Authors: Enid Blyton
One Hot Summers Day
Do you know, said Pip, this is the fourth week of the summer holidays - the fourth week, mind - and we havent even heard of a mystery!
Havent even smelt one, agreed Fatty. Gosh, this sun is hot. Buster, dont pant so violently - youre making me feel even hotter!
Buster crawled into a patch of shade, and lay down with a thump. His tongue hung out as he panted. Bets patted him.
Poor old Buster! It must be frightful to have to wear a fur coat in this weather - one you cant even unbutton and have hanging open!
Dont suggest such a thing to Buster, said Fatty. Hed look awful.
Oh dear - its too hot even to laugh, said Daisy, picturing Buster trying to undo his coat to leave it open.
Here we are - all the Five Find-Outers - and Dog, said Larry, with nothing to find out, nothing to solve, and eight weeks to do it in! Fatty, its a waste of the hols. Though even if we had a mystery I think Id be too hot to think about Clues and Suspects and what-nots.
The five children lay on their backs on the grass. The sun poured down on them. They all wore as little as possible, but even so they were hot. Nobody could bear poor Buster near them for more than two seconds, because he absolutely radiated heat.
Whose turn is it to fetch the iced lemonade? said Larry.
You know jolly well its yours, said Daisy. You always ask that question when its your turn, hoping somebody will get it out of turn. Go and get it, you lazy thing.
Larry didnt move. Fatty pushed him with his foot. Go on, he said. Youve made us all feel thirsty now. Go and get it.
A voice came up the garden. Bets! Have you got your sun-hat on? And what about Pip?
Bets answered hastily. Yes, Mother - its quite all right. Ive got mine on.
Pip was frowning at her to warn her to say nothing about him. He had, as usual, forgotten his hat. But his mother was not to be put off.
What about Pip? Pip, come and get your sunhat. Do you want sunstroke again?
Blow! said Pip, and got up. Larry immediately said what everybody knew he would say.
Well, you might as well bring back the iced lemonade with you, old chap.
Youre jolly good at getting out of your turn, grumbled Pip, going off. If Id been quick enough Id have told you to get my hat when you got the lemonade. All right, Mother. Im COMING!
The iced lemonade revived everyone at once. For one thing they all had to sit up, which made them feel much more lively. And for another thing Pip brought them back a bit of news.
I say - do you know what Mother just told me? he said. Inspector Jenks is coming to Peterswood this afternoon!
Is he? said everyone, intensely interested. Inspector Jenks was a great friend of theirs. He admired the Five Find-Outers very much, because of the many curious mysteries they had solved. Whats he coming for? asked Fatty. I say - theres not a mystery on, is there?
No, Im afraid not, said Pip. Apparently his little goddaughter is riding in that gymkhana in Petters Field this afternoon, and hes promised to come and see her.
Oh - what a disappointment, said Daisy. I thought he might be on the track of some exciting case or other.
I vote we go and say how do you do to him, said Fatty. Everyone agreed at once. They all liked the burly, good-looking Inspector, with his shrewd twinkling eyes and teasing ways. Bets especially liked him. Next to Fatty, she thought he was the cleverest person she knew.
They began to talk of the mysteries they had solved, and how Inspector Jenks had always helped them and encouraged them.
Do you remember the Missing Necklace and how we found it? said Larry. And that hidden house mystery - that was super!
The most exciting one was the mystery of the Secret Room, I think, said Pip. Gosh - I shall never forget how I felt when I climbed that tree by the big empty house - looked into a room at the top and found it all furnished!
Weve had some fun, said Fatty. I only hope well have some more. Weve never been so long in any holidays without a mystery to solve. The old brains will get rusty.
Yours could never get rusty, Fatty, said Bets admiringly. The things youve thought of! And your disguises! You havent done any disguising at all these hols. You arent tired of it, are you?
Gosh, no, said Fatty. But for one thing its been too hot - and for another old Goons been away, and the other bobby in his place is such a stodge. He never looks surprised at anything. Ill be quite glad when Goon comes back and we hear his familiar yell of You clear-orf! Old Busterll be pleased too - you miss your ankle-hunt, dont you, Buster?
Bets giggled. Oh dear - the times Buster has danced round Mr Goons ankles and been yelled at. Buster really is wicked with him.
Quite right too, said Fatty. I hope Goon comes back soon, then Buster can have a bit of exercise, capering round him.
Buster looked up at his name and wagged his tail. He was still panting. He moved near to Fatty.
Keep off, Buster, said Fatty. You scorch us when you come near. I never knew such a hot dog in my life. We ought to fix an electric fan round his neck or something.
Dont make jokes, begged Daisy. Its honestly too hot to laugh. I dont even know how Im going to walk to Petters Field this afternoon to see the Inspector.
We could take our tea, and ask the Inspector, plus goddaughter, to share it, said Fatty.
Brilliant idea! said Daisy. We could really talk to him then. He might have a bit of news. You never know. After all, if theres any case on, or any mystery in the air, hes the one to know about it first.
Well ask him, said Fatty. Get away, Buster. Your tongue is dripping down my neck.
What we want, for a bit of excitement, said Pip, is a nice juicy mystery, and Goon to come back and make a mess of it as usual, while we do all the solving.
One of these days Goon will do all the solving and well make a mess of it, said Daisy.
Oh no, said Bets. We couldnt possibly make a mess of it if Fattys in charge. The others looked at her in disgust - except for Fatty, of course, who looked superior.
Dont set Fatty off, for goodness sake, said Pip. Youre always hero-worshipping him. Hell be telling us of something wonderful he did last term, now.
Well, as a matter of fact, I forgot to tell you, but something rather extraordinary did happen last term, said Fatty. It was like this…
I dont know the beginning of this story but Im sure I know the end, said Larry, gloomily.
Fatty was surprised. How can you know the end if you dont know the beginning? he asked.
Easily, if its to do with you, said Larry. Im sure the end would be that you solved the extraordinary happening in two minutes, you caught the culprit, you were cheered and clapped to the echo and you had As brilliant as ever on your report. Easy!
Fatty fell on Larry and soon they were rolling over and over on the grass with Buster joining in excitedly.
Oh shut up, you two, said Pip, rolling out of the way. Its too hot for that. Lets decide about this afternoon. Are we going to take our tea or not? If we are Ill have to go and ask my mother now. She doesnt like having it sprung on her at the last minute.
Larry and Fatty stopped wrestling, and lay panting on their backs, trying to push Buster off.
Yes, of course were going to take our tea, said Fatty. I thought wed decided that. Therell be tea in the marquee in Petters Field, of course, but itll be stewing hot in there, and you know what marquee teas are like. Well take ours and find the Inspector. He wont like marquee teas any more than we do, Im sure.
Theres a dog show as well as the gymkhana, said Bets. Couldnt we enter Buster - or is it too late?
The only prize hed win today is for the hottest dog, said Fatty. Hed win that all right. Buster, keep away from me. Youre like an electric fire.
Wed better go, said Larry, getting up with a groan. It takes twice as long to get back home in this hot weather - we simply crawl along! Come on, Daisy, stir yourself!
Daisy and Larry went down the drive and up the lane to their home. Pip and Bets didnt have to move because they were already at home! Fatty found his bicycle and put his foot on the pedal.
Buster! he called. Come on. Ill put you in my bike-basket. Youll be a grease-spot if you have to run all the way home.
Buster came slowly up, his tongue out as usual. He saw the cooks cat in the hedge nearby, but he felt quite unable to chase it. It was just as well, because the cat felt quite unable to run away.
Fatty lifted Buster up and put him in his basket. Buster was quite used to this. He had travelled miles in this way with Fatty and the others.
Youll have to take some of your fat off, Buster, said Fatty, as he cycled down the drive. Youre getting too heavy for words. Next time you see Goon you wont be able to dance round him, youll only waddle!
A bell rang in Pips house. Lunch, said Pip sitting up slowly. Come on - I hope its salad and jelly - thats about all I want. Dont lets forget to ask Mother about a picnic tea for this afternoon. Shell probably be glad to get rid of us.
She was! Thats a good idea! she said. Tell Cook what you want - and if you take drinks please leave some ice in the fridge. You took it all last time. Yes - certainly a picnic is a very good idea - I shall have a lovely peaceful afternoon!
At the Gymkhana
The five children, and Buster of course, met in Petters Field at about three oclock. The gymkhana had already begun, and horses were dashing about all over the place. Buster kept close to Fatty. He didnt mind passing the time of day with one or two horses in a field, but thirty or forty galloping about were too much.
Anyone seen the Inspector? asked Daisy, coming up with a big basket of food and drink.
No, not yet, said Fatty, getting out of the way of a colossal horse ridden by a very small boy. Is there any place in this field where there arent horses tearing about? Buster will have a heart attack soon.
Look over there, said Bets, with a giggle. See the woman whos in charge of that hoopla stall, or whatever it is? She might be Fatty dressed up!
They all looked. They saw what Bets meant at once. The stall-woman had on a big hat with all kinds of flowers round it, a voluminous skirt, very large feet and a silk shawl pinned round her shoulders.
Fatty could disguise himself like that beautifully! said Daisy. Is she real - or somebody in disguise?
Inspector Jenks in disguise! said Bets, with a giggle, and then jumped as somebody touched her on the shoulder.
Whats that youre saying about me? said a familiar voice. All five of them swung round at once, their faces one big smile. They knew that voice!
Inspector Jenks! said Bets, and swung on his broad arm. We knew you were coming!
Good afternoon, sir, said Fatty, beaming. I say, before anyone else gets hold of you - would you care to have a picnic tea with us - and bring your goddaughter too, of course. Weve brought plenty of food.
So it seems, said Inspector Jenks, looking at the three big baskets. Well, I wondered if I should see you here. Yes, Id love to have tea with you - and so would Hilary - thats my small goddaughter. Well, Find-Outers - any more mysteries to report? What exactly are you working on now?
Fatty grinned. Nothing, sir. Not a mystery to be seen or heard in Peterswood just now. Four weeks of the hols gone and nothing to show. Awful waste of time.
And Goon is away, isnt he? said the Inspector. So you cant bait him either - life must indeed be dull for you. You wait till he comes back though - hell be full of beans. Hes been taking some kind of refresher course, I believe.
Whats a refresher course? asked Bets.
Oh - rubbing up his police knowledge, refreshing his memory, learning a few new dodges, said the Inspector. Hell be a smart fellow when he comes back - bursting to try out all hes learnt. You look put out, Frederick!
It does sound funny when you call Fatty by his right name, said Bets. Oooh, Fatty - lets hope we dont have a mystery after all, in case Mr Goon solves it instead of us.
Dont be silly, said Pip. We can always get the better of Mr Goon. Its a pity something hasnt happened while hes been away - we could have solved it before he came back, without any interruptions from him.
Heres my small goddaughter, said the Inspector, turning round to smile at a small girl in jodhpurs and riding jacket. Hallo, Hilary. Won any prizes yet?
Hilary sat on a fat little pony that didnt seem able to stand still. Buster kept well out of the way.
Hallo, Uncle, said Hilary. Im going to ride now. I havent won anything yet. Do you want to come and watch?
Of course, said the Inspector. Let me introduce you to five friends of mine - who have helped me in many a difficult case. They want you and me to have a picnic tea with them. What about it?