FOR A MOMENT I thought the new owner was a swimming enthusiast. But then I saw something strange. At the end of the area where the pool edges shrunk into the tunnel, there was a boat.
I walked to the far end to see if I could get into the tunnel without stepping into the water. Eh, that was impossible. I took a tour around the pool on the narrow path to another door I didn’t see in the beginning. I tried to open it, but it was locked. Weird as it was, the space in front of it was wet, sign that somebody or something was there not long ago.
I knocked. “Is anybody here?”
Then I heard Phillip barging in the room. His face dropped. “What is this?” He saw me staring at him. “This is new to me, you know. Mom never put a pool under the house.”
He moved a few steps to the water. “And what is this? A connecting tunnel?”
“A connecting tunnel to what?” I asked.
Next second, the man left his sandals on the pavement and dove into the water. “I’ll check it out.”
For my amazement, the pool wasn’t deep. The water came up to Phillip’s waist. “Are you coming?” he asked waving his hand. “No, I’ll just wait here,” I said, but immediately changed my mind while speaking. It didn’t matter that I got wet since I lived next-door. I slipped into the pool and followed my neighbor to the tunnel. “We need a light,” he mumbled. “Maybe the tunnel is lighted,” I replied pretty concerned to be left behind. The man reached to the boat and searched under the two benches. He pulled out a bag. “What’s this?” he talked to himself and opened it. There was an empty glass bottle, the ones you could find in a pharmacy in the past. “Let me see,” I asked and took it from his hand. The lid was wet. I opened it and a strong smell of chloroform stung my nose.
“Gosh! You can put to sleep a horse with this smell.” Phillip didn’t bother. He looked at the two paddles on the boat’s floor. “These are pretty new.”
You could see where the engine used to be. “They don’t use an engine,” I said, and that caught Phillip’s attention. “I wonder why…” “Maybe it broke. Or maybe they don’t want to make noise,” I continued.
-to be continued-