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The Castle Part 4

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Vince stayed on the floor and watched as the large war Axe swung down. When it stopped moving, he stood up and managed to squeeze himself between it and the frame. His powerful flashlight illuminated the mechanism on the back of the old wooden door that activated the Axe, he marveled at its construction and design.

Once inside the cell, he closed the door after tying a rope to the bars set in the wooden door.As the door closed the Axe swung back up toward the ceiling and over a wooden latch. When he locked the door the arm that pulled the Axe up disengaged and it was held by the latch. When Vince unlocked the door pulled on the rope to simulate the door being opened the Axe began its swift and deadly journey again.

Vince continued moving toward the hole in the wall and stepped through the crude opening. The master masons journal told him that treasure had been hidden to the right and left. The footprints on the floor told him that Ben had gone to the left, so he headed right.

It was pitch black down here under the castle, so Vince dropped some glow sticks as he moved, they were good for twenty-four hours. If his flashlights gave out, he would need them to find his way back out, or he could be lost in the dark.

The rope secured to his harness tugged at him to tell him that he was almost out of line, it was time to move "Buddy" closer. He moved "Buddy" to the doorway of the cell before he continued.

Since Ben had not moved in this direction, he had to rely totally on the vague message in an ancient journal. His light illuminated a cluster of small rocks stacked together to form a small tower.

"The rocks lie. Dig in the center a hands breath away from them but do so with caution," the journal said.

Vince laid his hand on the dirt floor to measure a hands width distance from the pile of rocks before he removed a small shovel from his belt and began to dig slowly.After about three minutes of digging he saw the tip of a sword sticking up from the dirt, he adjusted the angle of his dig. He documented every step he took with numerous pictures.

Vince lost all track of time as he dug. He kept finding the tips of swords and had to adjust. Finally, his patience was rewarded, and he discovered a small chest in the middle of a half a dozen swords.

The swords were still razor sharp and set close together. He used his booted feet to push them apart before he was able to reach in and secure his prize.

It was a small chest inlaid with gold and about the size of an old fashion makeup case. Vince slowly undid the latch and pointed the lid away from his face before opening it. Inside were gold coins and precious stones, he took more pictures before making his was back to "Buddy".

Vince began to feel pangs of hunger and dug out the MRE's (meals ready to eat) that "Buddy" carried and had dinner. As he ate, he carefully examined the contents of the chest. He did not remove his gloves while he ate. They were the same puncture resistance gloves that law enforcement wore when patting down a suspect.

This was done in case his fingers might find another trap hidden among the contents of the box, like a large needle. As he ate, his excitement calmed down, and his senses expanded, he heard sounds in the pitch black area. He expanded them away as rats or bats, but could not dislodge the feeling of evil he felt.

Before he continued again, he tied an extra five hundred feet of rope to "Buddy's" winch and plugged in the powerful work lights. He carried them with him as he moved back toward the area where he found the chest. He flicked on the switch, and the cavernous area was bathed in bright light.

The huge supports of the castle were now visible and more pictures were taken. He saw a large shield and crossed swords, the shield bore the de Winter coat of arms set into the stones of one support. The journal warned that the plaque must remain where it was, and only the swords could be removed.

Vince pulled one of the swords from the shield and discovered a small wax covered hole. The wax was carefully removed, and gold coins poured from the opening. The shield was examined under the beam of the powerful light, and Vince discovered that had he pulled it off the wall it would have released another trap.

Now Vince was not a greedy man and decided that he had enough. Based on his knowledge of the market for gold, silver and gems he had more than enough to pay all his recent travel expenses and still leave him with a tidy sum.

He began the slow journey back to the throne room making sure he retraced his footprints in the dirt and dust..Soon he was in the row of cells in the hallway that lead back upstairs. He aimed the powerful beam of his light through the bars in the door and moved it around the interior.

A shiny object in the dust reflected the light back. The journal said nothing negative, so Vince unlocked the door and entered. There in the dust was the most beautiful feminine necklace he had ever seen.

It was made of solid gold and inset with diamonds and ruby. Vince bent to pick it up and too late he discovered it was attached to a thin cable. The floor opened, and Vince fell.

Written by The_Count
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