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    After having accidentally met and subsequently been chased all over Texas by Government Agents and a Billionaire Drug Lord, Sam and Melissa had become inseparable. They spent every single day for the next 6 months with each other. Finally, it became time for them to spend a weekend apart. And that’s where it quickly gets complicated all over again!Melissa was part of a tradition started by old college friends whereby a group of girls would spend a weekend in Bandera Texas, the self-proclaimed “Cowboy Capital of the World”. They would raft the river, ride horses, and party “before, during, after, and in between”! Melissa had decided to bring Sandra along to introduce her into the group, with her “Bottomless Tequila Cupboard” in tow.Sam decided to take this opportunity to go to Dallas to visit an old college friend of his own, nicknamed “Twilight Zone”, that he hadn’t seen in a while. Plus, he had a vision, something concerning Dealey Plaza the Kennedy Assassination and a man named Shorty Tall.Its two times the adventure, complete with a dice rolling Contract Killer, a murderous Mexican Girl Gang, a Popsicle eating Sasquatch, and the Dumbest Waitress in the South! All set during the Great Texas Springtime Floods of 2015!

    Chapter 18

     Sam and Zone were in their room. Sam had stopped off at the Casino gift shop and bought some dry shorts, a tee-shirt and some flip-flops.

    He pulled out his laptop that he had stashed in the back seat of the car, and then he downloaded the pictures from his cellphone to the computer. He motioned for Zone to bring a chair over to the desk so he could explain what happened at Turner Falls.

    “OK. There were three things I found at the Castle. The first one was three Hobo Symbols, the kind that were used back in the Great Depression. They mostly deciphered as warnings for ‘Danger and Bad People About’. I don’t think they have any bearing on our quest.”

    Zone just looked at the picture in silence.

    Sam continued, “Secondly, there was a ‘Kilroy was here” on the wall. Kilroy was a World War Two Symbol, and it was in use approximately ten years or so after the Hobo Symbols. That got my attention. I looked closer at Kilroy, and he was looking down and to the right instead of forward. I took that to mean he was showing me where to look for the clue I was actually there for, so I searched the rocks on the ground. It was dark and the standing water made it difficult to find, but I eventually got the rock I was looking for!”

    Sam brought up the third picture. On the bottom of the rock was written the following cryptic text:

    sdv dvhod la dlld llo hvos l hvov

    hlalo ahlv sdv oalss ldva sls sdv avov

    sdv olss odls olvv ahlv vasvhlhlvas

    sdv lhlool dlss llo olavh olvas

    sdv olashlos olssvho ldloovs llll

    al ahl al oll

    sdv llavhavvas llo la sdv osvlh

    hvs avs laalsavvvas llo ol svlh


    Sam opened up a text file and carefully copied the text into the file, thereby getting an electronic version of the cryptic text. Zone sat there drinking a Coors Beer with a distinctive “deer in the headlights” look on his face.

    Sam suspected that this was a simple substitution cypher, and the key was on the back of the Half Dollar “Hobo Nickel” he took from the subterranean hide-out during the flooded meeting with the Mayor of the Hobo Underground. He took out the Hobo Half and viewed it again. On the back side of the half dollar coin was carved the following:


    Sam took the laptop and opened up a Google page. He searched for “Substitution Decipher” and about five webpages came up immediately. The Decipher Algorithm had two windows, one for the cryptic text and one for the key. He carefully typed in the cryptic text from the picture he took at the Castle, then he typed the key into the other box. He hit enter, and to his dismay it didn’t work! However, an error message came up that stated that the key must be 26 characters long. The existing key was 8 characters long so he repeated them two more times. Now the key looked like this:


    Sam needed two more characters! Zone suggested “63” for the year of the assassination. It didn’t work. They tried “35” since Kennedy was the 35th president. It didn’t work. They tried “TX” to represent the state where he was shot. No good! They tried many different combinations, all negative. Sam was about to give up when he decided to simply repeat the first two letters of the original key. The final attempt used the following key code:


    Sam tried one last time. After he hit enter, there was no longer a garbled message in the answer box! What appeared was the following:

    the perch on high was just a ruse

    bangs from the knoll when lit the fuse

    the kill shot came from underground

    the grassy hill was cover sound

    the contract killers whisked away

    no fbi no cia

    the government was in the clear

    but fed involvement was so dear


    Sam slapped his forehead. Zone just stared slack jawed at the screen. Sam took a screenshot of the webpage and saved it to his hard drive. Then he highlighted the solved text, copied it, and pasted it to a word file which he also saved. Then he opened up his E-mail program and mailed both files to his personal Hotmail account.

    Zone looked at Sam and said, “Man, I think we’re in big trouble!” The manic smile and crazy eyes he got back from Sam sent shivers up his spine!

    Then Sam, as he was prone to do on just such occasions, completely switched gears on Zone. “I feel lucky,” he said, “let’s go throw some bones!”

    Sam realized that they had just made a huge breakthrough, and that Zone was about to freak out on him. He also knew that they would need their minds sharp to try to figure out what this new clue actually meant. He needed to clear his mind, and a rousing game of craps was just the ticket.

    Zone was indeed about to freak out, but he had known Sam long enough to know that whatever he did right now, he would just be dragged downstream in Sam’s wake. It was better to aim the canoe with the flow and just hang on!

    “Craps?” was all he could muster in response.

    “I’ve been waiting for some time now to feel hot, to feel the love! We just had a breakthrough! I finally feel lucky, and I can’t think of a better location to feel lucky than a craps table!” Sam proclaimed, his eyes alight with a burning fire.

    “We’re going to go play craps then, eh?” Zone asked.

    Sam just sat there grinning his manic grin.

    ‘How can we possibly lose?’ Zone thought to himself. They left the room and walked toward the elevator.