Clues in Crochet – Part 3 – Finale.

Christie and Mr. Mason were stunned and silenced by the sound. They could not believe it. The thugs and their boss – all blown to tithers. Finally, Christie found the strength to speak.

“Mr. Mason, these thugs were the only ones who knew we are here.. and now they are dead.. what will we do?”

“I believe Miss, that this was a devastating design, but nonetheless one for your safety, designed by Madam before she died.. I’m not saying she got the mines placed there – I would have known and so would other people.. but she definitely knew about them.. and she chose to be silent – except for that paper with the codes you’re carrying”.

Christie understood. Grannie might have foreseen that the thugs may get to Christie, and she put it in place so that both Christie and the treasure would be safe and the thugs would be finished off.

However, that still didn’t solve the problem that both of them were tied with rope to the pole, with no sign of human life around. Add to the fact that they hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday.

“But Mr. Mason, for us to get to the treasure or even to get back, we need to be freed of the ropes.. there’s no one around. How will we do that?”

“Oh miss, you do underestimate this farmer.. do you think he would roam about in hostile land without his indispensable tools?”

He then removed a swiss knife, and gradually began to cut the rope. It was a thick rope and it took them a while to get free, but they were eventually untied.

“Now,” said, Christie, massaging her wrists that seemed to be devoid of blood flow, what do we make of this?”

On the sheet of paper was a single line with a sort of code.

Rnd 5: (2 sc in next st, sc in nxt 3 st) 6 times (30 st)

“Any idea what this is, Mr. Mason?”

“It doesn’t sound familiar to me, but we ought to think more. Because if we do not get it right, we may get blown to pieces too. This is a ruthless but necessary part of Madam’s plan, to keep the treasure safe”.

They sat thinking, and chewing some leaves for want of food.

“Oh of course!”, said Christie, slapping her forehead in irritation.

“You know what it means?” said Mr. Mason, rather taken aback by the force of her slap.

“Mr. Mason, this part of the field, is it sort of like a hexagon.. a snowflake?”

“Well, if you think of it that way yes, the borders that the historians made do roughly resemble that shape.”

“This is crochet code, what is written on the paper – and I hope I remember it right, but its translates like this –

Rnd 5 This is the fifth round of the pattern.

2 sc in next st Make 2 single crochet stitches, both into the same stitch.

sc in next 3 st Make 1 single crochet stitch into each of the next 3 stitches.

(…) 6 times Repeat everything within the parentheses 6 times.

(30 st) You’ll make a total of 30 stitches in this round.”

“But Miss.. is there any way to cross-check? If we have this wrong, we can die here and all of Madam’s work will be in vain.”

“I’m afraid not, Mr. Mason. Light-weight objects do not trigger the mines so trying to make such a thing pass over the code-route will yield nothing. We have to take the risk”.

Slowly, they followed the path of the stitches laid out by the code. Christie thought her feat had turned to lead and her heart had stopped beating. She almost thought that with each next step, as they got closer to where the thugs were headed, she would die, blown to pieces by a mine. But she re-instilled faith in herself, believing fiercely in Grannie.

Alas, they reached a block of stones. This was where one of the men had said that the deposits of whatever they were looking for were bound to be.

Christie looked around. What, were they to dig now? They did not have shovels or anything.

Just then, she saw that a block in the stones was of a slightly different colour.

Carefully, she pulled out what seemed to be a wooden box. It was painted so as to camouflage with the rest of the boulders.

She opened it. Inside it was a remote-control like machine with several buttons on it and some sheets of paper.

First she opened the envelope labeled ‘To Christie’.

“Dear Christie,

If you have reached here, my plan has worked. When the historians came, they came with geologists, because here are deposits of a rare metal. No, it’s not gold. It’s Dalenium, this is what they called it after testing. The government that funded the project got greedy and wanted to use the reserves for harmful purposes. This is one of the few sites of the deposits. It can harness a lot of energy, much more efficient than coal. It is found in our fields in a sort of snowflake pattern – regular intervals of branched growth. To make sure that the deposits don’t fall into wrong hands until the current term of government ended, the head historian suggested we carefully mine the area. There would be casualties she said, but it was important to do so.

Soon after, despite her warnings, some of her staff tried fiddling and died in the procedure. We could not say it was the mines that were killing people, so we circulated strange stories. Sadly, the story of the deposits had leaked, and all sorts of people with vested interests started approaching me, directly and indirectly. I knew it was only a matter of days before they killed me in some obscure manner – food poisoning or some such, as I was vehemently refusing to relent to their negotiation. The historian thought it would be wise to leave for now and let the rumors die down.

The remote will help you make your way around the underground pathways that were made when they started digging up for the fossils. Also in this box is an exclusive will stating your ownership over the deposits. Lastly, you can also find information in this Box on Aki Ra, a living legend from Combodia, who has detonated many land-mines in his own country. You can request him to do so for our filed too, if you feel its safe. Along with him, the geologists, historians and of course, Mr. Mason, you should have a way out of this.

Follow the right path, use these resources wisely. You may be able to change the way the world functions, because we need energy for everything. And remember, trouble may be temporarily over, but don’t stop looking over your shoulder.

Yours,

Grannie”.

After reading this, when she looked up, Mr. Mason’s eyes were as misty as hers.

She read the post script –

“Oh, and yes, here are blue and white crochet coatees for you and Mr. Mason. For a change, you won’t have to look for any clues in them. Except perhaps, those of my love for the two of you”.

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A thank you to the follwing websites –

http://idiotsguides.com/static/quickguides/hobbiescrafts/how-to-read-a-crochet-pattern.html

http://www.noob.us/miscellaneous/defusing-land-mines-in-cambodia-scary/

The Aki Ra guy is real and has defused 10,000 land mines in Cambodia. Check out the above link for more.

 

 

Clues in Crochet – part 2!

imagesWhen Christie came to, she was looking into kind old eyes. She blinked. She knew these eyes.

“Oh, my dear, don’t strain yourself. These men bludgeoned you rather hard on the head, I’m afraid.”

Of course, it was the old caretaker, Mr. Mason. Grannie always sang his praises.

“These bad men have been here when Madam was living, and now they want her treasure now that she is dead. They told me you were ill and I was to nurse you until you came to. It seems that they want you to lead them to Madam’s treasure. Tell me dear, is it true? You know where she kept it?”

“I just had an idea that the clues to the hiding place might be hidden in all the crochet work in the house.. you know how grannie loved to crochet, and that’s when they hit me on the head so bad. But who are these men?”

“Local mafia. But that’s not all. They seem to have tied up with some powerful people, who want to get their hands on this land, thus they tried to get you to sell first. But you did not and they also needed you to tell them where exactly to look. They have tried to locate it themselves but their men have just gotten lost in the vast estate, days without food and water and no way to get back. This land is much more mysterious than it looks, and they have finally realized that”.

“But what is this treasure Grannie keeps talking about in the letter?”

“I only know a bit of gold that can be accessed in some spots with rather deep digging. But what your grandmother meant was something entirely different. Even I do not know what it was, but it was more precious than gold. She would ride off early in the morning, and take a different servant each time and a different route each time. We don’t know what it was or how to find it, only you do.”

“But Mr. Mason, surely, they will kill us once they find what they’re after?”

Well, I can safely assume that the purpose of the first crochet was to let me know that the treasure is in the farm, or at least the way to it is, thought Christie.

Now, the second crochet, proceeding to the second room of the house, is an Afghan square in red and white. Towards the north-east of it, is rather a big knot. This can’t be a mistake, Grannie was simply too good at crochet..

“Mr. Mason, do you have a world map around here?”

“What do you need a world map for?” said one of the thugs.

“You hit me on the head, and it hurts even if I think I little. I don’t want to explain myself to a thick-head. I’m doing what I can to find the treasure. No internet connection in this remote place or I’d just use Google”.

“Here you are Miss, a life sized world map.”

“Oh good, now look up Afghanistan, is Kabul sort of towards the North-east?”

“Yes, it is why?”

“Look at this red knot here, this is not a mistake. On the afghan square crochet, Grannie has faintly traced the borders of Afghanishtan, but they have faded with time, what remains is her highlighting Kabul’s location. Are the coordinates of the place given on the map?”

“Yes, its 34.53 North and 69.16 East.”

Good! Is such a spot possible to locate on the farm? I believe that’s where either the next clue or treasure lies”

“If we measure in hectares no, but if we measured in acres, yes.. but that’s still a very vague and vast area to search, it would take days to dig up that patch, that would be towards the end of the farm, mainly our storage units built on infertile land..”

“Wait, what is common between crochet and land? the one unit which is common to both fabric and land..the yard! Think in yards, does it narrow down then?”

“If I super impose the acre plot you mentioned by the yards.. well then those coordinates would point to the tool-shed”.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

“Lot’s of dingy tools here, no treasure! Are you sure about this girl? The boss will be unhappy if you’ve led us on a wild-goose chase!”

“You can shove the boss..! Never mind!”

“Look here Miss,A crochet pattern under the toolbox!”

“Oh of course! One of the reasons why crochet is used is to save wooden surfaces from straining from tea cups.. and rust!”

“It’s different from the one’s we saw in the house Miss.”

“Yes, its a tunisian pattern, it’s started with a slipknot.. and then a chain, which you then replicate once the foundation row is made.. but there’s nothing, no clue within this one, as far as I know.. so it must be the method.. Mr. Mason, anywhere near hear where there’s ropes, or chain, or some construction work where foundations are laid, anything of that sort at all?”

“Well, there was an excavation site here, just when I came, I used to see all these learned people around. Madam said they were historians. They were laying foundation for big machines, permanent machines that go into the ground. They were looking for something.. But way too many of them died of mysterious deaths, and so, the work was left and the site abandoned. No one ever went back there, and so that’s why it’s all still there – the half-laid foundation, the ropes used to pull out rocks, the chains used in the digging machines.”

“That’s it then! that’s where the treasure is!” thought Christie, but she still didn’t feel it was right. There was a piece of paper with codes in her hand that fell from the box. What was the use of this?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The thugs grinned as the boss stepped down from the helicopter.

“The pretty-face found it boss! The detector is bleeping! We are positive that those rocks there are where the deposits are and what perhaps the historians and archaeologists were after!

“But wait!” said Christie. She and Mason were tied to a pole at the beginning of the site.

“Yeah right! Wait for you to come up with some funny business to stop us now that we are here! Once me and my men get the deposits, we are killing you and this old bugger, a finishing touch! You just wait here and watch!”

“Listen to me, i think this is not as easy as it looks..I think the area is..”

Just then, there was a loud noise, as bits of human flesh flow everywhere. The noise drowned Christie’s voice, but she said it anyway –

“mined!”

Clues in Crochet – Part 1.

Christie shifted her weight from one foot to another. It seemed to take an eternity to swallow the meaning of the letter she had in her hand. Her beloved grandma had passed away. She remembered spending lovely and interesting time in childhood at their country home. While growing up, school and career had taken priority, and her parents were not very fond of Grandma Annie, or Grannie, for short.

The reason why the letter was accompanied by a lawyer, was that Grannie had left the country home and the accompanying farm to Christie. Christie told the lawyer that she would be flying down for the funeral and would only then declare what she wanted to do with her inheritance.

Her parents came over to her studio apartment to frown about her decision to ‘waste money going down that village’. Her father was a banker and her mother, a school administrator. Not that the jobs made them so, but Christie always wondered how she could be the daughter of these two dreadfully boring and extremely financial minded (read: stingy) people.

She believed she inherited her creative streak from her Grannie. Grannie did crochet while Christie did modern art. She did not inherit lots of facial features from Grannie, except for the resolute, stubble nose which could scare people with its determination if it had to. It was doing so now.

Her father ventured hesitantly, ‘christie, dear, you are young..’

‘I’m 30 years old, father’

‘Well, yes, but younger to us, aren’t you? I say there’s no weight in this inheritance business. Why fly down to the downtrodden farm? I think you should do what the lawyer says, sell it to his firm. It will fetch you whatever meager price its worth and you can use that to finance a painting exhibition. It’s about time you had a proper launch’.

Christie raised an eyebrow, as if to say, ‘so now you know Art do you?’

Her mother saw this exchange and before a philosophical discussion on the importance of Art emerged, she chipped in, ‘I know the right thing to do would be to go wish mother her ultimate goodbye, but I’m sure she would understand that we are busy, and that to reach her in that obscure land will cause a lot of ticket fare, dear.. the local church have agreed to do the burial, haven’t they?’

‘Yes they have mother. But there are two main reasons why I need to go. Firstly, the trip is paid by the lawyer’s firm, and secondly, along with the paid trip, he was putting additional pressure on me to give up the land. I don’t like it. Something’s fishy. I think I owe it to Grannie to go see the place once and see if everything is OK’

But, dear..

Mom, dad, you don’t think painting is a real career anyway.. what does it matter if I do take a little break then?

The flight was tedious, but the prospect of seeing her childhood home kept Christie energized.

What Christie didn’t know, was that as she excitedly made her way from the airport to the farmhouse, she was being followed.

She walked into the lovely familiar veranda, where along the birch trees was the swing she would play on for hours as a child. As she crossed the rooms full of old wooden furniture and beautiful crochet adorning the wall, she abruptly came to a halt. There was her grandmother, lying on the hearse, lifeless and cold, a couple of neighbours by her side.

She cried. She howled.

After the funeral was over, the local pastor handed her a letter her grandmother had left for her.

“Dear Christie,

I have an inheritance that goes beyond what is easily visible, something that I used sparingly to get by and to finance the causes I believed in. But there are evil eyes on it, even as I die. That is why, although I’m leaving it to you, you’ll have to search for it, using both wit and memory. Have a good look at the house, I’m sure you’ll know what I am talking about.

Yours,

Grannie”

The letter puzzled Christie. She spent some time looking at it, but it  was clear that it would say no more. She walked back and forth in the house. She looked at each of the rooms. They were simply furnished, and she knew that there were no trap doors or secret passageways.

What was this inheritance then? Where was it? Where were the clues?

As she pondered over this, she looked at the Granny Square crochet hung over the fireplace. She smiled. Grannie sure was quirky, since the farm was square.. and she was a grandma..

Oh wait! Did that mean..

“The clues to the inheritance are hidden in the crochet!” exclaimed Christie

“Good, because you’ll be telling us exactly where the hell to look!”

Before she could identified the source of the voice, she felt a sharp pain at the back of her head and fell forward with a dull thud.

All turned black.

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