He heard the voices of two men talking over the sound of water running in the sink.

August 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm 2 comments

Posted by: Phil McAndrew
Book: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
(purchase on Amazon

Jamie stood on the toilet seat waiting. He leaned his head against the wall of the booth and braced himself for what would happen next. The guard would come in and make a quick check of his station. Jamie still felt a ping during that short inspection; that was the only part that still wasn’t quite routine, and that’s why he braced himself. Then the lights would be turned out. Jamie would wait twelve minutes (lag time, Claudia called it) and emerge from hiding.

Except.

Except the guard didn’t come, and Jamie couldn’t relax until after he felt that final ping. And the lights stayed on, stayed on. Jamie checked his watch ten times within five minutes; he shook his arm and held the watch up to his ear. It was ticking slower than his heart and much more softly. What was wrong? They had caught Claudia! Now they would look for him! He’d pretend he didn’t speak English. He wouldn’t answer any questions.

Jamie and Claudia hide in the museum bathrooms every night when the guards are closing up the museum for the night. On this particular night, something was awry! Eventually two guards come into the very bathroom Jamie is hiding in…

He heard the voices of two men talking over the sound of water running in the sink.

“Yeah. Two feet of marble. What do you figure it weighs?”

“I dunno. Whatever it weighs, it has to be handled delicate. Like it was a real angel.”

“C’mon. They probably have the new pedestal ready. We can start.”

They were moving Angel. The angel statue that was possibly the work of Michelangelo! The angel statue that Jamie and Claudia had become obsessed with!

Later Jamie and Claudia manage to examine the angel statue’s former pedestal. Upon close inspection, they make a discovery! A discovery that they decide to anonymously tell the museum about via a letter that they type up on a typewriter outside of a typewriter store on Fifth Avenue.

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Entry filed under: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. brou  |  August 28, 2010 at 2:28 am

    I love the character on the right. The fat, pure line drawing him. It’s so evocative, yet so apparently simple.

    Reply
  • 2. Robyn K  |  October 4, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I adored that book as a child!
    It’s such a perfect illustration to show the fear and excitement of living in the museum.
    Thank you!

    Reply

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