Jane and the Pigeon Box
"Jane, look, this is awesome! We have our own rooms!"
"Yes, Joe, you're paying everything for you're room."
"Can I sleep in your room?"
"I'm kidding! You and Huck are in the same room, and Windy's in here with me!"
Windy Ann Jane walked in.
"Nuthing like a polite gal ta yawn ya haeds off aboot."
"Bravo, Jane, great Scottish accent!" Said Windy.
"It was English." Jane muttered.
"Well, what're you waiting for? Let's go sight-seeing!" Huck Flan Jane bounded into the room.
"Yeah, Huck, you're right! Nothing makes a trip a trip like the library!"
An angry rat-tap-tap came from another room.
"Let's go NOW!" Said Joe as the doorknob that seperated the rooms began to wiggle.
"Hrrmmpphh." Jane noticed Windy put great emphasis in her favorite word.
"Crre-epy." she muttered.
"Ooooooh! Theee LIBRARY!!"
Jane sang so loudly people in GERMANY heard her!
"Jane!" Huck was astonished.
Jane carefully pushed open the huge oak doors, "It's beautiful!" she sighed. An interesting-looking book caught her attention. Queen Elizabeth I and Her Secrets. "Ooh!" She drew it and three others, King Kristen, Who Were William and Mary?, and Johnny Tremain out and walked over to the checkout. She would get more later.
"Umm.....Do you have any chairs? Or sofas?"
"Over there, miss." Said a curly haired assistant. "If you need anything, I'm Josiah, and that's my sister Jenneth, or Jenny."
How alike their names were. And the same age, too! Jane thought Jenny looked real nice, while Joe felt ditto about Josiah.
"Oh, hi!" Jenny had looked up. "I'm Jenny." she said, holding up her hand.
Jane took it. "I'm Jane. Do you work here?"
"No. Josiah does, but everybody thinks I do because I know so much!"
"Say, where are you staying?"
"The Lanchester Hotel."
"That's real near Granmum and Granda's. Maybe you can visit us?"
"Sure. Umm, do you live with your grandparents?"
"Yeah. Mum and Da went to China and got sick."
"Did they die?"
"I live with my Uncle Gef and his snooty girlfriend Delila. Mom and Dad died in a fire."
"Oh, poor girl!" Jenny looked around. "Where's Josiah?"
"Over here, talking to Joe."
"Oh, Joe's my cousin." said Jane. "Huck's my brother, and Windy's my sister."
"Jane? Jane, dear, I'm quite ready to leave."
"C'mon, Win, please?"
"No. I am older, and, therefore, I say we go. NOW!"
"Well, Windy, I am fourteen, and I say we stay!" It was Huck.
"Children!" The librarian. "Silence, or you all leave!"
"I'm gonna look at more books." Jane hurried off, then came back. "Uh, Jenny?"
"I don't know where the fiction is."
"Where'd you find Johnny Tremain?"
"Come with me."
She lead her upstairs. "It's all here. Classic, historical, everything!"
"Bee-yoo-ti-full!" Jane almost cried, it was that beautyful.
"Ooh! King Louis and Queen Marie Antoinette's Life! King Solomon the Wise! A History of Europe! These aren't fiction!"
"Right here, Jane."
"Oh! Where the Red Fern Grows! Life on the Mississippi? Oh, well. Amazing, Harry Potter! Inkheart! The Redwall series, and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman! 'Sall here!" Jane was in Heaven.
"Oh, beejeebus! Monkey dookies!"
But Jane didn't answer. When she left the library, she felt a strange sense of exitement.
"Oooh, hurry up!" she cried.
"Jane, what's the matter?"
"I wanna read my books!"
They finally got to the Lanchester Hotel, and Jane quickly immersed herself in Queen Elizabeth I and Her Secrets.
"Chapter One: The Birth of Queen Elizabeth." Jane sighed. This was gonna be a great book! By the time they were at Josiah and Jenny's house, she was on Chapter Fourty-Eight: The Pidgeon Box.
"Jane? How are you? Meet Granmum, and that's Granda." Jenny indicated two smiling, happy people in the back.
"Darling, nice to meet you!"
"Nice to meet you, too, Mrs.-"
"Mrs. Kaldswal." To Jane, they seemed like nice people.
"So, uh, Jane, Joe, would you like to see the house?" asked Mr. Kaldswal.
"I'd love to, right, Jane?"
"Well, this is the kitchen, and then it's our washroom...."
Later, they came to the sitting room, Chintz chairs, windows with seat ledges, and cozy cushions! Jane was in Heaven again.
"Oh, oh my!" Jane immedietly clambered onto a window ledge and began to read.
"Well, I'll leave you kids alone."
Jane grinned as Windy scurried away for tea. Huck followed. Jane began to read aloud.
"Queen Elizabeth, like all other queens, has her secrets. One of the better known is.....THE PIDGEON BOX! ABROOCA!"
"Jane! What ARE you reading?!" Joe became tense, Josiah shuddered, Jenny began to twitch, and Jane started tap dancing.
PAWOOM! They fell to the ground. But, it was different. They were in England, all right. England in Elizabeth's time!
"Ummmm......Okay...This is cre-epy!"
"Uh-oh....." Josiah muttered.
"RUN!" shouted Joe.
They ran as fast as their legs would carry them. A little black lamb, orphened by its mom because it was a runty twin, stumbled out in the road, and Jane stumbled on it!
The lamb nuzzled her. "Maah-maah!" It bleated.
"Aah, look at you!" Forgetting everything else, she picked up the lamb.
"I'll call you Tao."
"JANE!" She looked up. "Oh! RUN, TAO!"
"MAAH!" She picked him up and ran.
But, no matter how far she ran, she couldn't catch up with Joe. Two guards on horseback quickly caught up.
"NEVER!" she screamed. Sprinting faster than ever, she outran them. "HELP, HELP! HELP MEEEEEE!"
A that moment, she fell in a pit. "Tao?" she whispered.
"Maah-maah!" he bleated.
"Oh, good." She pulled out a blueberry pastry she took from the hotel out. Breaking it in half, she gave some to Tao. As she munched it, she pondered, how could they get out? It was too deep to climb, and she'd have to hold Tao, making it harder. Suddenly, she heard footsteps.
Crunch, crunch, crunch,- "Ow! Curse these shoes."
"Help!" Jane cried desperitly.
"Huh? Who's there?"
"Ah, who's Jane?"
"GET ME OUT, PLEASE!"
"Dum-dum." Jane muttered.
"Duuuhm-duuuhm!" bleated Tao.
A rope came down. "Take that." said the person.
"Okay. Tao, hold on tight."
Up they went. When they reached the top, Jane saw a wrinkled old woman.
"Aah. A child." A smile crossed her face. "Come, young one, you must be hungry. They call me the witch Grunhilda. I prefer Hilda."
"I'm Jane, and this is Tao." She indicated the lamb. "Are you really a witch?"
"I make healing potions is all."
"Uh! Don't 'ooh'! I get lonely out here. My girl is married and I have sixteen grandbabies, but they're so stuck up rich, married a duke, fancy, can't even pay me a visit. Hrrmph."
"Uhmm, have you ssen some people go by? One was bald." Jane asked.
"No, dear. They probably went on the path."
"Yes, dear, path."
Jane frowned, and they walked on in silence.
"Here's my home." Hilda said. "My daughter's room is still open. You and the lamb may sleep there. But, please take a bath. I have a pond outside. And, take this." She handed Jane a simple dress.
After she had bathed and changed, she went into her room. It was simple and neat, much like her room in Georgia. She walked over to the cot and layed down.
She climbed down her ladder, and saw Hilda sitting at a small table, surrounded by potions.
"What's for dinner?"
"Lambchop." Hilda said.
"Aaah!" Tao bleated.
"Uh, did you say lambchop?"
"Something wrong, dear?"
"Uhhh, do you have salami?"
"Salami? What's that? An animal from the Americas?"
"No. It's, it's nothing." Jane looked at the stuff on the walls. "Ugh. Bat fur." she muttered.......
"Joe? JOE?! WHERE ARE YOU?!" Jenny and Josiah called desperitly.
"Uhh, you know I'm right here?" asked Joe. He had been behind them the whole time, enjoying the show.
"Joe!" Jenny said. "That's not funny at all!"
"I been thinkin'."
"You know Jane isn't here?"
"Yeah. She's been missing for quite some time, I expect."
"Why didn't you tell us?"
"I just found out."
"JANE? JANE! ARE YOU THERE? JAAANNEE!" cried Jenny.
"Jane?" Josiah felt uneasy and didn't shout.
Joe thought he heard something in the wood. "Jane? That you?" he whispered, quietly sneaking in the brush. "Jane, are you in-AAH!"
His cry was muffled by a hand.
"If ye treasures life, ye'll stay quiet."
"What did I just say to ye?" Another sharp blow and Joe knew no more.
When he woke, he was in a damp cell. A spider scuttled by. "Geehh-haahhhh."
He shuddered. A red-coated man came to his cell. Funny, Joe thought, I think I've seen people like him before. Like, in school. What did they call them? Umm, it has to do with their coats.....Bluebellies? Oh, Redcoats!! Oh yeah!
"Up with ye, fool." said the Redcoat. "Her Majesty wishes to lay her eyes on ye."
He lead Joe to a richly furnished room where Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I sat. "Well, what have ye found?" she asked, though she could tell clearly it was Joe.
"Please, Your Grace, it is an invader. We found it in the woods."
"Hmm. What was it doing?"
"Your Highness, it called out to this Jane."
"I bid ye leave. Let me talk to it, alone."
"As you wish, my queen."
"Well, now, who are you?"
"I-I'm Joe. Joe Joe Joe."
"You are a mockery! Who is this, this, this Jane."
"I'll never breath a word about my cousin-oh, darnit!"
Jane had decided to take a walk in the woods. Crack, crack, crunch! Two thingy-ma-bobbers toppeled her over.
"Who's there?" she asked.
"Jane? Oh, it's you!"
"Jenny, you're here!"
"Yes. Did you find Joe?"
"What! Joe is with you!"
"The Brits stole him!"
"Oh, I forgot. The Redcoats stole him!"
"What?! Oh, well. You must be hungry. Come with me."
Despite the siblings' protest, Jane led them to Hilda's cottage. "This is Ms. Hilda's cottage. I live with her, she's real nice. She's a witch."
"A WITCH!" Jenny and Josiah cried in unison.
"Yeah, come on in." She opened the door. "Ms. Hilda? I'm back! And guess who I found along the way? MS. HILDA?!"
"Maybe she's out, you know, shopping."
"At nine o'clock? She'd get arrested! MS. HILDA?" Jane found a not on the table. It said:
The witch Grunhilda has been taken for questioning at Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth 1's palace. She is charged with harboring the Queen's enemys and spys, and for witchcraft. If anyone wishes to see her again, they must turn in the spys.
Lordric, Cheif of Her Majesty's Royal Guards
"Oh no!" cried Jane. She quickly gathered Tao and ran out into the nearest town, Jenny and Josiah following. She didn't stop until she saw the notice on a pole. "Listen to this," she said.
"WARNING! BE ON WATCH FOR SPYS! THE MOST DANGEROUS ONE ANSWERS TO THE DESCRIPTION OF HAVING BROWN PIGTAILS, BEING AROUND 11 YEARS OLD, AND ANSWERS TO JANE. That's me!"
"And me!" said Jenny.
"AND RUN!" Josiah screamed.
"Look, the spys! Catch them!!"
"AAAHHH!!! HELP!! HEEEEELP!" But, being very, very exausted, the villagers quickly caught up.
They collapsed onto the street. "Aaaw, horse dung!" Jane cried. "Nasty!"
They were led to the Queen's Palace.
"Take them to the others."
As they walked along, Jane smelled something familiar......Joe's smell of........garlic. "Joe!" She cried.
"Gaah, you smell awful!"
"Yeah, some witch brought some, and I love garlic salami."
"You have SALAMI?!"
"Say, what was the witch's name?"
"Umm, Grunhilda. They brought her in for questioning."
"About an hour ago. There she is now."
"Jane? Why? Who?"
So they all sat down and told her the story of how they came here.
"Hmmm. If this is true, you should have this. My friend read it, and I never saw him again."
"Establishment of Janestate? Oookaay..."
"Thy, Piggy, bring thy comrades and come with me."
"Don't call me Piggy!"
They followed the Redcoat into the room Joe had been in earlier. Queen Elizabeth I sat waiting for them. "Ahah! So thou art Jane. Thou has terribly annoyed me. So I think, thy being charged with spying and whatnot, should be executed!"
Whatnot? Queens don't say 'whatnot'! And I thought Queen Elizabeth had RED hair. Thought Jane.
"Baaaah!" Bleated Tao loudly.
All of a sudden, the doors flung open and a red-haired woman barged in. "IMPOSTER!" she yelled. "I am Queen Elizabeth! That woman stole my position and locked me in a crate to die! I have brought my followers, and I shall take back my rank!"
Hundreds of people swarmed in and captured the imposter. Queen Elizabeth's guards bowed to her. "Ah, my Grace, we were hypnotized by the imposter, Elizaberth."
"No! I am Queen! I AM QUEEEEEN!!" Shouted Elizaberth as she was carried away.
"Now children, I think thou should be sent back to thine own time."
"How did you know?!" cried Jane, then gasped as Queen Elizabeth put on a grayish wig and a wrinkled mask. "Ms. Hilda?!"
"Ah, Jane, child, I have a long story."
"Let us hear it!" Cried them all.
"Okay. After I escaped from the crate, I knew it was too early to get back my rank. So I bided my time. I gathered followers, and soon I became fit to take on her. I have no family. Just I. Those guards are part of my organization. So today, I decided it was now or never."
"That ain't long at all!"
"I know. Children, read chapter four of that book. Now go."
"The secret to leaving is..........Nannyyoo!!"
Holding Tao, Jane and the others suddenly found themselves in the hotel. The doorknob rattled.
"Jane? Joe? Huck and Windy are ready to go... Oh! Who are your friends?"
"Uncle Gef? This is Jenny, and that's Josiah. Yes, we're ready. Jenny, Josiah, if you're ever in Georga, go to Circle City and ask for 'Clumsy' and 'Dumbsy'. 'Bye!"
"Jane? Where'd you get the lamb?"
"His name is Tao. I found him."
"What happened to your clothes?"
"Uhhh, I, uhh. I bought them."
"So, how were Grandma and Grandpa?"
"Grandma...? Grandpa...?" Realization that they had come to meet their long lost grandparents sank in.