are back in Whitehorse. Thank you for taking the tour,” the ranger said over
the bus speaker. Everyone got off the bus.
Drayton’s snores told Fiona he was still asleep.
“Remember tomorrow. You’re still taking us to the glaciers, right?” Shane
nodded and winked. Fiona turned and looked at Drayton. “I hope he sleeps for
the next year.”
They left the bus station and headed into town.
“I suppose we need to find a bank, right, Fiona?” Callum knew the routine.
“I don’t think so. This is Canada. I think
they’ll take our British money here. If we have to, we can change it later.”
“Do we need to find a hotel again?”
“Callum, you just heard me make arrangements to
go to Kluane Park tomorrow. That means we need to sleep here tonight.”
“What day is it today anyway? I have no idea,”
“It’s Friday afternoon in Scotland, so it’s
Friday morning here in Yukon,” Fiona said. “I see a whole string of hotels
lining the street. Which one shall it be?”
They wandered from one hotel to the other, not
being too impressed with any of them. “I think we’re spoiled. After that
cool hotel in the Seychelles, I doubt if anything will live up to that.
Let’s just pick one and check in,” Elspet said.
“How does this one sound? It’s called the
River’s Edge Inn.” Fiona pointed at the sign.
“River? What river is here?”
“Callum, we were just at a river. How can you
forget things so quickly? This is the Yukon River. Whitehorse sits on the
side of it,” Elspet said.
“Oh. I forgot. This hotel sounds fine,” Callum
said, his face beet red.
They checked in and much to Fiona’s relief they
did take the British money without hesitation. “We’re in room 87B.”
“This one isn’t very fancy. All I see are a few
totem poles and a stuffed moose with huge antlers,” Callum said,
disappointed. They headed upstairs to their room.
“It’s only a small town, Callum. I picked up
this brochure while you were checking in, Fiona. It tells a few facts about
Whitehorse,” Elspet said.
“All right. Let’s here it, though I can’t
imagine anything you tell me will be that exciting.” Fiona opened the door
to their room and they went inside. “Two beds again. Great. As usual, you
can have the bed of your choice, Callum.”
“There are 22,000 people living here and it is
the capital of the Yukon Territory.”
Fiona flopped down on a bed. “This is the
capital and there are only 22,000 people? It can’t get much better than
“It also says their bird is a raven and it used
to be a gold-rush boom town. Mammoths and saber tooth tigers roamed this
“Now that is cool,” Callum said. “I’d love to
see a saber tooth tiger.”
“Let’s go out and explore. It might be more
exciting once we’re out of the hotel,” Fiona said.
Callum ran into the bathroom to check it out.
“It’s not even fancy at all in here. I’m disappointed.”
“We aren’t going to have fancy rooms every where
we go. Quit complaining. Come on. Let’s see what is in this town.” Fiona
headed for the door.
They walked down to the Yukon River and threw
rocks into it. “I see fish swimming by.” Callum watched salmon swim against
the flow. “Wouldn’t it be much easier if they swam with the water instead of
“It’s what salmon do, Callum. I can just imagine
a big hairy mammoth standing across from us, putting its long trunk into the
water and taking a sip of water.” Elspet let her imagination run wild. “I
can even imagine a saber tooth tiger standing next to it.”
“I noticed an archeological dig earlier. Do you
want to go over to see it? We could ask someone there if they had any saber
tooth tiger bones or teeth.” Fiona dropped her stones into the river and
wiped her hands off on her pants.
“That would be so cool.” Callum hoped they had
Ten minutes later they stood in front of the
dig. “Excuse me, Sir. Can we see your bones and things?”
Steve Bush looked at them and laughed. “If you
want to see fossils, you can go to the museum up the street. They’ve got all
sorts of things you’d enjoy. This dig isn’t open to the public. I’m sorry.”
“We just wanted to see saber-tooth tiger bones,”
Callum said, feeling disappointed.
“Thanks anyway.” Elspet waved and they strolled
up the street to the MacBride Museum. “I hope we get to see something cool.
It costs money to go in here.”
Fiona pulled money out of her pocket. “I’ve got
money.” She gave some to Callum and Elspet.
Once inside the museum, they wandered, each
hoping to find something different. Callum found his saber tooth teeth.
Elspet saw mammoth bones and Fiona saw pieces of gold. “This is great. It
has all the history of Yukon gold. I didn’t know they had Mounties here.”
“Canada’s policemen are called the Mounted
Police. I’d like to pan for gold.” Callum looked at the pictures of people
on their knees dipping pans in the river.
“I didn’t know they had petrified wood. I’ve
never seen that before,” Elspet said.
“I don’t want to get wet, Callum. Why don’t you
go and look at that stuffed wolf, or the stuffed moose,” Fiona suggested.
“If that’s not exciting enough for you, go
outside. There are trains and things out there too.” Elspet and Fiona,
content to stay indoors and learn more of the history of Whitehorse, watched
Callum head for the train.
* * *
Drayton followed Fiona and the others. “So, they’re staying overnight. That
must mean they have to go somewhere else to find the next jewel. What will I
do tonight then? I’ve got plenty of money. I guess I’d better get a room.
I’ll check in here at the River’s Edge Inn and have a little fun with Fiona
and her friends tonight.
After looking at the registry and seeing Fiona’s name and room number, he
asked the clerk for the room next door. With key in hand, he made his way to
room 89B and fell on the bed. “I’ll take a nap and then I’ll go and visit
the brats’ room and leave them a few surprises.” Within moments he was
Three hours later he woke up. “That felt good. Now to visit their room next
door.” He shrunk small enough to fit under the door between the two rooms.
Once inside he grew to normal size. He picked up the phone and ordered room
service. “Give me three ice creams with lots of hot gooey fudge topping,
some moose stew, roasted beaver tail and make sure there’s a lot of gravy.”
Half an hour later a waiter knocked on the door. Drayton opened the door to
87B and tipped the man well. He took the trays of food and put them on the
beds. “Now for a little fun.” He lifted up the bedspreads and dumped the
food on the pillowcases and in the center of the bed. Pulling the blankets
back up, he lay on the bed and rolled back and forth, making sure it was all
smashed in. “There, that’ll do. Now what’s next?”
Picking up the complimentary tubes of toothpaste and bottles of shampoo, he
smeared them all over the bathroom floors, door handles and inside the sink.
He went to the window and opened it. A score of pigeons sat on a wire
leading from the hotel to a telephone pole. Birds. Come inside and do your
thing. The birds, upon hearing Drayton’s commands, flew into Fiona’s hotel
bathroom window and left their droppings everywhere they could. Drayton
laughed, swatting at the birds with a towel when they landed. The room
filled with feathers. He shut the window, trapping the birds inside. Stay
here and make as big a mess as you can. He closed the bathroom door, put his
ear to it and listened to the coos of the pigeons. “A special surprise for
guests at the River’s Edge Inn.” He shrunk himself after one last scope of
the room and crawled under the door into his own room again. “I think it’s
time to go exploring this one horse town. Smelling all this delicious food
is making me rather hungry.” He locked his door and went to find something