Chapter 3 Mr. Edwin
Mr. Edwin's first reaction to the loud crash of the boys hurdling through the window was a startled yell. His second reaction nearly scared them all, boys and organist, to death. In his confused state he forgot and stood up on the bass pedals for which the full organ stop combination was in effect! Squawk!
Then, startled again, he made a useless grab to cancel stops only to knock the hymnals off the music rack, each of which bounced right onto the keyboards. The sound was like someone beating on the organ with a sledge hammer! To his credit, after he was annoyed and embarrassed, he was then concerned because his befuddled brain recalled a noise which sounded a lot like children. He became worried that someone might be injured somewhere.
Looking out over the pews he saw nothing. This was because Harry and Jimmy having just found that nothing was broken or bleeding when Mr. Edwin stood on the pedals, decided that hiding under a pew was a great idea! When the hymnals fell on the keys, the boys thought the organist was having a temper tantrum and they were sure they were in big trouble. So they stayed hidden.
Mr. Edwin began to walk the aisles of the sanctuary looking for bodies. Each time his footsteps came close to the pew the boys were hiding under they made a mad scramble to the next one. The sensible, heavy brogan shoes in which Mrs. Day and Mrs. Killman shod their sons gave them away each time they moved. They sounded like rocks in a box in the empty church house.
Mr. Edwin soon caught on to the game. At least he thought it was a game for he could not believe that honest curiosity could have caused anyone to crash in on his rehearsal. He decided he was going to corner whomever it was. This he accomplished by simply taking things to their logical conclusion. If they kept going as they were they would run out of pews and the rascals would be stopped by the wall, exposed in the back aisle, which is exactly what happened.
Mr. Edwin looked down at the two very frightened seven year old boys.
“What do you think you are doing? Playing hide and seek in God's house?” Mr. Edwin said in his most booming, authoritative voice. The boys scrambled to stand up.
Jimmy and Harry looked at each other, eyes asking, `Who's gonna talk?'
Harry decided that Jimmy would never say anything, so he would have to.
He said, “W-w-we heard the organ.”
This was the last thing Mr. Edwin expected to hear. He thought he would hear a whopper told, but this answer smacked of simple truth. He felt a glimmer of hope. Could it actually be that these youngsters were genuinely interested in his beloved organ?
He repeated flatly, “You heard the organ.” Probing, he questioned: “How did you get in here?”
“Uh, w-we fell in through the window.” Harry answered glancing toward the window.
“How did you get so far up to the window?” Mr. Edwin asked, intrigued.
“Th-the t-tree stump in the h-hedge.” stammered Harry.
Mr. Edwin had a vague memory of such a stump on the south side of the church, but surely . . . He briskly walked over to the windows and looked out. He measured the height of the stump against the height of the boys and he marveled.
He said, “You mean to tell me that you stood on that stump and jumped through the window? Together?”
“Sort of.” Harry answered.
“All that so you could hear the organ?”
Jimmy had kept timidly silent until now, but was getting a bit annoyed with all these questions.
Boldly he said: “Well, if we'd only wanted ta listen we could 'a just stayed outside!”
Surprised, Mr. Edwin gazed at Jimmy and Harry for a moment. He thought back to when he was a little boy so fascinated by music, the organ especially. It brought a smile to his face, then a little chuckle, then great guffaws of laughter.
This alarmed Harry and Jimmy who still thought they were in trouble. They turned to head for the door.
Catching his breath Mr. Edwin called: “Wait. Stop! Two little boys who would do what you've done just to get a closer look at an organ deserve to get that closer look. Come with me!”
And so it was that two future organists got their first really good look at an organ console.