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   Chapter 7 Keeper of the Crossroads

Keeper of the Crossroads By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 7225

Updated: 2018-03-13 10:51

Chapter 7

Jamie made a trip back downstairs to retrieve the inventory then returned to the study. He pushed his closed laptop to the side of the desk and flipped through the large stack of papers to the section marked study. He checked off the large scale items like the desk and chairs, but skipped over the contents of the drawers to start on the listed books.

While Albe, or whoever had cataloged the collection, had been thorough in listing all of the books and authors they were not in the same order on the shelves as they were on the paper. While the paper list was alphabetical by authors' last names, the shelves had the books grouped by subject. The only way he would find out what books were missing would be by process of elimination. Jamie sighed heavily, then rolled up his sleeves and took the inventory to one of the shelves.

Several hours later, Jamie was a bit dustier than when he started and only a little closer to figuring out what books were missing. He had managed to work his way through one set of shelves.

"Only one?" he thought to himself. "Should have been more." He looked up at the shelves. The room had what Jamie estimated as a sixteen foot ceiling and the shelves went all the way up. Some of the books were standard sized and some very thin folios were wedged between stouter volumes. So each four foot shelf held a varying amount of books. His stomach rumbled before he could estimate how many books he had gone through and a chuckle came from the doorway.

"Looks like my timing was right, " Del said. "Dinner is ready if you are."

"Let me just wash up and I'll be down, " Jamie told him. Del headed back to the kitchen and Jamie went back to his room and its connected bathroom. He washed his hands and realized his shirt had picked up a fair amount of dust as well so he changed it before going down.

The smell from the kitchen was marvelous. The sight was even better. Jamie seated himself at the table and was handed a bowl full of thick stew. A freshly baked loaf of bread was also sliced and ready to eat.

"While there was no more ready-made, I did find some flour and what not in the pa

stripped and climbed into bed between the cool sheets. He shivered at the cotton against his skin, but figured his body heat would soon warm them up. Jamie snuggled down into the bed and watched the shadows from the firelight dance on the ceiling. The steady sound of rain drumming on the room soon lulled him into sleep.

Jamie was awoken sometime later by a loud crash. The fire had died to ash and the room was black. Only familiarity with the room kept him from bumping into anything as he reached to the door. He turned on the light as he went and when he opened the door light spilled into the hallway. Jamie could hear footsteps approaching and a light growing brighter fast at the entrance to the stairs. Del soon appeared holding a small oil lamp.

"Are you all right?" he asked Jamie. Jamie nodded.

"I think the sound came from Albe's room." Del frowned for a second and then his face cleared.

"The master suite hasn't been cleared out yet, " he confirmed. Personally Jamie didn't think he would ever really want to take Albe's room, but let the thought slide. Jamie reached for the door knob and swung open the door to Albe's suite. The four poster bed was broken and splintered on the floor. A giant boulder lay on top. If Jamie had been sleeping in the bed at the time of its arrival he would have been killed. He swallowed hard and stared.

"It looks like someone wants to kill the Keeper, " Del said.

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