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Beyond the Lone Islands

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 72

For the rules of the game, and for more stories, go to Raven's Nest.
The words this week (10+5):
corn pone, delegation, nectarines, happiness, 12 going on 13, prancing horses, magenta, butterflies, fragmentary, arthritis
lavender cowboy, over the moon, preparation, zebra, area rug
Links to previous chapters of my ongoing story can be found in the margin.

The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 19 - In the Drawingroom

When Skittles came downstairs into the hall again, he was met by a little delegation: Bumblebee, Adam and William were all standing there together, waiting for him.

Bumblebee was again holding out a tray with a glass of water and an aspirin tablet, and Skittles received the peace offering, grateful that the butler had not forgotten him.

"Lieutenant, how much longer do you intend to keep us here?" asked Adam. "I have patients to see, you know," he added, trying to sound important.

William, who had been going to say that he was needed back at the shop before closing time, looked at Adam in surprise. "Patients? On a Friday evening?"

Adam hummed. "Well, yes. I sort of promised I'd make a housecall. An old lady with arthritis…"

"I see," said Skittles. "And the name of this lady…?"

Adam tried to look shocked. "I can't reveal details about my patients."

"Well then," said Skittles, "since arthritis is hardly a life-threatening emergency, the lady will have to wait a while longer, while we have a little talk."

Turning to Bumblebee, he said: "Is there another room down here that we could use instead of the library, do you think? I found the atmosphere in there a bit stuffy."

If Bumblebee took offence that Skittles was not feeling over the moon about the library as interview room, he did not show it. "Maybe you'd prefer the drawing room then, sir," he suggested politely, pointing towards another door. This room was brighter than the library, with a smooth area rug in mild colors on the floor. The walls were covered with pictures, but most of them were light drawings and cheerful water colours. Skittles stopped to examine a pencil drawing of prancing horses. It was signed "Diana, 12 going on 13". Next to that one hung a drawing of a zebra, just signed "D". There was also a watercolour of magenta coloured butterflies with the same signature. Apparently, young Diana was quite an accomplished artist, Skittles thought to himself. The odd thing that struck him was that compared to the fragmentary images he had got from Diana's childhood so far, these pictures seemed breathe happiness and freedom rather than feelings of being shut up and stifled by conventions.

The butler withdrew, and Adam and Skittles sat down opposite each other at a table in the middle of the room. On the table stood a bowl of nectarines, looking juicy and delicious. Skittles felt his mouth watering, but this was not the right time to relax and eat fruit. He must concentrate on the interview. That lavender cowboy across the table – Skittles did not quite know himself where he got the expression from, maybe it was just the lavender shirt and blue jeans that the doctor was wearing. Hardly an outfit for professional housecalls come to think of it? Anyway, while Skittles had been talking to Diana, the doctor would have had plenty of time for preparations if indeed he had some reason or other not to tell the exact truth. And he, Skittles, was after all the detective, and had to be careful not to fall into the trap of accepting any corn pone opinions served to him on a plate.


Akelamalu said...

Another good episode! I agree with Skittles a doctor would hardly go to see a patient wearing a lavender shirt! ;)

Dr.John said...

I feel sorry for Skittles. He is trying so hard and has such strange people o deal with. But he holds on. Now I would have eaten a nectarine.
Well done

Raven said...

Another great chapter. I love the way you weave the words in so seamlessly and in fact use them to provide rich details that deepen the characters. I loved Diana's drawings. Well done with the lavender cowboy. What was my brain thinking when it spewed that one out?

Fandango said...

Did you know dragons like nectarines. My , my a lavender doctor who makes house calls. He is so good we could eat him. Don't worry we aren't aloud to eat people. We wish skittles lots of luck with this bunch.

DawnTreader said...

Fandango, I did not know that. I have a Swedish book on dragons, but it does not mention anything about nectarines. I'll make a note of it, you never know when such information might come in handy...

Richard said...

I am surprised to see that the Dr is a suspect. What will come of the interview? Good episode this week.

Heather said...

"...the fragmentary images he had got from Diana's childhood so far, these pictures seemed breathe happiness and freedom rather than feelings of being shut up and stifled..."
I like that part!

Stephen said...

I'm glad Skittles finally got his aspirin. I liked Diana's drawings. The doctor does seem to be a little strange, but the other people have their own quirks. Skittles may find this to be a difficult case. I enjoyed the story.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA


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