Read The Mysterious Code Online
Authors: Kathryn Kenny
This is a reissue edition of a book that was originally published in 1961. While some words have been changed to regularize spelling within the book and between books in the series, the text has not been updated to reflect current attitudes and beliefs.
Copyright © 1961, renewed 1989 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published by Golden Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, in 1961.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
[Trixie Belden and the mysterious code]
The mysterious code / by Kathryn Kenny ; illustrated by Paul Frame. — 1st Random House ed.
p. cm. — (Trixie Belden ; #7)
Previously published under the title: Trixie Belden and the mysterious code.
While preparing for a fund-raiser antique show, Trixie and the other members of the Bob-Whites discover a secret code in the pages of an old magazine in the attic.
[1. Clubs—Fiction. 2. Ciphers—Fiction. 3. Mystery and detective stories.] I. Frame, Paul, 1913– ill. II. Title. III. Series.
PZ7.K396Mr 2004 [Fic]—dc22 2003024894
First Random House Edition
and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Trixie Belden rushed into the Sleepyside Junior-Senior High cafeteria. She pushed back her short sandy curls, threw her notebook on the table, and sank into a seat between her two best friends, Honey Wheeler and Diana Lynch.
“What kept you so long?” Honey asked. “We’re starved.”
“Something terrible!” Trixie gasped when she could get her breath.
“Come on, Trixie, tell us,” her brother Mart said. “Don’t be so dramatic!”
“I’m not—being—dramatic. Something awful is going to happen to the Bob-Whites of the Glen. Mart, please get Jim and Brian from the kitchen. I want the club members together right now so I can tell all of you.”
“Heck, Trixie, they can’t leave their jobs at lunch time.”
“It’s an emergency,” Trixie insisted.
“All right,” Mart said resignedly, “I’m on my way.”
Mart, only eleven months older than his thirteen-year-old sister, did not always respond so quickly. Today, though, the tears in Trixie’s blue eyes convinced him that she was in earnest.
“Can’t you give us a hint?” Diana asked. “You sound as though we were all going to be stricken with some awful plague.”
“It’s almost worse than that,” Trixie sobbed. “Oh, there they are.”
“What is it?” Honey’s brother, Jim, asked. “Trixie, you’re crying. You never, never cry.”
“I’m not really,” Trixie said and dried her eyes. “It’s just this: This morning Mr. Stratton, the principal, stopped me in the corridor and—”
“You’re failing in math again,” Mart said. “Gleeps, if
all it is—”
“He asked me about the jacket I’m wearing,” Trixie went on, scorning Mart’s interruption. “I happen to be the only one wearing our B.W.G. jacket today. He wanted to know what is cross-stitched on the back of it.”
“Did you tell him it’s a secret?” Diana asked indignantly.
“The name isn’t, Diana. I told him it stands for our club, the Bob-Whites of the Glen.”
“Then what did he ask?” Mart had little sympathy for faculty interference of any kind.
“What the purpose behind the club is,” Trixie said.
a secret,” Honey said.
“I don’t believe it is, Sis,” Jim said. “In fact we don’t have a secret club at all. It belongs just to us, certainly, but it isn’t secret.”
“Calm down and go on, Trixie.” Mart was impatient. “You make such a big deal out of everything.”
“I’m not doing it this time, and you’ll see. I told Mr. Stratton we were organized just like brothers and sisters, the six of us, to help one another.”
“I’ll bet that set him back on his feet,” said Mart.
“Oh, Mart, listen,” Honey insisted. “Go on, Trixie, there must be more.”
“Yes, there is, and it’s the worst part. I’ll die dead if anything happens to the B.W.G.’s.”
“It won’t,” Jim said confidently.
“Mr. Stratton threatened it might,” Trixie insisted. “After I told him the purpose of the club he said, ‘I don’t think that purpose is enough to justify such an organization in the eyes of the members of the school board.’ Is that awful enough for you, Mart?”
“Gleeps, yes,” Mart said. “Out of a clear sky, too.”
“Hardly.” They all looked at Trixie’s brother, Brian.
He was the oldest club member, sixteen, and serious-minded. They paid attention to what he had to say.
“You know the whole school’s been talking about the vandalism that’s been going on,” he said. “Maybe that is what has stirred up the board. You know, worry about gangs forming in Sleepyside.”
Trixie jumped to her feet and snapped her fingers. “You’re right, Brian,” she said. “That’s what Tad Webster meant.”
“Now you’re being mysterious again,” Brian said. “What does Spider Webster’s brother, Tad, have to do with the situation? There isn’t a better policeman in all Sleepyside than Spider,” and he added, “or a better friend of the Bob-Whites of the Glen.”
“That’s true,” Trixie agreed, “but he surely picked a goon for a younger brother. He saw me talking to Mr. Stratton and asked me what he had been saying to me.”
“You didn’t tell him, did you?” Diana asked. She didn’t like Tad either.
“Of course I didn’t.
, instead. Mr. Stratton had been questioning him, also, because Tad’s president of the Hawks. Tad had the nerve to say that he thought the Hawks had a lot more reason for existence than the B.W.G.’s.”
“Mr. Stratton said that?” Honey asked, her big hazel eyes widening.
“No, Tad did.”
“They do have some good athletes in the Hawks,” Mart said. He had been a Little Leaguer and could not quite make the Pony League when Tad did. “Tad can throw a curve as well as any pro.”
“We’re getting away from the subject again,” Brian reminded Trixie.
“Oh, yes, thanks, Brian.” Trixie was still breathless. “Tad told me that the vandalism and thievery—someone stole fifteen dollars out of Mr. Stratton’s desk last night—had driven the board members and Mr. Stratton nearly crazy. Tad told me he thought they were out to get all clubs.”
“You don’t honestly believe that Mr. Stratton thinks the B.W.G.’s are breaking windows and looting desks and lockers, do you?” Jim asked. He and Brian found it difficult to rationalize some of Trixie’s thinking.
“No, I don’t. Oh, you all have me so confused I don’t know what to think.”
“You didn’t just sit there and take what Mr. Stratton said, did you?” Mart asked. “Didn’t you tell him about any of the
things the club has done?”
“I didn’t, Mart, because those things are what make
the club secret, things like—well, like showing up Diana’s phony uncle, and—”
“Helping me get away from my cruel stepfather,” Jim said.
“And the time you and Honey saved little Sally Darnell’s life—and catching Dapper Dick, the thief—” Mart started counting on his fingers. “Well, what did you tell him, Trixie?”
“I told him about how Jim is going to start a school for boys some day.”
Big, red-haired, freckled Jim looked embarrassed. When his Great-uncle James Frayne died and left half a million dollars to his orphaned nephew, Jim had put it all in a trust fund dedicated to a school for orphan boys that he planned to open when he finished college.
“Did you tell him Brian is going to be the resident physician at my school?” Jim asked Trixie.
“Yes, I did. I told him, too, that Mart is going to take care of all the land around it when he finishes agricultural school.”
“And that wasn’t enough for him?” Diana asked.
“No, it wasn’t. He said that was all far in the future. He thought it was ‘splendid for you to want to help one another.’ ” Trixie touched the fingers of her hands
together and rocked back on her heels in imitation of Mr. Stratton. “Then he spoiled it all by saying that he and the board would have a hard time believing that our little club could do anything for millionaires like the Wheelers and the Lynches.”
I wish we didn’t have any more money than anyone else,” Honey moaned.
“I wish the same thing,” said Diana.
“He doesn’t know how wonderful and kind and generous you and your families are,” Trixie said. “Anyway, money doesn’t solve all the troubles people have.”
“That’s right,” Honey agreed. “Mr. Stratton should talk to Miss Trask and she’d tell him what a different person the B.W.G.’s have made of me.”
Miss Trask had been Honey’s teacher when she was in private school. Now she lived in the Wheeler home and supervised it. It was she who insisted that Honey’s mother and father send her to public school, outfit her in blue jeans for play, and let her do the things other girls her age were doing. Honey, who had been sickly most of her life, was now pink-cheeked and starry-eyed with health.