Sadie was optimistic the next morning as she ate a hearty breakfast of eggs and ham. She was glad she had made sure to acquire some extra money--the wine making class had been pricey, even with the discount, and she wouldn't have been able to afford to eat quite so well without it.
After breakfast she pedaled over to Berthe's house, certain that she'd be able to get everything squared away this morning.
"I really need to pick up the artifacts today, I'm leaving to go home tomorrow," Sadie insisted after she was invited inside.
"The truth is, I don't have them," Berthe finally admitted, unable to put off Sadie's request any longer.
"What do you mean you don't have them," Sadie asked dubiously.
"The curator of La Gallerie d'Art never gave them to me," she explained, sounding rather upset, "He was arranged to sell me the items, but at the last minute he cancelled the deal. He says now that he will not give anything unless I find someone who will help him with his problem. I tried all day yesterday to convince him, but he will not move."
"Are you saying that I traveled all the way to France for nothing?" Sadie could not believe what she was hearing.
"There it nothing I can do, I am sorry," Berthe seemed sincerely apologetic, "But... maybe you can see him. If you cannot change his mind, then you can always try to help him."
And so, a little while later, Sadie found herself at a small relic shop in the middle of town. At first she was amazed by the items on display, until she realized that they were mostly replicas and miniatures of originals being sold as souvenirs.
She approached the man at the cashier, "Hello, I'm looking for Gaston Dutiel."
"I am him. How may I help you, madame?" he replied, pleasantly.
"My name is Sadie Kapoor, I'm here about the artifacts you were going to sell to Berthe Girard."
Gaston's demeanor suddenly changed. He glanced furtively around the empty shop before silently beckoning for Sadie to come around the counter.
"I am glad she has finally found someone willing to help," he told her in a hushed voice, "I have had no luck with the locals, none of them want to get involved in anything that goes against the Landgraabs."
"The Langraabs?" Sadie had never heard the name before.
The shop owner nodded and, in whispered tones, told her a story. Gaston's father, Rémy Dutiel, had been the curator of La Gallerie d'Art in Champs Les Sims, as his father had before him, and his father before that. The family had built it up over generations, and when Gaston's father had recently passed away, it was passed down to him. Before Rémy died, however, he had been in negotiations with the wealthy Langraab family, who were interested in buying the museum from him. Rémy had refused, but the Langraabs were persistent and did whatever they could to make things difficult for the Dutiels and their business. Now that Rémy was gone, the Landgraabs had turned to his son, trying to get him to sell, but he was putting up just as stubborn of a fight.
"But it is not just that," Gaston continued, "I've seen them lurking around the museum, very suspiciously. There is nothing I can do, as it is public property, but I have a feeling that there is something about the museum that they know and I don't. My father fell ill and passed so suddenly, it could be that there was something that he would have told me if he could. I need someone to help me investigate the museum and see if there is anything there that can be found."
"You're saying you want me to search the museum for some secret your father might have kept from you?" Sadie wasn't sure if this man was entirely serious.
"Maybe you will notice something that to me is just normal since I have seen it all my life. You will help me, won't you?" he pleaded.
"Well, alright," she reluctantly agreed. It couldn't hurt to look, and if it was her only chance at not returning home empty handed, then it was worth a shot.
She hopped on her bike and rode out of town, wondering what exactly she was getting herself into.
At least I get to see the museum, she thought as she climbed the steps of the sprawling building. It had been on her list of places she had wanted to visit while she was here.
Sadie was enthralled by the displays inside. It dwarfed the Meadow Glen museum and she wondered if they would ever have anything half as nice as what was here.
It was on her second pass through the China exhibit that she noticed a strange opening in the wall. It was probably nothing, but she figured she might as well take a closer look. She felt around inside and hit something that felt like a switch. Much to her surprise, she heard a loud grating noise coming from the hall.
She rounded the corner to find that a portion of the wall had rotated to reveal a concealed entrance. Could Gaston have been right? Were there hidden secrets in this museum? Sadie suddenly felt giddy with excitement.
On the other side of the opening was a passageway that led to a set of stairs descending below the museum. Sadie paused at the top, her heart pounding. Whether in fear or excitement, she wasn't sure, but she knew she had to see what was at the bottom.
It turned out to be a dead end. The room was empty, other than a couple of old, but not very interesting, stone statues. Something didn't feel right to Sadie, though, so she walked slowly around the room.
There was something strange about the wall behind one of the statues so, huffing and puffing, she pushed it out of the way. I really need to start exercising more.
Sure enough, there was another hidden door. Sadie strode through triumphantly...
...into a room full of ancient relics.
She walked in awe amongst the artifacts, wondering how long they had been hidden down here. She recognized some of them as being from incredibly rare cultures and time periods, and realized that she must be surrounded by a fortune. This must be what the Landgraabs were interested in. She had to get back to Gaston and tell him what she'd found.
And so she did.
The curator was incredibly grateful, "I cannot give you any of the relics you have found today, they must be dated and cataloged before I make any decisions on what to do with them, but you can have the items I was to sell to Berthe. No charge, in fact, I will pay you in addition for the great help you have been to my family."
"That is very generous of you," Sadie thanked him, "Those relics were fascinating, though. I would love to hear what you find out about them. I wish I could stay and help you with their research, but I have my own work to get back to."
"I will of course keep you up to date," he promised, "and if I have any other artifacts to sell in the future, I will let you know first of all."
That evening, Sadie treated herself to a celebratory meal of frogs legs--she was ready to be adventurous.
I've tamed down the actual adventuring part of Sadie's travels quite a bit, as I don't really want her to be a tomb raider. Hopefully the story is still intriguing enough that it'll hold your interests, though. :)
As a side note, I've just signed up for Tumblr to try it out. I'll be using it as a simblr and posting about my legacy updates there, if you'd prefer to get notified about them that way. I'll also be posting other random pictures of my legacy there, so there will probably be fewer bonus pics at the ends of chapters, but more pictures in general there. I'm new to it, though, so we'll see how it goes (suggestions welcome)! Link: A Little Simlish.