The Mysterious Masonic Ring

Masonic Ring

antefixus U.E., Flickr

Chapter 5: Walk Softly While Visiting a Big Stick (cont). 

A quick hike around the grounds led us to the Washington Monument Lodge Bookstore. We went in and looked around. The shelves were lined with books about George Washington and his life. There were books on the Revolution, the Constitution, the Presidency and the city itself. Of course, there was the obligatory rack of chintzy souvenirs that every Washingtonian knows are overpriced and would most likely break if you breathed on them too hard. No sign of anything Masonic, though.

I grabbed a copy of the Federalist papers (hadn’t read it in years) and produced my debit card to pay for it. The man behind the counter was African-American, with bushy hair, wearing one of those touristy “Washington, D.C.” t-shirts. As I turned to walk out the door, I heard something made of paper drop and hit the floor.

“Excuse me, sir,” the man behind the counter said, “you dropped something.” He pointed to a white envelope on the floor that wasn’t there 30 seconds ago.

“You must be mistaken,” I responded, “that’s not mine.”

“It would be in your best interest to pick that up, sir,” he said, wiggling his finger in a “come here” motion. It was then that I noticed he was wearing yet another Freemason’s ring. That envelope was what I was here for.

I picked up the envelope and was set to open it when the Mason stopped me.

“Not here, it’s too public. You have to do this on the level.”

“Okay…” I replied, grabbing Kittie by the arm, heading out the door.

As we walked out, a man in his early sixties was walking toward the bookstore. Something about the cut of his chocolate-colored suit screamed upper-crust British to me. A bowler hat and an ornate walking cane accessorized the suit distinctly.

As we passed him, he tipped his hat to us, holding it by the brim with his thumb and forefinger, with his other three fingers spread, as if giving us a big “OK” sign as he did. I smiled and nodded deeply to him in response. He entered the store, while we walked on for a few blocks. As we walked, I couldn’t get my mind off the old gentleman, something about him sending alarm bells ringing.

All of a sudden, Kittie asked, “What day is it?”

“I think it’s Thursday.”

“Shit! I gotta go, I’m supposed to be visiting my aunt today.”

“And you just thought of that now?!”

She just shrugged, smiled and said, “Until yesterday, I didn’t think I was gonna make it. Look, meet me at Books-A-Million in Dupont tonight and we’ll see where we go, ok?”

“Alright,” I sighed.

“Ok, seeya,” she said, giving me a peck on the lips before skipping off.

“That was weird,” I mumbled to myself. “I feel like some overpriced museum food,” and headed toward the American History Museum.

To be continued.

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