‘It’s going to be a very dull life in a village, after living in Goa,’ said Rakesh. His younger brother, Ravi, and their visiting cousin, Prashant, nodded in agreement. Rakesh and Ravi’s mother had contracted measles, so she had decided to send the three boys away to her vacant old house in a small village.
The three caught the afternoon bus to the village. They reached the house late in the evening. Exhausted, they decided to go straight to bed after dinner.
The next morning, the trio discovered that the house had an old attic, a kitchen, and three other rooms. Only two rooms had been cleaned by the caretaker for the boys to live in.
‘Let’s explore the attic,’ Rakesh suggested.
‘There are no lights in there, so we’ll have to use our torches,’ stated Ravi.
They climbed up the steps leading up to the attic. Rakesh pushed open the door and flashed his torch. Whoosh! Something shot past them into a hole. Frightened, Ravi dropped his torch.
‘It’s just a rat, coward!’ hissed Prashant, annoyed at himself for being startled.
The attic was small and had some trunks lying here and there, all covered in thick layers of dust. The boys soon found that someone had been there not so long ago, for strewn across the floor were some used matchsticks, a candle, and some bread that had gone stale and hard. They began exploring the attic, hoping to stumble upon something interesting, and they did!
‘Look! See what I’ve found! It’s a waterproof oil skin stuffed into this rat hole!’ said Prashant. ‘Something’s wrapped in it.’
‘Open it,’ cried Ravi impatiently. They found a piece of paper with something written on it.
‘The peaceful part of a hurricane in the elephant’s fort guards the valuable secret of the Ivory Treasure,’ it read.
‘How exciting!’ the boys exclaimed in unison.
‘The elephant’s fort must mean the big shed in the ruined fort across the village,’ inferred Prashant. ‘It once housed elephants. At least that’s what the man sitting next to me on the bus said.’
‘But what could the peaceful part of a hurricane mean?’ inquired Ravi, puzzled.
‘Let’s let the encyclopedia answer that,’ suggested Rakesh.
They looked up under the ‘H’ entries and soon learned that the eye of the hurricane was always calm.
‘The puzzle’s solved. Now for the hunt,’ declared Ravi.
It was almost evening when the boys got to the shed. The shed was huge and had lots of cobwebs hanging in the corners. The walls were covered with mural paintings. One was that of a hurricane!
‘Well, what do we do now?’ asked Ravi.
‘I think we should press the center of the hurricane,’ said Prashant, and did so.
A part of the center moved into the painting as a section of the wall opened up to them. Inside was a trunk, quite new. The boys eagerly opened it and inside were some fifteen statues made of… something white.
‘It’s ivory! They’re made of ivory!’ declared Prashant.
‘What? Ivory’s very costly!’ exclaimed Ravi.
‘We must inform the police,’ said Rakesh. And so they did.
The police promptly turned up. After examining the reported ivory treasure, the police realized those were the very statues recently stolen from a museum. When the boys told the Inspector that someone had been living in the attic, it became certain that this person was the thief.
‘You did a great job, boys. These statues are worth a fortune,’ the Inspector commended them.
A manhunt soon began for the thief. It didn’t take the police long to find a suspicious man hiding in a cave. When interrogated, the man pleaded guilty. The ‘The Inquisitive Troika’, as the boys like to call themselves now, received lavish rewards and massive media publicity for unearthing the stolen ivory treasure.
In Goa, upon hearing about this adventure, their mother vowed, ‘I’m never sending them alone anywhere hereafter – measles or no measles!’
As fond of writing a good story as he is of reading one, Pravin is one of the most promising writers at Ameya. He can be contacted at email@example.com.