The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen

BOOK: The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen
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a Pals in Peril Tale


Illustrations by KURT CYRUS



This book is dedicated to the loneliest whale



An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2006 by M.T. Anderson

Illustrations copyright © 2006 by Kurt Cyrus

Originally published in hardcover by Harcourt Books

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or [email protected]

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The text for this book is set in Stempel Garamond.

Manufactured in the United States of America / 0410 FFG

2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Anderson, M. T.

The clue of the linoleum lederhosen / M.T. Anderson ; illustrated by Kurt Cyrus.

p. cm. — (A pals in peril tale ; [2])

Sequel to: Whales on stilts!

Summary: Looking forward to a vacation, Katie, Lily, and Jasper attach their flying

Gyroscopic Sky Suite to the Moose Tongue Lodge and Resort, where they mingle

with other child heroes found in books, and where they become embroiled in a

mystery involving lederhosen-clothed quintuplets and a screaming ventriloquist.

ISBN 978-1-4424-0697-1 (hardcover : alk. paper)

[1. Hotels, motels, etc.—Fiction. 2. Resorts—Fiction. 3. Characters in literature—

Fiction. 4. Humorous stories. 5. Mystery and detective stories.]

I. Cyrus, Kurt, ill. II. Title.

PZ7.A54395Clu 2010 [Fic]—dc22 2009046217

ISBN 978-1-4424-0698-8 (eBook)

“Great scott!” cried Jasper Dash, Boy Technonaut. “Your mother just lost her hand in the rotating band saw!”

Katie Mulligan kept dribbling her ball of wastepaper back and forth between her knees. “Uh-huh,” she said. “Sure.”

Katie's mother screamed and held up her bloody stump.

Katie kicked the ball of paper into the trash basket, scoring two points. She asked, “Right at the wrist?”

Jasper rushed to Katie's mother's side. “Don't you worry, Mrs. Mulligan!” exclaimed Jasper. He grabbed her arm. “Lie down flat while I prepare a tourniquet.”

They were in the Mulligans' garage, watching Mrs. Mulligan make a roulette wheel for the Salvation Army's charity casino—or at least that's what they'd been watching until Mrs. Mulligan's gruesome accident.

“Where do you want to go to dinner?” Katie asked her friend Lily.

Lily shrugged. When she was alone with her friends, she was very quiet, hiding behind her bangs, watching rather than speaking. She was naturally pretty shy. She was also made bashful by the sight of industrial accidents, even though she knew that Katie's mother was just playing a prank on Jasper, the way Mrs. Mulligan always did. Run over by a moose, decapitated by the dryer, burnt to a crisp by a defective AM/FM clock radio—there was no tragedy too weird and stupid for Jasper to believe.

“Don't you worry, Mrs. Mulligan,” he was saying. “By next Thursday I'll have you fitted up with a bionic hand that will be every bit as
good as your old hand. And it will have extendable fingers and photon thrusters, and there'll be a space in the thumb to conceal your cyanide pill and lock-picking tools.”

Mrs. Mulligan stopped screaming. She looked at him skeptically. “My lock-picking tools?”

“Or whatever,” said Jasper. “Whatever's small and can be concealed in a secret chamber.”

Mrs. Mulligan took off the fake rubber arm stump and stretched her fingers. “Why would you possibly think I would want lock-picking tools?”

“Ah,” said Jasper, somewhat displeased. “I see you are not actually wounded at all.”

“Who has
lock-picking tools?”

“Mrs. Mulligan, was your accident with the band saw just a jolly prank to ‘put one over on me'? Because if it was, may I—ma'am—may
I say that I did not entirely appreciate the humor.”

“Jasper, do you have lock-picking tools? What do you kids
all day?”

“Good question,” sighed Katie. “It's vacation, and we're bored out of our minds.”

Mrs. Mulligan waved her rubber wrist in the air. “Well, that's why I was trying to cheer you all up a little.”

“By sawing off your own hand?” said Jasper.

“You girls didn't even jump,” said Katie's mom.

“Because we see it all the time,” said Katie. She groaned, “Aaaaaaalllllllll the tiiiiiiiiiiime.” She let her tongue hang out of her mouth and her head roll back.

Katie Mulligan lived in Horror Hollow, a small, eventful suburb where there were constantly problems with phantasms, murderers, door-to-door tarantula peddlers, and slime. She even had her own series of books written about her. They told every gory detail of how she
fought off ghouls on the rooftop, bats in her bedroom, and wyverns in the den. It was a popular series, since she was the only girl heroine to fight evil in flip-flops. Katie was plucky and brave and always spoke her mind.

Unfortunately, in order to have lots of “cliff-hanger” chapter endings in the Horror Hollow series, a lot of tedious cliff-hanger things had to happen to the family in reality. But even a family constantly attacked by living dolls and ferocious skate-punk vampires couldn't have disasters every minute of their lives. There had to be some time in between disasters for eating, drinking orange juice, and walking the dog. This meant that in order to provide excitement before the real action started, they had to play a lot of stupid, disgusting pranks on each other. That got old very quickly. There are only so many times you can watch your father's face melt before you want to just say, “Okay, stop the bus.” It makes you almost long for the moment when, finally, the
pine tree out the window grows a big spindly claw and the adventure starts for real.

Jasper also had a series written about him, but it had been written many, many years before. In his series he invented stupendous devices and went on startling adventures where there was plenty of action and fisticuffs. Unfortunately, the Jasper Dash, Boy Technonaut series was no longer read very much, except by kids with the influenza, after they'd run out of everything else to read and had watched a couple of days of MTV, even the reality shows about sorority girls basting turkeys with hard liquor. Once flu victims had played all the Chinese checkers they could stand with their brothers and had used the Internet to look up scenes of ape-to-ape violence, then, sometimes, they would read and enjoy a good, clean, fast-paced Jasper Dash adventure that had been sitting in their attic for forty years. They would like the Jasper Dash series, but often the scenes they really remembered from his books, the ones that
really stayed with them once they got well, turned out to be things they'd dreamed when they fell asleep in the middle of Chapter 12.

Often, if you go to a town library and under Keyword Search type “Jasper Dash,” you'll come up with a list of his books—and beside each one, it says: “Withdrawn. Withdrawn. Withdrawn. Withdrawn.” This means that they are no longer in circulation. Some librarian has taken them off the shelf, wiping away a tear, and has opened the book to the back, where there's a pouch for a card dating back to the time of the Second World War, and she'll crumple up the card, and then she and her fellow librarians will take special knives and slice away at the book and will eat the pages in big mouthfuls until the book is all gone, the whole time weeping, because they hate this duty—it is the worst part of their job—for here was a book that was once someone's favorite, but which now is dead and empty. And the little cheerful face of Jasper Dash, heading off to fight a cattle-rustling ring in his biplane, will still be smiling pluckily as
they take their Withdrawal Knives and scratch his book to pieces.

Lily did not have her own series. She didn't realize yet how exciting her life really was. Her friends knew, because she had often gotten them out of scrapes, but she didn't believe what her friends told her. She thought she was just the quiet sidekick.

BOOK: The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen
6.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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