The Impossible Clue

The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Rubin
    â€˜Do you know what time it is?’ I asked, not expecting an answer. The air bed had deflated slightly during the night and it was a struggle to free myself. The effort made me sweat, or maybe I was sweating already. Dad must not have turned on the air conditioning. Either that or it was broken again. I hardly dared look at the thermometer. Another summer day in Philadelphia.
    â€˜I need a shower,’ I said and stumbled out of the room.
    â€˜We need to leave by seven. I want to get to the theatre early,’ Della called after me. I nodded, or said yes, I wasn’t sure. I’m not what you’d call a morning person. The music scales started back up again behind me.
    I turned on the shower and let the lukewarm water drown out the sound of singing and bring down my body temperature. Once I was more than half awake, I ran through what I’d read in the Delgado file.
    Dr Adrian Learner was seen going into his office after lunch on Wednesday 17th June. No one saw him again that day. When his assistant, Graham Davidson, came to check on him the next morning, the office was empty. When they reviewed the security footage, there were images of Dr Learner entering his office, and then nothing. The door didn’t open again until Davidson came. From the pictures of Dr Learner’s office and the basic floor plan Delgado had provided, it didn’t look like there were any other ways out of that room. But I couldn’t be sure until I’d seen it for myself. I was also looking forward to seeing the type of equipment Dr Learner worked with. It might give me a clue about the type of invisibility he was studying. And maybe a clue to how he got past the security cameras too.
    I had to admit, the Delgado case was starting to interest me.
    The real question , I thought, is why did Dr Learner disappear . Was he running away from something? Or hadsomeone kidnapped him? He had looked pretty nervous in that security footage. I wondered what the equation was that would help me find the answer.
    Della kicked the bathroom door for me to hurry up. I gave my hair one last rinse and turned off the water. I was dressed and ready to go in under ten minutes. We were in the car by 6.45 a.m. Dad pulled up at the corner of 9th and Walnut, right next to the theatre. Even though the audition wasn’t until 9 a.m., there was already a crowd. Girls of every shape and size stretched around the block, waiting for their chance to audition. There were a large number of redheads, not all natural. And next to them were the stage moms and dads polishing and primping their little stars.
    Della climbed out of the car and smoothed her hair behind her ears.
    â€˜Break a leg, sweetie,’ Dad said. ‘Call me if you need anything.’
    I turned in my seat so I could wave to Della as we drove away. I don’t know if she saw me or not, but she didn’t wave back. She just squared her shoulders and took her place at the end of the line.
    â€˜Do you think she’ll be OK?’ I asked.
    â€˜What are you talking about? She’ll be great. Your sister’s a pro.’
    That wasn’t what I meant. I was pretty sure Mom always went with Della to her auditions. But there was no point in making Dad worried now. Besides, Della knew what shewas doing. She’d been on Broadway.
    As we drove away from Center City, marble buildings turned to brick and then to sagging wood. The pavements became cracked and uneven and the air streaming in through the Plymouth’s open windows stank of old hot dogs and subway steam.
    Then, as if someone had flipped a switch, we hit the suburbs. Like running into a green leafy wall, suddenly there were trees and grass and space between the houses.
    Without any city traffic to hold him back, Dad hit the accelerator. It took Dad twenty minutes to get to the Delgado Industries building off of route 611. Legally, it should have taken forty. I just shut my eyes and counted the number of

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