Jake and Ros live near the sea in the south of England. They like to visit old buildings, and there is a castle that they visit often. It is a very beautiful castle and it stands on a hill. The name of the castle is Rofflyn Castle.
It is a summer evening, and Jake and Ros are going to Rofflyn Castle on their bicycles. The sun is warm on their backs. The sea is blue.
When they get to the castle, they put their bicycles with all the cars, then get the tickets to go in.
A woman takes their money and gives them the tickets. ‘Hello, you two,’ she says. She knows Ros and Jake because they often come to the castle.
‘Are there a lot of people here this evening?’ asks Jake.
‘Yes. It’s a nice evening,’ says the woman.
‘Let’s go up on the castle wall,’ says Ros.
‘You always want to go up on the wall first,’ says Jake, laughing. ‘Can’t we do that later? I want to go and look at the paintings in the castle.’
Ros smiles. ‘OK,’ she says.
They are good friends. Sometimes Jack paints pictures of Ros. She likes that.
Jake is very interested in the paintings, and he talks about them to Ros.
‘That’s a painting of the castle in 1897,’ he says. ‘Look, you can see the small tower. It isn’t there now.’
But Ros is looking at a big clock. ‘We don’t have very much time,’ she says. ‘The castle closes at nine o’clock. Remember, I want to go on the castle wall and up on the tower.’
‘You’re always watching the time,’ says Jake, laughing.
They go into some of the bigger rooms. There are more paintings, and some beautiful chairs and tables.
Jake looks at a painting of the sea. ‘Why can’t I paint like that?’ he says.
Ros is not listening. She is looking at two men across the room. They are standing by the window and looking out. Suddenly, one man sees something and speaks to his friend. They are excited.
‘What are they waiting for?’ thinks Ros.
A security guard comes into the room. He is carrying a bag of money …
The two men take the money. They are robbers!
Ros and Jake cannot stop them.
The security guard begins to talk quickly into his radio.
Everything happens very quickly. Ros and Jake do not have time to stop the robbers.
‘They are escaping!’ shouts Ros. ‘Quick! After them!’
Ros and Jake run after the robbers into the next room.
A woman moves in front of them and Jake nearly falls over her small child.
‘Where are they?’ says Ros.
‘I don’t know,’ says Jake.
There are a lot of people in the room. Ros and Jake walk through, looking at every man, but the two robbers are not there.
Ros and Jake go into the next room, but there is only a man and a woman with their two children in there.
‘We are looking for two men, one with a black bag,’ Ros tells them.
‘Sorry,’ says the woman. ‘There’s nobody here.’
Then Ros sees something.
‘That’s interesting,’ she thinks.
Ros and Jake go into all the rooms, then up the stairs.
‘Perhaps they’re outside,’ says Jake.
They look out of the window and watch the people going to their cars.
‘Can you see them?’ asks Ros.
‘No,’ says Jake.
They go back to the security guard. The guard stops talking into his radio and puts it in his pocket.
‘We can’t find them,’ Ros says.
‘Don’t worry. They can’t get out of the castle with the money,’ says the guard. ‘Guards are now waiting at all the doors and looking for two men, one with a black bag.’
‘Perhaps the money is in a different bag now,’ says Jake.
‘The guards are looking in everyone’s bags,’ says the guard. ‘And in all the cars. The money cannot leave the castle.’
‘How much money is in the bag?’ asks Ros.
‘About three thousand pounds,’ says the guard. ‘It is the ticket money.’
‘There is nothing more you can do,’ the security guard says. ‘But thank you for your help.’
Now Ros wants to go up the tower.
‘There are a lot of stairs,’ says Jake. ‘I’m tired now. I don’t like running.’
But they get up on the tower and look down.
Below them the security guards are moving between the cars, looking for the black bag of money.
Jake is watching a ship on the sea and thinking about a painting.
‘Look!’ says Ros, suddenly. ‘There are the robbers!’
Jake sees them, and they shout down to the guards on the ground. But the guards cannot hear them.
‘They are escaping!’ says Ros.
‘We can’t stop them from here,’ says Jake.
‘Why don’t the guards stop them?’
‘They don’t know that those men are the robbers,’ says Jake. ‘They aren’t carrying the black bag.’
Ros looks at her watch. ‘It’s nearly nine o’clock,’ she says. ‘We must go now.’
‘OK,’ says Jake. ‘We must tell a security guard about the two men.’
They leave the tower and begin to go down the stairs.
Suddenly, Jake falls.
‘Help!’ he shouts.
He falls down some stairs and hurts his foot.
‘I can’t walk!’ he says.
Ros helps Jake, and they go down the stairs. Then they go back into the castle. Now Jake can sit down. His foot hurts and he cannot stand on it.
‘I want a bandage,’ says Jake. ‘Perhaps somebody in the castle can get me one.’
Ros sees a security guard and shouts to him. The guard comes across to help.
‘Can you get a bandage for my foot, please?’ asks Jake.
‘Yes,’ says the guard. ‘Come with me.’
Ros sees something strange, but before she can speak, the guard takes Jake into a room with ‘PRIVATE’ on the door.
‘Come on, Ros!’ says Jake. ‘Why are you always looking at clocks and thinking about the time?’
They go into the room. It is an office, and there is a woman working there.
‘This young man is hurt,’ the guard tells her. ‘He wants a bandage for his foot.’
The woman goes to find a bandage and Jake sits down in a chair.
‘Are you OK?’ Ros asks him.
‘Yes,’ says Jake. ‘Sorry about this.’
‘It doesn’t matter,’ says Ros.
The woman comes back and puts the bandage on Jake’s foot.
Jake tells the guard about the robbers.
‘They are far away now,’ he says.
‘I don’t understand,’ says the guard. ‘They can’t escape if they are carrying the black bag.’
‘Perhaps they aren’t carrying it,’ says Ros. ‘Perhaps the money is still here in the castle.’
Ros takes the guard and the woman back to the big clock.
‘In there,’ she says.
The guard quickly opens the clock – and there is the black bag!
‘I don’t understand,’ says the guard. ‘How …?’
Ros turns to the woman.
‘Does this clock work?’
‘Yes,’ says the woman. ‘It’s a very good clock.’
‘Well, it isn’t working now. Look, it says twenty past eight!’
‘Five minutes after the robbery!’ says the security guard.
‘That’s right,’ says Ros. ‘At twenty past eight the robbers put the money in the clock. And the bag stops the pendulum!’
The guard smiles.
‘And when the pendulum stops, the clock stops!’ he says.
Three days later, Ros is reading the newspaper.
‘Look, Jake,’ she says. ‘Here’s something about the castle.’
Jake looks at the newspaper and begins to read. He smiles.
‘You’re very clever, Ros,’ he says. ‘Sometimes it’s a good idea to watch the time!’