Friday, September 13, 2013

Graham Quartet - Part 11

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans!
I don't have much time to sit and chat with you all this time as I have to pack for our church's Family Camp. We are leaving to do the shopping for the kitchen in an hour or so, and I really haven't even started packing. But it shouldn't take too long.
How was your week? Was it as crazy as mine?
On Saturday I did yard work in the morning and inside things in the afternoon.
Sunday nearly everyone was at church so there was lots of visiting, and a nap in the afternoon was delightful.
Monday and Tuesday were spent working on preparing to tell the "Enthusiasm" story to the kids this weekend, preparing for my first writing classes this fall, writing my Sheriff's Academy report, working on TCR and other things.
Writing classes were Wednesday.
And yesterday was all the last minute gathering of things we'll need at camp and printing signs, and figuring out all those things that we hadn't had time to think about before. Then Dad and I had the next Sheriff's Citizen's Academy class last night. Come back on Wednesday to see what we did and hear how I did taking the "straight line" test during the DWI part of class. :)

And now enjoy the Graham Quartet. So, what do you think of this story anyway?
Graham Quartet - Part 11

    “Roger that. Can you scramble? 10-17.”
    For a moment Guy turned and glanced at the wide eyed quartet. He knew there was little they would miss of this conversation, and he wished the call hadn’t come in until they had left. As it was, however, there was little he could do. Turning back to the microphone, he pushed a button and replied, “Standing by.”
    Then came the strangest message the Graham Quartet had ever heard. “Farmer received word that the hens are laying again, but the hounds are getting closer. Need confirmation. Over.”
    “10-4. Nothing to report yet. Will contact soon. Over and out.”
    “Roger that. Over and out.”
    Standing quietly, Guy Fox pulled the blanket back over the radio and returned to his chair. Every eye was fastened on him but no one said a word until he had resumed his seat.
    Then Tim asked, “You having roast chicken for supper?”
    Guy smiled slightly. “I wish.” He sighed. “I wish you hadn’t heard that message, but since you did, all I am going to say is that things might start happening fast. And I’m going to need your help since I can’t get out and about.” Guy’s tone was serious and his face was grave. “I need every bit of information you all can get about the furniture factory outside of town. Even if it seems insignificant such as times of shipments, orders placed, wood used, anything. Memorize everything you hear and who said it! Also, if you should hear anything about Vanderbilt, Astor, Siam or Hong Kong,” Guy’s words were clipped and short, “it’s important that I hear about it at once. And should you see anyone that so much as resembles Aaron Burr in the least, let me know! I can’t tell you how important this is, but I am trusting each of you.” His keen dark eyes gazed steadily at each member of the quartet for a moment before moving on. His voice grew lower, “I’m not the only one who is trusting you.”
    A dead stillness settled over the cabin room save for the soft snap of the flames dancing on the logs in the fireplace. Each person sat in silent thought, the Quartet realizing for perhaps the first time that this was bigger than anything they had ever gotten themselves into before; Guy on the other hand was debating with himself if he should really ask these four young people to risk themselves to bring him the information he needed. Would it be better to tell them to forget the whole thing and try to do it himself? But how could he find out what he needed to know? It might endanger the entire operation.
    Into the midst of the silence came Matt’s low but steady voice. “Guy.”
    The agent looked up.
    “Whenever we get into difficult situations, we pray.”
    Drawing a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Guy straightened in his chair. “So do I. What do you say we spend some time on our knees about this whole thing?”

    Rising from their knees twenty minutes later with a feeling of relief that they were not in this alone, the Quartet began donning their winter garments in preparation for their trek back to their home. Before the door was opened, Guy shook hands with each one and cautioned, “Whatever you do, be careful!”
    “We will,” Elsa assured him. “You be careful too.”
    Guy smiled and nodded.

    It was Monday morning and three of the Graham Quartet had school to attend in town. They had all been in town the day before for church, but there had been no talk about the factory or any mention of the words Guy Fox had told them to listen for. Today would be their first time to try and discover something. If they could.
    “Mom,” Elsa said, as she and Selena brought the dirty dishes to the sink. “What would you think if I drove the others into town for school and then brought them home later? I’ve been wanting to visit Alice Swan and she mentioned yesterday that she’d be home today.”
    “I think that would be fine unless your father needs the car.”
    “Do you, Dad?” Matt asked, turning to his father.
    Mr. Graham shook his head. “Not today. But if you’ll have the car, do you four mind stopping by the store after school to pick up a few things?”
    “Of course not, Dad,” Elsa smiled while the other three exchanged quick glances. “But Matt, Selena and Tim had better get their books before I leave without them.” Elsa laughed and winked as her father handed her his car keys.
    “Just be careful with all that snow,” Mrs. Graham cautioned, kissing each of her children as they pulled on their coats and grabbed their stacks of books.
    “We will, Mom,” Matt told her. “Don’t worry.”
    Once everyone was in the car and Elsa was driving carefully towards town, Matt spoke. “That was considerate of Dad to give us an excuse to stick around town a little while after school.”
    “Do you think we’ll learn anything, Matt?” Tim asked. “Anything of importance, I mean.”
    Matt shrugged. “I don’t know. We’ll go in with our ears and eyes open and see what happens.”

    The day in school dragged for Tim and Selena who found it difficult to keep their minds on their studies. It wasn’t as hard for Matt since he had always loved his books, but at last the day was over and the three siblings hurried to meet Elsa.
    After climbing in and shutting the car doors, Matt turned to the backseat where the two youngest sat and asked, “Did either of you hear anything?”
    They both shook their head. “Not a thing,” Tim sighed. “Did you?”
    Matt shook his head thoughtfully. “I don’t think so—”
    Just then the driver’s door opened and Elsa slid in. “Sorry I’m a little late,” she said.

What do you make of the radio message?
Have you heard anyone mention those words
Vanderbilt, Astor, Siam or Hong Kong lately?
Any other thoughts, ideas or questions?


Anott Amos Kowerd said...

The code phrases are quite funny:).
Vanderbilt sounds familiar, but I can't place it. I do recognize the name Astor; if it's who I think it is, this plot is serious. Siam is an old name (I don't think it's been in use since the 40s/50s?); you must know your geography.
This has been an exciting and enjoyable story, thank you for writing more than the first 2,000 words:).

Rebekah said...

Those code names were quite fun to come up with. :) I'm glad you are still enjoying the story. Thanks for urging me to write more. :) If you have any ideas for another story about the Graham Quartet, let me know. (Of course I won't be able to write it quite yet, but it might be fun to write another one later on.)