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Authors: Michele Torrey

Tags: #Ages 9 & Up

The Case of the Graveyard Ghost

BOOK: The Case of the Graveyard Ghost
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To my Grandmother June, who giggles at silly things still
Also to Heather and Judy—four cheers for soup,
coffee, laughter, and red ink
My thanks to Professor Dave Wall,
Department of Physics, City College of San Francisco,
for his help with “Pepper's Ghost.”
M. T.
For my three sons, David, Mike, and Ben—you love,
you inspire, and you keep me on my toes!
B. J. N.

STERLING and the distinctive Sterling logo are registered
trademarks of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Available
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Published by Sterling Publishing Co.,Inc.

387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
Text © 2002, 2009 by Michele Torrey
Illustrations © 2002, 2009 Barbara Johansen Newman

All rights reserved

Sterling ISBN 978-1-4027-4963-6
Sterling eBook ISBN: 978-1-4549-0400-7

For information about custom editions, special sales, premium and
corporate purchases, please contact Sterling Special Sales Department
at 800-805-5489 or [email protected].

One • A Noisy Cupboard

Two • Blast Off!

Three • An Irregular Situation

Four • A Dirty Deed

Five • A Blustery Night

Six • The Ghost of Mossy Lake

Seven • Show Time

Eight • Something Foul

Nine • Plan A

Activities and Experiments for Super-Scientists

rom the sidewalk, the attic looked like any other attic. It had cute little windows with yellow curtains and a soft light glowing from behind. But everyone in the small town of Mossy Lake knew this was no ordinary attic. No, indeed.

It was a laboratory.

A top-notch laboratory at that.

Inside was top-notch equipment, and a top-notch scientist as well. His name was Drake Doyle. He looked quite scientific with his lab coat and his glasses that always slid to the end of his nose. And if that wasn’t enough, his cinnamon-colored hair looked as if it had actually exploded once, or twice, or perhaps three times. (In fact, Drake’s hair looked rather like a science experiment itself.)

On this fine Saturday, Drake squeezed a drop of liquid into a swirling solution.

“Aha!” he declared as the bright pink solution suddenly turned clear.

He scribbled in his lab notebook.

One more drop.
Solution neutralized.
Analysis complete.

But before he could even slap his notebook shut, the phone rang. “Doyle and Fossey,” he answered, removing his safety goggles and shoving his pencil behind his ear.

Now, in case you didn’t know, Nell Fossey was Drake’s science and business partner. (And his best friend.) They did most everything together, especially when it came to solving their many cases. Their business cards read:

They were a good team. A fabulous team. A top-notch team. The best scientific team in the entire fifth grade.

“I demand to speak with Drake Doyle at once,” snapped the caller, whose voice sounded strangely muffled.

“Speaking,” replied Drake.

“Well, it’s about time. I don’t have all day, you know.”

Drake blinked with surprise. The caller was quite rude. But, no matter. For besides being an amateur scientist and detective genius, Drake Doyle was a professional. And professionals never lose their cool. Even if their clients are rude. Quite rude. “And who, may I ask, is calling?” Drake inquired, in his most polite and professional voice.

“It’s Sloane Westcott. Who else, beaker brain?”

Drake should have known it was Sloane. Everyone agreed that if there was an award for rudeness, Sloane Westcott would be the winner. Hands down. She was the most impolite student in the fifth grade. She never said “please,” and she most certainly never said “thank you,” or “nice day, isn’t it?” But, business was business, and a professional must be a professional. So Drake asked, “What seems to be the problem, Ms. Westcott?”

“Listen, you little lab rat, let me make one thing perfectly clear. Frisco was my first choice—”

“Hmm. I see,” said Drake.

Now, as luck would have it, James Frisco was in Drake and Nell’s class at school. Like them, he was a scientist. But he was a bad scientist. Actually, a
scientist. While Drake always followed instructions, Frisco tore up instructions, or lost them, or accidentally-on-purpose set them on fire. While Drake measured carefully, Frisco didn’t even own a measuring cup, or a measuring spoon, and often closed his eyes while pouring something out of a bottle.

Frisco’s business cards read:

Now, normally when someone threatened to hire Frisco, Drake did everything he could to talk them out of such foolishness. But, on this particular day, with this particular client, Drake merely said, “Hmm. I see,” while trying to sound terribly disappointed. “Very well, then, it’s been a pleasure talking with you—”

“Wait! Don’t hang up! Uh—what I mean is, Frisco’s out of town and, well—uh, I have a slight situation. . . .”

After listening for a minute or two, Drake politely said good-bye and hung up, resisting the urge to laugh. (Laughing at customers is definitely unscientific.) Instead he called Nell. “Scientist Nell, meet me at Sloane Westcott’s house. Five minutes and counting. Sloane’s in a tight spot and requires our assistance immediately.”



When Drake arrived at Sloane’s house, Nell was already waiting by the front door. (She was the fastest runner in the fifth grade, so Drake was used to being the last to arrive. Not to mention that he tripped once on his way over . . . well, maybe twice.) With her coffee-colored hair in a ponytail, and a pencil behind each ear, Nell looked ready for business. Important business. “Doesn’t look like anyone’s home,” observed Nell as she peered through the keyhole. “The house is dark and the curtains are drawn.”

“Trust me,” replied Drake, and he opened the front door and walked in.

“Are you sure this is okay?” asked Nell. “To just walk in without knocking?”

Drake flicked on his flashlight and pushed up his glasses. “Trust me,” he said again. And up the stairs he went. (He tripped only once.)

In the second bedroom on the right, he found what he was looking for. “Aha!”


“Observe, Scientist Nell.” And he aimed his flashlight at a cupboard in the wall.

Now, Nell was a sharp scientist. A genius scientist, to be more accurate. She noticed immediately that this cupboard was not like most cupboards. First of all, the cupboard doors lay flat against the wall, like a medicine cabinet. Second, the cupboard was making strange noises. That’s right. It was a noisy cupboard. Squeals and yelps could be faintly heard from inside.
Inside the wall
, to be precise. “Hmm,” she mused.

While Nell stood there musing, Drake went to work. He pushed up his sleeves. He adjusted his glasses. He cleared his throat. He waved his flashlight around. He opened the little doors.

And together they peered into the cupboard.

BOOK: The Case of the Graveyard Ghost
2.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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