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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual
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Enlarge: Tallie and the Book talk about Osgood Finnegan's story

"Seven hats!" said the Clockwork Book. "And not a word out of him!"

Tallie snorted. "He wasn't even a challenge," she said. "The big galoot hardly knew I was there." She threw herself down on the pillows and kicked at the air. "You were awful curious about that orb thing."

The Book's gears ground steadily away. "It is an object that interests me," it admitted.

Tallie was carefully not looking at the Book's face. "And this Finnegan guy... the clockmaker, the inventor. He just sort of disappeared, didn't he?"

The Book agreed that this was so.

"... and you said his story is based on an eyewitness account?" Several more gears began to spin. They were those very old ones that Lew had set in motion - the ones Tallie had noticed needed oil.

"Yes, Tallie. The story has a high index of reliability."

"Okay," she told the Book. "I just wondered."

The gears slowed down and that irritating squeak stopped. Tallie went for the oil can and on her way back, she put the kettle on to boil. "I'm making tea," she said, as she started to oil the gears. There was some nasty scale there, too: she reached for her file. "Will you tell me a story?"

"Of course I will, Tallie," said the Clockwork Boo

Reader Comments
There are 4 reader comments on this page.
Stephen Garinger says:
May 27th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Seven hats, indeed! Now I’m going to have to go back and count them…grrr.

rainycity1 says:
May 27th, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I think you’ll find most of the hats happened “off stage”, as it were…

Bradley W. Schenck says:
May 28th, 2011 at 12:10 am

You’ll certainly find four, but the other three got switched while you were paying attention to Lew’s story and Osgood’s. She’s quick.

Lav says:
June 18th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

i was wondering why she put on that cowboy hat & held the other one behind her back. But then I turned into a little galoot & didn’t pay her any more mind, (until she brought in the tea tray that is). I’ll have to watch Tallie more closely from now on… hmmmmm

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