From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
How we cite our quotes:
"Can't you see how badly I need to find out about Angel?" (8.81)
For Claudia, finding Angel's secret isn't just a matter of solving a puzzle—it's something she needs to do for herself. This is what's going to make her different from everyone, and she can't let go of the opportunity.
"[If] I tell, then I know for sure that my adventure is over. And I don't want it to be over until I'm sure I've had enough." (9.155)
What's the saying? It's not over until the fat lady sings? Well, in this case, it's not over until the old lady gives up her secret. And until the little lady gets her dainty little hands on the proof that Michelangelo indeed was the artist behind the angel statue. But whew! That's too much of a mouthful for us.
"Secrets are the kind of adventure she needs. Secrets are safe, and they do much to make you different. On the inside where it counts." (9.235)
Mrs. Frankweiler totally gets where Claudia is coming from. They both know that learning a secret isn't about being able to go out and blab it to the first person you meet. Secrets change how you feel about yourself. They give you something special to hang onto.