I like magic! Early next morning I was dreaming. That is I believed I was dreaming. As on the previous days, some early morning birds were chirping so I am not sure. When I turned around in bed, the small box was there once again. Nothing rattled inside. I opened the box. There were some sheets of paper. I started reading chapter 3.
- I think nothing is going to happen today, Jill said.
- Why do you think so, John asked. – Let us go and lie down in that grassy field.
- Do you think the time traveller will appear?
- I have my doubts about that, but who knows?
And so they went to the meadow and lay down. The grass was lush and green. Some early morning dewdrops shone like diamonds in the warm sunshine. A cold wind gust rustled in the grass. Then something blocked off the sun. It was the time traveller. This time he wore a Russian peasant’s kosovorotka.
- I have a gift for you, the time traveller said. – It is a gift from the past. You can keep it or dispose of it. The choice is yours. However, you have to listen to my story first. It is a long story. Someone thinks it is a neverending story. It is about Stalin’s dagger. I will tell you how it came into my possession.
- Here is the story as it happened to me.
It was April in Moscow. I don’t remember what day, but the year was 1956. I was sitting on a stone bench looking out on the Moscow River. From time to time I took a swig from a bottle of vodka hidden in a brown paper bag between my legs. Freezing cold it was.
At first I didn’t notice him, the man who sat down next to me. As my Russian was very poor I only nodded when seeing him. To my surprise he greeted me in impeccable English. I handed him my bottle, and he gulped down two mouthfuls.
Then he began talking.
Before the bottle was empty he had told me his life story. When he disappeared I realized he had forgotten something. A small oblong package was lying on the cold stone bench. I wanted to call for the man, but he was gone. I never saw him again.
I untied the string. And behold! There it was. The dagger the stranger had talked about. Josef Stalin’s dagger! According to the man it had belonged to Djengis Khan in former times. There were seven red rubies on each side of the silver handle. Fourteen rubies! I wondered why?
The dagger was cursed. At least that was what the stranger had told me. No wonder he had left it behind. Now it was up to me to decide what to do. Fourteen rubies! They certainly were valuable. Should I remove the stones and throw the dagger in the Moscow River?
No, I said to myself. This dagger has a story to tell. Only a time traveller can reveal that story. I decided to keep the dagger.
End of chapter 3. To be continued in chapter 4.