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CHAPTER SIX






The next morning Charlie took Raymond to have breakfast in a cheap restaurant near their hotel.

A pretty waitress came to their table. Good morning, she said.

Raymond read the girls name on the front of her dress. Sally Dibbs, he said suddenly. 460192.

Sally Dibbs was astonished. How do you know my telephone number? she asked.

Charlie was also astonished. He looked at Sally and then at Raymond.

How do you know her number, Raymond? he asked.

The telephone book, Raymond muttered. In the hotel. The telephone book.

You read the telephone book! Charlie said. He turned to the waitress and laughed. He remembers things, he said. Then he asked Raymond what he wanted for breakfast.

This is Tuesday, Raymond said. Breakfast is coffee and cakes.

Thats fine, said to the waitress. Well have coffee and cakes.

The waitress went to get the food. Suddenly, an anxious expression came across Raymonds face. Where are the toothpicks? he asked.

We dont need toothpicks for cakes, Charlie said.

Raymond shook his head from side to side. Where are the toothpicks? he repeated. Where are the toothpicks?

Charlie closed his eyes and counted to ten. All right, Raymond, he said. Ill get you some toothpicks. But Im also going to make a phone call. I want you to wait for me here.

*

Charlie was on the phone. Dr. Bruner, this is Charlie Babbit.

Dr. Bruner was silent for a second. Then he asked calmly, Where are you, son?

Thats not important, Charlie said. What is important is who Im with.

You have to bring Raymond back, Mr. Babbit, the doctor said.

Yes, I will, Charlie said. When I get my one and a half million dollars, sir. All I want is my half of the money.

I cant do that, Mr. Babbit. You know I cant.

Charlie turned to Raymond. He wasnt at their table! Then he saw him: Raymond was looking all round the restaurant. He still did not have his toothpicks.

Bring him back, Mr Babbit, Dr. Bruner repeated. Bring him back now.



I have not kidnapped him, Charlie said. This was something which worried him. Was Susanna right ? Was Charlie the Businessman now Charlie the Criminal?

I know you havent kidnapped him, Dr. Bruner said. Raymond is not a prisoner at Wallbrook. He is always free to leave us.

Charlie breathed more easily.

But we know how to look after Raymond here, Dr. Bruner continued. we know what he needs. You do not know anything about Raymond, Mr. Babbit.

Raymond was still looking round the restaurant for toothpicks. Charlie watched him anxiously.

Im Raymonds brother, Charlie said into the phone, and my lawyer says I can get custody of him. If you want Raymond back give me my money.

Its not your money, Mr Babbit, the doctor was saying.

Charlie was not listening. He was waving to the waitress.

Toothpicks! he shouted and he pointed atRaymond. He wants toothpicks!

I cannot give you what you want, Mr Babbit, Dr. Bruner continued.

At last Sally gave Raymond a full box of toothpicks. Raymond took the box back to their table.

Charlie was getting angry. Dr. Bruner, youve made a big mustake1 he said. He put the phone down and walked over to where Raymond was siting. Were leaving, Raymond.

Raymond stood up quickly and knocked the box of toothpicks off the table. The box fell to the floor and broke open. The toothpicks went everywhere.

Oh, Raymond! Charlie shouted.

But Raymond was looking down at the toothpicks on the floor. Eighty-two, he muttered. Eighty-two, eighty-two, eighty-two. Toothpicks.

Charlie shook his head. Ray, theres a lot more than eighty-two toothpicks down here.

Raymonds expression didnt change. Eighty-two, eighty-two, eighty- two. Of course thats two hundred and forty-six. Toothpicks.

Charlie turned to Sally Dibbs. How many toothpicks in the box? he asked.

The girl picked up the box and read the number off it. Two hundred and fifty.

Charlie smiled at his brother. That was very close, Raymond, he said. Come on, lets go. Were going to the airport. I have to back to Los Angeles.



As they walked to the door, Sally Dibbs called after them.

He was right! There were two hundred and forty-six toothpicks on the floor. The other four are still in the box.

*

At the airport Charlie telephoned his office. the news was not good. Both the bank and the customer for the Lamborghini cars were still very unhappy. Charlie needed to get back to Los Angeles fast.

Charlie picked up his bag. OK, Raymond, he said. Weve got to move quickly. Our plane leaves in six minutes. Look, there it is out there.

Charlie pointedout through the window atthe plane. Raymond suddenly looked very anxious.

Crash, he muttered. That plane crashed in August. August 16, 1987. One hundred and fifty-six people were ... They were all...

That was a different plane, Ray, Charlie said. This is a beautiful plane. This one is safe.

Crash, Raymond muttered. Crash and burn.

Charlie did not know what to do. They had only four minutes to catch the plane. We have to fly home, Ray, he said. Its important. What did you think we were doing here? This is an airport. This is were they keep the planes! Come on!

Charlie put his hand on Raymonds arm. Raymond put his hand to his mouth and bit it. Then he screamedand began to shake all over.

For a second, Charlie just looked at his brother with an astonished expression. Then he saw that he had to calm Raymond down. Its OK, Raymond, he said quickly. Its OK. Well drive to Los Angeles. It will take three days, but well drive. No planes.

Raymond stopped screaming. His body stopped shaking and slowly the anxious expression left his face.

Im sorry, Raymond, Charlie said softly. Im sorry I upset you.

Charlie turned and began walking out of the airport. A second later Raymond followed him.

 

COMPREHENSION

 

Chapters 4-6

 

1. What do these two things tell us about Raymond ?

a. The toothpicks fallen on the floor.

b. The waitresss telephone number.

 

2. Why does Susanna suddenly decide to leave Charlie ?

 

3. Why does Charlie decide to drive to California instead of taking a plane ?

 

 



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