Authors: Beverly Lewis
The Midnight Mystery
Copyright Â© 2001
Cover illustration by Paul Turnbaugh
Cover design by Lookout Design, Inc.
Text illustrations by Janet Huntington
Ebook edition created 2012
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansâelectronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwiseâwithout the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
Published by Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota 55438
Bethany House Publishers is a division of
Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
The internet addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers in this book are accurate at the time of publication. They are provided as a resource. Baker Publishing Group does not endorse them or vouch for their content or permanence.
who loves to read.
for Erin Meyer,
who loves to write.
The end of the school year had come. At last!
Dunkum Mifflin had been counting the days. He was rip-roaring ready for summer.
He and Abby Hunter stood tall on the school stage. Miss Hershey's class was taking their curtain call. They bowed low as the audience clapped.
Yahoo! End of school
, thought Dunkum.
The audience kept clapping.
Then . . .
The stage curtains dropped and the lights went up. The Blossom Hill School spring play was finished. A smashing success.
Dunkum and Abby hurried backstage. The other Cul-de-sac Kids were waiting in the wings, behind the curtains. They were all smiles.
Abby was the president of the block club. Five boys and four girls. They loved adventure and solving mysteries. Their club slogan was “Cul-de-sac Kids stick together.”
Dunkum removed his space-captain suit. Carefully, he placed it in the props box. “What a cool play,” he said.
Abby's eyes danced. “Lots better than last year!”
“Yep, sure was,” Jason Birchall said. He was prancing and jiving about, as usual.
Eric Hagel and Jason gave Dunkum
and Abby high fives. “All the practicing paid off,” said Eric.
“Time to celebrate!” said Jason.
“Everyone's coming to my house,” Dunkum said, grinning. He had sent out invitations for an ice-cream party.
Jason's eyes grew bigger. “What are we waiting for?” he asked. “Let's get going.”
Eric and Stacy Henry agreed. “Junk food, here we come,” Stacy said. And Eric gave a thumbs-up.
“We won't be in Miss Hershey's class
year,” Jason said. He tossed his space costume into the props box.
“Don't worry about that now,” Dunkum said. “Summer's finally here!”
Dunkum's blind cousin, Ellen Mifflin, came around the curtains. Honey, her guide dog, led the way. The dog wore a shiny blue space suit and black wire antennas. He had played a poochy part in the playâSpace Dog.
Abby and her younger sister, Carly, and Carly's best friend, Dee Dee Winters, crowded around Space Dog. “So . . . how does Honey like show business?” asked Abby.
Ellen's eyes were closed. “Oh, she loves it. Don't you, girl?” She knelt down and hugged her dog. Ellen's long brown hair covered Honey's face.
“Wait till you see her brand-new tricks,” Dunkum said. He took off the dog's costume and antennas.
“You're kidding. New tricks?” Abby asked. She sat beside Stacy, near Honey. The boys crowded around, too.
Ellen stood up, smiling. “Honey loves to perform. Don't you, big girl?”
“Woof, woof!” barked Honey. “Give us a sneak preview,” Eric pleaded.
A mischievous grin swept across Ellen's face. “Wait for the party,” she said.
“Aw, why not now?” Jason begged. “Because I need ice cream for the trick,” Ellen said. She pushed her hair behind her ear.
“That reminds me,” Dunkum said, looking at Jason. “Are you hungry for chocolate ice cream?”
Jason licked his lips and rubbed his stomach. “Wild pit bulls couldn't keep me away.”
“Don't you mean wild
?” Dunkum said.
“Horses . . . pit bulls, whatever.” Jason pranced around.
“I know a good pit bull joke,” Ellen said. She held on to her dog's harness. “Want to hear it?”
Honey barked and shook her head.
“Hey, it looks like Honey just said no.” Jason and the Cul-de-sac Kids watched Ellen's guide dog closely.
“Better cover Honey's ears when you
talk about pit bulls,” Dunkum joked.
Ellen giggled, feeling for Honey's ears. “There,” she said, finding them. “Now, what did the pit bull say when he sat on a pile of sandpaper?”
The kids looked at one another. They shrugged their shoulders.
“I think we give up,” Dunkum said, eager to know. “What
the pit bull say when he sat on the sandpaper?”
Ellen's eyes were open, but they stared straight ahead. “ âRough, rough,' ” she giggled.
“Hey, that's a good joke,” Jason said as he headed for the door. He was usually the last person to arrive anywhere. But when it came to sweets, Jason Birchall was first in line!
Dunkum's parents waved from the back of the room. “We'll see you at the party,” Dunkum's dad called.
Dunkum's house was across the street
from the school. He and his friends were going to walk to the party.
Abby and Stacy followed Ellen and her guide dog down the stage steps. Jason and Eric joined the girls near the outside door. So did Dunkum.
Adam Henny, a kid with dirt on his face, showed up just then. “Where's everyone going?” he asked.
“No place special,” Dunkum lied.
Adam was the last person Dunkum wanted hanging around. Adam's clothes looked like toxic waste dump specials. Especially the ratty red T-shirt he had on.
Besides that, Adam Henny was
a Cul-de-sac Kid. No way was Dunkum going to invite an outsider to his party!
Dunkum couldn't wait to leave. “Have a nice summer,” he said to Adam.
The dirty kid smiled a faint smile. He pushed his hand into his pants pocket and pulled out something. “Here's my phone number.”
Dunkum shook his head. “Uh, no, that's OK,” he said and rushed out the door. He wanted to forget about Adam. No sense messing up the end-of-school party over