Authors: Michele Torrey
Tags: #Ages 9 & Up
To the brilliant, beautiful, wise,
and talented Illustrious M. You rock!
A bajillion thanks to Harry Howell, the ultimate ham,
for his patient help with all things radio related.
(Hams can chat with Harry at KA7ECY.)
For Mike, my scientist son
B. J. N.
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Published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
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Text © 2010 by Michele Torrey
Illustrations © 2010 by Barbara Johansen Newman
All rights reserved.
Sterling ISBN 978-1-4027-4966-7
Sterling eBook ISBN: 978-1-4549-0401-4
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he light of the full moon shone on the small town of Mossy Lake. It shone on the town’s square, where the clock chimed midnight. It shone on Ted’s Barber Shop, where a mouse nibbled on a crumb. It shone on Barbarella’s Dance Studio, where for just twelve dollars you could learn to waltz or even tango.
Not least of all, the light of the full moon shone down upon a particular house. And standing at a particular attic window, staring back at the moon through a telescope, was a boy. His name was Drake Doyle, and he was a scientist. Not a mad scientist, mind you, but a most excellent scientist indeed. His cinnamon toast- colored hair stood straight up. He wore a white lab coat with his name on it.
Drake whipped a pencil out from behind his ear and scribbled in his lab notebook:
As I suspected.
Green cheese: negative.
Just then, the phone rang.
Now, in case you’re wondering who could be calling at midnight, wonder no more. You see, Drake was also a detective. And science detectives are on call 24/7. Drake’s business cards read:
Doyle and Fossey:
call us. anytime. 555-7822
Nell Fossey was Drake’s business partner. Whether the case involved ghosts or garbage, penguins or parades, they were on it. No problem was too big or too small for Doyle and Fossey, the best science detectives in the fifth grade.
“Doyle and Fossey,” Drake answered.
“Detective Doyle? It’s me, Wiley.”
“Ah yes, Mr. Wiley Millard.” Wiley was in Drake’s class at school and was a whiz at video games. He could put dozens of dragons to sleep at once. He could parachute into the Congo and rescue lost explorers. He could save little old ladies from armies of vampires—all while sitting on his couch. “What seems to be the trouble?” Drake asked.
“I’m camping on Waxberry Hill with my dad.”
“Lovely night for camping,” said Drake.
“Hardly,” griped Wiley. “You see, my dad
me come camping. He said I spend way too much time playing video games and need to learn how to appreciate nature.”
“Excellent advice,” said Drake, whose partner, Nell, happened to appreciate nature very much.
“Not so excellent. I’m in my tent. My dad’s sound asleep, but I can’t sleep a wink. Something’s howling out there. I think—I think it’s a
, and I don’t have my joystick!”
Drake was so shocked that he dropped his lab notebook. A werewolf! Horrors! One bite from a werewolf, and, well, you became a werewolf yourself. If Wiley was right … if there really was a werewolf on Waxberry Hill … well, the thought was too horrifying to imagine!
“I understand if you’re too scared,” Wiley was saying. “Not everyone’s a werewolf warrior. I’ll call Frisco … he likes to destroy things.”
thought Drake, doubly horrified.
Not James Frisco!
Frisco was in the science detective business, too. But unlike Drake and Nell, Frisco was a bad scientist … a
scientist, scientifically speaking. Instead of stirring a solution according to the instructions, Frisco said, “Stirring, schmirring. Waste of time.” Instead of recording everything in his lab notebook, Frisco said, “Notebook, schmotebook. Notebooks are for geeks.” And instead of turning everything off in his laboratory before leaving, Frisco said, “Off, schmoff. Who cares anyway?” His business cards read:
(Better than Doyle and Fossey)
Call me. Day or night. 555-6190
Drake could never let Frisco handle this most horrifying case. “You’re in luck, Mr. Millard!” said Drake. “Last week I bought a Detect-O-Werewolf Gizmo Gadget! Guaranteed to detect a werewolf or your money back. We’ll take the case!”
Immediately, Drake phoned Nell.
“Doyle and Fossey,” she answered.
“Werewolf wailing on Waxberry Hill. Wiley waiting for wescue—I—I mean,
No time to lose. I’ll pick you up in ten minutes.”
The second Drake and his dad pulled up in front of Nell’s house, Nell hopped into the backseat. She was the best partner a science detective could have. (Not to mention being Drake’s best friend.) She wore a backpack that Drake knew was filled with handy gadgets. Her coffee-colored hair was pulled back into a no-nonsense ponytail. Drake knew she meant business. Scientific business of the no-nonsense sort. “Waxberry Hill, Mr. Doyle,” Nell said. “Double time!”
“Check,” said Mr. Doyle.
Drake and Nell hung on as tires squealed.
Through town, over Plum River, through Fernfiddle Forest … it was a long way to Waxberry Hill.
Lucky for them, Mr. Sam Doyle was at the wheel. You see, Mr. Doyle was a scientist himself. He owned his own science equipment and supply company. He made certain that Drake and Nell never ran out of test tubes, sharpened pencils, or lab coats with their names on them. And if business called them out late at night? When the moon was full, and the clock had already struck midnight? When a werewolf was on the prowl? No question. Mr. Doyle was their man.
The clock in the town’s square had barely struck one o’clock by the time Mr. Doyle parked next to the Millards’ truck near Waxberry Hill. The three of them jumped out of the car and hurried up the trail to the campsite.
he moon hovered over Wiley’s tent. A steamy mist swirled between rocks and thorny brambles. Eyes gleamed from the bushes.
“Creepy,” whispered Nell.
“Spooky,” Drake replied.
Mr. Doyle sat on a log and unfolded a newspaper. His headlamp illuminated the pages. “Scream if you need me,” he said, stifling a yawn.
Drake scanned the area with his Detect-O-Werewolf Gizmo Gadget. “All systems clear,” he said to Nell. “Lucky for us, the werewolf must be taking a break. Tired of howling, perhaps.”
“Hmm.” Nell sniffed the air. “Peculiar odor. Like eggs, only stinkier.”
“Hmm … right as usual, Scientist Nell. Stinky eggs. Odd. Very odd. Perhaps the werewolf is having an after-midnight snack.”
Drake and Nell approached Wiley’s tent.
“Knock, knock,” said Drake.
“Who’s there?” Wiley opened the flap.
“Doyle and Fossey at your service.” Nell handed Wiley their business card.
“Mind if we take a look inside?” asked Drake.
Wiley frowned. “But what about the werewolf? Aren’t you going to capture him? If I were at home, I would have blasted him to smithereens by now. He wouldn’t stand a chance.”
“First things first,” said Nell. “All good scientists must make observations before they can draw conclusions.”