Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

"Lord, don't let me sneeze now. Pleeeease!" He twisted his nose, fanned the air, covered his mouth but nothing helped. "A-choo."

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#48- The Adventure with the Mysterious Garage Part 4

A Character story about obedience.

REVIEW: Jason and his friend Steve had accidentally stumbled on a burglar's hideout. But the getaway car kept disappearing in the garage. Steve got the idea that the floor of the garage lowered into the ground to a tunnel. Now he wanted Jason to hide in the garage so he could get evidence for the crooks' arrest.

When Jason thought back on it, he couldn't figure out how Steve talked him into climbing into that old barrel in the mysterious garage, nor why Julie had not squealed to their mother. But there he was, doubled up inside the barrel early Saturday morning while Julie and Steve hid behind the garage. It sounded so simple. Get some evidence that would convict those criminals and then get out any way you can. It sounded so . . so heroic. But now that he was there, he felt scared, cramped, and miserably hot all at the same time. "How did a guy like me get mixed up in a mess like this anyway?" he kept asking himself. That disobedient wood duck his dad had told them about kept coming to mind.
In a short time he heard a car approach. The sound grew louder and louder until he thought he was going to be run over. Then the engine stopped and he heard the garage door shut. The grinding noise began and Jason could feel himself slowly descending. He held his breath, and listened.
"Well that's it, Shortie," said a rough voice in the car. "That's the last job we're gunna pull around here. We're gettin' too hot, and anyway, the Wallaces will be comin' back soon."
"I s'pose you're right. But this has been such a perfect set up, I hate to give it up until we get all we can out of it."
"Believe me, we got our money's worth," said the rough voice with a sneer, followed by a cackle.
Suddenly the floor jerked to a stop and Jason heard car doors open and close and steps pass very close to his barrel. He noticed that the voices began to echo but not fade. They must have stopped to talk in the tunnel, Jason thought.
Now his legs began to cramp from the curled up position. He rubbed his calves but that didn't help. Then dust began to stir up from the bottom of the old barrow and Jason felt a growing urge to sneeze. "Lord, don't let me sneeze now. Pleeeease!" He twisted his nose, fanned the air, covered his mouth but nothing helped. "A-choo."
"What was that?" one of the men barked.
"I dunno. Let's check it out," said the other.
Jason felt the sweat dripping onto his pants as the steps grew closer.
"Well, lookie here. We got a kid in this barrel, Shortie. Come on. Get out of there." The taller man pulled Jason from the barrel. "Now what are you doing in that barrel? Come on. Tell us!"
"I . . . er . . . I, uh-"
"So you was here to spy on us, was ya?" the short man snarled. "Now what are we gunna do, Boss? He heard too much already."
"No problem," sneered the taller man. "We'll just take him with us when we leave as a kind of hostage, shall we say. Huh, huh. If anyone trails us, this should be guaranteed protection."
The shorter man lashed Jason's hands behind his back, tied a gag over his mouth, and set him in a chair in the poorly lighted tunnel. Then the men disappeared through a door at the far end. Jason sat there frightened and ashamed. He felt miserable, not just because of the mess he was in, but also because he did it even when he knew it was wrong. He felt like the disobedient wood duck deserted in the tree nest. Oh how he hated to see the look of disappointment on his dad's face when he found out, if he ever saw him again! His thoughts prompted Jason to confess his disobedience to the Lord. Soon he began to feel a little better and a peace God was going to work things out, somehow.
After several more minutes, Jason's hands began to tingle. He pulled at the rope, hoping to loosen it enough to keep the blood flowing. To his surprise, the more he pulled, the more the knot slipped. In no time his hands were free. "Pretty bad job of knot tying. Thank you, Lord. Now help me-" Just then he heard a noise. He swung his hands around behind himself just as the door opened.
"There he is, tied nice and cozy." The tall man was pointing at Jason and a third person was standing in the doorway looking down at him. Then the door closed again.
"Whew!" Jason sighed with relief. "They must not have seen the ropes lying on the ground." His one thought now was how to get out. Walking briskly to the elevator, Jason searched for a switch to raise him to ground level, and freedom. But no switch was to be found. "Now what?" Jason asked himself as he plopped onto his chair with a sigh. "The only other way out is through that house."
An hour had passed and Julie's patience had worn out waiting for her brother to appear. "We've waited long enough," she told Steve nervously. "I'm going home to tell Mom to call the police."
"You can't do that," Steve warned. "If they came and the crooks found your brother, they might hold him hostage. Anyway, you promised that you wouldn't tell anyone."
"Well, how long are we going to wait? We can't wait forever!"
"I don't know," Steve admitted. "But let's wait a little longer anyway."
"All right. But just thirty more minutes. Then I'm going to tell Mom, promise or no promise."
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PUZZLE: Two volumes of a two volume dictionary stand side by side in order on a shelf. A bookworm starts at page 1 of volume 1 and bores a straight line to the last page of volume 2. If each book cover is 1/8 inch thick and the total pages of each book are two inches thick, how far does the book worm travel?