Chapter Nine

The Clover Street News

Broccoli and his little squirrel-faced friend Harvey were serious about solving the missing-tools mystery.  I had to laugh.  He thought he could do it.  Dad took them to the store several times to search for clues.

Once I went along too, and you should have seen those two skinny little boys, one with a magnifying glass and one with a pencil and paper, peaking under lawn mowers and staring at scratches on rakes and shovels.  They’d whisper to each other and make thoughtful, frowning faces.  They acted like that around home, too, and we wouldn’t see them for hours at a time.

Mom was pleased with Brocc’s new-found interest.  He seemed to abandon Grampa almost entirely, except when he and Harvey would say, “We have to go feed this into the computer,” and a few minutes later we could see them shooting creatures with red rockets.

Heidi and April and Mom and I worked diligently to produce a quality neighborhood newspaper for the rest of the summer.  Some of them I’ll be sure to include with this narrative.

Dad wasn’t really intent upon solving his missing-tools problem, I felt sure.  It was over and done with, and he also commented that the stuff he could identify as missing was all pretty old anyway.  Why anybody would walk off with old stuff was beyond him.

And so went the rest of the summer.  After Labor Day Heidi and I started eighth grade.  Right away we were celebrities.  Kids from other grades, who we never thought had ever heard of us, surrounded us and asked all about the CSN and about Cole Whitney.  Some even wanted advice on how to start their own neighborhood newspapers.

We tried to be friendly and helpful and all that, but we soon grew tired of it.  Mister Dutremble, our English teacher, came to the rescue, however, about the second week of school.  He organized a small school assembly in the library for other students interested in our advice, and for two hours one Friday afternoon Heidi and I told all about The Clover Street News.  (April wasn’t there because she was only in sixth grade and in another school.)  Anyway, none of this was too exciting, but it gave us a good feeling.  The teachers loved us, too.

Ever since Broccoli and Harvey had become detectives my brother had ignored the CSN.  He no longer even helped deliver them, but that was all right.  April and Heidi and I were just as glad, because, even without sharing it with Broccoli, we were lucky to make a dollar and a half a week apiece

School was so demanding that it was hard to do the newspaper at all.  We wanted very badly not to lose our momentum.  Yet, even with Mom’s anonymous help we had to go to issuing it once every two weeks.

We rode the wave of enthusiasm generated by our picnic for two whole months.  Everybody on Clover Street, well, except Mitch, and a few on connecting streets, subscribed to The Clover Street News.  People volunteered to be interviewed for “Know Your Neighbors.”  One of the Lewden families had a new baby.  And a fire in the Ardrills’s garden shed brought out the fire department, which finally gave us some real news.

For my birthday, which is in November, I had asked for a camera.  After the fire my parents decided that I should have my present early.  I could have taken pictures of the fire if I’d had it, you see.  So later that week they bought it and gave it to me.  So even though I was stressed and depressed at times and over-worked, I could look forward to new horizons with my publishing career.

Then Broccoli, my beloved brother, brought my world crashing down upon me.

The Clover Street News – Chapter 1 – Chapter 2 – Chapter 3 – Chapter 4 – Chapter 5 – Chapter 6 – Chapter 7 – Chapter 8 – Chapter 9 – Chapter 10 – Chapter 11 – Chapter 12 – Chapter 13 – Chapter 14 – Chapter 15 – Chapter 16 – Chapter 17

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