Charles was feeling rather pleased with himself, not least because few people find an out of the way attic a convenient place to come and visit.
It would be perfect.
It must have been his lucky day. Mrs Brown couldn’t manage her stairs at all any more. She had woken up in the night. Something upstairs had made a noise, so she thought. She had asked Charles to check when he went up. Maybe there was a rat, or a mouse. Maybe he would find signs of someone having broken in. When Charles couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary, or the source of the noise, the old lady asked him whether, if it would not put him to too much trouble, he could get up into the attic and check there.
It was quite a job to open the wooden hatch. He had had to take a chisel to it. There was a bit of damage to the wood, but what the eye doesn’t see…After a spray of oil and a bit of pushing and shoving the hatch protested with a squeak, but then dropped down to reveal the folded wooden steps, which also yielded to a good spraying of oil.
Gingerly, he placed his left foot on the first step to see if it was going to take his weight. Yes. A couple of careful steps up and he could reach his head inside the attic He was expecting it to be full of junk. But no. There were no ancient rocking horses or discarded candelabras. No chests full of long forgotten documents and letters. It was completely empty.
That was the first thing he noticed.
The second thing he noticed was the uncovered window which was allowing the sunshine to stream in. It had not been visible from the street. And it was facing in exactly the right direction…
He smiled. Now he would have the advantage.
Position, position, position.