Feb. 21st, 2013

It isn’t a terribly thrilling leap that carries me from an upstairs window to an ivy-shrouded wall on the side of Tyrol’s house, I’m very sorry to say, though I give you full permission to imagine it in whatever level of dashing detail gives you the most pleasure. I’m sure I cut a very fine figure clinging there, like a spider or perhaps some kind of great cat, or one of those goats that can walk up the face of a very nearly vertical cliff…

At any rate, it proves easy enough for me to make my way to a window on the desired side of the gap and gain access to Tyrol’s house. I rap my knuckles once on the window frame, for the sake of later honesty and to avoid startling anyone too badly, but the chamber provs to be empty. It looks to be a disused bedroom.

My wand, knowing the object of my quest, draws me towards an upstairs sitting room where I find a carved wooden trunk, the faces of which depict woodland scenes. I don’t know that I would call it exquisite, but I have no doubt it’s one of the pair that Tyrol took off of Heizer.

The most interesting thing about it to me is its size. I lie down on the floor beside it just to confirm my first impression, and then I lie there thinking about running water, and reflecting ponds, and the world of nothing I saw in the bottom of the bucket.

I’m still lying there when I hear the door open, followed by a cry of alarm.

In almost no time at all, Tyrol is standing over me along with two burly gentlemen in his employ. There is a lot of shouting, which I continue to ignore as unimportant.

The important thing is this box.


Feb. 21st, 2013 06:24 pm
“Were they all like this?” I ask. I don’t raise my voice, but it’s unexpected enough to cut through the din anyway. In the resulting quiet, I sit up.

“Pardon?” Tyrol says.

“Accepted,” I say. “The other boxes on Heizer’s cart. Were they all like this one?”

“Look… you. You can’t just waltz into my home…”

“I was invited,” I say, getting to my feet. “I knocked, but no one answered so I showed myself in. Were the boxes all like this?”

“Well, they were individually crafted, so no two…”

“I mean the size, Tyrol. Not the style. Did they all have the same dimensions as this one?”

“Well, er, yes, I would say so. They were all of a similar size.”

“Similar, or the same?” I ask. “It’s important.”

“I didn’t have them all measured…”

“No, but you bought two of them and I’m sure you would have wanted to be sure of exactly what you were buying,” I say. “Were the measurements the same?”

“Yes,” he says. “To the quarter-inch. They seemed to have been made to the same plan. Ninety inches long by thirty-four inches deep by thirty inches high. The interior dimensions are somewhat shorter, of course. But what does this have to do with anything?”

“Didn’t they strike you as being unusually large for a trunk?”

“That was part of the attraction. It seemed a great value. We see boxes carved in this fashion quite often, passing from the other side of the forest, but never of this size.”

“Of course not,” I say. “How many people send all the way across the continent for a coffin-maker?”



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