The Witch Tree Symbol

The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn G. Keene Read Free Book Online

Book: The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn G. Keene Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carolyn G. Keene
this moment the girls heard footsteps on the stairs and a boy and girl appeared. Mrs. Glick introduced them as Becky, aged ten, her daughter, and Henner, eight, her son.
    “They’re adorable, and how healthy looking!” Bess exclaimed.
    Both children had big brown eyes and very straight bodies. Their hair was cut and combed in the Amish style.
    Becky wore a prayer cap just like her mother’s and carried a black bonnet over her arm. She wore a long black smock with a white blouse underneath, and a white apron but no kerchief.
    Henner held an Amish boy’s hat in his hand. The boy’s blue shirt, black trousers, and wide homemade suspenders were exactly the same as those the girls had seen all the Amish men wearing.
    “Henner,” said his mother, “I’m sorry to see you so dirty when we have visitors. Did you fall?”
    His sister answered for him. “Henner, he goes by horse stall down. Iss er net schuslich?”
    “Yes, he is careless,” his mother agreed. “Henner, go scrub yourself.”
    The girls went downstairs to get their luggage and then unpacked. Half an hour later they were ready to take up their sleuthing.
    Just as Nancy, Bess, and George were leaving, they heard hoofbeats and saw an Amish carriage coming up the lane. The horse’s sleek body gleamed and so did the highly varnished black vehicle he was pulling. The carriage was plain, with no dashboard or other trimming. It had a front and rear seat, and was almost completely enclosed.
    “Papa kumpt hame!” the children cried, and ran to meet him.
    Mrs. Glick went outside with the girls and introduced her husband, a nice-looking kindly man, but pale compared to Amish farmers they had seen.
    After greeting him, Nancy told Mr. Glick what had brought the girls to Pennsylvania Dutch country. The cobbler had not heard of Roger Hoelt, and was sorry to learn about the stolen furniture.
    “Mr. and Mrs. Glick, do you know Manda Kreutz?” Nancy asked.
    The couple exchanged glances, then Papa Glick said, “Yes,” and added, “We do not approve of young girls running away from home. But maybe her father was too strict. Now she has taken up with Amish strangers.”
    “Please tell me about it,” Nancy begged. “Where is Manda?”
    “I do not know,” Mr. Glick replied. “But she was seen riding in a carriage with a couple who told a friend of mine, Mr. Weiss, they are from Ohio.”
    “Is he sure they are Amish?” Nancy inquired.
    “My friend wonders,” the cobbler answered, “because of their speech. He thinks they might be English.”
    When Nancy inquired what Mr. Glick meant by the last remark, he explained that among his sect, any non-Amish people were called English, meaning foreigners.
    “This pair wore Amish clothing,” he said, “and had an Amish carriage, but maybe they were just putting on.”
    Nancy was excited over this latest piece of information. Her hunch had probably been right. The couple were Mr. and Mrs. Roger Hoelt! If Manda Kreutz became too friendly with them, she might get into serious trouble with the law!
    “We’re trying to find Manda,” Nancy told the Glicks. “I know it’s hard to believe but her father has had a change of heart and now both parents want their daughter to come home. Can you give us any other clues?” she asked the cobbler. He regretfully said no.
    Nancy had a sudden inspiration. “If the Hoelts are masquerading,” she said aloud, “they probably bought a horse and carriage around here recently.”
    “Unless they stole them,” George interposed.
    “That could easily be done,” Mrs. Glick spoke up. “Amish carriages all look alike. It is difficult to distinguish one from another.”
    Then she smiled a little. “The owners have funny ways of telling them apart—a bullet hole from rifle practice or a high board on the floor for a short-legged wife.”
    Mr. Glick insisted that an owner did not even need earmarks to tell his carriage from others, “We chust look at ‘em. We know ’em!” he said.

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