From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Chapter 9 Summary
So, what now? They get to the house and tip the taxi driver by handing over all their remaining coins. Then they approach the butler and demand to see Mrs. Frankweiler in as official a manner as two kids can.
The butler comes back after a moment and says that Mrs. Frankweiler doesn't know them. Not a huge surprise.
Jamie thinks about it for a moment and then says that they are seeking information on the Italian Renaissance.
It's like he's said a secret password. With that, they are led to Mrs. Frankweiler's office.
Along the way, they pass through Mrs. Frankweiler's beautiful and antique living room, drawing room, and library. We bet Claudia would love a house like that.
Mrs. Frankweiler (as the narrator) admits that she called Saxonberg as soon as she heard the names Claudia and Jamie Kinkaid. Why would Saxonberg be called? Why would she know those names? Well, we'll have to wait and see, won't we?
When they arrive at the office, Mrs. Frankweiler doesn't waste much time. She asks them right away if they are the kids who have been missing from Greenwich for a week. This totally throws Claudia and Jamie off guard, and they have to admit that yes, they are.
They ask Mrs. Frankweiler about the angel statue, and demand to know why she sold it for $225. She stays pretty vague, saying that she doesn't like to donate things.
Claudia presses on. She asks if Michelangelo carved the angel statue and Mrs. Frankweiler responds by asking where the kids have been all week. They each say it's a secret.
Man, stand-offs sure make people hungry. Instead of caving and revealing their secrets, Mrs. Frankweiler and the kids decide that they are going to wash up and then eat lunch together.
Claudia takes an awfully long time in the bath, which is especially fancy. She takes so long, in fact, that Jamie gets to lunch first and sits down with Mrs. Frankweiler.
They eat some soup without even waiting for Claudia, and Jamie lets it slip that they've been at the Met all week. Oops.
When Claudia joins them for lunch, she's miffed that they've started without her—where are their manners? She also refuses to go home with the chauffeur, even when Mrs. Frankweiler says that he drives a Rolls Royce.
No amount of fancy things can deter her. She wants to know about Angel's origins, and that's it.
Mrs. Frankweiler takes them into her office where there is a wall lined with many, many filing cabinets. She tells them that somewhere in these mixed-up files (yep!) is the file on the angel statue.
But that's not it. She says that they only have one hour to find the file, and that they can't mess up all her files while they're looking for it.
Claudia and Jamie manage to find it under Bologna, Italy, and open it to reveal an old document with a sketch of the angel that is signed by Michelangelo. Here, at last, is the proof that Claudia wanted to find so badly.
You can't experience that kind of thing without getting kind of choked up, so Claudia starts crying. She cries and cries because she finally feels different.
Mrs. Frankweiler makes their discovery even better when she tells them that if they give her the details of them running away, she'll give them the sketch of Angel in her will. Talk about hitting the jackpot.
Claudia, as you can imagine, is quite pleased with this development. But more than anything, she's pleased that she'll be able to carry the secret about Angel within her. It's something that really does make her feel special.
When they ask her about why she isn't giving the sketch to the museum, Mrs. Frankweiler explains that she's just too old for that kind of nonsense. The investigation, the verification of the document… it's tedious and she'd rather that it all happen when she's dead.
Then she turns to the kids and tells them that they have to keep up their end of the bargain and spill the beans about how they ran away.