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Chapter 33

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Lake Ontario

At the edge of the trees, behind the cabin, stood a double door tool shed.  The shed’s red paint was dulled and worn from the lakeside winters.  Cameron thought that the shed might be older than the cabin, as there would not have been any reason to build a new shed when the larger structure was replaced.  That was as much interest as Cameron cared to take with the shed.  He was far more interested in what lie on the other side.

Short pines hugged the sides of the shed too close and tight to walk through.  Not far to the side, a clear path led into the woods.  The path took him around and behind the red shed where he found an opening in the trees, hidden from the tree line.  The floor of the still glade was covered with loose dried pine boughs, some withered brown and others still green.  In the center of the glade, barely perceptible from beneath the boughs, was a large circular metal door.

Cameron inspected the clearing edge.  Around the circumference of the open area, a thin wire hovered barely above the ground.  Cameron stepped over the wire so as not to trip whatever trap Pepe had set.  Either tripping the wire would engage some type of secondary lock or set off an explosion.  Knowing how Pepe liked to blow things up the wire would probably trigger both.

Cameron cleared the nested dried boughs from the circular door with the same care he entered the clearing.  He found no additional triggers.  The key that Cameron brought from the kitchen fit the padlock on the door as Pepe had described.  The door pulled up with ease, the hinges counterbalanced to relieve the weight of the heavy steel.  Below, triggered by the open door, a light flickered on illuminating a narrow metal stairwell.

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