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   Chapter 9 Keeper of the Crossroads

Keeper of the Crossroads By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 9201

Updated: 2018-03-13 10:53

Chapter 9

After a few minutes of reading Jamie had more questions than answers. He was however composing quite a book list. Albe's synopsis was quite helpful, but somewhat shy on details as he had relied on the provided book list to flesh out some of the details.

"He knew he might be killed over this, but didn't think anyone could or would break in and steal his books, " Jamie said to himself leaning back in the chair. From what he could tell, the issue Albe was investigating dealt with two factions who had crossed on what was either a cultural issue or a religious one. Jamie couldn't tell and he was pretty sure Albe hadn't figured it out either. Jamie looked over at his notebook.

The page was now divided in half. One side listed the books Albe had mentioned. He wasn't surprised to find there were five titles on the list. Jamie glanced at the shelves. The books were grouped by topic rather than alphabetically which is what slowed down his inventory checking the day before. Perhaps the books around the missing ones would prove helpful.

On the second side of the page Jamie had started a list of the terms he was unfamiliar with. Most of them had been footnoted with references to the missing books. They were also words that appeared frequently in the pack of letters he had found the day before. Jamie glanced at the clock on the wall. It was barely six o'clock. He ran his fingers through his hair and let out his breath in a long steady stream as a plan began to form in his head.

"House?" He asked.

"Yes Keeper?" came the ready reply.

"Do you know how Albe ordered his books?"

"Yes Keeper. He made a list, often from catalogs and had me send the list to the book sellers."

"Could you send a list to them from me, only with yesterday's date on it?"

"Yes Keeper." Jamie nodded.

"When do you normally send out the mail?"

"First thing in the morning."

"Good. What do I need to do?"

"The dated and signed list should be placed on the front hall table next to the calling card holder after it is sealed. That is the normal place for sending out messages." Jamie nodded. He pulled out a nicer piece of paper than his notepad held and copied the list of missing books down. He used his best handwriting and dated it for the 6th of October. The seal was still in the secretary downstairs and Jamie took the list downstairs, waving it a little as he walked so that the ink would dry. Hopefully it was early enough in the morning that it would seem reasonable that the list was compiled the day before. Then it would have gone out with the normal morning mail regardless of his physical state.

"Not a perfect plan, " he said to himself. "It assumes that others actually know the routin

Merdos was but figured that it was some sort of event. Either way he did know that the Federan and the Gederan refused to share the Lustan for it and Albe had been trying to determine who had the rights to use the temple for that night. Jamie finished the sandwich and put the plate on the edge of his desk. He started to pull one of the books closer but stopped himself. Instead, he pulled his laptop closer and returned to Albe's stored files.

"Nothing on Lune Merdos, " he said after a few minutes. On a whim he decided to Google it.

"Do you mean Luna Muertos?" The search engine asked him, assuming he had misspelled his query. Jamie shook his head. Figuring he wasn't going to get any better results he clicked yes. After a few more clicks he found out that Luna Muertos was an old term for a lunar eclipse.

"Sounds reasonable, " he said. "I wonder when the next one is." Jamie typed in a second search. November 2nd was the answer. "The Day of the Dead. I wonder what the odds of that are." Jamie recalled seeing the November date added to one of Albe's notes but it didn't connect with anything. He leaned back in the chair.

"If this Lune Merdos is going down on the Day of the Dead then I have only about three weeks to figure this mess out." From what he had picked up from his reading if a decision was not made prior to the event then a blood bath would take place as each group tried to take over the site.

"So no pressure, " he said. "Great."

"Keeper, " House interrupted his thoughts.

"Yes, " Jamie said.

"There is someone here."

"Here?" Jamie shot to his feet. "Where?"

"Outside. He is peering in one of the windows. I think he might have been there a while, but he just now brushed against my glass with his breath."

"Good, " Jamie said. "Let's see what our visitor is up to."

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