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#17: Rainbow Riddle > Chapter 12: The Rainbow Riddle - Summary

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William Land (williamland) | 1097 comments Mod
Chapter 12: The Weird Cry

The weird cry puzzled Judy more than frightened her. It was followed by a low moan, then a series of short sobs ending in a stifled gasp as if the ghost was exhausted. From Peter’s expression, she couldn't tell if he was puzzled, curious or just mildly interested. The real estate man however had turned green. He quickly left. Peter suggested that they go inside since the real estate man had left the door open. “Maybe the Griggs haven't invited us but the ghost has. Let’s pay it a visit.” Judy hesitated for a minute, not because she was afraid, that wasn't her reason for pausing a moment and giving Peter a look that said more than words could. He'd always be like this, she was thinking. Whatever else she might worry about, one thing she knew - life with Peter would never be dull. Even the times he would be away, she would have the joy of anticipating exciting things when he came home. He was every bit as eager as she was for adventure. Another wail split the silence. He grabbed her hand and they headed upstairs. The emptiness was eerie. They searched the upstairs , finding only a child’s nightgown in a closet. Peter called it a woman ’s house dress. “that shows how much a man knows about what women wear,” teased Judy. “It’s a child’s nightgown.” “With printed flowers all over it? I thought nightgowns were white or pink.“ Judy made a face at him and closed the door. They didn't find anything of value but they did find a broken compact and Judy suggested having it tested for fingerprints and was a little surprised when Peter took her seriously and kept the mirror. They searched all the bedrooms and looked hastily in the bathroom. “Whatever it is we won't find it up here. Our ghost must be invisible. What puzzles me is what happened to the Griggs? I hope they didn't move out before Roberta got home.” “Oh. Peter, suppose they did. Suppose she came and-- and was frightened away by the ghost? The wailing noise would be terrifying to a little girl.” Peter tells Judy that either Pauline or Sylvia would have been with her. If the Griggs weren't there, they would have called the police or taken Roberta with them. The only way to find out about Roberta is to call Pauline, they went to see if the phone at the bottom of the stairs still worked. It did. Judy gave the operator Emily Grimshaw’s number and was pleased when Pauline answered. She is happy to hear from Judy but becomes alarmed when Judy tells her that the Griggs house is empty. Pauline said they dropped her off in front of the house and that Roberta didn't want them to come in. After Judy hangs up she tells Peter that she thinks Roberta is the ghost. They decide to search again. “It strikes me that the Griggs home hasn't been a very nice environment for Roberta.” Peter said thoughtfully. “It should excuse her for a lot of things,” agreed Judy, “but not for hiding and frightening us when we only want to help her. Peter questions whether she would recognize their voices because they might sound strange in the emptiness of the house. Judy makes a noise to check and nearly scares herself. She heads upstairs and Peter was going to search the cellar and downstairs. Judy is surprised that the bathroom door is now closed. When she rattled it and shook it, she heard a scraping, sliding sound and a noise like the rustling of garments and then a crash that echoed through out the house. Judy can hear a noise behind the door. Then silence after an echo. Had Peter heard it? Why hadn't he come to see what it was. “Judy was seized with the fear that something had happened to her husband. Terrified she raced back downstairs, calling Peter as she ran.

Don't you think it was really irresponsible to just drop Roberta off without seeing if Roberta’s aunt was home. For one thing, she might have been really angry at Roberta for taking off the way she did and stealing money beside. She was not a nice woman. They may have needed to calm her or reason with her. They should have made sure that she wasn't angry enough to hurt Roberta. (of course then we wouldn't have a plot device)


William Land (williamland) | 1097 comments Mod
This book shows many moments of tenderness and love between Judy and Peter. Sadly, for the readers and the betterment of the series, the editors decided that Peter would be away from home often in future stories so such moments as shown at various times in this book occur less.

It was very irresponsible for Pauline not to meet with Roberta's aunt when the young girl was returned to Mrs. Griggs. I can't imagine that any responsible adult would not make sure that a runaway child was not delivered to another responsible adult.


message 3: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Sweet | 171 comments I think everything with Roberta is irresponsible. Absolutely. Even more so with what we learn in Stone Lantern. I have a grandaughter a year younger and I cannot imagine her being dropped off somewhere! I think we baby children more now but this is horrible.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 521 comments Totally agree with Pauline just dropping off Roberta without even checking to see if anyone was home let alone handing her over to another adult. And wasn't Sylvia with her? What were they thinking?


message 5: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 831 comments Sounds like Pauline, but not, Sylvia.


William Land (williamland) | 1097 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Sounds like Pauline, but not, Sylvia."

It definitely is out of character for Sylvia to behave so irresponsibly. Sometimes writers have to have characters not act as they normally would in order to advance the plot. The plot could not unfold as it does if Roberta had not returned to the Griggs's home.

As a reader, though, I find it glaring when characters behave out of character without any reasonable explanation.


J. Michael | 130 comments Beverly wrote: "Sounds like Pauline, but not, Sylvia."

Yes, indeed. Pauline has behaved irresponsibly many times before, on the bus when she and Judy and Irene are traveling to New York and trying to capture Dale's attention in "The Yellow Phantom", and more seriously, when she tells Lorraine that Arthur and Judy were engaged during "The Secret of the Barred Window." It's hard to dislike Pauline, but sometimes as a reader I would happily wring her neck.


J. Michael | 130 comments Addendum: I kept thinking about Sylvia, so I went back and re-read the text. When Judy and Peter are discussing Roberta's return to the Griggs house, Peter says, "Pauline OR Sylvia would have been with her." And then Pauline tells Judy, "WE drove up there in Father's car yesterday and dropped Roberta off right in front of the house."

Does "WE" refer to Pauline and Sylvia or does it refer to Pauline and Dr. Faulkner? We don't really know what Pauline and Sylvia did after the wedding. Did they stay in Farringdon that night, then get up the next morning and return to New York City via Connecticut? Or did Pauline, Sylvia and Roberta all go back to New York that night, so "we" could drive Roberta to Connecticut the next morning? It's kind of ambiguous ... or maybe I'm trying to make it so ...


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 521 comments J. Michael wrote: "Addendum: I kept thinking about Sylvia, so I went back and re-read the text. When Judy and Peter are discussing Roberta's return to the Griggs house, Peter says, "Pauline OR Sylvia would have been ..."
I think I'd rather think Sylvia was so irresponsible rather than Dr. Faulkner!


J. Michael | 130 comments Rebekah wrote: "I think I'd rather think Sylvia was so irresponsible rather than Dr. Faulkner!"

Oops! It appears that Dr. Faulkner IS the irresponsible party! In Chapter 14, Judy tells Roberta that the man who treated the bump on her head, "was Dr. Faulkner, Pauline's father." And Roberta responds, "I know. He was the man who took me back to Aunt Alma's house. I didn't know she wasn't there until the car had gone." To which Judy responds, "Dr. Faulkner was awfully sorry when he heard about that."

Apparently all my mental gymnastics were pointless. I should have known that Margaret would button down the details eventually. She usually does!


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 521 comments J. Michael wrote: "Rebekah wrote: "I think I'd rather think Sylvia was so irresponsible rather than Dr. Faulkner!"

Oops! It appears that Dr. Faulkner IS the irresponsible party! In Chapter 14, Judy tells Roberta tha..."

OMG!!!! I bet he was "awfully Sorry"!


message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Sweet | 171 comments And it bothers me even more when we find she is 2 years younger than thought. 5 or 6?


William Land (williamland) | 1097 comments Mod
Cindy wrote: "And it bothers me even more when we find she is 2 years younger than thought. 5 or 6?"

Roberta is really eight years old, and not ten, as Judy and Peter learn at the conclusion of "The Clue of the Stone Lantern."

Pauline and her father were so irresponsible when delivering Roberta to her "home."


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 521 comments Cindy wrote: "And it bothers me even more when we find she is 2 years younger than thought. 5 or 6?"

Good point, Cindy. speaking of that. Is there a reason Margaret worked in that Roberta was 2 years younger than everyone thought in Stone Lantern? Was it necessary for some reason?


message 15: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Sweet | 171 comments It was to fit the profile of the kidnapping victim.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 521 comments But couldn’t she have just made it 7 years since kidnapping instead of 5?


message 17: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 831 comments Maybe the age discrepancy is to keep Peter from making the link to Robera right away.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 521 comments That makes sense, Beverly!


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