Charlie Bone and the Time Twister Part 24
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Mrs. Bloor began to run. "The time is perfect," she said. "There was a storm, you see, the night they broke my fingers. I can go back, now to the way I was. I can leave before they catch me." She put on a sudden spurt and Henry almost tripped as he tried to keep up with her.
"Suppose ..." he said breathlessly. "Suppose you go back to the wrong place."
"I won't, Henry I've been thinking so hard about where I want to be. I trust this ancient marble. I'll be five minutes ahead of them. This time I'll be through the doors and hailing a taxi before anyone knows I've gone."
"I don't think I can come with you," Henry panted. "But you must."
A voice bellowed down the corridor, "Dorothy STOP!"
"Faster, Henry!" cried Mrs. Bloor.
Henry felt as though his lungs were being crushed by an elephant. He couldn't keep running. He'd never breathe again.
"MANFRED, GET THEM!" roared Dr. Bloor.
As Manfred came bounding after the runaways, a short fat shape ambled across the corridor. There was a loud yell and Manfred tripped over Blessed. He fell headlong onto the floorboards, groaning and swearing.
"Blasted, wretched, hateful. . ."
While Manfred cursed the old dog, Mrs. Bloor swerved around a corner and under a low arch. Beyond the arch a flight of stone steps ascended to a narrow window "Bother," Mrs. Bloor panted as she mounted the steps. "I didn't mean to come this way but there's no help for it. Come along, Henry"
Henry had by now let go of Mrs. Bloor's arm. He was of two minds whether to follow her, but he didn't seem to have a choice.
"Come on, come on," she urged.
When she reached the top of the steps, Mrs. Bloor unlatched the window and appeared to leap into the air. Henry froze as a bolt of lightning lit the sky. Had his companion fallen to her death, or was she already twisting back through time? He scrambled up the steps and looked out.
Mrs. Bloor was standing in a wide passage between the roof and a long parapet. From the top of the parapet strange stone beasts looked out over the garden and the dark, faraway trees.
"Come on, dear," said Mrs. Bloor. "Don't be afraid." She was gazing at the Time Twister, and the glowing glass ball threw dazzling colors out into the night sky Henry couldn't help himself. He stepped toward her. Behind him came the thud of heavy footsteps.
Without taking her eyes from the Time Twister, Mrs. Bloor hitched the strap of her bag over her shoulder and grabbed a corner of Henry's cape. "A few more seconds," she breathed. "I can feel it, Henry. Soon we'll be gone."
She ran beside the parapet, tugging Henry with her, and laughing happily Henry wondered what would happen when they reached the end of the roof. But they never got that far. Mrs. Bloor's red coat began to shiver under the fierce white lightning. Her pale hair sparkled and scattered in a burst of starlight.
"Henry," came came a soft, disembodied voice. "There was something I meant to tell Charlie. I know where his father . . . but now it's too late . . . he'll never . . . oh, Henry we're going!" a soft, disembodied voice. "There was something I meant to tell Charlie. I know where his father . . . but now it's too late . . . he'll never . . . oh, Henry we're going!"
But Henry didn't want to go out there, there, to another world he didn't know He'd only just got used to this one. Slipping out of his cape, he flung himself behind one of the massive chimneys that rose above the roof. From the chimney's deep shadow he watched Mrs. Bloor twist into a bolt of rainbow colors - and disappear. There was a gentle floating laugh - and then nothing. to another world he didn't know He'd only just got used to this one. Slipping out of his cape, he flung himself behind one of the massive chimneys that rose above the roof. From the chimney's deep shadow he watched Mrs. Bloor twist into a bolt of rainbow colors - and disappear. There was a gentle floating laugh - and then nothing.
The wind died and the thunder rolled away but in a last brilliant shaft of lightning, Henry saw Manfred Bloor standing by the parapet. He was looking up into the sky and calling out. It was a faint strangled cry and Henry could have been mistaken, but it sounded very like the word "Mommy!"
"Has she gone, then?" Dr. Bloor shouted from the window "They've both gone," said Manfred, blowing his nose. He picked up Henry's blue cape. "The boy left this behind. I dare say he won't be needing be needing it where he's gone." it where he's gone."
"Wherever that is," muttered Dr. Bloor.
"Great-grandpa will be disappointed," said Manfred as he walked away from Henry's hiding place. "He wanted to have a bit more fun with the little beast."
Henry shuddered. What sort of fun? What sort of fun? he he wondered. wondered.
Manfred stepped through the window and closed it with a bang.
A wan moon peeped through the rolling clouds. Henry moved out from the shadows and looked down into the garden. He had no idea how he was going to get away without being seen. The Bloors Bloors were bound to catch him before he reached the ruin. And even if he got that far, the beast would be waiting for him. were bound to catch him before he reached the ruin. And even if he got that far, the beast would be waiting for him.
He ran to the window and found that it was locked. Cold and hungry Henry thought of the Pets' Cafe and the cakes Mrs. Onimous Onimous had promised him. had promised him.
"It just wasn't to be," he sighed.
He had almost decided to risk breaking the window when something swept through the air above him. A huge bird landed on the parapet, its great wings glistening with raindrops. Henry had never seen such a gigantic bird. Its beak had a cruel curve and each of its massive talons was like a shining scimitar. And yet Henry wasn't afraid. He sensed something friendly about the great creature, something almost kindly As he approached the bird it bent its head. Henry put his arms around the long feathered neck and closed his eyes.
At seven o'clock Benjamin went to see Charlie.
"I want to know what's happening about Henry," said Benjamin.
"I'm going to get Uncle Paton to ring Mr. Onimous Onimous soon," Charlie said. "It's horrible just waiting and waiting and not knowing what's going on." soon," Charlie said. "It's horrible just waiting and waiting and not knowing what's going on."
Benjamin and Runner Bean followed Charlie up to his room. Grandma Bone hadn't come home and this was worrying Charlie. Was she still waiting outside the Pets' Cafe? Would she be lurking there when Uncle Paton drove around to collect Henry? And what of the And what of the Yewbeam Yewbeam aunts? aunts? Was Henry still safe in the tunnel? That was another worrying question. Was Henry still safe in the tunnel? That was another worrying question.
After a while Charlie couldn't stand it any longer. He went to his uncle's room and knocked on the door. "It's me," said Charlie. "Uncle Paton, do you think you could call Mr. Onimous Onimous ? I'm worried about Henry." ? I'm worried about Henry."
"Very well," sighed sighed Paton. Paton. "If I can find my phone." "If I can find my phone."
At that moment the front door slammed and someone marched across the hall. Charlie recognized Grandma Bone's footsteps and ran back to his room.
A few minutes later Uncle Paton's troubled face looked around Charlie's door.
"I found the phone," said Paton. "I called Mr. Onimous Onimous . Henry's gone!" . Henry's gone!"
"What!" Charlie stared at his uncle in horror. "But how? "But how? Did Mr. Did Mr. Onimous Onimous look?" look?"
"He told me he went right to the end of the tunnel and out into the ruin. There was no sign of Henry The poor little man is very distressed."
"Henry went into the room with the sun," Charlie murmured. "He'd feel safe there. But why didn't he come back?"
"We'll have to wait," said Paton. "That's all we can do. Wait and hope. My father will be waiting, too."
"You mean . . ." Charlie suddenly realized what Paton meant.
"Yes, I've told him about Henry. That's That's where I was hoping to take him, to live with his brother by the sea." where I was hoping to take him, to live with his brother by the sea."
Waiting and hoping is a hard thing to do when you've already been waiting and hoping for almost as long as you can bear it. Terrible images kept springing into Charlie's mind. Henry being chased through the ruin, captured, eaten alive. Henry being chased through the ruin, captured, eaten alive.
Benjamin stayed as long as he could, but after another half hour he told Charlie he'd have to go home or his mom would start to worry "OK," Charlie said gloomily As Benjamin turned to go, Runner Bean rushed to the window and barked.
" Shhhhh Shhhhh !" said Benjamin. !" said Benjamin.
The big dog barked again. He stood on his hind legs and pawed the curtains.
"Shut up, Runner," said Benjamin. "Grandma Bone'll Bone'll catch us." catch us."
Runner Bean looked at his master and whined mournfully "We don't go out through the window" Benjamin said impatiently "Come on, Runner, this way."
"Ben!" Charlie jumped up. "I think there's something out there." He went to the window and drew back the curtains.
There was a large chestnut tree outside Charlie's window Sitting Sitting on a wide branch was Henry on a wide branch was Henry Yewbeam Yewbeam . He waved at Charlie and mouthed the word, "Hello!" . He waved at Charlie and mouthed the word, "Hello!"
Charlie dashed downstairs and out of the front door. He waited anxiously while Henry swung from a branch and dropped to the ground, then then the two boys ran into the house. the two boys ran into the house.
"Upstairs," Charlie whispered as he closed the front door.
Henry quickly mounted the stairs, but before he reached the top, Grandma Bone came out of the living room.
"Who's that boy?" she demanded.
"Benjamin." Charlie was halfway up the staircase.
"Oh?" she looked suspicious. "I hope that dog's not in your room."
"Of course not, Grandma."
Charlie followed Henry up to the landing, while Grandma Bone walked across to the kitchen.
"In here," said Charlie, quickly drawing Henry into his bedroom. "This is Benjamin."
"Hello! I'm Henry." While Charlie closed the door Henry shook Benjamin's hand and then the paw that Runner Bean was eagerly holding up to him. "I'm very pleased to meet you both," he said. "Please don't be alarmed."
Benjamin realized he was staring at Henry with his mouth open. "I'm Benjamin," he said. "You look quite normal."
"He is normal," said Charlie. "He's just . . ."
"Out of time," said Henry. He sat on the bed and announced, "I'm free. I'm safe. The Bloors Bloors think I've gone back, so they won't be looking for me." think I've gone back, so they won't be looking for me."
"I don't understand," said Charlie. "How did you get here?"
"It's a long story" said Henry and he began to describe his extraordinary adventure.
"You say a bird rescued you!" Benjamin exclaimed. "It must have been Emma!" said Charlie.
Benjamin and Henry looked baffled, so Charlie explained.
"I'd like to thank all your friends," said Henry "the ones who helped me."
Charlie told him there wouldn't be time to meet his friends. "Tonight Uncle Paton's taking us to a place where you'll be safe," he said. "We have to go before Grandma Bone finds out that you're in the house."
"Where will I go?" Henry looked worried.
"You're going home. To the house by the sea. To the house by the sea. And I'm coming with you. Just for the day And I'm coming with you. Just for the day It'll It'll be the very first time I've seen my great-grandpa." be the very first time I've seen my great-grandpa."
Henry frowned. And who's he?"
"He's your brother, James."
"James?" cried Henry "Little Jamie? He's still alive?"
If it hadn't been for Runner Bean, Henry might never have seen his brother again. With a low rumbling growl the dog stared at the door. Charlie pushed a startled Henry under the bed, and the door opened.
Grandma Bone stood on the threshold, glaring at Runner Bean. "You're a liar, Charlie Bone," she said coldly "You did have a dog in here. Get it out. Now!" Now!" She looked around the room, her long nose wrinkling like a pug's. "Who else are you hiding? What's been going on?" She looked around the room, her long nose wrinkling like a pug's. "Who else are you hiding? What's been going on?"
"Nothing, Mrs. Bone," said Benjamin. "My dog's dog's scared of storms so 1 brought him over here to take his mind off it." scared of storms so 1 brought him over here to take his mind off it."
"Storm's gone!" bellowed Grandma Bone. "Hadn't you noticed? Now go home."
"Yes, Mrs. Bone." Benjamin shuffled meekly past the tall woman in the doorway Runner Bean bared his teeth and directed one of his best growls at Grandma Bone's skinny ankles.
" Aaaah Aaaah !" she shrieked, backing out of the door. "Get him away from me." !" she shrieked, backing out of the door. "Get him away from me."
When Benjamin and his dog were safely out of the house, Grandma Bone looked in on Charlie and told him to get ready for bed.
"Yes, Grandma." He closed the door and ran to the window. Benjamin had just reached the other side of the road when Charlie looked out. He closed the door and ran to the window. Benjamin had just reached the other side of the road when Charlie looked out.
"Ben!" he called. "Pass on the news, will you? Tell the others what happened?"
Grandma Bone gave up wondering about all the creaking and whispering that went on in the house that night. As far as she was concerned, Henry Yewbeam Yewbeam had disappeared into the past - or the future - so whatever was going on was all childish nonsense and she couldn't be bothered with it. She drank a stiff whiskey and went to sleep. had disappeared into the past - or the future - so whatever was going on was all childish nonsense and she couldn't be bothered with it. She drank a stiff whiskey and went to sleep.
A J0URNEY TO THE SEA.
Charlie told the rest of the household about Henry's arrival, and, one by one, they began to visit the boy from the past.
Paton came first. He stood in the doorway for a second, second, blinking speechlessly and then he strode up to Henry exclaiming, "My dear, dear fellow, I can't believe it. This is just too wonderful for words." He shook Henry's hand vigorously "I've heard so much about you. My father idolized you, you know." blinking speechlessly and then he strode up to Henry exclaiming, "My dear, dear fellow, I can't believe it. This is just too wonderful for words." He shook Henry's hand vigorously "I've heard so much about you. My father idolized you, you know."
"Did he?" said Henry "1 suppose suppose I'm your uncle." I'm your uncle."
While Paton was still chuckling over this, Amy Bone looked in.
"This is my mom," Charlie told Henry And you're Henry" Mrs. Bone gazed at Henry as if she couldn't quite believe her eyes. All that way," she murmured. "All those years, I should say. So it really can happen."
Was she thinking of his father? Charlie wondered. Charlie wondered. Was Was she wishing that he too might come twisting through time to be with her again? she wishing that he too might come twisting through time to be with her again?
As Henry and Mrs. Bone solemnly shook hands, Henry said, "Mrs. Bloor told me she knew. . ." and then he seemed to change his mind.
There was no time to ask Henry what Mrs. Bloor knew because, at that moment, Maisie Maisie arrived on the scene. arrived on the scene.
"He looks a bit like Charlie, doesn't he?" she said.
"Mm. Just a little," said Amy Just a little," said Amy Wherever Henry had come from, it didn't matter to Maisie Maisie ; he was a boy in trouble and therefore in need of a hug. "You poor, poor thing," she cried, almost squeezing the life out of him. "You look half-starved. Come to the kitchen this minute and I'll cook up a feast." ; he was a boy in trouble and therefore in need of a hug. "You poor, poor thing," she cried, almost squeezing the life out of him. "You look half-starved. Come to the kitchen this minute and I'll cook up a feast."
"I don't think that'd be a good idea," said Charlie. "Grandma Bone might come down."
Charlie Bone and the Time Twister Part 24
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Charlie Bone and the Time Twister Part 24 summary
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