|The Tale of the|
Ellie was still tapping away on her phone. "But Mike, according to this webpage he died in 1937 and Newman only came to Manchester in 1945. So they couldn't have met in Manchester. Are you sure it's Rutherford?"
"He died in 1937?" said Mike. "And Newman's paper was written in 1937? A-ha! According to this webpage they were both at Cambridge in the 1930s. Maybe Newman had sent Rutherford a message - but Rutherford died before he could do anything with it?"
"Maybe", said Ellie, thoughtfully, "but it would be a lot easier if we knew what all these secret messages were talking about and we knew what we were looking for. This webpage says that Rutherford's laboratory was actually in the Museum building. Maybe Mr. B in the Museum can help us?"
They went back to the Museum and found Mr. B dismantling the remains of the Turing exhibition. "Yes", he said, "Rutherford had his laboratory in this building. We've still got some of his old equipment in storage in the basements. Would you like to have a look at it?"
"Yes please!" shouted Mike and Ellie, in unison.
Mr. B led them down several flights of stairs and through many corridors. "Here we are", said Mr. B, opening a door, "I'll trust you on your own for a while, but be very careful! Some of the equipment from his experiments is - shall we say - still rather dangerous".
As Mr. B headed off down the corridor, Mike and Ellie look around the room. In one corner, they noticed a solid wooden desk. "That must have belonged to Rutherford - let's have a closer look!", said Ellie.
"It's no good", said Mike, after they had thoroughly searched the desk, "there's nothing here, stupid desk". He gave the desk a kick to let it know just how stupid it was.
"Hey, do that again", said Ellie. "it sounded hollow where you kicked it. Oh, move out of the way". Ellie ran her hands carefully over the desk and with a satisfying click a panel swung open. Ellie reached her hand into the secret chamber and pulled out a battered and stained piece of paper.
"It looks like a telegram", said Mike. "It's how you would send an urgent communication in the days before email. You'd write a message down, and then a telegraph operator would send the message for you by using radio transmitters."
Suddenly the lights went out and the door slammed. Ellie ran over to the door, twisted and turned the knob, but it wouldn't open. She peered through the window in the door and saw the tall white-haired gentleman walking away, down the corridor.
"Mike!" she exclaimed. "Mr. B's locked us in!"