Chapter One: The Start of our Mysterious Adventure
Early in the morning, I awoke to Rachel violently shaking me by the shoulder.
“Seth!” she whispered urgently, trying not to wake the other two boys next to me. “Wake up; I have something important to say.” Having had all the grogginess shaken from me, I sat bolt upright, nearly upsetting the cot which I shared with the other boys.
“What is it?” I replied as Rachel gasped for breath. (I could tell she had been running.)
“Seth,” she finally gasped out, “our triceratops leg bone is GONE!” She gave especial emphasis on her last word, and made me jump. Kenneth and Adam stirred in their sleep, and Adam grunted before his breath evened out again.
“Have you told Uncle?” I asked once I had sufficiently recovered my composure after the shock. Rachel shook her head.
“No, I haven’t, He hasn’t come into the museum yet. Remember, today the museum doesn’t open, it’s Saturday.” I looked at her in disbelief.
“I can’t believe it! Have you told the other kids?” Again Rachel shook her head. “Good, let’s keep it that way until breakfast. I’ll tell them all then. Wake up Amy and the boys, and let me have some quiet time to think. Thanks.” After Rachel woke the boys, (With much groaning, and lamentations from Adam), I sat and stewed in thought.
Soon, a little too soon, Rachel came in to say that breakfast was ready, so I left my musings reluctantly, and went to the table rehearsing my speech in my mind, over and over.
It took a while for the noise and chatter to die down some, but it did at last, and I stood from my chair. All eyes were riveted to me; I did not usually stand in the middle of a meal. I cleared my throat and began:
“Brothers and sisters, I have just this morning heard the dreadful news that our prized triceratops leg bone has mysteriously disappeared. Thankfully it’s Saturday, because I will need all of your help to return it to our museum. I hope that we will be able to find it before our Uncle sees it missing. I’m afraid that would kill him. Are you willing to help me in the search?” All heads nodded, though Rachel looked a little unsure. I continued, “Wonderful! So here’s our next plan of action. Kenneth, you are going to come with me after breakfast, to help me look for clues. Rachel, you are to stay here with Adam and Amy. Are your orders understood?” All my siblings nodded again, although Adam looked a bit disappointed at being left out of the action. I sat down again, and breakfast continued. Kenneth sat with his eyes on his plate. A look of puzzlement was on his face. Smiling inside, for his expression was rather comical; I asked him what was bothering him. He looked up, startled, from his musings.
“Oh, I’m just puzzled about this robbery. Why did they take something from our museum, I mean, there are so many others, why ours?” this question I could not answer.
“That is what I want to find out next, let’s hurry up and go.” Kenneth gave me a quick nod, and gulping down his breakfast in a manner that was so unlike his usual that I was almost worried for his heath; pushed his chair back from the table, and pulled on his boots.
In no time at all, we were hurrying across the back yard lawn, still wet with dew. Kenneth pushed open the double doors; the squeaky hinge seemed deafening in the still morning air. Almost stealthily, we tiptoed through the museum, the hollow thump, thump, thump, of our feet adding to the eeriness.
Suddenly, Kenneth froze in his tracks. I followed his example and stopped.
“What?” I whispered.
“Someone’s in this museum and is coming our way.” was his reply.
“I don’t hear anything. Perhaps you were mistaken.” I said, speaking with much more confidence than I felt. Kenneth shook his head.
“No, I am positive I heard footsteps coming our way. Listen close, then you might hear it too.” Since he insisted, I tilted my head in a way to catch all possible sounds, and held my breath, listening. Yes, now I could hear it to, faintly.
“It’s just our echo I think.” I said. Kenneth looked at me reproachfully.
“If it was our echo, it would have stopped by now.” Embarrassed, I felt my ears turn red.
“I-it might be Uncle Devon,” I stuttered, trying to think of another possibility. Again, Kenneth shook his head.
“If it was Uncle Devon, the footfalls would be heavy. These footfalls are light; perhaps belonging to a girl.”
“What! A girl!?” I replied in a loud whisper, “Impossible! The only girls that possess a key to the museum are Rachel and Amy, and they are at home exactly where I told them to be.” I paused. “You don’t think they’d disobey me would they?” Kenneth assured me that they would not disobey me. “Then what on earth would a girl be doing here?” I declared triumphantly. Kenneth shrugged, motioning me to be a little bit quieter. I was louder with that statement then I had intended originally to be.
“Let’s hide anyhow and see who it is, maybe this is the clue we’re looking for. Come on, let’s hide behind this.” I followed Kenneth, and we managed to wedge ourselves between the wall of the museum and a suit of armor before the person came.