Rachel cuddled Percy close to her and took a deep breath.
"I'm assuming that at this point you know about the treasure that was supposed to be buried on the grounds?"
"Yes," John answered, pulling his chair so that it was a comfortably close distance from Rachel.
"Right. All of the local village children had grown up hearing stories of some fantastic treasure that was supposed to be on the grounds. It was just a story, there were as many different versions as their were tellers. Some said pirates buried it, some said that a past deMauley was a thief, and then another said that the treasure was brought over from a Crusade by a knight. It was nonsense."
"Ed though...well, he actually believed it...He had this theory about one of the kings hiding jewels or something in the grounds, some hundred years ago. He was obsessed with the idea, it was why he got the job in the house. He was always trying to find a record or some clue that would lead him to the treasure..."
Rachel looked down, biting her lip.
"It's alright," John said softly, "keep going."
"I...I was attracted to Ed...I originally thought the obsession was cute, a little kid who still believes in pirate treasure. I didn't realize...anyways, I was the one who found the riddle. I told him about it, hoping to impress him. It worked, he took me out on a date, and managed to get me to show him the riddle. He couldn't figure it out though. Looking back now I realize that the whole time he was dating me it was only because I had access to the riddle. Also because I was better at figuring it out. Ed...well to be honest he was rather stupid- no head for puzzles, could barely even do the wordsearch in the local paper. I was the one who figured out the puzzle, though it took me longer than it should have because he kept arguing with me about every line."
“Well, anyways, after I solved the riddle I realized that Ed wasn't planning on just taking the treasure himself. He had gotten others involved, Jack Hammond and the like, and...well their plans were violent. They were going to harm the Count. I told Ed I didn't want any part in that. The Count isn't a friend or anything, but he's been a good employer to me, I told him I would expose him to the Count.”
An expression of lingering fear takes over Rachel's face, and she absently rubs at her side.
“Well, Ed took a turn after I said that...he hit me, multiple times. He threatened to spread lies to the Count that would lose me my job. He...he threatened to kill me if he needed to, and to go after Em,” Rachel's voice breaks and she starts shuddering, “I-I swore to him I would keep my mouth shut, but still said I couldn't take a part in the plan. He-he told me then that I needed to be gone, th-that if I wanted Em to be safe I n-needed to make myself disappear. H-he said he would go after her if he so much as saw me or found out I had contacted the Count. So, that's w-why I've been here.”
Rachel bursts into tears, and Helen pulls her close, allowing her friend to cry on her shoulder.