The 39 Clues


Dan Cahill Ruins School Play

By Peter Gaffney

Apparently, Mrs. Gordon’s class’s five-minute play about Abraham Lincoln was actually intended to be two and a half hours long, sources say. Abraham’s Thinkin’, a musical biography of the sixteenth president, supposedly had eighteen musical numbers, a strobe light, and a giant chandelier that falls to the stage at the end of the first act—none of which was seen by the audience yesterday after recess.

The play began as scheduled at 12:15 sharp in the auditorium. The curtain rose, revealing fifth-grader Gwyndolen Holmes dressed all in wood. She sang the opening number, “Just a Lonely Log Cabin”:

I’m just a Lonely Log Cabin

In the midst of Illinois

Just a Lonely Log Cabin

No friends, no girl or boy.

But wait, I thought everyone had disappeared

Who’s that crazy guy, with just a beard . . . ?

Then eleven-year-old Amy Cahill came on stage dressed up as Abraham Lincoln, wearing a top hat and a beard. But rather than joining in with the song, Cahill turned bright red and started shaking. The music kept playing, and this reporter swears that he almost saw a tear rolling down Ms. Cahill’s cheek.

That’s when third-grader Dan Cahill yelled from the eighth row in the audience, “BAM! BAM! I’m John Wilkes Booth!” He ran up to the stage, clenching his hands together to make a gun, aimed it at his sister, and said again, “BAM! BAM! I’m John Wilkes Booth! I just shot you!” Dan Cahill then turned to the audience and said, “The End.” Then the lights went out and came back up on thirty-five fifth-graders who bowed, even though they had not yet performed.

“It was cool when Dan ran up and yelled ‘Bam!’” said Milo Donovan, a fourth-grader who was sitting in the front row. “But he stepped on my lunch while he was running on stage.”

“I never realized that Lincoln was assassinated before he was president,” said Shelby Granger. “This play really helped me understand the true story of Abraham Lincoln.”