How has your week gone? Mine went out the door, through the windows or somewhere and I haven't been able to find much of it. :) In other words, it went by very quickly! (Why wouldn't it ever go by quickly when I was young and couldn't wait until Christmas or my birthday?)
It seemed as though my writing has been hit and miss this week without really knowing what I was doing. I did get both of Priscilla de Silvosa's "letters" for South Carolina written and the first one is posted on Travels of Priscilla. So, feel free to stop by and see what Priscilla (or Cilla as her friends are calling her) is up to. I worked a little on the Graham Quartet, but didn't get much done. Monday and Tuesday were the only evenings I really had to write. Hopefully this week will be more productive . . . wait, this coming week is Thanksgiving. I might not get much done. But I'll try!
Update on TCR-1, my mom still hasn't been able to finish proofing it yet, but when she does, I don't think it will take very long to make the needed corrections and upload a new interior. You can pray that it'll get finished quickly.
But I know some of you have been waiting for this next part of the Graham Quartet. If anyone has any ideas for more stories about the Graham Quartet, let me know. Perhaps some day I'll write another one.
Graham Quartet - Part 15
“Say hello to your parents.”
“I will.” And Elsa smiled at the older man as he hurried inside the station. “Hmm,” she mused to herself, sauntering slowly down the platform. “Vanderbilt and the furniture factory. Last January. I wonder . . .”
When the Quartet met over an hour later at the car, everyone was excited, even Selena. “You’ll never guess what I found out!” Tim blurted as soon as the doors were shut. “And I think Guy should know about it right away.”
“Well, Selena and I have some things to report as well,” Matt returned quickly.
“So have I.” Elsa started the car as she spoke and pulled away from the curb.
“Don’t you and Tim have the same info?”
Elsa shook her head. “No, Tim was talking and helping with the load from the factory, and I was talking to the station master.”
Matt whistled. “Well, I know that Guy said not to come everyday and we were there just this morning, but--”
“I think we should go tonight,” Elsa remarked and Selena agreed.
“But we have to stop at home first because I need to check something,” Tim spoke hastily, glancing up from something he was doodling on a piece of paper, as though afraid his sister might drive straight to the cabin.
“Of course we have to stop at home first, Tim,” Matt reassured his younger brother. “Mom and Dad would worry if we didn’t.”
Turning into their long driveway a few minutes later, Selena, Tim and Matt began gathering up their schoolbooks and the few bags of groceries Elsa had bought.
“How soon do you think we can go, Matt?”
“I don’t know. I’ll check with Dad. Tim, how long is it going to take you to do whatever you need to do?”
Tim shrugged. “I don’t know. Not long.”
“Hurry up, Tim!” Matt called ten minutes later. “We only have two hours.” Matt and the girls were standing at the door with their coats on.
“Just a minute,” Tim’s voice sounded from the library. Then came the sound of hurrying footsteps, and Tim dashed down the hall with a book and a scrap of paper. “I’ll be right there,” he called to his waiting siblings. “Mom! I don’t know how to use this book . . .” his voice faded away.
In another minute Tim joined them excitedly and jerked on his coat. “Come on!” he urged, snatching up his hat.
“We’ve just been waiting for you.”
The evening air was brisk and cold, the snow perfect for easy cross country skiing and the Quartet soon had their skis strapped on. It would be faster to go on skis then on snowshoes and they didn’t have a lot of daylight left.
“I think we shouldn’t try to hide or anything this time,” Selena said quietly.
Elsa nodded. “We’re in too much of a hurry.”
“Well, Dad wanted me to check on something at the cabin,” Matt put in, “so why don’t we head in that direction.”
With a grin, Tim called out, “Race you there!”
There were shouts and calls as the Graham Quartet made their way across the snowy ground, through the woods and down into the valley as quickly as they could ski. By the time the cabin was reached they were all panting and gasping for breath, their cheeks red from the cold.
Matt gave the signal knock and Guy opened the cabin door to let them in.
“Back again so soon?” he asked in surprise. “What’s going on?” His mouth smiled, but his eyes were serious.
“We hung around town after school and discovered some things we thought you should know about,” Matt replied, breathing heavily. He was the only one of the quartet who was able to speak, for the others were still gulping air into their lungs while trying to take off their coats.
“Did you race all the way here?” Guy asked, setting chairs out as Matt began to build a fire.
Heads nodded and in another minute the quartet were gathered about a blazing fire with Guy. He let them get settled and, once their breathing returned to normal, he said quietly, “All right, someone had better start telling me what’s going on. Tim, you look ready to burst. Out with it.”
Reaching into his pocket, Tim pulled out a scrap of paper with a small flower-looking design drawn on it. “I was helping load a bunch of crates from the furniture factory this afternoon when Elsa and I were at the depot and I noticed this little mark on two certain crates. They were much smaller than what I drew and they were in a corner, so they weren’t very noticeable. But do you know what that is?” He glanced around, and before anyone could say anything, he blurted out, “It’s an aster!”
“Are you sure?” Guy asked quickly, looking up from the drawing to the excited face of the boy.
Tim nodded his head emphatically. “I had Mom help me look it up as soon as we got home. And Mom knows flowers,” he added.
Guy nodded absentmindedly. “Two crates had this mark? You’re sure none of the others did?”
“Well, they had already loaded one before I arrived, but none of the others had the mark.”
Guy wanted to know the size and shape of the crates, who was loading them, where they were being shipped and what had been said. Tim told everything he knew. When he was finished, Guy sat for a few minutes staring into the dancing flames in deep thought. Then, shaking his head he spoke. “Who’s talking next?”
“Elsa should be,” Matt suggested, “since she and Tim both went to the depot.”
“I didn’t find out much,” Elsa began, “but I know who the crates are going to. It’s someone named Martin Vanderbilt.”
“Martin Vanderbilt?” Guy sat up suddenly, his whole face alert and his keen eyes never leaving Elsa’s face. “You’re sure about that name?”
What do you think is going to happen?
Is there really something to what Tim and Elsa have discovered?
Who is Martin Vanderbilt?
Any questions, suggestions or ideas?