The Mystery of the Lost Key

By

Adil Elahi

August 2007

My family and I went to DoongaGali for the summer holidays. As soon as we reached, my brother, sister and I went for a walk on the pipeline that connects Doonga Gali to Ayubia. My brother and sister stopped to rest but I kept going.

On the way I saw some strange people complaining about something they had lost. Two of them were shouting ''When did you last have it? How are we supposed to open it now!! Lets head back to the cave and retrace our steps.''

I didnít remember seeing any cave on my way, so I got suspicious about what they were trying to open and what they had lost. I headed back to the place where I had left my brother and sister. I met them on the way and asked them if they had seen three people pass by, but they had not.

This confused me even further. Where could they have gone without following the only route back? We headed back to the guest house where we were staying. I didnít tell anyone about what I had seen or heard and planned to sneak out that evening and look for the mysterious cave where the men had disappeared.

I left at dusk with a flashlight. When I got to the area where the strangers had vanished, I started looking for some loose rocks that might be concealing the cave. Then I looked down the mountainside hoping the cave might be there. But it was not.

I was just about to lose hope of finding anything, when I saw something twinkle in the torchlight. I picked it up and realized that it was a large key. The largest key I ever saw, it was about six inches long, very thick and golden in colour with a red ruby at the bottom.

It suddenly struck me that this might be what the peculiar men had lost. The key was supposed to open something that they had.

It was getting late so I decided to head back before my parents got worried. When I reached, I saw everyone playing cards and was relieved that not too many questions were asked.

The next day I sneaked out very early and set out towards the pipeline. When I reached it, I saw the strangers again. I crept up behind them at a safe distance to see where they were going. I saw them stop and then go down the mountainside. Soon they were out of sight. I counted till fifty and then followed them. At a distance I saw a huge cave not visible from the pipeline.

I sneaked inside the cave and hid behind a bundle of crates piled up next to the entrance. I saw a huge iron chest with a big lock on it. I was sure that the key belonged to that lock. The men spoke a little and climbed back up the mountain. I quickly opened the chest with the key and saw the most remarkable treasure! The chest was full of gold medallions, jewels and rubies. Without further ado I took a few medallions and jewels and locked the chest so that the men would not suspect that some one was here.

I climbed back up the steep mountain on my way to the guest house when the strangers and I crossed each other. I was lucky they hadnít come earlier.

When I reached the guest house, to my horror my father was packing the car with our luggage. I asked him what the matter was? My father explained to me that his aunt had passed away and that we had to attend her funeral. I was heart broken and tried my best to find some excuse to stay back, but to no avail. With a heavy heart I sat in the car and sulked. I suddenly realized that I had brought some treasure with me. I was tempted to tell my story but was afraid that I will be told to return the treasure.

I decided to keep the treasure until I could find a good use for it. Then I would return in the next holidays and see if I could get more treasure.