Read Romeo Blue Online

Authors: Phoebe Stone

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Family, #General, #Historical, #United States, #20th Century, #Mysteries & Detective Stories

Romeo Blue

BOOK: Romeo Blue
2.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


Title Page


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Chapter Sixty

Chapter Sixty-One

Chapter Sixty-Two

Chapter Sixty-Three

Chapter Sixty-Four

Chapter Sixty-Five

Chapter Sixty-Six

Chapter Sixty-Seven

Chapter Sixty-Eight

Chapter Sixty-Nine

Chapter Seventy

Chapter Seventy-One

Chapter Seventy-Two

Chapter Seventy-Three

Chapter Seventy-Four

Chapter Seventy-Five

Chapter Seventy-Six

Chapter Seventy-Seven

Author’s Note


About the Author


Derek and I were heading towards an old house with a dark granite facade, tucked among a group of pine trees on a knoll above the ocean. As we got nearer, the house looked a bit like a large, angry cat sitting up at the top of the ridge, not wanting to be disturbed. There was something straightaway about that house I recognized, as if I had seen it before. But I hadn’t. It was the first time I had been here.

“Derek, wait. You’re going too fast,” I called out. He was the long-legged quick one and I was still smaller and younger by a year. I was quite anxious to catch up actually, but I didn’t suppose I ever would. No matter how hard I tried, I would always be a year younger than Derek.

He seemed a bit moody today, but I rather liked moody. It could be quite dashing when hovering over someone like Derek. I would have followed Derek to the edge of the world, if he had wanted me to. And then perhaps we would have had to hold hands because it must be quite windy at the edge of the world.

At the top of the path, we came to the front of the shuttered-up, unwelcoming house. We stopped at the door and Derek pulled the cord that rang a bell. There was a tilting marble statue of an angel near the path, but then
the wind came along in a fierce way and knocked the angel over, right in front of our eyes. It soon lay in the wet autumn leaves and rain, staring up at the clouds.

Derek pulled the cord again and through the glass I could see a blurry shadow coming towards us. The door opened. “Oh, Derek,” Mr. Fitzwilliam kind of shouted out into the rainy wind. “Hang on to your hats. The wind will steal them if it can. If it can, it will steal your scarves. I’ve seen scarves carried away in the wind to who knows where…. Aha, I see my angel has fallen over again. No bother. I’ll get it later. Come in quickly. You must be Flissy B. Bathburn?”

“Yes, most of the time,” I said, “though I used to be Felicity, actually.”

“Well, either way, do come in and hang on to everything,” Mr. Fitzwilliam said in a growling, shouting, windy kind of way. “I have lost too many hats to who knows where.”

We stepped into the dark, gloomy hallway. I started writing a letter in my head to Winnie and Danny immediately. I was always writing to my mum and to my dad, but they never answered me because they were missing or lost somewhere in Europe. I couldn’t mail any of my letters to them because I didn’t know where they were.

Dear Winnie and Danny,
Today we’ve come to see Mr. Fitzwilliam. He’s helping Derek with something. Derek hasn’t told me what. Mr. Fitzwilliam’s house could use a bit of freshening up. He has statues in his hallway.
Your Fliss

We went down that very long hallway with all those brooding statues staring off towards the darkness. We finally came out into the drawing room and there was a fire going in a great black marble fireplace, one of those kind that look rather like a big, glowing mouth that could easily swallow you up. But I was relieved to see it, as I was quite chilled from our walk along the coast.

“Please do sit down,” Mr. Fitzwilliam said. “Feel free to look around. You know this house was designed by a famous architect in the last century.” He watched us both carefully as he spoke. “Yes, the day he died, the design for this house was sitting on his desk. But unfortunately for all, someone broke in and stole the papers the moment he died. Was the architect murdered? Why would someone steal plans for a house? Those questions were never answered. However, after things settled down, the plans showed up at auction and my grandfather was able to purchase them and he built this house. I guess I’m a bad grandson, after all the trouble he went to, I am thinking of selling the place. Would you care for some tea?”

“Lovely high ceilings,” I said. “If you were very tall, you’d feel quite comfortable in here.” It sounded as if I
comfortable in the house, which I hadn’t meant to
say. But to be quite honest, I did feel a bit uneasy. Perhaps it was the sad story of the poor architect who died or was murdered. Or the way Mr. Fitzwilliam kept an eye on me as if I were a hat that was about to get blown away to who knows where.

We sat at a little table and Mr. Fitzwilliam brought out a pot of tea, saying, “Oh well, I heard you were English and that you’d been dropped off, so to speak, by your parents to stay with your American grandmother up the road. Oh, and I know how the British like their tea!” He poured the tea and I stirred in some sugar. He seemed to have a whole sugar bowl of it. We hardly ever saw that much sugar these days because it was rationed now.

“Oh yes, I know all about you. Derek’s told me. He talks about you quite a lot, actually. But I don’t suppose he’s told you anything about me. Has he?” He was trying to smile but he had a naturally glowering kind of face that didn’t take on a smile very well. When he did manage one, it was a bit craggy and fierce looking.

“Have you told me anything about Mr. Fitzwilliam, Derek?” I said, scrunching up my nose, trying to think. “Did you, and I forgot?”

“Well, no matter,” said Mr. Fitzwilliam. “The truth is, I’ve been helping old Derek here. Helping him with something important. He’s trying to locate someone.”

“What sort of a someone?” I said, taking a careful bite of a smooshy chocolate biscuit.

“Fliss,” said Derek, “Mr. Fitzwilliam has been trying to help me locate, um, my father. My real father.”

I felt a bit tippy for a moment, as if the floor were slanting downhill suddenly. “Oh, Derek, shouldn’t you ask first at home? It might upset everyone,” I said.

“Really? I don’t see any reason for a foster boy not to search for his real father. And that’s just what we’re working on, isn’t it, Derek? It takes time. We’re doing our best, Flissy. Am I right about your nickname?” said Mr. Fitzwilliam, frowning at his housekeeper, who stood suddenly in the doorway. He shook his head at her quietly. She was staring at me. I think she was deaf, because Mr. Fitzwilliam used sign language to tell her something. Then she quickly turned and left the room.

Perhaps it was because the wind picked up from the south suddenly and started rattling and battling against the far windows, making great washes of rain stream all over the glass, but I began to feel just a bit more uneasy. One of my feet was ever so cold and the other one was quite toasty, and whenever that happened, it meant I was feeling nervous about something.

Mr. Fitzwilliam sat back and eyed me. “So your mother is away, I hear.”

“Yes,” I said. “Far away.”

“But where?” said Mr. Fitzwilliam. “Have you any notion about it at all?”

“Not at all,” I said, looking down.

“I find myself fascinated by your mother. What’s her name?”

“Winnie,” I said.

“Yes, I’m fascinated by Winnie. I understand she is very beautiful and yet I’m curious about someone who could leave her child on the coast of Maine and go back into the war in Europe, and for what reason?”

“Well, I couldn’t say, really. I think she went back because she loves roses and she wanted to be in London when they bloom,” I said. Then I rolled my eyes round the room, wondering how my answer had fared. Had it fallen on its face or had it slipped along unnoticed?

“Ah, of course. I should have thought of that. Roses, yes. Well, I hear she’s magnificent,” he whispered.

“From whom?” I said. I often liked to use the word
in its proper place. But whenever I used it, Derek always went to pieces laughing over it.

BOOK: Romeo Blue
2.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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