THE FOUR GET DOWN TO BUSINESS
Phoebe headed back through the courtyard in a hurry and opened the front door.
“How’s the boy?” cried Gilligan frantically. “The Chief must be worried, talking to you like that! No store does these things – soccer in the backyard, a mob of teens with scooters and skateboards in the front. I’ll be sued for all that I’m worth.”
It took Phoebe twenty minutes and an agreement to consult a lawyer to calm Gilligan down. He left Phoebe to close up.
Jeremy arrived. Phoebe called Abby and George from their hiding place in the back room, and organized a meeting in the children’s book corner.
“Boy, you take your time!” exclaimed George. “We’ve got things to do!”
They gathered round in a small circle of chairs. All eyes turned to George.
“Listen!” he said. “I’ve been taking pictures of the Owens Mansion for an article Peabody wants. I stopped by the office to print out copies. The place was empty except for Peabody in the back on the phone.”
George explained that Milton Morphy had used some of his colossal fortune for a complete renovation, including building a sort of observation post on the roof. A security guard was posted there night and day.
George took a piece of paper from his folder and tossed it on the table. “What does that look like?” he challenged them. The image showed the shadow of a man behind glass with his right hand holding a thin, tall, dark something.
“It’s a rifle,” said Jeremy. “You can see the barrel and the beginning of the stock.”
“That’s what I thought,” said George. “I was looking at this when suddenly the door opens and a man walks right by me. He was so intent on getting to Peabody he didn’t even see me. This guy just lit into Peabody, saying things like, ‘When you work for me, I expect obedience!’ I realized the guy was Morphy, and there I was listening to their conversation with a blow-up of the gun in my hand! And I heard some really interesting stuff. Morphy was giving instructions on how to report on a police action that he expects on Friday night. He listed off a whole bunch of things, like fire code violations, runaway teenagers, cabaret and alcohol violations, even endangering the morals of a minor. ‘We’re going to break them!’ Morphy yelled. ‘Do you hear me? Break them!’ I grabbed my printouts and camera and slipped out the door...”
“That is so fantastic, George,” said Phoebe. “Whoa, so well done.”
“Someone’s got to warn Sammy before he closes,” Jeremy burst out. “And according to Jim, Morphy and his people have at least three more observation posts like the one on the Owens Mansion. I don’t think they all have rifles, but they do have telescopes and binoculars. And one thing for sure, they’re watching all of us very carefully. And Abby… we know they’re especially looking for you.”
All eyes shifted to Abby. She looked around the silent group and said, “I’ve learned how to take care of myself. They’re no match for me in the forest, or even in town. You leave together, and I’ll catch a couple of hours sleep here and slip out the back.”
“Sammy will be gone in five minutes,” Phoebe said. “I’ll talk to him. And let’s try meeting at the gas station before the concert. I really don’t know how we can escape a trap of some kind. But I’m thrilled that we’re in this together.”
They all smiled. Their eyes were shining. In two minutes they were out on the street, leaving Abby hidden in the darkness.
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
The Four Get Down To Business illustration
by Carlos Uribe
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!
From PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)