CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and NINETY-TWO
“Why didn’t they destroy the church?” Jacob asked.
“There was this guy named Maughold.” Keenan’s smile broke across Maughold’s face.
“They were quite afraid of me,” Maughold said.
“Rightly so,” Jacob said. “You are terrifying!”
“Katy and Paddie are below us?” Jacob asked. “In a priest hole?”
Maughold nodded. Jacob touched Maughold’s arm.
“Wish me luck,” Jacob said.
“You do not need luck, Jacob Marlowe,” Maughold said. “Go. Be the stupid American.”
“Shoe fits,” Jacob said with a grin.
He walked up the walk and the stairs to the front door of the house. He took a breath and knocked. A few minutes later, the door opened to show a tall, light skinned elderly man with a shock of white hair. The man was dressed as if he was the home owner not hired help. Jacob put his biggest smile on his face.
“I’m so sorry to bother you,” Jacob said. “I’m Jacob Marlowe and this is Sarah. We’re visiting from America.”
“Sir,” the man who answered said.
“I don’t know how to say this but my daughter and her best friend are stuck in your priest hole,” Jacob said.
“They are?” the man asked. His accent was so similar to Fin’s that Jacob smiled. “How did they get there?”
“They were playing at the church and…” Jacob said. He shook his head. “Honestly, I have no idea. One minute, they were there and the next they’d disappeared.”
“That’s how it is, isn’t it?” The man laughed.
“I’m sure it won’t be the last time,” Jacob said with a sigh. “Would you mind if I took a look?”
“Of course,” the man said. “Of course.”
They walked down a long hallway to an enormous fireplace. The man went to the bookcase and moved a book. There was a click and the mantle of the fireplace rotated back.
“My son loved playing down there,” the man said.
The man walked to the fireplace. He swung the mantle open and reached in for a piece of the tiled panel. The man swung the panel back to find a ladder. Without thinking, Jacob swung his leg over and started down the ladder.
He had only gone a few rungs when the panel closed with a click.
The man had locked him into the priest hole.
“Sarah,” Jacob said softly. He heard the dog bark above him. “Shit.”
“Daddy?” Katy called from below.
“Hi honey,” Jacob said.
“What are you doing here?” Katy asked.
“Trying to rescue you,” Jacob said. “Looks like I just got trapped with you.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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