All was eerily silent until the darkness melted away, the air grew warmer and they found themselves sitting in a theater.
“Where are we?” Maya whispered.
“Duh! We’re in a movie theater, Maya,” Cooper answered. “I wonder when the show starts.”
“Wait a minute! I know this place!” Gabby stood up and pointed to the upholstered couch and chair in the box on the right overlooking the stage. A photo of George Washington hung on the front of the box, which had US flags on either side of it.
Gabby gasped. “Oh, my gosh! We have to find out what the date is! Come on! Hurry!”
The others didn’t know exactly what she was worried about but they could tell her concern was real, so they followed their friend as she rushed from the theater.
Outside it was a beautiful spring day. But it definitely wasn’t their present. Horses and carriages went up and down the street; women were wearing old-fashioned bonnets, and dresses that came down to the ground; little girls wore dresses that were a bit shorter, but their legs were covered by high-buttoned shoes. Men wore vests and suits and rounded-top hats and some carried walking sticks.
A young boy nearby was selling a newspaper – The Daily National Republican. “May I have one of your papers, please?” Gabby asked sweetly.
“Certainly, Miss, but it’ll cost you a penny,“ he said, handing it to her.
“Do you have a penny?” Gabby asked Chelsea while she studied the first page. Chelsea began digging through her pockets but came up empty. Gabby’s face fell.
“Sorry, I can’t buy one after all,” she said, handing it back to the news boy and walking away with the others.
“Oh, no. . .oh, no. . . oh, no. . .oh no!” she muttered to herself.
“What’s up, Gabs?” Chelsey asked.
“I noticed the date on the newspaper, Chelsey. It’s April 14, 1865! And this is Ford’s Theatre! I thought it looked familiar; I visited here with my family last year over spring break. This is where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Or will be assassinated tonight! We have to do something!”
“But what?” Simon asked.