Beautiful Dreamer

by Allen Morgan


no illustrations

nine chapters - 107 pages

Chapter Seven (part 2)

When Katie got to Mrs. Crandell's house she found her waiting on the front steps. "I'm at my wit's end," Mrs. Crandell exclaimed. "I've been on the phone all morning trying to get the dog people at City Hall, but just because it's Saturday they refuse to answer their phone. I've called the Humane Society three times but they won't do a thing. They won't even come out to see the damage. It's absolutely disgraceful."

Katie thought it was absolutely wonderful. There were fifteen nice neat piles of dog-doo among the dog-don'ts. She scooped them up and presented her bill for three dollars. Mrs. Crandell sniffed as she paid it.

"You'd think with all the taxes we pay there'd be someone from the city who would see to this sort of thing. I was just telling Arthur...."

She stopped talking abruptly and pointed across the lawn. One of the neighbourhood dogs was running this way and that around the yard looking for more biscuits. Mrs. Crandell turned pale. "Arthur, Arthur, come quickly. It's another of those horrible dogs coming to make a mess again."

Arthur responded in a flash. He came running out of the front door with a slingshot in one hand and moth balls in the other. He stopped just past the steps, loaded, and fired. It was not a very good shot. The moth ball landed clear across the street and the dog didn't even know he had been a target. Mr. Crandell loaded another moth ball and took aim.

"I think I better go now," said Katie. She had a feeling that something was about to happen and she didn't want to be around when it did. She hurried down the walk and was just at the street when Arthur got off his second shot. He was definitely getting better. He hit something this time. The moth ball whizzed straight out into the street and whacked against the windshield of a passing car. The car screeched to a halt. The driver got out. Katie didn't stay to see how it turned out but she heard a lot of it as she walked away. The driver's voice carried for blocks.

Katie worked at her other jobs all afternoon. It was almost three o'clock by the time she returned home. She was tired but she really didn't mind; she had ten dollars in her pocket. When Gale came in, she was rich too. Her two jobs had paid five dollars, but that wasn't the best part. The best part was that she had collected $15.50 from their newspaper customers. All of a sudden Katie and Gale had $30.50. It seemed like a fortune.

"Let's put it in the cigar box before we lose it," said Gale. She opened the box and discovered the lottery ticket. "Where did we get this from?"

Katie didn't know what to say. She knew how Gale felt about lotteries and now that the ticket had already lost there wasn't any good way to tell her. She knew Gale was going to be very mad. Gale was!

"You went out and spent our money on a lottery ticket? You just sneaked out and did it without telling me?" Katie nodded. Gale threw the cigar box onto the floor. "Katie Moore, you're a first-class creep. The money in that cigar box belongs to both of us. You're supposed to be my best friend and look what you do. You throw away our money on a stupid lottery ticket."

"I thought we might win something," explained Katie.

"Well did we?"

"No we didn't," admitted Katie. "But we could have."

Gale groaned and rolled her eyes. Katie picked up the ticket and waved it at her. "Listen, it wasn't that bad a ticket, you know. We came very close to winning. Some of the numbers were right. We almost got lucky."

Gale's face turned white. "Which ones?" she whispered.

"Which numbers?" asked Katie. "I don't remember. The first four I think. What does it matter; you need all six. I took a chance and I lost. That's all that happened." She stopped talking and looked at Gale. Gale was shaking her head."You mean you don't need all six numbers?" Katie asked her.

"Only to win a hundred thousand," said Gale. "If you have some of the others and they're in the right places you can still win something."

"How much of something?" asked Katie breathlessly.

"Ten dollars, a hundred dollars, a thousand even. It all depends where the numbers are and in what order."

Katie groaned. "I didn't write down the winning number. How will we know if we won or not?"

"They print all the numbers from the week's lotteries in the Saturday paper," said Gale. "All we have to do is look."

Katie ran into the other room and got the paper. Gale grabbed it from her as soon as she returned and started to tear through it in search of the lottery results. Her face was red and she looked very excited.

"For somebody who doesn't believe in lotteries, you sure know a lot about them," Katie told her.

"Shh," hissed Gale. "I found the numbers. Give me the ticket quick."

She took a long time comparing the numbers. Katie was so nervous she could hardly sit still. She wished Gale would hurry up. Then all of a sudden Gale gasped and looked up at her.

"How much? How much?" demanded Katie.

"We won a hundred dollars," said Gale.

Katie grabbed the paper and looked for herself. It was true. It really was. Katie just stared at the ticket. "Well, what do you know. We're rich!" she whispered. Then realizing what she had just said, she gave a great whoop of joy and started jumping up and down on the bed. Gale joined her and soon they were both doing it.

"We're rich, we're rich," they shouted over and over. "We're hundredaires."

Katie and Gale celebrated. They danced and jumped and whooped all over the house. It was a good thing that Max and Susie were out. They would have thought that Katie and Gale had gone crazy.

On Sunday, Katie and Gale made a special trip to the ice-cream store. They each ordered a sundae - the incredible kind that they had always wondered about, but never had enough money to buy before. The bill came to four dollars. Even though it meant spending their whole allowance, they didn't care. There was $30.50 in the cigar box and $100 from the lottery ticket. They were hundredaires now and what was the use of being a hundredaire if you couldn't have a sundae whenever you wanted? They decided right then and there to have one every weekend - a different one each time until they had tried them all.

"I wonder where we can cash our ticket," said Katie as they walked home.

"At one of the banks," said Gale. "I'll try to find out from my mother which one will do it."

"Okay, but don't tell her why we need to know," said Katie.

continue on to part three of Chapter Seven

return to free on-line stories page