טוביה ארז, הנדסה אזרחית בע"מ, ניהול, תאום ופיקוח | Mysterious Stories on a Rainy Night

Mysterious Stories on a Rainy Night

Wonderful English stamps, a book that grew long after the author had passed and a challenge to the country's butterflies. Three mysteries, one stormy night.

 

It was a winter evening. We cuddled Sheshet (the dog) and me on the sofa in front of the heater. Outside the pouring rain hit the shutters. The door to the next room creaked slightly. From time to time, lightning flashed followed by a rolling thunder. Sheshet growled. Now is the time, she said, for some suspense stories

suitable for a rainy dark evening.

All right, I said, pouring myself a glass of pink champagne. I'll tell you about a couple of incidents that occurred in the past month.

 

The Author

About a month ago I came across an article in the daily newspaper. The article mentioned that the British Philatelic Service had decided to celebrate 100 years since the death of suspense writer Agatha Christie and produce a series of six stamps. Each stamp will be dedicated to one of the author's books and will include a painting depicting the main motif of the story.

One of the stamps, for example, read "Murder on the Orient Express "and depicted was a train with a figure in the window wearing a dress red. The murderer is hidden behind a heat sensitive curtain. The article states that when ultraviolet light is directed at the stamp the curtain disappears and the name of the suspect appears.

Each stamp also contains a hidden letter, and when combined all the letters in the sequence spell the name Agatha.

I sent an urgent email to my friend Adam in London. I told him about the stamps and asked him to purchase the series for me for a fee. Adam declined payment and informed me that he had purchased the stamps and they were on their way.

Two weeks later an envelope was waiting for me in my mailbox containing the beautiful series of six stamps. My niece acquired an ultraviolet flashlight for me over the Internet for two dollars (including shipping). I bought the batteries and here, I said to Sheshet, before you on the shelf are the stamps.

And what about the hidden names of the suspects? Asked Sheshet. Does it work, or is it just an advertisement ploy? That, I said, you will have to find out for yourself.

I took another sip of the pink champagne and I moved on to the next story.

 

The Hidden Book

Years ago I purchased a book that was a 1956 edition by the author Thomas Mann called "Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man". It tells of a man named Felix Carroll who is hired to impersonate a Count. He travels to other countries so that the real Count could secretly remain in Paris with his lover. At the end of the book, which is cut off at its peak, is written: end of first part. I searched for the second part and could not find it. The sources I checked stated that Thomas Mann passed away before completing the second part. That's how I lived for years with a sense of missed opportunity.

About a month ago I came across the book section of a daily newspaper with an article stating that a new 450-page translation of "Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man" by Thomas Mann has come out. I hurried to the bookcase, pulled out my 1956 edition off the shelf and quickly leafed through to the end of the book to check. My book had only 240 pages.

Had they found the second part that Thomas Mann did not have time to complete?

Excited, I turned to my friend who was working at a local bookshop and presented her with the mystery. After consultation I sent her a photo of the last page of the book in my possession. A few days later the answer arrived.

The last page of my 240-page book was completely identical to the last page of the new 450-page book.

How could that be? Asked Sheshet. This, too, I thought, you'll have to find out for yourself. I would try a cigar now with the pink champagne, I thought, but I have never smoked nor do I have cigars. Therefore, I indulged myself with another pink gulp and moved on to the last story.

 

Butterfly Park

A while ago a manager of a large factory in the North called me in for a meeting. We would like to set up a project for the benefit of the community on the factory grounds, he revealed to me. What is the project, I asked. An open butterfly park, said the manager. I waited for a smile or a wink that never came. This is the name and number of the landscape architect, said the manager, and handed me a piece of paper. Call him and make an appointment.

I phoned the architect, we spoke for a long time, and a day later the park plans were in my e-mail. In the factory yard a charming piece of nature will be built: ponds connected by a stream, fish swimming in them, trees of all kinds, rows of bushes in all colors, flowers and wild herbs, a path of stones crossing through the park, and everything colorful and blooming.

But the park would be located in a large factory yard that is grey and located in an industrial area full of grey industrial buildings. How would the butterflies know there is a garden there?

That, I thought this time, you'll have to discover yourself.

 

The hour was late. I took a final sip from the glass of pink champagne. The time has come to go to sleep. Tomorrow I'll go to the local post office branch and send Peter from London a series of colorful stamps of Israel. Maybe with a picture of butterflies.

 

*Agatha Christie and a stamp from the series commemorating her.