They were lucky to find this place; they’d have no hope without it. They had to get out and to her grandfather. A respected historian of ancient weaponry, he would know more.
The beautiful 17th Century Pistol, had more to it that either girl knew, handed down over the ages, it represents the freedom and courage of the men and women that have been privileged to call it their own. None but the original owner understood the power it possessed, much greater than the violence unleashed by pulling its ornate trigger.
Soon they would not be able to hold them off, they had to do something!
Although she had not wanted to use the pistol, she now felt there was no choice. Stepping up to the window, slowly raising it into position, carefully squeezing the trigger, a splintering sound erupted into the atmosphere, then silence.
Where had they gone? Nothing remained of the men who had hoped to capture them. She would not allow herself the small smile that many who had owned the gift had worn when they felt its power for the first time.
She realised how quickly those who had stood so confident in victory could be devastated and she felt powerful.
They moved quickly, not allowing themselves the luxury of questioning what had happened, that would have to wait.
Her usual sense of calm returned to her as they made their way up the path to her grandfather’s house, she allowed her mind to wander and the questions came in floods. What had happened back there? Why had the men disappeared? Where had they gone? She had expected the pistol would not be predictable, but to have a small group of men completely disappear, that went beyond all comprehension. Surely they could not have been obliterated past even the smallest indication that they had once stood in front of her firing their weapons to kill.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the opening of the door and she was shocked to see her usually soft and cheerful faced grandfather looking pale and strained. He ushered them into the kitchen where they sat quietly together watching Mr Bone as he cheerfully tucked into some left over stew. Clearly he had not been disturbed by the fighting. She suddenly wished that she could trade places and live the simple dogs life. This thought lifted her spirits and it seemed it was time to relay their story.
Her grandfather sat patiently listening as she told him of their adventure, the strange message a the hotel, the trip to the museum and the curator who had given her the pistol telling her it was hers now and that she would need to keep it safe. She told him of the letter and the instructions that had led them to the forest where the men had appeared and how they had been pursued to the shack. She described what had happened when she had fired the pistol and how there had been no sign that the men had even stood there, not a bullet or belt buckle remained. She told of how the forest had been left untouched, as if nothing had happened.
Her grandfather after reading the letter told her the little he knew, that the weapon had been owned by many powerful men and women over the years and had secretly won wars, ensured the safety of their lands. No one had dared to questions its origin, but now it was time for it to return home.
The real adventure was still to come.