??Malaika,? He began.
??Means angel in Swahili.? Isai examined the statue.
??Yes that??s right. This took me years to figure out, Godfrey owned this house.? David bit his lip in excitement, ??This was his estate. And Malaika is his ship.?
??Wait, this house?? Isai frowned.
??Yes. Where we??re standing. The records say it was built for Charlemagne Godfrey. The man was named after a Templar. The estate had over thirty rooms and was three levels. Not only is it considered lavish now, it was certainly then. Most of it is destroyed.?
??This is a huge historical find!? Isai gasped.
??Tell that to the Ostelamasque. It??s not exactly like we can change our location with ease. What do we do with all this? The government will want to cease it. They won??t let us continue our research. We??ll be written off because we know their dirty secrets. They??ll banish us and make us disappear. This house can be preserved through our continued use. Funny I know, but it works for now anyways. The thing is Godfrey never really lived here. It turned into a travelers lodge soon after it was built. No one knew he owned it. So he sails off after his betrothed is found murdered and what does he do? He does what every naval officer did when they were faced with the bitterness and cruelty of society.?
Isai stood in disbelief with wide eyes, ??He became a pirate.?
??That he did. He had Malaika built for him and then he took the statue,? David pointed at the woman, ??off the ships bow. Then he had it shipped back to the house and mounted it on the banister of the stairwell. You know why? His bloody ship??s decks were inlaid with gold. He had converted his wealth into gold. We know because parts of wood that are still on the statue are inlaid with it. He had it pressed together. Smart man. He travels with his treasure unknown to anyone and sends the one thing that can claim his ship back to his own house. After all, what are the rules of claim??
??If you don??t have something with the name on it, you can??t claim it under the supposed name. To take ownership you must have rights through proof of existence and confirmation that the artefact or ship found matches the name you claim. If you find something with the name on it and materials match the artefact or ship, then it is yours to legally claim.?
??This means the only other people who could claim Malaika were pirates. Now I think Godfrey converted the gold before Lilia??s death. I think she knew and I think she wrote about it or told someone. Too many people have poured their money into finding his boat. But I don??t think they know it??s in the boat, they think it??s in some treasure chest. Since Malaika has no name on it,? David gestured to the sash, ??No one can claim it. I??m afraid the diary might give clues however to the existence of this estate. And if it does, treasure hunters are going to come sniffing and if they have connections through the city, we could be in serious trouble.? David sighed anxiously. ??I think the answer to your calculated mystery is time. The only problem is that it??s only one component of a much greater equation. And I have yet to figure out what that is.?
Isai spoke softly, ??It??s movement.?
* * *
??Movement?? David poured her a cup of Earl Grey. ??That I hadn??t thought of, although I suppose it makes perfect sense. Uh, do you take milk or sugar??
??No, no thank you.?
??Good, I don??t think we have any.? He sat down beside her in the staff room.
??Well just think, if we could coordinate the movements of Lilia and Godfrey through events we could find the ship. I??m not talking about the obvious movements either, I mean the every day, mundane things. Usually when people are planning to move residence or take leave they begin a series of events, like visiting the travel agent or selling personal items. What did they do that could lead us to the clues we need? If we could somehow determine the difference between the usual and new patterns we could filter our new found information through a lens that could be much more informative.?
??You??d have to read the book. And may I add that??s impossible.?
??Not psychologically.? Isai sipped her tea. ??Did Lilia always keep a diary??
??No, not until she met Godfrey.?
??Is that the only one??
??There??s supposed to be a few others, but hell if we can find them.?
Isai and David sat looking at each other for a moment before she smiled, ??Are you thinking what I??m thinking??
??Archives.? They both repeated.
??So we??ll check for??? Isai walked with him to the archives.
??Coincidence, chance and failed attempts.?
??Failed attempts of what??
??Anything, like you said, travel agents, etc? We need to find something that perhaps didn??t go as planned, often people document what??s failed as opposed to what succeeded. Lets find out if anyone was stuck on a loss or disturbance in the files.?
They entered into the basement again, but this time as Isai knew what to expect she was calm and collective. David directed her to a set of files, all spanning over the time of Godfrey??s arrival while he worked next to her looking for information on ship builders. They sat and sorted the files into those that possessed possible clues and those that didn??t. They had worked well into the night before Isai realized that the room, having no windows, could not tell her whether it was light or dark outside.
??Oh gosh, what time is it??
??Let me check here.? He rolled up his sleeve and squinted as the wrist watch, ??Quarter past ten. Yes.? His eyes widened, ??We??ve been here quite a while. Did you find anything??
Isai sighed, ??A few things.? She flicked the pathetically small stack of papers sitting next to several large files. ??One is interesting though. I wanted to ask you if you had something of similar nature in your pile. It??s talk of weather. Apparently there were several storms around the same time Lillia passed on. I was wondering if maybe this would affect where Godfrey was having the boat built and what type of wood he would use, reinforcements he would buy and all that. You wouldn??t know anything about this would you??
??Hmmm? Let me check here. Well there is this here, it??s a log on safe passage. It seems as though when storms hit, the sailors had decided to reroute courses to avoid violent currents. There are the recorded coordinates here of the new routes.? David looked at his watch again, ??Listen, I??ll take a look at what you??ve got and we??ll talk again after Christmas??
??You can??t just leave me with nothing.? Isai smiled.
He chuckled, ??Of course. Would you check your own personal logs? Maybe if we track the movement of the weather we could track the course of Malaika.?
??That sounds better. I know this is short notice and I completely forgot to ask you earlier, but when you reminded me of Christmas tomorrow I thought of New Years and got to thinking? Are you coming to BARC??s opening on New Years Eve??
??Nathaniel and I had talked about it some months ago, but only because of our history. Naturally I??ll be there as an observer but the truth is I??ll be leaving early for a meeting.?
Fox Adventures: Book by Candle Part IX
??Malaika,? He began.