Skill Focus: Informational Texts
Episode #6: The Library
Arty, Morgan, and Zolivia shuffle their feet out into the hall as Mrs. Paisley disappears toward the stage. Morgan is on the end and awkwardly starts trying to hide their face from someone approaching.
“Morgan!” the person calls from down the hall.
Morgan reflexively emits a groan followed by an eyeroll. “That’s my big brother Matt. Let’s get out of here …” they say under their breath, ushering the group in the opposite direction. “Library! Library!”
Matt is getting closer.
“Hey! Morgan! Come over here. I want to show you something. Mooooooorgan, where are you going?”
Morgan leads their friends to a side door into the library, away from view of the main corridor. “Here. This is the door the library aides use. Let’s go.”
“But Morgan,” Arty hesitates. “What about the paint? We need to start cleaning. I don’t want to get in trouble.”
“We’re not getting in trouble. My brother is trouble; we’re staying away from trouble. Plus, we can look up this founder of Pearland guy.”
The weak creak of the door blossoms to greatness as it echoes through the empty library. The lights are off, and the towering bookshelves create ominous shadow giants that stretch across the floor and walls. Zolivia takes one quick look around from the threshold of the door.
“Nope. I don’t think so. I’m out!” As she turns to flip her hair and exit, Arty looks at her pleadingly.
“You can’t leave now! We have to solve this. This has to be the most exciting thing that’s ever happened in school. What if we see a ghost?” He looks from Zolivia to Morgan.
Morgan continues across the room. “You can stand guard. We’ll be quick.”
Arty follows Morgan’s lead to a gallery wall. There, a large portrait hangs with museum lights pouring the only artificial light in the entire room onto the face of a stoic man. His hair is styled in a center part, and his coat resembles something from the military. Are those epaulets?
Arty leans closer to read the plaque below the portrait. Morgan is already pulling up a search on the computer. With blend of awe and inquiry, they say the name aloud at the same time: “Count Witold von Zychlinski.”
“Here we go,” Morgan says. “I found him already! It’s on Chron.com. Lemme read it to you.”
<Read the article on the Houston Chronicle website before proceeding>
“That’s interesting,” Arty mumbles they finish.
“Yeah, it is! He’s the ghost!”
“No,” Arty corrects, snapping back to reality. “No, look. There’s something behind this portrait.”
<Read the article on the Pearland Historical Society website before proceeding>
Arty reads the article from the Pearland Historical Society to Morgan. They both stand thinking for a moment.
“It’s definitely Count von Zychlinski. What a name! He was born to be a ghost!” Morgan exclaims.
“Yeah, maybe. Except … What about all that talk before about us being his heirs? About industry? Mark Belt is the one who really started it all. What credit does he get? None! Count Dracula comes and takes away his legacy," Arty makes a dramatic sweeping motion as he speaks. "He wants revenge! It’s Mark Belt!”
There’s only one way to settle this, they both think. “Zolivia!”