Melody Lane #8 The Secret of the Kashmir Shawl

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Melody Lane Mystery series #8 of 9.

Transcript of Melody Lane #8 The Secret of the Kashmir Shawl

  • THE SECRET OF

    THE KASHMIR SHAWL

  • MELODY LANE MYSTERY STORIES

    The Ghost of Melody Lane

    The Forbidden Trail

    The Tower Secret

    The Wild Warning

    Terror at Moaning Cliff

    The Dragon of the Hills

    The Mystery of Stingymans Alley The Secret of the Kashmir Shawl

    The Hermit of Proud Hill

  • MELODY LANE MYSTERY STORIES

    THE SECRET OF

    THE KASHMIR SHAWL

    BY

    LILIAN GARIS

    ILLUSTRATED BY

    RUTH KING

    GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS NEW YORK

  • Copyright, 1939 by

    GROSSET & DUNLAP, INC.

    The Secret of the Kashmir Shawl

    All Rights Reserved

    Printed in the United States of America

  • CONTENTS

    CHAPTER PAGE

    I THE SECRET BELL 1

    II GETTING A JOB 9

    III A DEAD LITTLE MOUSE 18

    IV THE CONSPIRATOR 27

    V THE UNEXPECTED 35

    VI BUSH WITH BLAZING EYES 44

    VII A HURRIED TRIP 52

    VIII CECY WAS AMAZED 62

    IX SHAWL OF A PRINCESS 70

    X MEET BOBBIE ELLIS 81

    XI IT WOULD HAPPEN THAT NIGHT 90

    XII SYLVIA COMES 99

    XIII A HEART-BROKEN GIRL 108

    XIV STRANGE MESSENGER 117

    XV POOR LITTLE SNOB 126

    XVI ANOTHER THREAT 134

    XVII SOMETIMES CALLED FLINDERS 142

    XVIII MALIKA PLEADS 151

    XIX THE RUNAROUND 160

    XX ONLY THREE DAYS MORE 170

    XXI LONG DISTANCE 179

    XXII THE CAPTURE 191

    XXIII A LIVING STATUE 199

    XXIV FULL MANY A GEM 207

    XXV OF PUREST RAY SERENE 215

  • 1

    THE SECRET OF

    THE KASHMIR SHAWL

    CHAPTER I

    THE SECRET BELL

    All this fuss just to get a job. Cecy Duncan tilted

    back the little beret that clung to her fair hair and

    slumped down deeper into the bus seat. The fuss had

    been mainly in getting her sister Carol and their

    father to agree that she should take a job, any job

    during vacation. Cecy had been in the West with her

    Aunt Isabel, going to school there, and according to

    her own report, taking it easy while Carol slaved at

    social service, caring for nursery children and

    generally assisting their families.

    Well, well see what little Cecy can do to help out, Cecy was confirming her resolutions. Besides, this ad looks like something different, and something different is exactly what Im after.

    Cecy Duncan, Carols young sister, had had quite

  • 2

    a time of it when she and her chum Rosie Wells

    spent one other vacation, ferreting out the story of

    the Wild Warning, one of the Melody Lane

    mysteries that had to do with that captivating little

    urchin, Polly Cobb, better known as Flinders. And

    her name wasnt even Polly Cobb, although she used to feel that should have been her name, since good

    kind Mrs. Cobb, Aunt Kate to Polly, had taken the

    child in with her own happy, though poor family of

    youngsters. This exciting experience was

    particularly vivid in Cecys mind this morning. I wonder what has become of Flinders, she

    ruminated, recalling that the last the girls had heard

    of the interesting little Polly, was when she made the

    sensational recovery of a valuable and highly prized

    miniature of Nora Grants baby. Nora Grant was a famous actress, and her baby had been threatened

    with kidnapping. This miniature was the one and

    only picture of the baby, little Sylvia, and its

    disappearance had caused the mother and other

    members of the actress family great anxiety. When Flinders, Polly Cobb, recovered the picture Nora

    Grant promised to do great things for Flinders. That

    was the story of the Wild Warning.

    Strange she never attempted to get in touch with any of us, went on Cecys thoughts, and she seemed so spunky and high spirited. Well, I had

    better keep my mind on my own spunk, right now, if

  • 3

    Im going to get this job. I had no idea it was so far out and in so lonely a place.

    Cecy was making her way along the road she had

    been directed to follow when she left the bus. Facing

    the facts now, Cecy realized it was quite different

    from merely talking it over with Carol and her father

    that morning, the night before, and on every

    Occasion when she could get the chance, since she

    had come upon the ad in the little country paper.

    And that itself had been queer. Why should the

    country paper and not an important city paper have

    been selected? Carol declared sympathetically, that

    that made the matter suspicious. Mr. Duncan, the

    girls father, himself a newspaper man, said positively:

    No little country paper like the Turnville Press could ever get an important ad, and its sheer waste of time for you to bother with it, Cecy. But this is

    vacation time. Do as you please but keep close to

    shore. But, Dad, Ive been to the agency and they

    vouch for this ad. And both you and Carol know the

    Newkirk Co-operative Agency is perfectly reliable,

    dont you? Cecy had answered. That had stopped them, as Cecy was now trying

    to re-assure herself. For when a reliable employment

    agency has investigated both the prospective

    employer as well as the one seeking employment,

  • 4

    everything is supposed to be strictly as represented.

    Cecy stopped and took the small printed slip out

    of her purse once more. She knew every word by

    heart but needed something real to fortify herself.

    Not that looking for a job is so serious, but a girl can run into dead-end streets just as well as a boy

    can these days. And little Cecy is just no good at

    jumping off dead-end streets. Too many movies,

    maybe. That dead-end street gang must have made

    an impression on me when I saw it out West with

    Aunt Isabel. Lets have another squint at this mysterious ad.

    She smoothed out the clipping and leaned against

    a crooked old tree by the roadside as she read:

    Wanted. Young girl as companion to elderly lady. Must be cheerful, healthy and discreet. Only

    one sincerely interested in making good need

    apply. Then the directions were given, with the number of the bus to take and the way to reach

    Tanglewood, the name of the estate, probably.

    Why on earth should an elderly lady want a young girl as companion? Cecy again deliberated. And why must she be discreet?

    But the agency had assured Carol, who went to

    the office with Cecy, that the elderly lady had been

    fully investigated and was found to be reliable and

    respectable.

    So there she was, Cecy Duncan, just home from

  • 5

    school in the Midwest and going out after her first

    job.

    It was a long walk from the bus line, and the bus

    line had been a long ride after the train ride. The day

    was quite warm now, and as she trudged along Cecy

    took off her blue sweater, smoothed down the

    sleeves of the new print dress and hoped she looked

    all right for the job of being a companion.

    It couldnt be much farther; the bus man had told her to turn where all the letter boxes stood on their

    posts not far beyond a gas station. There were the

    boxes, she could see them now, and here came two

    girls; she would ask them the way to make sure.

    Hello! they greeted her pleasantly as they came up to her. They were two girls about her own age,

    each with an arm twined around the others waist and both smiling happily.

    Im looking for a place called Tanglewood, Cecy said. Is that it with the big white birches in front?

    Yes, thats it, the girl with the dark hair answered.

    You are not, by any chance, answering that crazy ad, are you? the other girl asked. She was fat and dimply and had reddish hair.

    Whywhy, yes, I am, stammered Cecy. Why?

    Because the elderly lady, said the darker girl,

  • 6

    is Miss Benedict, and everyone knows she could never really want a young girl companion.

    Why? I mean, why not? Ive come such a long way, all the way fromfromthe city, Cecy said it little disconsolately.

    Oh, thats a shame, the other girl sympathized. Mother saw that ad in the paper and she said she hoped no one would be taken in by it. Im Janie Ward; we live over by the golf links. And this is

    Betty Fulton. Oh, yes, faltered Cecy, smiling at this sudden

    acquaintance. But she didnt say who she was. In fact, at that moment, she felt a little uncertain about

    who she might turn out to be, if she went any further

    into this silly business. Here were two very young

    girls, surely barely out of grammar school, and they

    were taking her to be just one of themselves. And

    she was Cecy Duncan almost ready for college!

    She knew she looked like a kid, as Carol had declared when she landed back from Aunt Isabels, but she hadnt felt quite that young.

    Are you really going to Miss Benedicts? asked Janie Ward, puzzled beyond concealment.

    Why, of course, I am. I want to work and Ive always thought that queer elderly women have

    plenty of money. Surely this one must have or she

    wouldnt want to bring up a girl to be her companion, said Cecy, quite decidedly.

  • 7

    Come on then, well walk back with you, offered Betty. Were just taking a walk and well all toddle right along to Lady Benedicts, and she giggled happily.

    The