London Art Chase

Free London Art Chase by Natalie Grant

Book: London Art Chase by Natalie Grant Read Free Book Online
Authors: Natalie Grant
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how fast I ran across the square today?”
    â€œFast or slow, there will be no more running today,” Miss Julia said. “We’ve had our fair share of running.”
    â€œDo you think the cellist will make the director call Mom?” Mia’s voice was laced with worry.
    â€œI think after she cools down, and especially if it turns out that her cello is okay, she’ll let it go.”
    â€œHer cello sounded fine to me,” Mia said.
    â€œTo me too,” Miss Julia answered. “It’s not doing us any good to worry.”
    â€œI don’t think we should worry about the painting, either,” Mia said. “I mean, don’t you think the museum director would know if a painting vanished off the wall?”
    â€œBut I just saw the thief walking away with a painting,” Maddie insisted.
    â€œWe don’t know he’s a thief,” Mia said.
    â€œWe saw him,” Maddie said. “You know we did.”
    â€œI’m just saying we shouldn’t worry. Miss Julia is right. Nothing seems to be wrong at the museum.”
    â€œEverything is wrong.” Tears pricked at the corners of Maddie’s eyes.
    â€œYou know what?” Miss Julia said. “I think we need a breather. Let’s hail a cab and get some dinner into all of those hungry stomachs. And try not to be any later for the concert than we already are, okay?”
    â€œOkay,” Mia said.
    â€œWe’re sorry, Miss Julia,” Lulu said, taking Miss Julia’s hand.
    Maddie couldn’t bring herself to say anything at all, not during the walk or the cab ride, not while they put on their concert dresses, not even while they ate dinner—her favorite, mac and cheese.
    Miss Julia snapped a couple pictures of their concert outfits for the travelogue. Then they were off again, on their way to the concert hall.



FIFTEEN
    N ow, go in quietly, girls,” Miss Julia warned, holding the door open.
    Of course, at that moment, Mom had just walked up to the microphone to start a new song. The crowd had fallen silent.
    Into the silence, Lulu shouted, “Hi, Mommy!”
    Mom looked over at the girls—actually, everyone in the entire hall looked their way. Maddie cringed, feeling all those eyes focusing in on them. Behind her, she felt Miss Julia tensing up too.
    â€œGlad you could join us,” Mom said, smiling wide.
    Maddie let out the breath she was holding and smiled back.
    â€œCome on up here to your spot, girls,” Mom said, waving them to the front.
    Lulu led the way, waving to the crowd as she went. Maddie stuck close to Mia, relieved to have her sister right there by her side. Sometimes, Maddie wondered how Mom could stand it, being up on stage with all those people—strangers, most of them—watching her perform for hours. Maddie occasionally liked putting on a costume and acting, but that was different. That wasn’t being yourself up on stage. When Maddie had to play concert recitals, her hands would shake like leaves in a windstorm while she sat in the audience waiting for her turn. Each time she’d be convinced she’d never be able to play. In the end, she’d calm down as soon as she put her fingers on the keys. But the walk up to the stage, out there in front of everyone, was very, very hard for her. This walk down the aisle wasn’t quite so bad. Soon, they were in their usual spot, up close to the stage where they could almost reach out and touch Mom.
    Mom nodded at Dad, who began to play, and the rest of the band joined in. “We’re not here for me,” Mom said, and then pointed to her band, “We’re not here for them, either. We’re here to give glory to God.”
    Maddie closed her eyes as Mom began to sing, letting the music and the words wrap around her, warm and soft and secure. She felt a tug on her arm.
    â€œMaddie, someone over there is crying,” Lulu whispered.
    Maddie looked over and saw it was true.

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