Many,many years ago I was exploring the Rwenzori Mountain Range following up a clue from an ancestor, the one that told Ptolemly about the Lunae Montes.
Following an enjoyable sojourn with the Bakonjo people I continued my trek. I was travelling light, a tent, groundsheet, sleeping bag, minimal cooking equipment , my trusty Purdey double rifle and of course my alpenstock.
As I went higher I passed through a massive forest of giant heather which gave way to slopes populated with weird giant lobelias and groundsel.
Further still and I was in the permanent snow line, I knew I could not spent much time at this altitude for I hadn't the clothing or supplies.
Using my binoculars to spy out a route I saw that the ridge that I was on led to a large alpine meadow at the end of which was a narrow defile between the mountains. Something was reflecting the sun in the middle of the meadow. When I reached it I discovered four long packing crates surrounded by a pile of perhaps 50 1 gallon (5 litre) rectangular tins . Opening a few there was the faint odour of petrol. Scavenging around further I found some lengths of rubber tubing and a couple of funnels. Obviously some long abandoned fuel dump but for what and for whom? The boxes revealed the answer, each contained 20 very, very ancient Martini action rifles each carefully wrapped in oilcloth, these could date back to the Zulu Wars. Obviously a gun runners cache long forgotten. I would tell my Bakonjo friends on the way back, perhaps they could find a use for them or sell them as antiques.
Leaving everything as I had found it I continued to the defile, which ran from east to west, and made my way along it hoping to be out of it by dusk. After walking for half an hour I noticed something strange in the wall of the defile. A cave solid with ice but by the side of it a carving in the rock. Cleaning the lichen & moss off the carving I saw it was a carving of Solomon's seal and beneath it in ancient Aramaic " Let none disturb the eye deep within its icy tomb"
I re-examined the cave entrance, a solid block of ice in the vertical cliff wall. No way could I excavate that! I decided to pitch my tent for the night and think about the problem.
The following afternoon I continued on my way and a week later reached the lost city my ancestor had mentioned. No treasure but a mosaic map giving the location of some very important sites.
A month later I was back at the cave and all of the ice had gone just as I had planned.
At the back of the cave was a stone door and in the middle of it a sliding tile puzzle made of precious gems.
Beneath was the inscription
"The wise man will know the order, the foolish man will die"
The top right hand empty square was also a push button. Clearly there was a nasty booby trap.
Well my ancestors and I well knew our gem lore and a few minutes later i pressed the button and the door swung open to reveal a small golden pyramid with the all seeing eye at the top.
How did I get rid of the ice?
What was the correct sequence of gems?
If you can think up an original riddle please pm it with the answer to Sherlockx