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THE DOOR BANGS
An exciting summer adventure began for Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden with the bang of a door.
Something terrible must have happened to Grandfather. He slammed the door and all he said was "Hello." He always says. "Well, hello, Benny, and how are you today?"
Where is Grandfather now?
In his office with the door shut.
We should go talk to him.
I wonder what's wrong.
The children thought Grandfather looked tired.
Don't be afraid to talk to us, Grandfather!
That's right. We always tell you our troubles. We're here to help you.
I wish you could. But I don't know what you can do.
I got a letter about my sister. You didn't know I had a sister, did you?
Where does she live?
Out west on a ranch. Jane is old and very cross. The neighbor who stays with her is going to leave because she is so hard to live with.
Grandfather, who sent you the letter?
Maggie. She's the one who stays with Jane.
But what does Maggie say?
She said that all Jane does is stay in bed, even though she's not sick.
Maggie also said that Jane wants to see my grandchildren.
I think I know a way to help.
Violet, are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Grandfather, Violet and I would like to take care of Aunt Jane.
Please let us go!
I just wonder if Jane will be nice to you.
We're not worried about that. Jessie and I would be company for each other.
Telephone, Grandfather! Tell Maggie that the girls are coming, and everything will be all right.
Jane doesn't have a telephone, so I'll send a telegram.
Grandfather told Jessie and Violet that Maggie's brother, Sam Weeks, lived next door to Jane. Sam and his wife were kind people, and they'd take Violet and Jessie to the train station to send telegrams back every day.
Jessie and Violet were excited to be heading to Aunt Jane's ranch.
The hours passed quickly for the two girls, because everything was new.
At their stop at Centerville early the next morning, the only other passenger got off the train as well.
I'm getting off here, too. May I help you with your bags?
Why yes, thank you.
Thank you for carrying the bags. It was very kind of you.
Not at all.
Are you Miss Alden?
I'm Jessie Alden. And this is Violet. Are you Maggie?
Yes, I'm Maggie. I'm very glad to see you.
Where did that man go?
I don't know. Not many people get off here. I wonder why he came to Centerville.
Benny would say that he was "a mystery man."
Jessie and Violet were thrilled to ride in a horse-drawn wagon.
AUNT JANE'S FIRST MEAL
So you're James Alden's grandchildren.
He is very worried about you, Aunt Jane.
The little woman smiled slightly when she heard the young lady call her "Aunt Jane."
"Worried? Pooh! What's the matter with the other girl? Can't she talk?
I shall talk so much you'll be tired of hearing me.
I'll never be tired of hearing that soft voice.
I'll put them in the big bedroom. Is that all right?
Put them anywhere. Now leave me. I'm tired.
Maggie told the children that Aunt Jane rarely ate and that's why she spent all day in bed. But Jessie and Violet were hungry, so they decided to make a wonderful breakfast.
My, that smells good!
Aunt Jane, this is delicious. Violet and I made it for you.
Drink it slowly. As Benny would say, "Don't rush it."
Benny is the funniest boy you ever saw. Aunt Jane. He a great little brother.
And Henry, our older brother, is very clever, kind, and thoughtful.
If your brothers are like you, I'd like to meet them. Now take the glass away. I'm tired.
Excerpted from Mystery Ranch & Mike's Mystery by Christopher Long, Stephanie Hedlund, Mike Dubisch. Copyright © 2009 Abdo Consulting Group, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
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Posted July 16, 2013