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Lionels Grand Adventure

Lionel Turns the Other Cheek

By Paul R. Hewlett

The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved This electronic book (ebook) or any portion thereof may not be copied, sold, or reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review

Chapter 1 RIIIIIING! The school bell blared ending the 1967-68 school year. Lionel Snodgrass found himself getting smashed amongst the herds of kids streaming down the halls to the front doors and the freedom of summer. Ouch! Lionel yelped as an elbow landed in his padded ribs. He pushed his glasses up and struggled to keep his footing. He tried to keep a direct line towards the doors while receiving pushes and shoves from all directions. Finally, after banging knees with another student and wincing in pain, he allowed himself to be taken with the stream of students. After what felt like hours, the front doors appeared and a blast of fresh air hit him full in the face. Summer vacation! Lionel proclaimed. Whoa---- Distracted after finally reaching the front doors, Lionel almost missed the first step. Tumbling down the stairs to a possible broken arm or loosing a few teeth would be no way to begin the summer! He regained his balance and carefully took the stairs one at a time until he was at the T in the sidewalk at the base of the stairs. A teenager at thirteen years old, Lionel had sandy brown hair and pink cheeks. He wore glasses that constantly slid down his nose which he always pushed back up, usually without even thinking about it. A little chubby and slow, he always wore his older brothers hand-me-down clothes. He hiked up his oversized trousers, wiped the sweat from his pink forehead, and smiled to himself. He then started off to his right towards the Post Office. As he thought of what might await him there, his smile turned into a full fledged grin. He had been anxious for the last week, not only because school was almost over, but also (and most importantly) because he was awaiting a letter from Camp Bonine. Several weeks earlier, he had finally convinced his Mom, Bertha Snodgrass, to agree to let him attend summer camp. The effort and expense were immediate turn offs for his Mom. She loathed anything that required any effort or hard work. She would rather encourage him to play cards or watch television while she devoured chocolate after chocolate. After

weeks of ridicule and denials he finally broke through. She finally agreed when he brought to her attention that sending him to camp would mean most of the summer without him at home. This appealed to his Mom, as she pictured her days with fewer lunches to make and half the laundry to do. There was still Lionels big brother Feeney at home after all. She would be without the general annoyance of putting up with him. She had never understood why he wanted to be involved in sports, play with friends, and go to the library. She relished the idea of ridding herself of him for the summer. She had finally relented and signed off on summer camp. Since then he had been eagerly awaiting the letter from Camp Bonine telling him his room assignment and reporting date. Clad in pants that were a little too large for him and his Larrystown XXL athletics department T-shirt, Lionel hurried down Main Street towards the Post Office, pushing his glasses up the whole way. He tried to keep from breaking into a run because it was a little warm and he was already sweating from the hallway experience. He absent-mindedly fondled the contents of his pockets, turning a couple of jacks over in one pocket. He had been practicing hard at jacks in his free time trying to improve upon his personal best of foursies. There was also the fully-punched, used meal card from the cafeteria floating around in there. In the other pocket, he fingered some change, a ball of lint, and his most prized possession, his magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot. He was never without it. It was a bit cumbersome at around four inches; it was shaped like a rabbits foot with three exceptionally long toes. In fact, it very closely resembled a lucky rabbits foot, the kind used as a good luck charm. It was always in his pocket or hanging on a chain around his neck. The Walbaun foot, which he discovered upon moving to Larrystown last summer, was quite magical and invisible to anyone except its owner. It found and helped those in need and while extremely magical, it was also quite unpredictable as he had also found out last summer. Briefly, Lionel slipped back into last summers adventure with the Walbaun foot and the valuable lesson he had learned, but he still wished that he had been able to make a better impression on Carrie. He had a terrible crush on Carrie and had spent most of the school year trying to do or say something impressive to get her to notice him. Maybe this summer he could

Nice underpants, Lionel. Ha, ha, ha! Troy yelled, interrupting Lionels thoughts. Next time wear some pants that fit, said Troy as he sped away on his bike. Troy had been particularly mean to Lionel all school year. He had never really forgiven him for losing the area championship for their baseball team last summer. You were the one who broke your wrist fooling around on your bike before the big game, Lionel muttered to himself as he hiked up his pants. He found himself at the front steps of the Post Office and his thoughts immediately turned towards summer camp. He entered the Post Office quietly. It was always quiet in here. Post Mistress Smith ran an extremely disciplined Post Office. Hoping to avoid contact with the Post Mistress (which was rarely pleasant), Lionel went directly to box 72. He crossed his fingers hoping that he could actually do the combination correctly and open it himself without having to ask the Post Mistress for help. The problem was that the second number was a seven in the combination and one had to set the dial either just above or just under the top of the seven, he could never remember which. He peered into the post box window and saw several pieces of mail jammed in the box. One had to be his letter from Camp Bonine! He wiped the perspiration off his hands on the front of his shirt and tried his luck with the combination. Please open! Lionel pleaded to the lock as he pulled the handle. It did not open. Lionel tried three more times without any luck. His nerves and excitement were getting the best of him and he could not get the box open. He was terrified of the Post Mistress, yet he was dying to see if his room assignment had arrived. For a brief moment he considered using the Walbaun foot to help him open the post office box, but he quickly discarded that idea. The Walbauns lack of mastery of his magic could take him on quite an adventure - an adventure he did not want to spend the time on right now. Overcome with anxiety and excitement, he swallowed hard and approached the window to ask the Post Mistress for the contents of Post Office box 72. Although nervous and anxious, the prospect of spending almost the whole summer away from his Mom and Feeney for the first time in his life was such a driving force, he was able to overcome his fears and approach the window. Remember to call her Post Mistress. Remember to call her Post Mistress.

He waited for her to come to the window. Post Mistress Smith was famous for correcting and even berating those that addressed her as Post Master - she was a female after all. After what felt like ages she appeared in the window. Her lips were set in stone, the bun in her gray hair was pulled tight, and a scowl was on her face. She peered over the top of her glasses glaring down at Lionel.