Claudia And The Terrible Truth

Free Claudia And The Terrible Truth by Ann M. Martin

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Authors: Ann M. Martin
if she didn't want to talk to me there were other people who would listen. I even slipped her the name and number of the social worker." I shook my head. "I just hope she talks to someone soon,” I said. "What can we do while we're waiting?" "I don't know. I think we've done the right thing, but it doesn't seem like enough. I'm going to have to call the Department of Children and Youth Services. Mona — my friend who's a social worker — knows someone there. They will be able to look into this case in a thorough, professional way. Really, it's beyond us now." She looked confused, which was exactly how I felt.
    Just then, my phone rang. I didn't feel like talking to anyone, but since mine is the official BSC number I had to answer. "Hello?" I said.
    "Claudia, it's me." I recognized Kristy's voice.
    "What's up?" "The weirdest thing just happened. Mrs. Nicholls called me. I had to tell you about it right now, instead of waiting for our meeting." "What?" I cried. "Why did she call you?" "I guess she knew my name because I'm listed as president on our fliers. And she must have seen my number on the fliers." "But what did she say?" "She canceled all of her BSC appointments. Every one." Oh, no. I couldn't think of a thing to say to Kristy, so we just said good-bye and hung up. I told Mom what had happened.
    She shook her head. "I hope I'm doing the right thing," she said, as if she were talking to herself.
    I hoped so too.
    I Chapter 12.
    I liked reading Abby's notes about helping with the St. Patrick's Day parade. I ended up having a decent time too, and so did the other BSC members. In a way, it made me feel better to see that things hadn't ground to a halt because of what was happening with the Nicholls family. On the other hand, it was sad. I felt guilty about enjoying myself when Nate and Joey were still living with their scary dad.
    I hadn't seen either of the boys since Tuesday. Mom said that Mrs. Nicholls was still avoiding her at work. Mom and I talked every day about what to do next, and my friends and I had chewed over the subject in our BSC meetings too. But so far, the only thing we could do was wait. I still had some hope that Mrs. Nicholls would come to her senses and talk to someone.
    Meanwhile, the BSC was also caught up in final preparations for the St. Patrick's Day parade. Kristy had asked Abby to coordinate our group, so the rest of us took orders from her. She'd told us to show up at Brenner Field at eight on Saturday morning. "That's the staging area," she'd explained, "where all the groups in the parade will meet and get organized." From there, the parade was going to wind its way to Main Street, through downtown Stoneybrook, and return by way of Rosedale, Road and Burnt Hill Road. Our group was to be smack in the middle of the parade, according to Abby, who was in touch with the parade organizers. In front of us would be the marching band, and in back of us would be a float from Bloomer's nursery.
    Abby had assigned each of us a job. Mine was to oversee the kids' costumes. That meant arriving early to I) make sure each kid had remembered to bring a costume and 2) help with adjustments or problems.
    I struggled out of bed at seven (not an easy job for me since I like to sleep in on weekends) and made it to Brenner Field by five after eight. I was working on excuses for being late, but when I arrived I discovered they were unnecessary. The only other people on hand were BSC members. Nobody else in the whole parade had arrived yet!
    “Abby, what time is the parade supposed to start?" I asked.
    She blushed. "Not until ten," she answered. "I just wanted to make sure we were ready." As it turned out, the extra time came in handy when the kids began to arrive minutes later. Charlotte was so excited about the parade that she had forgotten her costume. Marilyn Arnold had ripped hers. And Nicky Pike had spilled maple syrup ("We had

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