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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler


by E.L. Konigsburg

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Chapter 1 Summary

  • The letter is one long story. Here goes:
  • Claudia Kinkaid, who only likes beautiful and fancy things, has a plan. She's going to run away, but not to some icky place like a subway station or a cabin in the woods. She's going to leave on Wednesday for the decidedly beautiful Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
  • She decides to bring her brother Jamie for practical reasons. After all, with his second grade gambling habit, he has the most money of them all. 
  • Why is she running away? Because of the injustice of it all, of course. Why else do twelve-year-olds run away? 
  • She doesn't tell Jamie until Monday, though. Rifling through her parents' wastebasket (not the most hygienic thing to do), she finds one leftover train fare. It's their ticket to freedom.
  • Claudia sits next to Jamie on the bus on Monday, much to his annoyance—he has money to gamble and win, after all. 
  • She tells him that they're running away on Wednesday, as though he has no choice in the matter. 
  • How rich is Jamie? Well let's just say that the kid has amassed a fortune of twenty-four dollars and forty-three cents. Pretty big deal.
  • Like any good mysterious spy/detective/James Bond partners, they decide that Claudia will leave him all the details in a secret note. And Jamie will eat it afterwards, to destroy all the evidence. 
  • Genius.
  • After they get off the bus, it's back to their normal lives for our super-secret runaway duo. Claudia has to walk with Kevin Brat (nice nickname), her other little brother because it's her turn.
  • Your time will come, Claudia. Your time for greatness will come. 

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