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The Imagination Station
Patrick and Beth hurried down the stairs at Whit's End. Beth's galoshes squeaked on each step. The cousins entered the workshop where Whit created his inventions.
Tables and boxes filled the room. Computer parts and small engine motors lay on the tables. Stacks of recycling materials leaned against the walls.
The Imagination Station was one of Whit's inventions. It stood in the corner. This one had been made from a Model T car.
Whit was standing behind a long, wood workbench. "Hello," he said. "Are you ready for a President's Day adventure?"
"I remember meeting George Washington in an Imagination Station adventure," Patrick said.
"Yes," Whit said. "You met him at Yorktown in 1781. It was at the end of the American Revolution."
"That adventure was scary and fun at the same time," Beth said. "I've always wanted to meet Abraham Lincoln. I'd like to feel his whiskers."
Whit laughed and said, "A little girl about your age asked Mr. Lincoln to grow a beard. It was just before he took office as president in 1861."
Whit stroked his own chin and then said, "That gives me an idea."
"Are you going to grow a beard?" Patrick asked.
Whit shook his head. He said, "How would you like to help Honest Abe with a little problem?"
"Yes!" the cousins shouted.
"What are we going to bring him?" Patrick asked. "A tall black hat?"
"No," Whit said. "Mr. Lincoln already has a stovepipe hat." He reached under the table and pulled out a black bag. The fabric was shiny and slick.
Whit handed the bag to Patrick.
Patrick lifted it. "It's not heavy," Patrick said.
"And it's not fragile," Whit said. "But don't lose it. Mr. Lincoln will want it."
Beth saw a smile tug at Whit's lips. The inventor's eyes twinkled mysteriously.
"Are we ready?" Beth asked.
"Not yet," Whit said. "I also have something for Mary."
"Who's Mary?" Beth asked.
Whit said, "Mary Todd Lincoln is the First Lady, Mrs. Lincoln." He pulled a disk of polished wood out of his apron pocket.
Whit held it up for Beth to see.
The disk was a little larger than a quarter. It was cut from a cross section of a branch. Beth could see the tree rings and the bark around the edges. The disk had a bird design on it. There was a small hole at the top. A thin white ribbon was threaded through the hole to make it a necklace.
Whit said, "Keep the necklace hidden until you see its twin."
"I don't understand," Beth said. "Isn't this for Mary?"
"You'll know the answer to that in good time," Whit said.
Beth heard a noise. She turned toward the sound. She saw Patrick sitting inside the Imagination Station. He was in the driver's seat, the bag on his lap.
Beth hurried to the Model T. She sat in the passenger's seat. A white bird feather was on the seat. This is left over from the last adventure, Beth thought.
"Where's Eugene?" Beth asked. "Did he ever come back from his tour with Mr. Tesla?"
Whit nodded and said, "He's fixing the time glitch with Mr. Tesla's help. He isn't happy being nearly eighty years old."
Whit waved goodbye. Beth and Patrick waved back.
Patrick took hold of the steering wheel. He turned the wheel with a jerk.
The car seemed to surge forward in the workshop. But everything Beth saw through the windshield blurred. She saw only a million dots of color spinning.
Then the dots broke apart. They sprayed out of the machine like water droplets.
We're driving through time, Beth thought.
And then suddenly, everything went black.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Freedom at the Falls"
Copyright © 2018 Focus on the Family.
Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
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Table of Contents
1 The Imagination Station, 1,
2 The Slave Catcher, 7,
3 Sally, 18,
4 Willie, 25,
5 The Lincoln Special, 33,
6 Mrs. Lincoln, 40,
7 Lunch, 49,
8 The Trunks, 57,
9 The Mistake, 65,
10 The Whip Cracks, 74,
11 The Tickets, 83,
12 Grace Bedell, 91,
13 The Telegram, 99,
14 Murray, 107,
15 Niagara Falls, 115,
16 A Surprise, 125,
Secret Word Puzzle, 132,