The Case of the Haunted Horrors

The Case of the Haunted Horrors by Anthony Read Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: The Case of the Haunted Horrors by Anthony Read Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anthony Read
of the stones, which Sparrow was looking at, was about three feet above the ground. The edges of the strip of mortar between them stood out very slightly, and he got his fingers around it and wiggled until he could get a proper hold and ease it out. He laid it down on the ground and poked his fingers into the gap where it had been.
    “What you found?” asked Rosie impatiently.
    “There’s a space been hollowed out behind. And there’s somethin’ hid there.”
    “Let’s see, let’s see!”
    After a bit of scrabbling around with his fingers, Sparrow eventually pulled out a slim package wrapped in waterproof cloth. He laid it gently on the ground and unfolded it to reveal a sealed envelope.
    “It’s a letter,” he said excitedly. “A secret message!”
    “Now then, lads!” Sarge greeted Wiggins and Beaver as they arrived at his lodge. “Back from patrol, are you?”
    “Yes, Sarge. We’ve come to report.”
    “Right. Fall in, then!”
    “Fall in what?” asked Beaver, puzzled.
    “No, no! Not
anything. Get fell in!”
    “He means line up,” Wiggins explained, “like being on parade. It’s what they says in the army.”
    “No talkin’ in the ranks!” Sarge barked. “Stand to attention, there!”
    “Sarge,” Wiggins interrupted, “we’re on a secret mission. We don’t want nobody seeing us report to Mr Murray.”
    “That’s right,” added Beaver in a low voice. “It’s very hush-hush.”
    “Ah. Yes. I was forgettin’ that. Fall out. You’d better sneak through the Bazaar and go to him.”
    “Yes, Sarge.”
    “And try to make sure nobody sees you.”
    “Nobody sees you doing what?” asked a familiar voice behind them. Dr Watson was standing in the doorway of the lodge, regarding them curiously.
    “Doctor!” exclaimed Wiggins, wondering how much he had heard. “What you doing here?”
    “I might ask you the same question. I was passing by and thought I’d call in to see my old comrade Sergeant Scroggs.”
    “Well, fancy that,” said Wiggins. “That’s just what we’re doing!”
    “We’ve come to report— Ow!” Beaver stopped with a yelp as Wiggins kicked his ankle.
    “Report?” Dr Watson asked.
    “Report for duty,” Wiggins said quickly. “To see if there’s any jobs need doing around the Bazaar. Anything we can help Sarge with.”
    “That’s very thoughtful of you,” said the doctor.
    “Oh, yes, sir,” said Sarge. “They’re good lads. Don’t know what I’d do without ’em.”
    “Yes, Mr Holmes often says that.” Dr Watson smiled at the two Boys. “I don’t suppose you’ve managed to persuade Madame Dupont to change her mind and withdraw her complaint?”
    “No, sir,” Wiggins replied. “Not yet.”
    “But we’re workin’ on it,” said Beaver. “Now we know Sarge wasn’t seein’ things, and that he wasn’t drunk.”
    “You may
it, but can you prove it?”
    “We can, sir,” Wiggins told him. “And we will. But we’re sworn to secrecy.”
    “Are you indeed?” Dr Watson raised his eyebrows in surprise.
    “Yes, sir. Matter of national security,” Sarge explained.
    “Matter of life and death,” Beaver added dramatically.
    “Well, I’m dashed. Ghosts and state secrets and matters of life and death…” Dr Watson stared at them doubtfully. “Are you quite sure about all this?”
    Before Wiggins could say any more, there was the sound of running footsteps and Rosie and Sparrow arrived, hot and out of breath.
    “Wiggins!” Sparrow gasped. “We found a message – a secret message!”
    “Sir Charlie’s henchman left it under the bridge,” Rosie panted. “For Moriarty!”
    “Moriarty!” Dr Watson exclaimed. “What is that evil genius involved in now?”
    “Dunno, Doctor,” Wiggins shrugged, trying to put him off. “First I’ve heard of it.”
    “But it’s true!” Rosie insisted, oblivious to Wiggins’s warning look. “Ain’t that right, Sparrow?”
    “As I live and breathe,” said Sparrow. “And here’s the

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