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Saturday, 26 September 2009
Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #82
The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 30 – Interview with the General
Raven's Wordzzle #82
Tibetan sky, symbols, won’t you come home Bill Baily, shadow figures, brain cortex, practice makes perfect, life, start of school, lavender, chow down
mental hospital, falling leaves, apple cider, packing crates, clues
After leaving Dr Challenge's house, Skittles decided to go to the hospital to check how the Brigadier General was doing. He found the General sitting in his bed trying to chow down his breakfast. He did not seem to recognize Skittles. A young nurse was making up an empty bed next to him, while singing "Won't you come home Bill Baily". The sheets were the colour of lavender. She stopped singing when Skittles entered, and smiled at him while tucking in the last corner. "There, practice makes perfect!" she said. "Are you looking for someone?"
Skittles introduced himself and asked in a low voice if it would be all right if he talked a little to the General. The girl nodded towards a frosted window, behind which some shadow figures could be seen moving.
"You had better ask the head nurse first," she said. So Skittles went out into the corridor, and then into the nurse's office.
"Hm," said the head nurse. "Police, eh? I'm not sure the patient is up to being questioned. He has not been quite coherent. The doctor says the problem is probably in his brain cortex. But all right. You may try. No more than ten minutes, though!"
Skittles went back into the General's room and sat down on a chair beside the bed.
"Good morning, General," he said. "Do you remember me, Lieutenant Skittles? We met yesterday, in your garden, after your" – Skittles made a short pause – "accident."
The General looked sharply at him.
"I'm in a mental hospital, aren't I?" he asked. "Are you here to get me out, or to get me locked up for good?"
"No," said Skittles. "I mean… This is not a mental hospital, it is a regular hospital. You were in a kind of accident and probably had a bit of a shock yesterday. I just wanted to ask you if you remember what happened?"
The General seemed to be thinking hard.
"We were picking apples to make apple cider," he said. "After start of school, but before the falling leaves, you know. But then one of the packing crates fell on me."
Skittles did not know how to respond to this. This must refer to some much earlier event in the General's life.
"Eh… I'm afraid that cannot have been yesterday," he said.
"No?" said the General, looking surprised. "Let me think…" He leaned back on the pillows, and closed his eyes. Skittles was almost sure he had fallen asleep, when he suddenly looked up again.
"Tibetan sky burials!" said the General triumphantly. "I was reading about them, in that magazine with the strange symbols on the front cover."
Skittles sighed, and gave up hope of getting any real clues out of the Brigadier General as to what had really happened the day before.