By Puddle All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Thriller

Chapter 15

As he was about to close down, he spotted a folder named ‘Saul’. Then, he remembered Saul’s computer had, recently, picked up a virus, and Saul had borrowed the laptop to do his online banking.

“Evil pigs filthying computers with their viruses for greed for bucks, or pitting their crazy gourds against programmers. Yep, just greed and vanity!” Saul had raged.

Should he send an e-mail to Saul with the file as an attachment? Saul was not into worldly stuff and had, probably, forgotten the folder was on this laptop. He opened the ‘Saul’ file. A file named ‘Banking’ and a file named ‘Alexandria Summer School’ were there, but a third file named ‘Succoth’ jumped out. It was, probably, some research on Judaism. He had felt jealous, when Saul had gone off to yap with Rabbis. But he was getting bushed. He would leave the folder, and check his e-mails. Hitting the sack was chief in his head.

No e-mail from Birdie courtesy of one of her beaux’s computer expertise. She was incapable of switching on a computer despite having the most up-to-date model and programs. Zilch but cheap show with her. But her lack of contact with him was not surprising. She had been miffed he had decided to go to The Cabrach to investigate Murdy’s roots.

“You’ve a French side to you! Why do you choose Murdy over me?” she had shrieked.

“My surname’s Gordon.”

“I’ve looked after you before and since the divorce. Murdy just wanted to wash his hands of us. We didn’t fit in at his ranch. Think about this, Alex, women have always had to take the lower position in a family. Even their maiden surnames are wiped out, when wed. You’re as much a Delon as a Gordon. You’re half French, half Scottish, but born in Texas much to my disgust.”

He had stormed out of her pad. But had Hamish with his passionate talk tipped him over into the Gordons and The Cabrach?

The one e-mail in his ‘inbox’ was from Saul, denying any proposal to the Rose dame, and saying he thought Daniel Swift had been played a practical joke by the Summer School caretaker. That was it. The caretaker was known for his hatred of academics. Rose often bribed the guy to open the main door to let her into the library, late at night. She was a dame hell-bent to get on in her career, even if it meant her burning the midnight oil. Maybe it was Rose herself, who had put about the lie to make him jealous.

His temples were throbbing. He had been so engrossed in researching the Stone of Destiny he had not been conscious of it until this lull. Should he send off an e-mail to Saul, telling him what he had found? He hung fire, for a few moments, and, then, took the bull by the horns. Saul was his very soul. He would share his find with him like he had done on Shuter’s Hill, when he had dug up the hand axe.

He tapped out a message telling Saul all in that cryptic jargon they had invented when boys. He half-hoped Saul would fly over, but knew a tight schedule at the Field School would stop him, and Rankin, the Coordinator, would never agree to let Saul go. Rankin had had real hassle in finding a replacement for him, even with having months to do so.

But it would be only two weeks before Saul was free of commitments. The Summer School lectures were already over, but Saul had to mark the exam papers. Brilliant, beautiful Saul was Lucifer before his Fall. Saul would, soon, be fighting at his side.

He shut down the laptop, and paced around. He would have to find a safer place for the harp stone than under the wardrobe. On Kelman Hill, he had held it to the sky like he had held that long-ago hand axe. Dumb. A stalker had been around, and, apart from that, anyone could have seen. He thought hard. He had noticed a loose flagstone by the kitchen window. It took him just seconds to change the hiding place, and toss a rush mat over the flagstone.

Succoth was racing through his brain. Fatigue and the effects of booze had left him. His temples were no longer throbbing. Weird how his mind was crystal clear. He went into the hall, and picked up the Hall Bible. Then, he laid it down. It would be a chore for a newbie to pick up any Succoth mention, and, once more, fatigue was riding him. So strange fatigue had come back, immediately, he had lifted the Bible. He would not be able to plough through even the first chapter of Genesis.

As he was drifting off to sleep, he heard the crunch of gravel outside the window. He rushed to the front door, but no-one was there, not even a note on the mat. Yet, someone had been outside. Who was watching him? And why? The notes had arrived before he had found the Giants and the harp stone, even before Dave had pitched up with the necklace that had led him to the cist that had led him to the gully. Someone with the second-sight was out there. The tinker? Why had the guy been coming down the track? Zilch was up there but Sadie’s cottage.

He climbed back into bed, and stared through the gap in the curtains. A liquid surge of black. Were folk just teardrops on rains, lakes, seas, and rivers? Was he looking out on some wet, moonlit staircase? A dazzling star caught his eye. Venus? He could not remember for certain, but was not Venus linked to Lucifer? He had always thought Lucifer was a guy. Why would a dame planet be associated with him? Saul might agree. Saul saw dames as evil. Saul might see Lucifer as a dame.

Other points of light were in the night sky, but they did not have the impact of that one dazzling star. Were some of those points of light dead stars, and only their delayed light was striking the Earth? Something awesome was brewing. Many threads. Which way to go? Perhaps the answer lay in the town of Succoth. Like Jung, he believed co-incidence held a key. He would go to Succoth, in the morning.

A car’s headlights coming round the bend lit up the bedroom like a lightning bolt. Had Sadie had a male visitor? She was such a sexual dame it was not beyond possibility. Another thought drifted in. Were they the headlights of a car driven by that someone who had been outside the cottage? Was it the note-writer?

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