Interactive Story: "The Case of the Blitz Beryls"
for Eagle Eye Mysteries In London
Author: Ken Eklund

This script is derived from the original programming script used for the computer game. For readability, we’ll assume our player, “Emma,” has chosen Jennifer Eagle as her partner; the alternative texts for Jake Eagle have been removed.

<<Bracketed texts>> are summary clues that the detectives collect in their electronic notebook. When Emma has finished collecting clues, she must correctly pick out the pertinent ones to solve the case.

Note: these texts were written to be presented as text on screen, not as spoken dialog (audio).

intro: Jennifer's Uncle Basil comes into the room.

(Uncle Basil)
Ah, Emma and Jennifer. A friend of mine is writing a book about the Blitz, when the Nazis bombed London fifty years ago during World War II. He sent me this old letter he found. Have a look!

(Uncle Basil)
The letter my friend found was written by Roscoe Fishwick to his sister, Fiona. Like many children, Roscoe was sent to live in the farms and villages outside of London during the Blitz, but Fiona stayed in the city.

The best thing about the letter is that it contains a message that Roscoe wrote in secret code!

(Uncle Basil)
I've done some calling 'round and found where Roscoe Fishwick is now! I'd love it if you two went over there. Maybe he'll remember the secret he told his sister so many years ago!

item: you click on the letter in Uncle Basil's hand.

This is the old letter that Roscoe Fishwick wrote to his sister.

"Dear Fiona, the house is very big and Mrs. Saltcoats is nice. I have hidden Uncle Jack's Marbles where Hitler will never find them because Mum told me to.

"Only you and I know where they are. Hurry up and defeat Hitler so I can come back home. Watch out for the big bangs. Your loving brother, Roscoe."

You go to Quaint Street, and see an older man walking along the road.

Emma, Uncle Basil said Roscoe Fishwick ran a little tea shop here on Quaint Street. I think that's him over there!

dialog: you click on the walking man.

(Roscoe Fishwick)
A letter of mine to Fiona? My, that does bring back memories -- painful memories, actually. You see, the Blitz cost our family quite a lot.

I was nine years old during the Blitz. I still remember watching the airplanes fly over the city, and the houses all turned to rubble, and the sky black with smoke.

At night, there were searchlights and flashes from the guns and bombs. My mother was being so brave, but she was crying at the same time.

In your letter, you talk about a big house and Uncle Jack's Marbles. What's that all about, Mr. Fishwick?

(Roscoe Fishwick)
That's an interesting story. When the bombing started, people began sending their children off to the country. Some people we didn't even know offered to take me, so off I went, to a place called Marlford Manor.

My mum gave me "Uncle Jack's Marbles" and told me to keep them safe. They were actually precious gems -- called "beryls" -- that my Uncle Jack got in South Africa. Worth quite a bit of money. A small fortune, actually!

I was afraid that Hitler, the leader of the Nazis, would get the beryls. So I hid them somewhere in Marlford Manor. The trouble is, I'm afraid I quite forgot where I hid them! They're still there, somewhere!

<<When he was young, Roscoe Fishwick hid a fortune in beryls somewhere in Marlford Manor. The beryls have never been found.>>

Thanks, Mr. Fishwick. Maybe we can find those missing beryls for you! Come on, Emma! Let's grab the next train out to Marlford Manor!

You go to the train station, and take a train out to Marlford Manor. Lady Edna Saltcoats is waiting out front; you met her in an earlier story. She speaks up:

(Lady Edna Saltcoats)
Welcome to Marlford, Emma and Jennifer! You remember Julia and me, I hope! Are you dreadfully tired? How nice of you to visit! We do hope you will help dear Mr. Fishwick find his beryls!

When you click on Lady Edna:

So you seem to know all about Mr. Fishwick, Lady Edna!

(Lady Edna Saltcoats)
Of course! I inherited this manor from my mother in 1972. She and Roscoe and Roscoe's mother searched the place many times for the beryls, but could never find them. It's become a kind of legend!

<<Lady Edna Saltcoats inherited Marlford Manor in 1972 from her mother.>>

I'm afraid it's quite a big place, and the bag of beryls is quite small. But money isn't everything, as Roscoe said the last time he was here. He's right, of course.

<<Over the years, many people have searched Marlford Manor for the missing beryls, but no one ever found them.>>

Why doesn't someone ask Fiona Fishwick? According to the letter, she also knows where Roscoe hid the beryls!

(Lady Edna Saltcoats)
Oh dear. Didn't Mr. Fishwick tell you? I'm so sorry. Fiona Fishwick is dead, dear. She was killed in the Blitz.

<<Roscoe Fishwick's older sister, Fiona, was one of many Londoners killed during the bombing known as the Blitz.>>

You go into the house, and meet the housekeeper, Julia Beeswing, in the hall.

When you click on Julia:

Julia, do you have any idea where Mr. Fishwick might have hidden "Uncle Jack's Marbles" when he was a boy?

(Julia Beeswing)
No, Miss Eagle.

Our Uncle Basil has a piece of paper with code on it. It has funny symbols like stick men with flags. Do you have any idea what that might mean?

(Julia Beeswing)
Semaphores, Miss Eagle?

Semaphores? What are they, Julia?

(Julia Beeswing)
An old kind of military code, Miss Eagle, used by ships to signal one another. Perhaps one of Mr. Saltcoats' texts in the library might tell you more about them.

The library is right this way.

You go into the Marlford Manor Library. Julia goes with you.

(Julia Beeswing)
You'll find the book you want over on the far wall.

When you click on the book on the library shelf:

This book on military communications is pretty old. It covers telegraph, signaling with mirrors, radio... and semaphores!

Look! There's some writing in here, in a lovely script. "To Roscoe, with much love, from your sister Fiona." So Fiona knew all about semaphores!

The book has many "keys" to different codes. "Keys" tell you what code letter stands for "A," what stands for "B," what stands for "C" and so on.

Do you know why they call them "keys," Emma? It's because you use a key to unlock a secret message, just like you use a regular key to unlock a door!

Emma, here's the key I think we need! In semaphore, you hold a flag in either hand and how you point them signals a letter. They look a lot like the mystery drawing we got from Uncle Basil!

<<Semaphore is a kind of code used by ships to exchange messages. A sailor holds two flags at different angles, and each combination stands for a certain letter.>>

There's a copy of the semaphore key in our Eagle Eye handbook. Let's look again at Roscoe Fishwick's code! It's a lot easier to unlock a secret code when you have the key!

[You now get a visual puzzle sequence, where you have to decode the semaphore message. When correctly solved, the semaphore code reads “at the foot of the Queen”]

<<In Roscoe Fishwick ’s letter to his sister, he told her in semaphore code that he hid the Marbles “at the foot of the Queen”.>>

You go out into the vast Marlford Garden. Lady Edna and Julia are there.

Wow! They don't have gardens like this back in Richview.

You click on an exotic plant in an urn.

(Julia Beeswing)
Stay away from the Queen, please, Miss Eagle. It is a beautiful plant prized by Lady Edna. Do be careful of its delicate flowers.

(Lady Edna Saltcoats)
Oh, don't be a badger, Julia! They won't spoil our beautiful "queen's tears." We planted it years ago, just after we moved here in 1972, and Julia and I both love it to pieces, don't we, Julia?

<<The flowering plant at Marlford Manor is called "queen's tears." Lady Edna and Julia brought it to the manor when they moved there in 1972.>>

You click on a lawn statue.

(Lawn Statue)
The statue depicts a medieval knight posing with sword and shield.

(Lady Edna Saltcoats)
Personally, I have always fancied that the beryls are under this knight. I suppose there's no really good reason to think so, though!

<<Lady Edna believes that Mr. Fishwick's beryls are buried under the knight statue, but it's just a hunch and she has no proof.>>

Lady Edna, we have a question. When Roscoe Fishwick's mother found out he lost the beryls, was she really upset? Did he get punished?

(Lady Edna Saltcoats)
I don't think so. Everyone knew he was just trying to help. These days the Fishwicks just kid each other about it. Worse things happen in war than just losing some money.

You click on an old yew tree. It was topiary once, but now is neglected.

I think I've seen this tree before!

(Lady Edna Saltcoats)
I'm not surprised. That's a yew tree. It's a celebrated tree in England. They used to make longbows from yew wood. And it's a superb tree for hedges and topiary.

<<The yew tree is a famous tree of England. Once used for making longbows, now it often forms the hedges and topiary seen in English gardens.>>

Topiary? Isn't that a kind of pudding?

(Lady Edna Saltcoats)
No, dear. "Topiary" is the name for shrubs carefully shaped to look like people, objects or animals. It's almost as if a gardener carves the shape out of a bush by trimming it carefully. They are like living statues.

<<"Topiary" is the name for shrubs carefully shaped to look like people, objects or animals. A gardener "carves" the shape by trimming a bush very carefully. They are like living statues.>>

I think this tree was trimmed to look like something, once upon a time... Some kind of chess piece as I recall.

Hmmm... a chesspiece? I wonder which one: the rook? The bishop? The queen?

You take the train back to London, and return to Quaint Street to meet with Roscoe Fishwick.

Emma, let's cheer up Mr. Fishwick with some good news! I think we may help him find his lost beryls, thanks to his sister's letter.

You click on Roscoe Fishwick.

(Roscoe Fishwick)
I have been trying once again to remember where I put Uncle Jack's Marbles. I brought out these old photographs to help me remember.

Don't feel bad, Mr. Fishwick. We'll help you find the beryls! Those old photos look very interesting.

(Roscoe Fishwick)
Here's a picture of me at the time, out in the manor garden. This was taken in the fall of 1940.

<<A picture taken in 1940 shows Roscoe standing by a tree trimmed to resemble a huge chess piece -- a queen.>>

Yes, that's the garden we visited at Marlford Manor all right! It looked different back then.

(Roscoe Fishwick)
And I also wanted to show you a picture of my sister, Fiona.

We're very sorry that she died, Mr. Fishwick.

(Roscoe Fishwick)
It was many years ago, but I still remember her and miss her. She worked at a military office in London, coding and decoding messages. It took a direct hit from a bomb, and she was killed.

I think that if you do ever find those beryls, I'll use the money to start a program to promote peace. I think she would have liked that.


To solve the mystery, you select the most meaningful clues and identify the place where the beryls are hidden.

You got it! The beryls from the Blitz were buried under the yew tree!

The first thing we needed to do was solve young Roscoe's cipher! We found out that the code was really "semaphore," a system of pointing flags in different directions to send messages between ships.

When we solved the code, the message read "At the foot of the Queen." Now which queen was young Roscoe talking about?

We knew it couldn't be the "queen's tears" shrub inside the manor. It was planted many years after the war, in 1972.

picture(Young Roscoe)

In this old photo, what do we see behind Roscoe? A tree shaped like a chess queen! That must be the queen he meant. We told Mr. Fishwick to dig around the foot of the old yew tree... and....

[picture of triumphant Roscoe Fishwick with beryls]

[article about the discovery, praising Emma
and Jennifer, appears in the London Times]