The Message In The Lock


I am worried about Mr. Walker, but I can’t help feeling disappointed.

All year around I go to a boarding school, where I have to do a myriad of boring things, like play lacrosse, participate in gym class, swim and struggle with maths problems and embroidery. I love reading, and writing essays and stories, so school is not all bad, but the school library is limited, compared to the one Mr. Walker has, back home.

I look forward to the summer holidays. Father is Mr. Walker’s secretary. When I was little, he took me along to work, when Mother was very ill for a month. Mr. Walker did not mind. I would curl up quietly with a book on a chair in the corner of Father’s office.

After I had been there a few times, one day, Mr. Walker came up to me. “Lucy, do like to read books?” He asked.

“Yes I do, Sir” I replied, scared that such an important grown up was talking to me.

“Would you like to see my library?” He asked, his eyes twinkling.

“Oh. Yes. I would love that Sir.” In my eagerness, I forgot to be scared.

The library was huge. I thought it must have every book ever written. He told me I could read in his library whenever I wanted to, and I often did. Once I started boarding school, I looked forward to spending all my summer holidays in his library.

But this year, I heard that Mr. Walker was very sick. The doctor had insisted that he go to the sea side for the summer. Mr. Walker had locked up his house and left with his valet, a week before I returned from school.

I had to come here and see for myself, and now I stare sadly at the lock on the gate. But wait! Why has he changed the lock to a combination type? I think I have an idea!

My fingers tremble, as I enter a combination. It works! Last summer Mr. Walker had been fascinated by a book, that had just been published; 1984 by Orwell. I had enjoyed it immensely.

The main door of the house has a combination lock on it too. Again the same combination works! I am still not sure, I am doing the right thing. May be it is just a coincidence, that he chose the particular combination.

As the main door creaks open, I notice a paper on the table near by. I read the note.

Dear Little Lucy,

If you have found this note, then you figured out the puzzle at the gate and you deserve to enjoy the summer at my library. You know how precious my books are to me, so please lock up after yourself. The keys to the library are in the vase on this table. Have a great summer.


D. H. Walker

I pick up the keys and dash off to the library. This is going to be a good summer after all. I dearly hope Mr. Walker feels better soon. A man as nice as him, should never be sick. I am going to talk to God about it, when I pray tonight.

The photo was obtained from and used as a prompt.

Tags: books, women, kids, photoprompt, story