Charlie Bone and the Time Twister Part 25

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"Drat Grandma Bone," said Maisie Maisie . "What's she up to now? If she so much as lays a finger on this poor boy I'll give her a good wallop." . "What's she up to now? If she so much as lays a finger on this poor boy I'll give her a good wallop."

" Maisie Maisie , dear, please lower your voice," said Paton in a quiet, but commanding tone. "If you want to help, you can bring a snack up to Charlie's room. And we shall need food and blankets for a long journey to the coast. I did mention it before." , dear, please lower your voice," said Paton in a quiet, but commanding tone. "If you want to help, you can bring a snack up to Charlie's room. And we shall need food and blankets for a long journey to the coast. I did mention it before."

"Yes, Paton," Maisie Maisie said patiently "I hadn't forgotten." said patiently "I hadn't forgotten."

"Come on, Mom, we've got work to do," said Amy The two women went downstairs to prepare a picnic basket while Henry chose some of Charlie's clothes to wear in his new life.

"It'll be so strange," he said to Charlie. "I was always the oldest. 1 took care of James. What's he going to make of it all?"



"I can't wait to find out," said Charlie.

At ten minutes to twelve, Charlie and Henry climbed into Uncle Paton's midnight blue car. They were followed by a pile of blankets and pillows and a huge basket of food.

"You help yourselves whenever you're hungry," said Maisie Maisie as she stuffed cushions behind their heads and tucked blankets around their legs. as she stuffed cushions behind their heads and tucked blankets around their legs.

Paton was already in the driver's seat glancing impatiently at his watch. He was a man of habit and he liked to leave for the coast on the stroke of midnight. As the great cathedral clock began to ring out across the city he said, "Snuggle down, boys! We'll have breakfast by the sea."

The car doors were slammed and Mrs. Bone and Maisie Maisie waved and blew kisses from the curb, as Paton drove slowly up waved and blew kisses from the curb, as Paton drove slowly up Filbert Street Filbert Street . In case of lamp accidents, he liked to keep to the side roads, and after driving down several badly lit alleys, they were suddenly deep in the countryside. Here there were no lights at all, except for the odd twinkle from a cowshed or a porch light. . In case of lamp accidents, he liked to keep to the side roads, and after driving down several badly lit alleys, they were suddenly deep in the countryside. Here there were no lights at all, except for the odd twinkle from a cowshed or a porch light.

Charlie was beginning to drift off to sleep when a question popped into his head. "You told my mom Mrs. Bloor knew something," he said to Henry "What did she know?"

Henry yawned. "It was about your father," he mumbled sleepily "Just before she disappeared she said there was something she meant to tell you. I think she knew where your father was."

Charlie sat bolt upright, throwing his pillow to the floor. "Didn't she tell you?" he demanded.

"No," Henry murmured. "She just vanished."

"What did she say exactly?" Charlie asked frantically There was no answer. Henry had fallen asleep, and Charlie didn't have the heart to wake him.

"Did you hear that, Uncle Paton?" said Charlie. "Mrs. Bloor knew where my father was - or is."

"I heard, Charlie. Perhaps it means that he isn't very far away We'll We'll find him one day That's a promise." find him one day That's a promise."

Charlie thought he would never sleep after this amazing piece of news, but before he knew it, his eyes were closed.

Whether he was awake or dreaming, Charlie could never be sure, but at some time during their long journey to the sea, his uncle began to talk about the Red King. Perhaps Charlie had mentioned the vanishing tree he had seen in the snow or the strange red tree that had appeared in the king's portrait, but Paton's words remained very clear in his head.

"I believe he is a tree, Charlie. That's what my books seem to tell me. When the king lived in the great forests with only the trees and his leopards for company, he became a part of the forest himself Can trees move, you might ask? Who can say? Who is to know if a tree standing in a field at dawn, cannot later be seen in a castle ruin, or in the shadows of a great park? Perhaps, one day you'll find out."

When Charlie opened his eyes again, he saw a great sweep of gray sea. They were traveling along a narrow cliff road and light was beginning to fill the sky He nudged Henry who was still asleep beside him. Henry stirred and rubbed his eyes.

"Look!" said Charlie. "The sea!" "The sea!"

Henry looked out of the window "I know this place," he cried. "We're nearly home."

" There's There's a few miles to go, yet," said Paton. "Let's have breakfast." a few miles to go, yet," said Paton. "Let's have breakfast."

There was a shout of agreement from the boys and soon they were enjoying Maisie's Maisie's feast. A cold wind was howling outside, and so they ate in the car, watching the huge foamy breakers crashing onto the shore below. feast. A cold wind was howling outside, and so they ate in the car, watching the huge foamy breakers crashing onto the shore below.

When breakfast was over they set off again. The road ran beside the sea almost the whole way and Charlie never tired of watching the waves, the tumbling cliffs, and the misty islands far out in the water. And then they turned a corner and Henry cried, "We're here!"

Ahead of them was a small bay where the sea was calm and blue. As they drove down toward the beach, sunlight spilled over the horizon and the water became a sheet of sparkling glass. It was like entering another country Gone were the dark clouds and the winter wind. Gone were the wild waves pounding the shingle. shingle.

"What's happened?" said Charlie. "Everything's gone calm."

"Like a spell," breathed Henry They parked on a patch of grass beside the beach. On the other side of the road, Charlie could see a white house perched on top of a steep cliff.

"Is that it?" he asked Henry.

Henry just nodded.

They crossed the road and climbed two flights of whitewashed steps set into the cliff Uncle Paton went first with Charlie following. But Henry hung back. He seemed to be afraid of what he might find in the house at the top of the steps.

There was a porch with a blue painted door at the side of the house. Paton let himself in and Charlie stepped in after him. They went through another door and into a room that seemed to be full of sunlight.

An old man came toward them. His hair was white and his eyes were gray and although he was obviously very old, his face looked young, somehow as though all his wrinkles had come from smiling and sea weather.

"I saw you arrive," said the old man, giving Paton a big hug. "So this is Charlie. Well, well, well! At last we meet!"

"At last," said Charlie, while his great-grandfather clutched him to his chest.

Henry was standing just inside the door. He was staring at the old man. And then the old man saw him, and they just gazed at each other, without saying a word.

At last Henry said, "Jamie!" as if somewhere under all those wrinkles, he'd suddenly seen his little brother; the boy he'd left behind when he went to play his last game of marbles.

James Yewbeam Yewbeam still couldn't speak. His eyes had a glittery tearful look, and Paton took Charlie aside while the two brothers hugged each other. still couldn't speak. His eyes had a glittery tearful look, and Paton took Charlie aside while the two brothers hugged each other.

It was almost too much for the old man. He sank into an armchair and shook his head, over and over again. "I can't believe it," he said. "It's really you!" He reached into his pocket and brought out a small leather bag. "Look, Henry I've still got the marbles."

Henry sat on the arm of his chair. "I'll teach you how to play Ring Taw" he said.

"About time, too," said James with a laugh.

And then another extraordinary thing happened. A door opened and Cook walked into the room. Or was it Cook?

"Cook?" said Charlie.

"Not Cook," said the woman. "I'm Cook's sister, Pearl Pearl ." ."

"So that's why the sea was so calm," Henry murmured.

Pearl nodded and gave him a big smile. It turned out that nodded and gave him a big smile. It turned out that Pearl Pearl had been James had been James Yewbeam's Yewbeam's housekeeper for twenty years. housekeeper for twenty years. Ever since his wife died. Ever since his wife died.

They all began to talk about Henry's future. How he would go to the local school beyond the bay "It's small and friendly" said Pearl Pearl . "Henry will fit in perfectly He can start in the summer term, when Charlie's filled him in a bit about all these newfangled things like cell phones and videos and whatnot." . "Henry will fit in perfectly He can start in the summer term, when Charlie's filled him in a bit about all these newfangled things like cell phones and videos and whatnot."

It was decided that Charlie would come to see Henry once a month, every time that Paton visited his father.

"And over the holidays, too," said Henry "Charlie must come here over the holidays."

"Of course," said Paton.

Charlie had never had a vacation by the sea. It was something he'd always dreamed about, but he'd never really believed it would happen. He looked through the window at the sparkling water and the sandy beach.

He didn't have to wait long to visit the beach. Old James Yewbeam Yewbeam had been awake all night, and now, after all the excitement he fell fast asleep in his chair. Paton went upstairs for a snooze before his long drive back to the city and had been awake all night, and now, after all the excitement he fell fast asleep in his chair. Paton went upstairs for a snooze before his long drive back to the city and Pearl Pearl began to prepare a meal. began to prepare a meal.

"You two should go down to the shore," she told the boys. "You both look as if you could do with some fresh air."

They didn't need any more encouragement. Charlie and Henry spent the rest of the day on the beach. They skimmed pebbles across the water, jumped over rock pools, and explored the caves that Henry knew so well.

All too soon night clouds began to roll in across the water, and Uncle Paton was calling the boys to supper.

They sat around a table in the bay window where they could watch the moonlit water. There were candles on the table but the rest of the room was in darkness. Old Mr. Yewbeam Yewbeam always removed the always removed the lightbulbs lightbulbs on Paton's visits. As Charlie dug into the delicious supper that on Paton's visits. As Charlie dug into the delicious supper that Pearl Pearl had prepared, he couldn't help thinking of Cook in her little underground rooms, far away from the sea and the sun. had prepared, he couldn't help thinking of Cook in her little underground rooms, far away from the sea and the sun.

"I wish Cook could find a place like this to live," he said.

Pearl told him that Cook was very happy where she was. She loved keeping an eye on the children at Bloor's Academy "We talk on the phone for hours," said told him that Cook was very happy where she was. She loved keeping an eye on the children at Bloor's Academy "We talk on the phone for hours," said Pearl Pearl . "And Treasure - that's her name - Treasure tells me everything that's been going on with you children of the Red King, and sometimes I think it's me who's missing out." . "And Treasure - that's her name - Treasure tells me everything that's been going on with you children of the Red King, and sometimes I think it's me who's missing out."

"But now you've got Henry," said Charlie.

"Now I've got Henry" Pearl Pearl 's eyes twinkled. "And I can see that he's going to be quite a handful." 's eyes twinkled. "And I can see that he's going to be quite a handful."

They all laughed at this, and then Uncle Paton stood up, saying, "Come on, Charlie. We've got to get you home, or you'll never be awake in time for school tomorrow."

"School," sighed Charlie. He wished he could have stayed a little longer.

The two brothers - one so old and the other still young - stood at the top of the cliff steps and waved good-bye as Paton and Charlie climbed into the midnight blue car. Charlie snuggled down in the seat beside his uncle and the car roared into life.

"I think Henry's going to be OK, don't you?" he said.

"OK?" said Paton. "He's going to be absolutely splendid. Well done, Charlie!"

paton has a party has a party Every year, on Uncle Paton's birthday Grandma Bone and her sisters took a short trip. They hated having to buy presents or indulge in "nonsensical celebrations," as Grandma Bone put it.

This year, Paton's birthday was on the first day of the break. Maisie Maisie decided that before Charlie and his uncle set off for the coast again, Paton should have a real party for a change. decided that before Charlie and his uncle set off for the coast again, Paton should have a real party for a change.

"We've never had a real party here before," she said. "But Charlie's new friends have got such interesting parents, parents, we really ought to get to know them." we really ought to get to know them."

Invitations were sent out and, surprisingly everyone accepted. Even the judge. Even the judge.

The party was kept secret from Grandma Bone in case she tried to put a stop to it. Maisie Maisie managed to hide the champagne under a sack in the pantry and the birthday cake was put in a crate marked managed to hide the champagne under a sack in the pantry and the birthday cake was put in a crate marked CAULIFLOWER CAULIFLOWER . Grandma Bone hated cauliflower so she kept well away from it. . Grandma Bone hated cauliflower so she kept well away from it.

On the morning before the party Charlie carried his grandmother's suitcase down the stairs. Grandma Bone was right behind him when he crossed the hall to the front door. There was a bang and the sound of breaking glass. Charlie dropped the case and look around.

"Oh dear," said Grandma Bone. "That picture's broken again, and Paton's just had new glass put in it."

The photo of Henry and his family lay on the floor; the glass in the frame had smashed into a thousand pieces. Had Grandma Bone knocked it down on purpose? She had a nasty smile on her face.

"Well, it's good riddance to him," she said, pushing the frame with the toe of her boot.

Charlie didn't say a word. If only she knew the truth, If only she knew the truth, he thought. he thought.

Once she was out of the house, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

"To work," cried Maisie Maisie . "Let's make this old house like a palace!" . "Let's make this old house like a palace!"

At seven o'clock, their work complete, Maisie Maisie and Paton, Charlie and his mother, waited for their guests to arrive. and Paton, Charlie and his mother, waited for their guests to arrive.

Tancred and his parents came first. As soon as the Torssons Torssons walked through the front door, all the candles flickered violently A few went out. walked through the front door, all the candles flickered violently A few went out.

"Sorry!" boomed Mr. Torsson Torsson . "We'll try and keep the breezes to ourselves." . "We'll try and keep the breezes to ourselves."

Maisie was delighted. "How clever," she said. "We could do with a bit of fresh air in here." was delighted. "How clever," she said. "We could do with a bit of fresh air in here."

Benjamin and the detectives came next, and they were quickly followed by Fidelio and the singing Gunns Gunns , and Gabriel and his parents. Mr. Silk wrote murder mysteries and when he heard that Mr. and Mrs. Brown were private detectives he whipped out his notebook and was soon deep in conversation with Mr. Brown. , and Gabriel and his parents. Mr. Silk wrote murder mysteries and when he heard that Mr. and Mrs. Brown were private detectives he whipped out his notebook and was soon deep in conversation with Mr. Brown.

The Onimouses Onimouses , the flame cats, and the Vertigos arrived at the same time. Olivia's father was a famous film director and immediately wanted to know if Mr. , the flame cats, and the Vertigos arrived at the same time. Olivia's father was a famous film director and immediately wanted to know if Mr. Onimous Onimous had considered a career in the movies. "I'm casting for The Wind in the Willows right now;" he said. had considered a career in the movies. "I'm casting for The Wind in the Willows right now;" he said.

"I'll consider it," said Mr. Onimous Onimous . .

By eight o'clock the party was in full swing. Charlie thought everyone had arrived, but Paton told him that there was just one more guest to come. A few minutes later the bell rang. Charlie opened the front door and found Cook on the doorstep.

" Pearl Pearl 's been keeping me up-to-date about Henry It's a happy ending for him, after all." 's been keeping me up-to-date about Henry It's a happy ending for him, after all."

"And Mrs. Bloor," said Charlie.

He took Cook into the kitchen where Gabriel Silk was helping to serve the drinks.

"There's just one thing I'd like to know;" said Cook, sipping her glass of wine. "Where did Dorothy find that marble?"

"I gave it to her," said Gabriel. "Well, she asked me for it."

Charlie was surprised to hear this.

"Well, well," said Cook, "and where did you find it?"

"Mr. Pilgrim gave it to me," said Gabriel.

"Of course." Cook nodded slowly "Mr. Pilgrim is a mysterious man." Cook nodded slowly "Mr. Pilgrim is a mysterious man."

"Where do you think Mrs. Bloor is now?" asked Charlie.

"She'll be in Paris Paris , just as she always intended. She'll have gotten herself a nice little apartment and soon she'll be giving violin lessons. Maybe she'll join an orchestra. Who knows? She'll be playing her violin again, which is all she ever wanted. And she'll be safe." Cook looked at Gabriel. "Thank you, Gabriel." , just as she always intended. She'll have gotten herself a nice little apartment and soon she'll be giving violin lessons. Maybe she'll join an orchestra. Who knows? She'll be playing her violin again, which is all she ever wanted. And she'll be safe." Cook looked at Gabriel. "Thank you, Gabriel."

There was a sudden loud bang on the front door. It came again. Someone wasn't even bothering to ring the bell.

BANG! BANG! BANG!.

"Whoever . . . ?" said Paton.

Charlie Bone and the Time Twister Part 25

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Charlie Bone and the Time Twister Part 25 summary

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