The Witch Tree Symbol

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

Book: The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn G. Keene Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carolyn G. Keene
Zinn’s money. First, she compared the letter, plate, and serial numbers, and the series identification. All seemed to be in order. Next, she compared the paper quality, since she knew that genuine United States currency has a distinctive feel. They were identical as far as she could tell.
    While the group watched breathlessly, Nancy examined the scrollworlk on the border of the front and back plates of each note. Now she frowned—in this respect they were lacking in continuity and uniformiity of shading.
    “Look!” she exclaimed, pointing out the difference between the five 20-dollar bills, and the sharp clarity of her own.
    Mr. Zinn cried out, “Those bills the man gave me—is counterfeit gelt?”
    “Yes, I’m pretty sure they are.” Nancy sighed.
    The man paced back and forth in his office. Finally Nancy asked him if he were going to call the police to report the counterfeit money.
    “Ya, ya,” the dealer said. He fumbled through the telephone book and then handed it to Nancy, asking her to find the number of the police station.
    Nancy made the call. The local police captain said he would send an expert down at once to examine the money.
    In a short time two officers arrived. One immediately said the bills were fake. The other policeman wrote down a description of the couple who had bought the table.
    “We’ll send a report to the state troopers,” one of the officers said. “We ought to pick up the two of them in no time.”
    The girls stayed to wait for a report. But hours passed and there was no news from the police. Late in the afternoon they were looking at several patchwork quilts Mrs. Zinn had made with the help of her neighbors, when her husband rushed into the house.
    “Where’s Nancy Drew?” he shouted.
    Mrs. Zinn and the visitors hurried to the kitchen, where the antique dealer stood with his feet apart and his hands on his hips. “So this is how you work!” he cried. “You come around here pretending to be friends, and this is what you’re up to!”
    Nancy hardly knew what to reply but finally she asked him what he meant.
    “As if you didn’t know,” he said, shaking a finger at her. “But you’ve been found out! You thought you could get away with those two valuable lamps of mine, but you didn’t do it!”
    The young detective stared. Had the man gone out of his mind? George, now angered, demanded that the dealer explain his accusations.
    “Those two lamps in your car!” Mr. Zinn roared. “How long have they been there? The woman told me you’re a witch and now I believe it!”
    It was several minutes before Mrs. Zinn could calm her husband enough for him to give an explanation. A woman had telephoned to warn him that a girl by the name of Nancy Drew, who looked very innocent, was really a witch and a thief. She was riding about the countryside stealing small valuable antiques.
    “The woman told me,” said Zinn, “that if I looked in your car I would no doubt find something from my shop. Well, I did. Nancy Drew, I’m going to call the police!”
    Nancy did not raise her voice, although she too was becoming angry. “Did the woman who called give her name?”
    The antique dealer glared. “No, she didn’t. But she was right. I found my stolen lamps hidden under a blanket on the back seat of your car. How can you explain that?”
    “I’m sure this is Roger Hoelt’s work,” Nancy declared. “He planted the lamps there and got his wife to make the call. It’s one of the ways he’s been trying to keep me from working on the case.”
    Bess was indignant at the man’s continued anger. “Nancy is not only trying to find the thief who robbed your aunt’s estate but has also taught you something about accepting money too hastily from strangers!” she said hotly.
    Finally, Mr. Zinn became calmer and said he would not call the police. But he said firmly that he wanted the girls to leave immediately.
    “That suits me,” said George. “If we had wanted to take your old

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