Chapter 1: Cookie of Consolation
Chapter 2: Sam
Chapter 3: Who Stole the Cookie?
Chapter 4: Tradam’s Warning
Chapter 5: The Yellow House Again
Chapter 6: Treffellem Tagge
Chapter 7: Ambushed
Chapter 8: The EPA Chase
Chapter 9: The Ghostly Chapter
Chapter 10: The Frigid Urchin
Chapter 11: The New New Chapter
Chapter 12: The Things That Happened (At Last)
Chapter 13: The Evening Hornet
When Pumpkin dared to look around the corner again, Tradam was folding up his beach chair and putting away his newspaper.
Rosy appeared to be in earnest conversation with him, and kept jumping every once in a while in a wild effort to read the name of the paper.
After watching her for some moments with exasperation, Pumpkin got her attention and made violent signs to her, moving his hand like a mouth and gesticulating with a finger to the paper.
“Does it say anything about the weather?” asked Rosy hesitantly, moving her head awkwardly from Pumpkin’s prompting to Tradam’s unapproachable face.
He only rolled up the newspaper in his left hand and smacked her on the head with it for an answer.
“What about…” Rosy paused and looked at Pumpkin in panic. “What about – the stock exchange? Are they up, or down?” she added, eagerly, reaching for the roll in his left hand.
He switched hands and asked cautiously, “Have you any?”
Rosy looked puzzled. “Have I any – newspapers?”
“Any stock,” Tradam clarified patiently.
“Without the T, I have,” replied Rosy, looking down at her feet. “Is that what you were reading about in the paper? Was it in the lost and found section?” she added, genuinely excited at last.
“On this page it shows a graph,” observed Tradam, ignoring her last remark as he carelessly unrolled the newspaper and showed her a corner.
Rosy grabbed at it eagerly, accidentally knocking over the beach chair leaning against the big elevator mirror, but for all her efforts she only caught a fleeting glimpse of the number six at the top of a page. She telegraphed this disappointing success to Pumpkin with her fingers.
“Why are you relocating the fingers on your hands in such a grotesque manner?” asked Tradam distastefully, picking up his beach chair and setting it upright again.
“I’m trying to find a better way for them to say hello,” said Rosy rapidly. “The wave thing is way overrated.”
“Well, that is true. I hate waving myself,” commented Tradam reflectively. “A persnickety smile of contempt is my preferred form of greeting, really.”
“I’d always wondered two things about you, Mr. Tradam,” began Rosy, equally thoughtful. (Here he looked interested). “That,” continued Rosy, shortly. “And what your favorite newspaper edition was.
“What is your favorite newspaper edition?” she added a second later, as informally as she could.
“This one,” replied Tradam, smiling evilly, and equally casual.
“Oh, that one?” echoed Rosy, pretending to be sweetly enlightened. “What is that one?” she added a second later in a meek voice.
“The Evening Hornet,” vociferated Tradam, slapping her on the head with it again, and walking out of the elevator. “Goodbye, Miss Rosefald Merttville,” he added in a loud voice as he walked down the hall, bumping into Pumpkin at the corner and sending him flying.
Once Pumpkin had picked himself up enough to start walking, Rosy and he headed towards a nearby Ebery stall.
“How much do you charge for the Evening Hornet’s latest newspaper edition?” inquired Pumpkin, leaning his arms familiarly on the counter.
“One cent,” replied the seller, without looking up.
Pumpkin raised his eyebrows. “Oh. I’ll have some money leftover to buy ice cream then. Do you have the latest newspaper with you now? I would like to buy two.”
“Nope,” said the seller, still without looking up. “We haven’t received it yet. Mail Delivery truck broke down.”
“And how much do you charge for the Evening Hornet’s second last newspaper edition?” inquired Pumpkin, patiently.
“Two cents,” replied the seller stolidly.
“Do you have it here? Could I buy two?”
The seller looked up. “Nope.”
“What about the twenty-third last edition of the Even Hornet?” asked Pumpkin, an hour later, his head drooping sleepily on the counter.
“No-,” the seller paused thoughtfully, reaching his hand down and pulling something out of a box. “There you go. The twenty-third last edition. Twenty-three cents.”
To be continued…
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