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’.
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.
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”.
A thank you to the follwing websites –
The Aki Ra guy is real and has defused 10,000 land mines in Cambodia. Check out the above link for more.