Today on The Wishmonger, Ishmael's plans for Wishful are finally revealed!
James Wish had run the full range of emotion during all of this. First he sat, then he paced angrily like a caged tiger, finally on hearing this last bit of news, he folded. He sat heavily on the end of the bed, “Why did you wait until now to tell me?”
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Roger was shocked. He’d expected raving, or at the least ranting, but this he was not prepared for, “I don’t know,” he said, “I guess because I never thought you would listen.”
“ You realize this means I have to punish you for sneaking out tonight. But first I think Wishful needs our help.” His Dad said, “Tell me again what Benedict said to Mr. Strong.”
Roger repeated word for word what Thomas had told them. His father led the way down stairs and into his study. He sat down behind the computer and began typing. Roger watched in fascination as a map of Wishful came up on the screen, “Now we just input the right information and, bingo!” red squares began popping up all over the map. Most of them were concentrated around the town square area.
“What’s that?” Roger asked his father.
James Pine rubbed his eyes, “That is all the property owned by your uncle Benedict. Now let’s see this.” He punched in more information and green squares began popping up, although not as many as the red. There were four in particular, located in town square that his father pointed to, “Recognize these addresses?”
Roger studied the map carefully, “Yeah, those two are the garage and the ice cream parlor. These other two must be Wishful Thinking Billiards and Top of the Morning café. What are the green squares?”
“ Those are all properties that Wishful First Bank owns the mortgage on.” His father explained.
“ So, what does it mean?” Roger asked.
“James, come quick you’re not going to believe this!” Roger’s mother was in the living room watching the late news.
Mayor Ishmael Wish’s head filled the screen, “Through a partnership with Benedict Pine at Wishful First Bank we will be able to replace the current library, town hall, and town square park area with a new, updated, more practical model that will continue to serve our community well into the twenty-first century, at no cost to the tax payers of Wishful.” The camera panned to a map of the proposed new town square, “Mr. Pine is finalizing the land purchases necessary to complete the project. We hope to begin demolition by the first of next month. The measures needed to begin have already been passed
by the city council.”
“It’s unreal, isn’t it James? James?” but the men of the house had already fled back to the study where they examined the computer monitor.
Roger turned on the television that sat facing the desk. The picture of the map was still up full screen. He grabbed the Tv remote and paused the image. The similarity between the red spaces on the map and the proposed new look of down town were startling! It was obvious that Benedict Pine was trying to change the face of Wishful forever, but why? Roger’s father was busy typing again. This time sky blue squares came up to cover all of town-square and the surrounding area, including Mulberry hill where the fountain sat.
“This is all of the properties now in existence that existed in 1907, the date Wishful was originally incorporated.” He hit another key and the squares turned purple with the exception of four
blue green spaces where Ike’s, Strong’s, the Billiard Parlor, and Top of the Morning stood, “This is an overlay of the original city with the properties Benedict now owns. He’s only four pieces short of owning all of old Wishful!”
There was only one exception. The hill where Fountain Park lay, it was sky blue! Roger stabbed the spot on the map, “Who owns that?”
“Well as worthless as that hill is, I’m afraid it is all that remains of your grandmother’s estate. It belongs to me.”
Roger hugged his Dad and jumped up and down, “Dad, do you know what’s there?”
“I haven’t even been there since I was a kid, but unless things have changed it’s mostly trees, it used to be a park. Why are you so excited?”
“Dad, it wasn’t just a park, it’s the park! Dad, that hill is Fountain Park!” James Madison Pine had never fainted, but there’s a first time for everything. Between the revelation that he was the heir to half of the Wish fortune and now this, he fainted.