So after all that emphasis on Shale freeing herself, I instead have her reject the opportunity and turn right back around, may feel like a giant cheat but really it is the completion of her character arc, where before she was a selfish loner not wanting to have any friends because they didn't like exactly the same things she liked to learning how important the other people in her life are and learning to think of others besides herself
As Shale went throughout the Spooky Mansion solving I Spy Riddles and playing two other kinds of games, Mystery Bins, a Matching Game where you match things connected in some way and Creepy Collections a game where you try to collect things of a similar category, Shale found this was beginning to get incredibly tedious, she figured if you were a Cub who really liked puzzles and brain teasers you could have a lot of fun in this place, Shale however never cared for such things. All she ever wanted was to play pretend at being Knights because of her obsession with King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, that's all she ever wanted to do pretend to be Knights battling imaginary foes. That's why she never had any friends on Mizzer all the other Cubs wanted to play sports or do things other than what she wanted to do…Shale was beginning to realize what a bossy brat she had been and how important give-and-take is in a relationship and that someone might have been willing to play the games she wanted to play if she had been willing to play the games they wanted to they wanted to play as well.
Meanwhile at Damon's House the Humanimals inspected the floor in the floor the Demon had made when it dragged Lord Damon to Hell, Alabaster went first sticking his head through the hole in the floor boards.
"What do you see?" Nerites asked
"I see there is something hidden under the floorboards…" Alabaster said squinting his eyes "…It looks like…Yes…It looks like an old fashioned treasure chest!"
Alabaster crawled into the space under the floorboards, he assumed there would be some kind of valuable treasure hidden in that chest either what you usually find in a treasure chest like gold, silver and jewels or perhaps because of Lord Damon's scholarly tendencies tomes of ancient lore…
As he crawled towards the treasure chest many thoughts raced through Alabaster's mind…How he had once been so happy with his place in the world, a wise and respected Professor proud of his Noble Lineage as a Xoloitzcuintli one of the two surviving Dog Breeds of the Aztecs (The other breed being the Chihuahua) as a Dog he felt he was uniquely qualified to be an expert on the study of the Human Animal…And to explain the Human Animal to Young Humanimals to prove that the Humans aren't unapproachable Gods but instead fellow creatures that have been shaped by evolution as much as they have…
Meanwhile, as Shale was moving to the upper floors, she was thinking about many things, other than the musty smell of dust, the only other smell her Canine nose could pick up was a vaguely plastic smell she was beginning to realize everything she touched often felt more like plastic or some other toy martial rather than real…She was beginning to suspect that this Spooky Mansion was really a giant spooky themed doll house and skeleton and all the other creatures that dwelled within this place were living dolls and other kinds of toys, to an adult this wouldn't have been any more comforting a thought than actual living dead, but to a child like Shale the thought that the Skeleton was just a living plastic doll rather than actual living dead was much more palatable, after all she had seen Toy Story and had had her own toys on Mizzer, toys are a child's friends!
As she was solving the final riddles she began to think about what that would mean, she would be free, but she would probably also be all by herself with no one to take care of her…And she was still only a child, she shivered realizing she had no idea where she might be and then she began thinking about her Dad he had already been separated from his wife and now his only child…
Alabaster opened the lock with a claw, and to his stunned amazement all he found in that treasure chest….Was a pair of white cotton briefs…
"Who would store underwear…A single pair of underpants at that…In this ornate treasure chest?!" Alabaster asked cocking his head "Someone with a juvenile sense of humor?"
But upon inspection the underpants seemed perfectly clean and one could always need a fresh pair of underwear, so he grabbed the chest and went back up the hole.
"Hey," He said to his Fellow Humanimals "Why you all shivering like that?"
Finally after collecting all the puzzle pieces the message told her to go to the Library and on the bookshelf with the marble bust pull three books in this order…Blue…Green then Red…Shale went upstairs to the Library and did just that and the Bookcase turned revealing a secret room, she entered and found the Skelton sitting at a writing desk…
"You found my message I presume…" Said the Skeleton "…And now you're in my secret room!"
As Shale looked around something about this room felt a little more modern than the other one's maybe it was the fading wallpaper so similar to the wallpaper she had seen in Mizzer or maybe it was the radiator under the window a more explicit bit of modern technology in this otherwise very Victorian inspired Gothic House
"Ready to get back outside?" Asked the Skeleton "Go through my window…" And with a wave of his had the window opened "…Open wide…"
Shale noticed the was a rope out the window she climbed down in it until she found herself in the front yard again the Skeleton followed suit.
"You've escaped my house…" Said the Skeleton "…Well done…But this game has just begun…"
That caught Shale off guard.
The Skeleton went back to the doorway
"If you dare to come back in…" Said the Skeleton "…A new adventure will begin…"
If…He said If…Meaning it wasn't compulsory…Shale saw the front gate was still open…She realized freedom wasn't worth it if she couldn't have her Dad with her so she dropped to all fours and raced out the gate!
The Skeleton's jaw dropped before Humanimals had hesitated but never before had he seen a Humanimal leave with such velocity! This unexpected turn caused him to break character
"Where are you going?!" He asked
"Freedom's not worth it if I can't have my Dad with me!" Shale called back over her shoulder
And the Skeleton even though his fun had been cut short for the night, when he heard that answer he couldn't help but feel pleased with her choice.
"You got to admire that kind of loyalty…" He said to himself as he reclined against a post…
So yeah the Skeleton usually has strict script he can't deviate from unless something really unusual happens