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Saturday, 5 September 2009
Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #79
The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 27 – Letters
Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 79:
Spam, perpetual motion, sprinkle, telephone pole, stains, alphabetical, surgery, flattery, liberty, preservation
shadows, singularity, Florida, caterpillars, copy
Back down in the hall, Skittles had intended to leave the house through the front door and go home, but suddenly changed his mind. Instead, he went back into the library, which now lay mostly in shadows. The doors to the terrace were still open, letting an evening breeze in. Outside, he could hear the faint swooshing of the watering device in perpetual motion, still distributing an even sprinkle of water over the lawn. He closed the door to the hall behind him, then also the doors to the terrace before he switched on the light. He went behind the General's desk to have a glance at the books. He was soon able to establish that if they were arranged in any kind of order, at least it was not alphabetical. "Preservation of liberty" he read on the back of one. "Caterpillars in World War I" it said on another. Skittles decided not to waste any more time on the books; it was something else that had made him go back in here. He went over to the ginger jar with the sunflower pattern, lifted the lid and peered down into it. Yes. The letter was still there. He had completely forgotten to ask Diana why she had put it there, he had only remembered it as he came downstairs again. He took the letter out and looked at it. It was addressed to Diana c/o the General's address, and it was postmarked in Miami. He turned it over. Nothing on the back, except for a few ink stains. What was it she had said about the plot in her book… something involving a blackmail letter and postage… and he was sure Florida had been mentioned, too. Skittles weighed the letter in his hand and in his mind for a while. Then he sighed and put it back into the jar. Being intrigued by a young lady's singularity was hardly reason enough for him to open a letter that she claimed to have written to herself. Flattery might be a better way to get her to explain. But not tonight. Skittles put the letter back in the jar, turned off the light, opened the glass doors to the terrace and went out into the night.
Upstairs, Diana had turned her computer on again to print out a copy of her next translation assignment, and was annoyed to find her email inbox full of spam. What she had hoped to be serious job offers turned out to be an offer of cheap plastic surgery, and instructions how to climb a telephone pole. Diana did not consider herself in need of either.