Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Girl Sleuth-Chapter 21

(To read from the beginning go Here.)

The doorknob twisted. Anne released the lamp and whirled. She had to get out. She slipped into the kitchen as the front door swung in. Her fingers trembled as she shoved the window up and open. Confident steps sounded on the wooden floor of the living room, coming straight for her.

She sat on the window sill and thrust her legs out onto the fire escape. Her heart seemed suddenly to plunge from her chest to the ground twenty feet below. Dear God, she’d forgotten all about Jilly sleeping peacefully in the bedroom.

She turned back just as the kitchen door eased inward. No time. No time. She twisted her torso to flee through the window.

“Anne?”

She stiffened and looked back. “Erik?”

Eyebrows raised and mouth pursed in bemusement he stood in the middle of the kitchen carrying a brown paper sack. “Something wrong?”

Hand to her chest, Anne clambered back into the apartment. “Only that you scared me to death.”

“I know I don’t look my best in the morning, but don’t you think that’s an exaggeration.”

Anne smoothed her hands over her skirt. She must have looked like an utter idiot. “I thought you were one of the gang.”

“Why would you think that?” He plunked the bag down on the table.

Anne licked her lips. He had lectured her for at least twenty minutes about the dangers of going back to her apartment unaccompanied. Best to sidestep the question if she could. “I guess my imagination got the better of me. It’s the writer’s blessing and curse, you know.”

He continued to eye her oddly. “Maybe next time you have an uncontrollable craving for lemonade we ought to send someone else.” He reached for the bag and upended it. A dozen or more, sunny, yellow lemons bounced and tumbled onto the table.

“Why did you get so many?”

He huffed air through his nostrils. “Better to many than too few. So what’s with the demand for citrus?”

Anne grinned and pulled Carol’s papers from her skirt pocket. “I’ve been thinking about it and the answer may lie in The Adventure of the Notorious Note.”

He continued to look mystified and Anne held up one of the lemons. “Lacey Carew solved that one by using lemon juice to reveal a message that had been written in invisible ink.”

Understanding lit his eyes then and he grinned.

She laid the papers out and he handed her a knife and a clean kitchen rag. She cut the lemon in half and squeezed juice over the cloth. The fresh scent of lemon filled the kitchen. Carefully she dabbed at the first page, covering every inch of its surface. Hardly able to breath, she waited.

Nothing.

She repeated the process with the other pages, as Erik looked on expectantly.

Nothing.

She slumped into a chair. It didn’t make any sense. She’d been so sure. So if there wasn’t a hidden message, what about these papers made them so special that VanDyke’s gang would resort to kidnapping and maybe murder to get them back.

Erik sat beside her and patted her arm in commiseration. He picked up the slightly damp pages and held them up to the light. “Maybe it’s faded.”

Anne shook her head. It was nice of him to try to make her feel better, but there were limits. “No. It’s not.”

He frowned and lowered the papers. Now she’d hurt his feelings. He hung his chin, thumb and forefinger rubbing the document in absent contemplation. It was on the tip of her tongue to apologize when he lifted his head and met her gaze. His grin was so infectious that she couldn’t help but respond.

“It’s the paper.”

She swallowed her smile. A late night and an early morning errand for lemons had obviously left him overly tired. “Um, yes. It’s paper.”

“No.” He waved a hand. “They want the paper. There’s no code or hidden message. It’s the paper itself that is important.”

Anne shook her head.

“U.S. currency is printed on a special kind of paper made from cotton fibers. This kind of paper.” He thrust the pages under her nose.

Her jaw dropped in the manner patented by actresses everywhere to indicate surprise.

“This is the proof we need. I’ve got to get it to the office. Will you be okay if I head downtown?” He looked at her and then glanced at the window. “Maybe it would be best if you come with me.”

2 comments:

love101 said...

Lisa - Praise Him.

Saw your blog on blogger under missionaries.
Seems you're having a blessed time writing

Inspired Adventures. (Of Anne?)

Ahh - Adventure - one of my favorite words.

Websters - A Bold undertaking,
where hazards are to be encountered,
and the outcome is based on unforeseen events.
A unique experience in one's own personal history.
Often of a romantic nature.

Sounds like Jesus to me.
Missionaries and adventure.
Can you have one without the other.

Thought this complimentary e-book and website
might be a benefit to you and those you serve.

God's Words of Comfort & Healing 
The Book  ✧  The Posters  ✧  The Words

An Absolutely Free E-Book and Website.
A Totally Free Download At:
 web.me.com/love101

Lots of 8x10 wall posters
proclaiming The Word of God.
Great for decorating kids rooms
and hospital rooms
and prison cells
and...

Two Books and stuff about Jesus and His Word
collected over the years.

If you read "Love is Rising" in the book,
let me know what you think.

It's for folks dealing with a broken heart
and feeling unworthy. Yes even believers.
They're not able to love and accept themselves
as Christ loves and accepts them. Thanks

You might even be able to fit it in
with your heroine Anne.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

A. Amos Love - Love101faith@me.com

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

Thanks for your comment. I checked out your website. On your home page I especially appreciated your statement about the Lord's command to love our enemies and how we are our own worst enemies at times. So true.

Inspired Adventures is not just Anne's story, but will be an outlet for other of my stories as I journey toward publication. I love to write tales of adventure that are also informed and inspired by the Word of the Lord. I hope you enjoyed your visit and that you will come back to follow Anne and I on our journeys.

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