Sal's Diary entry
written by Alejandro de la Torre y Estrada
I did not think that Phoebe actually planned to break into Mrs. Cadaver's house but, as she was going to bed, she saw Mrs. Cadaver, in her nurse's uniform, get into her car and leave. Phoebe waited until her father was asleep, and then she phoned me. she told me to go over to her house she said it was urgent.
Phoebe was waiting in front of Mrs. Cadaver's house. There were no lights on there. Phoebe said, 'Come on,' and she started up the walk. She crept up onto the porch and stood by the door. She listened and then tapped twice.She turned the doorknob, it was unlocked.
I didn't think phoebe intended to go inside but she did, and I followed. We stood in the dark hallway. In the room to the right, a shaft of light from the street lamp came in through the window. We went into that room. We both nearly leaped through the window when someone said, 'Sal?' I started backing toward the door.
Phoebe thought it was a ghost. but then the voice said "come here". As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I could see someone huddled in a chair in the far corner. When I saw the cane, I was relieved. it was 'Mrs. partridge,' Mrs. partridge told me to go where she was so i did. she asked if phoebe was with me. Phoebe said yes.
Isn't it awfully dark in here?' I said. I tripped over a table as I made my way toward her. Mrs. Partridge laughed her wicked laugh. 'It's always dark in here. I don't need lights, but you can turn some on if you want to. she said' As I stumbled around looking for a lamp, Phoebe stood, frozen, near the doorway. 'There,' I said. 'That's much better.' Mrs. Partridge was sitting in a big, overstuffed chair. She was wearing a purple bathrobe and pink slippers with floppy bunny ears at the toes On her lap was a book, her fingers resting on the page. 'Is it Braille?' I asked. 'May I see?' I waved at Phoebe to come into the room. I was afraid she was going to run out and leave me. Mrs. Partridge handed me the book, and I slid my fingers over the raised bumps. I closed my eyes It must be difficult to read in this manner, because your fingers have to work like eyes, to 'see' the shape of the dots 'How did you know it was us?' I asked. 'I just knew,' she said. 'Your shoes make a particular sound and you have a particular smell. Mrs partridge said.
Each time I went into that house I noticed new things. It was a scary place. The walls were lined with shelves crammed with old musty books. The room looked like some sort of museum filled with strange objects. On the floor were three rugs with dark, swirly patterns of wild beasts in forests Two chairs were covered in similar, ghastly designs. A sofa was draped in a bear skin. On the wall behind the couch were two thumping grim African masks The mouths on the masks were wide open, as if in the midst of a scream. Everywhere you looked there was something startling: a stuffed squirrel, a kite in the shape of a dragon, a wooden cow with a spear piercing its side.
'Goodness!' Phoebe said. 'What a lot of - of - unusual things' 'Feel free to look around,' Mrs. Partridge said. Phoebe knelt to examine a spot on the floor. 'What's the matter?' Mrs. Partridge said. Phoebe jumped up. 'Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. 'Did I drop something on the floor?' Mrs. Partridge asked. 'No. Nothing whatsoever on the floor,' Phoebe said. Leaning against the back of the sofa was an enormous sword. Phoebe examined the blade. 'Careful you don't cut yourself,' Mrs. Partridge said. Phoebe stepped back. Even I found this unsettling, that Mrs. Partridge could see what Phoebe was doing even though she couldn't actually see her. Mrs. Partridge said, 'Isn't this a grandiful room?' 'Grandiful?' Phoebe said. 'Yes! Most grandiful - and a little peculible, too, I suppose,' Mrs. Partridge said. 'Peculible?' Phoebe said. 'Phoebe and I have to be going...'
We backed toward the door. 'By the way,' Mrs. Partridge said, as we reached the doorway, 'What was it you wanted?' Phoebe looked at me and I looked at Phoebe. 'We were just passing by,' I said, 'and we thought we would see how you were doing.' 'That's nice,' Mrs. Partridge said, patting her knees. 'Oh, Phoebe, I think I met your brother. Phoebe said, 'I don't have a brother. 'Oh?' Mrs. Partridge tapped her head. 'I guess this old noggin isn't as sharp as it used to be.' As we left, she said, 'Goodness! You girls stay up late.' Outside, Phoebe said, 'At least, I was able to do a preliminary investigation without arousing any suspicion. I'll make a list of items, which the police will want to investigate further: the sword, the suspicious spot on the floor, and several hair strands, which I picked up.
And that is what happened that day.