Disclaimer: I don't own Kim Possible, her way-cool sidekick, his naked mole rat, or any of their ancestors. If I did...well, let's just not go there. :)
"So Ron, what do you think the rest of Jonathan Stoppable's diary says?" Kim asked her best friend.
"Huh?" Ron glanced down at the brown book lying on his bed. "I dunno…"
"I mean, think about it. Mim ran off. We don't know what happened. Did they see each other again?" Kim sat down on the floor beside Ron's bed and began leafing through the diary.
"Well, if we're going to find out, don't you think we should start in the right place?" asked Ron, sinking down beside her.
"Right. Here it is," Kim said, handing him the journal. "This is the day after the Tri-City Expo. Go ahead, read it."
Ron cleared his throat and flopped on his stomach onto the bed, leaning over the side with the battered journal.
May 7th, 1904.
I still can't believe it. Why would Mim just run off like that if she were innocent? She would never steal anything, and yet, all the evidence points to her. It's like Chief Barkin says,..a picture's worth a thousand words. And there's the picture in the newspaper of her, holding the case that had the Electrostatic Illuminator in it just moments before. It's definitely incriminating. The problem is, I don't believe it. My gut tells me somehow that she's innocent. Innocent.
I'm never going to forget several things about that night. Barkin dragged me away from Professor Demmens to the Ferris wheel, where we could hear people screaming. I looked up and I could just barely make out two shapes atop a car, nearing the pinnacle of the wheel. They were fighting. I saw one of them go sliding across the car and nearly fall off the side. My heart stopped for several seconds as I realized it was Mim clinging to the side of the car for dear life. I heard her shriek with terror, and I gasped and raced several steps forward, as if I could stop her from falling. I nearly fainted when she was able to climb back on the car. At that point a hot air balloon passed over near the Ferris wheel and I couldn't see.
When the car she was on reached the earth, the ride operator stopped it, and I watched Mim, now alone atop the car, turn from her position lying there to look into Barkin's eyes. She knew she was accused. I could see it in her eyes. She kept telling him it wasn't her as he pulled her off the car and thrust her at me. Before he left to interview the other riders, he ordered me to not let her escape.
The moment his back was turned she grabbed my shoulders and shook me, looking deep into my eyes.
"It wasn't me, John. You have to believe that."
"I believe you," I said automatically. She glanced over her shoulder at Barkin, then back at me.
"John, I'm not going to jail for something I didn't do. I have to find the real thieves. John, I'm leaving."
"No you're not. You can't."
"John, I'm leaving," she reiterated. Her whole frame was shaking. She leaned over and kissed my cheek. "I'm sorry, John."
I saw her fist flying at my face, and then Barkin pulled me to my feet several minutes later.
"What did she tell you, Stoppable?"
"Nothing…" I stammered.
"Yes she did. Now tell me what it was."
"Nothing…she just said it wasn't her. Then she punched me."
Barkin left me alone for the rest of the evening. I felt awful. My heart was aching for her. She was innocent. She is innocent. And I have to help her. Somehow.
May 9th, 1904
John, I am so awfully sorry about punching you! I just had to get away; I hope I didn't hurt you. Did Chief Barkin give you trouble after I left? I wasn't going to let you stop me, so it wasn't your fault at all.
My resolve on my actions wavers, though. Reassure me, should I have allowed Barkin to throw me in jail for a crime I did not commit? You know I would never steal an invention. I want to protect people. It's my nature.
John, I am begging you, find the Electrostatic Illuminator so I can come back to Middleton and renew my search for the villains. There is not much I can do from here, so I'm working through you.
I sent this message through a false address. You can reach me at it, but I'm really nowhere near. No one knows where I am.
I'm counting on you to find the invention, John.
I miss you terribly,
May 10th, 1904
Don't worry over punching me. I though it was pretty clever, actually, punching me. I'm far more concerned about you. How are you? Where are you?
Fear not, Mim, I have already begun looking for the Electrostatic Illuminator. I must confess though, the search will not go smoothly. Chief Barkin is highly suspicious of my actions and isn't allowing me on the fair grounds to search. He has his own team searching for the E. I., and when he finds it, it's not going to help your position much. There's already a whole story in the newspapers about the caper. It's really quite brilliant. All the facts fit in the right places, except for one thing. The person you were fighting with on the Ferris wheel disappeared. I don't think anyone noticed aside from me. However -!
Let the whole world try and stop me, Mim, yet I will not fail you. I swear as your closest friend, that I will clear your good name and bring you home. In order to do that, I need to know what really happened, Mim. Everything.
"They were writing letters!" gasped Kim.
"Yeah," muttered Ron, examining the journal more carefully. "There's tons of letters in here."
"Let's just read those. I have to know what happens," gushed Kim.
"Just like a good movie, huh? Plenty of action, a Fair, a cute girl…"
"Hey!" shouted Kim, and she took the journal from him. "My turn," she said, and opened the next set of letters.
May 21st, 1904
Dear Mr. Wayne Jones,
My name is Jonathan Stoppable, and I am a detective who was present at the Tri-City Expo on the night of May 7th. I however, unlike Chief Barkin, entertain a different theory as to the disappearance of Miss Miriam Possible. I would appreciate your input on the case, as you were the Expo Photographer. No doubt you saw more than most people did that night. Any evidence you can give concerning the innocence of Miriam Possible would be highly valued. Thank you for your time.
Detective Jonathan Stoppable.
June 2nd, 1904
Mim, I contacted Wayne Jones, the photographer of the Expo. He believes your story. He took pictures of you fighting on the Ferris wheel, but his exposures are all black. No good to us. And it gets worse. Wayne is only ten years old. A protégé, yes, but still a ten-year-old boy that is of no use against Barkin. Everyone except us has accepted Barkin's official report, and you're now on Wanted posters all over Middleton, Upperton, and Lowerton. Good luck staying hidden!
I tried several times to search the Expo fair grounds after dark, but Barkin caught me each time. He's put me on parole. I can't examine any of the evidence from the case. I've been confined to doing office work and running errands for him. I can't help you unless you give me details about what happened.
You haven't written to me in several weeks. I'm praying you're still safe and that you've just been too busy to write back to me.
Thinking of you always,
June 5th, 1904
Thank God for you! No, I have not been detected, as of yet. I've taken up an alias, "Katie," and have a job that can support me. For now. But all that's not important; you need details.
While you had gone to pick Chief Barkin up, I went back to visit Professor Demmens at his exhibit to talk to him about extra security around his Electrostatic Illuminator. I walked into the building, only to see a woman jump down from the catwalk and throw the professor to the ground. I ran to him, while she picked up the case containing the invention and ran. Once I saw that Demmens was unharmed, I turned to pursue the thief.
She was a tall woman with black hair and a pale complexion. Later that evening I learned her name was "Miss Go." She was very athletic and able.
I chased Miss Go out of the building, where I tripped her right in front of a young boy with a camera. This must be the Wayne Jones you spoke to. The case flew open, and she caught the device, leaving me with the case. At that point Wayne took the photo that has ruined my life.
After I recovered, I turned and gave chase again, this time to the Ferris wheel. She jumped atop a car, still holding the illuminator. I jumped up after her, climbing to where she was.
By the time I reached her, the car we were on was near the top. We fought for nearly half a minute, and, here is the crux of everything: the Electrostatic Illuminator fell. It fell. After it fell, a man in a hot air balloon above the wheel rescued Miss Go from us and I was left alone. Alone to take the blame.
That, John, is what really happened that night. Now the only questions are: where did the invention go, and, where are the real thieves?
Aside from all that, John, I am lonely. I've known you since I was twelve, and have never gone so long without seeing you. I need to see you. Meet me in the park in Upperton on June 10th at eleven o'clock in the evening. By that time no one will be around to capture me. We can talk as long as we need to.
Mim.June 11th, 1904
I know you are worried about me. Don't be. I promise you with all my heart that I am innocent. I also wish you to know that I am safe and well and quite comfortable in my new surroundings. I miss you and wish that I could see you all again before I resign myself to exile. John is working around the clock, collaborating with the Expo photographer, Wayne Jones, to clear my name. With any luck, he'll be able to locate the Electrostatic Illuminator.
I was able to meet with John for a few hours last night, and we have devised a plan to bring the real thieves out in the open. It was his idea, and he executes it at great risk to himself and his job. John is going to publish an article in several newspapers anonymously asserting that the invention has been found, and will be put on display on such and such a date. We are hoping that those nefarious characters responsible for this show their faces again in hopes of recovering their prize.
Do not worry about me. As I said, I am safe and living well here. I love you very much.
"Keep reading!" Ron shouted as Kim stopped for a moment to replace the last letter in its proper envelope.
"No, your turn now. Besides, the next letter is from John anyway." She handed the journal up to Ron, who pulled out the next few letters. Rufus crawled up onto his owner's head, surveying the friend's activity.
"Yep, you're the only thing missing in here, Rufus," Ron said. "Strangely enough, everyone else I know seems to be here."
"Stop talking and read, Ron."
"Oh! Who's the one in a hurry now, huh?"
Kim blushed slightly.
"I'm just playing you Kim. Here we go…"
June 13th, 1904
In the confusion of last week, I was not able to say things that needed to be said, so I'm telling you now.
I have never been so glad to see anyone in my whole life. I had given up all hope of ever seeing you again, or ever clearing your name. Now, I have great hopes for the future.
Only a few more days and I will spring the trap on Miss Go and her accomplice. No one here in Middleton has suspected it was I who placed the adds in the paper, but there has been a terrific response to them. Hundreds of people have come back to Middleton, hoping to catch a glimpse of the thieves. Some of them expect to see you, and some of them believe the story that Wayne has told. You see, a few days ago, after reading my article, he published his own account of what happened that night. Your family is among the believers. They wish me to tell you they are praying for you, and if you ever need anything, to send word immediately.
Mim, I pray to heaven that our plan will work. I need to have you here again. I feel as though half of my mind is gone. Mim, you mean the world to me. I would never forgive myself if I let you down now. I miss you more than anything. I miss hearing you laugh when you would come into the office and slip cookies in my mailbox. I miss reading your stories in the paper every Saturday and spending all of the afternoon haggling with you in the park over them. I miss having someone to talk to no matter what happened. Whatever happens, just remember that I love you.
Love always, John.
June 14th, 1904
I am very pleased to hear the plan is going so smoothly! And, I must admit, I was even more pleased to hear what you said about me. The feelings are mutual, John. I know there's no one else in the world that could care for me the way you do. I love you too.
MimJune 16th, 1904
I spring the trap tomorrow. I cannot wait to see the expression on Chief Barkin's face when your father, Wayne, and myself bring him the villains that stole the Electrostatic Illuminator. I'll make sure Wayne gets a good photo of the expression on the culprit's faces and I'll send it to you.
Mim, I know how highly unorthodox this must seem, but I need to ask you now. Will you marry me?
Ron's voice nearly choked as he read the last line. "They were gonna get married?!"
"Awww," Rufus cooed.
Kim was staring into space intensely. "Finish it," she murmured.
"My great, great granddad just asked your aunt to marry him and all you can say is 'Finish?' Ron was spastic. Kim craned her neck up to look at him. "I mean, for all we know, we could be related," he continued.
Kim rolled her eyes. " 'Could be.' If you'll actually finish, we'll know if we are."
Ron stared her down a minute before continuing.
June 17th, 1904
I am Bartholomew Lipski, rightful owner of the Electrostatic Illuminator. My faithful assistant, Miss Go, and I have found your friend, Miriam Possible, and are holding her ransom. Bring me the Electrostatic Illuminator within two days, or time will be up for your dear "Mim."
June 19th, 1904
I must confess I don't have a clue where the Electrostatic Illuminator is, or where Mim is. I have searched everywhere for the Electrostatic Illuminator, but I haven't found it. Mim doesn't know where it is either. She is of no use to you; let her go. Let Mim go!
June 20th, 1904
I am sorry to inform you that your last letter directed to Miss Katie c/o box 268 was not received. Miss Katie has left Summerville and has not left a forwarding address. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
October 12, 1958
Today is my seventy-fifth birthday. I haven't seen Mim since that night in the park in Upperton. I used to tell myself that she couldn't possibly be dead. She was too tough. But now, I have to wonder if she is. Sometimes, more frequently now, I almost wish the pain would kill me. It felt like it would at first, all those years ago when I got that crushing letter back from the post-man. I was too late. It appeared to her that, after all I had said about loving her and caring for her more than life, I had abandoned her in her hour of need. The guilt felt like it would kill me. I searched all over Summerville, Middleton, Upperton, and Lowerton for her. I sent letters to everyone I knew in other cities and states asking to keep an eye open for her, Lipski, and Miss Go. Nothing.
I never found the courage to open her last letter. It was post-marked the same day that she was taken captive. She must have sent it that morning. But I was too afraid to open it, just as I was too afraid of Chief Barkin to disobey him, too afraid of loosing my job…too afraid. I have been a coward. I pray that my nephews are not the cowards they have seen me be. I hope, when I do die, that my dearest Mim will forgive me. I only wish I could forgive myself.
Ron sniffed as he finished reading the last page of the journal aloud. Beside him on the floor, Kim had tears trickling down her cheeks.
"Can you imagine?" she whispered.
Ron shook his head. "I wonder where that last letter from Mim went."
Kim reached over and gently took the journal from her friend. Turning the last leaf, she discovered a letter tucked into the binding. It was addressed to John.
"Open it," she said, passing him the envelope. He received it, awestruck.
"Open the letter, Ron."
With trembling hands Ron tore the seal from the yellowed paper, but did not take the note out. "I can't, Kim."
Kim gently slid the note from her friend's hands and glanced at it. Fresh tears drained from her emerald eyes. Her voice shook as she spoke.
June 17th, 1904
Yes. My answer is yes.