Friday, February 02, 2007

Drafts: Frog Haven Chapter 23

Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8 , Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15. Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22

Chapter 23: In the Cabin Again

Finding the wells was easy. There were two of them, right behind the cabin. Sissy had run over them before when she had fled the cabin with Paul LeFevre. Now the covers were both off [MNS1] and lying upside down on the forest floor. Maroni and his friend had looked there already. They had loosened some of the rocks around the top of each wall and they were lying on the ground here and there.

“Glad I’m not running through here in the dark or not watching where I’m going,” Sissy commented.

“Which is the north well?” Garryd asked. “I should have brought my compass.”

“Well, the sun rises in the east . . .”

“and sets in the west . . .”

“And it’s headed that way,” Sissy said, pointing. “If my right is east and my left is west, my nose is north and my seat is south.”

“That must be the north well, then,” Garryd said. The north well was the larger of the two wells. The south well was small enough to step over, but the north well was about 5 feet across. The kids lay on their stomachs and looked down at the stones for one that might have rubies. “If it really had rubies,” Garryd commented, “the cop-crooks would have taken it just for the rubies. Look,” he continued, “down there. That rock had red things on it. They look like jewels.”

“Oh, they’re garnets. There are lots of those in the Adirondacks. Last summer, when I went camping with Lyssa, we collected tons of them. Dr. Taylor says they are semi-precious stones. I still have some. I was going to make people jewelry as Christmas presents from them but I forgot.”

“How are we ever going to get that rock out? It’s too big and heavy.”

“Hold onto my legs and let me try.”

“Well, okay,” Garryd said, doubtfully. He peered down into the well. It was a long ways down to the dark water at the bottom.

Garryd held Sissy’s legs tight. Sissy hung upside down in the well and grasped the big stone. To her surprise, it came right off in her hand. It surprised her so much she almost fell in. Garryd flung his whole body on top of her legs, grasping them with all his might, and managed to stop her fall. She wiggled up, still holding the rock. It was a thin curved shell of a rock instead of a whole boulder. Sissy laid it carefully on the ground and then looked at her legs. Garryd had held her so tightly that there were big red welts where his hands had been.

“Thanks for not letting me drop, Garryd!”

“You scared me. I thought I was losing you.”

“Well, let’s do it again. Hold me in a slightly different spot, okay?”

Garryd held on again and Sissy leaned over and looked into the hole. She saw nothing. She reached her hand in and discovered that it was deeper than it looked. Way in the back of a long tunnel, she found a small metal box. It was so deep that she couldn’t grasp it. She tried over and over, grunting with the effort. Garryd was grunting too. Finally, she caught her nails in the crack, pulled it forward slightly, and was able to grab it. Holding it tightly, She wriggled back up, with Garryd helping.

This box was smaller and thinner than the other box. It had a keyhole with a silver button. Sissy pressed the button and the box opened. On top was a paper with pictures of hands. A tiny key was taped to the paper, up in the left-hand corner. The tape was yellow and loose, but it was still holding. The kids studied the paper.

“I think this tells that this is the key to the money box and that the box is hidden in the bathroom. We already knew that,” Garryd said.

“But we didn’t have the key. Let’s see what else there is.”

They looked under the paper with the key and found a folded paper made of thick parchmenty stuff. They opened it. It said, “Last will and testament.”

“This is the will,” Sissy said.

“No kidding.” They tried to read it but it was full of big words, so they put it aside to look at later. Underneath, the found letters, pictures, and a diary. The picture on top was a stern but kindly-looking tall grey-haired man with his arms around two children, a taller girl with long blond braids and a smaller boy with sandy colored hair.

“I wonder if this is Judson Williams and the two kids who lived upstairs,” Sissy mused, holding up the picture.

“Sissy, let’s look at this stuff later. Those guys might come back. I think we should get out of here.”

“Good idea, Garryd,” Sissy agreed. “Only, I wonder how Mr. Williams expected anyone to find the will or the treasure. Maybe he left a note inside the cabin, probably in the desk.”

“Who cares? We’ve got the key, the will and the treasure now, why do we need the other message?”

“The fat cop might find it and figure it out.”

“So what? We’ve already got the stuff.”

“Then he will blame everything on us and it will look like he’s right. Anyway, I’ve just got to know. Besides, it might be something important. Come on; let’s just go in for a second, okay? No, wait, that might not be safe. Why don’t you take the box with the key and will home, and I’ll run in and check. Go the long way, through the woods, don’t let anyone see you. If I don’t catch up with you, hide the box in a very safe place, okay?”

“Okay, but be careful. Watch for those guys, and if they come, make sure you get out before they see you, okay?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be careful.”

Garryd left, skirting the back side of the lower pond, and disappeared into the woods with the box. Sissy ran into the cabin and went right to the desk. Then she remembered she didn’t have her gloves. She went back outside and got a stick and looked around and listened. She poked around on the desk with a stick. Then she looked at the papers on the floor but saw nothing that seemed important at the moment.

Finally, she decided to look in the woodstove. The papers in the woodstove were pretty wadded. She looked out the window toward the road. The coast was clear. She took off her shirt to use as a glove to protect against leaving fingerprints. She picked up each wadded paper with her shirt and poked them open to see what they were. The fifth one she opened was a sign language message. As she tried to pull it open without touching it, the screen door slammed. Using her shirt, she shoved the wadded paper in the pocket of her cut-offs and then yanked the shirt back down over her head.

“What’s this?” The fat cop hissed in surprise. Then, recovering his senses, he said, “It’s that kid, the one who’s been wrecking the cabin!” He crossed the cabin and grabbed Sissy roughly by the arm.

“Kid, you’re under arrest.”

[MNS1]should they recover the wells? (at some point, for safety?) (Or not?)

Chapter 24; P365-07W

No comments: