The Adventures of Lilly
Book One – The Beauty Pageant
Thursday brought with it sunshine and a slight breeze. Today was the big day. Before the competition, Lilly, Gwynet, and Cathy hugged each other and wished each other the best. The other contestants were wishing each other the best too. They had all come to know each other and be good friends. Many were already wishing the pageant would not have to come to an end.
Two o’clock came and the big event commenced. All the contestants did well and the judges had a hard time deciding the winner and the second and third place runners-up. The winner was Bryce Angelica, the girl who had offered to show Lilly how to tap dance. The judges chose her for first place because she displayed strong self confidence, placed emphasis on education in her question and answer segment, and put on an amazing dance for the audience. Second place was awarded to Gwynet for her sweet personality towards everyone which the judges commended loudly. Her mother let out a loud cry that could be heard all over the room when her name was called. Third place went to Lillian Hill. The judges believed that overall she displayed the best character and great strength and her voice, they said, was brilliant. Lilly could not believe it.
All three girls were awarded a different colored rose bouquet, rhinestone sashes that had the words ‘Dream Girlz’ on it, and glittering crowns along with being awarded thousands in cash. The confetti was falling and smiles were everywhere as Mrs. Roqueville came up to the stage. After congratulating the winners, she turned to the cheering audience. “Thank you all for participating in this pageant,” she said. “We have really enjoyed having you and hope that your time here has been wonderful while making new friends and learning life qualities. Tonight, everyone of you are winners and from your experience here we hope that you will remain winners for the rest of your life by dreaming big and letting your inner beauty shine through.”
Everyone clapped. Mrs. Roqueville invited the rest of the girls onstage where along with Lilly, Bryce, and Gwynet they were given gift bags full of chocolates, teddy bears, and other goodies. Lilly blew kisses to her parents who were snapping pictures alongside other parents.
She met up with her parents in the auditorium after everything was over with. They were very happy for her. “I’m so proud of you, Lilly!” exclaimed her Dad. “You were great up there.”
“Yes, you were fantastic,” her Mom agreed.
“Thanks, everyone,” Lilly replied. “I really thank God for allowing me to win because I didn’t see this happening with all the other girls.”
“Congrats, big sis,” Marco congratulated her. “I’m glad you can come back home with us now.”
Lilly and her family went to join the others in the celebration room where they were having an after party for all the girls. As they were about to exit the auditorium, two police cars pulled up before the building. In a business-like manner, the policemen entered the building. Lilly overheard one of the policemen (there were four in all) asking for Ms. Jameson. The person who was a visitor, did not know who she was. Lilly followed the policeman with her eyes. She saw a lady, one who helped them choose and fit their dresses, direct him to where Ms. Jameson was speaking with a couple of the judges. She saw Ms. Jameson and the policeman leave through a side door that led them into the hallway leading to the offices. The other three policemen followed them.
“Dad,” said Lilly, “I think Ms. Jameson may be in some trouble.”
“How do you know?” asked Mr. Hill.
“Remember the conversation I told you I overheard from her office regarding some jewelry she was hiding in the dorm rooms? I have not thought much about it with us being so busy and all, but I think that’s why they are here,” said Lilly.
Mr. Hill thought for a while. He told Mrs. Hill and Marco to wait for him in the auditorium while he and Lilly possibly found out what was going on. They headed in the direction the police officers and Ms. Jameson had gone.
“Lilly, if you overheard all that, you owe it to the policemen to tell them what you overheard,” said Mr. Hill.
“Yes, Sir,” said Lilly.
They heard muffled voices coming from Ms. Jameson’s office. After about fifteen minutes, two of the officers exited the office. “Excuse me, Sirs,” said Mr. Hill, “Could we talk to you for a minute?”
Stepping away from the door, Mr. Hill continued. “Are you here because of some jewels?”
“Why, yes, Sir, we are. Do you know anything about it?”
“Well, my daughter has something to tell you. We would rather Ms. Jameson not know who told you.”
“We won’t say a word to her,” assured one of the officers. They listened as Lilly told them all she had overheard and also about Ms. Jameson coming to their room one morning saying she would lock up.
The police officers could not believe what they heard. “Because of her age, we will keep her anonymous. But can we get your phone number, sir, in case we need more verification? Can you hang around for about another fifteen minutes in case we need for you to clarify some things? And thank you, young lady for being so brave and coming forth with the truth.”
The police officers returned to the room and shared the new information with the other two. Apparently they questioned Ms. Jameson some more. Fifteen minutes went by and Mr. Hill and Lilly returned to the auditorium. He shared with his wife all that just took place. They decided to stay in a hotel overnight to be near Lilly who wished to stay the last two days with her friends. She wanted to exchange phone numbers and addresses, and pick up her cake and gifts. Mr. Hill suggested they go to Lilly’s room and make sure she was safely settled in along with Gwynet and Cathy.
“Say, Dad, how about we pull the middle bed out and poke around a little?” suggested Lilly. “We may come up with something. Plus I’ve always wanted to play detective.”
“My little girl feels like doing some detective work, tonight,” said Mr. Hill with a smile. “Sure, Detective Lilly, let’s go.”
Lilly and her Dad pulled the bed away from the wall. They pushed hard against sections of the wall. A squared away section of the baseboard seemed to wobble a little when touched. Using his key, Mr. Hill was able to pry it away. Behind it was a hollow opening with a small draw string sack inside. He gave Lilly the honor of opening the sack. Inside were three small diamonds. “Wow!” exclaimed Lilly showing her Dad the precious stones.
“You were right, Lilly,” said her Dad as he reached for his ringing cell phone. It was one of the police officers he had spoken with earlier. He wanted them to know that Ms. Jameson confessed to everything but said that she had removed the jewels and had already shipped them out of the country.
“Well, I don’t know how true that is,” said Mr. Hill. He disclosed to the officer what they had just found. The officers were knocking on the dorm room door in less then two minutes. Mr. Hill showed them the diamonds and where they found them.
“Great work, little Detective, and congratulations on winning tonight,” said one of the officers to Lilly. “We ought to hire you.” Then turning to Mr. Hill he said, “Don’t worry. You are all safe. No one will know who gave us the information. This,” he said holding up the sack, “is all the evidence we need.”
Mr. Hill and Lilly went to join Mrs. Hill and Marco in the celebration room for the after party where everyone was eating sweets and playing. After about an hour, the parents took Lilly and her roommates back to their room. They made sure the girls were in safely before turning to leave for the night.
“Why was my bed pulled out?” asked Gwynet after they had their nightclothes on. Lilly told them everything after they promised not to tell anyone.
“Lilly, your life is full of excitement. First Casey and now you’re helping the police to crack a case. This is better than television,” said Cathy. “I’m also so glad that you and Gwynet won.”
“Thanks,” Lilly said. “You were great too.”
Gwynet agreed, “My Mom is so happy. She spoke with my father and they talked about him coming back. I told her I asked Jesus to save me. She was very happy and said we would begin going back to church. She said that she has to settle some things with God.”
“I’m so happy for you,” said Lilly.
“Thank you, Lilly, for not being ashamed to read your Bible and to pray.”
“Thank you also, Lilly,” said Cathy. “I told my Mom also. She says she’ll see about me going to church. Pray that her and Dad will go with me.”
“We will,” said Lilly and Gwynet. “I guess we can sleep in tomorrow and do some crazy stuff all day. I’ll be leaving on Saturday. How about you all?”
“Saturday,” said Gwynet.
There was no answer from Cathy who had fallen off to sleep.