| Bentzi and the Mystery in the Museum |

Bentzi and the Mystery In the Museum: Chapter 8

“But Reb Nissan!” I protested. “Isn’t it a pity that such beautiful things are hidden away in a box and no one can see them and enjoy them?”
“It’s a great pity.” Reb Nissan sighed. “What can I do? My old house was bigger, there was a small room where I put up special shelves for my collection. We even called it ‘the museum.’ This place is too small, there’s no space for such shelves. And for whom? Who would see the display?”
Who saw it in your old house? Who was “we” who called it the museum? I wanted to ask, but didn’t. Tatty too was silent. Maybe Reb Nissan was a widower, and he meant his wife who had passed away? Or maybe he meant his children who had gone to live abroad or something? It wouldn’t be right to ask him such questions. Better just listen to whatever he chose to tell.
But Reb Nissan did not go on. He fell silent, and looked so sad that I felt compelled to cheer him up. “Lots of kids would love to see these wonderful things!” I said. “My sisters and brothers, and my friends, and all the kids in Springhill, and from the nearby neighborhoods! Everyone would love to visit such a museum. You should put up display shelves here, too.”
“You’re a good boy.” Reb Nissan smiled indulgently, and I could tell he wasn’t taking me seriously. “But there’s no room here, it’s a small apartment without extra space, and certainly no separate room for such a project.” He sighed again as he put the last things back into the box and closed it.
I made up my mind right then and there. We would find a way! This was a mission for the secret club!

“Well, how was it?” Batya asked.
“Fascinating! He has an amazing collection! I’ll tell you in a minute, I just need to set up an emergency meeting of the club.”
I called Yoel. “There are new developments. We’re meeting at my house in an hour.”
“A meeting! Great! We haven’t had a secret meeting in ages. Does it have to do with your visit to your new neighbor? Did you discover what’s in the mysterious box?”
“You’ll hear all about it at the meeting. It’s not a topic for discussion over the phone,” I said importantly. The truth is I didn’t feel up to telling the whole story separately to each one of my friends. I preferred to tell them all together at the meeting.
“Did you call the others yet?”
“Not yet. So you’ll let Yom Tov know? I’ll tell Tulli.”
I told Batya and Tova everything that had happened in Reb Nissan’s house. Then I set out the remaining chocolate balls on the desk in my room, along with some pretzels and cucumbers. When my friends arrived, I told them the whole story from the beginning.
Yom Tov said, “Will Reb Nissan let us come see too? Do you think he’ll agree to teach me how to make such things?”
Tulli said, “It’s too bad he no longer has a place to display his collection so people can enjoy it.”
Yoel said, “But Bentzi, what is our mission? What can we do?”
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 740)

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