The Coast Was Clear
Posted by: Phil McAndrew
Book: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (purchase on Amazon)
The next morning Claudia and Jamie boarded the school bus as usual, according to plan. They sat together in the back and continued sitting there when they arrived at school and everyone got out of the bus. No one was supposed to notice this, and no one did. There was so much jostling and searching for homework papers and mittens that no one paid any attention to anything except personal possessions until they were well up the walk to school. Claudia instructed Jamie to pull his feet up and crouch his head down so that Herbert, the driver, couldn’t see him. He did, and she did the same.
Claudia and Jamie begin their great adventure by stowing away on the school bus after it’s dropped all the kids off at school. They hide in the back of the bus while Herbert drives the bus to the lot on Boston Post Road, where all the school buses are parked.
The bus bounced along like an empty cracker box on wheels- almost empty. Fortunately, the bumps made it noisy. Otherwise, Claudia would have worried for fear the driver could hear her heart, for it sounded to her like the electric percolator brewing the morning’s coffee. She didn’t like keeping her head down so long. Perspiration was causing her cheek to stick to the plastic seat; she was convinced that she would develop a medium-serious skin disease within five minutes after she got off the bus.
And so, according to plan, they stay hidden until well after Herbert parks and leaves.
When they got up, both were grinning. They peeked out the window of the bus, and saw that the coast was clear.
Entry filed under: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Tags: philmcandrew.