Fair Episode 4
"No need for the money, Professor," said Eric. "I'll give you a hand with your unloading. It should only take a few minutes." Then Eric looked away from Professor Moltavio to Riley and said, "You and Sam go get the lemonade while I help the professor. Here's the money. I should be done by the time you get back." Then he looked at Will and said, "Go ahead and practice your flute. This should be easy enough for just me."
"Thank you so much! Eric, is it? My wagon is just over there," Professor Moltavio pointed to a wagon about thirty feet away. As they began walking, Professor Moltavio turned to Eric and said, "I don't want to offend, but you know your friend got cheated on that flute, don't you? I overheard what he paid for it, and it's only worth a fraction of that price, and it has no magic in it at all."
"Yeah, I know," Eric replied. "Just don't tell him that. This happens to him sometimes, but nobody can tell him the truth because he'd only get angry. He'll figure it out eventually. At least he can't do it again because he already spent almost all of his money."
When they got to the wagon the professor reached into the back and began pulling things out and handing them to Eric. It seemed like a lot of stuff for someone who seemed like nothing more than a street performer. "So," Eric said, "what exactly is an organ grinder, Professor?"
Professor Moltavio stopped as if he had just been slapped. He looked at the boy in exaggerated surprise, and exclaimed, "My boy! An Organ Grinder is me! I am an Organ Grinder, and I play an instrument known as an organ grinder! But you probably would like to know about the instrument. An organ grinder is this instrument that I am now holding! It looks like just a decorative box with a crank on the side. But when I turn this crank, beautiful music comes out! Oh, some people complain and call it noise, but it really is extraordinary music. While I am playing, my monkey dances around and collects money for me from my adoring audience."
The professor then handed the box to Eric and asked him to put it on the small table they had set up. Then they resumed unloading the wagon. Item after item was removed and set upon the ground near the table. Then as Professor Moltavio was handing Eric a big picture frame without a picture in it, Eric asked, "Professor, where is your monkey? Will he come back?"
The professor looked up as if he had been distracted, and said, "Huh? Oh, the monkey! Why, there is his, my boy! Take a look through the picture frame!"
Eric looked through the picture frame, and, sure enough, there was a monkey standing there staring back at him. The monkey had an oddly curious look on its face. As Eric watched the monkey, he noticed that it still stared back. It was the odd expression on the monkey's face that made Eric say to the professor, "I think there may be something wrong with him, professor. He looks kind of..."
Just then Eric felt something tighten around his neck! He dropped the picture frame and reached up to feel a studded collar around his neck! Professor Moltavio looked at him and said viciously, "There is not a thing wrong with you, monkey! It is a mirror you were holding!"