The Holt Children And the Hidden Treasure: Book One (Chapter 5; The Stolen Newspapers)
THE STOLEN NEWSPAPERS
Pam sat beside her older brother as they waited for the plane to land.
“I just can’t believe it!” She said. “What’s he doing on this plane? Did he know we were going to be going to Germany?”
“I don’t know. It is weird, though," Joe admitted.
At that moment the plane came to a stop, and the doors opened. Passengers poured out as Joe and Pam walked over to the rest of the family. Pam explained what had happened. “Oh, no! Mr. Clark
is on this plane, then?” Betty asked.
Pam nodded, and Joe said, “I wonder if he knew we were gong to be on this plane?”
Anjelica walked up. “Who’s on this plane?” She asked, having overheard what Joe said.
Quietly Pam explained to the German girl everything about Mr. Clark that she knew as they walked off of the plane. “Do you mean he’s a suspect?” Anjelica asked.
“Yes. I think he must want to find the gold. I don’t believe he’s a private detective at all.” Pam glanced over her shoulder. She saw Mr. Clark near the end of the plane. When he saw her looking at him, his face grew red with anger.
Stepping off the last step, she waited for the rest of her family. “Maybe we ought to call the police on Mr. Clark,” Betty whispered to Pam.
“We can’t do that, honey. We don’t know whether or not he’s a bad man.” Pam smiled.
“Oh,” Betty said, her face showing disappointment.
“We’ll have to get us a taxi to take us to our hotel,” Mr. Holt said.
“Will it be able to hold all six of us?” Betty asked.
“No. We might have to take two, or something.”
“Why don’t we just rent a car, dad?” Joe asked. “I mean, we’ll have to get around town in something, and we can’t always take two taxis.”
“I suppose you’re right, Joe. I'll see where we can rent one.” Mr. Holt stopped a traffic-policeman and asked him if he knew where he could rent a car.
He gave him directions to one which was in walking distance. Mr. Holt thanked him and the family set off.
“Id’ like to rent a car, if you have one,” Mr. Holt told the attendant.
"Sie möchten ein Auto mieten?”
“Sorry.” Mr. Holt chuckled. “I don’t speak German.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Here, come with me. I will show you my cars I have to rent.” The man led the Holts through several rows of cars. He pointed one out. “Here’s one. This will fit all of your family nicely and is very good.”
“How would you like to go to the playground?” Mrs. Holt asked, indicating a park across the street.
“Oh, yes!” Ronnie said. “I’ll beat you to it, Betty!”
The two raced off across the street with Ronnie in the lead.
They were there for a while before Mr. Holt walked over. He explained that he had rented a car, and they were going to check into a hotel. They all walked back to the car rental, and got into the car. Mr. Holt had gotten directions to a hotel, so they started off. When they arrived the Holts walked in and father checked them into three rooms. Mr. and Mrs. holt would be in the first, Pam and Betty in the second, and Joe and Ronnie in the third.
“Oh, I like this bed!” Betty said, bouncing on the bed. Pam smiled and began to unpack her things into the drawers. She took out the newspapers, and put it in her drawer as well. Just then there was a knock on the door. “Who is it?” Pam called out.
“It’s Joe. We’re about to go to the fair, so hurry up in there.”
“The fair!” Betty squealed, jumping off of the bed. “Oh, I can ride the ferris wheel!”
The two sisters walked out of their room. Every one else was waiting for them there, and they all walked down the stairs and outside.
“Alright, into the car with you all!” Mrs. Holt said, smiling.
They drove down the road a few miles, and before they knew it, Mr. Holt was pulling up onto the fairgrounds. Ronnie and Betty jumped out. “The ferris wheel, mommy, the ferris wheel!” Ronnie and Betty cried, tugging on their mothers hand.
“Alright, I’ll take you two on the ferris wheel,” she said, tweaking Betty's nose.
“I’m going to try to win something, dad,” Joe said.
“I’m coming with you!” Pam said.
They were just approaching one of the games when Pam grabbed her brothers arm. “What is it?” Joe asked.
At first she was too excited to speak. Still clutching his arm, she pointed.
“Why, it’s Mr. Clark!” He said.
“I know!” Mr. Clark was standing at a game, trying to get a rubber ball into hole ten feet away. Finally he gave up, his face showing irritation. Joe and Pam walked up to the game Mr. Clark had been playing.
“Would you like to play this, ja?” The man asked.
“Yes, but first, did that bearded man who was just playing tell you his name?” Joe asked.
“Nein, nein, he did not. Why do want to know?”
“Oh, it’s nothing. Here, I’ll take a shot with the ball.”
"fünfzig cent, bitte," he said."
"I'm sorry?" Joe asked.
"Anjelika told me fünfzig means fifty," Pam said."
"Oh, he's saying fifty cents." Joe handed him a German coin for fifty cents.
Smiling, the man hand him four balls. “You have acht chances to get all of them into the hole in a row. After that, you give me fifty more cents if you want to continue to play.”
"Acht means eight," Pam whispered to Joe.
The first time Joe missed. The second time he got two in a row, but missed the third. The third time was no better, but on the fourth time he got all three in in a row. “Very well done!” The man said, grinning. “Would you sister like to try it, two, ja?”
Smiling, Pam said that she would, and took the balls. It took her two times before she got all three balls into a row. “Excellent! The prizes are over there. You each get one.” He pointed right across from where his stand was.
“Thank you,” Pam said. The two walked over to the prize stand. A young smiling German boy stood behind the counter. Pam picked out a pretty flower vase for her mother, and Joe got a porcelain horse. When they started back to their father, they once again spotted Mr. Clark. This time he saw them, but acted as if he didn't recognize them this time.
They found their parents sitting down watching Betty trying to win a rag doll and Ronnie a stuffed dog. Joe told about seeing the Mr. Clark again, and Pam handed her mother the vase.
“Oh, it’s so pretty! Thank you, Pam," Mrs. Holt said, hugging Pam around the shoulders.
They stayed a while longer before Mr. Holt declared it was time to get to their motel.
Pam walked up into her room while Betty went to play with Ronnie in his room. Inserting the key into the lock, she walked in. A gasp escaped her lips as she looked at her room. The window was broken, and things lay scattered about the floor. Her heart pounded in her ears as she ran to the drawer she had put the newspapers in. Opening the drawer, she moved things around, looking desperately for the papers.
They were gone!
“Oh, no! Mother! Daddy! Joe!” She said, racing out of the room. She knocked on her parents door and her mother opened it.
“Why, what’s the matter, dear?” She asked.
“When I came into my room, the window was broken, and there were things scattered all over the floor,” she explained breathlessly. “But the papers, mom, they’re gone!”
“Gone!” Joe exclaimed from behind her.
Pam whirled around in surprise. “Oh,” she said, chuckling a little. “You scared me.”
“Sorry. But did you say that the newspapers Mr. Forting gave us are gone?”
Pam nodded. “And I’ll bet it was Mr. Clark, too!”
“It might have been, but we did see him at the fair. Maybe it was someone who is in cahoots with him.” He sighed. “But it’s too bad to have to lose the papers.”
Joe and Pam went outside and walked around. They saw a young, clean-shaven man sitting on a bench, reading a newspaper. “You don’t suppose— I mean, I know it sounds kind of a strange thing to think, but you don’t suppose that that’s the newspaper that was stolen from us, do you? I mean, I think I can make out a picture of a train, and it certainly wouldn't hurt to see, would it?” Pam whispered.
Joe shrugged. “I don’t know, but I doubt that it's the paper. Lets get a closer look.” Casually they strolled by, but as soon as they were out of sight from the man, they dashed behind his bench. They could see his arms. His left arm had a bear tattoo! Crouching low, Pam peered over the bench. She saw the words ‘Train robbery—gold—Shoreham, New York—“ They walked out of the mans hearing.
“It must have been it!” Pam said, and related what she had seen. Before Joe could do anything, the man got up and walked off.
“Wait!” Joe called.
But the man didn’t stop. Looking over his shoulder, he saw Joe and his eyes turned as big as saucers. He began running. Joe ran after him, but it was no use. The man was much too fast for him. Turning back, he said to Pam, “it’s no use.”
“Maybe that bear tattoo is some sort of sign for the gang Mr. Clark might be in. You know, if they have that tattoo, it means that they’re in that gang.”
“You, might just be right, Pam!” Joe said.