CHAPTER THREE- Dr. Hound
On most Sunday afternoons, Maximus took a nap. He typically would spend Monday through Friday at University, then Saturdays working at the local hardware store. Sundays were his day off. He would wake up around 11am, eat some sort of make-shift breakfast, exercise with numerous barbells and dumbbells, and be back in bed by one in the afternoon.
His nap however was interrupted. Susan knocked on his door and told him to come into the living room. When his mother summoned him downstairs, either he was in serious trouble or someone important had come to visit. Luckily for Maximus, it was the latter.
The man was sat on the single chair that Daisy took residence in a few days prior. He instantly stood up as Maximus entered the room. His suit was finely pressed and his suitcase boasted wealth and style. The man was handsome, well groomed and somehow had a mysterious charm about him.
“Maximus Strange,” he spoke with a bold voice “So sorry to interrupt your afternoon doze. My name is Robert Hound. I was wondering if you might be able to help me.”
“I can try.” Both men sat down, Maximus adjusted himself comfortably on the sofa. Susan wandered into the kitchen to continue her ironing.
“You may be quite suprised by my visit, but I think you now have something that would help me. I’m the CEO of FHE Initiatives. Have you heard of us?”
“Can’t say I have”
“Well…we study scientific breakthroughs and ways in which technology can change our lives. Believe it or not, but we helped build the foundation of the mobile phone device. Most commonly used today.”
“Strange…how I haven’t heard of you before?”
“Some call it unbelieveable, yet the foundation of the work was provided by us.” Mr Hound took a sip of his water that Mrs Strange had kindly provided for him. “Your grandfather helped us too.”
“I didn’t know him that well.”
“Shame- great shame. Such…an incredible man. Well anyway, rather than me waffling on, I have a very generous business proposition for you. I understand Bernard gave you something rather valuable when he…departed our good graces. That item is of great value and of significant technological history.” Robert continued with great intensity “Since we assumed you weren’t of a very…scientific mind to put it politely, we assumed you wouldn’t mind if we were to take it off your hands.” At this, Robert dives into his coat pocket and draws out a cheque book. His takes his pen from his other pocket.
“Believe it or not, that item is worth a great deal of money.” He finishes scribbling on the cheque, tears it off and tentatively hands it over to Maximus.
Maximus stares at the cheque in amazement. His response triggers Rufus to crack a smile too.
“So…we have a deal?”
Maximus continued to stare at the cheque.
“Sure.” Maximus said calmy, “I’ll go get it.”
“Excellent! Maximus you are an exceptional young man. Science will forever be in your debt.” Maximus walked across the living room and into a smaller room located next to the kitchen. He forced open his bedroom door and climbed over the clothes strewn across the floor. He saw the tiny envelope placed on his desk and managed to find his way over to it. As he picked it up, voices in his head began to stir.
Secret…Most precious secret.
He opened the tiny lid of the envelope and tipped the contents into his hands. The tinest of clock pieces rolled around in his palm. Even with the dim light in his room, the delicate item glistened with a bright, polished golden gleam. He used the edge of his nails to turn it over and notices the tiniest of inscription on his length. Referring back to the envelope, he managed to dig out a small note that was folded countless times. Opening it, the words left Maximus confused and perplexed.
FIND THE SEVEN DIALS
Maximus pocketed both the golden clock hand and the note, took and deep breath and went downstairs. Upon his return to the living room, Mr Hound rose to his feet.
“Something wrong Maximus?”
“I’m sorry…I can’t accept this.” Maximus promptly places the cheque back on Rufus’ side of the coffee table. He looks on bemused.
“What do you mean? Do you want less money?”
“No, it’s not that. Believe it or not, Bernard was a great man. He entrusted me with this…item and I fear it was not in his best interest to have me sell it on to some…science company.”
“Well…I can understand that. But don’t you think Bernard would have wanted you to have such a grand wealth? Perhaps he couldn’t generate such funds, but knew you would appreciate it more in the long run?” Rufus’ attempt at a second deal sounded promising, but didn’t work for Maximus.
“I think he would have wanted me to find out what it all means- what the piece is really for.” At this, Robert grew cold. He smile turned into a sour scorn. It seemed as if a giant thunder could was about to erupt above him.
“Last chance Max- take the money! I doubt you will ever get a chance to see this amount of money again!”
“I’ve clearly made my decision. I’m sorry to disappoint, but you’ll have to field your experiment some other way.” Rufus grabbed the cheque and placed it back in his pocket. He stood up sharply, adjusted his tie and began to leave the house.
“You’re going to regret your decision Max…trust me!”
As Rufus left the house, there was s sinister air that lingered. Max somehow knew he had made the right decision. Yet now his quest to find the meaning of the strange object became somewhat more important.