Chapter Eight- Irrational Treasure
"Kids!" Grantie Mabel called out. "Are you ready? We're gonna be late!"
"COMING, GRANTIE MABEL!" The twins answered in unison. Mabel was making them dress up in old-fashioned clothing for some occasion, but she wouldn't say what specifically. When they were dressed, they ran outside and out to the car.
"You kids all ready?" She asked from the driver's seat. The boys nodded. "How do the gloves fit you, Stanford?"
Ford smiled and felt the six-fingered gloves his great aunt made for him. To test it, he moved his fingers and gave his hand a small squeeze, "They fit perfectly! Thanks for making these."
"No problem, kiddo," she smiled. Grantie Mabel buckled up and waited for the kids to do the same before she shifted the gear and drove into town.
After a while, Stanley grew bored and slipped on one of his grantie's homemade sweaters over his old-fashioned outfit with a crescent-shaped symbol on it and nudged his brother. "Hey, Ford!" Ford turned around, but Stan ended up poking his nose and laughing. "BOOP!" He did it again. "BOOP! BOP!"
"Stop it!" Ford grabbed his nose. "Grantie Mabel! Stan is bothering me!"
"Cut it out," she ordered. Ford noticed that the car was coming to a stop, but they were still a while away from town, "Okay, get out of the car," Grantie Mabel said. "We're walking the rest of the way."
The twins groaned in unison, "I'm sorry, Grantie Mabel!" Stan apologized. "I'll stop! Promise!"
Mabel caught their distraught and laughed, "I was gonna make you get out anyway. You'll see why in a bit."
Ford and Stan exchanged glances, but they got out of the car and walked the rest of the way into town. They gasped when they noticed the changes. Everything and everyone around them looked old fashioned, as if they had time traveled a hundred-fifty years in the past, "Wow! Look at this town!" Ford exclaimed.
"Ah, boy," Mabel smiled. "Pioneer Day! The day we celebrate the founding of Gravity Falls!"
Thompson Determined greeted them, and he was dressed old fashioned as well, "Welcome to 1863!" Around them were people doing various activities. There was candle dipping, gold panning, and… a man marrying a woodpecker.
"I thought it was still legal to marry woodpeckers," Ford said.
The man that just married the woodpecker walked past him, "Oh, it is, son. It's still very legal."
Near them, someone was announcing the opening ceremonies, "Come on, boys!" Mabel said, hurrying them along. "And don't forget..." she punctuated her next sentence with a folksy accent. "Ya'll gotta talk like 'em, too!"
Ford did his best impression of Mabel's accent, "There's a carpetbagger in the turnip cellar!"
"Well hornswabber my haversack!" Stan said, mimicking the other two. The boys laughed and ran off to the crowd.
"Atta boys," Mabel smiled proudly and followed them.
Stan and Ford stopped at the front of the growing crowd, and Stanley opened a bag of candy he brought and ate one. He held the bag out to Ford, "You want one?"
"No, thanks," Ford declined. He paused. "Wait. I thought the dentist said you shouldn't have anything that'll ruin your braces."
"Don't worry. It's hard candy," he smiled and popped one in his mouth. The opening ceremonies were starting, and the boys turned their attention to the stage, but they saw that the person that came up on the stage was none other than Preston Northwest.
"Howdy, everyone!" he waved. "You all know me, Preston Northwest, great-great grandson of town-founder, Nathaniel Northwest. I'm also very rich," he added smugly. The crowd applauded, but Ford and Stan didn't. Stan looked angry as he sucked on the hard candy. "Now if you've got the pioneer spirit, we ask you to come on up and introduce yourself."
Stanley smiled, and he started to go up, but Ford stopped him, "Wait, Stan! Isn't that guy supposed to be your arch-enemy?"
Stan replied with the candy still in his mouth, "Yes'h, but t'is ish m'a time to 'inally ou'shine 'im," Stanley spat out the candy into the wrapper and ran up to the stage and yelled towards the audience. "Yeah! Let's get this Pioneer Day started! Right guys? USA! USA!" He chanted.
The crowd chanted with him, "USA! USA! USA! USA!"
Preston laughed and interrupted him, "I'm sorry to break it to you, but Pioneer Day is for serious people, and you are not serious. You're even wearing a sweater in summer, stupid!"
"What do you mean?" Stanley asked. "I'm overflowing with seriousness! I can be serious right now! Look!" He tried to make a serious expression, but he only managed to pull off a strained, angry look, and he farted a little on accident. He blushed a deep red when he heard the noise slip.
Preston laughed at him, "Wow, I'm almost embarrassed for you," he turned to the audience. "Everybody give him a hand!" The audience clapped and laughed, but Ford looked worried. Stanley sadly walked off the stage. "Now who wants to hear more about me?"
Ford and Mabel ignored Preston so they could check up on Stan, "Hey, you okay?" Ford asked.
"I need some old-timey butterscotch," Stanley pouted.
Grantie Mabel took some old coins from her purse, "Here you are, Stanley. They only accept old-fashioned coins today. And let me know if you see any horseshoes or roadkill on the ground, because they take that as money too," she bent down to hug Stanley. "Don't listen to that boy, alright, my little Stanley?" Stanley only nodded a little, but that was enough for Mabel. "I'm going to the candle-making station in case you need me. Alright?"
The moment she left, Stanley ran away. Stanford ran after him, until Stan stopped near a large statue of Nathaniel Northwest. He sat down and cried, and Ford sat next to him and tried to comfort him. "Ford, can I ask you something? Do you think I'm silly?"
"I knew it!" Stan exclaimed sadly, seeing through Ford's petty attempt of a lie. "I thought I was being charming, but people only see me as a big joke," he took off the sweater and threw it on the ground.
"Come on, Stanley. You love that sweater!"
"I did before Preston ruined it for me. He ruins everything!" Stan complained.
Ford glared at the statue of the town's founder, "Preston!" he sneered. "Why does he think that being related to the town founder means he can treat everyone like garbage? Someone needs to take him down a notch. Or a peg," Stanford gasped. "Wait a minute!" He reached into his bag and pulled out the journal with the three pine trees on it. "I feel like I read something about Preston's great-great grandfather before," Ford opened the journal and flipped through the pages until he found it. "A-ha! In my investigations," he read, "I recently made a discovery. Nathaniel Northwest may not be the true founder of Gravity Falls! I believe this secret is buried somewhere on the enclosed document. If only I could crack the code," Ford pulled out a document from the page. It contained a complex series of letters, symbols, and words. "Wow! If this cover-up is true, it means that Preston's whole family is a fraud! This could be a major conspiracy!" He exclaimed.
"Really?" Stan asked hopefully. "Hey, if this is true, and I help you uncover the conspiracy, would that make me serious?"
"Definitely," Ford nodded. "Mystery twins?"
"I thought you hated that."
Stanford shrugged, "I'm starting to accept it," they fist bumped and ran off to solve the mystery. Unknown to either of them, Sheriff Holt and Deputy Roy had listened in to the entire conversation from behind the statue.
Holt spoke in a walkie-talkie, "This is Sheriff Holt. We've got a code sepia!"
"What?!" the person on the other side asked. "And what are you doing about it?"
"I'm following them right now," he confirmed.
"Find them and stop them. There's no room for error."
"I understand. Holt out," he ended the call and turned to Deputy Roy, "Deputy, maintaining this cover-up is the mission we've been training for our entire careers. Are you ready?"
"You know it," Roy smirked.
"Let's go get 'em!"
Ford decided that the best place to begin was the Gravity Falls Library. The twins started looking through books on deciphering messages, which Stan munching on his candy while reading. Ford found several methods to be interesting, and he noticed that some of the ciphers matched some of the secret messages written down in the journal. He would have to remind himself to check out those books later if he wanted to further decode the book, but so far, there was nothing on deciphering the document.
"It's not Egyptian," Ford sighed. "It's not numerology either," he read something else, and he gasped. "Wait- of course! The triangle is the alchemist symbol for flame. Lighting the parchment on fire will reveal the secret message!"
"Hooray!" Stanley cheered. "We're solving the mystery!"
"Okay," Ford said, walking over to the fireplace. "Now where's the- Stan!"
Stanley was wearing the document as a paper hat, "Yay! I just made a hat!" Stan groaned when he realized what he just did. "I just did something silly again…"
Ford was paying more attention to the document on his head, and he noticed something, "Wait, Stanley! You folded it into a map!" He paused. "...And I was going to burn it…"
Before he could read the map, the boys heard that the officers were looking for them. They hid under a table while the cops searched the library, "What do they want with us?" Stan asked.
"I don't know, but we should go somewhere safer," Ford suggested. They managed to sneak past the policemen and headed outside, where they would find their next clue.
Meanwhile, Grantie Mabel was at the candle dipping booth, only she wasn't just dipping candles, she was decorating them with tools she brought and some leftover colored wax from the old wax museum her nephews destroyed.
"Ma'am," the man that ran the booth spoke up. "You're holding back the line," Grantie Mabel peeked behind her to see that were a lot of angry people behind her waiting for their turns to dip candles. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave, or I'll have to escort you out."
Mabel scoffed, "You'll be thankful once I finish this. It'll do a lot of good for your business," she put the last, final touches on her candle and held it up for the man to see. "You like cats, right?"
The man's expression remained stern, "Are you going to leave or not?"
"I'll leave when I'm dead!" Grantie Mabel yelled, holding her candles and art supplies protectively. She ignored the angry protests from people waiting behind her.
The man that ran the booth shook his head, "I'm sorry, Ma'am. I didn't want to do this."
She rolled her eyes, "What're you gonna do? Lock me in a stock?" She asked sarcastically.
Grantie Mabel found herself locked in a stock and unable to get out, "I should really keep my mouth shut…" she mumbled.
The twins walked down the streets, trying their best to blend in with the crowd. Stanford looked through the document turned to a paper hat. "It looks like the map is leading us to…" he followed it and pointed ahead of him. "The Gravity Falls Museum of History!"
"Are we gonna break in?!" Stan asked excitedly.
"What? No. It's open," Ford said. They walked in the main entrance and a kind lady gave them free Pioneer Day passes and balloons. "See? Open."
Stanley frowned at his blue balloon, "I wanted pink!"
"Focus, Stan," Ford looked carefully at the map. "According to the map, the next clue about the real town founder should be right… here!" He pointed to a triangular exhibition piece made of carved stone mounted on the wall. "We've gotta figure this one out quick. I have a feeling those cops might be after us…"
The twins looked at the exhibit and analyzed it. Ford was thinking that the piece could be abstract, but then Stan got bored, so he sat upside down on the bench. He gasped, "Stanford, look!"
"Huh?" Ford copied his twin and gasped when the painting started making more sense. "It's not abstract, it's upside-down!"
It was a picture of a stone statue, "I think I've seen that statue at the cemetery," Stan said.
"When were you in the cemetery?" Ford asked. Stan shrugged. "Never mind. Let's go! Quick!"
The boys stood up and got a head rush from turning around so quickly, but they shook it off and ran out to the cemetery. Little did they know, the police officers were following them more closely than they thought…
Grantie Mabel continued trying the break out of the stock, but it seemed like she would be stuck there for a while. In a last attempt to break out, she grabbed her hair pin with her teeth to try to undo the lock, but it fell from her mouth, "Darn it," she grumbled.
"Well, look at this," came a young voice she recognized from the ceremony. "If it isn't Stanley's old-lady aunt," Preston teased.
"Beat it, kid," she spat. "You mess with one Pines, you mess with all of us. Don't think I'm just going to ignore what you said to my nephew earlier."
He laughed, "Like that matters! By the way, what was up with his loser brother? Was it just me, or did he have, like, twelve fingers?"
"That's none of your business, Northwest," she growled. "Where are your parents?"
Preston leaned casually against the stock, "They're busy flaunting their money. So it's just you and me for now," he noticed a hair pin on the ground and picked it up. "You want me to help you out?"
"What do you want?" Grantie Mabel asked. "Money? A football? Candles?"
"I want you to say that I'm better and smarter than those loser twins," he smiled smugly.
"You want that in writing?" Preston held out a notepad and stuck a pen in her mouth, and she wrote on it. "There you go."
Preston looked at the note, but it read, 'You look nice today!', "What?" he asked, confused.
"Well, what did you expect me to do? Lie?" She laughed, ignoring Preston's growing anger. He whistled to get the attention of some towns folk and pointed at Grantie Mabel. They held tomatoes in their hands, prepared to throw them at her. "Oh, COME ON!" She yelled.
Stan and Ford made it to the cemetery and found a statue of an angel pointing off in the distance, "It looks like the statue is pointing to the next clue," Ford said. He turned to his right to try to find where the statue was pointing at, but turned to see that Stan had the statue's finger stuck in his nose.
"Oh, gross! She's picking my nose!" Stanley laughed. The tip of the finger bent upward. "Ach!"
Ford was about to tell his brother to get down, but then a secret door opened in the grave in front of the statue, "Stanley, look!" He pointed.
"Ha! Who's silly now, Preston? Bam!" Stan struggled to get his nose out of the statue's finger, hurting himself in the process, and then jumped off. "I'm okay."
The twins walked down the staircase, and as they traveled further from the surface, the area around them darkened. Ford fumbled through his bag and pulled out his trusty flashlight to help them see better. At certain times, the twins had to duck or move around to avoid cobwebs and bones of small rodents that once lived here.
"Now we're getting into real conspiracy mode," Stanley said in a hushed voice. "I feel serious…" He took out his bag of candy and popped another few in his mouth.
"Watch your step," Ford warned. He extended his arm to block Stan from walking ahead of him. They reached the bottom of the stairs, but there was a long, empty path ahead of them. "This looks too easy. I think there might be booby traps set out for trespassers."
Stanley giggled, "Booby traps…" he glanced at Ford, noticing his glare, and stopped laughing. "Serious. Right. Don't worry, Poindexter. I got this," he found a heavy slab of rock near him and threw it on the ground in front of him. Nothing happened. "Huh. Looks like it's clear."
"I wouldn't be too sure," Stanford frowned skeptically. "Maybe it's a specific tile that activates the trap, and you missed it. Okay, on the count of three, we both jump to where you threw the rock. Got it?" Stan nodded, and Ford took a deep breath. "One, two, three!"
The boys jumped off the last stair and landed right next to the rock. Ford couldn't balance himself, and he started to fall, "W-Woah!" Stanley caught him, but not before Ford stepped on another tile. The twins hugged each other in fear, but they sighed in relief when nothing happened. Ford and Stan looked at each other when they noticed they were still hugging, and they separated and dusted themselves off, mentally deciding not to mention the hug. "I guess there are no booby traps," Stanford admitted.
"Told you," Stanley teased, crossing his arms. "Come on!" The boys kept walking, but then Stanley felt one of the tiles he was standing on sink into the ground beneath him. "Stanford…?"
"What?" He asked. Stanford looked around him in time to see darts flying out of the walls towards them. "Tranquilizer darts! RUN!"
The boys ran as fast as they could to maneuver past the darts. They saw a small opening ahead of them where the booby trap ended, and they made a break for it. Miraculously, neither was hit by a dart as they fell through it. Stanley groaned, but he gasped when he saw the room around them. There were hidden artifacts and files all around them, and everything there contained confidential, historical information.
"We found it!" Ford gasped.
"Woah!" Stanley walked around the room and picked up a top-secret document. "Hey, Ford! The reason Abraham Lincoln wears a long top hat is because he has a hand sticking out of his head! And look at this!" He pointed to another section. "Ben Franklin was secretly a woman!"
"Let's stay on topic, Stan. We're proving the Northwests to be fakes, remember?" Stanford reminded him.
"Right. Where is that?"
Ford continued to look around until he found a document labeled 'Northwest Cover-up', "Here it is! Now we'll find out who the real town founder was."
"And humiliate Preston!" Stan exclaimed.
Stanford read from the document, "Let it be here recorded that Nathaniel Northwest, fabled founder of Gravity Falls, was, in fact, a fraud…" he smiled, "as well as a waste-shoveling village idiot?!" Ford laughed loudly at that. "Oh, man! Bad news for Preston! Wait'll the papers hear about this!"
"And once people see that I uncovered a historical conspiracy, they can never call me silly again!" Stan exclaimed. He glanced at Ford. "With the help of my trusty sidekick, of course."
Ford frowned, "Wait, I thought you and Fidds were the sidekicks."
Stan shrugged, "I kinda feel like the roles were switched today. Anyway, if Nathaniel Northwest never founded Gravity Falls, then who did?"
"That's what I'm finding out right now," Stanford continued reading from the document. "The true founder of Gravity Falls was sir lord, Quentin Trembley, the third, Esquire."
Stanley glanced over Ford's shoulder to look at the document, "Who's Quentin Trembley?"
"That. Is none of your business!"
The twins gasped, and saw that the two police officers caught up to them.
"How did you avoid the darts?" Ford asked.
Deputy Roy raised a finger, as if to answer, but then he passed out. Several tranquilizer darts were sticking out of his back, "He didn't," Sheriff Holt answered, "You kids shouldn't have been snooping around in the first place, and how you got that document that lead you here is beyond us, but the point is that Quentin Trembley's a matter of national security."
The blond officer started regaining consciousness. While still woozy, he stood up and pulled out the darts from his back, "Ouch… Nathan, I think I'm colorblind now…"
"What do you mean, 'national security'?" Stanford asked.
"And who is Quentin Trembley, anyway?" Stanley added.
"See for yourself," Sheriff Holt took out a reel of film from beneath his hat and inserted it into an old, dusty projector. The projection screen in front of them showed a countdown in black and white.
"Aww, it's black and white?!" Stan groaned. Ford shushed him, and the reel started.
A government official in an office spoke, "If you're watching this, then you are one of eight people in these United States with clearance to view this information. In fact, I myself will be shot as soon as the filming is complete," he looked offscreen for a moment, like someone was talking to him. "What? No? Ho! Well, that's a relief!" The official looked back at the camera. "Of all of America's secrets, the most embarrassing was that of Quentin Trembley: The eighth-and-a-half president of the United States."
"President?" Ford asked.
"Eight-and-a-half?" Stan repeated, both in equal confusion.
"After winning the 1837 election in a landslide," the video continued. It showed a picture of an actual landslide where the other presidential candidates were killed, "Quentin Trembley quickly gained a reputation as America's silliest president. He waged war on pancakes, appointed six babies to the supreme court, and issued the de-pants-ipation proclamation. His state of the union speech was even worse."
A pre-recorded tape of President Trembley played, "The only thing we have to fear is gigantic, man-eating spiders!"
"He was kicked out of office and escaped to an uncharted valley he named Gravity Falls, after plummeting into it at high speed. Trembley's shameful term was erased from history and officially replaced by William Henry Harrison as President and local nobody Nathaniel Northwest as founder of Gravity Falls. The whereabouts of president Trembley's body are unknown."
The reel ended, and Sheriff Holt spoke, "Until now," he shone his flashlight to a man that was completely encased in an amber-colored rectangular prism. It was none other than Quentin Trembley himself.
Stanford gasped, "Is he trapped in amber?"
Sheriff Holt scoffed, "The idiot thought he could live forever by encasing himself in a block of solid peanut brittle. Great job, Mr. President!" He added sarcastically. Holt turned back to the boys. "Finding Trembley's body was our special mission, and thanks to you, it's complete."
Deputy Roy held up one of Stanley's wrappers, "Who knew all we had to do was follow a little kid's trail of candy wrappers?"
"Ugh," Stanley face-palmed sadly, "silly!"
"Now that you know the truth," the sheriff continued, "we can't let you go around talking about it."
Ford gasped, "Does that mean…?"
"Are you going to KILL US?!" Stanley asked frantically.
The officers laughed, "Kill you?" Holt repeated. "We're not going to kill you. We're just going to escort you and all this stuff back to Washington. You won't be coming back, by the way," he added.
"But that's ILLEGAL!" Stanford exclaimed. "What about our great aunt?! And our parents?!"
"Pops won't like it if we become government property," Stanley added nervously.
The police officers glanced at each other, and turned back to the kids, "We'll let the FBI sort that out. Until then, you're coming with us."
Inside of a moving train, Stan and Ford were trapped in a large wooden crate along with Quentin Trembley's body. They banged on the wood and yelled for help, but no one heard them. Giving up on that plan, Stan leaned against the crate and slid onto the ground, "I can't believe I left a trail of candy wrappers," he groaned. "This is all my fault. Preston was right all along… I'm nothing but a silly failure, like that embarrassing president what's-his-name."
Stanley broke off a piece of peanut brittle from the block and tried to eat it, until Ford stopped him, "What part of 'braces' don't you get, Stanley? Don't eat that! Not to mention that thing's over a hundred years old!"
"Nag, nag, nag," he bit into it anyway, but he turned back to the block to see it was cracking.
The boys screamed and ran to the other corner of the crate. Trembley broke out of his peanut brittle prison, "It is I, Quentin Trembley," he declared. The founder ripped off his pants.
"You're alive!" Stanford exclaimed. "But how?"
Stanley picked up a broken piece of peanut brittle, "It's the peanut brittle! It really does have life-sustaining properties! You're not silly, you're a genius!"
"And so are you, dear boy, for following my clues are freeing me from my delicious tomb!" Trembley said.
"He's right!" Ford turned to his brother. "Making maps into hats, hanging upside-down; your silliness solved the code that serious cops couldn't crack in a hundred years!"
Stan gasped and held his cheeks, "I did, didn't I?"
"By Jefferson!" Trembley exclaimed. "We seem to be trapped in some sort of crate-shaped box."
"It's a crate, Mr. President," Stanley smiled.
The president pulled out a large key, "Good thing I have the President's Key, which can open any lock in America!" He repeatedly slammed it into the side of the crate.
Stanford held up a finger, "I… don't think that's going to work…"
"Wood! My age-old enemy," he turned to the kids. "In order to get out of here, this is going to take the silliest plan ever conceived."
Ford crossed his arms behind his back, "I think I know who can help you," he smiled at Stanley.
Stanley thought for a moment and looked around the crate, "Hmm. How about… that hole?" he pointed at a tiny hole near the corner of the crate.
"We will leap through it!" Trembley declared. He and Stanley jumped at the hole to try to squeeze through it, but all they managed to do was stick a finger through the hole. "Almost. Almost there. Good! Keep pushing," the president said, giving Stan words of encouragement.
Ford watched their futile attempt to escape from the other corner and frowned, "Guys… I'm not sure this is working."
"Trust… the silliness!" Stan exclaimed.
The sound of a woodpecker pecking on wood was heard, "Is that my third wife?" Trembley asked. "Sandy?" The crate fell apart, much to the twins' relief. Trembley huffed. "Well, we didn't fit through the hole. Let's rebuild the box and try again!"
"Forget about that! We have to get out of here!" Ford yelled. He and Stan ran out of the box.
"Also good!" The president followed them.
Stanford opened a door in the train, but stopped when he saw Deputy Roy in front of him, who was getting a large amount of ice from a machine. He gasped when he saw the three of them and dropped the bucket of ice, "NATE!"
They ran away to look for another exit before the police officers got to them. Ford found an emergency escape on the roof of the train car and they climbed up the ladder, but as they reached the opening, Trembley pulled out his President's Key to try to open it even though there wasn't a lock.
Ford took the key from him, "Give me that!" He turned the handle, and they climbed on the roof of the train car. The police officers followed them up, and Stanford looked behind him to see that they were on the last car. They were trapped.
Sheriff Holt took out his cuffs and approached them cautiously, "You kids are in a heap of trouble."
"But Sheriff Holt, do you really want to lock us all up in a government facility somewhere?" Stanford asked.
"We don't have a choice! Our orders come from the very top!"
An idea popped in Ford's mind, "Wait!" He turned to the town founder. "Quentin, did you ever sign an official resignation?"
"No, sir," he answered. "I ate a salamander and jumped out the window."
"But then that means…" Stanley gasped. "You're still the President of the United States, right?"
Stanford fixed his glasses, "Well, I suppose technically, yeah," he turned to Holt and Roy. "Quentin Trembley is legally your boss, and you have to answer to him now!" He exclaimed.
"Huh?" The officers shared confused looks.
Trembley stepped forward, "As president of these several United States, I hereby order you to pretend none of this ever happened. And- and go on a delightful vacation," the train drove under a metal rail that struck him in the back of the head. "Ow! Mmm yeeees!"
"Vacation?" The cops looked at each other questionably, and they smiled in unison.
Later, the twins and Trembley have returned safely to the Gravity Falls train station, and the train left, with the police officers on board, all packed and ready for their vacation.
"Michigan, here we come!" Declared Deputy Roy. They waved their good-byes to them until they were out of sight.
Trembley turned to the boys, "I don't believe I learned your names," he commented.
"Stanley Pines, at your service," he smiled and shook the man's hand.
The president got down on one knee and looked at him, "You've already done a great service, Stanley. Not only for myself, but also for this country. As thanks, I'd like to make you an official U.S. congressman," he unfolded a black top hat and handed it to Stanley.
He placed the hat on his head and smiled, "I'm legalizing everything!"
Trembley turned to Stanford, "And other Stanley…"
"Uh, actually, I-I'm-"
"You, dear boy, are on your way to unlocking the mysteries of this great land. So I'd like you to have my President's Key," he handed the large key to Ford, who smiled at the kind gesture.
"-And then he chased me around and spanked me with a paddle for, like, three hours. Bottom line, George Washington was a jerk," the president finished.
Stanley smiled, thoroughly enjoying Trembley's stories he told to pass the time, "Agreed."
They finally made their way back to the main street, where the celebration was still going on as if nothing happened. Preston could be seen with some friends, being a typical snot to a younger kid. Once he was alone, Stanley approached him smugly with Quentin Trembley and Stanford shortly behind him.
"Hey, Preston!" he waved. "I just uncovered a government conspiracy about the eighth-and-a-half president of the United States! Who's silly now?"
Preston hesitated, thinking about what he just said, "What?" He looked behind Stanley, where Trembley was chasing after a bald eagle, intending to fight it. "Who is that idiot?"
"Sir lord, Quentin Trembley the third, esquire," Stanley answered. "The eighth-and-a-half president of America. How is he alive, you ask? Well, it turns out you can hibernate in peanut brittle and it-"
The other boy broke out in laughter, interrupting Stan, "Wow! You really are a stupid little kid. What's with the dumb hat anyway?" he teased.
"Preston Northwest!" A voice exclaimed. The boy stopped laughing and turned around to see his mother. She was frowning angrily at him. "What did I tell you about your behavior?" She asked.
Preston looked back between his mother and Stanley, "B-but Mom!"
"No buts. Except for your's in the limo. We're leaving," she asserted. Preston grumbled and reluctantly left to do what he was told. Once he was gone, Mrs. Northwest turned to the other boys. "I'm incredibly sorry about my son. I'm sure you'll be great friends eventually," she grabbed each their hands and shook it. "Pacifica Northwest. I believe you kids are Mabel's nephews."
"You know our Grantie Mabel?" Ford asked.
"Of course I do," she smiled. "By the way, where is she?"
The twins glanced at each other, "I think she said she was at the candle dipping booth," Stan answered.
"Oh, is she, now?" Mrs. Northwest laughed. "Then she wouldn't want to be bothered right now, would she? Well, it was nice to meet you boys," she left to join her son in the limo.
Stanford blinked in confusion and held up the document to Stanley, "Uh, Stan? Aren't you gonna tell him about his ate-gray ampa-gray?"
"You know, Stanford, I don't really want to do that now," Stanley admitted. "Besides, I've got nothing to prove. I learned that being myself is awesome!"
Ford frowned and glared at the limo that was beginning to drive off, "Well, I haven't learned anything!" He ran to the Northwests' car. "HEY, PRESTON!"
The car stopped and Preston rolled down his window, "What do YOU want?" he asked bitterly.
Stanford handed him the documents of the cover-up through the window, "Nathaniel Northwest didn't found Gravity Falls, and your whole family is a sham. Deal with it!"
The limo drove away, but Ford could see Preston's shocked expression through the back window, "What?! Mom!"
Ford smiled, feeling accomplished, "That actually felt good," he turned to Stan, who had caught up to him. "Who knew revenge was so underrated, am I right?"
Stanley gave his brother a playful punch on the arm, "You're such a dork."
The kids laughed, but they were interrupted when Trembley spoke, "Children, I am needed elsewhere. Just know that I'll always be right here…" he gestured to his heart, but then he pulled out a bill from a pocket in his coat. "On the negative twelve dollar bill," he handed the money to Ford.
He examined it, "Whoa. This is worthless," he smiled.
"It's less than worthless, my boy. Trembley away!" Quentin Trembley jumped backwards onto a horse that just happened to be standing nearby and rode away.
After a short moment, Stanley spoke up, "Where do you think he's going?"
"I'm gonna say… off a cliff," he guessed. Ford looked at the sky and noticed that the sun was setting. "Let's find Grantie Mabel."
It was a shock for both of them when they finally found Mabel trapped in the stocks in the town square. The twins listened to the whole story of her imprisonment.
"-And then Maria came by and talked to me for like, an hour. Eventually, the guy at the booth said he would let me go if I said I was sorry, but in no way was I going to apologize for art," she finished.
Stanley placed his hand on her shoulder, "You've been through so much," he sympathized.
"Here, let me try something," Stanford offered. He took out the President's Key to unlock the stocks and free Grantie Mabel. "It works!" he exclaimed happily.
She laughed, "Thank Sweet Baby Moses! You kids really are something, aren't ya? Where'd you get that key? And the top hat?" Mabel asked.
"They're souvenirs!" Stanley answered. "From the eighth-and-a-half president! He made me an official congressman!"
"Hmm, I don't remember that attraction," Grantie Mabel thought to herself. She checked the time. "Oh, well. Looks like I'll have to wait until next year to see it. It's gettin' late, kiddos."
The boys looked around to see that their aunt was right. The sky was getting dark, shops were closing, and people were leaving. Stanley broke out a yawn, and Grantie Mabel hoisted him up on her shoulders. "Let's go home."
As they walked to the car, it started to get chilly, and Stanley grabbed his sweater from around his waist and slipped it on, "Hey, you're wearing your sweater again," Stanford pointed out.
Grantie Mabel smiled up at her nephew, "You feel better, sweetie?" Stanley nodded and smiled contently. "You are a special boy," she said. "No matter what anyone says, you are your own unique mark on this world. You are not weird, Stanley. The same goes for you too, Ford," she turned to the other twin. "Both of you. I couldn't have asked for better grand nephews than you two."
"I'm also a silly goofball," Stanley giggled with his eyes closed. "But I wouldn't have it any other way."