He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And searched through the book for the typos that lurk.
His fingers a blur as they tapped at the keys,
He fixed up the text with the greatest of ease.
A deathly silence fell on the diminished crowd. Then frightened voices erupted in a mad babble of sheer panic, filling the room with their cries.
"I'm not going to stay in the same room with HarryT
if he's upset about his precious book."
"I didn't do it! I swear I'm innocent."
"Maybe the butler did it." *snicker*
"Papers must be signed before midnight."
"Hey - where are the rest of my Wiki
" shouted Alex
. "Here's what we're going to do. Jellby
and I will walk HarryT
to the library and search it to make sure no one is lurking there. Then we'll lock him in. Then I'll go back to the office with Jellby
and sign those darn papers. The rest of you stay together until I get back! If you have to split up, stay in pairs! Got it?"
Five heads nodded silently in unison.
, and HarryT
walked down the hall to the library. After a short time, they heard the key turn in the door lock and Alex
shout "You're safe now Harry
! No one can get in until I get back -- I've got the only key."
then left the house, Jellby
clutching his clipboard and murmuring endlessly about increased coverage limits and personal liability.
, and Nate
sat down and tried not to stare at one another. The silence became almost painful in its intensity. The stockings swung slowly, like pendulums, while the fire crackled cheerfully.
"I'm beginning to envy Harry
" muttered DaleDe
, "At least he's getting to do something fun .... that is, fun for him. While we have to sit here and try not to get murdered."
"I know, let's play a game to pass the time" suggested dreams
. "Who's up for Hangman?"
She became aware that everyone was staring at her. "OK, bad choice. What would you suggest?"
"Truth or Consequences?" someone sniggered in a low voice.
"I heard that! That's not funny! I'm innocent! I'm being framed! And I'm getting tired ....."
' tirade was abruptly cut short by a loud bang that shook the entire house!
"What was that? Did a tree fall on the house? An earthquake?"
Plaster dust drifted slowly down from the ceiling like a gentle snow flurry, dusting the upturned perplexed faces.
"It sounded like something heavy fell over ... like a refrigerator or something." Nate
Just then, ravenne
poked her head around the kitchen door and asked "What fell over? It knocked all the glassware off the shelves! It sounded like a ton of books!"
! He's in the library! Surrounded by bookshelves! Tall, heavy bookshelves! We haven't completed the digitization project yet."
The group ran down the hallway in a mad rush. WT Sharpe
suddenly skidded to a halt. "Wait a minute ... Alex
said he had the only key ... so how are we going to get in to see if HarryT
is all right?"
Everyone shrugged and took off again. As they slid around the last corner, their eye met a horrible sight. The library door was open ... wide open .... and one light was on.
The cautiously approached the open portal and peered inside.
"Oh no! It can't be! It's not possible!" screamed dreams
All eyes were glued to the grisly scene. A bookcase had fallen on top of Harry's favorite reading chair, crushing it (and HarryT
) flat .... underneath the Mystery and Crime Reading Recommendations
section. The heavy mahogany shelving had toppled over, spilling tons of hard cover books atop the chair. Only HarryT
's shoes were visible, poking out from under a stack of Arthur Conan Doyle tomes.
"How the heck could anyone push over that shelf? It must weigh tons." asked DaleDe
. "And where is the murderer?"
Everyone began frantically searching the library, looking for clues .... or a hiding malefactor.
"Look guys! It was a booby-trap!" shouted WT Sharpe
Everyone ran over to WT Sharpe
-- white faced and shaking ... pointing to the floor. "The murderer used an umbrella as a fulcrum ... pushed one end under the bottom of the shelf and the handle under HarryT
's chair. When he sat down, his weight pushed the umbrella, lifting the shelf enough to topple it on top of his chair! The cunning fiend laid a perfect trap! HarryT
killed himself by sitting down to read!"
All eyes turned once again towards dreams
.... who retreated towards the open doorway, trembling in every limb.
"Yes, that's one of my umbrellas, but I didn't put it there. I leave my umbrellas all over the place ... anyone could have picked one up and used it!"
," pointed out WT Sharpe
, "Didn't you tell HarryT
to edit his book in the library tonight? Why else would he dare to come here alone?"
"Yes, I did .... but that was before all the killings began! How was I to know that it wouldn't be safe?"
The others began to circle dreams
, as she continued to head towards the open door. She abruptly turned and ran back down the hall to the living room.
"I wonder who unlocked the door..."
"Guys? Where's Nate
[End of Episode 8]