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From Part 1 – The Crime
“The fire was started in a corner of the stable. Slowly, insidiously, like a malignant virus, smoke seeped up the walls, along the floors, under the doors and in over the windowsills. It was late summer, so fires were not in many of the rooms of the castle and even the kitchen fire had been banked for the night. The first warning they had that something was wrong, was the smell of smoke. A knight ran into the hall where the family was gathered and told the King they had a fire in the stable. King Caelestis turned and told everyone to stay in that part of the castle and if the smoke became thicker to climb up the stone steps of the tower to the open air; but not to open the door until he returned. Then stepping out into the hall and through the door opposite leading to the nursery he told the young nurse to do the same.
The stable was below the great house though not inside the main walls. Still the fire would spread rapidly and require all the men and able-bodied women in the great house to work hard to extinguish it. The shadows had divided. They were in number, just in case the plan had an unforeseeable flaw. The first group had gone along the wall behind the stable and behind the outbuildings storing the horse gear, and armory. Here they sat quietly, allowing the fire to do its damage. The second group stole silently up the now abandoned center stair into the top floor where the family enjoyed fresher air in the summer. They were not poorly informed; they went straight to the nursery and knocked at the door.
More? Read all of Part One – The Crime