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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mysterious Messages by Gary Blackwood

Sir John Trevanion fought for the King in the English Civil War in the 1600's. The roundheads, the forces that fought for Parliament, caught Sir John, threw him in prison, and set his day of execution. As Sir John waited for his death sentence, his guards let him receive an innocent looking message from a friend written on a piece of parchment. The note said:

Worthie Sir John: Hope, that is the best comfort of the afflicted, cannot much, I fear me, help you now. That I would saye to you, is this only: if ever I may be able to requite that I do owe you, stand not upon asking me. Tis not much I can do: but what I can do, bee you verie sure I wille. I knowe that, if deathe comes, if ordinary men fear it, it frights not you, accounting it for a high honour, to have such a rewarde of your loyalty. Pray yet that you may be spared this soe bitter, cup. I fear not that you will grudge any sufferings; onlie if bie submission you can turn them away, tis the part of a wise man. Tell me, an if you can, to do for you anthinge that you wolde have done. The general goes back on Wednesday. Restine your servant to command. R.T.

After receiving the note from his mysterious friend R.T., Sir John Trevanion asked if he could go to the chapel to pray. Maybe he could convince his guards to honor his last wish. They listened and brought him into the chapel to pray. After much time had passed, the guards finally forced open the doors only to discover that Sir John had disappeared. If his captors had been more clever they would have realized that the note sent to Sir John by R.T. actually contained instructions on how to escape. The note Sir John received was a cryptogram: a secret message written using a code or cipher.

Can you solve the secret message? Hint: Every third letter after a punctuation mark will reveal the secret message.

In this book the author reveals the history of codes and ciphers used to communicate secret messages for reasons involving both love and war. Check out, Mysterious Messages, by Gary Blackwood, before it disappears.....
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