The Alan Turing
Want to come over to Manchester for a bit of live crypto stuff, the prize ceremony and an opportunity to meet the organisers?
Mike and Ellie raced up the moor towards where Barquith was standing. Not far behind Truman Cuddeny and Verity Maliphant were rapidly catching them up. Old Schuck, its fur glowing red, was lolloping across the moor towards them.
Barquith gestured towards one of the peat hags. "Quick!" he cried. "Hide down there". Mike and Ellie leaped into the hole, soon followed by Barquith. As they looked out, they heard another shrill whistle. Old Schuck sped up, racing towards Cuddeny and Maliphant.
"Oldgate Moss is just ahead of them," said Barquith. "It's a deep bog. Many people have fallen into it over the years and very few have survived."
The shrill whistle blew out again as Old Schuck leaped onto Cuddeny and Maliphant. The brother and sister frantically grabbed at each other and tried to brace themselves, but the momentum of the enormous hound was too great; the pair were knocked into Oldgate Moss. Old Schuck continued to circle as they slowly sank into the bog. "And no more than they deserve!" said Hope Maliphant, as she appeared from behind a small rock.
"Hope! You're Truman Cuddeny and Verity Maliphant's sister?" said Ellie.
Hope nodded. "Always the little sister, and supposedly the quiet one. It's time that Verity and Truman got their comeuppance. Let me tell you what they've been up to."
Hope went on to explain that she, Truman and Verity were the illegitimate children of Professor Henry Garamond, the Institute's founder. "Truman and Verity thought that the Institute should have passed to them when Dad died, and not to our half-brother Charles Garamond. Verity made us change our surname to avoid the shame. Truman went to work abroad for a while, trying to position himself to be a candidate to run the Garamond Institute if a vacancy arose. Verity and I became botanists. Then, a few months ago, Verity devised a plan to get rid of Charles and make money by selling the Institute's research to the rogue state Genesia!" Hope explained that Verity had discovered the legend of Old Schuck and had decided to train one of her dogs for the role. "This whistle summons the dog," she said, holding up a small dog whistle. "Old Schuck served a double purpose: Verity could get rid of Charles, but also scare the local inhabitants away from investigating what was going on at the Institute. A bit of glitter and fluorescent paint on a labrador makes a surprisingly effective ghostly hound!"
"And what was my role in Verity's plot supposed to be?" asked Barquith.
"That was Truman's idea," said Hope. "He knew that you — and Mike and Ellie, of course — have a talent for publicity and code-breaking. He thought that if you announced publicly that Old Schuck had made you too scared to go onto the moor then it would keep even more people away from the moor. So he invented that ridiculous threat to get you interested — I think he cut the letters out of the newspapers himself! — and then scare you off. My brother was never particularly smart and, like all his plans, it backfired."
Mike and Ellie looked at each other, thinking about how timid Hope had been the first time that they had met her. "And what happened to you?" Ellie ask Hope.
"I've been under Verity's thumb for too long. Izzy Mortimer and I knew each other from years ago, and she'd been in touch with me a number of times with her concerns about what Truman was doing and the direction the Institute was going in. I decided I had to step in. Do you remember the bearded taxi driver who tipped you off?"
"That was you?" said Ellie, surprised. "'Do not let the truth win out'? I get it! Verity is from the Latin for 'truth'."
"What about the encounter on the moor where Old Schuck nearly killed Izzy?" asked Mike.
"My brother or sister must have been nearby. They can summon their dog with one of these whistles." Hope held up the whistle. "I can play at that game too. I stole this one from Verity. We should probably go rescue them from Oldgate Moss soon."
As Mike, Ellie, Barquith and Hope continued to talk, a friendly labrador jumped down to join them. Its tail was wagging, and most of the glitter and paint had come off. "That's Old Schuck?" said Ellie. "Here boy!" In the dog's mouth was an envelope which he duly deposited at her feet. Ellie opened it, smiled, then laughed.