Mrs. Treacher raised her megaphone to her lips. “Everybody out! Everybody out of the house this instant!” cried Mrs. Treacher.

Dinah gaped at the stylish Mrs. Treacher. A slight gold glimmer caught her eye, and she saw that the initials CT were embossed on the bell of the megaphone.

“Out!” Mrs. Treacher demanded. “The bus is leaving in five minutes and if you’re not on it, we’re leaving you behind!”
“There is a taxi, right?” she asked Dinah.

More people than Dinah could remember getting off the bus now streamed out of the rooms onto the gallery. Among them was a young couple with two children under ten, who came down the stairs from the upper gallery. One of the children was crying, the other was dragging her heels. Mrs. Treacher said irritably, “Not you!” but the family continued down the stairs and out to the parking lot.

The last to appear was Mr. Palmer and a woman who must have been Mrs. Atkins. In addition to her floral tracksuit, Mrs. Atkins wore a rosy blush and a smirk on her face. Dinah couldn’t see Mr. Palmer’s face at first because he was—yes! He was fastening his trousers.

Dinah gasped. “He must be 80 years old!”

A woman waiting next to her leaned over and said, confidentially, “84 next Thursday. We’re throwing him a surprise party at Winterhaven.”

“Of course you are,” murmured Dinah.


Created by KKris. Last Modification: Sunday 14 of March, 2004 14:03:33 UTC by KKris.