Vengeance is Ours!
--- By Die Gebrüdern Rätzel ---
The old building was something out of a Mickey Spillane novel from the 1950’s. It was one of those old red brick buildings … ubiquitous at the time, but now somewhat rare. The plinth, which dominated the entrance, proudly proclaimed that this was the “McGowan Block”. As I tugged at one of the massive double doors, I had a feeling of déjà vu. I mean, it was almost as if I knew what lay within.
The foyer was spartan, to say the least. No chairs, no tables, not even a coat-rack. The walls had that brown-tinged pallor than reminded me of aged newspaper and the brown battleship tile of the floors did little to lighten the mood. The one bright spark was the elevator, which stood between two sets of wrought iron stairs. The shiny brass doors and digital indicator were an anomaly that hinted at this being a more recent addition.
Entering the elevator confirmed my hunch. A modern control panel, rather than the old lever-style controls, made me a bit less apprehensive about the ride up to the fourth floor.
As the door slid aside, quickly stepped out. No use tempting fate. Nothing ever worked for long in these old buildings; even the new stuff.
Dragging myself out of my reverie, I found my destination was just across the hall. The gold-stenciled letters on the glass of the wooden door read, “Die Gebrüdern Rätzel, Cache Detectives Extraordinaire”.
I slipped the old black skeleton key into the lock and …
Well; maybe I should explain, first, that I had received it just a few days previously. A mysteriously package was dropped at my door and I only just caught sight of a man in a trench coat as I stooped to pick it up. Odd; I remember thinking, this only happens in spy novels.
I turned the key and pushed the door open.
The room was like something out of an old movie; the old desk and chair, the file cabinet in the corner, the file boxes stacked in the corner … even the coat stand that stood next to the door. A pall of dust covered everything and, behind the desk, the light that filtered through the dirty window did little to dispel the almost tangible gloom that seemed to hang in the air.
The light switch was one of those old ones with two black buttons in a brass wall plate. You know the type; one for on and one for off. Without thinking, I pressed the one to turn the lights on…
Yep, this was going to be another one of those adventures.
(Press the button, below, to join our intrepid gumshoe in “Not Worth a Plugged Nickel”)
You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.
We will be posting a list of solvers here in order to recognize the people who put the effort into solving this cache and the First to Solve honors goes to: The Tower of Song.
1. The Tower of Song
6. Canadian Explorers