Barney and the Secret of the French Spies

‘There are reasons Elsie has to be kept from everyone except for my husband and myself, and you,’ said Mrs Johnson, even more softly. ‘Mr Johnson can explain them better than I can. I need to go and make sure the children are fed. Mr Johnson will be here as soon as he can. Meanwhile, feed her …’ ‘It’s all right. I know how to nurse someone.’ I’d helped nurse many sick people by then. Mrs Johnson hesitated. ‘Not just nursing,’ she said. ‘Make sure no one else comes in here. No one at all. It’s vitally important, Barney. Just me or Mr Johnson. You understand?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, although I didn’t. If Elsie didn’t have typhus, why did everyone have to be kept away from her? Mrs Johnson bent and kissed my cheek. ‘We love you and Elsie as if you were our children,’ she said quietly. ‘God bless you, Barney Bean, and Elsie too.’ And then she left.


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