Insider Letter

Insider Letter

Howdy, folks. I hope this message finds all of you well, and that your preparations for Jackpot weekend are progressing smoothly. I'm writing to you today with some rather significant news. As you all know, Bob Scruem wants to sell your family some time share property in his newest development, Jackpot Gardens. That's why you're coming out to Las Vegas, after all. Well, that's all well and good-the property is absolutely beautiful, and Scruem won't necessarily fleece you any more than seems to be customary in this industry. However, there's more to Jackpot weekend than you currently know. Much more.

Now, before I get down to the meat and potatoes, I need to give you a little background here. My friends call me Whiskey, but it's important for you to know that I'm also a member of the Pyrite family. Our family purchased a Vacation Exchange unit from Scruem, Ova, Agin & Agin several years ago, and have been more than happy with it. Some of us even decided to take part-time jobs with SOAA in order to increase our exchange standing. You see, they've got this exciting new program where if you sign up to help conduct the weekend seminars, they give you an extra 1000 exchange points, which you can trade for all kinds of great stuff. I tell you, those points add up fast! But that's not my main point.

About two years ago, SOAA bought the land to develop Jackpot Gardens. During a geologic sampling, a member of the survey team dug up an iron lockbox, and she gave it to Bob Scruem. Inside the lockbox were three strange pages full of numbers, and a letter signed by someone named Jack Pyrite. I know what you're thinking, but believe me, my family checked it out and the truth is that we're not related to this fella Jack. But we do know the basics. Apparently, the letter tells about a treasure that's hidden somewhere in or near Las Vegas. According to the letter, the three pages of numbers are in fact three puzzles. When they're properly decoded, the puzzles will reveal the location of the treasure, the location of the key to the treasure, and the identities of the treasure's rightful owners. Unfortunately, we can't send you a copy of the letter or the numbers because Bob keeps them locked up tight as a drum inside his office.

Scruem told the surveyor that found the lockbox not to mention it to anyone else. But she wasn't too good at keeping secrets, and word eventually got around within the company. Our family has been in contact with someone who claims to have read the letter and who has done extensive research about the treasure. He says that the letter talks mostly about the importance of loyalty to friends and family. He gets the impression that the third puzzle, the one that chronicles the treasure's rightful owners, is some sort of last will and testament. According to his research, Jack was a card player, a lover of games of all kinds. He lived a long, adventurous life, but disappeared without a trace many years ago. In the letter, Pyrite mentions that the treasure is part of his "last deal," but we're not exactly sure what that means.

One thing is certain, however: Bob Scruem has no intention of sharing the treasure with its rightful owners if he finds it. We've done some investigating, and we know that Bob has been working his tail off trying to decode the puzzle that tells where the treasure is. He's worked a bit less on the puzzle that will reveal the location of the key, but so far he has ignored the third puzzle completely. It seems clear to us that Scruem wants to keep the treasure for himself and never mention it to anyone. We realize that we probably take a special interest in this matter owing to our sharing Jack's last name, but our feeling is that a man's last wishes must be respected: Jack Pyrite's treasure should be given to its rightful owners. But time is running out. You can count on the fact that Bob Scruem will find the treasure soon enough, so we've got to move quickly. We sure hope you'll help us.

For now, the main thing we want you to do is go ahead and show up for Jackpot weekend like nothing is going on. Don't let Scruem know that you know about any of this. The weekend is our best chance. Bob will be here to give his keynote presentation on Friday night, but he's taking the weekend off and will be out of town until Sunday afternoon. We've got a friend who says that he can get us into Bob's office late Friday night. Hopefully, we'll find something useful. In the meantime, our contact has given us what appears to be a small portion of one of the puzzles. It's reprinted below; you might want to take a look at it if you have a chance.

We can't thank you enough for lending us a hand on this. We know that you're all excellent puzzle solvers-it's why we contacted you in the first place. It's just lucky for us that you're also interested in time share!

See you on Friday, partners.

-Whiskey, Black Lung, GoldDigger, Half Pint, Lucky Bones, and Quick Draw

© 2002 Just Passing Through