I mentioned earlier that three of the four songs we had discovered to this point were accompanied by a single riddle each. I reproduce them here:
With Danse Macabre:
Past a door with no hinge
With Victor’s Solo:
A staff which supports no man while he holds it
A dust which grows into such a staff
A place for such a dust
With Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring:
Both hands upon the keyboard place
Observe the figures which they chase
At midnight hands must rise to face
Then indicated hours trace
Solution for Danse Macabre: Though the shortest riddle, this one had us stymied for a long while. There were in fact several sliding closet doors in the house (having no hinge) but none had anything obviously useful behind it. It was after all a hatchway into the attic that led to the discovery we were supposed to make: a box locked fast like the others. It bore several bands of copper, each embedded with a tiny, white jewel no larger than a pin head. Too the box bore a black jewel about the size of a shirt button.
This black jewel was a perfect match for the ones that accompanied the invisible lights which directed us to the four wooden blocks mentioned earlier, so we readily supposed that this box would respond to the light of the lantern.
However, I will return to this later, as we discovered aught else before attempting to open this box.
Solution for Victor’s Solo
Jeanette reded that the staff in the riddle meant the staff of life. It followed that wheat flour was the dust which could grow into such a staff, and the place for the flour was a cupboard in the kitchen. There we found not one but four boxes, each locked with a combination lock, and each combination lock bore a ribbon of color: blue, green, red, and orange.
Solution for the four locked boxes
One of the party lamented that there were too many possibilities before us all the time, Fairly asserted, we seemed always to have at least half a dozen of directions to go and no idea whether we had all of the tools necessary to pursue any one of them to its end.
We might have been in no worse circumstances than usual at this point, but several of the party were well confident within minutes that the numbers to open these four locks must come from the empty staff pages in the folder of William’s Favorites.
We found the page which had led us to the red song (Somebody to Love) and observed the red numerals in the clock-like circle. After entering a couple of permutations of these numerals into the combination lock, we had it open. We proceeded in like manner with the remaining three locks, and we soon had four new items upon our hands:
- A clock
- A minute hand
- An hour hand
- A collection of diary pages, penned in the same masculine script that we saw at the start of our adventure