Friday, March 30, 2012

Mystery At Random - Part 2

A lovely spring morning to my faithful FFFs,
The windows are open and the birds are singing. The crows have been laughing throughout the days for some time now and there is traffic on Broadway. I hear a dog barking. The sun is coming up. I think it will be another beautiful day if still rather warm for March. Our cherry tree is in full bloom right now which doesn't happen usually until near the end of April or May. And, our grass needs mowed. Okay, so it is really the weeds that need it, but they are over most of the yard, so I think I'll mow tomorrow morning before it gets too warm.

This week went by so quickly, that I think I must have skipped a few days somewhere. Monday I wrapped 31 books to mail for PaperBack Swap. That night we went roller skating with church families and some friends. It was fun. I used to love skating when I was younger and had skates. :)
Tuesday morning I spent over an hour printing labels and taping them on the books I had wrapped on Monday. Then in the evening my sister and I babysat for some friends. The kids enjoy having us over and after supper we played games until time to send them to bed.
Then Wednesday came up and it was a whirl. I got ready for writing classes, made the, hopefully last, corrections in Home Fires and uploaded a new version, then my sis-in-law dropped the three older kids off so she could do something. So, I ended up taking them outside to swing for a while and then we went "exploring!"
We ended up in Africa where Goof Ball with his stick gun and machete killed a pretend real lion and several sticks snakes. Pickle Puss was the journalist for the trip and kept notes on all that we saw. We even saw a sparrow rare bird hard to find in the jungles of Africa. Funny Boy was the botanist and collected specimens of yellow dandelions flowers. And I was the pathfinder, the guide and leader of the expedition. Don't you wish you had been with us?
Right after lunch Dad and I had Election training since we are both working as election judges next week. That was at 1:00 and I had writing class at 1:30. I knew I would be a little late, but didn't think it would be too long. Hah! the training started late, and then went on and on. Finally Dad and I just had to leave since it was nearly 2:00. So, one of my students only got 15 minutes of class. :P Well, he hadn't done all his assignment either. Then I had the girls class. These were the last classes this spring. :( I'm going to miss teaching. I did get to write Wednesday night.
And I wrote last night. I have to babysit tonight so no writing but maybe I can get more in Saturday night. We'll see.

I'm glad you enjoyed the first part of this story, Abigail and Grace. I hope you like this next part just as much.

Part 2

    “Shall I ask them tonight?”
    His father thought a moment. Then he gave assent. If anyone had done it, they might say so if Jeff asked them, but if he asked, well, it might not go so well.
    “Okay, I’ll ask. May I be excused now? We’re going to meet at our club house.”
    “Yes, you may. But be home before dark,” Mrs. Hansen called after him as he dashed out the back door.
    “I will!” came back a faint reply.
    Mrs. Hansen laughed, rose and and cleaned up baby Emily’s messy hands and face. “You’re awfully quiet, Dear,” she remarked to her husband.
    He told her about the missing flags.
    “Well I don’t think the Okeefenokees had anything to do with it,” she stated flatly when he had finished. “They just aren’t that type.”
    “I agree, but I can’t dispute that the flags are missing for the fourth time in as many days.”
    “But there isn’t any evidence that they were taken is there? Couldn’t the wind have blown them off?”
    Officer Hansen looked at his wife. “Maybe once, but not four times, and we really haven’t had any wind.” It was all perplexing.

    Down at the Okeefenokee’s club house, an old weathered shed of Mr. Dutton’s which had seen better days, Jeff discovered that most of the others had already arrived. After the club president, Dan Farragut, called everyone to order, Jeff asked for the floor.
    “Does anyone know if there were flags on the police memorial when we played ball this morning?” Jeff had jumped up and was looking around as he spoke.
    A silence pervaded the shed a moment and then someone called out, “I think there was.”
    But another voice argued, “Not this morning, I think it was yesterday.”
    “No, I don’t remember any then, but I think I saw some this morning.”
    “I didn’t.”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Why do you want to know?”
    “Is this a trick question?”
    The voices were coming thick and fast and Jeff was growing dizzy from turning his head so quickly to see who was talking. At last, when everyone, it seemed, was talking at once, Dan pounded on the floor with his stick for order.
    “Goodness,” he exclaimed, “one would think you all were a mob inciting a riot with all that noise. Now be quiet a minute.” Then he turned to Jeff who was still standing. “Why’d ya want to know if the flags were on the memorial this morning?”
    Jeff shrugged. “Dad asked me, and I didn’t know. Said I’d ask around to see if anyone knew. I guess we don’t.”
    “Why would your dad want to know?” Dan persisted.
    Again Jeff shrugged. “He didn’t say.”
    “Were they missing?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Hey, Dan,” Levi hollered from the far back of the shed. “If we’re going to go weed Miss Hope’s garden, lets get on with it before we have to go home.”
    “Yeah,” Tammy called, “I’ve got to make sure Bobby gets home before dark, and he’s playing at the Rockford's.”
    Quickly seeing that any sort of meeting was out of the question, Dan gave the order to dismiss and immediately the entire troop of Okeefenokees tore out of their club house yelling and whooping like real Indians. It was their usual way of exiting the club house and Mr. Dutton was used to it.

    Before starting on his patrol the following morning, Officer Hansen stepped into the office of the police chief.
    “Good Morning, sir,” he greeted Chief Gallant. “I’ve come to make my report.”
    The chief leaned back in his chair. “I hope it is good new, Hansen.”
    “I asked my son about seeing the flags this morning when they were out playing ball, but he couldn’t remember. Therefore, he asked the rest of the Okeefenokees and none of them were certain about seeing or not seeing them. I don’t believe any of them even thought about it until Jeff asked, nor do I think,” he added, “that any of them had a thing to do with the disappearance of the flags, sir.”
    Fingering his pen in silence a moment, Chief Gallant looked thoughtful. At last he spoke. “Well, we seem to be nearly where we started. I put out two small flags this morning before I came in. Thompson is keeping an eye out as he goes by and Erikson will be doing the same later. Isn’t the Okeefenokee’s club house along your patrol?”
    “Yes, sir.”
    “Then see if you can’t sort of keep an eye on them today. Try to keep this thing under the lid, so to speak, at least for today. We’ll see if someone takes these flags.”
    Officer Hansen nodded. He was in complete agreement about keeping things quiet about this missing flag affair. He hoped the stealing would stop and that these last two flags would not disappear.
    Alas for his hopes and the hopes of each member of the Random Police Force. At one twenty-seven, word came over the patrol car radios that the flags were missing once again. This was getting out of hand. Every police officer was on the alert for any leads and officers Thompson, Erikson and Hansen were called in by Chief Gallant for a meeting.
    “Gentlemen,” Chief Gallant began gravely, “this affair has gone on too long. It must be brought to an end. Whoever is stealing the American flags must and will be brought to justice. I talked to Judge Azariah and he is in total agreement. Now, let’s get down to what we know and see if we can’t find a clue somewhere that might lead us in the right direction. Erikson, you noticed the flags were missing the last two days, correct?”
    Erikson nodded. “That’s correct, sir.”
    “Thompson, you called in the report today.”
    “Yes, sir. I did.”
    “Any clues around the site?”
    “Nothing definite.” Officer Thompson glanced at Hansen before adding, “I did notice what appeared to be a small heel mark near the back of the flower bed.”

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