In our last episode, Della talked to an old lady who gave her no information at all, found something that proved Mr. Jorgenson bought a gun recently, and made Dax super angry. Here's what happened next.
The next day Dax hadn't called, and Della was beginning to be worried,
Maybe a stray bullet hit HIS car too!
so up she picked the phone
No prepositions at the end of MY sentence. Or... words like "up." In the middle of my sentence.
and dialed. On the first ring Dax answered, "Yes?" he said.
"I want to know where you are," Della demanded.
Obviously he is at home if he is answering the phone.
"Where have you been and why haven't you called me?"
Gosh. She is WHINY.
Dax sighed. "I just left last night, let me have a few hours of privacy!"
That's reasonable. Which means Della will hate the concept.
Della shook her head. "Privacy is a privilege and you don't get it. Life's too complicated for that.
Life is too complicated for privacy?
Over here right now, get you,
"Or use the Force on you Yoda will."
and you have to work on this deep project!"
I'm not sure I'd call it "deep" so much as...anything else but deep.
Dax said, "Didn't you hear a word I say last night? I don't know what to DO with that, so I'm just not going to try."
Dax is apparently a bit of a defeatist.
Della stopped her foot
Which was good, since it had developed sentience and wanted to go off and make a life for itself. Obviously I meant "stomped."
and said, "But that's quitting!"
"You bet that quitting," Dax said smugly,
SMUGLY? Wow, say hello to the whole new Dax!
"and that's just what I intend to do!"
Della couldn't believe her mouth,
Or...Dax's words. Which is what I meant. Possibly "the words coming out of Dax's mouth."
she just sat there with her mouth open going, "Uhhhh...." and then finally she said, "So you mean you're not going to help me?"
DING DING DING DING! We have a winner!
Dax shook his head firmly. "I'm definitely not going to. And furthermore, I can't stand working with you."
Wow. When he asserts himself, he really ASSERTS!
The pain! The agony! Della furiously said, "That all?"
"I think you should know I'm feeling pain and agony right now!"
"No. Can't you just let this whole thing along? It's not going to do anything good."
"Well, I NEVER!" Della said,
Good comeback, Della. Good comeback.
and hung up the phone. A moment later she considered and picked it up and called her lawyer. Mr. Roth.
Oh, my. She's going to sue Dax? One might consider this an overreaction.
Mr. Roth told her that, yes, Dax could get a lot of trouble for what he had said her.
In what alternate reality?
It was called slander or something like that, and he could get up to a year in prison for it. Della thought about that but didn't think that really that would be appropriate. "No, never mind," she said.
I think she was hoping for something equivalent to a light slap on the wrist.
She hoped she could still get him to change his mind and work on the project with her.
When she hung up the phone and placed it back on her receiver,
She did indeed do both.
she realized with a start that she never finished following Mr. Jorgenson yesterday,
She should go back to yesterday and try again!
and wondered if she should try following him again today. Yes, that was a good plan, she decided, and she would do so.
Cragbbedding... One of my favorite hobbies.
her happy coat
O joyous coat!
and ran out the door, hair flying.
Mr. Jorgenson had replaced the tire so was able to drive to work, but luckily Della was able to sneak into the trunk when he wasn't looking.
The question is, how is she planning on getting out?
All the way there she heard him humming to the tunes on the radio and flipping through the dials, and occasionally turning on his cell phone to talk to someone he knew. The conversations were quite interesting, although Della didn't understand them. Lots of talk about business and stocks. I didn't know he had enough money for stocks, Della said suspiciously to herself.
When the car finally stopped in front of the factory where Mr. Jorgenson still worked,
Wow, he managed to hold on to his job for a day! Fabulous!
Della quickly poked a hole in the trunk before it went on idle.
She really needs to give lessons on this. Apparently you can escape from a car by simply "poking a hole in the trunk" before something (the car?) goes on "idle"...
In just a moment she had jumped out while Mr. Jorgenson was idling over to the gates and entering.
Apparently Mr. Jorgenson went on idle too.
Della hoped today's day would be more interesting, as she couldn't imagine a day quite as boring as the one she'd spent before trying to follow him around.
Uh... yesterday was pretty full of adventure, actually, I'd say.
Maybe she could sit outside with her back against a tree and –
Wait one minute!
A suspicious thought came into her mind. He had bought a new hat yesterday. Why wasn't he wearing it today?
Look, just because Della would do that, doesn't mean Mr. Jorgenson must.
Why should one buy new hands if one wasn't going to wear them?
She got a hunch and began to poke around in his car, and sure enough, she found the really weird hat buried underneath a pile of clothes that smelled vaguely of vanilla.
Dun dun dun! By the way, I'm sorry to disappoint, but I'm pretty sure this part of the mystery is never solved.
She tried putting the hat on but had a feeling it just looked incredibly stupid
When in doubt, try on suspects' clothes.
so it came back off and she tossed it off in the direction.
The direction... of... something.
Maybe she should put it back, though, she didn't want Mr. Jorgenson to know she'd been spying.
She is likely to get caught very, very soon with these methods.
At that moment her cell phone today rang
She has one for every day of the year?
and Dax was on it. She almost hung up but then had to listen.
She just had to!
Maybe it was an apologize.
Della has a loose grasp on the use of nouns.
"I just wanted to say that if you really wanna sue me, you may want to wait until after your whatever it is with the Jorgensons.
Apparently he's been following HER - how else did he know she was going to sue him?
If they really are the ones who killed your parents you want to save your savings for taking all theirs."
Dax... always practical!
Della's heart stopped. Such a practical suggestion!!
I bet it would just send a shiver of joy up his spine if she informed him how practical he was.
But to put off her revenge on Dax . . . oh, she supposed to could for a short time.
She already had planned to, after all.
"That's a good plan," she said reluctantly."I'll go with.it."
Dax breathed a sigh of relief. "I'm glad to hear it."
I'll bet he is.
Then he hung up the phone and Della went back to her uninteresting task of spying on the factory where Mr. Jorgenson worked.
Apparently not as uninteresting as yesterday, though.
Hmm. He hadn't had a brown paper bag today, either. Was he not eating lunch? That couldn't have been the answer, everyone in the world ate lunch!!
They do! They do!!!
It wasn't the last thing on her mind, but she had to eat some lunch, too.
Across the street was a diner, maybe she could grab something quick there.
That's what she did. As the hours went on she scooted to the diner across the street,
This conjures up images of Della scooting over an inch every thirty minutes or so.
where a happy waitress served her some disgusting greasy food and said, "I'm sure you'll like it ma'am" even though she didn't like it at ALL.
This is one of my favorite brief descriptive passages EVER.
She kept gazing out the window toward the factoy, hoping that Mr. Jorgenson would show up soon. She was tired of sitting in the leather plated boots waiting for him to appear.
Well, maybe she should stop sitting in the leather plated "boots." I'd think it'd be a lot better than sitting in the bushes, though.
She couldn't wait to get out of the diner and away from the ignorant people.
Everyone there must have been an archaeologist.
Her prayers were answered when suddenly the door opened and Mr. Jorgenson came back out, another black bag with him. Where did THIS one come from? Della jumped up so fast that her coffee went flying over the edge
There it goes!
and onto the floor. A waitress slipped on it. Della ran out the door yelling over her shoulder, "I'm so sorry about the mess, I'm in a hurry!" and just kept going.
When she got to Mr. Jorgenson's car, he was almost pulling out of the parking lot, but she managed to take a flying leap into the back seat.
Oh. My. Oh. My.
He seemed to sense something
I should certainly hope so!
and turned around to see what was going on, but she had safely rolled herself onto the floor. He gave a shrug and backed out, then pointed the nose of his car in the direction of the sunset and drove steadily.
It was late midnight by the time he stopped,
Holy cow. He's been driving for awhile.
and it was at a gas station. Out he got to pump the gas.
"Out you go, Mr. Jorgenson!"
When he went inside, Della jumped up out of her seat to see if it was someplace she knew. They were almost three hundred and fifty miles from home!
There must have been a sign: "348 miles from home."
What was she to do? She did have her cell phone, she knew that, if they got too stuck she could always call Dax or the police station or somebody and they could come and get her.
Just then Mr. Jorgenson came back and got back into the car, his arms full of snack crackers.
That sounds like they weren't even packaged, he just scooped up as many as he could hold and ran.
Della slid down into the backseat again, and Mr. Jorgenson didn't pay any attention.
My gosh. Mr. J is NOT the most observant person in this story.
The next chapter gives us some answers that don't make any sense but it's also one of my favorite parts of the whole story. Stuff just gets weirder from here on out.