I pushed open the door the butler had gone through, and into a dining room. It was big, of course, like everything in this house, but the long table and the chairs were all covered by a white cloth, probably to keep the dust off. So was all the other furniture along the walls, what I guessed were other side tables and such. The lights were off, but there were a row of huge windows along two of the walls, so there was pleanty of light. But I was not really paying attention to the decor. I would look at that more later, maybe, but for now I wanted to find that butler and get some answers.
There were two doors out of the dining room, but one of them looked like it went back into the lobby I had just come from. I went through the other.
Inside was the kitchen, which made sense. It was big, of course, with commercial kitchen appliances and stainless steel counters. But here too, nothing looked like it had been used in years, except for a single small stove and the countertops around it.
Again there were three doors, but from the size of the kitchen and the location of doors in the lobby, I guessed that one of the doors went there. I opened the other one.
I had expected a pantry or closet of some kind. It seemed like that would make sense to be next to a kitchen. I was not sure why the butler would be hiding in a pantry, but you never know.
Instead, the door opened to reveal an office, or study. Unlike what I had seen so far of the rest of the house, this room was downright small. It was only about ten feet square, and the walls were covered by shelves, packed with books. There were a wide variety, but they all looked old. A large wooden L-shaped desk sat with one section against a wall and the other sticking out into the room. The was an old desk chair behind it. There was no computer, but it was covered with papers and books in small piles.
There was a big, well-worn but comfortable-looking leather chair in the corner opposite the desk, with a small wooden table and an old lamp next to it. There was a newspaper on the chair, folded open. I walked over and glanced at it. It was open to the international news section, and the date on it was a week ago.
This place, this was exactly what I had been looking for. This was where my great-uncle spent his time, where he lived his life, where any information about my family would be. Forget the butler, this is where I would find what I wanted.