Meanwhile, at TEK Hotel, the stranger quietly closes the door of room 211 behind him, still clutching the tattered book.
A woman sitting at the desk looks up at his entry and searches his face.
He meets her gaze and a slow smile spreads across his face. "I have it, Dominique. I have the journal."
Her eyes widen in shock. "What?? We've been here all of one day and . . . you have it? How on earth . . . .?"
He shakes his head, his bewilderment at the morning's turn of events equaling hers. "You won't believe it. I don't believe it! I found the building that Mother described. It's a bar now. Just as I was about to go inside to ask some discreet questions, I saw a man inside carry a book -- this book -- across the room and set it on the top of the bar, then walk away. I couldn't help myself. I slipped into the place, which is apparently being renovated, grabbed the book, and ran. It can't just be coincidence that the book was placed within my grasp, 'Nique. Fate has delivered it into our hands so we can claim what is rightfully ours."
"Oh, Viktor! I don't even have words for this!" She jumps up from the desk and throws herself into her brother's arms. "I will not cry. Mother would lecture me on remaining strong. It was all she had, and I will not disgrace her memory by giving in to tears. But oh, Viktor . . . what this means . . . ."
Viktor pats his sister's back. "It means everything to us. Come on, let's sit down. I'm dying to read it."
Viktor sheds his coat and the pair sit on the edge of Dominique's bed. They gingerly remove the binder from the journal. Viktor opens the book slowly and carefully, and together they begin to read.
Hours later, as they turn the last page and slowly close the book, unshed tears glitter in Dominique's eyes. "Oh, Viktor! It was such a tragic love story! It must have been so awful for them!"
Viktor nods distractedly as he stares at the brittle envelope that had been slipped into the back cover of the journal.
"This is going to stir up a lot of trouble in this town."
To be continued . . .