Creature in Ogopogo Lake

Creature in Ogopogo Lake by Gertrude Chandler Warner Read Free Book Online

Book: Creature in Ogopogo Lake by Gertrude Chandler Warner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gertrude Chandler Warner
aloud.
    Backwards or forwards,
    from left or from right,
    it’s always the same,
    by day or by night.
    “Patch sure made hard riddles,” said Benny.
    Jessie began to copy the riddle in her notebook. “I just hope we can figure this one out.”
    “What’s the same backwards or forwards?” Benny said, after a moment’s thought.
    Nobody had any ideas. It seemed like the more they looked for answers, the more questions they had.

CHAPTER 9
Getting Warmer
    “Abby told me about a family park nearby,” Grandfather said over breakfast the next morning. “They have bumper boats and go-karts and miniature golfing. Anybody interested in checking it out?”
    “That’d be great!” cried Benny, his eyes shining.
    Henry agreed. “That’s a super idea, Grandfather,” he said, every bit as excited as his little brother. “Besides, we could use a break from detective work.” The four Alden children had puzzled and puzzled over the latest riddle. But by the time they’d gone to bed, they still hadn’t come up with any answers.
    “I promised Abby I’d join her for a cup of coffee before we leave,” said Grandfather, taking the blueberry muffins that Violet passed to him. “But it won’t take long.”
    After breakfast, the four Alden children cleared the table and washed the dishes while Grandfather had coffee with Abby.
    “Let’s take your notebook with us, Jessie,” suggested Violet, who was giving the counters a once-over. “We can try to figure out the riddle on the drive.”
    “I was thinking the same thing,” Henry agreed. “We really don’t have time to take a break from this mystery.”
    “I put the notebook in my backpack,” said Jessie, glancing around the room. “Now … where did I leave the backpack?”
    Violet looked around, too. “Maybe it’s outside. The last time I remember seeing it was when we were painting the signs.”
    Benny was already halfway to the door. “I bet we left it by that big tree.”
    The Aldens wasted no time checking it out. Sure enough, Jessie’s denim backpack was leaning up against the trunk of the old elm tree.
    “It’s right where we left—oh, no!” Benny exclaimed.
    “What in the world …?” Violet cried out at the same time.
    The four Aldens stared in astonishment. The words MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS—OR ELSE! had been painted in purple across one of the signboards.
    Henry gave a low whistle. “Somebody sure doesn’t want us looking for that treasure.”
    Benny’s eyes were huge. “Who do you think …?”
    “Could be anybody,” Jessie broke in as she fished through the denim backpack for her notebook.
    Henry used a stick to pry open the lid on the can of Goldenrod Yellow. “It’ll take more than a message in purple to get us to back off,” he said. Then he grabbed a paint brush and slapped a thick coat of Goldenrod Yellow over the words.
    “It’s gone!” Jessie suddenly cried out.
    Henry looked up. “What’s gone?”
    “Are you talking about your notebook, Jessie?” Violet wanted to know.
    Jessie shook her head. “My notebook is here, but … the photograph is gone!”
    “Are you positive you left it in your backpack?” Henry wanted to make sure.
    “Yes,” said Jessie. “It was right in this zippered pocket with the notebook.”
    “I don’t understand.” Violet frowned. “It couldn’t just disappear.”
    “It could if somebody stole it,” Benny said. “And I bet it was the same person who left that message.”
    “Oh, Benny!” Violet exclaimed. “Why would anyone steal an old photograph of cats?”
    “Unless,” Jessie remarked, “he—or she— knew the photo held a clue to the treasure.”
    “Uh-oh,” said Benny.
    Henry looked over at his little brother. “What is it, Benny?”
    “Rilla Washburn knew about the clue,” Benny said in a quiet voice. “I gave away top-secret information when we saw her in town. Remember?”
    “That’s okay, Benny,” Jessie assured him. “At least the thief didn’t take my

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