Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Puzzle of Hunter Manor- Chapter 24- Afterward

Eudorra paced the sitting room and glanced out the window. Gilbert, Annabel, and Terrence were late. They were supposed to be here hours ago. It had been three months since they had solved the puzzle of Hunter Manor. Eudorra had finished the school year at her old school, Mr. Henson had made the arrangements for her family to move into Hunter Manor the week after she finished. Annabel and Terrence had taken much longer to make the decision to move in, which was understandable, they had successful businesses to take care of, and new jobs to find. Her own father had managed to get into a college program to finish his degree with the money Simon had left him, and he was on track to start a new job within a year or two.

The spare bedroom next to hers was being turned into a lab for her to work on her robots for next year's state competition. She was surprised to receive a phone call her second day in the Manor from the robotics team coach from her new school. She had been contacted by her old school and was very excited to hear that she would be joining their team. She had even offered to introduce her to the rest of the team over the summer so they could get a head start on next year's competition.

Jared entered the room with glasses of lemonade and a plate of fresh chocolate chip cookies.

"Have there been any calls from the Hawks, Jared?"

"Not that I have been privy to, Ms. Frank."

"Now Jared, we've talked about this," she said fixing him with an evil eye, "You can call me Eudorra, or Dora. Ms. Frank can wait for a few more years."

"Yes, Ms. Frank"


"Yes, Eudorra," he replied with a grin.

She rolled her eyes as she picked up a cookie and took a large bite. Moving in had given her an unbelievable appetite. Who knew running up and down the Grand Staircase that many times would make someone so hungry? She had eaten ravenously since returning to the manor. Maybe it was Marie's cooking, or just the excitement of moving into the Manor, but whatever the cause she was finding herself asking for seconds and thirds at almost every meal. Marie seemed to be enjoying the requests for additional helpings, taking it as a compliment to her skills as a chef.

"Simon ate precious little," she said after serving up a third portion for her last night, "It's good to see a healthy appetite in the house again!"

Her parents had smiled, they too had adopted this healthy appetite, though they had all begun a regular ritual of walking around the grounds at least once a day to keep the calories in check.

Tires crunched on gravel and Eudorra ran to the window. A large black SUV was in the driveway, but this time it was pulling a large trailer that was covered in dust. Terrence was behind the wheel and Annabel stepped from the passenger door. Jared quickly left the room to greet the new arrivals, while Eudorra set her half-eaten cookie and lemonade back on the tray and followed closely behind him.

As she reached the front door, Jared was already welcoming them into the manor. Annabel was back on her feet and looked as fit as ever. She gave Eudorra a big hug followed closely by Terrence and Gilbert. Her parents gave a shout of welcome from the top of the stairs as they too joined them in the entry hall. They soon descended the stairs and joined in greeting the Hawks.

"We were getting worried when you weren't here in time for lunch," said her mother to Annabel.

"We got a flat just as we turned off the highway into town. Fortunately Terrence and Gilbert got it all sorted out." Annabel said.

"Well, we are glad you are finally here!" said her father, "Come get a bite to eat and rest for a bit, we can help you unload your things later!"

As her parents escorted Anna and Terrence to the dinning room, Gilbert surprised her by handing her a white envelope.

"What's this?" she asked as she took it and opened it.

"Well, Simon did say we needed to continue the tradition of leaving puzzles for each other, so I gave Jared a call and he arranged a few things to help me out." Gilbert said with a wink.

Eudorra read the letter inside the envelope and laughed, "You sly dog! You haven't even moved in yet and you already set up a puzzle for me to solve?"

"Someone had to," he said with a smile, "I did get a head start exploring the grounds during Simon's puzzle, so I thought I would put that information to good use!"

"Fine, Mr. Smartypants, but I get to make the next one. I've found a few secret places myself since we moved in last week. Oh! You will have to see what Jared has done with the tree house, you won't even recognize it."

"All in good time," said Gilbert glancing at his phone, "First, solve that puzzle! We've got a lot of catching up to do!"


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