By Scarlett Thomas
Alice-slight introvert, crossword compositor- works at PopCo, a globally profitable and a bit of sinister toy corporation. Lured by means of their CEO to a proposal Camp out at the moors, PopCo's creatives needs to invent the final word product for teenage ladies. in the meantime, Alice gets weird and wonderful, encrypted messages she suspects relate to her grandfather's interpreting of a centuries-old manuscript that many-including her long-disappeared father-believe ends up in buried treasure. Its key, she's certain, is engraved at the necklace she's been donning given that she was once ten. utilizing the abilities she realized from her grandparents and educating us features of cryptanalysis, Alice discovers the resource of those creepy codes. Will this lead her to the mysterious treasure or one other, much more conscientiously guarded mystery?
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Extra info for PopCo
Good the matter is that this. A service provider has fallen on difficult occasions and has borrowed a few funds from a really wealthy, yet very evil guy. The service provider can pay the 1st instalment of the mortgage however the subsequent day the wealthy man's servant comes and informs him that he should also pay quite a bit of curiosity. The curiosity is so excessive that it really is very unlikely for the fellow to pay. He tells the servant to notify his creditor that he can't pay one of these large sum and provides a few of his farm animals in lieu of this curiosity. The servant returns back with a unique proposition. The service provider has a truly attractive daughter, who's additionally very smart and is coveted through the entire males within the nation. If he'll supply his daughter to the wealthy evil guy for him to take advantage of as his slave... " "Sex slave? " says Esther. I smile. "Yeah, probably. besides, if he'll supply his daughter to the wealthy, evil guy then his debt could be written off. If no longer, he'll lose every little thing and his complete family members will starve. it is a terrible option to make yet ultimately the daughter herself makes it. She looks in entrance of her father sporting her suitcase, able to supply herself to the wealthy guy. Her parents cry as she leaves in a single of the wealthy man's carriages: they worry they are going to by no means see her back. Now, the wealthy guy isn't just evil but in addition sadistic and crafty. One month later he calls the gorgeous girl's relations to his fort, asserting he has a proposition for them. after they get there, they locate a variety of humans from the city assembled within the huge citadel courtyard, ready to work out what spectacle goes to take place. The courtyard is roofed with small black and white stones—legend has it that this unique, stylish gravel is the wealthy man's satisfaction and pleasure. It reminds him of his favorite hobby, chess, and he has the stones shipped in frequently at nice cost. it is a disgrace he wasn't into move, really, as this stuff are essentially like hundreds of thousands of move stones everywhere in the flooring. "Anyway, as soon as a major sufficient viewers is assembled, he comes ahead to deal with the gang. In as humiliating a fashion as attainable, he relates the story of the way this hapless service provider owed him funds yet provided him his daughter as a substitute. At this the daddy turns into very offended. He did not easily 'offer' his daughter—he was once tricked! His spouse calms him down. She fears the worst if he makes the wealthy guy indignant. Executions have taken position during this courtyard prior to now and she or he does not wish her daughter, or her husband, to be the subsequent sufferer. finally the wealthy guy involves the purpose of his lengthy speech, talking on to the girl's father. 'I have the following a bag,' he explains, 'into which i'm going to position one black and one white stone from the floor. in the event that your daughter can choose the white stone from the bag, she is loose to move domestic with you this present day and you'll owe me not anything. If, although, she alternatives the black stone then she is mine for ever and you'll by no means see her back. Do you settle for this proposition? ' the guy has no selection. He accepts it. "The lady is introduced out to the courtyard via a servant. She isn't crying yet as a substitute turns out calm and courageous.