Sunday, February 04, 2007

Drafts: Frog Haven Chapter 25

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, Chapter 24

Chapter 25: Claude LeFevre

“Well, Maria Luisa, what do you have to say for yourself, young lady?” Sissy’s father asked when they were on their way home in the car.

“I disobeyed again, Papa, I’m sorry,” Sissy said, sorrowfully.

“You could have been seriously hurt. There are reasons for rules, good reasons. This time, you will have to be punished.”

“Yes, Papa, I understand,” Sissy said sadly, wondering what the punishment would be.

“And you boys were also instructed never to go beyond the pastures, and a couple days ago, you were specifically told never to go to Williams’ cabin. You will both have to be punished as well.”

The boys said nothing.

They drove in silence for a while.

“Papa?” Michael said in a very small voice.


I don’t think Sissy should be spanked. Officer Maroni hit her a lot already. Aren’t you worried about her at all?”

“Yes, Michael, I intended to look her over when we got home. Sissy, how are you feeling?”

“I guess I’m okay, Papa. I hurt a little in a few places. But I’m okay.”

“Well, we’ll take a look at you, in a minute, we’re almost home.”

“You do have some bruises,” Papa said, sounding angry. He pressed on her cheek.

“Ouch,” Sissy cried, jumping back.

“Seppe!” Mom cried, “don’t hurt her!”

“Sorry, honey, I wanted to see if it was as bad as it looks. I didn’t really mean to hurt you.”

“It’s okay, Papa,” Sissy said, gently rubbing her cheek.

“Seppe, she’s got bruises on her arms, too.”

“I see that, Meggie. Maroni must have yanked or squeezed her hard, or both.”

“Listen, Papa, Mom, I know it’s late and I’ve been bad and I have school tomorrow, but I need to do something very important before I go to bed tonight. It’s about the trial tomorrow and the final hearing in the Knudson custody case. We worked really hard making up a list for Mr. LeFevre with all the reasons why Knudsons should keep Garryd and Sven. I was supposed to give it to Paul, but I never had a chance to. I need to take it over to Mr. LeFevre.”

“Sissy, Mr. LeFevre is a very well-known competent lawyer. I am sure he doesn’t need your help.”

“Oh, please, Papa, we worked very hard on it, the kids from Van Vleck drive and the kids on the bus and my class and Mr. Sharpe’s class and Lyssa’s class and Lannie McKeever’s class and other kids, too. I want to help Garryd. We all do. Please let me take it over, please Papa.”

“Don’t beg, Maria, it is unbecoming. You mustn’t beg.”

“Seppe,” Mom said.

“What must I do then, if something is very important?”

“Explain it in a reasonable, logical way.”

“Papa, you know some things aren’t always logical, like in The Little Prince. You read it to me yourself. Remember? It said, ‘One sees well only with the heart. Important things are invisible to the eye.’”

“You haven’t got that quite right, Maria. The actual quote is, ‘On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.’”

“Oh, Papa, you know I can’t speak that much French.”

“Well, you got it almost perfect. Yes, you may go, but please try to hurry.”

“And Sissy, tell Mr. LeFevre I told you to show him your face and arms.”

“Okay, Mom.”

Sissy threw her arms around her father, gave him a quick hug and a squeeze, hugged her mom, and dashed over to Knudson’s. Sven answered, with Garryd coming behind in his pajamas.

“Get the box, quick!” Garryd crowded past Sven and ran around behind the house. He lifted the slate under the step of the back door. He had hollowed out a small hole. He brushed away some leaves and lifted out the box. Sissy ran to the multi-floral rose and crawled in as fast as she could, tearing her knees on the prickers. She grabbed the box, ripping her hands, and crawled back out.

“I’m taking these to my lawyer, are you coming or not?”

Garryd turned and looked at his house and then down at his pajamas. He followed Sissy.

Sissy pounded on LeFevre’s door. Mrs. LeFevre answered, looking surprised. “I need to see my Lawyer,” Sissy said.

“Sissy, you don’t need to see a lawyer. Everything is all settled.”

“No it’s not, Mrs. LeFevre. I didn’t tell the whole story. I wanted to consult my lawyer first. Besides, I have some important information for tomorrow morning’s hearing, Sissy said, waving the sheaf of papers around.

“Do your mother and father know you are here?”

“Yes.” Mrs. LeFevre opened the door and let them in. “Mr. LeFevre is in his study. It’s the first door on the left down the hall.” Sissy laughed. She’d know where Mr. LeFevre’s study was for years. But Mrs. LeFevre was treating her like a real client.

Mr. LeFevre lifted his eyebrows in a questioning way when they entered the room.

“Hello, Mr. LeFevre,” Sissy said. Garryd echoed her.

“Hello, Sissy, Garryd. What can I do you for?”

“First of all, I brought you something to help with your case tomorrow.” She handed him the 27 pages of reasons why Knudsons should keep their children, signed by over seventy kids.

Mr. LeFevre studied it for a moment. “Thank you very much, Sissy,” he said, nodding to her.

Sissy set the treasure box down in front of Mr. LeFevre. Garryd set the will box down next to it.

“That fat cop and his friend were wrecking the cabin looking for treasure. I think we’ve found it.”

“Why didn’t you say so while we were at the police station, Sissy?”

“I wanted to talk to you about it. I was afraid the cops would just take it all away. There’s a diary, and I wanted to read it before the cops took it. And there are pictures, and I wanted to see them. And, most important, there’s a will, and I wanted you to see it, because I don’t trust the cops.”

“Sissy, I think it is safe to trust the cops, all except Officer Maroni, and I don’t think anyone has trusted him for a long time.”

“Please, can we just look at everything before we turn it in?”

“All right, Sissy, but not tonight. You two go home and go to bed. This stuff has been waiting a long time. It can wait a little longer.”

Mr. LeFevre turned the dials on his safe. “I’ll tell you what, I won’t look at this stuff myself until you can see it, too.”

“Oh, Mr. LeFevre, that’s wonderful. Here, put this in with it,” she said, carefully handing him the crushed wadded paper from her pocket. Mr. LeFevre opened it, without using gloves.

“What does it say?” he asked. Sissy and Garryd studied the paper that Mr. LeFevre had spread out on his desk. It had lots more hands than either of the other two.

“I could take it home to my father,” Garryd suggested.

“Please do. He can return it tomorrow morning.”

“There’s one thing I wish you would look at tonight, Mr. LeFevre. Would you just look at the will? I can’t understand the words, but I think it might be important.”

“All right, Sissy, I will. And Sissy,” he said, as she headed for the door, “come over here a minute.”

“Oh, yeah,” Sissy said, “Mom wanted me to show you my bruises. Not the ordinary ones I always have from playing in the woods, but the ones Officer Maroni gave me.” She winced as he touched the one on her cheek.

“I think he’s going to regret having done this.” Mr. LeFevre said, angrily.

Chapter 26, P365-07W

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