The Mystery of the Lost Box (Chapter Three)
As Alice walked home from Jills house, she saw Mrs. Muller, an elderly widow, watering her garden.
She waved to her, but instead of waving in return, Mrs. Muller beckoned to her to come. Alice obeyed, and upon reaching the kindly woman, she led her inside. “Sit down, please, Alice,” she said.
Alice did so, a puzzled look on her pretty face.
Mrs. Muller sat down and adjusted the glasses she wore on her worn, wrinkled but kind old face. Clearing her throat, Mrs. Muller began,
“Well, a long time ago, when I was young, about twenty years old—no, I’ll start from the beginning: My great uncle, Uncle Fred Elings, was sick. We all knew he was going to die soon. He was a very wealthy man, and kind, too, and he lived in this house, too.”
She motioned her hand at her house.
"He had no relatives at all, except for three great nephews and two great nieces including myself; I was the oldest of all of them all. They were all my brothers and sisters. Well, sense we were the only relatives he had were us.
“Just before my uncle died, he told me that I was going to inherit everything that he owned.” Mrs. Muller paused for a moment.
Alice stared the kind old woman curiously, waiting for her to continue.
“He told me he would down where I could find the money. He hd hidden it for fear someone might steal it.”
“Why didn’t he just tell you? Why did he have to right it down?” Alice asked, perplexed.
“He was afraid someone might be spying on us, and overhear him. Well, I sat i a chair and waited while he wrote it down. All of a sudden, he collapsed, dropping the pen and paper. I hurriedly called an ambulance, but when the arrived, he was already dead. “
“That’s sad,” Alice said sympathetically.
Mrs. Muller nodded and continued. I had forgotten about the paper until I went back into the room the next day. Upon seeing it on the floor, I picked it up. The note said:
‘Dearest Claudia, You will find every bit of the money in a box. The right that you own it will be at the very top. The key to the box is underneath my mattress. The box is in—“
Alice looked at her expectantly, saying “it was in what?”
“He never said. It stopped right there. He never got to finish it. To this day, I don’t know where it was hidden I took the key out from under his mattress. I was rather disappointed, but I folded up the paper and put it and the key in a chest that I kept worthless things that I wanted to keep in. I forgot about it, and the years passed.
"Then, just before this morning, I was cleaning up, and I found the note in a drawer! Oh, Alice, I think someone is after my inheritance. Maybe they’ll try to forge the will if they find the box with the money in it. Oh, dear!”
“But, Mrs. Muller, it’s been years ago. Maybe you put it there, intending to put it in your chest, but you forgot to, and just never got around to it.”
Mrs. Muller shook her head. “No. I was just looking through that drawer two days ago. I would have seen it. I think someone broke into the house and and took the paper. I’m surprised they didn’t keep the note itself—“
Alice jumped to her feet suddenly.
“Why, whats the matter?”Mrs. Muller asked.
Without a word, Alice ran out of the room, and over to Mrs. Mullers chest. Opening it, she saw it had only two things. She looked under them.
Mrs. Muller, who sat in her rocking chair, looking perplexed, suddenly her a cry coming from the living room.
“It’s gone!” Alice cried. “They key isn’t in your chest!"