It was then Catherine turned to Vincent to ask, "I was wondering if there is
anything we have to do before breakfast? Because if not, I would love to visit
Elizabeth, and thank her for my John Keats replica she painted for me.”

Pleased with Catherine's thoughtfulness, he replied, “Of course, we have time to
visit.”

As they entered the Painted Tunnels, Elizabeth was sitting on a stone with a
paintbrush in hand, sipping a hot cup of tea. Mindfully, she was looking at the
wall in front of her, scrutinizing her work.

       Click this link to see larger and more detailed view

Realizing she needed to make a few adjustments, she stood to get her paints,
when she heard Vincent say, “Good morning Elizabeth.”

Happily she looked to the threshold, and said, “Vincent, and Catherine,
welcome, come see the additions to the mural.”

As they stepped forward to look, they were both surprised to see, it was a
sketch of them gracing the wall!  What also caught Catherine's eye, was the new
sketch Elizabeth had added, of a young Vincent.

Apologetically, Elizabeth explained, “Of course I must add color yet, in fact, I
was just about to begin doing so. However tell me first, do you approve?”

Catherine stepped closer and said, “I don’t know what to say! I am honored
you included me here with all the others. I love it! Not to mention the new
sketch of Vincent as a little boy!”

As she looked at the picture of a very young Vincent, Catherine lovingly said, “I
love imagining what Vincent must have been like back then.”

Fondly, Elizabeth said, "Well now you know Catherine, I spend much of my
time alone, I did back then too, but once in a while the children would come and
talk to me, and watch me work. It wouldn’t be long and then they would get
bored and run off. However, not Vincent, he always stayed. He would look at
me with those big blue eyes, and ask me all sorts of questions. I believe those
early days, may have led to his fascination with architecture. Ah yes Catherine,
He was such a good boy, and I always enjoyed his visits back then, and I do
still!"

Affectionately, Vincent told her, “You always made me feel welcome.”

Curious if he still hosted a fascination for architecture, Elizabeth quizzically
asked, “Architecture DOES interest you still, doesn’t it Vincent?”

Vincent nodded, and said, “Yes, indeed it does, especially the work of Frank
Lloyd Wright. Ah, I enjoy the look of his most unusual structures, and reading
about his mindset as he designed them.”

Graciously, Elizabeth offered them some tea, and they were able to stay long
enough to enjoy the company of this talented eccentric woman.

The hour came, when William’s timely breakfast announcement, sounded
through the master pipes, and they had to say their good-byes. But before they
left, Catherine looked at Elizabeth, and said, “I wanted to come here this
morning, to thank you for the John Keats portrait, but now, because of my
portrait included here, I must try to convey my gratitude two fold! Thank you
so much Elizabeth!”

As Elizabeth smiled, she said, “I wanted to do it Dear, after all, you are now
one of us.”

With a hug, Catherine tearfully said, “And I couldn’t be happier!”

Catherine and Vincent entered the Dining Hall, and as Father cheerfully greeted
them, they couldn’t help but notice, he seemed a little preoccupied! Looking
past them, he said, “Good morning!”

Catherine smiled and said, “Good morning Father.”

As he continued looking about, he asked, “Vincent will you be able to complete
that repair to my table later this afternoon, I am most uneasy with the tipsiness
of it!”

In reply, Vincent said, “Perhaps, right after we have breakfast.”

Pleased the repair would happen sooner than he speculated, Jacob said, “Good,
Good my boy.”

Just then, he apparently caught a glimpse, of the person he had been waiting
for…because he abruptly brushed them aside, as Jacob eagerly noted, “Oh my
there is Mary…er Lisa and Ronald, won’t you both please excuse me?”

Catherine and Vincent pardoned Jacob, although they both knew, it wouldn't
have mattered what they said, because he didn't wait around for their answer!
As they watched Jacob take off, they shared a smile, as he greeted Mary!

Lovingly, touching Vincent’s arm, Catherine was just about to tell Vincent, she
needed to go above today, when Jamie, Laura, Rebecca, Brooke, and Pascal
entered the Hall for breakfast.

The moment they saw Catherine and Vincent, the girls began giggling, and
Pascal and Rebecca looked like guilty children, who were trying to hide a
mischievous deed!

They nearly succeeded in slithering past them, when Vincent cleared his throat
and heartily said, “Good Morning everyone! I trust none of you caught colds as
you walked back from the Falls yesterday!”

They all weakly chimed in, that yes, though they were soaking wet from the tug-
o-war, none of them caught colds!

Brooke shyly asked if they enjoyed the remainder of their stay at the Falls, and
Vincent graciously answered, “Yes very much so Brooke, thank you for asking.
That is until we were quite startled by Mouse's arrival! Can you imagine...
Mouse had been miss-directed to the Falls to search for Arthur!”

They all looked at each other and stammered a bit, unsure how to reply! But...
as luck would have it, Mouse came walking up to the group with Arthur on his
shoulder.

Vincent tipped his head as he noted, “I see you found Arthur!”

Mouse pouted as he looked at the others, and said, “Hey! You sent me the
wrong way! Vincent helped me though, he told me the right direction to search.
Thank YOU Vincent for helping me.”

Vincent slyly looked at the others, and then, he turned to Mouse. As he laid his
huge hand on his shoulder, with great sincerity, he truthfully said, "Mouse
believe me when I tell you, it was my pleasure to set you off in the right
direction!"

Guiltily, Pascal said, "I am sorry we were mistaken Mouse."

As Vincent tried to make them feel a little more guilty, he put his arm around
Mouse's shoulder, and said, "Come Mouse, shall we enjoy some breakfast? I
am starving!"

Taking Catherine by the hand they headed for their usual dining spot. As Pascal
walked directly behind them, he and Rebecca looked at one another, feeling bad
for using Mouse as fodder for their prank.

Ronald and Lisa came and sat down too, Catherine couldn’t help but notice how
sweetly they smiled at one another. Catherine dreaded telling Jennifer things
definitely seemed to be heating up between the two.

They all enjoyed their breakfast, and as Vincent took a huge bite of the Hash
Brown Potatoes, he said aloud, “Mmm, I believe the Hash Browns, are
especially delicious this morning!”

Catherine shyly looked downward, knowing Vincent was wanting to call
everyone’s attention to the fact, she helped in their preparation.

In agreement, Rebecca chimed in, “Yes they are really good! Catherine, didn’t
you help peel the potatoes this morning?"

In reply, Catherine said, “Yes I did. Vincent came to my rescue though and
helped me, or we would still be waiting to eat!”

Impressively, Lisa added, “Oh my, how nice of you to help Catherine! I am
afraid when it came time to help in the kitchen, I made myself scarce! That was
never my forte!”

Suspiciously, Pascal commented, “I always wondered, how you managed to
pull that off Lisa! I know I never got out of any work. The one time Winslow,
Devin and I tried to sneak away, and hide in the Echo Chamber, my Dad came
and found us, and took me by the ear, and delivered us to William. I think he
gave us double the work that day!”

Sadly, Lisa looked on, and said, “Well I suppose that may have been back when
Father was losing faith in me. It took more energy to make me do something,
then to let me simply run off!”

In an understanding tone, Ronald said, “I suppose we all went through phases
like that...I know I did.”

Sympathetically, Lisa admitted, “I suppose we all do...but poor Father, I am
afraid I may have been quite a challenge for him to raise. I hate to think how
defiant I had been! I suppose if I could, I would do so many things over
differently. ”

On a positive chord, Rebecca recalled, “But Lisa, you were always there when
it came time to help Mary with the laundry! Now that was the chore I dreaded!”

Sweetly, Lisa smiled and revealed, “I suppose that was because I was able to
spend time with Mary. That was one time I didn’t have to share her with
anyone else, and as we worked side by side, I would imagine she was my real
Mother.”

In conclusion, Lisa smiled as she took in a deep breath, and said, “At any rate,
that was such a very long time ago.”       

She then turned to Ronald, and said, “Well Ronald, are you ready? I think it’s
time for me to say my good-byes.”

Gallantly, Vincent stood too, and asked, “When will you be returning?”

Pleasantly, Lisa answered, “Next weekend. I will be officially starting the Dance
class for the children. Mary did invite me for Tuesday night, but as of right
now, I cannot commit."

She sounded sad, as she confessed, “Oh my, I think I feel homesick already. I
will miss you Vincent, I will miss everyone.”

Lisa wanted to give Vincent a farewell hug, and almost did so, but then held
back, feeling uncomfortable in front of Catherine, wondering if it would be
proper.  

And Catherine, could tell Vincent felt uncomfortable with just a casual goodbye
too.

And so, in an attempt to diffuse the situation, Catherine stood, and gave Lisa a
hug goodbye, saying, “I certainly enjoyed this weekend Lisa, and getting to
know you better.”

Lisa smiled, and said, “Yes…me too Catherine. You know...your friend Jenny
invited me to join her for lunch one day soon. I hope perhaps you will join us as
well.”

Catherine contentedly sighed, and said, “I would love to.”

She then stepped back, so Vincent could say his goodbye. And so he said,
“Lisa, be cautious.”

With a hug, Lisa tearfully said, “I will Vincent…you too.”

Ronald then asked, “Well Lisa, shall we?” And so they left for the world above.

Meanwhile, Catherine, and Vincent entered the restoration chamber, to look at
the desk Catherine had agreed to refinish for Vincent.

As they were talking about the type of wood it was made of, Mary and Peter
peeked inside.

Cheerfully, Peter said, "Good morning kids! What's going on?"

Proudly, Vincent showed Peter Anna's desk, and affectionately said, "Catherine
has graciously agreed to refinish this desk for me. It belonged to Anna."

Impressively, Peter nodded and said, "Oh yes, this is some very fine wood. I
am sure Cathy will do a great job for you Vincent."

Reminiscently, he said to Catherine, "I can still see you, and your Dad.
Remember how you two refinished all the furniture you inherited from your
Grandmother?"

Catherine smiled and said, "It took us months to complete all those pieces! But
when I think back on that time, it was a nice time Dad and I spent together."

Anxiously, Peter then said, "Oh before I forget, Jennifer called. It seems Joe
told her the authorities would like to question the both of you on Wednesday
morning."

He chuckled as he said, "You two girls have stirred up quite a lot of excitement
with the apprehension of those three drug dealers! I brought down the
newspaper article along with me. Let's see....where did I put it?"

As Peter patted around his pockets, Catherine smiled and said, "I feel so bad,
Jen and I are getting all the credit for the apprehension of those men! Vincent is
the reason they are behind bars! Without him showing up when he did, well it
would have been a whole different ending."

Eagerly, Mary asked, "So Peter what is everyone saying about the girls?"

As he continued to search his pockets, he replied, "Well, They are saying
plenty! They are saying how remarkable it was, two young ladies were able to
take those three violent men on! And they are saying....well...let's see what
else...Ah, here's the article right here!"
The Shore of Dreams!
By
Sharon Holtz
Chapter Four
Catherine    Chandler,   and
Jennifer    Aranson     took
down     3   big  time  drug
dealers,   who had   invaded
the    Chandler    apartment
around  10:45 p.m.    Friday
night.  Catherine  Chandler,
bravely   took care  of  one
of    the    assailants   by
knocking    him  out    with
a   candlestick,   meanwhile
Aranson   amazingly  handled
the other two,  by  knocking
their    heads     together.
The thugs were knocked   out
long   enough   for  the two
women to tie  them  up,  and
then      contacted      the
authorities.   Charges   are
waiting  to be filed against
the  perps.
Catherine read the article aloud, and in disbelief, said, "Oh my God! This
sounds like we are a couple of super-heroes or something! I bet Jen is getting a
big boot out of all this attention!"

Peter nodded and said, "Oh yes, She is! At any rate, Joe says the word is out,
and you and Jennifer could still be targeted! As a result, Joe wants you to stay
away from your apartment until next weekend, or so, and, he has protection
assigned to Jennifer!”

Pleased, Joe is taking care of her friend, Catherine said, “Good, I hope she is
being cautious."

Catherine then asked, "What are you two are up
to.”                                                      

Mary smiled at Peter, as she informed them, "Well, Peter has told me, one day
soon, when he does retire, he would like to do so here, with us in the Tunnels!
Isn't that exciting?"

Catherine happily said, "Yes that is exciting! Peter really? Would you consider
living here as a permanent move?"  

Affirmatively, Peter nodded and said, "Oh yes kiddo, especially now with you
living here, well this is where my heart is. Of course I have to speak with Jacob
yet."    

Beaming, with a hug, Catherine said, "Peter that is so wonderful!"

Excitedly, Mary mentioned, “All we need you to do, is pick out a chamber.”

Vincent interjected, "There are three open chambers now, due to the expansion
area Peter. You could now prepare one of them as your own."

To which Peter said, "Maybe I better go speak with..."

Eagerly, Mary interjected, saying, "I would love to help you decorate! Look
here, this extra wardrobe is available, and so are these little tables. I could just
envision one of them donned with a lovely doily with this tiffany lamp upon it!
You could read by the light of it, aside of your bed, or maybe aside of this
comfy chair. You will want to keep up with all of the latest news, within the
medical community! Just as Father does, and...Oh my listen to me...going on
and on..."

Warmly, Peter complimented Mary by saying, "You know the way you
describe it, I think I can imagine it too. But before we say too much, I do have
to speak with Jacob."

Knowing he should talk with Jacob about any permanent plans, Peter stood
solemn for a moment, and as he brought his hand to his chin, he said, "Please
keep this between us for now. I really do have to discuss it with Jacob before I
get carried away."

Realizing they were all getting carried away, in agreement, Vincent said, "Yes,
of course that is a good idea Peter, but we have talked of this possibility dozens
of times with Father.”

And it was then Vincent remembered promising Jacob, he would fix his table
right after breakfast!

So Vincent looked to Catherine, and with a raise of a brow, he said, "In fact...
speaking of Father, he is waiting for me now in his chamber. I promised to do a
repair for him."

Catherine and Vincent said their good-byes, and headed for Jacob's chamber.

To be continued
Chapter Five