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The Waiting Room

~ Chapter Ninety

Abberline's Dream

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With the help of James, Ichabod managed to get Wade’s jacket from Porthos.

“Ye best be watching yerself, friend,” Barrie addressed the bear. “Or you could well be next.”

The constable furrowed his brow at the author’s words. It spurred another theory in the New York detective’s mind.

“Mr. Barrie, do you know who in the Room came after you?”

“Well, let me think a minute.” The Irishman glanced about at the faces and pointed.

“The Frenchman came right after me, I do believe. And if I am not mistaken, Lord Wilmot, for if I recall, they struck up conversation. Yes, yes, that is right. They’ve been the only ones after me.”

Crane bowed slightly to Barrie. “Thank you sir,” then turned about, looking to the other men. He found the man he was looking for.

“Edward?” he called out to the man with the scissors for hands.

Edward started at his name as he attempted to make a delicate snip in his next design. He double checked his work and confirmed he had not damaged the picture and turned awkwardly in his chair.

“Yes, Constable?” the young man with the scarred face asked.

“A question, please,” Crane approached Edward.

“Of course, Constable Crane.” Edward carefully put down his creation and waited for the Constable’s question.

“After you…er…arrived.”

“In The Room?” Edward asked.

“Yes…in The Room. Do you recall who was next? Who came after you?”

“That’s a difficult question, Constable Crane. Do you want who came and stayed or who came but doesn’t stay?”

“I…? I guess both, Edward.” Crane told him.

“Well, when I first came, all these shelves were empty.” He waved a scissor towards the walls of The Room that now were loaded with books upon books.

“But soon after, Mr. Noodlemantra arrived with cartloads of books. He just started putting them up on the shelves. He did it by himself until Axel, Sam and Gilbert came. Then they helped. I tried once…but …well…you can imagine what happened.” Edward made a snip in the air.

“Yes, I understand the dilemma. But at least you tried, Edward, that is what is important.”

“Thank you, Constable.” Edward quietly thanked the man and continued. “And then Axel arrived. He was asking if anyone had seen his plane.”

Crane thanked Edward and excused himself going into the kitchen where Sam was busy preparing the evening meal. On the stove a large pot simmered. He saw Crane pop his head in.

“Hello, Constable,” Sam called out, nodding his head. “Can I help you?”

Crane stepped into the kitchen. “Yes, Sam, and you too, Axel. I have to admit, I am surprised to see you in here.”

“Oh, Sam looked like he could use a little help peeling these bananas for the potatoes.”

Axel stripped one of the yellow fruit of its peel. “Hannah sent an extra large shipment today, and Sam thought he better start using them up right away.”

“I see,” Crane said, watching as Axel peeled and tossed the banana into the pot. Sam continued to stir. Absently, Crane adjusted the box of chili peppers as he tried to think how he was going to broach his question.

Just then Gilbert burst through the door. “Constable, you best get in here, now!” the young shop clerk exclaimed, holding the door, waiting for Ichabod.

As requested, Crane hurried to the door, giving Gilbert a curious look before entering back into The Room. A small gathering had crowded around a table. The very table he had been at but a few minutes before.

“Excuse me,” Crane gently elbowed his way through until he reached the inner rim of the gathering. There on the table was a beautifully snipped and cut picture, exquisite in its' delicate curves and corners. Ichabod picked it up, looking at it, glancing up at the men who had gathered around, then back to the picture.


It was as if Edward knew. Ichabod sighed. He could not imagine what was going on outside their inner sanctum. What was happening with Mr. Depp.

An alarm sounded. Heads went to and fro as they searched for the source.

“Hey, gente muy estupidas,” Sands called from his table. “I might be blind, but I’m not deaf. Could somebody shut the freaking smoke alarm off in the kitchen?”

Crane pushed past the men, finding Abberline joining him as they broke through the kitchen door.

Fred immediately headed for the alarm that demanded their attention, warning them of the burning food.

Crane rushed and shut off the stove, removing the pot of potatoes that had begun to stick and burn to the bottom. As he turned about to pour the water down the drain, he was stopped by a sight on the counter.

A Buster Keaton hat, alone and waiting for its owner to claim it.

“Constable Crane, I have a curious find here.” The Inspector held up a pair of flying goggles. “Aren’t these Mr. Blackmar’s?”

“Yes, Inspector, they are. And this I fear, belonged to young Sam.” He lifted the hat, inspecting it, turning it over in his hands as if it would speak to him.

Crane glanced up at the last picture Sam had painted; the irises beneath the rainbow and it gave him pause to think about what was happening.

He then had a foreboding thought.

“Inspector?” Crane caught Abberline’s attention. “I need to review a few things with you. Just in case.”

Abberline looked to Ichabod, a knowing look casting across his eyes. Ichabod knew that Fred was well aware what he was thinking.
“You know what I mean by “just in case”, don’t you Inspector,” Crane confronted the Scotland Yard inspector.

“Yes, I do. I saw it in a dream.” he confessed.

Ichabod nodded. He knew that at the rate the men were disappearing, he himself would be gone by the end of the week.

Abberline would have to take over the investigation.


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