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By Scarlett Thomas
Alice-slight introvert, crossword compositor- works at PopCo, a globally profitable and a bit of sinister toy corporation. Lured through their CEO to a concept Camp out at the moors, PopCo's creatives needs to invent the last word product for teenage ladies. in the meantime, Alice gets extraordinary, encrypted messages she suspects relate to her grandfather's interpreting of a centuries-old manuscript that many-including her long-disappeared father-believe ends up in buried treasure. Its key, she's convinced, is engraved at the necklace she's been donning seeing that she was once ten. utilizing the talents she realized from her grandparents and educating us facets of cryptanalysis, Alice discovers the resource of those creepy codes. Will this lead her to the mysterious treasure or one other, much more conscientiously guarded mystery?
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Besides, if he'll supply his daughter to the wealthy, evil guy then his debt may be written off. If now not, he'll lose every little thing and his entire relations will starve. it is a terrible option to make yet ultimately the daughter herself makes it. She appears to be like in entrance of her father wearing her suitcase, able to provide herself to the wealthy guy. Her father and mother cry as she leaves in a single of the wealthy man's carriages: they worry they'll by no means see her back. Now, the wealthy guy isn't just evil but in addition sadistic and crafty. One month later he calls the attractive girl's kin to his fortress, asserting he has a proposition for them. after they get there, they locate quite a few humans from the city assembled within the huge fort courtyard, ready to work out what spectacle goes to happen. The courtyard is roofed with small black and white stones—legend has it that this unique, dependent gravel is the wealthy man's satisfaction and pleasure. It reminds him of his favorite hobby, chess, and he has the stones shipped in frequently at nice rate. it is a disgrace he wasn't into pass, truly, as this stuff are primarily like millions of cross stones everywhere in the floor. "Anyway, as soon as a major adequate viewers is assembled, he comes ahead to handle the group. In as humiliating a fashion as attainable, he relates the story of ways this hapless service provider owed him funds yet provided him his daughter as an alternative. At this the daddy turns into very indignant. He did not easily 'offer' his daughter—he used to be tricked! His spouse calms him down. She fears the worst if he makes the wealthy guy indignant. Executions have taken position during this courtyard prior to now and she or he does not wish her daughter, or her husband, to be the subsequent sufferer. ultimately the wealthy guy involves the purpose of his lengthy speech, talking on to the girl's father. 'I have right here a bag,' he explains, 'into which i'm going to position one black and one white stone from the floor. in the event that your daughter can choose the white stone from the bag, she is unfastened to move domestic with you at the present time and you may owe me not anything. If, in spite of the fact that, she alternatives the black stone then she is mine for ever and you may by no means see her back. Do you settle for this proposition? ' the guy has no selection. He accepts it. "The lady is introduced out to the courtyard through a servant. She isn't crying yet as a substitute turns out calm and courageous. The problem is defined to her and she or he nods. A fifty-fifty probability of being loose is greater than she suggestion she will be in a position to desire for, and she or he prays that she will choose definitely the right stone. Then the wealthy guy bends right down to choose the stones from the floor. He does this in any such means that the viewers cannot see what he's doing however it is de facto transparent to the woman that he has picked up black stones and positioned them within the bag. this can be so unfair! She cannot be condemned via trickery to spend the remainder of her lifestyles in his carrier, to be had to indulge his each sadistic whim... " "Are you embellishing this a bit, Butler? " Dan asks, giggling. "No, no," I say, additionally giggling. "This is strictly as I heard it while i used to be ten or so. " Esther appears to be like fearful.