HARDYS INN DANGER by Ann
The movie finished and a short time later we were heading out of the lobby, still chuckling at some of Eddie Cantor’s antics. I haven’t seen very many silent movies and don’t really want to see a whole lot of them, but Eddie Cantor, Harold Lloyd, along with Laurel and Hardy (no relation), were on the shortlist of ones to watch. A few others we were going to look into finding after reading about them. Biff and his girl waved to us as they left the Bijou and walked back toward the show.
As we walked toward the restaurant to meet Mom and Dad, the evening sun was lowering. The fireworks were going to be awesome. We already knew about where we wanted to sit. If we got there early enough we could all get great views of the fireworks shooting off from an island out in Barmet Bay.
If you’ve never seen fireworks over water, you seriously need to. They are amazing. The effect of the lights adding their colors and sparkles to the reflective surface of water can only be somewhat explained with words. You can imagine what a cool experience it is to watch them light it up.
Truth be told, I hoped for some kissing with Iola. Those fireworks are way better!
“How much farther to the restaurant?” came Lou’s voice from not far enough away. Don’t get me wrong, I like kids, but Lou seemed personally determined to drive me nuts.
“Did you want to call your cousins and let them know where you are and when you’ll be back?” I asked, hoping they would make him go home right then. Seriously, the mischievousness emanating from the kid would freak anyone out.
“Nah.” Lou shrugged. “We don’t have a phone.”
“Well, we could walk by your house after we eat if that’s where they are or find them at the show. They’ll probably want to take you to the fireworks.”
“I’ll just go with all of you,” Lou invited himself with a big, mischievous grin.
“You’re more than welcome to come with us, but we really should check with your cousins. They’ll be worried about you,” Callie said.
Thank you, thank you, Callie – not for the first part, but for the second part of insisting on catching up with Lou’s guardians.
Lou shrugged again. “They’re busy. They worked today.”
“When do they get off work?” Frank asked.
“Different times,” Lou answered.
“When do they expect you to check back with them and where?” Iola asked in her friendly way.
Great questions, Iola, persistent. Nice. Now, let’s hear what the little squirt has to say.
“Well,” Lou started.
This should be good.
“By midnight, at home. We’ve got an understanding.”
“Are you telling us that your cousins are okay with you going wherever until midnight?” Frank didn’t sound like he was going to accept that. Alright, Frank!
“Well, I saw them earlier.”
I had a perfectly crafted question for that response. “Where exactly?”
Lou looked over at me and grinned, obviously challenging me. “Where they work.”
Challenge accepted. “And that would be where?”
“Downtown, but a ways from here.” There was that big, innocent look again. Right.
“What place are they employed at?” I asked, staying calm and mostly even-tempered.
“Two different places,” he answered.
Just too helpful.
“Name them,” I suggested.
“A bakery and a restaurant.”
“I think you know we’re asking where exactly they work.” I raised an eyebrow.
Such an innocent look. That he tried for, that is. “I’m telling you!” He spread his hands out, palms upward, like ‘what else can I possibly say?’
I made the same gesture, one I’ve been known to use from time to time. “No, you’re not specifically.”
“Oh!” Again with the big surprised act. “You want to know specifically!”
How about that. He got it. What he already knew all along. I smiled and nodded.
Lou rattled off the names of the bakery and restaurant, the street addresses, and the hours his cousins normally worked along with the rest of the business hours. I’m surprised he didn’t tell us the coordinates, also. Wait. Did he say “normally”? Why do I suspect that was a very key word?
“Let’s at least call them,” Frank suggested. “Although, we still need to know where to call so we can talk to them since you told us the hours they ‘normally’ work. What number do we call?”
I smiled. My big brother has this taken care of.
“So do you want to know the hours they worked today, or where they are now, or what?” Lou asked.
“Yes,” I answered.
Lou smirked at my response. “Well, they only had to work a couple of hours this morning. So they wouldn’t be there now. They’re somewhere at the big event.”
Frank glanced over at me. I nodded that I totally understood. Lou looked quite pleased with himself. Thankfully, we were finally at the restaurant. I was really hungry and I suspected everyone else was, too.
We went in and were directed to the table where Mom and Dad sat waiting for us. After sitting down, along with greetings and introductions, we checked out the menus.
“Wow, will you look at these prices!” I exclaimed. The restaurant owners were offering special prices for part of the show. It was still surprising to see those low, low prices.
“Some of them are on the steep side,” Dad said.
I looked over at him, expecting him to be maybe smiling or have a serious expression, but his eyes would be twinkling in humor. I can usually tell when he’s joking, and he had to be. Yet he seemed to really think they weren’t low prices. Maybe, though, he was just playing along with the 1927 thing. Or maybe not.
That maybe not deeply concerned me on what that might mean.
The dinner was delicious; everyone enjoyed it. Even though I was a little distracted by the puzzling things that kept, well, puzzling me.
Then it was fireworks time. I’d definitely been anticipating this. I’ve already mentioned how spectacular they are and as much as I was looking forward to watching them, I was even more interested in the fun it would be with Iola.
Once we reached the spot where we all wanted to watch the fireworks from, we settled in to enjoy the beautiful views. I sat next to Iola, situated with my arm around her, and her leaning against me. Plus, I made sure I could easily look down and watch her expression as she watched the fireworks.
“You’re more beautiful than the fireworks ever dreamed of being,” I murmured to her.
She looked up and smiled at the very sincere compliment from her boyfriend’s lips.
“Did you get that from some greeting card?” asked Lou, who showed up next to us, loud and clear.
“No. From my heart,” I stated. Then I realized I should have just ignored him. Too late.
“Awwwww,” Lou said then snickered loudly. “Ain’t that sweet.”
I mentally sighed, but kept from doing so out loud. It wasn’t going to be easy, but I was determined Lou wouldn’t keep me from enjoying the fireworks with my girlfriend.