“How on Earth do you just know that?” asked Harry.
“Because it’s right there,” she said pointing towards the top of the shelf. Sure enough, right on the top, there was an inscription, dedicating that particular shelf to one Gerfig Alton King, author of the series The Red Creek of Luce.
“Thou art the best,” declared Harry, giving an exaggerated bow.
“Thank you, it was really easy,” said Rose, laughing at Harry’s antics.
“No, that was very observant of you,” said Harry. Terry quickly cleared his throat.
“Sorry, that looked like it was going to get a little long,” said Terry, “so that means the shelf is the clue? Not to mention we still need to figure out what the whole ‘happiness shall reek’ part of this means.”
"The shelf has to be it," said Rose, "unless you have another idea of what could fit that part of it. Its not a book, but it can technically work here."
"Hmm, why don't we try the next line as well, maybe that will help narrow it down?" suggested Terry.
“Yeah, there's a good chance,” said Harry, nodding, “Rose, any more ideas?”
“Dunno,” she said.
“Honestly, I am at a loss as well, why don’t you research the novels? Maybe that will reveal something?” asked Terry, "even if the shelf is not the clue, maybe there's some clue in what the novels are about, or maybe the clue was even in one of his novels, although that might take a lot of reading."
“Good idea,” said Harry, quickly typing away on his communicator. He reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a long thin case. He produced a pair of shades and put them on. Tapping on the frame, he brought the communicator up to his face.
There was a small beep and he started reading something that looked to be appearing in his eye. Oh wow. These guys have some state of the art stuff.
“Gotcha,” he said quickly, “spot on Terry.”
“What is it?” asked Terry, moving closer to read before realizing he wouldn’t actually be able to spot anything.
“It says here that the novels were under the genre of Horror, Comedy. And hence, “happiness shall reek”. Kind of morbid sounding choice of words for happiness to be paired with but I guess whoever made this really wanted to keep the rhyme scheme,” he said smiling as he quickly put away the device and looked around the shop to make sure no one had spotted them.
“That’s great,” said Terry, “although piece of advice, if you want to ensure no one sees you use the device, you should probably check for bystanders before you take it out.”
“Got a little excited,” said Harry, sheepishly, “but we can now assume that we know what that whole stanza was talking about. It's gotta be the shelf. So I'm thinking the next stanza is probably going to be telling us more on how to find whatever secret location this thing is hidden in, not sure how we're going to get anywhere through a bookshelf but uhh...secret entrances in bookshelves have certainly been in use for centuries.”
“Correct. In fact, I think I know what the last lines of the first stanza were talking about,” said Terry.
“Oh?” asked Harry, raising his eyebrows.
“A gilded hall,” said Rose.
“Yup,” said Terry, nodding, “I believe we are supposed to “fall” which I assume refers to the method by which we will be entering this place and this place must be a “gilded hall”.”
Harry nodded, now looking very excited. “It’s all falling into place now.” He rubbed his hands together. “Come on, let’s figure out what the rest of these stanzas actually mean. They've gotta be telling us how to get in.”
“Well, down you shall travel, probably connects to that whole fall thing,” said Terry.
“And that must mean that we’re probably going underground,” said Harry, "which would make sense, that's probably the easiest place to build a secret room."
“That’s exactly what I was going to say,” said Terry nodding.
“Meaning whatever secret thing we must do in front of this shelf, this other stanza should be telling us that,” summed up Rose.
“Alright then, let’s get through that,” said Harry, “the last line of the stanza about kind is definitely pretty simple."
“Among towering piles, referring very obviously to the two giant shelves that are surrounding us, yeah, we can all very easily guess that,” said Terry, “let’s figure out what the whole tempo and fibo means. Those seem more important.”
“Tap the beat and tempo seem to refer to dancing,” said Rose, "which is weird because I hardly think a secret room would have an entrance that opens when someone dances on some tiles. Doesn't seem like the most discreet thing to be doing when you're trying to enter somewhere secret.”
“Those were probably the shining tiles at some point,” said Harry, pointing at the dull grey tiles that currently lined the floor,” I mean, this is over a hundred years ago. Tiles can get replaced, or this might as well just be general wear and tear. A century is more than long enough for a tile to lose its shine.”
“Yes,” said Terry, nodding, “and I think you’re right. We’re supposed to umm…tap dance or something to this beat that has to do with some fibo and apparently we shouldn’t lose our tempo.”
“And then we can travel down,” said Rose, "but again, I don't see how it can possible be a dance."
“Well...let's hope not,” said Terry, “I know absolutely nothing about beats or tap dancing or any dancing for that matter.”