Secrets of the Lighthouse
Joe took out his Swiss Army knife and slid it along the edge then with a tilt of the blade, popped the door enough for Frank to get his fingers in to lift it open the rest of the way.
Going over and picking up his flashlight where he had left it since coming in to the living room, Joe flipped the switch, shining it down into the opening. Eyes sparkling, Joe glanced at his brother, whose own eyes reflected his excitement as well. They could see the deep stairs below them, which disappeared further out of sight, beyond the beam of the light.
“Let’s go!” Joe exclaimed and started to move forward but was halted by his brother’s hand on his arm.
“Wait a second, Joe,” Frank looked at his brother. “If this has been closed up for a long time, that’s going to be dead air down there. You know better,” Frank admonished him. Joe sighed and looked embarrassed; his brother was right.
“You’re right, as you know. I just figured that whoever was doing all of the strange things at the lighthouse had also used this recently, but they might not know about it at all. The air does smell a little less than fresh, but it could have just been from not getting a lot of airing out. It is underground after all and not a high traffic area,” Joe explained. After waiting one second, he demanded, “So what are we going to do?”
“We’ll leave it open for awhile,” Frank said simply.
“More than five minutes.” Frank knew this was going to be hard for his brother, and it wasn’t going to be easy for him, either. He was also anxious to explore the tunnel.
“Let’s eat a little something while we wait. We’ve still got quite a few hours before midnight. Of course, with this storm there might not be any scream,” Frank said as he walked toward the kitchenette. “We can see if there are any matches…..,” Frank’s voice trailed off as he turned to see his brother still over at the trap door.
“Joseph!” he exclaimed in disbelief. In a few long-legged strides he was next to his brother, who was bending down near the opening in the floor, his face turned, with his head down into the entrance some. Frank leaned down and grabbed the back of Joe’s shirt, yanking him back.
“Hey!” Joe hollered, startled.
“What are you doing? You’re so hard-headed!” Frank returned.
“I was listening!”
“Of course you were. Listening to what?” Frank demanded.
“The ocean!” Joe took Frank’s arm and pulled him near the entrance, “Listen!”
Frank did so, listening quietly for a minute, and found that his little brother was correct. “You’re right.”
“Well, don’t sound so surprised by that admission,” Joe said goodnaturedly.
“It’s very faint and definitely in the distance, but I can make out the pounding of the surf,” Frank noted.
“What do you want to guess this will take us to those caves we couldn’t get to earlier?” Joe asked, mentally imagining where the tunnel might lead to.
“I think you are an excellent detective,” Frank praised his brother. Joe flushed with pleasure at his big brother’s words, which more than made up for just a few moments ago.
“Thanks,” Joe said. “Since we can hear the ocean, this likely isn’t closed up, so we don’t have to wait around long!”
Frank agreed and not long afterwards, he led the way down. Joe followed, as they started descending the wooden steps. Reaching the bottom of the short flight of stairs, they walked through the narrow wooden passageway, lit only by their flashlights. Along the wall was evidence of how the passageway had been illuminated when in use. Every now and then there was an empty torch attached high on the wall. Cobwebs abounded.
Frank shone his light around ahead of them, while Joe shone his along the walls, ceiling, and floor, looking around as they walked. Frank’s light picked up what appeared to be a solid wall coming up, but he didn’t see how that could be. Coming up to it, they saw that it was actually a turn in the passageway, the opening having been unseen at that distance. They followed it to another flight of stairs which led them down further into the cliff.
They could now feel the downward slope of the passageway as they advanced. The sound of the ocean could definitely be heard, getting more prominent the longer they walked. The scent of the ocean was also becoming stronger.
When Frank’s flashlight illuminated an opening, the brothers surged ahead, looking forward to what they would find in front of them. The passageway ended as they entered a large cavern.
“Cool!” Joe exclaimed. Frank and Joe stood looking around the huge cave. There wasn’t any water here, but they could see an opening across the cavern, which undoubtedly led to the rocky reefs outside the caves.
“Let’s see what’s in these crates,” Joe said as he went over to the objects he was referring to. Checking them out, the brothers found that the first one was empty. The second one, like the first, was possibly a 100 years old. It, however, was not empty, the brothers found after prying off the lid.
“Look at this stuff,” Joe said quietly as he and his brother gently discovered a variety of treasures sealed in the water-tight container. The large crate, obviously painstakingly packed those many years ago, had successfully protected its contents. Whoever had packed it had done an exceptional, conscientious job. The crate contained a large solid silver serving set along with a dozen cups, saucers and spoons all with gold trim accents.
“Wow.” Frank looked at it all. They were beautifully crafted and obviously someone had paid quite a lot for the matching items. He found the faded paper indicating who the purchasers were and the itemization of each piece. Frank and Joe had a feeling that the descendants were going to be surprised to finally receive this crate they probably knew nothing about. The brothers carefully put each piece back and whacked the lid back in place.
They continued searching the rest of the cavern and their diligence again paid off.