I apologize for yesterday’s whine. It wasn’t even a good vintage.
I need to work on description, among other things.
The vault had a curved ceiling, as most vaults did, and a stone floor. He had expected it to smell of mold and be damp, being as it was under the river, but it was dry and cool. His torch showed no hints of any leaks, which was good. It would be a pity to store such valuable treasures where they would be ruined by water.
The item he was looking for was a book, but as most of the valuables were stored in chests, it meant that he’d have to pick the lock on each one and sort through the contents before he could take his treasure and leave. There were at least 25 chests of assorted sizes. Of course, he was under a time crunch. The butler’s lack of cooperation had put him behind and now he’d have to be quick and lucky.
He selected a medium-sized chest that had an arched top and brass bands. The lock looked to be a three tumbler and not too difficult. He sorted through his various master keys and found a likely subject. He propped his torch against the edge of the largest trunk – as he hadn’t seen any sconces in the room. Smart. No torch holders meant there had to be two people in the room when moving items in or out. Maybe three. He could picture a lackey holding a torch, a guard at the door, and the owner rooting through his prized possessions. Fitting the key gently into the lock with his right hand, he slowly turned it until he felt tension. Then with his left hand, he slipped the thin wire in to catch the first tumbler as he turned the master key. He repeated the process for the next tumbler, holding an additional wire in his left hand. A few seconds later, and a slight giggle, the lock disengaged.
Inside of the chest were smaller wooden boxes, surprisingly tidy. He selected one at random. The lid had a strange design burned into it, but no obvious locking mechanisms.