Read The Hidden Window Mystery Online

Authors: Carolyn Keene

Tags: #Women Detectives, #Detective and Mystery Stories, #Mystery & Detective, #Juvenile Fiction, #Mysteries & Detective Stories, #Fiction, #Women Sleuths, #Adventure Stories, #Drew; Nancy (Fictitious Character), #Mystery and Detective Stories

The Hidden Window Mystery

BOOK: The Hidden Window Mystery
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Table of Contents
 
 
THE HIDDEN WINDOW MYSTERY
 
A magazine article offering a large reward to anyone who can find a missing medieval stained-glass window intrigues Nancy. She asks Bess and George to join her on a search in Charlottesville, Virginia. Before the three friends leave River Heights, their adversary tries to get them to postpone the trip. But no luck. Nancy is determined to carry through her plans.
During the girls’ investigation of old southern mansions, they encounter a ghost who turns the tables and makes them disappear. Eerie sounds come from a beautiful estate that is surrounded by a high brick wall. Why will the owner allow no one to enter?
How Nancy solves these mysteries and locates the stained-glass window will keep the readers on edge for many hours.
The ghost!
Copyright
©
1975, 1956 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
Published by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., a member of The Putnam &
Grosset Group, New York. Published simultaneously in Canada. S.A.
NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORIES® is a registered trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
GROSSET & DUNLAP is a trademark of Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.
eISBN : 978-1-101-07735-1
2008 Printing

http://us.penguingroup.com

CHAPTER I
The Peacock Mystery
 
 
 
“GOOD-BY, Hannah!” said Nancy Drew. She hugged the motherly, middle-aged housekeeper, then put a hand on the front-door knob.
“Watch out for falling tree branches,” Hannah Gruen warned the attractive reddish-blond-haired girl. “This is the worst April wind I’ve ever seen. We should have had it last month. March is the time for high winds.”
Outside, there was a continuous roar. But above the din, Nancy and Mrs. Gruen heard a loud crash on the front porch.
“What was that?” Hannah asked, worried.
Nancy yanked the door open. “Oh!” she exclaimed.
Lying in a heap near the edge of the porch was their letter carrier, Mr. Ritter. He was unconscious. His bag had tumbled down the steps, and letters, newspapers, and magazines were flying about.
Nancy and Hannah rushed to the man’s side. He had evidently hit his head, for there was a large red mark on his temple. They lifted the victim gently and carried him into the living room.
“Maybe we’d better call a doctor,” Nancy suggested.
Mr. Ritter’s eyelids flickered. In a short while the sixty-year-old letter carrier regained consciousness and refused medical assistance.
“I’ll be all right in a minute, but I’d appreciate it if you’d bring in my mailbag. By the way, Nancy, there’s something in it you’ll be mighty interested in.”
The young girl hurried from the house. Her blue eyes sparkling in anticipation, she began to gather the letters, newspapers, and magazines that were being swirled across the neighboring lawns by the strong winds. It took Nancy nearly ten minutes to collect the mail.
She entered the living room with the mailbag slung over her shoulder. She was glad to see Mr. Ritter sitting up in a chair and drinking a cup of tea.
“Oh, thank you, Nancy,” the letter carrier said. “It was mighty careless of me to stumble and knock myself out. That wind is fierce. It blew some dirt into my eye, and for a moment I couldn’t see where I was going.”
“How do you feel?” Nancy asked gently.
Mr. Ritter declared he would be ready to resume his deliveries in a few minutes. “I’d like to finish my tea before I face the blustery weather.”
“May I help you sort the mail?” Nancy offered. “And what was it you wanted to show me?”
As Mr. Ritter began rummaging in the bag, he said, “I read an article in a magazine telling about a large reward. It’s being offered to anyone who can solve the mystery of a missing stained-glass window.”
Nancy was intrigued at once. “What magazine was the article in?” she asked eagerly.
Mr. Ritter pulled a torn, soiled copy of the Continental from his bag. “This is for your new neighbor, Mrs. Dondo.”
Nancy said she did not know the woman.
“I’m sure she won’t mind if you look at the article,” the letter carrier said. “You’re a good amateur detective, Nancy, and if you can solve this one, you’ll certainly put another feather in your cap.”
Nancy smiled and began to read. Sir Richard Greystone of England was trying to trace a medieval stained-glass window that had been in his family since the fourteenth century. He believed the window had been brought to the United States about 1850, but all trace of it had been lost. Sir Richard was offering a large reward for any information leading to its whereabouts.
The article went on to describe the window, which pictured a knight riding off to battle. The family shield he was holding had a peacock emblazoned on it.
Nancy’s eyes danced with excitement. “Thank you, Mr. Ritter, for telling me about this,” she said. “Is there time for Hannah to read the article?”
The letter carrier said a few minutes more before getting back to delivering the mail would not matter.
When the housekeeper finished reading, she looked puzzled. “A peacock on the shield, eh?” she said. “You know some folks think peacocks, especially the feathers in their fantails, bring bad luck.”
“But I know you don’t believe that,” Nancy declared.
“Those marks in the fan,” the housekeeper stated, “are said to be evil eyes.” She looked at Nancy affectionately. “But I always taught you not to be superstitious.”
Hannah Gruen had lived with the Drews and taken care of Nancy ever since the girl’s mother had passed away fifteen years ago, when Nancy was three years old.
“A reward for anyone who can solve the mystery of a missing stained-glass window,” Mr. Ritter said.
Nancy remarked that in India peacocks are held to be sacred.
“That’s right,” Mr. Ritter agreed. “And so are the cow and the monkey.”
The letter carrier stood up and announced that he felt well enough to return to his delivery route. “I’m already late,” he said. “Folks will be wondering what’s happened to their mail.”
He thanked Nancy and Hannah for their assistance, then started for the door, accompanied by the others. As he reached it, the bell rang and someone began pounding loudly on the door.
When Mr. Ritter opened it, Nancy and Hannah saw a strange woman standing there. Her bleached blond hair, blown by the wind, stuck out straight from her head. She was short and sallow-complexioned. Her dark eyes blazed.
“How do you do, Mrs. Dondo,” said the letter carrier. “I’d like you to meet your neighbors, Nancy Drew and Hannah Gruen.”
The woman did not acknowledge the greeting, and ignored Nancy and Hannah. Waving a fist at Mr. Ritter, she said, “I saw what was going on. You’ve been taking time out in this house. Do you realize how long you’ve been here? Why aren’t you on the job?”
Nancy and the others were so startled by the woman’s irate manner that they stood open-mouthed.
“Listen here, Mr. Ritter,” the woman went on, “you’ve got some mail for me, and I want it right away. There’s an important letter I have to have and you’ve been dillydallying all this time. Give it to me at once!”
Mrs. Dondo pushed her way into the hall and leaned over the mailbag. She put her hand in to grab a letter, but Mr. Ritter told her he would tend to this himself. Quickly he went over every piece of mail in his pouch.
“There’s nothing for you today, Mrs. Dondo, except a magazine,” he said. He handed the
Continental
to her.
“And what a mess it is!” she shouted. “More of your carelessness. And don’t tell me there wasn’t a letter for me. It was in your bag before you let the mail blow all over the neighborhood. You’d better find it too! That letter had a hundred dollars in it, and I don’t propose to lose it!”
BOOK: The Hidden Window Mystery
5.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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