chapter five — a secret sleeps in the forest
The hooves of a horse-drawn carriage pounded up the thorn-covered slopes early the next morning after departing from the town of Horowitz at the base of the mountain, and arrived slightly past noon at a basin shaped like a drinking glass—the home of the nameless village.
The village had temporarily suspended the festival amidst an uproar over a traveler’s sudden death. A crowd followed the headman into the dining room of the grey-colored manor, awaiting the rest of his deliberation. In the watchtower, the youthful guards caught sight of the carriage, and together they pulled down the drawbridge to receive the guests.
A stylish young guest, blond-haired and blue-eyed, wearing a shirt made of the finest silk and sparkling silver cufflinks, stood looking up at the drawbridge while striking an imperious pose.
He began to slowly cross the bridge.
The guards stared down at him from the watchtower, dumbfounded by the new visitor’s unusual hairstyle—his golden hair swept forward and hardened into a point, as if a spiraling drill were attached to his head….
That man was Inspector Gréville de Blois, and in the grey manor, the object of his pursuit—his small, beautiful, and mysterious little sister, Victorique de Blois—had slipped away unnoticed in the clamor in order to sneak into the one room that she had been told not to enter.
A certain room at the end of a dark hallway on the first floor—
The study where a murder had taken place twenty years before.