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Rolfin's Orb
Book 4 - Emerald
Chapter 5

“Here we 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,” Elspet said.

“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 this.”

“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 area.”

“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 against it?”

“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 something.

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 asleep.

            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 to eat.

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