The Art Centre: The Saga Unfolds - Part Four
"Blu, could you do me a favour, draw me up any papers you ever used while you
were building this place, and fighting to keep it for all the years it's been
here? You know, contracts, legal statements, dates, anything?"
He gave a hesitant laugh. "Erm, Cody, you know that would be over 25 years
of records, right?" I nodded. "Well, I think there's a box in the back I already
packed up. I don't need them any more, so you can have them. One less thing
to fit on the truck, I suppose. But you sure are asking weird questions lately!"
And with that, he sat down and started flipping through a back issue of "NeoArt
The box was bigger and heavier than I expected. I had to get Shimo and Maleesa
to help me carry it over to the bus stop. I also had to buy them a coffee each
for their troubles. "Hey, anytime!" Maleesa said as I got onto the bus, smiling
and sipping the most expensive coffee in the shop, a Kabuggle Mocha. Shimo did
The bus doors closed and I shuffled around, trying to get the box onto the
seat. At my stop, I got off and dragged the box home.
I started looking through the past year. It was mostly just calendar dates
of when guest were coming in, bills, and other meaningless papers of that sort.
I went on to the year before. This time, there was not only bills and calendars,
but renovation plans and costs. (That was the year they added the How to Draw
area.) I poured over everything once, twice, and sometimes a third time. By
the end of four hours, I had made my way almost to the first five years. There
was nothing. I was so frustrated, I stood up and threw my chair under the table.
This, of course, knocked the box off and sent papers flying all around the room,
their order demolished. I stared at the mess, and I lost it. I blew up. It seemed
every glitch was only just a glitch, every lead was to a solid wall. I kicked
the papers, stomped around, and then collapsed on the couch.
I slept for hours. When I finally woke up, I started wearily to gather up the
papers and throw them in the box. I didn't care anymore. The Art Centre was
going to close, and I would find somewhere else to go. Maybe I could join a
cooking club. I had always liked cooking. It was then that I picked up a contract,
dating from the year before the Center had opened. 1973. This was the oldest
one I had seen so far, so I gave it a quick glance over before throwing it in
I continued to collect the papers when I froze. I immediately, frantically
started searching for the 1973 contract. A few minutes of searching yielded
just what I was looking for. I looked at the bottom of the paper and saw it
was signed by two people: Pete Oswold, of course, and another name that sounded
familiar, although I couldn't place it with a history of face- Basil Greenwood.
I decided that I would give this case jut one more try.
The Plot Thickens
I surfed the net for any information on him, but all I got was broken links.
I decided to call Blu.
"Hi, it's Cody. Listen. Do you know a Basil Greenwood?"
"Why, yes I do. He was a former partner of mine." I was shocked.
"But, the Art Centre has always been run by you alone!"
"Oh no. Basil was the one who gave me the idea. We both had a passion for
art. We worked together for a long time to win the land for the Center."
"So, when did he become a "former" partner?"
"Well, he had wanted the Art Centre to be run for profit, to make a living
of it. Charge people to come, charge people to observe, charge people to create-
he said we would make a gold mine. But I said no. We argued for a long time
about it, and finally, he quit the project." I smiled. Success was mine. "Thanks,
Blu, for your time." I hung up. This Basil character wanted to get back at Blu
for ruining his dream 25 years ago.
I picked up the phone again and dialed the operator. "Could I get a number
and address for Basil Greenwood?" I scribbled down, Basil Greenwood, (213)555-5693
44 Chiaplow Drive Neopia Central. Unfortunately, I had no idea where that was.
I checked the area code again. 213--that was the area code for the North Eastern
quarter of Neopia Central. I had a start. I knew who the culprit was, where
he was, and why he was doing it. But I didn't know his plan. What would he do
with the Art Centre?And Blu could always open another one somewhere else. I
had done a lot today, so I decided to put it to the back of my mind.
In the kitchen, I was cooking dinner, when I glanced at the calendar. Oh my
Neopia, I thought to myself, when my eyes rested upon the day's date: the 29th
of August. I only had 2 more days before the big party, and then Blu would start
moving out! I had to work fast. I hurriedly finished dinner.
Figuring that by myself in my apartment I could get very little done, I headed
down to the Art Centre. When I walked in, however, the upset, anger and sadness
I had anticipated had diminished down to a few solemn looks and a bit quieter
talking. I was confused; these people had just had the upset and shock of their
lives--now they are fine with it? I looked around for my friends, and when I
found them, they were all huddled around a table, talking, to the new guy. I
walked right up behind them and said, "Oh, hi to you too, guys!"
To be continued...