To find this treasure you'll need to travel. You'll need to look for a crystal case. Right inside it you will find the relic of Coswert Tekra. Only share this with your family, or someone you really trust. Hours will pass before you find the answer to this riddle. Others will want the treasure too, only for money, fame or, renown. Tell this riddle to your children, them to theirs, and theirs to theirs. End not your search until the place is gone. Look to the light to find it. Ride through the night if you have to. Our friend in heaven, ask his help. Our friends on Earth be careful of. Mind you notice every word, not one thing on this page forget.
The writer had used page forty-three of his journal, as there was the number forty-three at the bottom of the paper.
"A riddle..." Mr. Fox mused he couldn't help trying to look over it to see if he could solve it. After writing down the riddle and some of his notes about it in his notebook, he decided to continue looking through the papers until he had to leave to go to an evening daily Mass.
The next day he returned to the mansion, and he was shown all the valuables of the mansion, from old clocks to silver plates.
"Nothing from the area the robber broke into was of any value." Ferdinand Garp who had been showing Andrew around mused. "I do so wonder what that villain could be going after."
Mr. Fox thought about everything he had seen. "Well, I think the most valuable thing in your library was a riddle, hundreds of years old I would say. But the riddle is not the valuable thing I think it is probably what the riddle leads to that is important. I don't know how the robber would know about it except from being told about it, or spying on you."
"Wait, a riddle? What... oh yes that one! I don't think it' very useful, the relic is probably long gone by now." Ferdinand remarked "I don't think the villain is after that. Besides, I don't think we told-- oh wait we have told a few people about it."
"Who!?" Mr. Fox was pretty sure the villain was after the riddle.
"Well, a police man who was inspecting a break-in a long time ago, he came when the security system called the police, a friend of my nephew was told about it because he liked riddles, and he studies ancient documents, I think a good friend of my brother's wife was told about it because we trusted her, and oh, let me see, oh yes, an antique dealer who told us the paper was worthless."
"That is absolutely all?"
"Yes, that is all, I do have all of their names too, and I know what they look like."
"Very well then, by the way did you get your alarm system checked?"
"Yes I did, apparently there's nothing wrong with it."
"That's very interesting. Well this inspecting has got me worked up an appetite; you wouldn't mind sparing me some lunch would you?"
"I don't mind at all it will be a few minutes though." When it was time for lunch Detective Fox went to the main dining room. The main dining room was full of many long tables, and along the walls were pictures of the previous heads of the Garp mansion. Ferdinand sat at a table in the middle and Calvin and his family sat at the same table. Calvin had a normal sized family (for an Undemerethian), Calvin with his wife Brianna were the parents of eight children, David (25), Janet (23), Patrick (20), Margaret(17), Roger(14), Thomas (11), Jewel (9), and, "Little Bo"(5). All of Calvin Garp's children lived in the mansion.
Before the meal began, Father Mateo Garp stood up and led the blessing before meals. Then everyone dug in. It was geatfish soup (geatfish is an Undemerethian fish), with many Undemerethian vegetables and spices. When Andrew finished the soup he said to Ferdinand,
"I think I have solved this case, I think."
Ferdinand leaned in closer and almost whispered, "You have?"
"Well it is simple really." Mr. Fox said beginning to get the I-solved-the-case grin. "The robber, as you know broke through many different windows so you wouldn't know where he'd try to get in next. Also he must know something about what's in your house, so it's probably someone you've seen before. He is clearly after something in the library, that's where he was snooping around, and he broke in through the windows closest to the library. I think he is probably after your riddle, because the relic of St. Coswert Tekra, and it reliquary, are very valuable, especially to us Catholics. I highly suspect the policeman that you showed the riddle to, I suspect he is the one who is preventing the police from getting the signals from the alarm system."
"I don't think so." Ferdinand interrupted, by this time Calvin and his family was listening intently.
"That's the only explanation I can think of. Your alarm system is not broken or malfunctioning, so someone else must be blocking the signal, or the whole place has been overrun by Bliks. All that aside though, we can catch him, and I'll explain how tonight. By the way, I have made a few observations of the riddle. Did you know the first letter of each sentence spells 'TYRO HOTEL ROOM'? And the page number probably indicates the room number: room 43, which is probably why the riddle writer wrote 'Mind you notice every word, not one thing on this page forget.'"
"Well that's very interesting; I'll have to look into that some more."
That evening Mr. Fox left to go to Mass, then he returned with a suitcase full of things. He told Ferdinand in a serious voice,
"It is crucial that NO ONE gets up to catch the robber until I say so. NO ONE should
make any noise to alert him."
"Okay, I'll make shure everyone knows." Ferdinand replied, just as Little Bo, Calvin
Garp's youngest child asked
"What's in that bag?"
"This holds a trap to catch the villain." Mr. Fox replied.
"How are you goin' to catch the villain with that?"
"Well follow me and I'll show you."
So Detective Fox went up to the library with Ferdinand, Bo, and Calvin. The contraption would fire a zapper bolt (zappers are types of laser or electric weapons, usually only used to stun villains) when the villain opened the library door.
"This should work, provided the villain is the one to open the door, DON'T LET ANYONE OPEN THIS DOOR!"
"I will make sure no one does" Ferdinand assured Andrew. Mr. Fox left to go home when he met Pete Bartholomew, a middle aged writer who always wore his tan jacket with a matching tan hat.
"Well hello there Mr. Fox! I heard you were on some sort of case, is that right?"
"Yes, we'd better leave; I'll explain it for you on the road train. Where are you staying?"
"I'm staying at Fernsgrove Tidy Inn, the one a few bocks down from your house. Yes, I thought I might like to report on a few of your cases, like this one, I arrived this evening." Pete Bartholomew lived in Hopeton South Daker, a country to the south-west of Googokia, Mr. Fox had solved a case for Pete, who told Andrew that he would report for one of his cases once in a while.
Only several years ago, in 4245, Pete was on the last flight of the Star Sailor. The Star Sailor was headed to a newly discovered planet, but someone destroyed the controls and changed the ship's course to an unknown planet. The Star Sailor was wrecked, but everyone on board was unharmed. The planet that they crash landed on was life sustaining, but it had already been discovered by three villains: Former U.S. President Henry B. Harrison, and his two friends. One of the villains repented, and helped catch the other two, who were settled on that planet. Then another space ship came and rescued the passengers of The Star Sailor and took them back to Undemereth. The most important person in that adventure was Fr. Ropet, who figured out most of what happened and why, before the one villain repented. Fr. Ropet is now Bishop of Hopeton, in South Daker.
Andrew told Pete all about his case until they reached the hotel; Pete was typing every word on his ATS. Then Andrew walked home from there he was anxious about the case, what if a little child opened the door? What if the villain wasn't going to return? What if the villain wouldn't even go into the library? His thoughts were such as he walked home that night.
Meanwhile everyone in the Garp mansion was tucked into bed (but very few of them were asleep). The man whose apartment was closest to could hardly even close his eyes, nor could his wife, their children had gone to stay in their second-cousins' apartment. Then the man heard a faint chip, chip, chip he knew what that was, the window facing his room. It seemed like hours were passing, and then the chipping stopped. He knew the robber was right outside his door, he held his breath until he was sure the thief was past his room. He breathed normally, until ZAP! the villain was unconscious on the ground.
Detective Fox was called early in the morning and was informed that the trap had worked and that he was right, it was the policeman, and he was a member of the Blik gang. Andrew speedily got ready (except he did pray Morning Prayer at a reverent speed) and took the road train to the Garp mansion. Ferdinand was the first one to greet him.
"You were right after all, I guess I should be more careful about showing the riddle to people I don't know."
"Unfortunately, though the Bliks probably know about the riddle now."
"I was just thinking, Calvin's son Patrick suggested we search for the relic, and Calvin said he thought that would be lot's of fun for him and his family. It's not official but I think we're going to try to find it."
Pete leapt out of his road train and dashed toward Andrew and Ferdinand. He asked for full details of what happened and wrote it all down then he went inside to take pictures, while Ferdinand and Andrew talked over the search. Pete got pictures of all the break-in spots before they were cleaned up, he interviewed the man who was closest to the library, and he interviewed the police who had questioned and arrested the villain. He was very excited about what he had got and hurriedly went back to the hotel to make a printed copy. His hotel room was a mess but he didn't care. He told his parrot Messenger to ask the lady at the desk if he could use the printer (Messenger was an Undemerethian parrot, they have no idea what most words mean, but they can be trained to be messengers. The lady at the desk told the parrot that Pete could use the printer. After Pete copied his writings he thanked the lady at the desk and returned to the Garp mansion.
During the time Pete was gone, Calvin Garp and his family, and Andrew had decided to go to Tyro to search for the relic. When Pete heard this he was eager to come along too. The rest of the day was spent getting ready to go on the expedition, and studying Tyro's history, and all about Tyro itself. Two days later early in the morning Andrew Fox, Calvin and his family, and Pete Bartholomew set out for Tyro by road train.
The group came to the road train stop by the path leading to Tyro. Tyro was a farming town with many historic buildings, most were actually deep in the forest surrounding Tyro, with a bumpy path leading to them, or no path at all.
"Well, here we are." Mr. Garp said then he patted Bo on the head. The younger Garp children were yawning from the long morning trip.
Mr. Fox was contemplating what it would be like to have to walk into Tyro every morning from the road train stop. He had reserved a hotel room in the neighboring town, as had the rest of the group.
"Well, let's not wait around, come on let's go." Pete said. He was clearly excited to be on a treasure hunt. The group started down the forest path and all the while Pete was reading his book out loud (and writing anything interesting that anyone said). The forest was full of all sorts of different plants and animals, but it was very quiet.
The group had walked for half an hour when they met a girl who Andrew guessed was eleven and three quarters (He was skilled at figuring out the near exact ages of people he saw), the girl had blue eyes brown hair and a long brown skirt.
The girl heartily greeted them "Well hello there everybody! Are you one of them tour groups lookin' for a historic building?"
"No," Andrew began "we- we're just looking for a lost relic, you see one of this man's ancestors" he pointed at Calvin, "wrote a riddle to lead his descendants to the place he hid the relic of St. Tekra. We are here to find it."
"I see," the girl said, "well, my name is Lucy Rosebloom, and yours?"
"I'm Detective Fox, this is Mr. Bartholomew," Andrew pointed to each person as he said their name, "Mr. Garp, Mrs. Garp and their children, David, Janet, Patrick, Margaret, Roger, Thomas, Jewel, and Little Bo."
"Nice to meet ya," Lucy said, "aren't you the guy who got the robber up in Dell Square?"
"Yes, that was me." Andrew said with a slight grin.
The group continued down the path and Lucy went with them talking about her family's farm. Pete was writing down everything that Lucy said. There were several split-offs in the path, but Lucy said they should come to her house because her father knew a lot about the history of Tyro. The group arrived at the edge of the Rosebloom farm, which was full of Bwentien apple trees and various farm animals in their pastures, many of the animals came from other planets. The Roseblooms' dogs and nemifs (nemifs are very similar to canines) were very excited to see people they hadn't seen before. Pete was glad he left Messenger in the care of the Garps at the Garp mansion because he probably would have freaked out at the sight of the dogs and nemifs.
By the time the group arrived at the Roseblooms' house they had walked for 45 minutes. The Roseblooms' house was like a large log cabin. The house was three stories tall and it had many rooms, each with one circular window. The wood the house was made of was Thershon birch, which is very strong and has a rich brown color. The house was over one hundred years old, except for several add-ons which the Roseblooms built themselves.
Lucy went into the house to tell her mother about the expedition group. A short while later Mrs. Rosebloom, who was holding a baby, emerged and told the group to come in. Andrew and the rest of the group went inside. The Roseblooms were not rich, even though they had a big house. Actually Mr. Rosebloom inherited the house from his great-great-grandfather. The house was furnished with simple furniture, mostly made out of wood. The group was told to come into the dining room and sit at the table to discuss what was going to happen.
Andrew started by telling Mrs. Rosebloom (and the other curious children who came to hear Mr. Fox) about the riddle, but he only said that it led him to Tyro. Then he talked about the break-ins at the Garp mansion and how he captured the villain.
"Now are you THE Detective Fox? The one who caught that bank robber up in Brunsville?" Mrs. Rosebloom asked.
"Yes, that's me alright. And actually I've caught seventeen bank robbers throughout my career. Now that aside, do you know where an old hotel around here is?"
"No, I don't think so; you'd have to ask my husband. He'd know. I think he's out in the barn."
"Thank you, I'll go speak to him, goodbye." Andrew left and Pete followed after him to see if anything interesting would be said.
Mr. Fox saw the big red barn a short walk down the road. Mr. Rosebloom was hard at work milking cows.
"Excuse me sir," Andrew began "I'm Detective Andrew Fox, I'm on a, well, treasure hunt and, um, there was a riddle and it says to come to the hotel in this town and, well, I wanted to know if you knew where that was."
"Andrew Fox eh?" Mr. Rosebloom said, he was a heavy built tall man, and he seemed tired from working, but he was friendly. "What are ya lookin' for?"
"A relic of St. Tekra, er, you see someone hid it a long time ago and left a riddle, and like I said, it led us here."
"Who's 'us'? You an' 'im, or are there more?"
"Well actually there's another family that's searching on this, er, treasure hunt. That's the family that-"
"Wait wait wait! I got to write all that you guys said... okay keep going." Pete liked to write every detail and word, even though he didn't use most of it.
"Ahem," Andrew said, "There's another family, the Garp family, and his family inherited the riddle."
"Ah I see, well I don't think I know where any 'otels are, but I think there very well could be one, there are some buildings we don't even know about deep in the woods with no paths leading to 'em. Most of the buildings are covered by the trees, so you can't see 'em on the satellite pictures. The best way to search for it would be to have a whole bunch of people explore the woods."
"Where should we start?"
"Well I don't rightfully know, but probably in the northeastern side."
"Very well, thank you."
"Yes thank you." Pete said.
Andrew decided they should search the woods for the hotel; the group would split up and systematically search through the forest. Some of the Roseblooms offered to help search, and even some of their neighbors. Andrew and Pete searched the North-Eastern part of the forest, while the others split up and searched other portions of the woods.
Pete and Andrew did not just wander around aimlessly through the woods, hoping to find something. They had a GPS that would mark where they had been, which made it easier to figure out where they were, and where they should search. All the groups went to the Roseblooms' house to have lunch then they all continued their search.
It was slow and tiring work, and it seemed useless too. Many times there would be patches of thorny plants, or poisonous plants making it almost impossible to search some places. None of the groups covered very much ground, and none of them found anything, save only an old brick that was partially buried, but after searching that area nothing more was found. The groups returned to the house for dinner, then they prayed nighttime prayers with the Roseblooms, then went to their hotel rooms.
The next day the group returned to Tyro. They would have started searching again right away, but Andrew had gone and bought boots and special tools to help with the search. He had forgotten to tell the rest of the group about his plans. Understandably, they had gotten worried and hadn't started without him.
The search continued as usual, everyone split up into smaller groups. Pete was less excited than he was the previous day. Andrew seemed more excited for some reason.
"I think this search will come to nothing." Pete said after he and Andrew had spent an hour trying to get across a large river. Andrew on the other hand was sure they would find the relic.
"Oh come now Pete," Andrew said, "I'm sure we'll find it. If I wasn't so sure I wouldn't have come at all. You know Googokians don't like tearing down old structures, and old Tyro was not a big town anyway, so it would be easy to keep standing."
"Yes but I'm sure the hotel has fallen apart by now."
"Well, let's look at the map." Andrew took out the map that both of them already saw many times. "See, the town hall was found, it's still standing, the doctor's office, the fire house, the grocery store, see, all of those are still standing, the only thing we're not going to ever find is the old church that was destroyed in the persecutions. Those buildings were all made of stone, unlike the houses which were made of wood. They were all forgotten then rediscovered."
"Yes, but we don't even know where the relic is hidden inside the hotel IF we can even find the hotel, and relic is most likely very small too."
"Well--" Andrew heard something that made his heart skip a beat. "Shhhh!" He told Pete who was not a detective who would know what to listen for.
"I don't hear anything." Pete whispered, but then he heard a faint voice.
"I thought so." Andrew said so quietly Pete barely heard him. "Get down."
There were three voices talking quietly but audibly to Pete and Andrew who ducked into a small ditch to hide.
"If we find it think how rich we'll be." The first voice said. It was not a friendly voice.
"Yes, but Harold was tooked, and by that darngy Fox guy, he knows we're on da sumpin, he might figer out 'bout us's work" The second voice said, instantly Mr. Fox was positive the three were Bliks, probably searching for the same thing he was.
"Yea, but you did much worse crimes, and you got away, so don't think you're always going to get caught." The first voice said.
"Shh! not so loud, I feel watched." The third voice said.
"I think the Head will feel awful mad if you drop out of the mission, Sorge, he could even have you done away with, who knows. So shush your mouth and keep looking!" The first voice was clearly the boss of the other two, or least he was leading them.
The three left earshot of Pete and Andrew. They stayed absolutely silent for ten minutes until finally Andrew spoke up.
"Well, I saw that coming when we left on this mission, but not so soon. I'm sure there's more, as it is with Bliks: 'Where there's one, there twenty'. Aren't you glad you live in South Daker?"
Pete nodded. Neither of them said anything more until they returned to the Roseblooms' house.
At lunch everyone was chatting about their searches. Patrick and Margaret Garp had the hardest time (They were the third and fourth oldest of the Garps), but by far Andrew and Pete got into the most danger. Everybody was shocked by the news Andrew related to them. It was unanimously decided that all the children should stay at the house or return home.
The search was discontinued for that day until Andrew borrowed several zappers from the neighboring police station. He had no intention of giving up the search.
The groups went to the evening mass, and then had dinner, and all of them returned to their hotel rooms.
Andrew woke up early the next day. He woke up even before the hotel had breakfast out, so he skipped breakfast and went to Tyro. Mr. Fox walked to the church. He had noticed it before, but he still found it interesting that the church was called "Saint Coswert Tekra Catholic Church". He went inside to pray (the church was always unlocked so people could come in and pray). After an hour and a half of praying he went to the Roseblooms' house, just as the search was about to start.
Everything was the same as the previous two days as far as the searching went, until Calvin, with his two oldest children David and Janet, (Mrs. Garp stayed at the Roseblooms' house with the Garp children who were not grown up), crossed a very muddy marsh.
"Well that was an adventure." Mr. Garp said looking at his well-muddied children after they had gotten across.
"(Sigh) well we'd better continue on." Janet mumbled.
David checked the GPS and the map of Tyro, and the three of them continued the search. David was in high spirits (partially because he loved adventure, and had a zapper), Janet was miserable, and Calvin was rather indifferent to the whole thing, at least until he spotted a stone house.
"Look! A house! It might be the hotel! David, look at the map!"
"The map doesn't show anything here, so we did find something then."
"Well let's go check it out!" Calvin nearly sprinted toward it and went inside a door that was barely hanging on one hinge. There was a large room with a desk and a fireplace, then in a hall leading off from the lobby there were many doors each with a number on it. It was clear: this was the Tyro hotel.
At lunchtime Calvin told everyone, and everyone (except the children who Mrs. Garp said could still get hurt) speedily followed Calvin to the hotel. They found a way around the marsh fortunately.
The hotel was plain and simple, very big, but only two storied. Each room had a chandelier a desk, a table, two beds, and a large rug in the middle covering most of the tile floor. With the use of Undemerethian preserving chemicals most of the old furnishings were in good shape.
"Where should we start?" Pete said as everyone went into the hotel.
Andrew spoke up, "Room 43, that was the page number, oh and here, I have a copy of the riddle:
To find this treasure you'll need to travel. You'll need to look for a crystal case. Right inside it you will find the relic of Coswert Tekra. Only share this with your family, or someone you really trust. Hours will pass before you find the answer to this riddle. Others will want the treasure too, only for money, fame or, renown. Tell this riddle to your children, them to theirs, and theirs to theirs. End not your search until the place is gone. Look to the light to find it. Ride through the night if you have to. Our friend in heaven, ask his help. Our friends on Earth be careful of. Mind you notice every word, not one thing on this page forget."
"I don't see any clues in that." Patrick said, "Well, actually 'look to the light to find it' could be something..."
"Yes! Let's see, the window, let's examine the window." Pete said.
After an extensive search nothing was found. Not even something that looked like it could be a secret passage. Everyone save only Andrew inspected the widow sill and the surrounding area; some even tried searching outside the window. All was in vain.
"Maybe there's another light." Pete suggested "Hey! This rug has a sun on it, maybe it's around here."
As they did with the window, everyone searched around the rug. They searched in the rug, below it, and in the general area of it. Still nothing was found.
Finally Andrew spoke up and said, "I know where the relic is."
"You know where it is?!" Pete exclaimed, but Andrew kept calm.
"Yes I'm almost positive. Remember the riddle said 'look to the light to find it'. Logically you can determine that since the window is a focal point it would make it much too easy for any person to find it. The rug is moved to be cleaned, and probably switched, so it isn't even necessarily the rug that here when the relic was hidden. So the only other light is the chandelier candles. Now, the only time you would pay much attention to it would be when you light it or when it gets polished."
"Come on everyone, let's look at the chandelier." Pete excitedly said. So Patrick carefully lowered the chandelier, and everyone else swarmed around it. First they took off all the candles that were still there. But after looking over every inch of the chandelier, nothing could be found. Andrew inspected it for a short while, then to the surprise of all he unscrewed the top of it, to reveal an old bundle of papers with a small crystal case in the middle.
"Well, here it is. This is a Gyrethene crystal case; it's worth nine thousand pecos ($6,000)." Andrew mused. First he picked up the papers which had been preserved with a very effective preservative method. The words were still eligible and he read it aloud. Most of the pages were about his family life, his job and so forth. The man was named Xavier Garp. Xavier's life was full of fear of the government that was slowly removing the rights of Christians in Googokia. The last pages described how Xavier saved the relic.
"...I just heard today that finally, the government will try to blot out Christianity from this nation. I ran as quickly as possible to save what I could from the church. Fr. Dominic was already there unlocking the door of the church. Together we got everything out of the church and into the neighbor's house. (The neighbor was secretly a Catholic so that his house could be used as a hiding place for the holy articles of the church as well as other Christians.) Our neighbor was currently gone telling the other Christians of the town. First, Father and I saved Jesus' precious body in the tabernacle, and then we brought the vestments, chalices, and relics to our neighbor's house. We were about to get the last relic --the only remaining first class relic of St. Coswert Tekra-- when we heard the sound like a firework, and I heard plaster falling off the ceiling. I told Father that I would take the relic, he agreed and ran off as fast as he could, and I prayed that he would'nt be killed by the Googokian soldiers. The relic was in a crystal case inside a reliquary, so I took the crystal case out, hid it in my innermost pocket and sprinted out the sacristy door. I ran as fast as could, which wasn't very fast, but the soldiers noticed me and two of them ran after me and shot high powered lasers at me. I was praying that God would take me to heaven when I died, then suddenly both soldiers slipped over nothing and fell flat on their faces, so I escaped. I knew I couldn't go back to the Neighbor's house, so I rented a room in the hotel. My plan is to make a secret compartment in the chandelier for the relic. I am skilled at that sort of thing, although I may need to melt down several links of the chain to make it screw in and out. (This is the last entry)."
"Well, I suppose we should bring this back, it's getting dark," Mr. Garp said.
Everyone went back to the Roseblooms' house, talking loudly the whole way back. Andrew was sure he saw a silhouetted figure following them.
The next day they gave the relic to the Pastor of St. Tekra's church. That day and the bishop came to celebrate a mass in honor of St. Tekra. And afterwards there was a party at the Roseblooms' house. But Andrew was worried that the Bliks had caught on, and were planning something. In the evening when the Andrew, Pete, and the Garps were going to return to the hotels someone noticed that there was an orange glow circling the woods. Mr. Rosebloom said it was probably a fire, but when they tried to call the fire station, the phone kept on saying "connection failed". Mrs. Rosebloom called the neighbors but even then the call wouldn't go through.
"There's something odd going on here." Pete told Andrew, "Do you think it's the Bliks?"
Andrew nodded. "It's the only possibility."
"What should we do?"
"We need to get the police. You have a zapper, right?" Pete nodded, "Well then we'll need to sneak past the Bliks, or fight past them."
"Wait, 'we', you mean you and I? Oh no, I can't sneak through Bliks or fight through them."
"We'll wait until morning. Then we'll have time to discuss this."
They had to stay at the Roseblooms' house. Mr. and Mrs. Garp got the guest bedroom, Pete and Andrew each got a couch to themselves, and the Garp kids slept on the floor. One person stayed awake each hour to keep watch. All through the night they could hear the howls of a multitude of Bliks trying to instill terror in the citizens of Tyro. Once during the night there was a phone call from the Bliks, who were laughing evilly on the other end of the phone. But the phone still couldn't call the police or anyone else.
The rest of the day was filled much the same way as the night was. Andrew explained to Pete what they would do, and he also taught Pete how to use a zapper. They also went to the noon Mass to pray for safety. When night came Pete and Andrew left the house to sneak out of Tyro to get the police. The forest was very dark and eerie in the night. Pete noted that they were walking very slowly. They didn't meet any Bliks until they came to a clearing near the road train stop. There were three huge bonfires and a signal blocking device. There were five Bliks, and they noticed Pete and Andrew immediately. They sounded an alarm and many more joined them. The Bliks fired their weapons at Pete and Andrew. Pete fired his zapper at any Blik that got within his aim. Andrew ran directly at them and fired at any Blik he could see. Both Pete and Andrew got past them without harm.
The Bliks had badly damaged the road train tracks, so Pete and Andrew had to get to the neighboring town on foot. They ran the whole way, stopping to catch their breaths occasionally. The sun was just beginning to rise when they saw the "Welcome to Hentson" sign. Fatigued, the two entered the city and found the police station and told them about the Bliks at Tyro. The police immediately sent out a large squad of police to stop the Bliks. The hotel Andrew and Pete had stayed at was in that same town, so they went to their hotels.
The police used an air transport to reach Tyro. The Bliks were shocked at the sight of the police. The police were armed with zappers, which they use to stun their enemies to arrest them, they had shock-proof vests, and high tech helmets for targeting, communication, and computer functions. The Bliks had any zapper they could get their hands on, and regular clothing, and masks to hide their identity. The police easily overpowered them with only two police injured. Nearly all of the Bliks present (only about one thirtieth of the whole gang) were arrested. One of the few that did escape was the Head Blik. .
Andrew slept until noon, and then he returned to Tyro. Andrew had walked the whole way, so he arrived in the early evening. There were news reporters everywhere, and he was interviewed many times. He knew he would have his name in the news once again.
The next few weeks saw the repairing of the destroyed road train tracks. The repairmen had grown lazy because the sturdy-built structures of the Tyro area rarely were destroyed. Often the worker's boss could be seen "encouraging" the workers to work quicker (But, of course, HE couldn't help do the work because he had to tell the others what to do). Many trees around the edge of the Tyro woods were cut down and burned by the Bliks, so the citizens of Tyro cleaned up the burnt logs and chopped down tree branches and used them for firewood.
Andrew spent the first few days tracking some of the Bliks that escaped, but he was only able to catch one. Pete was busy writing about the treasure hunt and had to keep on asking everyone what they had said at such and such an occasion. Mr. Garp said that as long as they were staying at the Roseblooms' house (Andrew stayed in the neighboring town) they would help with the farm work.
Through the whole adventure, the Garps had become good friends with the Roseblooms and some of their neighbors. Every day they prayed the Divine Office, prayed the rosary in the morning, went to Mass thereafter, and prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet at three 'o' clock. By the time the repairmen had done their job, no one, except Andrew who knew he would have a case to solve when returned home, really wanted to leave. But it was necessary that they did leave because Mr. Garp had to get back to his job.
Andrew, Pete, and the Garps left Tyro the day the road train track was fixed. When they returned home they had endless questions asked by the other residents of the Garp Mansion. Pete finished his book and had it published, and it became very popular. Andrew was right, he did have a case to solve when he got back, but it wasn't anything major; one man accused another man of stealing his cow when the other man claimed he didn't.
Every year Andrew, Pete, and the Garps went to Tyro for the Feast of St. Tekra, and to visit the Roseblooms. The Roseblooms always had a very nice meal prepared for them. Mr. Garp would always joke around and say that they came only for the food.
Mr. Garp lost his old job because his boss didn't like him, but the boss said it was for turning down an opportunity to work overtime. Mr. Garp only turned that into an improvement by becoming a famous archeologist. His children found jobs they enjoyed (Two of them became priests), and most of them stayed in the Family mansion.
Andrew had many more adventures, several of which Pete would write about. But his life changed very much over the years to come; the Bliks were increasingly growing and causing trouble all over Undemereth. Andrew was often busy in some foreign country hunting down robbers, spies, murderers, and the like. Often a country's police force was too lax to handle the Bliks.
The Roseblooms' life was normal, they worked the farm, and when the children grew up they would get a job, but would still live nearby, and in most cases on a farm. Lucy, though, became a detective and worked with Andrew and other renowned detectives on several cases.
Lucy was a very intelligent detective, but she never would have been if it wasn't for the search for St. Tekra's relic.
LPH Writing Class stories 2013-2014