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epilogue
chapter 23
chapter 22
chapter 21
chapter 20
chapter 19
chapter 18
chapter 17
chapter 16
chapter 15
chapter 14
chapter 13
chapter 12
chapter 11
chapter 10
chapter 9
chapter 8
chapter 7
chapter 6
chapter 5
chapter 4
chapter 3
chapter 2
chapter 1

The Famous Five: The Final Adventure.
A tribute to Enid Blyton.

Chapter 1.
An Exciting Letter.

Anne looked up from her schoolwork to see her cousin, Georgina, rushing towards her waving a piece of paper excitedly.
   George sat down, breathless, her tousled hair looking more like a boy's than a girl's. "Guess what, Anne, I have just received a letter from Mother and we will not be going to Kirren this Easter."
   "Oh! Why not?" Anne exclaimed, disappointment showing in her voice. She loved spending the holidays with George and her brothers, Julian and Dick, at Kirren Cottage where they had shared many an adventure.
   George laughed. "No silly, it's good news. We are going to London. Father is attending a seminar and Mother has decided we could all go as well. Look!" She handed Anne the letter.
The two girls were instructed to join Julian and Dick and catch the train to London where Aunt Fanny would be waiting to meet them.
    Anne turned to George, her eyes shining. "Oh! How exciting. The four of us in London."
   "Five," corrected George. "I am going down to tell Timmy now."
   Timmy was George's dog, but adored by all four of the children. He went everywhere with them and even stayed at the kennels where the two girls went to school, so that George could visit him every day. Timmy was just as devoted to George as she was to him and had helped the children out of many a tight scrape.
   Anne got up. "I will come with you," she said. "I have almost finished my prep., thank goodness."
   The two girls hurried out to the kennels, bubbling with excitement. Timmy was very pleased to see them and jumped up to lick George's face, his tail wagging furiously.
   George laughed. "We will all be together in three days time. The Famous Five."
   "Three days," groaned Anne. "I am sure it will go slowly. It always does when you are waiting for something exciting to happen."
   George grinned. "Well, it will be worth it," she said. "What do you think, Timmy? Is it worth waiting three days for lots of walks and food and to see Julian and Dick?"
   "Woof," barked Timmy, loudly. "Woof. Woof."

Surprisingly the girls were so busy over the next few days that it seemed no time at all before they were all packed and ready to go.
   "Julian does know that he is coming to pick us up, doesn't he?" asked Anne, anxiously.
   George nodded. "Yes. Mother told me she had written to him with all the details. Don't worry. They will definitely be here."
   And sure enough, just as she had finished speaking, a car drew up in front of the school and the two boisterous figures of Julian and Dick tumbled out. The girls raced down the steps to greet them with hugs, while Timmy pranced around trying to lick every part of the boys' skin possible. Julian and Dick laughed and pushed the girls away so they could look at them properly.
   "My!" Julian exclaimed. "Hasn't Anne grown. She is almost as tall as me." Anne pushed her brother playfully. "Don't be silly," she said, for she was only just up to his shoulder.
   Dick reached out and gave his cousin a friendly slap on the back. "Well George, you still look exactly like a boy."
   George grinned at him gratefully for George had always wished she had been a boy and had made up for it by cutting her dark, curly hair short and wearing boyish trousers and shirts.
   "Well," said Julian. "I think we had better be off. Our train leaves in twenty minutes. We don't want to miss it, do we?"
   This made everyone rush to get into the taxi. Miss the train after waiting all this time? No way!

On arrival at the station Julian took on an authoritative manner. He thanked and paid the taxi driver and organised porters to carry the luggage to their train. Anne gazed at her brother in admiration. He could be so polite and grown up if he chose.
   Julian felt Anne's look and slipped his hand into hers. "Come on everybody. Let's get aboard."
   They raced along the platform, found an empty carriage and bundled in just as the train began to move off. George pulled down the window and the five leaned out and waved at the people left behind on the station.
   "Goodbye school. Goodbye teachers. Goodbye everybody. We are on our way to London. Hurrah!"
   Once out of the station Julian ordered that the window be put up. "In case anyone falls out. And don't look at me like that, George, we do not wish to lose you before we even get to London."
   George laughed. Nothing could annoy her today for the five were together again and off on an adventure.
   The children passed their time with tales of their school term pranks. Dick recounted a practical joke he and Julian had played on their science tutor. "We were having a practical chemistry lesson," he explained. "So Ju and I organised it so that everyone mixed their chemicals at the same time. It made the most frightful bang and even brought the Headmaster running. You should have seen old Henderson jump, he couldn't work out what on earth had happened."
   This made the girls laugh. George looked at him with envy. "I wish I could have been there. You seem to have much more fun than we ever do."
   Anne shook her head. "Oh! Come on George, we have our fair share of laughter."
   But George was adamant. No, she was sure that the boys had more fun.
   Julian decided to change the subject in case George flared up, as she often did. "Dick and I persuaded the cook to pack us a picnic for our journey." He held up a big rucksack full of food.
   To his surprise, George and Anne burst out laughing. What was so funny?
    "Anne and I had the same idea," said George, and she held up a bag also.
   Dick grinned. "Well it looks as though we are going to have a real feast."    And they did, with ham and egg sandwiches, crisps, biscuits, potted raspberries from George and Anne's school fruit garden and home made cherry cake and ginger beer to finish.
   "Mmm," said Dick, patting his stomach. "That was delicious."
   The others nodded in agreement.
    Anne looked around at the empty packets. "I don't believe we have eaten it all. We must have been hungry."
   "Well, Timmy managed to scoff down quite a few of those ham sandwiches," said George, patting her dog's head. "Didn't you, Tim?"
   "Woof," said Timmy and sniffed the empty packages hopefully. Any more?
   "Sorry Timmy," said Anne, clearing away the mess. "All gone."
   Julian yawned and looked at his watch. "Well, if you don't mind I think I will have a little nap. We've still got plenty of time before we reach London."
   Everyone agreed with him and the four children were soon fast asleep. Timmy lay as close to George as he could, nose between paws. But intruders beware! Timmy might be asleep but his ears were always alert and he was ready to protect the children at all times.

George was the first to wake. She stretched and looked out of the window. How the scenery had changed since the beginning of their journey. Gone were the multitude of trees and hills and in their place were houses and tall buildings. They must be near London. She reached out and shook the others awake. "Look! Look! I think we are almost there."
   The children crowded to the window eager to catch their first glimpse of London, England's capital city.
   Anne gazed at the slate roofs and neat little gardens. "I can see a little dog and a child playing ball and a mother hanging out her washing."
   Soon they felt the train begin to slow as it pulled into the station.
   "Come on, everybody," cried Julian. "Grab all your stuff. We have arrived."
   They all scurried around to collect the bits and pieces that had been brought for the journey and followed Julian off the train.
   The five stood on the platform and immediately felt dwarfed by the almost cathedral like grandeur of Waterloo station. Sights, sounds and smells bombarded their senses. Parallel double platforms vanished into the distance, some empty others occupied by local electric or intercity steam trains. High above hung a vast expanse of ribbed ceiling discoloured by decades of smoke. Nimble porters, pushing luggage-laden trolleys, weaved expertly between hurrying commuters. A huge, glistening steam engine, shunting carriages, set up a staccato of multiple collisions. Unseen carriage doors slammed shut. A whistle blew. Tannoy speakers echoed out garbled messages. Dick would never forget the, surprisingly pleasant, combined smells of coal, steam and oil.
   Suddenly, George heard her name being called and swung round to find her mother rushing up the platform towards them. "Children, I am so glad you have arrived safely. You know how I worry."
   George hugged her mother lovingly. "We were quite safe, Mother, with Timmy and Julian to look after us."
   "Yes, of course. Julian how grown up you have become." Aunt Fanny hugged her nephews and niece in turn. "Well, come along. I have a car waiting for us outside and here is a porter to carry your luggage."
   The four children greeted the car with hoots of delight. It was so unlike the taxis that they knew. This was a large black, shiny London cab. They could not wait to get inside.
   The taxi driver grinned at their enthusiasm. "'old on. 'old on. You can't all sit on the back seat. You two big lads can use the fold down uns. And you, me grand fella," he said ruffling Timmy's coat, "can lay on the floor in between."
   As soon as they were all settled Aunt Fanny turned to the others. "I am so sorry Uncle Quentin could not be at the station to greet you but he is so busy preparing for the seminar at the moment."
   "That's OK, Auntie," Julian answered. "Can you tell us what he has invented this time, or is it a secret?"
   "Well, I am not totally sure myself," admitted his aunt. "I think it is some sort of powerful laser that cuts through a rare, hard metal. But I am sure you will discover more in due course."
   "Will we be able to attend his conference?" asked Julian, eagerly. He had always admired his clever Uncle.
   "Yes, of course," Aunt Fanny smiled. "The seminar is planned for Saturday and I am sure he would be pleased for you all to go."
   A sudden shout from Dick made them all look out of the window. "Look everyone. There is Buckingham Palace."
   The four children studied the huge building in silence.
   "I wonder if the Queen is at home," said Anne, finally. "Maybe she will invite us in for tea." The others laughed.
   The taxi driver was kind enough to drive the scenic route to the hotel, passing some of the city's main attractions. Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey and was that 'Big Ben'?
   "I wonder why they call such a magnificent clock 'Big Ben'?" said George.
   "I know," said Dick. "It is the bell not the clock that is called 'Big Ben', after Ben Hargreaves the owner of the foundry where it was cast." He was proud of all he had learned from reading about London during the last few days.
   They were now passing a huge expanse of greenery and trees that stretched out as far as the eye could see.
   "What is that called? Aunt Fanny," Anne asked.
   "That is Hyde Park," replied her Auntie. "Your Uncle and I have spent much of our time walking there since we arrived. You can see it from the hotel."
   The taxi turned off down a small road and drew up outside a magnificent building.
    "Is this where we will be staying?" asked Julian, excitedly.
   His aunt nodded. "Yes, this is our hotel. It has a splendid conference room where the seminar will be held."
   The four children gazed up at the high-class building and Anne felt the familiar rush of excitement. Would these next few weeks hold another adventure that 'The Famous Five' were so used to? Well she would have to wait and see.

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