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Authors: Kathryn Kenny

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The Mystery of the Emeralds

BOOK: The Mystery of the Emeralds
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This is a reissue edition of a book that was originally published in 1965. While some words have been changed to regularize spelling within the book and between books in the series, the text has not been updated to reflect current attitudes and beliefs.

Copyright © 1965, renewed 1993 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published by Golden Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, in 1965.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Kenny, Kathryn.
The mystery of the emeralds / by Kathryn Kenny ; illustrated by Paul Frame ; cover illustration by Michael Koelsch. — 1st Random House ed.
    p. cm.
Trixie follows the clues in a 100-year-old letter to the ruins of a mansion in Virginia, where she searches for a cursed emerald necklace.
eISBN: 978-0-307-80871-4
[1. Mystery and detective stories.] I. Frame, Paul, ill. II. Title.
PZ7.K396Mv 2006   [Fic]—dc22   2005011676

First Random House Edition
and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.


Chapter 1
“Rabbit! Rabbit!”

Trixie Belden awoke slowly, with the sound of a summer rain beating against her window. She half-opened her eyes, stretched her arms above her head, and then, catching sight of a large sign tied to the foot of her bed, yelled out, “Rabbit! Rabbit!” She bounced out of bed and ran out of her room and down the hall.

“I’ve finally done it!” she cried as she dashed into the large bedroom shared by two of her three brothers.

The oldest, Brian, responded by drawing the covers tightly over his head and turning thumpily toward the wall, but Mart, her almost-twin, sat up excitedly and demanded to know what she had done to cause all this rumpus at eight o’clock in the morning—enough rumpus, in fact, to wake up Bobby, who at this moment appeared in the doorway.

Trixie’s blue eyes were sparkling as she picked up her youngest brother and twirled him round and round. Then, plunking herself down on Brian’s bed, she said, “Well, ever since I was Bobby’s age I’ve been trying to remember to say ‘Rabbit! Rabbit!’ and make a wish just
before going to sleep on the last night of the month. If you say it again in the morning, before you’ve said another word, your wish comes true.” Trixie laughed. “But when I’d remember to say the magic words at night, I’d always say something else before I went to sleep, or forget them in the morning, or something. This time I put up a sign to remind me. Gleeps! I hope that doesn’t spoil the charm!”

“I must say you’re the luckiest of girls,” Mart said in his most sarcastic voice, extending his hand to congratulate his sister. “And what stupendous thing did you wish for, Trix? That you’d pass English next year?”

Brian, unable to sleep through all this talk, rolled over, poked his head out of the covers, and said, “I bet I know what she wished for—another mystery. You know she’s never happy unless she has some puzzle cooking.”

Trixie’s face sobered, and in a characteristic gesture she pushed back the short, sandy curls from her forehead. “As a matter of fact, I
sort of wish for some excitement.” She sighed. “After Cobbett’s Island, Sleepyside seems—well, a little pallid.”

“Wow! Look who’s getting sophisticated,” jeered Mart. “Watch out, old girl, or you’ll die of ennui.” He loved to use long or unusual words.

“What’s ‘ennui,’ Trixie? Is it sumpin’ like measles or
chicken pox?” Bobby asked, his eyes wide as he scrambled up on the bed beside his sister. “I don’t want Trixie to die,” he cried. “She’s the only sister I got.”

“Of course she’s not going to die,” Brian assured him softly. “ ‘Ennui’ is just a fancy way of saying you’re tired of doing the same old thing all the time.”

The tears dried magically, a smile broke over Bobby’s face, and he said, “Oh! That’s what I get every morning when I have to eat my cereal!”

The call of “Breakfast, children” interrupted their laughter, and they dashed downstairs in their pajamas to the large, friendly kitchen where Mrs. Belden was frying bacon and eggs on the old-fashioned stove.

Their father, who worked in the Sleepyside bank, put aside his paper as they came in and, looking over the top of his glasses, greeted each of them. Trixie planted a quick kiss on top of his head as she went past him to her place at the table.

The Beldens lived in a comfortable old white farmhouse, a few miles outside the Hudson River town of Sleepyside. It was called Crabapple Farm and had been in the Belden family for six generations. Although larger and grander houses had been built around the ancient homestead over the years, they loved Crabapple Farm
with its orchards and gardens. Mrs. Belden never found it a chore to care for and harvest the fruits and vegetables the place yielded, and in the fall, her pantry shelves were loaded with preserves, pickles, and jellies. Even though the boys sometimes grumbled about having to take care of the chickens, they freely admitted that the Belden eggs were the biggest and best they had ever seen. Trixie, who hated housework, sometimes complained, too, about having to help with the dishes or the dusting, but once when her mother, pretending to be serious, suggested they sell the house and move to an apartment where the housekeeping might be a little easier, Trixie nearly exploded. It was quite a long time after that before she was heard to say, “Do I
to? You mean right

Trixie’s best friends, Honey Wheeler and her adopted brother, Jim, lived a little farther up Glen Road in an impressive mansion on a huge estate. The fact that the Wheelers’ wealth allowed them a staff of servants and every luxury never interfered with their close friendship. Honey and Trixie had met soon after Mr. Wheeler had bought the Manor House, with its stable of horses, game preserve, and swimming pool, hoping it would benefit his somewhat sickly daughter. Honey’s real name was Madeleine, but no one ever called her that
now, and no one seemed to remember who first gave her the nickname. Everyone agreed, however, that it suited her perfectly, for Honey was always as cheerful and sweet as she was pretty.

After the two girls became friends, Honey somehow forgot her ill health. There just wasn’t time to be sick with all they found to do. Their first adventure had been helping Jim Frayne, a wonderful boy, who was running away from a cruel stepfather. It had ended by Jim’s inheriting a half-million dollars from an uncle, his only relative, and being adopted by Mr. Wheeler.

“What are you all going to do this rainy day?” Mr. Belden inquired as he put on his raincoat and prepared to leave for work.

“Don’t you worry about them not having anything to do,” Mrs. Belden answered. “I’ve been waiting for just such a day as this to clean out the attic and the top of the barn.”

“Oh, Moms! Not again,” groaned Brian. “Why, we just cleaned the barn—let’s see, when was it?”

Tempus fugit
, dear brother,” Mart said cheerily. “It was at least four years ago, because I remember what a fuss I made when Moms wanted to throw out my magnificent collection of rocks.”

“Will it take all day?” Trixie asked a bit impatiently. “We’re supposed to have a meeting of the Bob-Whites this afternoon up at the clubhouse. The president of the Heart Association wrote and asked if we’d help with their White Elephant Sale, and we have to talk it over and see what we can do.”

“Well, that’s a coincidence,” Mrs. Belden said, “because I thought if we cleaned out the attic and barn we might find some things to donate to the sale.”

Trixie was suddenly all smiles. “Gleeps, Moms,” she cried, “what a perfectly spiffy idea! You can count on
the Bob-Whites to help!”

The Bob-Whites of the Glen was a secret club which Jim had organized soon after he came to live with the Wheelers. Although they were forever getting involved in some mystery, they also found time to be of help to others. There were now seven regular members in the club—the three Beldens, Honey and Jim, Dan Mangan, and Diana Lynch. Dan’s part-time jobs and a heavy school program prevented him from joining in all of the Bob-Whites’ adventures, but he was with the club whenever he could be. Di, as she was called, lived close by in another large house. Her twin brothers and sisters were much younger than she, so she welcomed membership in the club because it gave her a chance
to be with people her own age. Di had always been considered the prettiest girl in the group, with her shoulder-length black hair, fair skin, and large violet eyes.

“I think I’ll phone Honey and Di and tell them to check what they can collect at their houses and then we’ll all meet late this afternoon to see what needs mending or repairing,” Trixie said, her enthusiasm for the project growing all the time.

“Come on, Mart,” she continued, “you and Brian get dressed and do the barn, and Moms and I will tackle the attic.”

“I was planning to fix the muffler on my car,” Brian said. He was always fussing with his old jalopy, usually quite successfully, because he was a superb mechanic. “But the co-president of the Bob-Whites is issuing orders, so I guess the Queen of the Highways will have to wait. All set, Mart?”

“All set,” Mart growled, “but let me tell you, Trixie Belden, one day is all I’m going to give up for any elephant, white or purple. So don’t try to inveigle me into working all week on some old wrecked piece of furniture or something.”

Mart and Trixie frequently appeared to be in some kind of feud, but underneath they were very fond of
each other. Their birthdays were less than a year apart, and although Mart was taller than Trixie, they looked enough alike to be twins.

Trixie met her brother’s statement with a chilly silence as she went off to telephone.

“This promises to be a productive day,” Mrs. Belden commented as she walked with her husband to the door and bade him good-by. She didn’t know, as she said it, just
productive it would turn out to be. She gathered up several cartons from the porch and headed for the back stairs that led to the attic. She was soon joined by Trixie and Bobby who volunteered, “I wanna hunt for the elephant, too.”

BOOK: The Mystery of the Emeralds
11.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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