Friday, December 27, 2013

Graham Quartet - Part 17

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans!
I hope you had a lovely Christmas. In case you are wondering why on earth I hadn't posted yet, it was because I slept in and am on vacation. :)

My week was rather relaxing after the craziness of the past few weeks. It was delightful to sit and knit while listening to some old radio programs. I also have been writing. And it's all been the Graham Quartet. I hope you are ready for lots of posts with it because right now I have 2 parts that are ready to post the next two Fridays, and 9 more after that which haven't been checked by my editor and I still haven't gotten to the end! I'm close to the end of the story, but I don't know how many parts it will take me to finish it. I'm really going to try to get it written before the end of the year. I had no idea when I was asked to write the rest of the story that it would take me this long! It is quite interesting and I hope you are ready for it.

Now I need to go eat breakfast before my aunt comes and we run off to a bakery to pick up some cookies. :) Enjoy this next part!

Graham Quartet - Part 17

    Softly Selena said, “We could just go directly to the seat of the trouble and see if we can get a tour of the furniture factory.”
    “The furniture factory?” The others stared at Selena in amazement.
    “That’s where all the answers are, right?”
    There was a long silence. Tim’s face was eager, while Matt and Elsa looked at each other doubtfully. True, they wanted to learn things about the factory and there had to be something going on there that was of great interest to the FBI, but they had also just been warned to be extra careful. Would it be wise to try and get a tour?
    At last Matt spoke slowly, “Well, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to ask about a tour . . .”
    “Then if they did give one,” Elsa added, “we could decide then.”
    “Are you going to go call them now?” Tim was obviously quite excited.
    Matt shook his head. “No, I wouldn’t know who to call. Besides, I want to talk to Dad first, and . . .” he hesitated and listened to the old clock in the next room chime the half hour. “It is getting late and we do have school tomorrow. Let’s call it a night and get to bed.”

    In the morning Matt found time to talk to his dad about their desire to tour the furniture factory. Mr. Graham had no objections but wasn’t sure they were offering them any longer since Mr. Kern retired. “It wouldn’t hurt to check though,” he told his son.
    “Thanks, Dad.”
    “Yes, sir?” Matt turned from the door, wondering what his father wanted.
    “I know you are trying to help Guy, but there are chores around the house that can’t be neglected much longer. And I need the car today. I’ll drop you off at school, but you three will have to walk home.”
    With a nod, Matt agreed.

    Tim was plainly disappointed not to be able to stick around town after school, but if Selena was, she didn’t show it. When they arrived home in the afternoon, Elsa told them that the factory no longer offered tours to the public.
    “Sounds mighty suspicious to me,” Tim muttered. “I think Guy ought to know about it.”
    Matt laughed. “About what? That the new manager doesn’t do everything the same as the old one? Besides, we were just at the cabin twice yesterday. Let’s wait and see if we find out anything tomorrow.”

    Friday came, but brought nothing to report even though the Graham Quartet visited every place they could think of and Tim asked more than twenty questions. At last the Quartet returned home discouraged and with a feeling that they were somehow letting their friend down. None of them were inclined to talk much that night and even the offer of popcorn around a blazing fire in the family room with stories failed to rouse the usual enthusiasm.
    Later, as the four siblings slowly mounted the stairs to their rooms, Matt said, “Dad told me we could have the car all day tomorrow.”
    “What good’s that going to do?” Tim grumbled. “We’ve already been every place we can think of except the factory itself and haven’t learned anything new.”
    “Hey,” Matt chided, “we can’t give up now. Guy is counting on our help. And he’s been working on the case for almost two years. Surely we aren’t going to give up because we didn’t get anything new for two days, are we?”
    “Matt’s right, you know,” Selena whispered. “We just can’t give up now. Tomorrow may be a big break for us, but we won’t even be able to get it if we aren’t in town when we could be.”
    Elsa gave Selena a hug and sighed. “Of course we won’t give up. Will we, Tim?”
    Something that either Matt or Selena had said seemed to have re-inspired Tim for he grinned. “Not a chance! Those bad guys might as well quit the country now because the Graham Quartet are sticking to the case.” His manner and voice caused the others to laugh and they retired to their rooms in a more cheerful frame of mind.

    It was mid morning The Quartet had been in town since right after breakfast and as yet had learned nothing to report to Guy Fox at the cabin. When Sheriff Marr asked them what they were doing in town, Matt had shrugged and said, “Trying to find something to do.” The sheriff had laughed and told them not to get into trouble.
    “Why don’t we stop at the newspaper office,” Matt suggested. “I have an assignment for school and need to talk to Mr. Bryant, the editor, anyway. Maybe we’ll discover something there.”
    The others offered no objections because at least the office would be warmer than standing around on the street hoping someone would walk past them talking about the factory.
    It didn’t take long for Matt to collect the information he needed for his assignment and then, before anyone could make a movement to leave, Tim blurted out, “Mr. Bryant, what’s going on with the furniture factory?”
    Elsa, Matt and Selena turned to stare at Tim. Had he lost his senses? Didn’t he remember that all this was supposed to be a secret?
    Tim gave no indication that he even noticed his siblings’ stares but continued in a disgusted voice. “I got to help load some crates from the furniture factory earlier this week and that got me interested in seeing how they made the stuff and Dad said they used to give tours. But you know what? When we called to see if we could take a tour, they said they didn’t do them anymore? Why don’t they? I just wanted to see how chairs and couches were made.”
    With a chuckle, Mr. Bryant perched on the corner of his desk and folded his arms. “Well, Tim, I’m not sure of everything, but this new manager doesn’t like “revealing the secrets of their fine craftsmanship,” to quote the man directly."

Thoughts about this story?
Will you be back next Friday for the next part?


Audrey French said...

We had a wonderful Christmas! I'm still trying to find homes for all my new presents :-). This story is getting exciting! I wonder if Mr. Bryant will be of any help......

Anonymous said...

My blog is working again!! YIPPEE!