The 100-Year-Old Secret

The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett Read Free Book Online

Book: The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tracy Barrett
decide where we're going. The problem is there's just so much to see. Help me narrow it down, will you?”
    â€œHow about Taynesbury?” Xena asked. “We were just at a museum with art by a man named Batheson, and he's from there.” She left out the part about wanting to check out clues for one ofSherlock Holmes's unsolved mysteries, in case Mom wasn't keen on the idea.
    â€œYeah,” Xander added. “The place seems very educational.”
    â€œTaynesbury?” their mother said. “That's one of the places I was considering. It sounds charming.” She flipped the pages in the guide-book. “It's a quaint little town that's supposed to look like the villages in the nineteenth century. And we can tour a mansion where King Henry the Eighth spent some of his childhood. Sounds like a good choice.”
    â€œGreat!” Xena said.
    â€œOh, and by the way, Mary Watson called and asked if we could take her nephew Andrew with us tomorrow. She thinks you could all be wonderful friends.”
    Xena groaned and flopped onto the couch. “Not him, Mom! He's such a jerk!”
    â€œXena! How can you say that?” Mom asked. “You barely know the boy. I think Aunt Mary is being very nice, finding people your age for you to get to know.” She gathered up her books and went back to her room through the connecting door. “Dinner soon,” she said as the door closed behind her. “We're going out for curry tonight.”
    Xena loved Indian food, but who couldthink about dinner now? Just yesterday she and Xander had been sitting around with nothing to do, and today they were on their way to cracking one of Sherlock Holmes's unsolved cases!
    While Xander took the cell phone out of its shrink-wrap and read the manual, Xena's heart began to thump in anticipation. Tomorrow they'd do some real detecting!

C HAPTER 8

    F or the last time, stop crowding me,” Andrew said, shoving Xander away.
    â€œWhy don't you leave my brother alone?” Xena told him. “He can't help it if the three of us are squished in the backseat.”
    â€œIf I'd had my way, we wouldn't be,” Andrew replied.
    Me too, Xena thought. It was going to be tough trying to solve the mystery without Andrew butting in.
    â€œI don't know why my aunt insisted I come along,” Andrew complained. “I told her that I had better things to do than to go to Taynesbury.”
    â€œLike what?” Xander asked, leaning close to the other boy on purpose.
    â€œHey, hey!” Mrs. Holmes turned around in the front passenger seat. “No more arguing, please. Can't we have a nice conversation? We've got only about a thirty-minute drive.”
    Mom's right, Xena thought. We can be nice for a half hour. “Do you like detective books?” she asked Andrew.
    He rolled his eyes. “Can't figure that out on your own, can you?” he asked. “Are you sure you're the descendant of the great Sherlock Holmes?”
    â€œI know!” Mr. Holmes said from the driver's seat. “Let's play a memory game or a word game or—”
    Andrew yawned. “No, thank you.”
    Xena thought about suggesting a license-plate game, but then decided against it. “So what's the deal with that phone?” she asked Xander.
    â€œIt has voice-recognition technology on it,” he said. “No keypad. You speak the numbers into it.”
    â€œOne point against it right there,” his mom said. “What if you don't want someone near you to know what number you're calling?”
    While her mother and Xander discussed the pros and cons of the new phone, Xena looked out the window. At least it's not raining, she thought, trying to stay positive. It wasn't exactly a bright, warm day, but soft sunlight fell on the hills. Almost as soon as they were out of the confusingsnarl of streets and circuses—roads circling a monument—they were in the country. Or the suburbs, actually, but still,

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