Back in front of the fire Ben lost another game of chess to Raphael and was just about to lose at backgammon as well if he didn’t play up to a better standard than he was. Ben was about to roll the dice and said to Raphael quietly......‘Hey Raph, guess what? I dived with three mermaids today each more beautiful than the next.’ This made Raphael stop thinking for a split second and his mind - and vine like tentacles - went to women. Quick as a flash, Ben rolled the dice got double sixes and gammoned Raphael for the first time since he started playing the game with the chair who was his friend.
‘Zoot allures mon ami, yoo av beaten me, I must have revenge,’ implored Raphael laughing the whole time.
‘Not now friend I might have a read of some of the old books we bought in town months ago and enjoy your company and the fire if you don’t mind,’ said Ben getting up and walking to the bookcase. He pulled out a volume on World War Two submarines. Seeing as he loved being underwater with mermaids he wanted to know what it was like to be underwater really deep, and to be a target. Ben sat back in his chair, sipped his tea and opened the pages of the book. The crackle of the fire was the only thing heard albeit for some serious snoring on Hambone and Lamb Shanks behalf.
Ben was looking at different submarines and their history. There were old black and white pictures of soldiers all standing to attention in the front of the sub they were crewing. It was all very splendid. Ben closed the book and went to get some more firewood and when he came back Zara was reading his book and handed him it back at a certain page and she said......‘This is interesting Ben. I think I know where that one is.’
The submarine in question was one of Adolph Hitler’s wolves of the sea. It was part of a larger unit of subs that terrorised the Baltic Sea during WW2. Apparently when the war started to go bad for Hitler and he felt the first inklings of a serious defeat, he cleaned out the treasure house and loaded it away. He hid it somewhere and to this day no one has been able to find it. Some say it was found and remoulded into other items for sale on the black market but there is a substantial amount still missing and rumour has it that it went down in the submarines around the area where Ben built back from the ruins, Amazing and Graceful.
Ben looked up from his reading into Zara’s eyes. She confirmed his surprise by gently nodding her head as if to say ‘yep, I know where it is’.
D-Mac turned the light on inside the cabin of his boat as it chugged its way down the Loch into the setting sun. He looked over his shoulder at his passengers who were arguing in their native tongue while looking at a small bit of what looked like brown mouldy food wrapper. It’s lucky for you I know how to translate what these guys are saying so here goes....)
‘Yoo dunt no wear da fugging ting iz doo yoo?’
‘Noooo, eye do, butt eye juz wysh you wood fugging shuddup abut it.’
D-Mac continued to steer the boat and he knew in about three or four corners of the Loch he would be seeing the lights of Amazing and Graceful over his bow. The two klutzes...er businessmen, who were arguing over the mouldy wrapper kept it up without looking once into the direction they were travelling. It wasn’t until D-Mac was standing right next to them they stopped talking and yelling at each other long enough to ask... ‘Ar we fugging ther yut?’
’Excuse me Sorehead and Verandah but where the hell is ‘fugging there’ supposed to be?’
‘...wee av cordinutts, reed dis,’ and with that being half spat, half slurred at D-Mac, he took the position and mud map from his travelling companions and turned the boat into the direction it said. The screaming of the two travellers was almost louder than the engine in D-Mac’s boat and Gotcha just moved ever so slightly on the bottle causing it to squeak and make the two travellers stop in their argumentative tracks to look at the crab pot...with a deep yearning for their money under the crab’s ass.
Ben looked at Zara and said, ‘Where, when, how deep and what do we need to get it up from where it is?’ asked Ben as he put the book onto the coffee table and waited for an answer from his ghostly friend.
‘I swam around the Loch not long back after you freed me from the cellar and into an Abyss, there I saw a submarine that had its anchor out and extended that was dangling in the tide. It was German.’
‘Oh goody...I mean yes, could you show me where it is please Zara. I can don my air tanks and we take a look?’
‘Yes I could but you had better not go inside the sub because if it falls, it will be good night Ben as that hole is really deep.’
‘Okay, I have listened to the safety tip and thank you for that Zara,’ Ben said drooling seriously about finding more hidden treasure than his own safety. ‘Let’s sleep on it and make a fresh start in the morning okay?’
‘Okay,’ said Zara a bit too sheepishly and she watched Ben scoot up the stairs and close his door.
Raphael watched Zara pace up and down in front of the fire and mirror before he asked her... ‘Are you ok cheri?’
‘Yes but I am worried I have opened up Pandora’s Box for Ben and he may end up sleeping with the Merrows if he is not careful.’
‘Ee will be fine, feel like a game of strip backgammon.’
‘Oh Raph give it a rest could you, this is serious.’
‘As you wish cheri, good night.’
The reception area was paced by Zara continually for hours after Ben went to bed. Zara was in a spot of trouble, and she knew it.
D-Mac was almost out of fuel, and he knew it.
As Ben’s head hit the pillow he had a revelation.
If one small iron bed killed the king of the Merrows, what could a submarine do instead? He sat bolt upright in bed and looked out his window in the direction of the Dx4H. He had to save Zillath and her people from being killed by something just a bit bigger than an old iron bed.