September 3, 2014 – I wasn’t sure what to do first about the hidden treasure; try to find the starting point or figure out who sent it to Charlotte in the first place. It might be a hoax after all. Someone could be using the idea of a hidden sea chest dripping in gold to lure us into a deadly trap. I’m assuming it’s a sea chest. It could easily be a cardboard box with a “GOTCHA!” note inside or worse. Believing a lost fortune has been tucked away for 200 years inside the cave of a craggy cove makes searching for it irresistible.
I unrolled the map on top of the wooden barrel that I use when reading tea leaves. It was crudely marked with a trail that twisted and turned over gullies and streams until the path diverged. One route headed into a thickly forested mountainside while the other took a more direct route to the coast. Both trails ended in the same spot. A rocky crevice two miles down from the beach landing. A red X was circled at the spot.
The paper was old, but it didn’t seem worn. I suppose that’s reasonable if the map had been kept in safe keeping all of these years. I picked up the white mailing tube in which it had been sent and examined it for clues. Nothing visible to the naked eye. Then I had a brilliant idea. I would dust for fingerprints, paw prints, and wing marks. To do so, I would need a fingerprint kit, and it was the one item I did not yet have in my detective toolbox.
“Why don’t you see if you can borrow a kit from someone,” asked Waffles. She was equally as interested in determining if the map was real or not.
“Kiss your brain!” I said. “That’s a smashing idea! I bet our police department has a kit they will let me use. Especially when they find out that I am trying to solve what could be a crime.”
“You don’t think they’d want in on the treasure, do you?” Waffles questioned.
“We won’t tell them about the map,” I replied. “We’ll simply enlighten them on the fact that someone is sending Charlotte gifts without identifying themselves. Surely there’s a human law against such acts. It certainly isn’t the chicken way of doing things.”
It was decided. Tomorrow we would head into town to ask our police chief for a fingerprint kit. Soon, we would know the identity of Lottie’s benefactor and if the treasure map is legitimate. I hope it is. I could use an adventure!