Groosham Grange

Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz Read Free Book Online

Book: Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anthony Horowitz
skeleton of some sort of animal stood in one corner.
    “This must be the biology lab,” David whispered.
    “I wish it was,” Jill shook her head. “All this stuff has been left out since my first class this afternoon.”
    “What c-c-class was that?” Jeffrey asked.
    “Cookery.”
    David swallowed, remembering the mince.
    Jill sat down behind one of the desks. “So let’s compare notes,” she said.
    “Our first two days at Groosham Grange,” David agreed.
    “Jeffrey – you go first.”
    Jeffrey had little to say. He was the most miserable of the three of them, still confused after his meeting with Mr Kilgraw. He hadn’t done any work at all and had spent the whole of the last lesson writing a letter to his mother, begging her to take him away. The only trouble was, of course, that there was nowhere to post it.
    “I hate it here,” he said. “It isn’t t-t-tough like I thought it would be. But it isn’t anything like I th-th-thought it would be. All the t-t-teachers are mad. And nobody’s t-t-teased me about my stammer.”
    “I thought you didn’t like being teased,” David said.
    “I d-d-don’t. But it would be more n-n-normal if they did.”
    “Nothing’s normal here,” Jill broke in. “First of all they make us sign our names in blood. The lessons are like no lessons I’ve ever sat through. And then there’s the business of the rings.”
    “I saw them too,” David said.
    “They’re all wearing the same ring. Like some sort of bond.”
    “And I’ve found out more.” David went on to describe his discoveries of the day, starting with the mystery of the pyjamas. “I may be wrong,” he said, “but I get the feeling that everyone here is using false names.”
    “There’s a boy in my class called Gideon Penman,” Jill muttered.
    “Exactly. What sort of a name is that?”
    “B-b-but why would they have false names?” Jeffrey asked.
    “And why do they want our real names in blood?” Jill added.
    “I found out something about that too,” David said and went on to describe the conversation outside the headmasters’ study. He left out the bit about Jeffrey being the weakest of them mainly because he thought it would be cruel to mention it. But also because it was probably true. “All I can say is that the sooner we’re out of here the better,” he concluded. “There’s something nasty going on at Groosham Grange. And if we stay here much longer I think it’s going to happen to us.”
    Jeffrey looked accusingly at Jill. “I thought you were going to r-r-run away.”
    “I will.” Jill glanced out of the window. “But not tonight. I think there’s going to be another storm.”
    The storm broke a few minutes later. This time there was no lightning, but the cloudburst was spectacular nonetheless. It was as if the sea had risen up in a great tidal wave only to come crashing down on the school. At the same time, the wind whipped through it, tearing up the earth, punching into the brickwork. Loose shutters were ripped out of their frames. A gravestone exploded. A huge oak tree was snapped in half, its bare branches crashing into the soil.
    It was the sound of the falling tree that woke David for the second time that day. Scrabbling in his bedside cabinet, he found his torch and flicked it on, directing the beam at his watch. It was just after midnight. He lay back against the pillow, gazing out of the window. There was a full moon; he could just make out its shape behind the curtain of rain. When he was a child, David had never been frightened by storms. So he was surprised to find that he was trembling now.
    But it wasn’t the weather. In the brief moment that the torch had been on, he had noticed something out of the corner of his eye, something that hadn’t been fully registered in his mind. Sitting up again, he turned it back on, then swung the beam across the dormitory. Then he knew what it was.
    Jeffrey was asleep in the bed next to him, his head buried underneath the

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