The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава

The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава

"Oh, that!" said Alex. "A kid cousin of mine drew it. I just found it in my pocket. I don't want it." He tossed the paper into the street and started off again.

Once more Nancy followed Alex, but as he turned a corner she suddenly stopped the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава car. Opening the door, she got out.

"Quick, George, take the wheel!" she ordered. "I have some sleuthing to do. Meet you at twelve o'clock at Broussard's restaurant."

Mysteriously, Nancy dashed back up the street.

CHAPTER XII

A Sly Getaway

"WHAT do you think Nancy is going to do The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава?" Bess asked her cousin, as they drove on.

"Search me!" George answered. "But you can be sure it has something to do with that wad of paper."

"You mean Nancy's figured out that the drawing on it meant something important? And Alex wasn't telling the truth when he The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава said it had been drawn by a little cousin of his?"

"Something of the sort." George grinned. "I can just see Alex's face when we get to the parking lot. He'll be furious."

George's prediction was right. Alex and Donna Mae got out of the station wagon The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава and walked towards the spot where George was parking. Not seeing Nancy, Alex instantly asked where she was.

"Left us to do some sleuthing," said George, as she and Bess alighted. "She told us to meet her at Broussard's at twelve."

Alex's eyes flashed and Donna The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава Mae looked hurt. "I don’t think that's very nice of Nancy when we planned such a gay sight-seeing trip," Donna Mae remarked.

"Well, after all, Nancy was invited down here to solve a mystery," George defended her friend.

"I'm going to find her!" Alex said suddenly. He The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава ran to the station wagon, got in, and roared out of the parking lot.

"And I'm going to follow," George said to herself. She got behind the wheel of Nancy's car and sped after the young man.

Donna Mae and Bess stared after the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава two cars. "Well, of all the horrid things to do!" Donna Mae cried out pettishly.

"What difference does it make?" Bess said soothingly. "You and I can have some fun shopping together."

This did not appease Donna Mae, however. She insisted upon waiting at the parking lot. But when The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава ten minutes had gone by and the others had not returned, she finally consented to leaving.

In the meantime, Nancy had run back to the spot where Alex had thrown the drawing into the street. Instinct urged her to find out more about the piece of paper.

To Nancy's astonishment the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава paper was gone!

"And there is no street cleaner or anyone else in sight," Nancy murmured to herself.

Her latest suspicion that Alex was not entirely trustworthy instantly became stronger. It seemed as if the circuitous route into town might have had a real purpose behind The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава it. Had Alex, by prearrangement, deliberately dropped the paper for someone to pick up?

Her mind racing, Nancy wondered if the paper might have been a signal, perhaps to a person in a house nearby.

"Maybe I'm being watched myself," Nancy thought, and determined to find out what The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава she could.

Standing exactly where the paper had been dropped, she studied the two facing houses on opposite sides of the street. Both were old-fashioned but well kept. Neither gave any outward indication of mysterious goings-on.

As Nancy stood reflecting what to do next, a young colored woman The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава, with a market basket over her arm, came from one of the houses. Nancy stepped up to her and smiled.

"Would you mind answering a question?" she asked. "I'm a stranger in town—here for the Mardi Gras. This part of your city is quite unfamiliar to me and I The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава'm looking for someone. Do you mind telling me who lives in the house where you work?"

The pretty young woman chuckled. "One of the finest families in New Orleans lives here. And this street used to be a nice quiet one. But now it's noisy and all The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава on account of the people from New York who live across the street."

Instantly Nancy was interested. “A family from New York, you say?"

"Not a family," the girl replied. "It's a boarding-house run by a woman who takes tourists sent by a New York travel agency The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. I shouldn't gossip about our neighbors, but they're not the kind of folks we're used to round here. They're loud and commonlike."

Nancy expressed sympathy, then thanked the girl for the information.

"You're welcome," Said the young woman and walked away.

"Tourists The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава from New York," Nancy repeated to herself. "Alex is from New York."

Then another thought struck her. The car thief from the North might stay in this kind of place! Confused but eager to find out what she could, Nancy, on a hunch, opened the side gate of the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава property and hurried to the rear of the yard.

Several cars were parked there and Nancy went from one to another. Suddenly her heart began to beat faster. Near the side fence and backed against a hedge that separated the property from the house beside it stood a black convertible The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. It had black-and-red seat cushions!

Nancy excitedly opened the door to look at the carpet. Perhaps she could find out if it also was torn as hers had been!

Before she had a chance to look, the kitchen door of the house opened. A slovenly-looking woman, with The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава unkempt hair, rushed outside and waved her fists at Nancy.

"What are you doing on my property!" she cried out. "I'll have the police after you!"

Nancy quickly closed the car door. She memorized the number of the Louisiana license plate on it and said sweetly, "I'm The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава looking for someone who has a car just like this. Would you mind telling me who owns this one?"

The woman did not reply to Nancy's question. Instead, she gave the young sleuth a tongue-lashing about people who pried, and ordered her to leave the yard at The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава once.

"Sorry," said Nancy. "I'll go.”

As she walked towards the street, the young detective glanced from window to window for any sign of the car thief but saw no one.

"Nancy!" a voice called from the sidewalk. Turning, Nancy was surprised to see George and Alex standing The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава there.

The young man scowled. "What are you going to do next," he chided her.

"Get the police," Nancy replied.

"The police!" Alex replied in astonishment.

"What's up?" George wanted to know.

Nancy quickly explained about finding the car.

"We'll all go to the police The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава station," Alex announced, adding that he would do all he could to help her.

"Suppose you and George go," Nancy proposed. "If the man who stole my car is in this house, he may try to get away. I'll stay here and watch."

Alex hesitated, obviously reluctant The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава to accept the suggestion, but finally remarked, "I suppose you'll be all right alone," and drove off with George in the station wagon.

Nancy went to sit in her own car and wait. Her eyes did not leave the house. Presently Alex and George returned in the station wagon. Behind The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава them was a police car with two officers. While one of them remained on the sidewalk, the other hurried to the rear of the house with Nancy and her friends.

The black car was gone!

It was clear what had happened. The convertible had been backed through the hedge The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава and driven out of the adjoining property to the street beyond. Nancy berated herself for not having prevented the escape.

"Did you notice the license number?" the officer asked.

Nancy gave it to him, but said, "If the person who drove the car away is the same one The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава who stole it in River Heights, he'll substitute other license plates at once."

"You're no doubt right," the policeman agreed. "I'll alert headquarters immediately."

The group returned to the sidewalk and the information was relayed to headquarters. Then one of the officers went with Nancy The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава to interview the woman in the house.

When she answered the bell, the boarding house owner glared at Nancy. "You back?"

"We'd like to ask you a few questions," the officer said, showing his identification. "Who owns the car that was driven away through the hedge?"

"Nobody I know," the woman The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава answered. "Tourist agency sent him here. Said his name was John Lane and he was from New York City. I don't know anything about him. Why are you asking all this?"

"This young lady here thinks the man was driving a stolen car," the officer The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава explained. "It's a serious charge, and if you're keeping back any information about your boarders, you may find yourself in difficulty with the police."

Hearing this, the woman lost her bravado. Over and over she repeated that she knew nothing about the man. Nancy asked her if she could give The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава them a description of Mr. Lane. When this had been done, Nancy said, "The description fits the man who stole my convertible!"

"I'm sure Mr. Lane won't come back," the boarding house owner said. "But if he does, I'll let you know."

As the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава policeman went down the steps with Nancy, he assured her that the police would do everything in their power to track down the thief. Nancy and George followed Alex to the parking lot and once more they pulled their automobiles into position.

Since Donna Mae and Bess had left, Alex The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава offered to show the other girls something of the newer part of New Orleans. He pointed out Canal Street, one of the widest thoroughfares in the world. He said that originally there had been a canal in the center of it which had been used to drain The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава off excessive rain water.

Many people were walking on the street and along the adjoining side streets. Alex explained that thousands of tourists came from all parts of the country to help celebrate the Mardi Gras.

"The parades always disband on Canal Street," he told the girls.

At twelve o The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава'clock they went to Broussard's restaurant. Donna Mae and Bess were waiting for them and insisted upon a full explanation of where they had been.

When Donna Mae heard the story, she remarked, "What a shame! I’m sorry you had bad luck not finding out about your car, Nancy The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. But why bother about it? Goodness, I wouldn't want to ride in a car that had been driven by such an awful man." Then she lapsed into silence.

As the group began to eat, Bess told of buying several attractive souvenirs to take home. "Mostly pralines and pecan The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава nougat," she confessed. "But I did get some lovely prints of New Orleans."

Donna Mae remained very quiet. What little she said seemed to be forced. But as the dessert was served, she suddenly became animated.

"I've just had the most wonderful idea," she announced. "I'm going The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава to invite Ned Nickerson, Burt Eddleton, and Dave Evans down for the Mardi Gras!"

Nancy smiled. "That's very sweet of you, Donna Mae, and of course we'd love to see the boys. But I doubt that they could take the time away from college."

A gleam The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава came into Donna Mae's eyes. She said meaningfully, "They won't dare refuse!"

CHAPTER XIII

Mississippi Mishap

The implied threat in Donna Mae's remark angered Nancy, Bess, and George. All of them were sure of what the girl had in mind: she did not want either Alex or Charles to The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава make any dates with Nancy and her friends. She was going to make the boys from Emerson College so jealous they would not dare refuse to come to New Orleans!

None of the three girls expressed their thoughts aloud, however. Instead, Bess said sweetly, "Oh, I'd adore The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава to see Dave Evans!"

"There's no one I'd rather date than Burt Eddleton," George spoke up quickly.

Nancy added, "I'm sure the boys would have a wonderful time here if they can come. And I must admit that I prefer Ned to any other escort The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава."

George grinned. "I'll tell you one thing, Donna Mae. Burt will never consent to putting on the costume of a fairy prince for your ball!"

Her remark eased the tension and everyone laughed.

The subject was dropped when Alex announced, "Now for some more sight-seeing. I've The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава rented a launch and we'll show you girls the river."

"That sounds alluring," Bess commented. "The Mississippi is such a romantic river."

"It's more than that," Alex told her. “It’s one of the busiest."

They drove through several narrow streets until they came to the waterfront, lined with The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава docks and ships at anchor. Donna Mae said it was one of the most important shipping ports in the world.

"Millions of tons of cargo go through here every year. One thing is of particular interest. The New Orleans port is known as a foreign trade zone. This The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава means that foreign vessels coming in here can unload and have the cargo transferred to another ship going out of the United States without payment of customs duty."

By this time, they had reached the dock where the rented launch was tied up. It was a trim craft with a The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава small cabin. The group eagerly climbed aboard and Alex took the wheel.

Soon the launch was out in the middle of the stream. The sight-seers looked up and down the river at the great docks, where vessels of various sizes and kinds were moored.

"See that white The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава boat over there?" Donna Mae pointed. "That's a banana boat. It's painted white so the sun will be reflected. In this way the hold where the fruit is stored remains cool."

They passed a small puffing tug which was pushing a string of cargo boats The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. George remarked that the little tugs must have tremendous power.

"They do," said Alex. "And of course the flowing river helps a little. It's only when the tugs go upstream that they have to work hard."

Part of the tour led past huge grain elevators. Alex remarked, "Those long conveyors The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава you see can load eighteen thousand bushels an hour on to the ships."

"Yes," Donna said, and added, "The grain barges can hold as much as three thousand bushels!"

"I suppose," said George, "that the bananas are incoming cargo and the grain is outgoing."

"That's right," Donna The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава Mae replied. "The grain goes to countries in many parts of the world."

The New Orleans girl now proudly said that the United States engineers had conquered the problem of floods for the city.

"It used to be perfectly frightening when the old river overflowed and the levees broke," she said The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. "When the Mississippi goes on a rampage now, some of the water is pumped into Lake Pontchartrain miles above here. The excess is carried through steel-reinforced concrete tunnels to a point fifteen miles below the city. You wouldn't believe it, but there are a The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава thousand miles of pipe!"

Presently Alex turned upstream and Donna Mae said she wanted the girls to see some of the plantation homes along the upper river. Soon they left the area of traffic. Only now and then they passed a boat.

"What a divine place to live!" Bess The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава remarked, gazing at pecan orchards framing a lovely old house.

Presently, Nancy glanced at her watch. "I think we'd better turn back now," she suggested, thinking of the girls' dinner engagement at the Bartolomes. "It's getting late."

"Oh, no!" Donna Mae protested. "You haven't seen anything yet.”

George The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава laughed. "I've seen so much, I'm sure I won't be able to remember it all."

Nevertheless, Alex went on for several miles more, with Donna Mae pointing out the high concrete levees in some places and farm land running right down to the river in others The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. Again Nancy asked Alex to turn round.

"Okay," he agreed, making a wide sweep in the river and coming about at five hundred yards from the far shore. Suddenly the motor began to sputter and the next moment it stopped.

"Goodness, what's the matter?" Donna Mae asked The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава.

Alex gave a great sigh. "We're out of gas!"

Nancy was angry. Why hadn't Alex checked the tank before they left? Aloud she merely said, "There must be an emergency can on board."

All the young people searched. They opened every locker, but there was no extra fuel in The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава any of them.

"Well, this is a fine mess!" George exclaimed in disgust.

The three River Heights girls looked at one another, the same thought in all their minds. Had Alex and Donna Mae planned this on purpose to keep them from going to the Bartolome home to dinner The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава?

"If they are guilty, I'm not going to let them get the better of me," Nancy determined silently. Aloud she cried out, "Help! Help!"

Bess and George yelled also. Alex and Donna Mae sat still, smiling amusedly. When no one appeared in answer to the girls' call, George The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава looked at Alex and demanded, "Well, aren't you going to do something?"

"What can I do?" the young man replied, shrugging. "We'll get back sooner or later. The stream will carry us down slowly and we'll meet someone who will give us gas The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава."

Such a delay was not to Nancy’s liking. She decided to do something at once. "I'm going for help," she announced.

Standing up, she kicked off her shoes and then unfastened the skirt of her three-piece ensemble. Before the others could object, she dived overboard, and began The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава swimming with strong strokes for shore.

"She's crazy!" Alex exclaimed. "She may never make shore. And if she does, there's probably not a house for miles around."

Bess was almost persuaded to his viewpoint. But George said confidently, "Nancy will make it all right."

Nancy did The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава swim the five hundred yards easily. She crawled up the low levee, then disappeared from view. The others waited anxiously.

Presently they heard the hum of a motor starting up, and from around a bend in the river came a small motorboat. In it were Nancy and a middle-aged farmer. On The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава a seat stood a five-gallon can of gas.

With little ado, the fuel was poured into the tank of the rented craft and Alex paid the man. Nancy thanked the farmer for all his trouble and climbed back into the launch. Alex started the motor and headed for The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава New Orleans.

"Oh, Nancy, you're wonderful!" Donna Mae said. "Simply wonderful! I'd never have had the nerve to do that."

Bess and George looked at their chum admiringly, adding their praise also. Alex, however, kept silent.

Nancy herself merely laughed. "I must be a sight The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава," she declared. "Bess, lend me a clean handkerchief, will you?"

With it, Nancy tried to wipe the muddy water from her face, neck, and arms, but with little success. The wind soon dried her hair and clothes.

After she had put on her skirt and shoes, Nancy noticed that the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава launch was going very slowly. She urged Alex to speed up. He мейд no comment, but did the craft more power.

As soon as they reached the dock, Nancy, Bess, and George hopped out. "Thank you so much for a grand trip," Nancy said. "Now we must hurry The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. If you don't mind, we'll grab a taxi back to the parking lot. Then we'll hurry on home."

By the time the girls reached Sunnymead, it was already six-thirty. Only half an hour before dinner at the Bartolomes'!

"Bess," said Nancy, "will you please call Charles The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава's mother and explain why we'll be a little late. I'll dash right upstairs and wash the Mississippi mud out of my hair. And, George, will you get some clothes we can wear on our bayou trip tonight and hide them in the trunk of The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава the car?"

A few minutes later Bess came to Nancy's room. She reported that Mrs. Bartolome had graciously said she would postpone the dinner hour until eight o'clock. George said the sports clothes and shoes were in the car.

By seven-thirty the girls were ready to leave. As The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава they walked into the hall, Donna Mae, looking very attractive in a peach-colored organdy, came from her room.

"Have a wonderful time, girls," she said. "I should warn you, though, that Mrs. Bartolome goes to bed early. You'll be back here by ten."

George flushed with anger. She The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава said icily, "We'll be here when we get here!"

Donna Mae looked as if she had been stung. To ease the tension, Nancy said quickly, "Do have a nice time at your dinner party."

The three girls hurried from the house and went to Nancy's car. Bess The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава got in front with Nancy, while George seated herself in the rear. As they drove off, Bess said severely to her cousin:

"Why in the world did you talk like that to Donna Mae? Do you want to spoil everything for us? If the situation around here gets The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава much worse, Aunt Stella and the Colonel may ask us to leave."

"I'm sorry," said George, "but Donna Mae makes me positively ill when she gets on her high horse!"

"She certainly has changed," Bess admitted. "I'll bet Alex is putting her up to a The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава lot of these things."

Nancy was very quiet. So many unexplained things had occurred that now she was alert for trouble at any moment.

"Cat got your tongue, Nancy?" George spoke up.

The girl detective laughed. "No," she replied, "but I have a feeling that we should be extra cautious The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава tonight." Then Nancy added, "I've been thinking over what you girls said about Donna Mae. She did seem very different today, especially when we were on the launch. Up to now I hadn't thought that she was interested in anything but herself. Actually, she's a very intelligent girl The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава."

At that moment the girls reached the long, tree-lined driveway of Oleander Manor, the Bartolome estate.

Nancy began to breathe more easily. She relaxed and leaned back in her seat.

"Isn't this an attractive—?"

She never finished the sentence. From among the low branches of the tree The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава she was just passing, a stone hurtled towards her!

CHAPTER XIV

Ghost on Board

FLYING through the open car window, the large stone grazed the side of Nancy's head. It continued to the backseat, narrowly missing George, who ducked just in time to avoid injury. The rock landed with a The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава thud against the rear cushion.

"Oh!" Bess screamed.

Nancy quickly braked the car to a stop. As the girls looked back, they saw a man running away from the tree and down the driveway.

"We must catch him!" George urged, as Nancy began to back up The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава.

The lean stranger, realizing that he was being pursued, dashed across the lawn to some bushes and disappeared.

As Nancy opened the door to step out, Bess held her back. "Don't you dare go after him! He'll probably throw another stone."

The young detective paused, then closed the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава door. Bess went on, "What a dreadful thing for him to do! Why, Nancy, you or George might have been killed, if that stone had hit you!"

"I'm afraid you're right," Nancy agreed. "Well, we'd better report it to the police right away."

As she started the car The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава again, the girls saw Charles hurrying down the driveway towards them. He reached the car, opened the door, and jumped in beside Bess.

"Hello, everybody!" he said. "I heard you coming. How is everything?"

"Terrible," said George flatly, and told him what had happened.

The young The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава man was aghast. "You girls sure you're all right?" he asked solicitously.

After they assured him they were, he went on, "You know, since I've been working on the showboat, I've had a couple of narrow escapes of my own. Once when I was in my car The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава somebody shot at a tire. And—well, maybe I shouldn't tell you what happened today, or you may not want to go tonight."

"Oh, please do," Nancy begged.

Charles said that a sniper had shot at him this morning when he was on his way to the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава River Princess. "His bullet just missed me!”

"How wicked!" Bess burst out. "Oh, I hope he won’t be around tonight!"

Secretly she was hoping that Nancy might cancel the trip, but the young detective seemed more determined than ever to go to the River Princess and solve the mystery.

"My The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава mother mustn't know about any of these attacks," Charles warned the girls. "So please don't say anything."

Nancy nodded and decided not to call the police about the stone thrower.

"You girls will be glad to know that I've provided some extra protection for you tonight The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. Two friends of mine, Frank Morse and Jack Memory, are coming to dinner and will go on the trip with us."

"Good!" Bess said quickly. "There's safety in numbers, especially when they're men! I feel a lot better now!" The others laughed as they proceeded to the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава house.

Mrs. Bartolome, a very attractive and charming woman of fifty, greeted them cordially. She and Charles took the visitors for a short stroll in their beautiful garden, edged with boxwood. In the bright moonlight they could see roses, delphinium and lilies, surrounded by azalea and oleander bushes, blooming The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава in profusion.

"If I lived here," said Bess, breathing in deeply, "I'd never want to leave the place. It's a divine garden."

Mrs. Bartolome smiled, pleased by the girl's enthusiasm. "We do love it," she said.

A few minutes later two personable young men arrived and The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава were introduced to the visitors. Frank Morse, slim and well-built, had blond curly hair; Jack Memory was tall and dark, with flashing mischievous brown eyes.

The dinner party proved to be a gala one. The food, which included stuffed pheasant, was delicious and the conversation humorous and The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава sparkling.

At the end of the meal Charles announced the plan for going on the trip into the bayou.

"In order to keep our trip secret," he said, "I suggest that we stroll into the garden in pairs, then join at the rear of the garden. There's a little-used The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава road behind the largest rose garden and the car is hidden there."

When Nancy told Mrs. Bartolome that the girls would like to change from their dinner frocks and shoes to sports attire, their hostess led them upstairs. After showing them to a guest room, Mrs. Bartolome The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава smiled and said, "I wish you luck in your sleuthing tonight. For Charles's sake, I'd like to see the mystery solved.”

"I hope to learn a lot tonight," Nancy replied.

Quickly the girls slipped into the shirts and jeans they had brought, then joined the boys in The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава the living room. There was a marked change in the young men's attire also. They, too, were dressed for the trip into the bayou!

As the six friends went out of doors, one of the boys commented on the brilliant full moon.

"This is fortunate," Nancy thought The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава. "It will make travelling through that swamp easier than in total darkness." She also recalled that voodoo worshippers often held meetings when the moon was full.

Following Charles's plan, the couples separated, Nancy and Charles walking together, Bess with Frank, and George with Jack. Five minutes later they all met The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава behind the rose garden, jumped into the car, and started off.

"So far, so good," Charles remarked, looking in his rear-view mirror. "There's no sign of anyone following us."

Two miles from the house they came to the bayou and he parked. Three canoes were hidden among the The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава trees and bushes that overhung the water. The couples stepped in.

Bess remarked to Frank, "It's a good thing there's moonlight or you wouldn't see your хэнд in front of your face."

"S—sh!" Nancy called across from her canoe. "We'd better keep very The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава quiet.”

The rest of the trip was мейд in silence. As they neared the area where the showboat was, the young people became aware of the steady beat of a tom-tom. Bess shivered a little, but Nancy, her heart pounding with excitement, sat up straighter.

A few minutes later The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава they could distinctly hear music coming from the calliope! To herself Nancy said, "But Charles told me the old organ could not possibly be played!"

Soon the three canoes reached the pond where the River Princess lay. In the moonlight, with shadows playing on her, the old craft looked The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава unreal and spooky indeed. The music stopped at the end of a dismal tune.

Then, as if the organist had left his bench, a ghostly figure suddenly walked from the interior of the boat on to the deck. It was sheathed from head to toe in white and The Mystery at Sunnymead 5 глава glided up and down as though it were floating rather than walking.


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