"See you later then? Six thirty?" Herbage confirmed. "Yes, I will quickly go and sort out the food and drinks!" Stilton promised. "Thanks, and I will check in on Rosetti, and then of course Hatty!" Slick didn't look excited about this prospect.
Rosetti was busy with a lesson, and although Slick knew they still had time, he was wondering if they would be ready.
"Oh, hi Slick!" the cat greeted him friendly. "Are you still on for tonight?" Slick inquired?
"Yes, sure! Wren is my last student for the day, and then I will pack and move the instruments out of the way." Rosetti answered. Slick looked relieved and told Rosetti that he would be over later to help. "I first have to go and chat to Hatty!" Rosetti grinned and wished him good luck!
While Slick went to see Rosetti and Hatty, Stilton made his way over to the Commune. "Hey dad! What are you doing here?" Sage was waiting for someone, with his friend Diggory at the commune. "I think I should rather ask you that, young man!" Stilton jokingly replied. "We are just waiting for Lester, he forgot his book, and had to come and fetch it." Sage hurriedly explained. Stilton laughed and waved the boys goodbye.
Suzette was busy in the kitchen, and Stilton was glad he found her there. "Hey Stilton, what do you think? I'm just putting the last cherry on top of the cake."
"Hey Suzette, it really looks delicious!" Suzette had made some other pastries too. "Thanks again for helping us out on such short notice." Stilton thanked Suzette. "No problem, I will bring it round to the music room, when I am done, is that ok?" Suzette asked.
From the Commune Stilton went to the Deli of the Corntops, for the savoury snacks. He found it very silly to order snacks from someone else, he is afterall the owner of the best restaurant in a 100km radius, but he already has a function tonight, with which he has to help Rosemary later, so there is no time to cater for this party too.
"Afternoon Hector, everything ready for tonight?" Stilton greeted his friend. "Yes, indeed! And now I'm so hungry I had a hard time containing myself." Hector laughed at his own joke.
"Oh yes I have to agree, it looks delicious!" Stilton confirmed. "Thank you, Hector, you are a lifesaver!"
While arranging a party on short notice is difficult, and sorting out the food and venue could be tricky, nothing is worse than informing Hatty Huckleberry of their plans. This was Slick's thoughts when he approached the school. Everyone was fine with helping out at the last minute, but they immediately refused to talk to Hatty. Slick decided that as this party was his idea and Hubert Alan is his best friend, he would have to tackle the bull by the horns.
"Slick, how good to see you!" Hatty had a soft spot for Slick, but he not so much for her. "Hatty, we are hosting a surprise birthday party for Hubert Alan, and we need your help." He decided to get straight to the point.
"A surprise party, and why do I only hear about this now?" Hatty was immediately on her high horse. "Because I wanted to throw him one, and it will only be his MALE friends, and it was only decided yesterday! Surprises tend to backfire if you organise it way in advance and too many people know about it."
After more quarreling, mostly by Hatty, she agreed to bring Hubert Alan round to the Music Room, but she made it very clear to Slick that she was very hurt about being left out entirely. Slick just threw his hands in the air and said that he will see her later.
Slick quickly made his way to the Music School. The room had undergone a dramatic change, and he was really relieved about it.
"Wow, you guys, you really worked so hard, sorry to arrive this late, Hatty was quite a challenge!" Slick informed his fellow party organisers. "No problem, and it wasn't that hard work!" Herbage assured him.
Finally everything was ready, even the guests have arrived, now they was just waiting on the guest of honor.
It wasn't long before they could hear the shrill voice of Hatty Huckleberry and everyone gor ready to shout "surprise"!
Hubert Alan was truly surprised, "Oh you guys you shouldn't have! Thank you everyone!"
"And Hatty, you must have been the brains behind this, thank you my darling!" and he gave Hatty a tight hug.
Slick would however, have none of it, and quickly came over, "This time I should get all the credit, old pal, but please don't hug me!"
Hubert Alan thank Slick and then moved inside to thank all of his friends individually. "Thank you, Hatty, for bringing Hubert Alan. See you later!" Slick was quite adamant. "You mean I can't stay? That is quite rude?"
"Oh Hatty, please, it is a party for men! You won't fit in!" and with that Slick turned around and Hatty left, sulking.
The party was great, and the men had a chance to catch up with each other, something that they rarely have time for during their work week. "So, Kelly, how many children are on the bus to our school in the morning form Blueberry Hill, now?" Gordon asked. "Oh not many, I think about five, but they are such good children, their parents have had enough with the snobbishness of the Blueberry Hill schools, or that is what they told me." Kelly replied.
While Hubert Alan and Innes had a very interesting conversation about educational toys, "I think educational toys should be sold in every shop, not just toy shops. What do you think, Innes?" Innes agreed, "Yes it should, but some of the prices are ridiculous, and most retailers can only stock a few items, or not at all. I'm lucky to be able to have a good variety, and the people of Sugarbush Valley isn't shy to buy it."
The party goers left one by one, and soon only a few was left. "Slick, hey man, once again thanks for the great initiative!" Hubert Alan was truly greatful!
"No problem, buddy!"
While the men was tidying, they were interupted by a very familiar voice. Of course it was Hatty accompanied by Velvette. "At last, now you can help with cleaning!" Slick welcomed them with a sly grin.
"Did you enjoy it Hubie?" Hatty inquired. "Very much, and I got some great gifts! Let's see, a fruit and snack basket from Sebastian Whiskers, a trumpet from Rosetti, a memory foam pillow form Nelson Puddleford, some aftershave from Spencer Maces and a pair of Alex Periwinkle's handcrafted shoes from Slick." All of a sudden Hatty felt sick, as it dawned on her that she was taken for a ride by her fellow villagers.
Hubert Alan however misinterpreted her expression, "oh but don't worry honey, your present was still the best one!" and he hugged her tight.