"Apollo, in Greek mythology, is the god of poets and scholars," says Alexander, recalling his classical education. "The symbol of Apollo is the bay laurel tree. That must be where he hid the emerald. Is there one on the grounds?"
"Well," says Alexander, "that I'm not sure of yet. It's a riddle, but maybe we'll find out what it means when we find the laurel. Could be that's what's hidden there, not the emerald itself, and it will lead to the emerald somehow. It might be hidden inside the tree."
"Right then” he says briskly. Before anyone can say anything else, he strides out the door.
Back in the hallway, Meddler points out various adjacent rooms.
“Bath, storage room, game room with a billiards table if you fancy it, my room, linens, closet, your rooms. Here’s a nursery room, which was last used for young George.”
He walks down the corridor, and points to the portraits on the walls. “Various Forbys” he says without enthusiasm. “There’s Aleister, Harry’s father.”
This portrait is at the end, and bears a striking resemblance to Harry.
They are now on the left side of the house, which is well lit by many windows, although it is also very stuffy, making the companions sweat freely.
“This is Harry’s bedroom. Next is Gertrude’s and then young George’s”.
Two other rooms are down the corridor. On the opposite wall, on a large space between two windows is another portrait of a handsome man with yellow hair. The inscription reads “Christopher Lehmann”.
Meddler seems disinterested as he looks at Vic more closely, seeming to take in her style of dress.
“You dress a little, ah, unusually, I would say, Miss Miller” he says.
“I subscribe to what Lord Armstrong called his GOYA school - sitting around in a large frock just isn’t compatible with that line of thinking!”
"I rather think 'Apollo's Bower' might refer to a nook somewhere in the garden or somewhere just restful; where a poet might ponder. Is there a gazebo or similar edifice in the grounds, Mr Meddler? The 'Iron Dog' could refer to a dog basket in a fire place or maybe a forge- which doesn't tally with the poet's retreat." She frowns and thinks.
"Perhaps the Iron Dog is a train," muses Alexander as he examines the portrait. "I'd think of it more as an iron horse, but that could fit too. Although what are the eyes of fire, then? Shooting sparks must be related to the fire. It also makes me think of electricity, but it can't be that. It wasn't in common usage in Nicholas Forby's day."
“That’s George” explains Meddler. “He’s laid up in bed with a cold.”
He raises his voice.
“Yes, George. Our guests have arrived. I’m showing them around.”
“Do they want to see my room too?” comes the reply.
Meddler sighs. “I don’t think so, George.”
"I'm ready to move on," says Alexander. "Is Christopher Lehmann by chance a distant relative of the Forby family? I noticed some similarity between his portrait and the others, though perhaps it is merely a similarity of artistic style."
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