Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 99
thermometer, Pandora, vivid, langourous, Saturday, pancreas, apple dumplings, watch tower, lichen, sparrow
rigid, spiritual, ribbon, web cam, vitamins
The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 45 - The Treasure Chest
"Excuse me, miss," said Bumblebee, as the ring tone sounded again. "There seems to be somebody at the door. If it is those people from the Watchtower again, shall I just send them away or do you want to talk to them?"
"Somehow I doubt it will be a while before they come back to this house for a spiritual talk," said Diana. "I think it's probably someone else this time."
Skittles in his head got a vivid image of Diana managing to totally confuse the Watchtower people by a discussion about the use of web cams in modern art. (Was it really this Saturday - that is, yesterday - that she had dragged him through the Modern Art Museum?)
Bumblebee disappeared out into the hall. The library seemed suddenly filled with a langourous atmosphere while they all waited for whatever was to happen next.
What happened next was that Bumblebee reappeared to announce the arrival of Dr Challenge. Right behind him, Adam entered, looking rather rigid and confused at seeing so many people assembled in the library.
"Oh," he said. "I'm sorry, I didn't know..." He broke off, needing a moment to take in the situation. What was the police lieutenant doing there again, and who was that other man? He decided for the moment to ignore them, and turned to the General.
"I just thought I'd come by to see how you are feeling, sir," he said to the old man. "I contacted the hospital, but they said you had been sent home already. I have to confess I'm rather surprised at your quick recovery."
"Ah," said the General. "You would be, I imagine. But it was just a spot of trouble with the pancreas."
"What?!" said Adam, obviously bewildered. "But..."
Bumblebee made a discreet cough and said, turning to Diana: "Excuse me, miss, but may I suggest apple dumplings for tea?"
"Absolutely," said Diana. "And don't forget Grandpa's vitamins, please."
Bumblebee left; and at the same time William entered, carrying a small wooden chest.
"Here it is," he said. "Baying Wolf's treasure chest. Where shall I put it?"
"On the table, please," said Diana. "John, you go ahead and open it!"
Everyone seemed to have forgotten about Adam. They all gathered around the table, except the General who was just leaning back in his chair nodding to himself with a smile.
The chest looked very old indeed. It seemed to Skittles that it even had lichen growing on it. But on the lid there was some kind of golden animal picture engraved.
"Go on, young man, open it!" said the General. "It's not Pandora's box, you know," he added in an amused tone of voice. "Nothing in there that will come out and bite you."
Skittles lifted the lid. At the bottom of the chest lay some very small pieces of broken bones, some kind of ribbon, and a small feather.
"Now we have a doctor in the house," the General said, turning to Adam again, "perhaps you can affirm that there is no thermometer that can measure wind chill, right?"
"Eh..." said Adam, not having the faintest idea what this was all about. "I suppose..."
"Now sit down, all of you," commanded the General, "and I'll tell you the story of how this treasure chest got into my hands. You see, there was this Indian Chief named Baying Wolf, and he had a daughter called Sparrow..."
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