They took a train to Port Said that afternoon and laid low for a couple days until they could catch the SS Osterley on the P&O Orient Line on Saturday afternoon. They all splurged on first class for a much needed rest.
Boarding the ship they noticed one of the ship’s first class stewards watching them closely. Helen recognized one of the other passengers as an Belgian archaeologist, Dr. Rene Delaflote and his party. Chuck also recognized a General he had seen once in the war.
At dinner the first night, Chuck saw Dr. James O’Reilly, the ships doctor and realized he knew him from the Mesopotamia campaign during the war. They had served together in Basra and during the seige of Kut. Chuck and the Dr. shared drinks and reminisced in the lounge that night.
They noticed the Steward, Akbar, watching them. Someone had searched Sean’s cabin while he was out on Monday,
On Tuesday the body of Dr. Delaflote was found in his room by the chambermaid. Dr. O’Reilly was tasked by the Captain to solve the murder before they reached port. Dr. O’Reilly asked Chuck and friends to help.
They searched the crime scene, and interviewed suspects and witnesses. They soon pieced together that Dr. Delaflotte was not well liked by any of his treasure hunting party and found out they were on the trail of the Carlysle expedition hoping to loot the legendary Solomon’s Mines. They eventually came to realize that Delaflote’s daughter, Sophia, blamed him for not being there when her mother died and resented him for controlling her life. She was also in love with Delaflote’s research assistant, Henry. Henry had proposed to Sophia but Delaflote refused to give his consent. They theorized this sent Sophia into a rage and she had killed her father with a blow from an artifact they were smuggling out of the country,
Searching the Egyptian Steward Akbar’s cabin, they found the statue of Bast that was probably the murder weapon. Akbar finally confessed that he was an agent of a Cult of Bast and was tasked with watching for a group of Europeans fleeing Egypt with a holy artifact stolen from Bast. He had entered Delaflotes cabin Monday night to search it and found the statue and the body. He took the statue and fled. He claimed innocence.
They accused Sophia of killing her father, but Henry confessed that he had done it, not Sophia. They arrested Henry and planned to turn him over to authorities upon their arrival in Mombasa.
They Mystery of the Cat’s Cradle had been solved (or had it?).