The Case of the Lockless Key
The chill breeze, characteristic of a night in the Netherlands as you have ever spent one, invaded
your quarters through an open window. The cold was a welcome sensation, awakening and inviting a
keen alertness unique to its caress. Besides which, the glass had fogged this evening, and you would
not pass up a chance to enjoy the full moon by leaving your window shut. These fleeting hours of a
relief from responsibility were the most valuable in your profession. They were hours of thought.
Closing your eyes, you could feel the ferry slice through the lake, gliding onward to Amsterdam
station. That was where this journey would begin.
You had been hired by a young woman by the name of Amelia Robinson to uncover the
whereabouts of her recently married husband, Tabor Robinson. She had last seen him at their newly
purchased home in Leiden, the night before his disappearance. Mrs. Robinson assumed he had gone
to work before she awoke the next day. He was a writer. Tabor often secluded himself in cafes and
the like when crafting his latest novel.
However, on the second morning since she had seen him, Mrs. Robinson became worried. In
searching the house, she found Tabor's typewriter in his study, untouched. He had also left his hat
and coat behind. In the pocket of the latter, Amelia found an envelope with his name written on it in
an unfamiliar handwriting. It had already been opened and inside she found two items: a ticket to
ride from Amsterdam to Berlin, Germany the next night - which is to say tonight - and a letter signed
with an X.
It read: "To be absent from the body - Is to be present with the Lord - The dust returns to earth -
The spirit returns to God Who gave it."
Letter and ticket in hand, you exited the ferry once it docked. You passed quickly through the
crowd and entered Amsterdam station, twelve minutes before 9:00, when the train for which this
ticket was intended would depart.