We made a fair go of it. I’d like to thank those of you who tried to help me solve Alastor Vane’s first riddle—even if some of your motives were less than altruistic. That’s what rewards are for. We got it in the end, but as the saying goes: too little, too late.
By the time I arrived at the South Bridge Vaults, midnight had long come and gone, and I had little hope of recovering my things. The possibility of our poetic friend being charitable with the deadline seemed unlikely, but I had to try. As I’d guessed, there was nothing there. Nothing, that is, except for the note I found at the arch where Cowgate passes under South Bridge.
Here’s what the bastard left this time.
“You made it to the finish line,
But just a smidge too late.
You hadn’t time to drag your feet
To meet me at Cowgate.
Now your first chance has come and gone
You’ve not forgot I’m sure,
The generous old Nightshade Gang
Has promised you two more.
I can feel your patience fraying,
So I’ll cut to the chase.
It’s tinder’s tunes we’re playing now,
The firefighter’s race.
Don’t worry now, the blaze is out
A hundred years or more.
A cold and smokeless trail leads
To eighteen twenty four.
Wood’s the man whose trail you’re after
Though metal was his trade
Just find the place where walls are close,
And then you’ve got it made.
I hope you make it quicker this time. Don’t dawdle.”
He didn’t bother to sign it this time, but there you have it. My second riddle. I haven’t got a bloody clue what he’s talking about this time either, so the deal from before stands. Help me get to my things in time and I promise, you’ll be glad you did.