Your post might be a little later too if there were three police officers outside your house and two of them took off running across the street and called out "Stop! Joplin police!" to someone who turned out to be the grandson of a neighbor on his way to the school bus. That wasn't who they wanted, so the boy went on his way and the police talked for a while in their cars before leaving. Not sure who they were looking for, but I hope they find him.
Anyway, that's NOT how I was expecting to start this post. :)
This has been a busy week. I've been trying to get some things done but other things have come up and it's been a bit on the crazy side. I did get a good start on the next Graham Quartet. :) If you want heads up about when it's coming out, be sure you sign up on my mailing list. No writing the rest of this week as my niece (not Ti-K) and the boys are going to be here until lunch time on Sunday. Hopefully next week I'll be able to really get into writing.
How has your New Year been so far? Have you made plans and been busy or is it relaxing? Januaries used to go so slowly for me and were a nice break from the busy rest of the year. But that doesn't seem to happen now.
Enjoy this last part of the story.
Climbing with the Medfords
Part - 2
The others were so busy looking at different points of the city and pointing out interesting things to the others, that only Lillian noticed an old lady looking out her window at the children on the billboard. Lillian thought she was talking on the telephone, but it was hard to tell. Feeling friendly, she waved at the lady, but received no response. “Oh well,” Lillian thought with a shrug. “Perhaps she didn’t see us after all. We are pretty high up.”
It was Alice who, turning around several minutes later and looking down at the street, noticed the police car coming towards them and stopping under the billboard. “Hey everyone,” she said. “Look.”
The others looked down in time to see two uniformed officers climb out of the car and look up at them before walking over to the base of the pole. One of the officers looked like a friend of theirs who directed traffic near the childrens’ neighborhood. When he spoke, they knew it was Officer Hitt.
“What are you all doing up there?” Officer Hitt asked.
“Catching a bird’s eye view of the city, sir,” Walter replied, glancing quickly at Frank and wondering what was going to happen.
“And what are you going to do when one of you falls?” the other officer asked.
“Oh, we won’t fall,” Frank answered quickly. “We’re being careful. And we’re used to climbing things.”
The officers held a low toned conversation while the children waited uneasily. At last Officer Hitt called up, “Why don’t all of you come down now so we can talk without attracting the attention of the entire neighborhood.”
The children exchanged disappointed glances but knew better than to disobey. Lillian, the closest to the ladder, went down first followed by Ester. Katie and Alice followed. Since Alice was small, she had to drop a little ways from the last rung of the ladder and while she hung there waiting for Katie to get out of the way, her left hand slipped. Right at that moment Walter, who was climbing down quickly and didn’t realize his sister wasn’t already on the ground, stepped on her hand.
“Ouch!” Alice exclaimed, and Walter quickly moved his foot, but only to put it on the next rung of the ladder which in reality was Alice’s shoulder. As he shifted his weight, Alice fell onto the pile of books, catching herself with her left hand.
With an exclamation of surprise, Walter, having lost his balance when what he thought was the bottom of the ladder disappeared from under him, fell with a thud onto his sister and the scattered pile of schoolbooks.
To add to the confusion, Frank dropped from the ladder after Walter without looking and landed right on top of his friend!
“Walter, get off of me,” Alice cried, hugging her left arm and trying to get to her feet.
“Sorry,” Walter apologized, “I can’t move until Frank gets up.” But even when Frank was helped up by Officer Hitt, Walter had to be helped up too.
“What hurts?” Officer Shepherd asked him when he saw Walter wasn’t putting any weight on his right leg.
“I think I must have pulled something in my leg,” Walter groaned, cautiously bending his knee and then gingerly putting weight on his foot.
“Sorry about that,” Frank told him with concern. “I should have looked before dropping. Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’ll be okay, but next time I’ll go last,” and Walter managed to grin at his friend before turning to the girls who were gathered around Alice.
“Is it just your arm?” Office Shepherd asked, kneeling beside Alice.
“My left wrist and my right fingers,” she sniffed, trying not to cry though the pain was pretty bad.
Gently the officer checked her fingers. “I think they’ll be okay. They’ll probably be rather sore for a few days, but it doesn’t look like any of them are broken. They’re probably just bruised.”
“That’s good!” Lillian exclaimed, “You’d never be able to write to Natalie.”
“Or do your homework,” Katie added. Ester didn't say a thing but was quietly gathering up the scattered books and papers.
After carefully checking Alice’s wrist, Officer Shepherd said, “I’m not a doctor, but I think your wrist is lightly sprained.”
A collective sigh of relief came from the gathered children at that, but their relief was short lived. Officer Hitt, with a series face, gave them a stern lecture about the dangers of climbing billboards and told them never to do it again if their fathers weren’t there.
“Do you understand?” the officer asked the sober children.
“Yes, sir,” they replied.
“All right then,” he said in a more cheerful voice, “let’s get you all home.
“I think Alice should get a doctor to take a look at her wrist.” Officer Shepherd said. During the lecture he had improvised a sling for the injured arm from Lillian’s scarf, and Alice was grateful to be able to rest her arm in it.
Never again did any of those girls climb a billboard. As for Walter and Frank, I can’t say for certain that they never did, but, if they did, they never told.
Do you think Frank and Walter climbed more billboards?
Would you have climbed one?
Have you ever had someone call the police on you?