Saturday, May 27, 2006

An Exciting Lead

As I finished penning the last few lines in my previous diary entry, a shrill ringing sound shook my home. In my alarm, I fleetingly assumed it was the death rattle of a trussed up hog, but I quickly ascertained that it was my telephone making the noise to indicate that someone wished to converse with me telephonically. I picked up the receiver and was greeted by what sounded like a berating in Japanese or Korean or Chinese or Mandarin - I confess that the languages of the Orient are a closed book to me.

I tried to explain that I did not understand what the speaker was saying, but as I only know a few phrases in Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Mandarin, I feared I would simply cause confusion when I interupted him to state, "Moshi moshi, Daniel San, arigato! Ichi ni san chi go, geisha. Om mani padme hum, padawan. Saki wasabi, Pai Mei grasshopper?" Nevertheless, I clearly made my point well, for he swiftly replied, "Baka gaijin!" (Chinese for "Gracious apologies") and reverted to English.

"Sir, you spoke to my wife and I yesterday regarding a crisp packet found near the eastern wall of the decaying ruins of Arbroath Abbey, former home to an order of 12th-century Tironesian Benedictine monks, and true location for the Stone of Destiny," he said.

"Yes," I shrugged.

"My wife and I are scholars from America's Grant University and Barnett College respectively, currently drawn into a rollercoaster adventure around the globe, uncovering secret worlds of fantasy, religious cover-ups involving albinos, and booby-trapped labyrinths, while risking life and limb along the way," he said.

"And you are both Japanese?" I shrugged.

"Of course," he said. "Throughout our journey we have been stalked by the last remaining members of the Knights Templar, some vampires, and the FBI."

"Sounds fun," I shrugged.

"It is anything but fun you thin-legged archer!" he cried, "Along the way, we have been aided by what we suppose is a group called the Hashashin, the ancient Assassin Cult, and a group calling themselves The Crescent Guard of the Sultan. They typically help us by surreptitiously leaving obtuse clues and word puzzles where we may encounter them. We now believe your crisp packet to be the latest of these clues."

"Explain how," I shrugged.

"The answer lies with 'Cream cheese and chive'," he said. "In some dialects of ancient Japanese, this is approximately homophonic for 'Clee m'chee san chi Vee' which, in Modern English, translates as 'Seek the wealth here'. We believe an item of great import is buried at the point where you found the crisp packet."

"Intriguing," I shrugged.

"Yes, we ask that you meet us at Arbroath Abbey on Sunday morning at 3am - we will supply the shovels. We need you to specify the exact point that you found the crisp packet."

With that I agreed. More to follow.

No comments: