The Mystery of the White Tiger

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It was a Saturday morning and the young investigators had gathered at Alvin Donovan's headquarters as usual. It was located behind the shop that Alvin's mother owned. Once, it had been the storeroom, but she'd let Alvin take it over for his detective club. Now, the cramped, concrete-walled space looked more like a police squadroom.

It had its own entrance that opened onto a car park. On a small window by the door was a big sign, designed by Chrysanthemum "Chryssie" Fallon on her computer. It announced:


We investigate anything
No case too big or too small

Alvin Donovan sat at the desk, an old wooden table. He had worked lots of gel into his spiky hair. His hair was always cut very short at the sides, which seemed to make his ears stick out. And because his hair sprouted up from the top of his head, he looked a bit like a carrot.

He had been checking his mobile phone for messages, but there were none. He looked at his team of investigators and rubbed his pointed chin.

"We need a big case, a really baffling mystery that's too tough for the cops," he told them. "Then we can solve it, and then we'll be famous!"
Another lazy Saturday morning; originally, Coraline had planned on sleeping in and just lazing around, but her mother had forced her awake, and her father decided she needed to get out of the house. It wasn't healthy for a growing teenage girl to lock herself away in her room all weekend and sleep! Or so her parents argued with her. Reluctantly, the small framed teenage girl pulled herself out of bed, showered, and changed for the day. She put on her favorite pair of jeans, slid on some tennis shoes, and grabbed a baseball cap before looking around, and deciding to pack away her laptop in her shoulder bag, just in case. With everything set and ready, she made her way into the outside world. Glancing at her watch it was 9:30 am. Sleep sounded better than this, but she realized she did have one obligation to attend to. Well, best head over to Alvin's then, she thought to herself. Grabbing her bike she quickly road over, but not before stopping to grab a newspaper along the way.

That was about 20 minutes ago. Now, the gang was sitting in their HQ, Alvin behind his desk and everyone else in their own world. Coraline had situated herself in a chair and was calmly skimming over the local newspaper to pass the time. Old, cranky Mr. Cannon had passed away recently along with a slew of other old folk; an article about some sort of property tax increase; various marriages, nothing exciting yet. Her thoughts were interrupted by Alvin.

"We need a big case, a really baffling mystery that's too tough for the cops. Then we can solve it, and then we'll be famous!"

Coraline lowered her paper a bit and glanced over the bent top at Alvin, "Don't let the idea of fame go to your head so quickly, Alvin. I don't know if we have enough rope to hold you down, should it get to that point" she joked with a slight grin. With that said, she returned to her own world reading the newspaper. Reaching the local crime section she skimmed over the incidents with little interest. In her humble opinion, most cases were too baffling for their local cops to handle, they were idiots. But, she knew the hold her tongue on opinions such as that.

Off hand, Coraline spoke again, "oh, until we find this BIG case, there is a smaller one we can partake in. A little girl calling herself 'Miss Mary Lu' approached me in tears when I was headed home from school yesterday. Apparently her dog Rover has gone missing, and she's convinced he was dog-knapped" Folding the paper, she set it aside, "gotta start somewhere until the big fish bite the bait." She shrugged her shoulders and waited for Alvin's reply.
Charles, standing 4'9" with glasses and his blond hair hitting the back of his shoulders, and a grin that matched the sun when is shone brightly in the sky. Stopping at the nearest coffee shop, Charles ordered his usual caffeine for the day. "A large 2 cream, 2 sugar please." He said to the waitress, walking in. He smiled casually at her, and he thought that she was the best thing since Pamela Anderson.

He yawned once, and then decided that he was going to sit, and eat before actually walking into the office, for work. "Here you go." The waitress said, walking up to him. Charles knew there wasn't going to be much to do today. Although, he really shouldn't be late. He left the money on the table for the coffee, and walked out; running his hand through his hair, and then slid his hand into his pocket as he walked down the street with his coffee in the other hand.

With reaching the office, he knew that things would be merely interesting. Pushing open the door, he looked around and saw everyone slouching around in their chairs, like kids being bored on a day that was absolutely gorgeous out. He stretched once, raising his coffee in his hand, and then lowered his arms as his shirt moved down at the same time, covering up the cleavage that was showing. "Wow, you guys seem awfully bored."

Charles snickered a bit, as he took his seat at his desk, and then lifted his feet to the top of it, slouching back in his own chair. "So, what do you have planned for us today, Alvin." Charles grinned once more as he waited to see what Alvin would do, knowing that he was late, and slacking more than the rest of them were.

Only six feet away from the door, and six feet to figure how to clean himself up. Ross had gotten into another fight with yet another group of kids from a different Junior High School. A lot of them liked to poke fun at their detective group and he could not just let some bad mouthing slide, after all they were his friends. Although it looked like he caught the back hand of someone during the fight, he was walking in knowing full well that he won against those three. He zipped up his lavender hoodie to cover up any tears on his shirt and tried to brush away the dirt missing on spot under his chin. Only luck would tell if people would notice. Combing his hair with his fingers he took the final step before opening the door and greeting everyone with a happy "Hello, sorry I'm late." Taking a seat he awaited any information to be given by Alvin.

◘◘Chrysanthemum Fallon ♪Chryssie♪

Chryssie had been the first to arrive, second to Alvin, of course. She had watched, her grey-colored eyes, scanning the room as each of the others took their respective places and boredom settled over the crowd. As usual, Chryssie noted, Alvin was looking for adventure, for rush, for excitement, and Coraline was being practical. It was something Chryssie was used to by now, she liked hearing them talk. Coraline was great at stopping Alvin dead in his tracks and that made Chryssie want to laugh, but she kept silent, quietly continuing to sketch on her drawing pad.

Charles entered, as bold as ever and Chryssie glanced at him before returning to her sketch. "Alvin wants to do solve something huge. He wants us to be famous." she reported quietly, the hint of humour in her tone. The sound of scuffled footsteps told her that Ross had come in. She was relieved to know everyone was here. It was a nice feeling, for the entire group to come in and sit together. Chryssie cherished it.

He doesn't seem all right. Maybe something happened. Chryssie eyes scrutinized Ross for a moment, but it was nothing harsh. She often watched the others, quietly, of course, from her little corner of the room. She was watching Ross now, her drawing pad discarded in her lap, the pencil rolling off the notebook and clattering to the ground beside her feet. "Hey, Ross. Catch," When he would glance her way, Chryssie would throw him the little packet of jellybeans she always brought to Alvin's meetings. She liked chewing on things while she thought. It made thinking easier. She figured, from Ross' disheveled behavior that something was wrong, but she wasn't going to ask. It was too much to ask. Too nosy of her, it would be. She hoped the jellybeans might work in place of actual confrontation. Plus, the others were here. She wasn't going to say anything to embarrass him. She'd be embarrassed if someone asked her what had happened when she was pretending nothing was wrong.

Chryssie sighed and leaned back. She was propped down onto a navy blue colored bean bag that was right in the corner of the room. There was a chair for her, right beside Coraline's, but everyone knew Chryssie preferred the back of the room, the corner, the bird's eye view onto everything. Chryssie didn't have to say so either, they usually just understood her that way. And she knew when Alvin got serious, too. His tone would change and then she'd quietly slip into her proper chair. Only when he was serious. Otherwise, she'd rather sit back and here and sketch.

Oh, and eat jellybeans, too.
Alvin glanced at the lean Coraline cheekily. He had helped her on one of those numerous possessions hunt once, in the search for some jewelry that was important to her. She'd helped him with the cases ever since.

"A little girl calling herself 'Miss Mary Lu' approached me in tears when I was headed home from school yesterday... ...Gotta start somewhere until the big fish bites the bait."

Alvin waved Coraline off dismissively. "I'm tired of small cases, Cori. I want the big game. Something more meaningful. Something that makes your time - all of you - worthwhile."

Alvin turned away and gazed out of the tiny window in the small, decrepit room. He sighed, and thought about how his detective club had seemed like a childish mediocre game to his mother. He knew, though, that this thing, this club, was about the team, too, not just himself. He reminded himself to remember that, that people there were present because they wanted to bring something to the world. To help people.

And then step in Charles, Alvin's bestfriend. Late.

Not that Alvin minds, of course. He could not come at all and Alvin would still not be bothered.

"So, what do you have planned for us today, Alvin."

"Not much, Charles my friend," Alvin replied without looking back, his eyes affixed out the window. "In fact, I think we might all have to pack up and call it a day."

"Hello, sorry I'm late."

"That's alright, Ross," he remarked, recognizing Ross's voice without the need to see his face. "We're just about to go home anyway. Sorry to make you come down here all the way."

Sherlock Holmes was probably capable of telling emotions - amongst other aspects of the truth - merely from somebody's voice.

Alvin's no Holmes.

That day, he was simply a detective-playing kid that was too bored to care - or bothering about what that noise thrown across the room to Ross' voice was - almost intending to give up on the club. Perhaps he would get lucky and get a glimpse of a major crime on a newspaper. But until then, it was just play-time for kids.

Then, after another minute of daydreaming through the use of sightseeing, he finally turned around to face the team and clapped his hands together.

"Alright, guys, seems like today is another waste of time. Sorry. Let's just head back home now. We would be of better help out there anyway."

With that, Alvin headed for the door, his face full of disappointment and distraught.
Coraline only briefly glanced up as Charles entered the door. He was rather chipper, though she attributed it to the routine coffee he was sure to have gotten before he'd come. His posture was lax, and slacking, reflecting the ideals of many of the youth of the modern day; though, Coraline would admit she was no better really. He'd asked what Alvin had planned for the day, but it was more of what could anyone suggest to get Alvin to act. She once again grinned at the thought but soon let it pass. Alvin somewhat surprised her by suggesting that they wrap it up for the day. Soon after, Ross appeared, and had a brief chat with Chryssie, who was nestled in her nice corner. She'd tossed him a packet of candy, probably jellybeans. Coraline's eyes indiscreetly scanned Ross a moment. Though he was trying to hide it, she noticed small things that made her connect that he'd been in another fight. His demeanor, his zipped up hoodie, and a few specs of dirt he'd missed were enough clues something had happened, and she knew that other kids liked to 'talk' about their investigation club. She decided not to confront Ross about it, as it was his business. With Alvin's defeated words, she watched as he headed for the door, "Cheer up, something will come up eventually" she tried to urge, not liking to see those she might consider friends, or at the very least comrades, down. Rustling through her backpack, she brought out a package of Band-Aids and tossed them to Ross, "Here, you might need these." Turning, she nodded toward Chryssie and then Charles before making her own exit. Well, least she still had time to go home and sleep more! Or so she thought. When she arrived home she was put on babysitting duty for the day while her parents were called into work, so much for her 'free' Saturday. It wasn't two seconds after her parents arrival that her younger siblings, and cousins, decided to start screaming "Why me…" she muttered as she went to tend to the problems. The shrill pitch of her younger brother screaming was enough to drive anyone up the wall.

It had been a rather late night. Coraline's parents didn't get home until late, and her siblings hadn't settled until around midnight. Coraline herself, though tired, had remained awake with other things on her mind. Surfing the web for a while and chatting online, she'd just settled down to sleep as the sun was peeking over the horizon. Closing her eyes she fell asleep, but less than 4 hours later she was awake again. Starting randomly from her sleep, she sighed and rolled over, unable to drift back into the land of slumber. Disgruntled, she pulled herself out of bed, and changed into clean clothes, pulling her hair back into pigtails. Grabbing a jacket, she left a note and headed out for a morning stroll, her ipod blasting into her ears. She needed out of the house, that's all. After being cooped up most of her childhood, she enjoyed being outside, rain, shine, warm, or cold. Maybe today would bring about something interesting for her to do. It was nice, as this early in the morning there weren't many people out and about. The roads were empty, and the quiet was calming. Coraline decided to head for the park. If Alvin or anyone needed her, they could call her. Otherwise, today was HER day.
Standing at the entrance of the doorway, Charles looked over at Alvin. "There must be something for us to solve, I mean... we can't just be here, and then end up going home. Pretty soon, one of us is going to have to fine something better to do than just come here and find out that we're gonna have to go home for the day, since there is nothing going on." Charles sighed looking over at Chryssie for a few moments, then snickered lightly at her comment before hand. His reply was blunt, but sort of the same sarcasm that Chryssie had. "Alvin is always wanting us to solve something big, so we can become famous." He grimaced lightly.

"Alright, guys, seems like today is another waste of time. Sorry. Let's just head back home now. We would be of better help out there anyway." Charles sighed slightly, watching Alvin head towards the door. "Hey, Alvin!"
He perked up.? I mean... can't we at least try and find something, instead of just wasting the time here doing absolutely nothing and going home after we just get here?"
Everything seemed to be quite then, as Charles looked over at Chryssie, leaning back into her chair, noticing that she wasn't wanting to go home either.

"Hey, Alvin! I mean... can't we at least try and find something, instead of just wasting the time here doing absolutely nothing and going home after we just get here?"

By then, Alvin was long out of the room. Even if he had overheard Charles' final comment, he would rather head home and participate in more meaningful activities of his life.

In his mind, he suggested the others to do so, too.
Chris laid back on his cot, one orange clad leg propped up and the other straightened out before him. In his hand he held a book which he idly scanned as the guards paraded up and down the corridors keeping an eye on the inmates. A few were chattering back and forth, but Chris, per usual, was keeping to himself. Outward it would appear like any other day with him reading yet another book, but really he was scanning instructions. As the guard passed he only glanced up momentarily, and soon after the book cart came by. While the guard wasn't looking he'd slipped the note inside the book into his jumper suit and handed the book back.

Looking at the scribbled note when no one was watching he quickly got rid of the evidence and returned to his daily routine. So, someone wants to help me get out? But why, and who… he pondered to himself. No matter. What mattered was that someone needed him out, so he was going to get out. Something didn't sit well about this to him, but he wasn't one to argue with someone of power. Clearly whomever was doing him this 'favor' had power, otherwise Chris would still be sitting there in jail until he rotted away slowly.

The next day, there was a rather loud commotion early in the morning at the jail. Sirens were blaring and the guards were out and about along with the dogs. A jail break had occurred and someone had escaped. More importantly, Chris had escaped. Hurrying past the guards and dogs he slipped outside the god forsaken walls that had held him for ten years to his freedom. Smiling he breathed in the fresh air as he slid off the orange jumpsuit and dumped it in the trash. Underneath he wore an old white wife beater and a pair of tattered jeans. It felt good to release himself of the symbol of prisoner bondage and slavery to the government judiciary system. Damn pricks. What had he done wrong? He was just doing a job, was that really a crime?

Dodging around a while he made his way quickly through the backstreets and shadows until he reached a good distance from the jail. Once or twice he came close to being caught and had to lose his pursuers, but he managed to eluded them. He could still hear the sirens behind him, but there was no looking back now. He was free, per say. Time to look for some hook ups and get a new identity perhaps. Turning, he headed for the roads to find his way to a store, but in the distance he heard the sound of a vehicle. Soon the familiar blue and red lights of the police cars appeared. No sooner had he realized what he was looking at than they recognized who he was. "Shit!" he muttered and turned making a run for it. The sirens went blaring as he cursed his unforgivable bad luck.

Making a run for it he went off the roads again in hopes of losing the cop car, but a short chase still ensued. Him being on foot and them in a car wasn't exactly fair, but the roads were narrow so it helped. Going off to the side he made for a small patch of woods and a field in the distance. Though the police followed, they soon had to stop and get out on foot to continue. Using the trees to confuse the dumb cops, he escaped once again and made way for the fields. In his frantic hast, he tripped and fell to the ground, receiving a mouth full of dirt. "What the ****…can't a man enjoy his freedom" he muttered as he listened for police to make sure he lost them. When he was sure they were gone he stood once more and made his way through the field, no idea where exactly he was going. Once he exited the field he found himself near a series of old roads and overpasses. Headed toward a bridge he ducked under, hiding himself from sigh. Leaning against the side, he paused to catch his breath. He was getting to old for this running shit! His heart racing, he pondered on the events of the day, slightly startled and scared; his nerves were on high alert. After all, he didn't want to go back to that place any more than the next criminal. His heart racing he heard footsteps in the distance as he slipped further into the shadows and waited for the person to come by, preparing his knife just in case.
Ross caught the jellybeans with an almost expert hand. People were quiet but that was usual. The group didn't like to talk about it even though Ross found the story to be an exhilarating experience. He had to like conflict otherwise he would never be able to protect these guys. Once he popped the first jellybean into his mouth Alvin announced they should all go home for the evening. He swallowed the sweet and looked over to the one who gave it to him, Chryssie. She may have been four years younger but Ross kind of fancied her and her drawings. He stepped over to her still unaware of the small dirt under his chin. "Would you like me to walk you home?" Ross said, only soon realizing how it came off. "You know so nobody jumps ya." He quickly recovered embarrassed.

◘◘Chrysanthemum Fallon ♪Chryssie♪

Chryssie was glad Ross liked the jellybeans. She looked over at Alvin and the others, dismayed at the thought of having to leave. Chryssie liked staying here in their little hangout more than anywhere else she could think of. She sighed and looked at Ross as he approached. She liked Ross. He was straightforward and strong. He always did what his heart told him to. He was like a protective older brother and Chryssie liked the warm feeling he gave off to others. It was like having someone there to depend on. Not her like parents or her sisters, but someone who would always be there.

"Okay." She gave him a little smile, a rare little smile because she had wanted to say something witty, but it was hard for her to think of anything. She knew Ross was older, anyway. He was looking out for her and she liked to think of ways of thanking him. Maybe she'd let him keep that pack of jellybeans for today. Yeah, she'd let him keep it.

Chrysanthemum put her things away into her backpack and neatly pulled it over her shoulders, standing up and brushing imaginary dust off her clothes. She looked to the others.

She looked at him expectantly.
Coraline had decided to take a scenic route to get to the park. Why not? The day was nice enough and she was enjoying herself, lost in her own thoughts. Coming to the familiar dirt path, she stopped as she heard sirens in the distance and glanced in the direction of the county jail. "huh? Must be some sort of break or prison commotion, bet Alvin would be curious to know what was going on" she shrugged and rummaged around for her phone, still walking. She was just coming to the bridge when suddenly a figure loomed before her. She figured it was just a homeless bum and moved to sidestep out of their way, but they followed her footing. Blinking, she grabbed her phone and looked up, "excuse--" she started to say but her eyes momentarily widened as she found a knife drawn and pointed at her face. "Don't even THINK about calling the cops missy." The man seemed a bit jumpy. Normally, Coraline would be scared, but he had no reason to threaten her, and so she was more annoyed than anything. As a sign of peace, though, she put her hands up, "Who said I was going to call the cops? I take it you're the reason the sirens at the prison are going crazy?" The man was circling around her, though knife still drawn, and looking around nervously. At her comment his eyes quickly shifted back to her as the knife came closer. She leaned back a bit to keep a slight distance between the blade and her neck. "And what if I am? I'm an innocent, a pawn in this. I didn't want to be broken out. I was going to simply sit out my sentence and--" Frowning Chris drew Coraline closer into a choke hold and put the knife right up next to her throat, "Why am I even bothering to tell you this. You're just a little brat. Lemme see that phone" Up until that last part Coraline was indifferent to the man, but calling her a little brat was a bit too much. Frowning, she glanced sideways a bit, "I most certainly will not if you're going to treat me like a stupid little kid. Let me go, I'm sure my parents will call the cops soon anyways, I'm never gone this long you know. Or you could kill me I suppose, but then the police would find my body anyways and you'd have murder charges added on to whatever other charges you had. So, the choice is yours really…why don't you just let me go and I'll hear your side of the story so we can both relax and be at ease? Okay?" she waited a bit. Chris looked down at Coraline a moment, in disbelief "What are you playing at kid?"
"Stop calling me kid!"
"…Look I'm in some REAL big trouble here. I don't have time to mess with a kid like you! Now give me the damn phone!"
"Well if you're going to be snippy with me why should I cooperate? After all I'm the victim here. Go ahead and kill me, but you'll just end up right back where you were" Chris looked down at Coraline in somewhat shock and disbelief. Was this girl serious? He was an armed and wanted criminal! She was a frail little girl. And she was acting as if this were just a walk in the park! Though, in a way, he did admire her spunk. "Look I'm in a tight spot! I don't really want to hurt you but I will!"
"Okay look! I know someone that can help! But!! You have to calm down and trust me. I promise not to rat you out but put the damn knife away. Then we can be civilized people. Okay?" Coraline's heart was racing but she was trying to hide it. There was a pause, but Chris slowly lowered the knife from her throat and released his grip, but he kept hold of her arm. "No funny business…" he warned. Coraline nodded and took her phone out again. Dialing Alvin's number she waited for an answer, "Alvin, yeah it's Coraline. I need you to come to the bridge near the old dirt path…I'll explain things when you get here. Just…hurry and come alone" With that she hung up, "So what now?"
"We wait for your friend here. No funny business, I mean it!" with that he took her back to under the bridge and they would wait for Alvin to arrive.
Alvin dislikes early mornings. The air might be fresh and cool, but Alvin was certainly not loving the morning spirit. Everything was peaceful and quiet. The sunshine lilted the house perfectly, giving it a postcard Summer house kind of look, albeit it being just another decent apartment. But Alvin was indifferent towards it.

He's no Grouch nor Scrooge nor Grinch. To Alvin, it was just another boring morning he had to wake up to.

Over breakfast, his mum had warned him about the dangerous criminal who'd escaped from the jail the day before. The man's face was on the front page of the morning newspaper. Alvin stared at the crook's hideous scar, uninterested.

'It's not like Alvin Donovan's gonna be involved in this case anytime soon...' he thought pessimistically.

"You must be very careful, Alvin," his mum reminded him. "I don't like your little detective club so much if it involves you in real crime."

But Alvin had patted her hand. "Mum, I'm just 12. No one's gonna ask a kid to capture some escaped convict."

'At least nobody would try...' he gave a little afterthought upon finishing his sentence.

"Besides," he continued, "we know that crooks who bust out of jail always run as far away as they can. He won't be hanging around here. He's probably in another country by now!"

Somehow, within his gut, he felt that he might had spoke too soon when his cellphone buzzed loudly on the marbled table.

"Alvin, yeah it's Coraline. I need you to come to the bridge near the old dirt path… I'll explain things when you get here. Just… hurry and come alone."

"Who's that, honey?" his mum asked casually, fumbling around with her breakfast as she spoke.

"Coraline," he answered scratching his head. "I need to go meet her, it seems..."

His mum responded with an unpleasant smile. "But what about our fishing trip later on?"

"She sounds like she's in quite a pickle, mum," Alvin emphasized the seriousness of the matter further.

His mum shook her head as she put away her fork and spoon, sighing. "Better get to your friend, then, Alv. Wouldn't wanna keep a girl waiting."

"Mum! She's not... that sort of friend."

"Sure, sweetie. You hurry along now."

With an annoyed grin, Alvin stepped away from the table and got himself rushing to his bike, heading to the start of a case he didn't even know he was to be involved in.
Coraline wasn't too keen about having a knife held to her neck, but she supposed it was better than a gun. At least she had a small chance of avoiding death with a knife. This was a serious matter though, and she was quite aware of that. After Chris had dragged her back to the safety of the bridge, they remained there a few moments in relative silence. Chris kept glancing nervously around with every little noise. He was quite aware that he was in a spot that was VERY bad for him should the authorities get a hold of him. Though Coraline had a calm exterior, possibly a slightly annoyed look, she was relatively uneasy herself. Adrenaline rushed through her body, making her heart pump fast.
"Why did you escape?" she finally asked, his reason for escaping had been a question burning in her mind to be asked.
"I didn't WANT to…someone made me. I knew I had to…I didn't have a choice I--" Chris frowned again and looked down at Coraline, "Think you're so smart doncha? Just shut up and wait for your 'friend'. If it's the cops, though, I will gut you like a fish! I'm good at it they say" Chris grinned down at Coraline, hoping to strike some fear into her. In reality, he wouldn't harm her unless it was the only thing he could do. He wasn't as bad a man as one might think. Just a lowly safe cracker really, but he did his job well, and was often sought after by the "big" boys. It seemed someone else BIG had their eye on him as well. That never ended well.

"You can put that thing away. I'm not going to run and I'm not going to snitch. I keep my promises"

"This stays out until I'm satisfied that you'll keep your end of the bargain. Don't play innocent with me. I've seen my fare share of your bratty kind. Kids these days!"

"I'm not a kid!" Coraline frowned but kept still, "but seriously unless you're going to actually kill me put the thing away. Please!"

"You that scared, kid?…fine. But I won't hesitate to bring it out again if you try anything. I may be old, but I can use this thing faster than a gun" he grinned and put it away. Coraline let out a soft sigh of relief and took a seat on the ground. Chris remained standing, "where is your friend?" he was getting impatient. "He'll be here…"

"He's not bringing anyone is he!? His hand moved to the side again where the knife was. Seeing this Coraline shook her head, "I told him to come by himself! He'll be here, alone!" sighing she suddenly became drowsy as she laid down and closed her eyes.