At last, after four days of
Okami Den real life interfering, I’m back with more Avalon goodness. Moving on…
After the girls have their fun with Phelonius, they meet up again at the Stonehill town hall for a city council meeting. Emily’s mother and Adriane’s grandmother are there, as well. In the new edition, they actually speak to one another:
“Mom, this is Adriane’s grandmother.”
“Please call me Nakoda,” Gran said warmly.
Carolyn held out her hand. “I’m Carolyn Fletcher.”
Gran smiled. “It is my pleasure. Emily is a special child.”
“She’ll do.” Caroyln smiled back.
So the town hall meeting starts, and the first thing on the agenda is the status of the Ravenswood Preserve. The hunters from earlier (in the new edition) talk about the giant bear-thing that got away from them. Everyone else thinks the place is too dangerous and should be shut down.
Meanwhile, Emily and Adriane notice a blonde girl in the crowd — Kara Davies, the girl with the Catty Girl Posse from a few chapters ago. Adriane doesn’t like Kara much: she’s the mayor’s daughter, and has the most coordinated wardrobe in town. Once Kara’s eyes meet the girls’, though, their sparkly rocks start flashing like crazy.
Now’s a good time to note that Kara’s parents’ names are never mentioned in the series. Ever. They’re not even on the character sheet. We know Emily’s mother’s name — and later her father’s and stepmother’s — as well as Adriane’s parents’ and grandmother’s names. But Kara’s dad is just Mayor Davies, and her mother — who only makes one or two very brief appearances — is just Mrs. Davies. I suppose it’s because a) Mayor Davies’ office is more important than his name, and b) Mrs. Davies is all but absent from Kara’s life.
(Hmm … maybe I should e-mail the author and ask if Kara’s parents even have names…)
As the town hall meeting goes on, one of the city council members, Mrs. Windor, suggests the closure and redevelopment of the Ravenswood preserve. (Like all major characters, Mrs. Windor gets a description: she has “beady eyes and [a] sharp nose”, rather aquiline features.) The girls take offense to this and pull out the “animals have rights, too” argument, but Mrs. Windor counters with “WTF are kids doing at a town hall meeting” and a photocopy of UPenn’s tissue sample analysis.
Mrs. Windor’s plan for Ravenswood makes some sense. If there is traces of radioactivity or toxic waste, it could potentially be cleaned up and developed. Wikipedia’s page on toxic waste even mentions that some waste sites are developed into golf courses or parks, the former being Windor’s vision for the property. (Come to think of it, I wouldn’t golf somewhere if I knew there used to be toxic waste there.)
And why does Windor want to close down Ravenswood so desperately? Well, for one, she hates nature. Hell, she gets furious when a dog jumps on her in a later book. Also, according to the character sheet, Mrs. Windor works in real estate. Buying Ravenswood and selling it to a developer will equal profit for her and — eventually — the city.
But what if the preserve is clean of all toxins? There’s no point in closing Ravenswood down if it’s still a viable tourist attraction. They could find a replacement for Mr. Gardener, advertise that the preserve has a “haunted” mansion and a Native American monument, and boom! Profits for Stonehill and the preserve, and all the animals are safe, too.
Anyway, the girls are kicked out of the town hall meeting, and while they agonize over hiding the test results, Kara shows up. She saw their sparkly rock bracelets and wants one, too. The girls agree to show her around the preserve (because where else will she find a sparkly rock?) if she convinces Mayor Davies to keep the preserve open.
EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition
- Mrs. Windor has “tight black hair”.
Next time: The girls learn that having Kara join the party might not have been such a good idea.