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Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry

Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry

Author:Dave Barry
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: ebook
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Published: 2006-09-14T16:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 52

THE LETTER

WHEN PETER FELT HE HAD flown a safe distance from the chaos on the courthouse steps, he landed on a rooftop amid a clutter of rundown homes. After looking around to make sure nobody was watching, he dropped to the ground in an alley. Tink, following him, landed on his shoulder.

You smell terrible, she reminded him, in case he had forgotten.

“I know,” he said. “I was in a jail. It was…pretty awful. How did you get out of that cage?”

The canaries helped me, she said. They’re not too bright, but they’re brave, once you tell them what to do.

Peter smiled despite the sour smell of his clothes, the penetrating cold, and the gnawing emptiness in his belly. “Well,” he said, “I’m very glad you got out. You saved me, Tink. Again. Thank you.”

You’re welcome, said Tink, literally aglow with pride, filling the dark and filthy alley with warm, golden light.

“Now we need to find Molly,” said Peter.

Instantly the alley went dark.

“What’s the matter?” said Peter.

Tink made a sound that cannot be translated into acceptable English.

Peter blushed. “Tink!”

Why do we have to find her?

“Because,” said Peter, “she’s my friend, and she’s in danger.”

You’ve had nothing but trouble since you started looking for her.

“She’d do the same for me.”

You don’t know that.

“I do know that. When we were on the ship, she—”

Peter was interrupted by another unprintable burst of bells. Tink hated—hated—to be reminded that Peter and Molly had known each other before Tink existed, at least in her current form.

“Well, you can say what you want,” said Peter, when she was quiet again, “but I’m going to look for her.”

He walked resolutely out of the alley. After a moment of fuming, Tink followed him, as he knew she would. When she landed on his shoulder, he gently caught her in his hand and tucked her under his shirt, an action that resulted in a predictable outpouring of complaints about his aroma.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “But you saw what happens when people see you. I’ll get clean clothes as soon as I can.”

He tried to sound confident, but he wondered how he would find clean clothes when he’d been such a miserable failure at finding Molly’s house. He wandered the busy streets aimlessly for close to an hour without any workable plan presenting itself. He was walking numbly, head down, slowly being overcome by the now-familiar feeling of hopelessness, when he literally bumped into the solution to his problem.

“Here now!” said a gruff voice.

Peter, bouncing back from the collision, found himself looking up at a tall man in a bright red coat, with a sack slung over his shoulder.

A postman.

“Sorry!” said Peter.

“Mind where you’re going!” barked the postman, striding off briskly.

Peter turned and followed, a few paces back, formulating a plan while half trotting to keep up with the postman’s lengthy stride. Peter had never sent a letter, nor received one. But in his years at St. Norbert’s Home for Wayward Boys, several of his friends had received letters, and as Peter hurried along behind the postman, he tried to remember precisely how they worked.



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