Chapter 12

The Famous Five were sitting out the front of Peterswood's cake shop enjoying fresh macaroons and cold glasses of milk.

"I say, Dick, that poem was jolly clever," said George again, handing half a macaroon to Timmy, who wolfed it eagerly.

Dick grinned. "I should think they will be puzzling over it for some time!"

"But how will we know if they solve it?" asked Anne.

"What do you mean, Anne?" asked Julian. "There isn't really a mystery!"

"I know. But if it's supposed to be a treasure hunt, how will we know where to leave the next clue for them?"

Dick look dismayed. "Blow! I just scribbled nonsense down in that little poem. It probably doesn't make any sense at all!"

"What was the poem again?" asked George. "There's a mystery that awaits you . . ."

"Find the key to follow the clue," supplied Julian.

"Use your head and use your feet . . ." continued George.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!" Anne concluded. "That was my favourite part."

"And then we had 'beware the five strangers', which, of course, is us," said Dick.

"Well, it looks like we have to solve the mystery ourselves as well!" chuckled Julian. "Perhaps we should go for a walk down the High Street to see if there are any likely places the clue could fit."

"Yes, let's!" said Dick. They paid for their milk and macaroons and set off with Timmy trotting faithfully alongside George as usual.

"I say! How about a locksmith?" George asked. "That would go nicely with the part about the key."

"It could," mused Julian. "Let's write down all the possible places and decide on the best one after our walk."

"There are rose bushes in front of that cottage," pointed Anne.

"Don't think we could hide it there, Anne old thing. There must be hundreds of gardens with roses in them in Peterswood!"

"Couldn't we ask Uncle Peter and Aunt Molly if they know of anywhere?" she asked.

"No!" George exclaimed. "They'll want to know what we're up to. Adults always do."

"George is right," agreed Julian. "Uncle Peter and Aunt Molly are jolly fine but they're adults all the same. If it were a real mystery, they'd insist on getting that Goon fellow involved!"

"I say," began Dick. "How about leaving the same note for Goon and sending him on the same treasure hunt?"

"Oh, do let's!" begged George.

Julian thought.

"No, we had better not," he said reluctantly. "It's one thing to make false clues for children to follow, and another to leave them for an actual policeman, even if he does seem to be a bit of a fathead."

"Perhaps he'll see what the others are up to and involve himself," said George, brightly. "There's no way we could be blamed for him sticking his nose into a game!"

Julian was about to reply when Anne squealed.

"Whatever's the matter, Anne?" he asked. Anne was pointing to an inn across the road from them. The others read the name on the sign that was swinging in the slight breeze.

"The Rose and Key! Well spotted, Anne!" said Julian.

"It's perfect!" said George, wishing she had seen it first.

The crossed the road and inspected the inn for likely places to hide their clue.

"What about on the sign itself?" asked Dick.

"Someone else might see it first and pull it off," said Julian. "I say, what about this?" He pointed to a gap in the brickwork. "We could roll up a piece of paper and stick it in there. You wouldn't see it unless you were looking for it."

"Capital idea," said Dick, pulling out his notebook. "Now, let's see, where can we send them next?"