Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Secret Order of Doom: Part Twelve

When the Green Man had suggested that her next move should be to stay with the Rev. Samuelson and work on the papers recovered from the various murder sites, Ms. Madison had imagined that she'd be staying in a cosy country cottage, maybe with a thatched roof, and vines growing up the walls. Imagine her surprise, therefore, when she discovered that the Samuelson's house was a rambling mock-tudor pile. It had three libraries, one of which was devoted to esoteric information, including all published works on the Order of Cain. Not that this was hard, as there were five of them, and one was a children's book (albeit one that hadn't sold). Andrea, the mysterious redhead who'd brought the papers, was elsewhere, presumably checking the grounds for mysterious monkish figures. While Ms. Madison had intended to have an early night, cries of excitement from the learned and Reverend gentleman had brought her out of bed into the library. Accordingly, she was sorting through large boxes of paper while wearing her night-things. While expensive, these were hardly the sort of things of which her mother would have approved.

"What confuses me," Samelson shook his head, "is why these people were killed. If they knew the secret of the Order of Cain, why would they have been killed?"

"What do you mean?" Ms. Madison shook her head. "The secret might have..."

"No, my dear child," Samuelson leaned forward, still holding a scrawled on letter. "The Cainites believed that people were saved by coming to know the secret and hidden knowledge they guarded. If anything, they should have welcomed these people into the Order, not killed them. After all, the Order of Cain is supposed to hold a secret that, if revealed, would destroy the Church."

"Supposed is the word,"Ms. Madison lay back on a convenient chaise-longe, an old diary of a nineteenth-century member of the Order f Cain in her left hand. "Besides, are you sure you haven't mixed them up with the Priory of Sion in Dan Brown's book?"

"Yes," Samuelson sounded annoyed. The way he spoke to the blonde secretary indicated that he did not take her seriously. Given that she was wearing her night-things, she wasn't surprised.

"In that case," Ms. Madison carried on, "I agree with you. If they've got this terrific secret that could change the world, why are they killing people to keep it a secret?"

"It's a good question," Samuelson put down his manuscript. "I'd have thought they'd welcome this sort of scrutiny. Maybe the secret is more dark than any of the historians believe."

"You know," Ms. Madison stretched lazily, "I think that if we find the secret, we'll know exactly what these murders were all about."

"Despite the floor-show," Samuelson coughed, "I agree with you."

Ms. Madison blused fiercely, but before she could make a reply, all the lights went out.

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