Beulah walks out of the kitchen looking for Delia, she would like to change the dinning room linen for the holidays and Delia was just the person to do it. When she walked out, there was that faint smell in the great room, she notices because her kitchen smelled like apple cider that she was making, it didn’t smell like cider. She knew that they had moved Max out of the room, so it couldn’t be that, but what was causing that smell? As she walked over to the door, she felt a bit of the air from the floor vent hit her in the face and it reeked! Was it something left over on the floor that didn’t get cleaned up right, or maybe there was something that fell into the vent.

When she pulled the vent cover off, she noticed right away where the stink was coming from, there was a large piece of something black at the bottom of the pipe. Boy did it smell awful. She promptly headed for the kitchen to get a pair of rubber gloves, she was going to remove whatever that thing was, maybe it was a dead mouse.

That black thing was soft and not quite dried out but it sure did smell! Put a little bleach on her cleaning rag she thinks, a good scrub would fix it, Beulah really did like the smell of it. When she went to put the bleach away, here comes Delia. She couldn’t help but notice the bleach smell, it was so strong in the great room, but what had happened to cause Beulah to open up the jug?


She explained to Delia that when she came out she smelled something in the great room and went to try to figure out where it was coming from. She knew that it wasn’t Max, because they had moved the bird to another room thinking it was the cage that stunk. Beulah told Delia that she found something in the vent that was causing the smell and that she had used the bleach to thoroughly clean it up.

Then if it wasn’t Max’s cage causing the stink, it wasn’t the birds fault after all. Now Delia felt bad, because she had helped Crutchfeldt move Max’s cage to the back room, away from where it usually stayed. She also knew that Max was not talking and only squawked when she came to feed the bird.

She needed to talk to Edmond and tell him about what Beulah had found and what was really causing the stink in the great room. When she told him about the vent and the mysterious object Beulah found, it made sense to Edmond and he agreed that they should move Max back. Max would be put back into the great room again, the bird was like family.

Delia went to find Crutchfeldt, between the both of them, they could move Max’s cage back to the great room and restore it to its rightful place. Maybe even get the bird to talking again, Delia missed the occasional outburst from Max anyway, it was usually expected.

When they moved the cage back, the bird just sat there, on the bottom of the cage, watching them. Delia tried to coax Max to talk but not one word, not even a squawk came from the bird. It was Crutchfeldt’s idea of feeding the bird blueberries, as a treat to get Max to talk. He said it might work because that is what Emma usually fed it, those and bananas. When Delia went into the kitchen Crutchfeldt started singing “oh what a beautiful morning” hoping the bird would start talking. Max just stared at him and didn’t even flinch, nothing.


When Delia came back with a bowl of blueberries and a banana, Max fluffed up those green feathers and jumped up on the perch. The bird saw the banana and said one word, “berries” which is what Max said when hungry. Delia was pleased with herself, she felt as though the bird had forgiven her for putting the cage back in the room. Now she gotten the bird to speak again, this was great!

Crutchfeldt was amazed, he didn’t think anything would get the bird to talking again, this was good because he needed to get Max to sing that jingle again. He asked Delia to sing it to Max, to see if the bird would respond to her. At first the bird just sat there looking at her, not doing anything. Delia tried singing once more, getting closer to the cage. After the second verse, Max started the jingle “28, 6 and 2. Back 13 and now for 2” ‘That’s it” yelled Crutchfeldt, “that’s the combination!”


Delia looks at him with a blank look on her face and says, “what combination?” “To the safe he yelled, to Emma’s safe in the storage room, that’s the combination!”

Read More!  Chapter 1  |  Chapter 2  |  Chapter 3 |  Chapter 4  |  Chapter 5  |  Chapter 6  |  Chapter 7   |  Chapter 8   |  Chapter 9  |  Chapter 10  |  Chapter 11

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