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The clock

Part One

Peter (Tom's brother) is ill in bed with measles, just at the start of the holidays. Tom has to leave the house and go and stay with his Aunt and Uncle whilst Peter recovers. Peter does not want Tom to go and Tom himself does not want to go. The boy's mother does not want Tom to get the measles though. Tom and Peter had both planned to build a tree house during the holidays. Tom's mother sees Uncle Alan's car arrive and goes off to find Tom. Tom is hiding in a tree at the back of the garden. Tom's mum gets very upset as she does not want Tom to go. He tries every way imaginable to avoid going but mum is insistent that he must leave.

Peter is ill in bed Peter with the measles Tom desperately does not want to go

Uncle Alan with his car No going back now uncle Alan tells Tom about the house he will be staying at

Tom has no choice, he gets into the car and leaves reluctantly with Uncle Alan. He is really not looking forward to the stay as he is not really sure that he likes his Aunt and Uncle and the thought of being cooped up in their flat for the duration of the 12 days quarantine fills him with dread. Whilst on route, Uncle Alan tells Tom about the new place he will be staying in. He also plans to stop off at a small village for a rest so they can stretch their legs. On route Tom asks about the flat. Uncle Alan tells him about the house being converted into flats and that none of the flats contain any children. Uncle Alan tries very hard to get on with Tom but he finds it very difficult to function at a child's level. Tom asks about a garden but Uncle Alan disappoints him by informing him that the flat has no garden at all. Tom must not meet people or talk to people whilst in quarantine and so he cannot really visit any places. They do not really know if Tom has already caught measles from Peter and so cannot take any chances. At a local shop the two stop and Tom picks up a postcard to send back to Peter.

Village where Tom and Uncle alan stop at Tom is not very impressed Not sure where this is

Not sure where this is They finally arrive Aunt Gwen and Tom below the staircase

Tom and Uncle Alan eventually arrive at the house. Aunt Gwen is a very nice kind lady and shows Tom into the house and then into their flat. Tom hears the ticking of the large clock in the hallway. Uncle Alan is very firm and tells Tom not to touch the clock as the old lady upstairs owns the clock and is very careful with it. The clock is so old that the screws which fix it to the wall have rusted and it cannot be moved. Tom asks why the clock is in the hall way entrance of the house if it is so important to Mrs. Bartholomew. It always keeps good time but gets the chimes wrong and so strikes the incorrect hour states Uncle Alan. The whole house is owned by a Mrs. Bartholomew who lives upstairs. The flat is nicely contained but alas for Tom, there is no garden, even the windows in his bedroom have bars on it. Tom thinks his room is like a nursery but Aunt Gwen tells him that it may have been a nursery in the past. Aunt Gwen tries to explain that the bars were there when they moved in and that even the bathroom window is barred. Tom is resigned to utter boredom during his stay (chess with Uncle Alan and draughts with Aunt Gwen). On a slightly positive note, one thing that Tom does like is Aunt Gwen's home baking, she really can bake nice things. Peter would love this if he were to come and stay. At each meal Tom devours everything that is put in front of him. Whenever he can, Tom writes his day's activities and his thoughts to Peter and sends them home. Peter reads the letters and starts to count the days of his illness. Only three days have now gone, still nine more to go. Tom spends his day counting the strikes of the clock, each one being wrong as Uncle Alan had said.

Tom is horrified by the window bars tom likes his Aunt's home baking Tom writes to Peter

Postcard to Peter Tom watches the downstairs lobby the Clock is mischiming again

Mrs Bartholomew passes the clock Tom returns to the kitchen Mrs Bartholomew in her flat upstairs

One day Mrs. Bartholomew opens the front door and enters the house. She stops at the clock in the hallway and look up at it. Tom sees her but but she does not see him. She climbs the stairs to her flat. Tom goes back to his flat and continues with a large jigsaw that he has started. Back in the kitchen Aunt Gwen is baking again. Tom is so bored, he just does not know what to do. Aunt Gwen tries her best to keep him active by asking him if he wants to help roll pastry and offers him apples to eat.

Tom cannot sleep and hears the clock strike thirteen A beautiful country garden is there in glorious bloom

the whole house ground floor has changed A maid in uniform walks straight past him

Tom is so miserable that he cannot sleep. He decides to get out of bed even though it is very late (nearly midnight). He leaves the bedroom and ends up in the kitchen. He eventually gets discovered by Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen and is told that he must stay in bed until morning. Ten hours sleep is what a young boy needs snaps Uncle Alan. Aunt Gwen asks Tom if he wants a cup of hot milk but Tom reminds her that he is still full from the evening meal. Tom lies awake in bed - he is not tired at all.

As he lies in bed he hears the downstairs clock begin its chimes. He starts to count them, "eleven, twelve...thirteen." How can that be no clock should be able to strike thirteen unless it has its own time he thinks. He then battles with his thoughts about whether or not he should check the clock out as striking thirteen can't be right. He eventually convinces himself that he can investigate the thirteenth hour and still keep him promise of sleeping ten hours made to Uncle Alan. Using a shoe he wedges open the front door of the flat and ventures downstairs. He opens the door locks and opens the front door of the house to reveal a magnificent garden. He remembers Uncle Alan stating that their was no garden at all outside the flats. He thinks that Uncle Alan has lied about the house not having a garden. He runs out onto the grass lawn and then heads back to the front door. As he goes back into the house, he sees that everything in the house has changed back to Victorian times. He does not recognise any of the furniture or the items on the floor or walls, with the exception of the large clock in the hallway standing against the wall. A voice is heard and a maid walks briskly passed him. He opens the front door once more to make sure it is real. He then closes it again, promising to come back the next night. As quickly as it appeared everything changes back to normal and Tom goes back upstairs to his room.

He wakes the next morning realising that it was not a dream and begins looking forward to the next night's adventure. He writes everything down and sends another letter to Peter at home. At breakfast, he questions Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen on the business of telling lies. This lands him in hot water with Uncle Alan who questions his meaning of lies and little white lies. "Uncle Alan has a highly developed sense of what is right and wrong" Aunt Gwen informs Tom. Still determined to prove that there is a garden outside the house Tom asks to go downstairs but Aunt Gwen is very nervous about this as this is the morning that Mrs. Bartholomew winds the big clock in the hallway. Tom goes downstairs anyway and ventures outside. As he opens the door his eyes are met by a cluttered backyard. No grass, no lawns, no flower beds, no garden wall and definitely no large lush trees. He meets a man fixing an old bike in the yard. The man lives on the ground floor and Tom asks him if he has a maid who lights the fire for him. The man says no and Tom is very upset when he sees there is no garden. He rushes back inside pursued by the man and the two of them stop suddenly when they see Mrs. Bartholomew come downstairs to wind her clock.

Tom returns to his own time Tom goes outside during daylight hours Mrs Bartholomew comes down to wind the clock up

Tom and Biker man watch Tom does not know who she is

After winding the clock she goes back upstairs to her flat. Tom and the man go back outside where Tom asks about the age of the tree outside. They both agree that it must have been there before the houses were built at the back. He thanks the man for warning him about Mrs. Bartholomew. Tom goes back inside and stands before the clock and asks what the clock is trying to tell him. For the first time he notices the angel holding a book situated on the top face of the clock. He wonders what it means and what it has to do with the garden.

Part Two can be found via images below

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