He woke up the next day nice and refreshed. He had breakfast, read the paper and was considering what to do next. He knew he had the watch, but the watch was dangerous, even the trip into the past of Rotterdam was a lucky but dangerous setting, he realised that. He basically survived a bombing that might not have killed that many, but it made 20,000 homeless, even if knocked down the impact could have been severe, so he was happy that the watch was in his vault. He was about to walk away when the paper caught his eye. He had looked at the International news, the business news but it was a corner that he usually ignored that was the eye catcher. Vandalism in Paris, there was a photo of a place he recognised, it was an image from the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church he visited the day before. He looked over the article, someone broke in broke several of the tombstones, the ones on the side of the one he visited. These people were less subtle. The authorities were investigating the senseless act of vandalism, they were pursuing leads.
He put the paper aside. Apparently he got there in time, but who else was looking for the clock? There were several thoughts, but none of them made sense. Too specific for tomb robbers, too violent for thieves and in that the surrounding stones were damaged, not the most subtle of ‘explorers’, there was more to this. He checked out and walked back to the train station and boarded the train to return to Paris, this needed to be investigated.
He needed to learn who else wanted to stake a claim on that watch. Getting the ticket and getting to the train was relatively simple, he got off where he needed to board. There would be a train in 35 minutes. He saw a shop, bought the Guardian and got to the platform. It was 10 minutes later when the train arrived and he got to the seat assigned to him. He didn’t feel like looking at the environment he was travelling through, he did that yesterday. He decided to read the paper, even if the information was pointless and in some cases useless. It kept him occupied. Some of the information was interesting, but for the most it was the proverbial waste of time, reading it was as useful a passing of time as watching paint dry. It took a little over 157 minutes to get where he needed to go and from there he walked the same path towards the church. When he got close to the church he saw the abundance of police cars. Too many to be useful, this was a presentation to the people. He kept his distance and looked around. It was then that he saw the Imperial House just next door. He walked on the other side of the street until he was directly opposite the Imperial house and crossed straight to the restaurant. He saw that one of the tables was free and sat down. He waited to be served. He ordered the spring rolls and noodles. He ate slowly taking in all the traffic, all the people and memorised it all. He switched between his normal and Olympian vision and nothing sprang out to him, it was about 20 minutes later, just as he was ordering more tea when he noticed it. A man and woman, passing by a third time. His Olympian vision saw nothing stand out. They were human, nothing special. Yet they were observing the church they were taking turns at looking around and they had each others back. They were a near perfect team, observing and checking all the elements they could see. He felt decently safe, as he was eating and drinking tea. He was done, he saw them walk off and they would be back in minutes. They were very good. He got up and took a turn to the left. He saw the crossing and crossed the Rue de Rivoli. He walked into the small street and looked around, there was not that much traffic, there was none looking at him. He stood in a corner and waited, the couple walked past the crossing focussing on the church. He focussed his Olympic vision on the couple, he would now be able to find them anywhere fast. He walked away and left the area of the church. It took 20 minutes before he passed a nice cafe. He walked in, ordered a beer and took a small table. The beer was served, it was a Stella Artois, he took his time, savouring every sip and let time pass by. Every now and then he looked out and focussed on the two he needed to investigate and it was not before 7 PM when their direction changed. He waited another 10 minutes and he moved in the direction the couple had vanished towards. It was a small trip, a mere 15 minutes. When he got close he saw where they were. They had taken shelter in the Cour Des Vosges, what seemed to look like a suite on the second floor. Very convenient for him, so he slowly walked around until he had enough privacy to get up and he did as fast as he could. At every moment looking around for prying eyes. When he got to the upper floor he saw that one of the windows was open, it was one that led to the corridor where they were staying. He waited in a corner, he saw the couple leave the room, they were talking to each other, speaking softly, but for him it was not a problem, they were discussing diner and the excellent quality of food that the Cour Des Vosges served. That was a nice surprise, it meant that he had time to investigate the room. He waited around 10 seconds and walked into the corridor, walked to the door and slowly gained entrance to the room. He was cautious not to leave any prints, not to leave any footprints or any kind of disturbance. The drawers and lockers were all filled with clothes and all kind of stuff, so far they looked like perfectly ordinary tourists. It was then that he noticed the small safe. It was easy to get entrance and there was what he hoped for. Hopefully a clue, images, documents and maps. The maps were of Paris and Rhodes. He memorised the documents as fast as he could and he memorised the maps, the Paris one was useless, he had been there, but the post-it on the map stated that the watch was most likely in the tomb of Jacques III Thuret. He looked at the other map. It was Rhodes, there was no post-it, but the documents gave the information he needed. He carefully put everything back in exactly the same order and left the room. He left the hotel in the same way he came in, as he left the hotel he saw a window with the restaurant, in the corner he saw the two enjoy whatever they were eating. It seemed to be a lamb dish. He walked off. Whatever came next, it would be in Rhodes. So he signalled a taxi and asked the driver to take him to Charles de Gaulle airport. Time to see what Rhodes brought to the equation.
Still to be continued (remaining as evil as I can)