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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 3.
The Hammer Thrower.

Anne was aroused by a shake and a shout.
   "Wake up, lazy bones. It's almost seven thirty and Louise will be here in a minute to collect Timmy." It was George, rushing around like a whirlwind, cleaning her teeth, a quick sloosh for a wash and dressing all at the same time.
   Timmy was still lying on George's bed, one eye open, wondering what all the fuss was about.
   Anne decided to stay in bed until things had settled down.
   There was a light tap on the door. It was Louise for Timmy. "I have left the lift door open and the coast is clear," she whispered, enjoying the excitement of this early morning escapade.
   "Come on Timmy. Time for your breakfast," said George.
   Breakfast! Now that was a word close to Timmy's heart. He was off the bed in a trice.
   Anne heard the pitter patter of feet as the three raced to the waiting service lift.

Julian and Dick called to accompany Anne to breakfast, just as she had finished dressing.
   Louise was standing by the table ready to take their order when the three entered the dining room. "George will be here in a minute. She is making sure Timmy is getting the correct food," said Louise, with a laugh. She obviously thought it funny how George fussed over Timmy.
   After breakfast, of juicy Aberdeen kippers, fresh crusty bread with lashings of butter, finished off with large quantities of fresh tea, Julian pulled out a book of London. "I suggest we visit the Houses of Parliament this morning and Westminster Abbey this afternoon. They are close to each other so it should be easy to view both on the same day."
   All four pulled their chairs close together and poured over the large-scale map of London. Every street was shown and clearly labelled, as were all buildings of interest. The numerous parks were coloured green and the River Thames, winding snake like across the page, a deep blue.
   "If we go down The Brompton Road and walk through Green Park, here," said Dick, tracing the route with his finger, "it should bring us out right by The Houses of Parliament."
   Louise bravely approached the chef, a renowned tyrant, to have a picnic hamper prepared for the five's outing.
   George hurried off to collect Timmy from the kennels. She and Henry were now getting along famously. Their mutual love of animals, Timmy especially, forming a bond between them.

The Five enjoyed being out in the fresh morning air. The bright spring sunshine reflected off the magnificent white stone Victorian and Edwardian buildings. The children were bubbling with excitement over all the new sights to be seen. Pavements were alive with people heading every which way to their various places of work. Roads were choc-a-bloc with cars, taxis, buses and the occasional motorcycle courier weaving, dangerously, in and out of the other vehicles.
   Henry had persuaded George to put Timmy on a lead until he got used to the London traffic, much to Timmy's disgust.
   "It's no good you looking at me like that, Timmy," scolded George, "you are to wear that until I am sure you won't run off into the road at the slightest distraction."
   They finally arrived at Green Park and Timmy was allowed to run loose. He dashed off in a big circle around the children, glad to be free. Timmy's legs were a blur as he raced at break-neck speed, ears flowing behind.
   "Hey! Timmy, you'll blow your ears off if you go any faster," yelled Anne.
   They all laughed. It certainly did looked possible.
   "What's going on over there?" said Dick, pointing across the park.
   As they headed over the children could see three men wearing tracksuits. One of the men was very tall, at least six foot three inches, with huge shoulders. In his hand was a wire and attached to the end of the wire was a black ball the size of a melon. He began to swing the ball around his head. His body went into a spin, pivoting on the soles of his feet. Then with a gasp he let go. The ball, with the wire trailing behind, soared high into the air. It landed a long way off, bouncing high at first, and then less and less, until finally coming to rest.
   The two other men were watching with blind interest. One was small and wiry, with dark oily skin and a black moustache. The other was almost as big as the athlete, but flabby and obviously unfit.
   The thin man with the moustache raced off letting out a tape measure. He reached the slight mark made by the ball where it had first bounced. "Two hundred and eighty feet," he shouted back. "Perfect."
   "That's called 'throwing the hammer'," explained Dick. "One of our six formers throws for the county. He is always practising in the playing fields."
   "Yes," said Julian, quietly. But he was not so sure. He had a frown on his forehead. Something was not quite right. But what was it?
   The five left the men and continued on their way. The park was at its best: Apple and cherry blossom in abundance; Daffodils and tulips adding splashes of yellow and red.
   The Houses of Parliament were heard before seen. The famous chimes of 'Big Ben' sent shivers down the spines of the four children. Eleven chimes. Eleven o'clock.
   "It is strange to hear the chimes for real after listening to them so many times on the radio and television," remarked George.
   The Houses of Parliament confronted them as soon as the five left the park. A magnificent building steeped in history.
   "There seems to be something going on at the gate next to Big Ben," said Julian, gazing towards Westminster Square. "Shall we see what is happening?"
   The five carefully crossed the road at a zebra crossing. The busy streets of London did not compare with their quiet country towns. They walked alongside The Houses of Parliament, passing the bronze statue of Oliver Cromwell. A large policeman at the gate was carefully checking cars before allowing them to enter. The five politely waited until he was not busy.
   "Excuse me," said Julian, "would it be possible for us to be allowed inside?"
   The policeman turned to Julian with a big smile and a glint in his eye. "I am very sorry, young sir," he said, "but Parliament is sitting every day until the end of July..." He was going to continue but a big, black Bentley drove smoothly up. The policeman went over to check the driver's credentials. A face at the back window, boasting a walrus moustache and curious slanting eyes, looked at the children and smiled pleasantly. The policeman saluted smartly, opened the gate and waved the Bentley through.
   Dick's eyes were bulging with disbelief. "Did you see who that was?" he blurted out at last. "It was The Prime Minister."
   As soon as Dick had pointed it out they all recognised the famous face that is so often plastered over the front pages of the national newspapers. After recovering from their amazing good fortune, the five sauntered over to Big Ben and gazed up at one of its huge faces.
   "Everything seems so big in London," said George, voicing all their thoughts.
   They walked further onto Westminster Bridge and leaned over to get a better view of the Houses of Parliament as it swept right down to The Thames. Timmy stood on his hind legs, but was unable to see over the top. He made do with looking through the cast pillars that formed the side of the bridge.
   "Look!" exclaimed Anne. "I can see people working inside. Do you think they are making the laws that govern us?"
   "If it was me," put in Dick. "I would make it law that apple pies were free on a Wednesday."
   "Trust you to be thinking of food again," said Julian, with a grin.
   "Talking of food. I do feel a bit peckish," added Dick.
   From their viewpoint on the bridge they could see a perfect picnic spot. A tree lined green by the water's edge.
   "Timmy! You'll get your head stuck if you're not careful," shouted George, seeing Timmy trying to push his head through the gap between the pillars.

The five had an absolutely wonderful picnic by the River. Anne found a red and white chequered tablecloth on top of the food in the hamper. She laid this on the grass and carefully arranged the food on top. There were ham, turkey and cheese sandwiches made from the same crusty bread they had eaten for breakfast. There was lettuce, tomatoes and celery in separate compartments.
   "Oh look!" said Anne. "Here are some apple pies. Your law has been passed already, Dick."
   There was also a container with dog biscuits and extra goodies for Timmy.
   "Here is a flask. I wonder what is in it," said Dick, unscrewing the lid that doubled for a cup. "Cherryade. Lovely and cool, too."
   Two large white swans and a dozen noisy mallards clambered up the bank to join in the feast. Timmy backed off. What were these strange creatures with long, snaky necks and the other waddly, quacky ones with peculiar mouths?
   After the banquet everyone laid out and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine. It seemed a favourite spot for Londoners, too. Many had brought out their lunch boxes and were sitting in groups on the grass, chatting gaily. Others, the girls in colourful dresses, the men with their suit jackets thrown casually over their shoulders, strolled along the river bank taking in the pleasant surroundings.
   "Come on, you lot," said Julian, after sometime had elapsed. "We planned to see Westminster Abbey this afternoon."
   The other three groaned. "Do we have to?" But they all packed everything away and set off across the road.

Inside, the Abbey was rather cold. Chandeliers hung down from the high ceiling on long wires. A pungent smell of incense hung in the air. The stained glass windows were of exquisite design and the sun shone through filling the building with a multitude of colour.
   The children wandered around with great interest noting all the late kings, queens and famous lords and ladies who were buried within the Abbey. They peeked into the small chapels along the eastern side where people were silently praying.
   "Everything is so quiet," whispered Dick. "I am bursting to shout out something aloud."
   "Don't you dare," hissed Anne.
   They visited the crypt, down below, where more famous people were laid to rest and finally back out into the open air.
   "Phew!" Gasped Dick. "What a relief...Yaahoo!" He let out a loud yell.
   "I've never known you to be so quiet for so long," remarked Anne.
   A huge tomb of Sir Harry Hotspur, a famous knight of the 14th Century, dominated the grounds of the Abbey. A magnificent bronze statue of Sir Harry surmounted the tomb. He was depicted in full battle regalia, astride a rearing horse.
   "Come on you three. It is getting cold and late. Time to be heading back," decided Julian.
   It was true. The sun was now low on the horizon, blocked off by the tall London buildings and there was a distinct chill in the air.
   "Can we take a taxi home?" asked Anne, in a weak voice. "I feel suddenly so tired."
   The taxi driver was at first reluctant about taking Timmy, but Anne did a bit of pleading and he soon relented.
   Mr. Tyler called to the children as they entered the foyer. "Master George, your Mother is waiting in the Drawing Room. I think she would like to have a word with you all."
   The five, Timmy's presence seeming to go unnoticed, walked over to the big oak door with a plaque clearly marked 'Drawing Room', and entered. Aunt Fanny was enveloped in one of the many big cosy armchairs, reading a magazine. She looked up as the five came in. "Ah, there you are!" she said, beaming. "Please take a seat and I will explain to you what is happening."
   Anne and George sat on the sofa opposite Aunt Fanny. The two boys each pulled up a chair and Timmy flopped at George's feet.
   "Professor Dandashi has arrived," began Aunt Fanny. "He and Quentin have been working together on the laser project and will be helping Quentin with the seminars. There will be two seminars. One in three days time and the other a week later. The first one, on Saturday, is for Ministers, MPs and top business executives who have engineering interests. The second seminar will be for fellow scientists and business personnel. Professor Dandashi's daughter, Vivien, has accompanied her Father. As Quentin and Professor Dandashi will be busy planning for the seminars I have arranged for you children to have a separate table for your meals. I have also put Vivien on your table. I am sure you will make her welcome."
   "Yes of course we will, Mother," said George. They all secretly loved being away from the grown-ups.
   "Dinner will be at seven-thirty," said Aunt Fanny. "That gives you an hour to get ready. Oh, George, the seminars are very important to your Father. You must wear a suitable dress when you attend."
   "Oh! Mother, you know how I..."
   "George, that is your father's orders. On the mornings of the seminars I will lay out a suitable dress on your bed."

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