Adaptation of The Five Orange Pips (Ch6)

John Openshaw continued with his story.

‘After my father took ownership of the house at Horsham, he and I searched its attic carefully. There, we found the brass box. There was nothing inside. But on the inside of the lid, there were three letters: ‘K.K.K.’. Beneath the letters, there were some words. They said: `Letters, receipts, memoranda and register’. This was – we guessed – a description of the things that my uncle took out of the box and destroyed. There was nothing else in the attic – apart from a few papers about my uncle’s life in America. He was a good soldier….’

John Openshaw paused; then continued.

`It was the beginning of 1884 when my father came to live at Horsham. Everything went well – until the January of ’85. On January 4th – just after the New Year – my father gave a cry of surprise. We were at the kitchen table eating breakfast. I looked at my father. He had a newly-opened letter in one hand. In his other hand, there were five orange pips. My father always scoffed at my story about my uncle. But now he looked scared.

`What does this mean?’ he asked.

My heart turned cold. `It’s K.K.K.,’ I replied.

He looked inside the envelope `So it is,’ he cried. `Here are the same letters! But there is also a message. What does it say?’

I took the envelope and read the message: `Put the papers on the sundial.’

`What papers? What sundial?’ my father asked.

`The sundial in the garden – there is no other,’ I answered. `And the papers are those that my uncle destroyed.’

`Never!’ said my father, angrily. `We are civilised people here! This is nonsense! Where does this letter come from?’

I looked at the postmark. `Dundee,’ I said. ‘It’s from Dundee.’

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