As I sat in the car, the phone buzzed again.
“A futile attempt, Sir,” said she.
“What?” I turned around to see anyone following me. No. No one on the street. “Are you following me? What do you want?”
“Don’t talk foolishly. There’s a GPS in the car. We don’t need our eyes fixed on you, do we? Did you enter the house?”
“Oh good. I should then let you know that we have your fingerprints on a cup as well as the key now, which places you at the scene without any doubt, in case something happens there. So please refrain from interrupting our plans with yours.”
“Who are you? What can happen at the house?”
“See you at golf today, Sir.” She hung up.
“Where are we going?”
“To Hotel Ganymede, Sir.”
“Hotel Ganymede, Sir. I have been asked to drop you there.”
“Okay.” I wanted to know how in heaven’s sake golf was even remotely related to it, but I kept quiet. It seemed the right thing to do.
I sat back in the car, reading the local news on the tablet. The phone call was on my mind. I felt it was the same voice that had called earlier that morning, but the number was different both times. My thoughts shifted to the hotel. Ganymede. Named after the biggest satellite in the solar system. The satellite was discovered by Galileo in the 1600s, or so I had read. I imagined the hotel to be quite big and fancy, given it was named after the largest satellite of the largest planet. Fifteen minutes later, the car stopped. “Hotel Ganymede, Sir.”
I came out. By far, this had been the biggest of all disappointments. Ganymede looked more of a place where a guy would spend the night when he had an empty wallet. It was a one-storeyed apartment, with the entrance opening bang on to the reception. The reception had a desk, and there was one corridor ahead. The only corridor in the hotel. It had six rooms, three on each side, with the numbers painted in white on the doors.
“Mr…,” I looked at him.
“Zimmer Nummer fünf.”
“English?” He shook his head to a negative, then raised his hand and showed five fingers. I presumed he wanted me to go to room number five.
I knocked. The door opened, and there she was, again. So, I had been looking for her unaware of the fact that I was going to meet her. Okay.
“Hi, I’m Juliet,” she said, handing over her card.
I took the card and glanced over it. Juliett Macber. So Juliett had a double t.
“I know you really need some answers, don’t you? We have five minutes before we leave. So I think we have time enough for may be, one question?”
There was only one question in my mind right now. And probably if her answer matched what I was thinking, many more questions would be solved. “Why do you spell Juliett with a double t?”
She laughed. “Give it a guess?”
“It isn’t possible that you do so for French speakers, who may otherwise treat a single final t as silent, is it?”
“Well, for a starter, you seem quite intelligent,” she said with a smile.
And instantly, I realised what the whole situation was about. Everything was now clearer. It now seemed every bit had its own explanation. My coming from India, playing golf at Ganymede, and meeting Juliett. I had been skipping the old treasure for a long time. It was time I got back to it again.
“Why am I here? What are we doing?” I asked.
“Alright, time to leave,” she said.”Where are we headed to?”
“The real one?”
She smiled as we got back into the car.
“Talk to me,” I said. “What am I doing here? What’s the issue?”
“You want the long story or the short?”
“The short, for now.”
“We have a riddle to solve.”
“That’s the short one.”
“No, I want to know the long story then.”
“Yes, I am thinking where to start from. Well, to say, our decoders have been trying to solve it for a long time. They believe that the answer will lead to — Oh my God!”
A car from the opposite direction was speeding up towards us. A girl was driving it. Our chauffeur pressed the brakes harder than ever. No use. Bang!
The chauffeur felt it was his responsibility to inform the girl’s parents about her death. Meanwhile she kept staring at me, dumbfounded.