Novel Excerpt

MRS. GRIFFIN IS MISSING AND OTHER STORIES

CHAPTER THREE

“Mrs. Griffin would never leave her window open, especially living on the first floor,” Sonny said later that afternoon. “But it was. Not all the way, but enough for somebody to get inside.” Bobby was out of breath as he told Sonny what he saw… “We gotta go back down there,” Sonny said… “We’ll go later tonight.” …Later that evening, while Sonny went down the stairs, Bobby crept down the fire escape again. the light from the moon and from the windows of all the buildings that bordered the yard made it easier for Bobby to see his way. Mr. Brown, the super,  was nowhere in sight. Climbing into Mrs. Griffin’s apartment, Bobby closed the curtains, flipped the light switch, and rushed to the door to let Sonny in. “Where should I start?” Bobby asked as they stood in Mrs. Griffin’s living room. “Start from one side of the room and tell me everything you see.” Mrs. Grififn’s living room was furnished modestly. Her furniture was old but of good quality. Crocheted doilies covered the arms of the chairs and tabletop. Fading photographs of her family and friends stood on the mantelpiece. On top of her piano were books of poetry, novels, biographies, folktales and books on etiquette…. The boys ventured into her bedroom. Her bed covers were folded down neatly, yet it didn’t look as if anyone had slept in her bed…Though neat and orderly, it seemed as if every available space was crammed full. Mrs. Griffin’s long life stretched the tiny apartment to its limits. If anything was missing, Bobby couldn’t tell. The dress Mrs. Griffin wore the last time they’d seen her was hanging just inside the closet door….On the dresser, her purse lay half hidden beneath a scarf….Their inspection yielded little results. The boys returned to where they started. “Look here,” Bobby said picking up a folded piece of paper from beneath the coffee table. “Coming soon to Tiny’s Haven, the Dwight Hopkins Trio,” he read. “What  would Mrs. Griffin be doing with an ad from a nightclub?” asked Sonny. Suddenly he sniffed the air. “Smells like somebody’s been smoking. Do you smell it?” Bobby searched around until he saw it. On the coffee table, a cigarette butt crushed out in one of Mrs. Griffin’s good plates. “Do you think maybe it was one of her friends?” Sonny asked. “I don’t think so. Mrs. Griffin don’t allow nobody to smoke around her. That’s what my daddy told me.” “We’d better go,” Sonny said nervously. “Yeah, I think so, too.” Bobby felt uneasy.

ISBN 0-595-37041-1      $11.95

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