After they got better they were not well because they had a pain, a dreadful pain, that made them paralyzed when they ran, so they ate, sleeped, and did nothing but that until they were let back to their family. At the house they were cared for dearly until they went to their room, found the mirror, and remembered the Red Romer. So again we searched for the Red Romer, not his hideout for it was locked up, not his phone number for when he knew who was on the other end of the telephone he’d hang up, but what if we found him at a bank stealing money? But we did not know which bank he’d be at, at when, what time. The note when Anne pretended to be shot said to keep the police out of it, so they could not ask the police to find out where the Red Romer will be. We sighed. Maybe we were on a wild goose chase after all, but we did not know if it would be that hard after all, so we’d give it a try and try to find where he would be ourselves. So we thought hard for hours. Nobody came up with a answer. All sat with their head on their hands and their eyes closed. Suddenly Lee pointed to the Red Romer running through the field by them. “We better see where he’s going,” whispered Lee, so they ran after him. But ouch! They stood still. Then Lee was the first one to snap out of it. “Ouch, that paralyzing pain still hurts,” Lee said. “Oh he’s just going into his old tree house,” said Ben. “We ran for nothing,” said Lisette. “You bet,” said Sylvia. “Ouch ouch ouchety ouch,” said Anne. “Let us think right here. It will waste time to go back to the spot we were sitting in,” said Sylvia. So they thought for hours. But Ben said, “Silly sillies, we have to wait till that pain goes away.” And the others sadly regretted it was true, so they asked their parents when the pain would wear out. They said it would wear out in a month, so we made a calendar which had when the pain would go. Meanwhile we thought about our plans.
Like any girl or boy in the world knows, it is not very pleasant to wait unless you have something to amuse yourself. They thought hard about the matter, their heads hurt from thinking, but they dare not complain to their pleasant elderly 15-year-olds, Sylvia and Lee, who were sweet as everything in the bazaar that was good, charming as new blown silver, pink roses with hearts, sweeter than Venus herself to Ben and Lisette. Anne was lovely as a white rosebud half opened but never took the place of their charming elders, so they did as their elders asked, and doing their thinking was their wish. But as I have not told you before, Lisette was the smartest thinker in the group, so one day she came up with a marvelous idea. “Let’s hide behind his tree house. When he comes down we can follow him disguised as grass and leaves,” she said one gloomy evening when everybody had almost given up and gone to bed. “Splendid idea, Lisette,” they cried. Ben, who was better than everyone in the art of clothing and costumes, made five lovely little suits embroidered with careful stitches with real leaves sewn on with dyed string, and grass and dandelions, buttercups, tansy, wild aster, pansy, and wild rose. So that night in their suits they waited and waited on the wildflowers, waiting for the Red Romer, their hair in net-like caps that Sylvia and Lee had made.
But instead of going after the Red Romer, we found ourselves listening to the Red Romer talking to his band. He said:
“We’re going to Africa again.”
“‘Cause this place is filled with cops.”
“But we can get the cops.”
“But there is a great chick there.”
“What is her name?”
“Why the Simmer?”
“Because she simmers poison into drugs and drugs into food.”
“Wow, what a beauty.”
That was the end of the talk, that the Red Romer was getting married. So we wrote down all he said, scurried home, and slept.
In the morning our parents said, “You aren’t well. The doctor said you should go on a trip to a sunny place. The hot Congo, he says, is the cheapest trip.” What luck our friends have, if you don’t mind your author breaking in so promptly. But the Congo was where the Red Romer’s angel girl lives in her cell in a rotten basement full of dust and spider webs, rats and mice. She loves animals, so she gives her pets, as she calls them, cheese and bread crumbs, and they bring her poison and drugs to thank her.
The wedding was to be in a lovely meadow in the Congo. They waited. Soon Susan Simmer and Red Romer came and they talked with the men.
Red Romer: Somewhere the wedding will be.
Guy: Not in Paris. There’s Sylvia, Lee, Anne, Ben, and Lisette.
Guy: Not in town, too many cops.
Susan: How about here?
Red Romer: Great! You got brains, Susan.
Then all the robbers stole away and sent for the arrangements. It was to be at midnight at Spring Valley, nine months from then, and they would sleep together in Susan’s cell. So it would be at September 4th at midnight in Spring Meadow.
Now a robber’s marriage is loud and peaceful at the same time, but however you may think robbers are bad, their parties are wonderful. Cakes, pies, meat, and rice, with lace tablecloth and satin rug, paper lanterns and colored streamers fly here then there, balloons sway in the wind and big bells ring loudly, lace cloth flutters over rosewood table, and the bride comes in lace, roses, and ribbons, with veil over her face and train flowing in the wind, groom in a black velvet cloak and red silk robe and smiling always. After that the bride and groom take off their clothes and are locked together with gold and diamond and pearl chains and spread over with a black velvet cloth.
Mandrake was a well-trained Scottish terrier with a ear to hear all of our friends’ situations and rescue them at the time they most needed it. So he drove the Red Romer, Susan Simmer, and the Red Romer’s three men away with bites and scratches to the Red Romer’s hideout in Africa. He gave Susan a hard bad dog bite in her stomach. She was wrapped in tissue with herbs and wet cloths on her stomach, aching, wailing cries, hurting restlessly rolling on her side, screaming when thunder boomed and lightning flashed. The Red Romer spread acid on it and wiped it with cloths of iodine, washed it and bandaged it, wrapping her in cloths, sheets, and covering her with 37 quilts. She fainted and woke and screamed, but suddenly she fell asleep, and tossing and turning she whimpered in her sleep, and in the morning cried as if she were to die. Then she got better.
Days after, the girls spied on Susan and RR (RR is Red Romer), and as they spied they grew more and more frightened because Susan after the marriage was pregnant. Her tummy bulged full and a villain child would come to chill their hearts. Even if they did not know if the villain child would be a boy or girl, it would be a villain for sure. Six to chill them: a baby, a couple, and three men of the Red Romer’s property. He had twenty more in the hideout cell, so it was twenty-three to chill. We spied and spied at her in her big bed and her ten maidens with robes, veils, nets, and long full skirts and white boots. The maids’ names were 1 Velma, 2 Elma, 3 Una, 4 Tete, 5 Toabta, 6 Ming, 7 Frofo, 8 Findally, 9 Minba, 10 Ashim, all dressed the same in ghostly dresses. Finally Ben said, “Why are we afraid of their baby? She or he can’t get us because they’re a baby and babies can’t hurt. Susan can’t hurt us, she’ll be busy with the baby. Red Romer will be busy with Susan, the maidens will be looking after her, and RR’s gang are making out orders, orders like, ‘Build a baby bottle, a oven, a big brown crib, a cradle and soft quilt covering for the floor and walls, clean the place up, get Susan a heated pad, the baby’s kicking her stomach, build some rugs and toys, put on some dim-lighted bulbs for the light, get milk, cream, acid, butter, buttermilk, lots of food, pillows, quilts, mattresses, blankets, sheets, warming pan, iced sheets.’ That’s what he’ll be doing.” And Ben was right. RR was busy giving orders, thinking them up, telling his men where things were, and giving Susan pills to make her sleep. He got a robber doctor who helped give orders. Susan was wailing, “The baby’s kicking me from inside. Oh the pain, the pain, the pain. Help, it hurts, argheg ahhh eeeeeeek. Help, Reddy, ow. Reddy, Reddy, I repeat, come here! Ow, ouch, it hurts, OW, oh the pain. Make the baby stop, come before I get hoarse. Waaa, sniffle, sob, sob.” Susan never went out of bed. She ate and ate, wailed and wailed, read and read, slept and slept. She was nursed and nursed. One day she gave them such a hard day that they were sore by evening. “What a life!” they told each other. “Sometimes I wish I had not been born, I would rather die. But I trust old Redder, I’ve worked for him and there’s been worse times than this, packing for Africa, making bombs and firecrackers, stealing money, oil, and electricity. What a life! But if I ran away I’d be no better off, and it would make old Redder quite sad. But I’d love that that great chick Susan Simmer were mine. I’d give her satin, jewels, diamonds, silks and dresses, laces, meat, 92 flowers, candy, and who knows what else. Oh no, here comes another order. If I want to help old Redder, I better stop talking about Susan and get to work.” Susan’s maidens said the same things about it, and they almost panicked in nursing, feeding, and tending Susan Simmer. Those were bad old times!!!!!!!!
“Naptime for Anne, Ben, and Lisette,” cried the elders. Anne, Ben, and Lisette were 5, 4, and 3, so they had to take naps. Tall beautiful Sylvia and Lee carried them up the long stairs. They tucked them in. Then Lisette said,”Storytime. Tell us some of those mystery ones.” “Don’t we always?” answered the elders. Lee smiled pleasantly. “Sylvia is the good story-teller. I’ll listen along with you.” So Sylvia began.
This is the story of the haunted office. Every midnight when the moon and stars were out the moon winked to the office. When he did so a rosy glow filled the room and the old people jumped out of the photos on the desk and waited till the window opened and the stars ran into the room and the moon fairy in her moon shell carriage, with Pegasus to pull it, rode into the room, and the window shut, the carriage stopped, and Pegasus lay down on thin air. The moon fairy waved her wand and the dictionary opened and read to wisen the evening. It closed. Then the photo people danced around the fairy, the stars danced around the peacock feather, and the dried lavender perfumed the room, sweeting. But a warning came — dawn! The fairy rode out, the stars ran out, the window closed, the lavender hung tied to the rafters in the ceiling, the photo people ran into their photos, and the room became dark. And that’s the story. The end.
Lisette and Ben and Anne had fallen asleep. “Sleep sweetly and good night till we wake you,” whispered Lee and Sylvia. “Feel good in the morn.”
Go on to Chapter Thirteen