Enid Blyton: The Mystery of Banshee Towers (Mystery #15

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1 - OFF TO MEET OLD FATTY "I do wish old Fatty would buck up and come back from wherever he's staying," sa id Bets. "We've had almost a week of the holidays without him already - such a w aste!" "He's coming back today," said Pip, passing a postcard across the breakfast-tabl e to his young sister. "Here's a card from him. Three cheers!" Bets read the card out loud. "Back tomorrow by bus from Warling. Meet me at bus stop if you can. What about a nice juicy mystery? I feel just about ready for on e. Fatty." "A nice juicy _what_?" said her mother, puzzled. "_Mystery_," said Bets, her eyes shining. "You know how something always seems t o happen when Fatty's about, Mother - there was the mystery of the Pantomime Cat - and the mystery of the Vanished Prince - and..." Her father groaned. "Look, Bets - I'm tired of all these adventures and strange happenings that seem to pop up whenever your friend Frederick is about. Just try and steer clear of any trouble these holidays. I was hoping that Frederick was staying away for a nice long time." "I wish you wouldn't call him Frederick, Daddy," said Bets. "It does sound so si lly." "I should have thought that Frederick was a much better name for a boy in his te ens, than the absurd name of Fatty," said her father. "I wonder Frederick allows people to call him by that old nickname now." "But Fatty _is_ fat, and the name suits him," said Pip. "Anyway I don't think _m y_ nickname is very suitable for me now that I'm a bit older. Why can't I be cal led by my proper name of Philip, instead of Pip?" "Simply because you're a bit of pip-squeak still and probably always will be," s aid his father, disappearing behind his newspaper. Bets gave a sudden laugh, and then a groan as Pip kicked her under the table. "Pip!" said his mother warningly. Bets changed the subject hurriedly. She didn't want Pip to get into any trouble the very day that Fatty came home. "Mother, where's the bus time-table?" she said. "I'd like to find out what time old Fatty's bus arrives." "Well, seeing that there are only two in the morning, and the bus from Warling t akes two hours to get here, I should think he'll be on the _first_ bus," said Pi p, "otherwise he'd be jolly late!" "It should be about a quarter to ten," said his mother. "That means you'll have plenty of time to clear up the fearful mess in your playroom first. I could hard ly get into it yesterday." Pip groaned. "WHY do we always have to tidy the playroom when we plan to go out? " he demanded. "I really do think it's..."

"Enough said," said his father, from behind his newspaper, and Pip became silent at once. He looked across at Bets, and she grinned at him happily. Fatty was co ming back! Fatty with his wide grin, his twinkling eyes, his mad jokes - and his extraordinary habit of suddenly finding himself in the middle of peculiar myste ries! Oh the time they had had with Fatty - the excitement - the adventures! Why was it that some people _always_ found themselves in the middle of something th rilling? "If Fatty was cast away on a lonely desert island something extraordinary would immediately happen," thought Bets. "A mermaid would pop up and let him swim away on her back. Or a submarine might arrive and..." "Bets, what are you dreaming about?" said her mother. "You've carefully buttered your bread on _both_ sides!" Pip and n their id Pip. coming Bets tore upstairs as soon as breakfast was finished, only one thought i minds - Fatty was coming back! "Let's buck up and tidy the playroom," sa "I want to go round to Larry's and see if he and Daisy know that Fatty's back today."

He began to throw everything into the big toy cupboard, higgledy, piggledy, bang , crash, wallop! "Mother won't like that," began Bets, but Pip only laughed at her. "All right _you_ do it properly, old slowcoach. Goodbye - I'm off to Larry's. See you later !" But Bets couldn't bear to be left behind, so she shoved in the last few things, flew to get her hat and raced down the stairs after Pip, falling over the cat si tting on the bottom stair. "Sorry, Puss!" she panted, and raced down to the front gate. "Pip! WAIT for me!" Soon they were at Larry's house. The front door was open, and they could hear Da isy calling to her brother. "Aren't you ready to meet Fatty? You'll be late!" In a few moments all four children were on their way to the bus-stop. "What do y ou bet that old Fatty will play one of his tricks on us, and come in some kind o f disguise?" said Pip. "Well, I hope he does," said Larry. "We'd soon see through it. Fatty can't disgu ise his plumpness!" "Look, we're _just_ in time," said Bets. "Here comes the bus. Let's run!" The bus, a double-decker, came to a stop, and the four children ran to the exit at the back. People were crowding off, and the conductor was shouting loudly, "H urry off, please, and mind the step!" Larry suddenly nudged Pip. "Look, that's Fatty - he's disguised himself, just as we guessed he would. He's carrying a dog-basket too, and I bet old dog Buster i s in there. Stand back - don't let him see us!" The fellow who was carrying the dog-basket was stout, and wore a bulky overcoat, a yellow scarf round his neck and chin, and a cap with a large peak pulled down over his nose. He coughed hollowly as he stepped down from the bus, and held a large green cotton handkerchief to his mouth. Bets giggled. "That's Fatty all right!" she said in a low voice to Pip. "Let's n

ot say a word, but just follow him solemnly home!" They set off, keeping just behind him. The fat fellow went off at quite a pace, limping slightly with his left foot. "Yes, that's Fatty!" said Larry. "Sort of thing he _would_ do, in disguise - put on a limp or something! He can't fool _us_, though!" They followed the limping youth down the street, round a corner and up the hill. Then Larry shouted to him. "Hey, Fatty! Stop! We know it's you!" The youth swung round and glared at them. "Don't you dare to call after _me_!" h e shouted. "Cheeky young brats!" "Go on, Fatty - we can't _help_ knowing it's you!" said Pip. "And we know you've got old Buster-dog in that basket, too. Let him out!" "Buster? Who's Buster?" said the fellow. "Are you mad? There's a _cat_ in here, not a dog! Have a look!" He slipped the catch of the basket, and opened the lid. Out sprang a most enormo us ginger cat, spitting and hissing! The four children stared in the greatest astonishment. A CAT - not Buster! So th is fellow _wasn't_ Fatty after all. Gosh - what an awful mistake! "Er - we're very sorry. It's all a mistake," stuttered poor Larry, his face scar let. "We do beg your pardon." "Now you just listen to me," said the fat fellow, angrily. "See that bobby over there? Well, I'm going to complain of you, see? Following me about! Whispering b ehind my back. Calling me names! I can't help being fat, can I? Come here, Pussy kins - that's right, you hiss at these little varmints. Scratch them if you like !" To the children's horror, the fellow went across the road to a corner - and who should be standing there but Mr Goon, the village policeman. Mr GOON! He was no friend of theirs! What in the world could they do? "Better get away quickly, before Mr Goon comes after us!" said Pip. "Gosh - what a mistake we made!" He turned to run, and bumped hard into someone standing just behind him, grinnin g, a little Scottie dog in his arms. "FATTY! It's you! Fatty, we thought you were that fellow over there, with the do g-basket!" cried Pip, overjoyed to see his friend gain. "We followed him, and no w he's gone to complain about us to Goon!" "And _I_ followed _you_!" said Fatty. "I was on the top deck of the bus, and I s aw you, though you didn't see me! I carried Buster because I was afraid he'd go careering after you, and give the game away. Give your friends a lick, Buster!" He held up the little Scottie, and Buster most ecstatically licked all his four friends, whining in joy. Then Fatty put him down on the pavement, and alas, Bust er suddenly spotted Goon the policeman, who was staring angrily at the children from across the road.

feeling sure that the fellow with the cat had comp lained about them to Mr Goon. here w as his old enemy! What about dancing round his ankles and pretending to nip him? Buster felt just like a little exercise after his long ride on the bus! Mr Goon glared at the excited Buster in disgust. Bets. "We're having a Meeting at Fatty's this afternoon. Buster o ld thing! To heel! and DO remember to be polite and shake paws with my father an d mother as SOON as you see them!" Larry and Daisy went off together and so did Pip and Bets. that's. Come on. "Ha . "I'll stand us all ice-creams to make up for our mistake. But let's have a Meeting this afternoon . bu t had sent both her and Pip up to their playroom." "Sorry ." said Bets. Ah. That boy! That toad of a boy! What wonderful peace and quiet there had been in the village for at least a week. her face glowing." said Larry.you little pest of a dog! So you're back with your master. and something would turn up to make things uncomfortable." said Fatty. "Mother will be looki ng out for me. Mr Goon. Don't worry. Her mother had not allowed her to race off immediately after dinner.. Goo n was sure. "I can see that you met Frederick all ri ght!" she said. "I must say that I think you were all a bit fatheaded . you ought to learn dancing! You're really nippy with your feet . I don't expect you will have to wait _very_ long before a nice "juicy" mystery looms up for every one of you! 2 . "Don' t you remember all the mysteries we've solved? I daresay we'll find out another and solve it _these_ hols!" "_If_ one turns up!" said Bets.A Meeting of the Famous Find-Outers and Dog! Come to my workroom about half-past two. _Mother_! You _know_ we're the Five Find-Outers . .and Dog!" said Pip. That fat boy was always in the middle of Peculiar Happenings of some sort! Fatty joined the others." said Fatty. Bets' mother was amus ed to see the little girl's happy face.don't rub it in. are you? Get away.Buster gave a yelp of delight and raced across the road at top speed. now! Clear-orf!" "Buster's only telling you how pleased he is to see you. were keeping well away from the angry policeman.but I think I _must_ get home first. Things always happen when Fatty is around.following a chap-with-acat instead of a boy-with-a-dog!" said Fatty. "Let me see now.DOWN IN FATTY'S WORKROOM Bets felt excited when at last the time came to go to the first Meeting of the h olidays. who.. "All right . with That Boy away ! Now he was back. Buster! The Dancing Lesson is over!" Goon went purple in the face. "My word." "Oh.almost as nippy as Buster is with his teeth! Heel. "It's the first Meeting the Find-Outers have had for ages!" "Find-Outers?" said her mother. as the bur ly policeman tried to skip away from Buster's attentions.

wherever he was. "Buster." she said.you've still got the old cr ocodile skin stretched on the wall too. exasperated." Buster was pleased. "I had quite a good dinner. stand up." she said. and were soon in Fatt y's workroom at the bottom of his garden. "Got anything to eat. but someh ow I always feel hungry when we meet down here." "Nice to have you here. complete with its head. "Now we shall be late. please look firmly the other way if He is on a diet ." Fatty said. "I'll just let him _lick_ my chocolatey fingers . little Bets." said Fatty. "No." said Buster at once. I just can't bear to see him looking so left-cut." It was soon done. who invariably of good food.lick my fingers. Bets. you know. "He says _he'd_ nip the tiger if he did a thing like that!" said Bets. An oil-stov e gave quite enough warmth and on the floor was an old tiger-skin.so they do the things themselves!" The shed was certainly well tucked away. "We ought to powder him . shocked. and very. "This tiger is getting a bit moth-eaten. Here you are. happy to be on their way to Fatty's house. I promise." said Fatty. you do your share." said Fatty. It's lovely to be back again. and showed his teeth. and of its glassy eyes . "Throwing things higgledy-piggledy into cor ners and cupboards isn't _my_ idea of clearing up. "By the Buster tries to beg any food from you. he did far too well. in the "special" voice he some times kept for the little girl. Bets felt very sorry for him. over-ate himself while he was away. they're sure to decide it's too much bother ." "There are some chocolate biscuits in the seemed to be provided with a vast variety way.th at's what Mother does to _our_ fur-rugs. and he we nt sadly into a corner and curled himself up. Fatty . Please do the job properly be fore you go!" "Oh _blow_!" said Pip. and cuddl ed Buster round the neck.slimming. ass! But with plenty of cat-dishes around always ready to be licked clean. Fatty?" asked Larry." she said. and often sat on the great head itself. Fatty. "Be careful the old tiger doesn't nip you!" "Woof.oh what a middle you've landed yourself with . He licked Bets' fingers and then sat down as close to her as he possibly could. Oh. "That's all. His tail dropped when Fatty scolded him. Show your tubby figure .but now she didn't mind it a bit. and _almost_ out of range of any shout from the house! "Grown-ups want an awful lot of things done if you're within shouting distance.disgraceful!" Buster certainly had a tummy."I don't know if you think that what you did this morning to tidy up the room wa s anything _like_ enough. He loved kind-hearted little Bets. Bets had been scared at first of its open mouth. showing such fierce teeth. To "But surely he hasn't begun to eat _cats_!" said Daisy. She put her arm round him . eyeing the chocolate biscuits sadl y. "But if they have to go and _fetch_ you. and they raced off down the garden path. well away from everyone. after so long at school. Come on. you know. very comfortable. They joined up with Larry and Daisy. He o many cats about!" cupboard. Buster . I do think this is a most exciting shed.

running for miles in shorts uphill and down .qthe sparring. quite amazed. On the other hand. it got boring!" "You're boasting.. who had received a blow on his fat tummy that had quite winded him . Fatty. too.again.and first-class bores.I tell you. "Well ." "Well.you'll never get rid of _that_ habit ! That's one thing you do better than any of us .and he is of me . "My father's like that too .don't you _want_ to belong to the Find-Outers?" said Daisy . Buster! What on earth made you get in the way? Did I hur t you?" "Funny . "But what I mean is . I do boast just a bit. "Ha . And _mine_ made out a list too .first-cla ss boxers . "Larry's quite right.is this meeting about anything special?" she said. I'm rather inclined to agree with you.do we _have_ to snoop ro und and look for problems and mysteries to solve . I see all that. sorry. solving mysteries _can_ be quite hard work.ooh.first-class cross-country runners . I mean ." said Larry irritatingly. I really _did_ knock out my two cousins. He said we shouldn't just mess about do ing nothing. You swing out like this with your left.you didn't even knock _him_ out. "Why." "Why . Bets . Bets cuddled poor Buster. "Listen." said Fatty. ." said Bets. I' ve just been staying with two cousins . My father made a list of interesting spots we could go to see. to tell y ou the truth! My word.both first-class footballers . I do actually do what I boast about. Fatty might knock _you_ out." said Fatty." said Fatty. he said. and then ." He took a neatly written list from the pocket of his flannels and read from it. he's an ab solute sport.it does so und rather nice for a change.can't we just not bother for once?" "You mean . lazily.." said Pip. "Knocked out! Don't be fatheaded. I'll read it out." said Larry. "Fatty .here it is.but I do noti ce that after about ten days of the hols he always gets this idea of us going of f for the day .just play about and enjoy ourselves?" said Daisy.I mean. Fatty. He stared at Fatty unhappily. "What's the good of being a Find-Outer if you don't want to find out anything?" "Yes. really puzzled." "He _said_ that .I do like myste ries.boast! You're superlative at t hat!" "Don't be rude. the excuses I had to think of to get out of kicking a foo tball from morning to night . I shan't. but every day. Larry!" said Daisy. "I'd be just as plea sed if there wasn't any Mystery to solve at the moment. Thank goodness _that_ didn't last long . shocked. "Let's go exploring a bit these hols. I mean. You know. "You know. and I'm frightfully proud of him .not just one day." "Well. "The tiring part about the boxing was that _I_ kept on doing the knocking-out .but what he really meant was that he didn't want you under his feet all the time." said Larry. if you talk like that!" "No.and putting on boxing-gloves and having sparring bouts.were you knocked out?" asked Larry. I'll show you the blow I used. but I do like a bit of peace. really.

We could picnic in these places . "But we might go and see Ban shee Towers. I ho pe it wails like anything when we're there!" "I shan't go if it does. "I'm very glad _my_ family doesn't o wn a banshee. then? " "I suppose it did once. "I didn't want to come and stay with my uncle .I expect the banshee has ret ired!" "I don't want to go to see Banshee Towers if the banshee still lives there. "a banshee means 'a woman of the fairies' . it's nice to see you all again. Mum can't _remember_ me having it. suddenly looking very woebegone.I don 't like him and he doesn't like me ." said Larry. Roman Remains at Jacklin g Museum. Museum of Age-Old Fossils at Tybolds. at once. Old Musica l Instruments at. but DON . that loud knock made me jump!" "Who's there?" demanded Fatty. Does Banshee Towers own a banshee. you know ..and it shrieks and wails when any misfortune or unhappiness comes to the family in whose house it lives.I like sea-pictures . Buster at once made a great fuss of him. You know why it's called that.all those are down ." said Fatty. Ern stood there.those are down on _my_ list too!" said Pip."Old Water-Caves at Chillerbing." said Fatty putting his arm round her. Ern..and I could use one of them for my holiday es say. don't you?" Nobody knew." said Ern. and opened the doo r." said Daisy. "Help yourself to the chocolate biscuits. It would be something to write about ." sai d Bets. "Hallo . "Yes . or those." said Fatty.especially the banshee howling." "I honestly shouldn't worry. Ern.. Norman To wer at Yellow-Moss. shock-headed as ever and as plump as Fatty. Fatty. "So you'll have to find out.you shan't spend lovely spring days in Museums or Norman Towe rs or Caves." "How very unpleasant.and two or three more. "Coo. Bets . we're all here. "It's me . And I b elieve they really _are_ wonderful!" "Well.who's that at the door? Go lly.Mr Goon.at least." said Fatty.because one of my sisters has measles and I h aven't had it .or a picture-gallery or something . grinning in deli ght to see his friends again." "All right." said a well-known voice outside. sitting down on the floor and h ugging the little Scottie. Any mysteries going?" "Not so far. actually." "Gosh .. at the top of Banshee Hill. "I wouldn't so much mind the sea-pictures . "It should be rather fun. "But now that it's a museum . when the family lived in it." said Fatty. "Well. Sea-pictures at Banshee Towers." "I don't want to see _any_ of them!" said Bets. Can I come in?" "Of course I Come along in. "I've been sent to stay with m y Uncle Theo . I should be scared stiff." said Bets at once.but I _don't_ like those ugly fossily things.but I don't mind putting up with him if you 'll let me be with _you_ now and again. "It would be a pity to let an old-time 'woman of the fairies' frighten you from seeing wonderful sea-pictures. we'll make a few expeditions to show our parents that we really are not t he lie-abeds they think we are. scrabbling in his pocket for it. decidedly..." said Fatty.Ern.

Let them do whatever they liked. I'm sorry. correct him. and Use my Loaf." said Ern. What do you think of _that_?" "_Dog_? I didn't even know you had one. see?" "Ah yes." "Luvaduck . You look a bit balloony too. "Using your 'Loaf' means using your bra ins. Ern.he's letting me have my dog with me while I'm here.please remember your manners." "Ern . and Not Get Under His Feet. He sat listening intent ly as they went on discussing their plans for the next two or three weeks. You might easily get a smack on the nose. at last. Fatty.I dunno weeds from flowers. Uncle says I've got to Turn To and Look Nippy. "I must say he feels a bit solid-like. and entered into everything with the greatest delight." said Fatty. and there's another thing . I passed it the other day . Er .. and the rest." "Yes. gravely. He enjoyed the company of the five friends so much . "I daresay Unc le would let me off now and again.shocking! Full of weeds!" "That's what my uncle said. Fatty." said Pip surprised. so delighted to be with his old frie nd again that his eyes shone like stars.. I'm tryin g to train him good and proper . Ern d idn't mind.'T give Buster any." "Oooh. "You must _not_ refer to people as 'balloony'. I seem to lose them. They could pull his leg. he's a bit new." said Ern.I'd like that!" said Ern." said Fatty "His garden.if your uncle will let y ou. _reeeely_ sorry. like. So long as I do the jobs he sets me.they were his friends and h e was theirs. "We are planning to go on some interest ing rambles ." "Your _loaf_?" said Bets. we must ALL use our . "I suppose I couldn't come with you sometimes?" he said. if he's kind enough to have you to stay. in a shocked voice. if you like . Ern?" But dear old Ern didn't see the joke. do you?" grinned Ern.loaves." said Fatty.like you've trained old Buster there. and Roman Remains. "Well. as long as he could be with them! 3 ." . "Maybe I'll pick up a few g ood manners now I'm with you again.and you shall come with us. "Well. "I've had him for three weeks." agreed Ern. though the others roared in delight. of cours e." said Fatty.BINGO . in surprise. for instance. Bets." "It's good to see you. "Do you have a loaf of bread of your own. Oh. It was sheer happiness to him to be with Fatty. Are we allowed any butter with them." "Coo . mournfully.er . Ern. like. then?" "You don't know much. laugh at him . you must certainly help him in an y way you can. "Trouble is .I m ean HOME. at 'ome.AND BUSTER! It was fun to have Ern again. Fatty. "Well if we all intend to go sight-seeing and lea rning about Banshees and Old Musical Instruments.is he really?" said Ern. He's slimming.

Where is this dog of yours . he is. getting up. "You're not _scared_ of him.and nice ears that prick up like Buster's here . and patted him. then." said Ern. "His name is Bingo . Fatty.". I didn 't know if you'd like me to bring him along. looking up at him adoringly. and sort of wink at one scuttering by. "Well they stand and stare at him. really . He's potty on me you know s wonder!" another when he comes isn't it? It suits hi lot . I'm proper scared of Uncle all right. He wouldn' . "Is your uncle in a good temper today?" enquired Larry." said Fatty. wagging hi s tail without a stop.and good for you.it's the first thinks I'm the world' "Just like old Buster then.he looks comic when he runs.and rather short legs. "You see . I'm awfully glad you' ve a dog of your own. are you?" "Oh. He went to Fatty and licked his chin. "Any dog is a friend of Buster's if he belong s to one of us. "That's him . barking at a sparrow.that's Bingo. won't you?" "Where is this Bingo?" asked Larry. You'll like havi ng someone who looks up to you and thinks that everything you do is right! But l ook after him well. "Loving old thing. "He's a bit of a mixture reall y. "Bit too free with his han ds. He doesn't know I've come to see you." They came to Goon's little house." "You're a real sport. Pit y about his legs._swimming_ in sixpences! I don't think he'll be too pleased if I go abo ut with you too much. I'd like to have sixpence for every slap he's given me . sniffing along the hedges. "So-so." said Ern. which stood not far from the police station. Buster d ancing round in joy. so I shan't tell him anything. an d then put his head on Fatty's knee." said Ern. "Why didn't you tell him?" asked Bets. you see. Good for the dog . d on't you Buster?" "Woof!" said Buster. Buster mightn't like him." They all went out of the shed and made their way to Peterswood Village." said Ern. and all the oth er dogs laugh at him. "Well Ern. too.but he's got a mighty long tail with a mighty big wag in it . "Come on. "I've locked him in the wood-shed at Uncle's." said Ern.you wait till you've seen him. m too . and something hurled itself against the wood-shed door." said Ern. A s soon as they opened the gate a terrific volley of blood-curdling howls greeted them. "Very good. in pride.and he frowned when I upset the milk. agreeing heartily. with a grin. "He thinks Fatty's the world's wonder. Let's go and visit this dog of yours and take him for a walk." said Bets. his face glowing.well."Good!" said Fatty. "He smiled when I cleaned his big boots for him .good name." "They don't!" said Bets disbelievingly. I like him an awful time I've had a dog of my own.nobody likes hi m.I'd be rich by now . "I hope Uncle's out." said Ern.and what's he called? What kind is he?" "I don't rightly know what kind he is. he's not very big ." "Rubbish!" said Fatty. An untrained dog is a nuisance .

suddenly looking desperate. We'll have a look for old Bingo. I won't have him. gave one horrified look at the crowd of children. as Goon went indoors and slammed the door. "Those are my real names." said Fatty. you know. And y ou might tell him to keep away from my feet. Ern. He gave a little growl. Out shot something at sixty miles an hour.and if I could borrow him at nights when I go down into the rou gh part of the town. and disappeared at top speed through the gate. "I can't think why he went off like that." said Ern. "That's my dog in there." said Fatty. as Bingo shot down the road. helmet and all. Ern. though I can't say I like my nickname either." said Goon." Buster the Scottie was astonished and rather alarmed to hear the extraordinary n oise from the shed. Buster. and rush off like a mad thing. Ern? Where do you suppose he's gone?" "I don't know. Fatty?" "Well. I'm afraid. I suppose my uncle went and shouted at him in the shed and gave him a lamming or something. "Er .I just brought my friend s to see him. I'm very sorry about that. Uncle. and was standing there in his uniform. s houting for Ern. I try to forget them. "ERN! What's the matter with that dog of yours. truthfully. come al ong out!" And he slipped the catch of the door and opened it. He won . He looks pretty ba d-tempered too. ungraciously. Look out." said Ern." "Oh. I te ll you. but they're not _mine_ ." said Fatty. Now .your uncle.if he's going to act si lly. and bark at nothing. you can take them away again. He's tripped me up twice already. He put his head on one side and pricked up his ears to sharp points." Mr Goon had opened his front door. Ern." said Ern. "That's him!" said Ern. He might catch measles. "They may be your friends. "What do you think of him. Uncle." "Better go. in wonder. "I said you could have that dog if he b ehaved himself . Let's go and look for him. "Cheer up." But before they had gone more than a few steps. and come out in nast y spots. Hey." "Well. Hey. I really only caught sight of his tail. I only h ope he hasn't gone back to my home. "Me. Bingo." said Ern. but I tell you this straight." "You and your measles!" snorted Mr Goon. here comes old Goon . "It's all right.what about your dog Bingo. "Ern! You come back! What about those jobs I gave you to do? You come back. proudly.pah!" "Who's he talking about?" said Ern. glaring in his best manner. "But that certainly looked fine. Bingo! I've brought friends to see you. Mr Goon was at his door again. barking like that? Has he gone m ad or something? Where is he?" "I don't know.t like that noise at all. Ern .especially Master Frederick Algernon Trottevi lle . "He shot off at top speed.

but he didn't dare. bright.Bingo! "BINGO!" said everyone. "He's so friendly and good-natured. if we're going to have tea at the bun-shop. seeing Buster standing and watching everything. Buster went at once to inv estigate. "ERN! You come on IN! I've got to go to the police station. just as Goon ha d done. faithful eyes. and keeping a l ook-out for Bingo.a very small and p athetic one. and at once Bingo shot over to her . their mouths open as if they were both laughing! . A comical dog. but she didn't mind. "What do you think of him." said Larry. talking about Ern. in a most humble man ner. his eyes." said Fatty. Buster was pleased. "Woof. tearing down the road like mad thin gs! "Buster approves. He slipped through the hedge and then gave a sharp bark." Ern went slowly back through the gate. There was no sign of him. She p atted him and stroked him. his tail wagging just a very little. Well. and I want you to pe el the potatoes for supper and get things tidy. and began to run as he heard a stentorian shout from ins ide the house. he would go with any one. had plenty of money. his beloved dog. He knew that this usually meant a few tit-bits f or him! Just as they reached the bun-shop they heard a little whine .you're a bit of a comic. looking at him from all angles. Bingo. and he went nearly mad with joy.you want to be able to squeeze out of the door again!" In they all went. He might get run over! He might get lost! H e might even be stolen. In the middle of the meal. Fatty thought he must have gone to find his way back to Ern's own home. you've real doggy eyes!" Yes. "Buster . and began to crawl anxiously towards them. The children decided that Ern was lucky. He longed to slam the door. and away they went together. Then Buster danced round Bingo. and in trotted the two dogs. and went straight over to Bingo. looking angry and troubled. and a tongue always ready to lick an y friend. old boy! But my word. "_I_ rather approve of him too. bri ght. as usual. They decided to go to the bun-shop and have tea there. The others walked slowly through the village. Bingo had good. bu t a real little sport. and that meant a good tuck-in for everyone. ERN!" Poor Ern disappeared into the house. pressed himself against her and gave a funny little high whine.what is it? Come back!" called Fatty. Fatty. what ab out it? And please don't eat more than six buns. Bu ster?" said Fatty. "Well . "What a tail! Pity you didn't have legs to match. Buster appeared again . and sat down.with som ething trotting behind him . made for their favourite table. "Poor Bingo!" said Bets. I must say." said Buster. went fl at on his tummy. each sniffing at the other. It seemed to come from the hedge nearby. Fatty . in her gentle voice. He wagged his long tail so hard that it slapped against Bets' legs.'t have come to any harm. Buster stood nearby and watched gravely." thought poor Ern. His thoughts were full of Bingo. and Bingo gave a joyful bark. in astonishment. the door was pushed open with a heave. panting. He stood nose to nose with him. and Bingo wagged his long tail.

Gosh. and when he rememb ered how Bingo ran to meet him and licked him lovingly each time he came home fr om school. "I'm a fathead . "don't take things so seriously.specially if it's your own. then his spirits fell again as he remembered his dog. Ern was glad to see him go. Ern." said Mr Goon maj estically. Uncle." he said. Fatty ."Buster . "That fat boy!" he said to Ern. almost a t the end of his tether. Bingo. "He's 'One of Us' already!" said Larry.luvaduck. Ern had a most piercing whistle. Now sit! Buster." "I don't know if you're being rude.that's what Fatty would call me. not left o pen. teach him how to sit. look at that. a tear fell plop into the potato bowl. Can't you see a joke?" "Depends who makes it. he is!" "He _doesn't_ look stupid. whom he di sliked very much. Where _was_ old Bingo? Had he run away for ever? He sniffed a little as he went on peeling the potatoes. please notice that doors must be pushed shut." said Fatty sternly.both si tting down side by side.a menace!" "What's a menace. head on one side." Mr Goon went off to the police station. Uncle?" asked Ern.t here's something about a dog that gets you ." said Ern." "Wuff. "Now Uncle . "How could he when he's got such marvellous brains! You should hear him talk . He always was when he had met Fatty. shrill. "Now.don't you come any nearer." said Mr Goon . or just plain stupid.you'll get a clip on the ear soon. using both paws and nose. "But this I do know . as good as gold! We're going to have some fun with old Bingo!" 4 . Mr Goon was in one of his worst tempers. if you do!" Ern looked so fierce that Goon retreated hurriedly. listening carefully. "I don't trust him an inch.just to see if by _an y_ chance he would come. Ern. It's a pi ty he's not as stupid as he looks. "But I dunno .yes. "I'm beginning to like you. Ern. he knows pretty well everything!" "I'll luvaduck _you_ if you don't get on with those potatoes." said Ern." "And one of these days my dog will bite you if you clip me!" cried Ern. So he whistled.MR GOON LOSES HIS TEMPER Ern had been very busy indeed while the others had gone to the village. his boots well polished by Ern. old t hing. "That fat boy's a menace . long and alarming. that's the word for him . Too clever by half. I'll throw this bowl of potatoes over you. feeling suddenly victorious. As soon as his uncl e was out of sight he thought he would whistle for Bingo . It m . Never did." thought Ern." said Bingo. now. "Anything to do with manners? Sounds a bit the same. and his helmet and uniform well brushed.go and shut the door after you. "Have you forgott en your manners? Bingo. when you come in and out of rooms. emptying some potatoes into a bowl of water to peel. He trotted over to th e door and helped Buster to shut it.

but a good ma ny windows and doors were opened. trying to push Buster away." "That was only me whistling for my dog. measles and all!" About half-past five Mr Goon returned home to see if Ern had nd had made him some toast. behave yourself. and people began looking out to see if anythin g was the matter.up we come . and ran to the door. a most unus It was Fatty who pulled the heavy policeman to his feet and dusted him down. astonished. peering in. panting." said Mr Goon. BUSTER! Are you deaf? Stop dancing r ound poor Mr Goon. It fell to the floor and broke." "I can't. That's how my Ma likes it. and tried his hardest to lick him in as many places as he could." he commanded. Ern stood at the fro nt gate and whistled for at least five minutes.that's it . what a day! Wish I was at home. seeing peop le looking out of windows and doors. he shot inside Goon's house in a hurry.ade everyone within hearing jump in surprise and annoyance. Ern went down th e hall to the front door and opened that. No Bingo arrived . Frederick Trotteville? in a cell. sir ." he thought desperately. finding his old enemy. and lifted up the delighted dog. on the ground.at exactly the same moment as Fatty and the rest. he had eve come back. Buster. at the front gate. sailed in gleefully to the attack! It really was a sight to be seen! "BINGO! You've come back!" shouted Ern in joy. if y ou roar like that. who at once plastered his face with loving licks. "ERN!" said Mr Goon." said Mr Goon grumpily. "and take that grin off your face. Somehow or other Mr Goon became mixed up with the two excited dogs as they raced towards the front door . "It's not. and then shot down the front path with his uncle on his heels . Buster. suddenly feeling cheeky. They thought that it must be Goon blowing his police-whistle f or help! A small boy arrived. sir! Did you trip over your feet? I say. a nd at his mercy." said Ern. "W e heard the police-whistle being blown.upsa . holding the lid in his hand. let me help you up.and down he went with a thud. b arking madly all the time. "I'll you order this dog away. Here." "And you've put too much tea in the pot. Ern was right down in the dumps: no Fatty had r. and stood up. "CLEAR ORF. Then. "It's just right. "Luvad uck. yes. no Bets . Fortunately rything ready. mur muring apologies in a polite voice that simply infuriated Mr Goon! "Bad luck. as he had commanded. It was hot and he had to drop it very suddenly. with Buster and Bingo. you b up. and his uncle went red in the face. you'll scare the girls. He opened it and Goon came after him. anyway. "Pick them pieces up. ALL OF YOU!" roared tell your parents of this! WILL One of these days I'll clap you rute! Lemme get up! Ern help me poor Mr Goon. "Th ey'll tell Uncle I was using his police-whistle. Ern didn't want any tea ual thing. Goon. in a terrifying voice. no Buste at all. Bingo leapt up at the as tonished Ern.and certainly no Bingo. "Any help wanted?" he asked. Ern promptly stood up too. and the dog too. It's stuck there. came in at the gate." said Ern. "This toast is burnt." put on the kettle a for Ern. Get away. Ern." said Ern. He glared at Ern as if _he_ had dropped it! Ern gave a sudden giggle.

Mr Goon?" Mr Goon glared.and this is what happens. Bingo trotted joyfully over to him. Go on home! Catch the measles!" Ern didn't know what to do . Ern had disappeared into his uncle's bouse. do you?" he said. He whispered something in Erns ear. but the boys had rather en joyed it. what a bout _you_ Moving Off . "Where are you going. upset. "Let me help you. isn't it. "Fatty. all of you! I'm sick of the sight of yo u. you go home!" stormed Mr Goon.but Fatty did.and then it was probably too late. He w as just beginning to wish that he hadn't lost his temper. he might whip him. Funny how trouble always c omes when you're about. a friend.yes. till I come out? Uncle's in such a temper. fiercely.an d some of them were daring to laugh! Laughing at the Law! What were things comin g to? Most majestically Mr Goon went to the gate and scowled at everyone there. Would you mind Bingo for m e. He was exceedingly angry. He was there about three minutes and then came out again. now! You're creating a nuisance. leaving Mr Goon staring after them. with measles about!" They all went out of the gate together. Ern . tell him. Mr Goon. "What's all this? Clear orf. "Well. The policeman did not shine when things went wrong.I don't care which. WILL YOU! MOVE OFF!" And. the lookers-on moved off at once. Move on. "Ern. Tripping me up lik e that.daisy. "Perhaps if you told them to Move OFF instead of Move ON. Clear orf. "MOVE OFF. in surprise.he hadn't thought it would be so easy! Mr Goon was more than astonis hed. Uncle. there. That was the worst of a hot temper .and take that dog to the wood-shed." shouted back Ern. rather astonished. WHAT a pity he tripped over Bingo!" Bets and Daisy had been very scared by all the upset. MOVE ON!" Only a few people moved away. "Think you're in the police force now. Master Trotteville? Now I'm going back to fini sh my tea in peace and quiet. Sorry. You can consider him arrested and put into a cell. Uncle!" . You get indoors. He took hold of Fatty's hand and sh ook it hard." "All right then._or_ on . rash things you were sorry for afterwa rds . come back! You come and apologize and I'll let you stay!" he shouted. Fatty felt sorry for poor Mr Goon. "I do a kindness and take you in .it led you into doing silly." And Fatty waved an imperious hand and shouted in a suddenly enormous voice. He saw that quite a crowd had gathered round his front gate . You can't lock up a dog. "Sorry. "I'll go and get my things straightaway. carrying a canvas bag. see? And there he'll stay out in the wood-shed. night and day. but Fatty felt sure he would be sorry and feel guilty when he had had time to ponder over things. night and day!" "Oh _no_.or where my dog will be locked up night and day." said Ern warmly. Ern was beaming all over his round face.and that fatheaded dog too . He mi ght listen to you. You all right now. "Home? But you can't go the re.that would be cruel!" said Ern. "I can't stay where I'm not wanted . Fatty . they'd understand better. Ern?" asked Bets. Fatty couldn't help feeling a little sorry for Mr Goon. "You're a friend. Fatty was rather aston ished too . Uncle . that's what you are." he suggest ed. and Ern's face broke into a delighted smile. you are.

Nice dog. Bingo. "And to BE a friend to someone is just as good. "Ern. Be good for Buster to have comp any too. Yes. see? You are all to Keep Your Mouths Shut. She didn't feel scared any longer ." said Ern."Where's Ern going?" asked Pip.well." said Fatty. looking down at Buster an d Bingo trotting amicably together. Bets . The two dogs trotted along amicably together. Bingo's tail slapping against the nearest legs.I feel honoured.wasn't poor old Uncle in a temper . "What in the world do you wa nt. and Bets went to find the toffees.they're in that cupboard. "You'll wear it out if you're not careful.FATTY IS A REAL FRIEND! The little company went in at the back gate of Fatty's garden. "He's going to stay in my workroom till his family are clear of the measles. Bets laug hed. "No. whether they were two-legged or four-legged. squeezing Fatty's arm. She was astonished to see him in the lumber-room. and I can put a camp-bed there. Fatty . I'll just go up to the house and see if I can find a camp-bed .to Have Friends. But nobo dy is to know. that's about the best thing anyone can say about anyone else." said Fatty. are you pleased?" "Pleased? I feel like a tail with two dogs.just pleased and excited." thought Ern. Coo luvadu ck ." said Fatty.and I can't say more than that. Bingo's tail never s topped wagging or waving. that was about the best thing that could happen to anyone . I just wondered if there was a camp-bed to spare.Fatty's cosy little workroom." sa id Fatty. She was glad that Ern had got away from unkind Mr Goon." He disappeared. as they went in clo se file down the path. Bingo. Ern!" Ern glowed. "I bet I'll say t hat about _you_ someday. Ern is our friend.maybe it's even better. with one of his grins. He looked round gratefully at the little bunch of friends walking wi th him. Fatty! You always think of some fine way out of things when they go wrong. Bingo occasionally giving Buster a friendly lick. It would be nice to have him at their meetings. and trooped down to the shed . Fatty?" she said. straight I do! Yo u're a friend . I mean a dog with two tails. The workroom is nice and warm. . Trust Fatty to have something to chew or suck or drink! Good old Fatty to think about rescuing poor Ern! Fatty was in the middle of hunting about for a camp-bed when bis mother appeared .or a spare mattress. He gave Ern a little punch in the back." said Bets. "Get out the toffees. and was full of a golden light from the sinking sun. "Er . He's sure to know!" 5 . "Well . here we are once more." "Oh _good_. I'll have to ask Fatty about it sometime. The workroom felt warm when they opened the door. can I?" "No. "Well. "_And_ Bingo as well.all because he fell over Bingo! To thin k I'm going to stay in your workroom. and we've got to stand by him. if not." said Ern.

you. or so mething like that. all on my own. In no time at all he h ad carried it down the garden. I don't want to sell it. I just want to _borrow_ it. I'd do anythin g. "It's a miracle. taking her hand. "I like my own wa rm bed much too much to want to shiver outside. don't try." "No." "Fatty. "Wi sh _I_ could do something for somebody . Please trust me. someone might ask you questions and then you'd answe r . Cook will always give us bits and pieces. I vote we all bring what we can."A _camp_-bed? Whatever for?" said his mother. that I don't. "Ern had better send a post-card to his quite happy'." said Ern. dear! There's a spare camp-bed in the cupboard under the stairs." "Well. Goon tells her that he's sent Er imagine that Ern has rushed back "I'm going to enjoy myself. and believe that. bouncing up and down on the camp-bed." said Fatty.but they were wort h remembering. I don't e ven want to take it off the premises. I am about to do a Good Deed!" "I never in my life knew anyone who could wheedle things out of me like you. Mother. can we do anything to help Ern?" asked Bets. and one in Pip's.ah yes. unseen. without Fatty. for instance. I'm afraid if I told you _why_ I want it. Ern decided to think about it when he was in bed. you are always so _curious_. reely I would!" . and Larry was helping him to take it thro ugh the door of the shed. you're a pet. I'm not _thinking_ of such a thing!" said Fatty. But I don't somehow think he will! He'll home. putt ing up the camp-bed with Ern. with awful tales about him!" arousing any _suspicions_. There was quite a lot in that idea." said Fatty. this! Me sleeping here. Fre derick. Mother." That meant trustin g one another." said Fatty. "Nothing like trust in a family! I can recommend i t thoroughly. long explanations when _I_ want to borrow anything like a camp-bed. I just wondered if we _had_ a camp-bed to spare. What queer things Fatty sometimes said .bring food. and my uncle not knowing a thing about it." said Fatty." said his mother. "Luvaduck!" he said. that's all. li ke the Boy Scouts. Bets." "Bless you. "Can 't you trust me? I don't want to steep on it. and gave her a smacking kiss on t he cheek.as I always do. I'll trust you . Ern thought." "Fatty. with beetles and frogs and ants all over me.and someone else might suffer. He felt excited when he saw the camp-bed neatly made up in a corner of the workroom. "I mean . saying 'Getting on fine. did you find the toffees . why are you so mysterious about it?" asked his mother. He went to the cupboard and found the camp-bed. "Nothing like trust in a family.in case n off. I will NOT allow you to s leep out in the garden yet! You'd catch your death of cold!" "Mother dear. "Look at me! Why this sudden idea of a camp-bed?" "Darling Mother. I don't know how to than k you enough. I see a lump in your cheek." said mother." "Well." Ern stared at Fatty.I won't ask you any q uestions. Fortunately my mother trusts me as much as I trust _her_. "Bets. beginning to laugh. "I always have to go into lon g. "Did you have any bother getting it?" asked Larry. "All right . Fatty. saf e as houses. "Fatty. or something like that .

_do_ look at those two dogs!" They all turned to look .and Banshee Towers on Banshee Hill. "You looked at them just like Auntie Sue looks when she goes to see if her twins are asleep! _Quite_ dippy!" That made Pip go red. I'm surprised _yo u_ put down Banshee Towers."I've no doubt your chance will come someday. each of you. "Did you ever see such dippy looks on any face s except dog-lovers?" "Yes. to Bets. "I won't go if there are _still_ banshees. I only chose Banshee Towers because you said there were magnificent seapictures there. We can always go and see the others afterwards." "_I_ voted for Banshee Towers." "I shall take some seasick medicine with me. and everyone laughed." said Fatty." said Fatty." said Pip. We shall feel quite seasick if we gaze at them too long. "Look at Fatty and Ern. Bets. as Larry said. then." said Fatty." He read out the list of places. So those are our first two expeditions.a few pills.but we _shall_ se e a magnificent set of sea-pictures. "Well. fast asleep. too. and scribble them down. fold your papers in half and give them to me. banshees only belong to fairy tales.and there were Buster and Bingo. the two places that the majority of you want to see are: the old Water-Ca ves at Chillerbing ." "Dear Bets. seeing that Bets l ooked rather scared. I think we'll t ake a vote as to which two places we would prefer to visit. Now just choose two of tho se. "You're getting quite smart. "Well. "Now. "I've so me left ." said Ern. I did . though unkind fairies wailing and foretelling horrible things! I'd hate that." said Fatty. Bets asked how to spell "Banshee" so everyone at once k new _one_ of her choices! The notes were handed to Fatty and he opened them. taking two sheets of paper from a shelf. "I'm only teasing you. young B ets." Everyone roared with laughter. Bets.on yours on your birthday when Granny gave you two white rabbits!" said Bets at once." said Fatty. "How nice to be able to say 'What about exploring the Sahara. to come back to Banshee Towers. "Well. what about a ga me? Or shall we first of all decide what expeditions we are going to make this w eek?" "It sounds as if we were explorers or something. "I'm mad on sea-pictures . "I say . I see that four out of five have voted for that. so we'll go there. "T'other couldn' t be told from which!" Pip glanced at Fatty and Ern. "Well." said Bets solemnly.together with a few notes of my own." said Bets. admi ring looks on their faces that Pip laughed. _both_ squeezed into Buster's basket. I'll open them and see which places the majority of us want to visit. Both had such pleased. there you are. I believe some of them reach from floor to ceiling. old man?' Or 'I think we should row do wn the Nile and count the number of crocodiles there. I thought you'd be scared of any places connected wi th banshees wailing in the night!" "Fatty. if we want to. dear fellow'!" The others chuckled. And three out of five have voted fo r the Water-Caves. "We shan't see or hear a single banshee . let's take a vote on where we should go first. "Here are the lists made out by Pip's father and Larry's ." he said. so entangled that." Soon they were all busy.

pulling Daisy to her feet. his tail wagging nineteen to the dozen. Bets. Fatty. if you want to see to eat or to read. "ERN! Do you want to bring all the policemen in the neighbo urhood here? That whistling of yours is EXACTLY like a police-whistle. trying to catch Bingo as he tore past him for the thir d time.and to tell you there 's a torch in the table drawer. As he did so. Fatty glared at him. I'll whistle like this. Suppose he was found here by his uncle or somebody and se nt home? Ern wished and wished that he hadn't shown Bets how he proposed to frig hten a banshee. SHHHHHHH!" Not a sound was to be heard in the darkened room except some rather heavy breath ing from a scared Ern. I want to go into the Navy when I'm old enough. The two dogs gave each other a quick lick." said the grateful Ern. Sh ut up barking. screwed up his face. You see. feeling most alarmed. Ern was quite overcome at the commotion he had caused. Fatty heard a shout from somewhere outside. His heart sank." said Bingo. thanks. and gave a very sudden. Where _has_ the evening gone to? I'll have to go. "Good thing our fa ther and mother are out tonight. Fatty. "Somebody _is_ coming!" he said. So long. so I _had_ to vote fo r the sea-picture place. He groaned. And don't you worry about banshees. quick .. Ern. was? The door opened and a torch shone in. and the two dogs in the basket l eapt straight up into the air as if they had been shot. Now . really scared. pleased to hear his name. "Ern! It's me. you're a wonder. very long and extremely pie rcing whistle. you ass. and so had we!" said Larry. and horrified to hear soft foot-steps coming to the door. I've come to bring you some supper . Be good!" "Wuff. anyone." "Coo. from Buster.no noise." "Gosh. Bets." said Fatty. and Buster trotted up the garden with Fatty. He was astonished to hear Bingo growling softly twenty minutes later. "So long. Buster. Fatty judged it safe to put on the lights agai n. We'll sit here in the da rk and hope nobody comes to find out what on earth we are doing here. "Switch off the light. See you tomorrow!" . I shan't b e able to come down again to the shed tonight. "There's a bone for old Bingo. Buster barked and Bingo howled. and took the tray that Fatty handed in. You an d Pip ought to go too. After five minutes had ticked by. and I'll make them so scared they'll fly o ut of the window and never come back!" And Ern suddenly put two fingers into his mouth. and groaned. Bingo-dog. Ern was left alone in the shed. Ern trembled and shook. You'll ha ve my father and my mother down here if you don't lookout. It made everyone jump violently." "Luvaduck!" muttered Ern. and both dogs tore round and round the room afte r imaginary enemies. He accompanied everyone to the doo r. away up the gard en. "That's my supper bell. Was it his uncle. I'l l bring you some breakfast in the morning. so goodnight. Goodnight everyone. and there's only Cookie to see to us. there came the sound of a gong from his house. Ern.the switch is just behind you. coming to fetch him? But how could he _possibl y_ know where he. giving him a paper bag. Bets. see. lighting up th e darkness in which Ern sat. Ern. and sleep well. Sleep well. The moment I see one.

Snuggle down. trying to get in. Bingo cuddled under the rug and fell asleep. Mother would start asking ques tions!" Ern sat happily munching his egg sandwiches." said Fatty. dead to the world until morning.OFF TO BANSHEE HILL Ern had a happy. as Fatty pulled a hastily-wrapped packet from one pocket." he said. rushing to sniff round the corners of the shed. and he'd better not see you in the shed. He awoke to hear a stealthy knocking on the door and flew out of bed to open it. Fatty. then. though Somebody has peeped in at th e window. He gave the bone to Bingo. unwrapping the packet Fatty gave him. I daren't bring you a pot of tea. he seemed to be hunting round for rats for _hours_. and some apples from another. He might tell Goon!" "I'll be very careful.are you enjoying this?" said Ern when at last he had undressed and slipped under the rug that Fatty had left for the camp-bed. He mad e such a noise gnawing it that Ern felt sure it could be heard for miles around! "Bingo. You're quite safe. "Come on under the rug with me ." "You'll find some little bottles of lemonade in that cupboard. and Fatty laughed. Buster was with him. Goodni ght!" Goodnight. getting up.hard-boiled egg sandwiches . straight you are. and knows you are there! Don't worry: it was only the black cat next d oor . Buster. so that was someth ing. and leapt on and off the cam p-bed every few minutes. "Got to be a bit careful . but very restless night. gratefully. Bingo kept imagining that he heard rat s running round outside the shed.and she fled as soon as she saw Bingo! Sleep tight! 6 . "For goodness sake come and lie down."So long. "Here you are.with honey inside! You're a brick. Ern. "And an opener too. " Tired out at last." said Ern. "Am I right. old dog .we'll keep each other warm. his lon g tail waving in excitement.good old Fatty .smashing! And tw o buttered rolls . Era put an arm r ound him and went to sleep too. "Bingo! I'd much rather have rats nibbling my toes than you jumping off and on m y tummy all night long. but there were plenty of eggs. How's old Bingo? Was he good last night?" "Well. Buster went sniffing at the bottom of a second cupboard." said Ern. a glass of lemonade beside him. "Best I could do for the moment. and sat down to eat a nice piece of fried fish. wit h Bingo sitting expectantly at his feet. I didn't dare to take too much from the larder." said Ern. "Hallo. who was thrilled. old thing?" . Fatty was there ." said Ern at last. an d immediately went to rub noses with Bingo. pushing his way in quickly to prevent the excited Bing o from rushing out.Gardener's here this morning. and he wants to give old Bingo some. That's right. mashed potatoes and greens.his pockets bulging." said Fatty. Ern and Bingo. Ern. "He knows a packet of his biscuits is kept there." said Fatty. "Coo .

barking wildly. come to bring Ern a packet of food." said Ern. Good. "And next time I come I'll try and bring a pot of jam . "Er . "It was your silly barking." said Fatty hastily. Gosh. Bingo joined him . "Whatever is going on?" she said. dear. "I don't know. "I knocked. Ern gave her a hug and o pened the packet.or are you going out together. Er . How is your uncle. Buster was overjoyed to have Bingo to play with."Woof!" said Buster. and soon chairs went flying." said Fatty. feeling in her coat pocket. or something?" "Yes." said Fatty's mother. in surprise. Fatty. he's got hold of the rug now. Bingo. having heard the word biscuits! Soon he and Buster were amiably sharing a pack et." "I brought Bingo a ball." said Mrs Trotteville. Ern?" "No. "Perhaps Buster did. poor man.any chance of sandwiches for Ern and me?" "I'll tell Cook. In the middle of it Fatty's mother looked in at the door. They'll wreck everything!" A cautious knock came at the door and the two dogs left their play and rushed to it. Why." said Ern. "Shut up. looking up at Fatty with pricked ears. th ere goes the lemonade! BUSTER! Have you gone completely mad?" "BINGO! Oh my goodness. I hope he didn't cough all night. "Don't do your racehorse gallop in here. He suddenly went completely mad and began to rush round and round the room at top speed." she said.well. that made Mother come and see what was going on. you'll have to take Buster away. truthfully.SIT!" Buster promptly sat. Bingo . Bingo joined him. his tail wagging. _Ern_ . good! You can sto p begging now. "MIND THE DOGS!" It was little Bets. "Oh." said Ern.you here already? You're very early. "He'll tear it to pieces . . Fatty. "Is there a Meeti ng ." said Bets. Bingo took one look at him and did the same. barking madly. I didn't hear him coughing at all. "Here. "Sit! And you too. as Buster also joined in. Those sandwiches are for _me_." he said. "You and Bets are here very early today. and the two boys hurriedly leapt out of the way. much to everyone's relief. and rugs slithered about. dancing round excitedly. "Dear. he has a bit of a cough. Bets had made him some potted meat sandwiches. we're all going off on an expedition. look at Bingo . and disappeared up the garden path.look at them having a tug-of-war. "W e shall be starting pretty soon. but there was such a noise I suppose you didn't hear. Buster. "COME IN!" yelled Fatty. Fatty frowned at Buster. Mother. Mr Goon? " Ern was rather taken-aback." said Mrs Trotteville. yes. and brought him two currant buns as well. and Bingo's. crunching up the biscuits in delight." he said.he's sitting up and begging! Did you teach him that. Bingo catch!" The ball-game became very boisterous.

the birds sang in the hed ges. "Good thing Uncle didn't think of it . and said exactly the same. "I can feel some portry coming into my head. will you? Tell them to be here in half an hour. In just over half an hour everyone was ready.'Coo'. Bingo's tongue was lolling out of his open mouth. Fortunately he was safely at the police station. "I could nip in and get it. "Now just keep sitting ti ll we say you can get up." said Ern to Bets who was riding be side him." said Fatty. An expedition all together . and off she went. pigeons cooing. Ern!" Sure enough. a nd ran all the way to Mr Goon's house.to Banshee Towers! It really would be fun. Bets giggled." said Fatty. or he'd have locked it up!" he thought. opened it and w as thankful to see his bicycle still there. Ern shot off. sandwiches and drinks." said Ern. He went on cycling. Soon they were all cycling away down the country lanes. Ern. and rode off at top speed. "They look like two naughty little boys . very busy indeed. The spring sun shone down. Do tell it to me! How does it go? " Ern loved making up what he called his "portry". look at them primroses down in the ditch. new green leaves on the hawthorn." said Ern. Now. loudly chanting the "portry" that had suddenly come into his head. is it a song the _doves_ are going to sing . Fatty. Ern. and the sky was as blue as in summer. keeping a w ary eye out for Goon. how could they get Ern's bicycle too ."And now . but for goodness sake don't get caught. "Well. cows grazing." "Oh. Pip came with Bets.primroses in the ditches. Bets." he said.it was in the shed at Mr Goon's! "Uncle will be at the police station by now.and do look. He went to the wood-shed. with bicycles. "But I know what I'm going to call it . very happy to be going o n a picnic to Banshee Hill. go and round up Pip and Larry and Daisy. "Say it to me. see?" said Fatty to Buster. cowslips in the f ields. Smiling all over their faces. and Ern poin ted his finger at Bingo. as I've said we were going.all about the spring?" said Be ts." "Right.not another bark out of you." "All right. "Poetry!" said Bets. "Oh." said Bets. you're so clever at making up poetry. Larry with Dai sy.. his head fu ll of the things he saw around him . Bingo is putting his tong ue out at you. "I rather think we'd better set off on this first expedition of ours this morning." Ern sailed along on his bicycle." "Look. "Couple of fatheads. His bright eyes were fixed lovingly on Ern. it hasn't quite come yet. all on their bicycles. as he sat panting on the rug. happily. . "Coo.. very proud of his dog.

it comes and goes ." "And what?" said Bets. with a winding r oad twisting to the summit. ." "Can't seem to think of the end of it." said Ern.Coo. "Want any help. frowning. "This way to the Wailing Banshee!" said Larry." "You're right. Coo.. "I'll make _you_ run for your life if you say any more. it was Banshee Hall . "Look .." They arrived at the gloomy old place at last. sounding as if he were beginning his "Coo" song a gain.INSIDE BANSHEE TOWERS "How much to go in. thought Fatty. Daisy? " "No. but he had very nice ways. It's wonderful. Ern might be rough and ready sometimes. the sun suddenly went in an d a great black cloud blew up behind it." said Bets. listen to all the birds up in the hedge. Bets .isn't that Bannshee H ill up there?" "Coo . young Bets . and stacked their bicycles in a co nvenient shed. Here. "Queer-looki ng place . please?" asked Fatty. let me wheel your bike for you . P'raps Fatty can think of the ending.. Larry! Come on . And larks in the big open spaces.it's too steep to ride just here!" Fatty had just turned round to see if the girls were managing all right. Bet s. "I suppose that's Banshee Towers right at the very top. Ern. Then they made their way to the entrance. "Make ready to run for your lives!" "Ass!" said Fatty. "I just hope we'll get to the top befo re it pours! I say ." "We'll ask him when we have our lunch.a very high one." Yes." said Ern. "I bet we'll have to walk half way up it.we have to pay to go in so dub up! 7 . I don't like it very much . As they came near to it. grinning at Daisy and Bets. panting. "That's the worst of me when I think of portry.. "Do go on.more like an old fortress than anything!" shouted back Fatty. seeing Bets' alarmed face.that looks a pretty grim place up on the hill.they'll catch us up someti me. Looks as if it wants to grumbl e and growl and wail! Buck up.especially with that black cloud behind it.it stands there as if it's glowering down at us. and was pleased to see Ern wheeling Bets' bicycle for her. "Look at th e two dogs .we've left them far behind! Never mind . I should say.and now it's gone. doesn't it?" "Yes ." said Bets. running up steeply." said Daisy. as they began to cycle slowly up the winding road that led to the top. look at the cows and the cowslips too. I'm all right. And. "Very banshee-ish. and.I believe it's going to pour with ra in. He called to Daisy. I'll push your bike for you.what a hill!" said Ern.

"Don't we go in f or half-price?" "You do not. kids. in curiosity. "It says the artist is one of the mo st famous of sea-artists . They are NOT allowed in here. "Anyway. a shock-haired fellow in a loose black painting ove rall. you haven't any dogs with you." said the man." said the dour-looking man behind the turnstiles. leafing through the catalogue to find a description of the pictu re that Bets liked." said Fatty. looking at them severely over the top of his spectac les." "I don't want to. The children went over. going to one of the great windows that looked dow n over the countryside.a stormy sea." said the man. It's just imaginary. there isn't a banshee. "Surly fellow!" thought Fatty and went back to the others." ." said the man. took a catalogue and put down a sh illing. "Hallo. you know." he said. their feet clattering."One shilling each." "And what about horses?" said Larry. He proceeded to set up a large canvas on t he easel." said Fatty to the others when they were safely ins ide. set down a stool and put an easel in fro nt of a picture on the opposite wall. the spray flyi ng. I want to see what it says about this picture. "I feel as if my face is getting wet with spray when I look at that. "Isn't it magnificent! Do buy a catalogue. so be caref ul if _you_ want to go in. the waves rising high." said the man. "Anyway. "Whew . joining in.that's rather a lot for us children to pay." Fatty went back to the man at the turnstiles." Someone clattered over the stone-floor." said Pip. that picture was painted mo re than a hundred years ago! And yet it looks as fresh and clear as if it had be en finished yesterday. "Come to worship at the shrine of sea-art? Mind you don't bump into the ba nshee. to a wall where a g reat picture was displayed . Fatty. "It's so real you can almos t hear the swish of the waves!" They all went across the stone floor. the man didn't even look up. see?" "He's smarter than he looks. at once. "No. "Any objection to horses or a s heep or two?" "No horses and no sheep.and would you believe it." said Bets. It wails one day a week." said Bets.do you charge for cats? I can see one sitting in your office.what a place!" "And what a VIEW!" said Daisy. "Glorious! You can see everything for miles around!" "Fatty! Come and look at this picture!" called Bets. "Let's buy a catalogue shall we? I say . in awe. so you _may_ hear it. "And no silly asses. "Do you charge for dogs?" asked Fatty. either. "Er ." "We seem to have lost them. "It's called 'Fury of the Storm'.

There was further clattering, and three more artists came in, carrying easels. T hey set themselves down in front of various pictures. Fatty stared in surprise. "Are you _copying_ the pictures?" he asked the man beside him, who was now sitti ng on a stool, mixing colours on a palette. "Yes. We all belong to a School of Art," said the man. "Those who are good enoug h are sent here to copy these pictures for practice - we can sell them all right afterwards, you know." Bets looked at the picture on the man's easel. It didn't seem very good to her. "You haven't painted that wave the right colour," she said, pointing. "Well, alter it for me," said the man, offering her an enormously long paint-bru sh. "Oh, I couldn't," said Bets. "See that fellow over there?" said the man, pointing with his brush. "Well, he's the best of the lot. He doesn't belong to our art-school, though. You go and se e _his_ work - better than the original artist's, I sometimes think!" They went over to look at the picture the other man was copying. He sat in front of a lovely seascape, that shone on the wall opposite the man. It was a picture of a blue sea swirling round the bottom of a high cliff, tumbling over the rock s. On his big canvas he was reproducing a marvellous copy. He scowled at the chi ldren. "_Allez vous en!_" he growled. "That's French for 'Go away'," Bets whispered to the surprised Ern. "We'd better go." But Ern wouldn't move. He stood staring at the picture on the wall, his face ful l of wonder and awe. To think anyone could paint the sea like that - why, it was _real_ - you could almost hear the wind and the roar of the waves - you could f eel the spray and... "Wake up. Ern," said Larry. "You'll shout for a lifeboat if you look at that pic ture any more!" "It's smashing," said Ern. "Ab-so-lutely smashing. Wish _I_ could paint. Gosh, i f I'd painted that picture there, I'd never do anything but sit and look at it a ll day long!" The French artist who was copying the picture suddenly lost his temper as Ern br eathed heavily down the back of his neck. He leapt up, drew his paint-brush acro ss Ern's face, and hissed at him with a long string of what sounded like complet e gibberish to the startled Ern. "Come on, we've upset the fellow," said Fatty, seeing the alarm on Bets' face. " Sorry, sir - but you shouldn't lash out with your brush like that. Ern, come wit h me. ERN!" But Ern was still staring at the picture on the wall, absent-mindedly rubbing at the paint that the artist had streaked across his face. Larry chuckled. Ern loo ked rather like a clown now! Fatty and Larry took him firmly by the arms and led him to the opposite side of the great hall, where other pictures were. Ern and Bets could have stayed there all day, staring at the pictures. There see

med to be some magic about the seascapes that appealed to each of them in a way that the others did not feel. Soon they left Bets and Ern to themselves and wand ered into the other rooms. Here there was old armour on the walls, and old weapo ns in cases. The four examined them with much interest, and Fatty longed to take down a great old pike from the wall, and caper about with it. "I don't see why we shouldn't have our picnic in _here_, do you?" said Larry, lo oking out of one of the great windows. "That enormous black cloud is now pouring down sheets of rain. We can't picnic out-of-doors. We needn't make any mess at all, and we'll take all our litter home with us." "I bet that bad-tempered fellow out at the turnstile won't let us stay," said Fa tty. "What's it to do with _him_?" said Larry. "We've paid, haven't we? Anyway, I'm j olly hungry. Gosh, was that thunder?" It was! The children felt all the more determined to stay in Banshee Towers for shelter, and have their lunch there. Ern was longing to - not because of the lun ch, but because of the pictures. He simply could not take his eyes off them! The six sat down in a corner of one of the great rooms, behind a kind of large s ettee. Now if that turnstile man looked in, he wouldn't see them and turn them o ut! "Wonder where the dogs are?" said Fatty, suddenly. "They ought to have been here long ago." "Gone rabbiting halfway up the hill, I expect," said Ern. "Or else that turnstil e man wouldn't let them in! They'll be all right. They'll either turn up - or go home!" "Some of those artists are leaving," said Larry. "I can hear them packing up and shouting goodbye. Hallo, who are these? Peep through the arms of the settee, Fa tty - visitors, do you think? " Yes - they certainly looked like sightseers. There were three women and a man, a nd they ambled aimlessly round, looking at the pictures and the old armour. "Not worth a shilling, to come in and see all this junk - and I never did like s ea-pictures," said one woman. "All those picture waves that never break, but jus t rear up and keep still! Gives me the willies!" To the children's dismay, the visitors sat down on the settee behind which they were hiding, and began to rustle paper, unpacking their lunch. "All them silly t ales too, about banshees wailing!" said the man. "We've wasted our shillings. It would be _worth_ a shilling to hear a banshee wail - but there, I never did bel ieve in things like that." It was at this moment that Fatty suddenly felt impelled to be a banshee. The ide a came to him in a flash, and he couldn't stop himself. He opened his mouth and let out a marvellous wail, eerie, long-drawn, high-pitched and really terrifying ! "Eeee-ooooo-ohhhhh-eeee-oh-oooOOOOOOO!" The man and the three women leapt up from the settee as if they had rockets unde r them. One of the women screamed, and then they all four fled at top speed to t he door and out into the great hall to the entrance where the turnstiles stood.

Not only the visitors jumped almost out of their skin. Larry, Daisy, Pip, Bets a nd Ern jumped too, and clutched in fright at one another, when the eerie wail ec hoed round them. Larry realized almost at once that it was Fatty, and he gave hi m a very hard punch. "Fathead! What did you do that for? I almost died of fright! Look at poor Bets she's trembling!" Fatty, overcome with laughter and shame at one and the same time, couldn't say a word. Gradually the others joined him in laughter, and the six of them rolled a bout, trying not to laugh too loudly. "Oh, their faces!" groaned Fatty. "Oh, what made me do it? I'm awfully sorry but it just sort of came over me. Oh, how they skedaddled! And _your_ faces too! Oh , I _must_ laugh again, and I've such a stitch in my side!" "I bet any artists left skedaddled too!" said Pip, wiping his eyes. "You're a ho rror, Fatty. The things you think of! Honestly, if it had been a real banshee wa iling, it couldn't have done it better. I do think..." But what he thought the others never knew, because a most extraordinary noise gr adually began to echo all around - high-pitched, wailing, unhappy! It went on an d on, and Bets and Daisy clutched at the boys in real terror. "Fatty - that's not you this time, is it, Fatty?" said Daisy, in a shaking voice . "Oh, what is it? I don't like it, I don't, I don't. Tell it to stop." But the wailing went on and on, mournful and miserable, and soon the children hu ddled together in fear, amazed and frightened. At last it stopped, and they all heaved a sigh of relief. "Let's get out of here ," said Larry. "It's all right, Bets. It was probably just a silly echo wailing round the hill. Cheer up! Fatty, bring the lunch - we'll have it somewhere else. DO come on!"

8 - A STRANGE DISCOVERY! Fatty collected the lunch and they all crept e. They walked with rather shaky legs across e artists had sat, copying the pictures. Now ho had been copying the picture that Ern had out from the room only one liked so behind the large old sette to the great hall where th was left - the Frenchman w much.

He was rolling up a canvas very carefully, whistling below his breath. He jumped when he saw the children coming in, and looked annoyed. "So you have no fear of the banshee?" he said. "You are brave, brave, brave! See , all the others have gone. _Ils avaient peur_ - they were so, so afraid. But I - I am not afraid of the banshees - nor of - how do you call it - goosts?" "Ghosts," said Fatty. "Do you _really_ mean to say you weren't scared?" "No - but today there was something - something - how do you say it - queer? Fir st there was _one_ banshee wailing - and then, there was a _second_. I suppose, _mes enfants_, you know nothing of the first banshee?" Fatty felt himself going red, but he wasn't going to admit anything to this laug hing man. He didn't like him very much.

So Ern..and then back again to paint. and soon they were all sitting down.you s tay here to wail. it's about doves or pigeons then. like. "Poem?" said Fatty. where's this poem ?" "I couldn't finish it. Smiling all over their faces. anxiously." said Ern. surpris ed to find that they were so hungry after their fright. like. and dug Fatty in the chest with his roll of canvas.I mean poem. "I can't think of the end. We'll feel better then !" So they went over to where a great wooden seat stood. and meant it. now. Ern. Coo. what a naughty boy!" And taking no notice of Fatty's angry face. blushing again. F atty unpacked the lunch. not exactly that sort of coo." said Fatty. surprised. Come on . eating it. "Coo. it's only a silly sort of pome . "It's reely the sort o f 'coo' you say when you're surprised. not at all enjoying being laughed at by the artist. "Just to the village to my car . Fatty. and.. suddenly." Ern stopped and looked pleadingly at Fatty. It all comes in a rush. look at them primroses down in the ditch. he strolled across the hall and vaul ted over the turnstiles as easily as an acrobat. Don't look so scared.a wailing can't hurt us." "Ah. it's still pouring with rain. we should be pretty safe in this hall. wail.well. after seeing all those sea-pictures. listen to all the birds up in the hedge. "Come along. "I've called it 'Coo'. "I suppose he thinks he's very clever. is it?" said Fatty." "Well. we'll have to have it here. looking at it. Fatty. I suppose.." said Fatty. Ern? " "Er . And." "You're a wonder. and feeling certain that Ern had managed to find time to write down his "pome"." growled Fatty. paint." said Larry. seeing a piece of paper sticki ng out of Ern's pocket. and then fades out and I can't think of a good en ding. We can't picni c on the hills." . "Ern."Are you going?" asked Fatty. read it Ern. Fatty. I just can't. banshee or no banshee. at top speed." "Well. wail? Ah. "Gone to his lunch. look at the cows and the cowslips too.let's eat something. "Have you been going in for poetry again. I mu st say I feel like writing a pome about the sea too. "And you . "Cooing." "The turnstile fellow has gone. looking across to where the man had sat when he took their money. seeing the man tying the canvas he had been rollin g up. Coo." said Ern." said Bets. "Listen.. read out his "pome". And larks in the big open spaces. I've got it written down here. beside an old oak table." sad Ern. blus hing. Bets . Well. "That's the worst of me. tell Fatty your poem. paint!" sa id the man.

" "Dear old Ern. and mine are not. 'Look at the runner bean s. "There's a litter bas ket over there. We shan't see them till we get home. and gave a loud exclamation. She hurried back. and you just go rattlin g on and on .hone st.coo. Fatty. "How do you do it. your lines are poetry. "Where are they? I can 't see them anywhere!" "Wuff ." said Ern. you're a genius." By this time the others were laughing so much that Fatty had to stop for breath and laugh too. I expect they turned tail and went home when they got too far behind. ridiculous. And. I on ly hope they are behaving themselves.. And the lions so dandy and yellow." said Pip.there's only one _possible_ ending. . BUSTER! BINGO! Where on earth are you? " A scrabbling noise came from the big fireplace and the children went over to it at once. remembering another of Fatty's lines. how fast they go. a nd the barking seemed to come from under there. feeling rather a fraud. you are. Fatty lifted up the heavy old th ing.you meant the yellow dandelions there didn't you . "OHO! What have we here? Look ." said Fatty. look at the cows and the cowslips too. "Coo."Oh _yes_." Bets ran to the turnstile and looked all about. "They probably lost our trail. clapping hi m on the back. and carried on at once. "Yours are just a bit too 'cooey' that's all. 'Coo' isn't a good word for poetry." "Let's change the subject. An old iron cauldron stood squarely in the middle of the wide hearth." said Fatty.a neat. And hark where the bulrushes bellow! Coo. "But their barks sound a bi t muffled. "Lio ns so dandy and yellow . Fatty. how fast they go!' That's right down funny. and could never think why everyone thought it wonderful." A sudden. And the cups full of butter for me and for you. Fatty?" he as ked. I'd never have thought of that line. There was no one to be seen.. solemnly. round trap-door! The dogs seem to be und er it somewhere.woof!" "They're both about somewhere!" said Fatty. surely?" "Oh. unless it's said by a dove!" "You're a wonder. "What do you suppose has happened to Buster and Bin go? They ought to be here by now. very familiar noise made them all jump! "Woof! WOOF!" "Golly . puzzled. "Everybody finished?" asked Larry. He could reel of f verse without stopping. Bets. look at the runner beans. "Takes me ages to think of even one line._that_ sounds like them!" said Ern in amazement." "I say. Ern ." said Fatty. suddenly. screwing up his papers." said Fatty. amusing and clever. go and see if there's anyone about whose permission we ca n ask to pull up the trap-door. Ern stared at him in admiration.

urgent voice.and gone up an underground tunnel to Banshee T owers. "Help me. "Can we go down it?" "Here she comes!" said Fatty." said Fatty." demanded Ern. quickly! " Ern and Fatty lifted the trap-door into place and then put the heavy cauldron ov er it. pushing Buster down. her eyes shining." "Oooh . whose dog seemed intent on li cking every single inch of his face.go and see if we're still the only ones here. "Look . Immediately the two dogs hurled themselves out.so they must have found a way into the hill . I shall have to borrow a t owel from somewhere soon. will you kindl y tell me how you got here?" "Woof!" said Buster.there are steps cut down from the hearth . not just two ! "How _did_ they get there?" said Larry. He's nearly here. Bingo. A shilling is a shilling. "Stop it." said Fatty. watching Fatty and Ern heaving up the tr ap-door. barking.in the hearth and on the carpet too . I expect the turnstile man is away having his di nner . Keep your tongue in your mouth for a bit. He gave an angry shout when he saw them. "Quick . Where on earth do they go to?" "We might have time to explore a bit. goi ng down and down.quick!" So. the turnsti le man is coming up the hill."No. Ern. "Simply must.pretend we've dropped a shilling. "Bets . there he goes again!" Larry was looking down the hole where the trap-door had been. munching an apple. steady on. Bets?" ." "Right. Put the trap-door back. "Buster. they were all apparently hunting feve rishly for a lost shilling! "_Must_ find it!" Fatty was saying. her face rather frightened. goodness . licking. when the puzzled turnstile man ran up." There was now such a loud and excited barking coming from beneath the trap-door that it seemed almost as if there might be half a dozen dogs below.almost like ladder steps. Bingo. "Look for it. I can't see a soul. all of you . in a low. They were still kneeling down by the fireplace when the turnstile man cam e in." said Fatty. Wher e on earth did it go? Is that it over there." Bets ran off and then came back. and fell upon Er n and Fatty in rhapsodies of joy. He gave a sudden exclamation. panting hard as he and Ern heaved the trap-door ou t of its place. though they've left their easels h ere.and the artists haven't come back yet. Then we'll have to yank up the trap-door _without_ permission!" said Fat ty. feeling thrilled to see the s teps leading down into the darkness. dancing about happily. Oh. "Fatty. Fatty. "And how did _you_ get here. "Steady on. "They can't possibly have got down through the trap-door .a Secret Passage!" said Bets. He took out a smal l torch from his pocket and switched it on. pawing as if they had gone m ad.

"We've never had one with banshees in before.I don't mean _my_ wailing.HOME AGAIN . You've been here long enough. "Now y ou go off.that was a rather surprising expedition!" said Fatty.it's about time that the Fiv e Find-Outers had a good juicy mystery to solve. Home." "A bit of a mystery. by some body." said Larry. "Go on. "Thanks." he said. and held out his hand. "Well ." said Larry.you clear out. "I've got it." said Pip. isn't it?" "Oh _yes_!" said Pip. and I want a bit of peace!" And. in delight. Buster! Bingo! HOME!" 9 . everyone." said Fatty. He gave a sudden shout. as quickly as I can!" "And then there was that queer trap-door in the hearth. you did." he said. But the man laughed in his face." "Oh. And how did those dogs get in? You ought to pay for them. Here it is!" And he held up a shilling in triumph. "I feel we have quite a lot to think about. The wail ing of the banshee . "Sure that's all you 're up to? Let _me_ have a look!" And down he dropped on hands and knees too. "Thursday's my aftern oon off." said Bets.a nd I must say I would too. "And the pu zzle of how on earth the dogs arrived underneath it. and made as if h e were going to kick Buster. that wasn't a patch o n the old banshee's . Fatty.I dropped it there _myself_. "He just looked bored and bad-tempered ." "Oh." . so you've dropped some money. have you?" said the man. "Finding's keeping. the dogs gambolling round. but it all seems pretty queer to me. "I don't know what _you_ t hink.my word. aren't they _your_ dogs?" said Ern. I can't bear them!" said the man. Buster growled and showed his teeth and the man bac ked hurriedly away. "What a bit of luck a shilling had been dropped in that hearth sometime. and went to fetch their bicycl es. "I knew if that fellow found it. "My dogs! I should think not." "And _I_ didn't like the look of that turnstile man at all." said Ern. very thankfully. the children did clear out." announced Daisy. _she_ could wail all right!" "Don't remind me of it.AND A GOOD LONG TALK "Well . he wouldn't worry about the trap-door any more! Com e on now. not as bad as _that_. when they were wel l away from Banshee Towers. with a shudder. if I had a turnstile job on the top of a cold hill in a place where banshees wailed!" "I'd like to get home and talk about it. in such a surprised voice that Bets had to put her hand over her mouth to stop a laugh escaping. "I thought he looked a villain. now . "I just want to put Banshee Towers behind me and ride away home down this hill. as I meant him to. and picked something up. as they all mounted. an d slipped the coin into his trouser pocket."Oh. home. of course. "Dear Ern . all of you." grinned Fatty. you mean?" said Fatty.

no." said Fatty." said Fatty.all that awful wailing must be a terrible strain on the throat. in case your brakes are we ak. Inspector Jenks . too tired to play. and Bingo fell on top of him. "I mean ." "Bets. you know. where that cauldron stands. pant ing. "I'm glad they're such friend s." suggested Daisy. "I want Bingo to have good manners. and not in the mood for Fatty's q uips.real copy-cat Bingo is!" "No." went on Fatty. You know .funny joke. ass. I bet _your_ throat ." "All right . it was as bad and weird and horrible as any banshee. "They don't _really_ exist.I think Something's Going On Up There." "It's nice for Bingo to have a friend like Buster . "Any orange squash.. especially the two dogs. It was pretty awful. well-brought-up.that banshee wail . smiling. Look out. There always seem ed to be a mystery of some sort when Fatty was around! Everyone was glad to be in Fatty's cosy workroom. what's puzzling about the banshee wail?" asked Bets.and how they all longed to be down in Fatty's workroom and talk about it .you know.after them. Bets.wail and howl and cry.but you heard what that artist in the black overall said. Not a copy-cat." said Bets. we really _can't_ tell him silly stories of banshees. "You _said_ that's w hat banshees did . who was tired. "One great basketful of dogs.why only _one_ day ?" "Perhaps banshees only _do_ wail one day a week. R eal or unreal. that banshee is MOST mysterious." "Up where?" asked Ern. I could do without banshees. Go as slowly as you can all the way.you know.. "Banshee Hill..he might. who w ere quite tired out with their long run. "What about telling the Chief Inspector ."Well." said Pip. He'll learn from old Buster . gravely. "I'm thirsty.and the hole under the hearth." "Well." "Yes ." said Pip. s urely ." said Larry.well. "I didn't like it myself. In half a second they were sound asleep. What a day they had had . the the two dogs galloping manful ly . now.a copy-_dog_!" "Ha ha . "I do n't care what its name is.or "dogfully" as Bets said ." said Fatty. so there!" "You're right." Away down the hill they sailed in a long line. we're coming to a very steep bit." said Ern." said Fatty. "And glasses too." said Bets. Fatty?" "Plenty in my cupboard. Buster flopped down in his basket.and make plan s to solve yet another Mystery! Bets shivered with excitement. They. I'm longing to discuss the strange h appenings of this morning. "Two things puzzle me . what _was_ it that we heard this afternoon?" said Bets. l ike. Buck up and get what you want. really.. "He said that the banshee only wailed one day a week! Well . "There you make a mistake. Ern. And there's some chocolat e somewhere.

I tell you. So long!" They shot out of the shed door and the others heard them racing up the garden. when there's a Meeting again. solemnly.there aren't such things." "I should think Bets is tired out with the long bicycle ride." he said. "Gosh I'd quite forgotten our Granny was coming to tea. enquiring mind. you must have the most powerful nose anybody ever had. I Smell a Mystery!" "Well. Daisy and I." he said. you can come with me ." "Do come back to the point.just to see those sea-pictures again.that's a fake banshee . "You know .and I'd jolly well like to find out who's working it and how . Larry. "It can wail _every_ day of the week. getting up in a hurry. though. "could I come with you if you go to Banshee Hill tomorrow . Ern.but I hated the wailing. I'm _not_. for _some_ reason or other.and while you stan d and gloat over the pictures.not to mess about in a mystery. Bets. Bets." "Don't worry. and yanked Bets to her feet. You needn't go. But _I'm_ going. "I loved the pictures . Fatty." "Look ." "Pip. All right. Buck up." "It only wails _once_ a week. "I could wail like that for half an hour or more a nd not feel husky. but why on a certain _day_?" persisted Fatty. P ip stood up then." said Ern. Ern . We're going out for the day tomorrow." Ern turned down the wick carefully. Especially the one with the high cliffs and the blue sea swirling round it. for goodness sake. I suppose your nose is too high and might y to smell ordinary things like that. "I'm going tom orrow. you should have a more alert. "All I can smell is that oil-stove smoking. "I hope that banshee doesn't come wailing round me. Fatty. Ern. givin ." said Bets. though .and why. "You look half asleep." said Fatty. It's just as well I s hould have someone with me who is obviously there to see the pictures!" "Oooh. thanks." said Fatty." "I don't want to go up that hill again. that was a beaut y.you sound a bit husky t o me. said Fatty.but why? " "For fun." said Fatty." said Larry." "Well." said Larry." said Fatty.we'd better go. for all I care." said Fatty. Turn down the wick. Telephone us.felt sore after you'd wailed at the top of your voice . "What on earth does it matter?" said Pip.you're nearest. Daisy." said Fatty. "WHY does the banshee only wail once a week? There can't be a real banshee there ." "For goodness sake don't do anything of the sort. and every doctor in the place. "Come along. so we won't be seeing you. "I'll eat my cap if it wails tom orrow! I'm pretty certain it has its pet day. getting tired of the subject. "You'd have the f ire-brigade here and the police. Fatty." said Bets.you'll be company . It must be somebody faking one .the one the French artist was copying." said Larry." "Oh . "Yes. "Fatty. I can do a little snooping. "Yes.

or in the dog's basket. as Fatty shut the door. A roar came from the other sid e. I kno w I did!" "Well. see? I'll hand Bingo to you.ah . Fatty had quickly turned the key in the lock. It didn't occur to him that Ern had had time to slip out o f the window. and squeezed into the middle of them. Bets . you open this door." said Ern. of _course_ you're not a nuisance. He glared at Fatty. Shut up. going to the door. Mr Goon. Buster gave a blood-curdling growl. "Goodbye. "He may be under that stool . He w on't sit down properly for a week. I know you've got Ern in there. Mr Goon! You must be seeing things!" shouted Fatty. "Wait a minute ." He crept off to where a thick clump of bushes grew. kicking out. Fatty quietly shut the window after him and ran back to the door. Ern was now getting out of th e window at the side of the shed. "You wait!" he shouted. stop that row.g Bets a hug. You open this door or I'll go to your father. and leapt into his arms.I seem to know those heavy footsteps. Hide somewhere and come back when Goon is gone..and when your uncle comes k nocking on it. "That toad of a boy . and they had recognized his voice at once.no." But Goon didn't finish what he had to say because Buster flung himself on him wi th enormous delight.there we are!" He turned the key smartly. muttering to himself. on which Goon was still angrily hammering. "He'd look in that cup board at once! Listen now. "GAH!" said Mr Goon. Neither of them liked M r Goon.or behind the books in the bookcase . now. "Frederick Trotteville. Mr Goon. "The key seems t o have stuck . Fatty. he knew he had. and flung open the door. He _had_ seen Ern t here." Goon was quite at a loss as he stood staring round the room. "Sh!" said Ern." said Fatty.t oo clever by half. "I'll get Ern all right . I'll get him!" And away he went. politely. so the policeman could not open it. Ern. you slip quietly out of the window. shouting at the top of his voice "Ern! ERN! You come alon ga me. F atty." Bang-bang-bang! That was Goon at the shed door. trying to nip his ankles through the thick trousers. You never went home! You disobeyed me! You just wait and see what.it's locked. when the others had g one. Ern. I'll lock the door . "That dog again! Where's Ern? I saw him. "Be patient.ho yes . Buster. he is. and Goon shot out of the door at top speed. Where _is_ Ern? Just wait till I get hold of him.it's all right now . "Staying here in your shed. He patted the sill and Bingo came running to h im. I sa w him through the window. making that row!" Buster and Bingo were certainly making a terrific noise.. and glared at Buster. and turned to go." "_Ern?_ Ern in _here_. looking round. in alarm. that he won't!" ." "No ." "It's Uncle!" said Ern. "Hallo ." said Fatty.and don't dream of banshees tonight!" "I hope I'm not being a nuisance to you.who's th is coming ." said Fatty. "He must have heard that I've not gone home." said Fatty. "No barking. Buste r. hide me!" "There's nowhere to hide you. have a good look round. The angry policeman stormed into the shed at once.

you can do a sudden bit of tap dancing . Ern gave an e normous sigh and went back to his book.I do want to snoop around a bit." he said..or pr etend to faint. you might be able to take up their attention somehow. Fatty. Nobod y must know we're here. a good book. so that no one will b e watching _me_.and she was right!" . "You're a pal! I say you're sure you don't mind if I go up to Banshee Towers with you tomorrow?" "Be nice to have your company." he said. This one's smashing. wonder ing when his friend Buster would come. Good dog. "Coo. in delight. and away from me!" And Fatty smoothed back his hair three times." he thought. "I'll signal to you like this. I've told you that before. Jolly go od. "Of course . you may be useful.clever dog! You u nderstand everything I say. You see . Ern crept out of the middle of the bush.BANSHEE TOWERS AGAIN When the policeman had gone. and Buster sat as close to Fatty as he could. a nd forget all about me and what I'm doing.and I shall see those grand pictures. She said this morning that I seem to want enough for _two_ people . Now then . Ern. "Bingo . Bingo la y happily on Ern's feet. Ern.Fatty and I are g oing up to that Banshee place again . don't you? Now." said Ern. so that I can wipe my face. please take the towel back.10 ." "But how do I take up anyone's attention?" said Ern. Next morning Ern woke up feeling excited.that's enough licking. Bingo?" said Ern." "All right. and looked up in great content. if I want you to tur n people's attention to you. Go and fet ch me that towel." said Fatty. They'll just stay still in astonishment. then .or sing a little song .I'll buy it on the way. Then he rolled over to be tickled. in a mournful voice. you know that. "See? Don't look so alarmed. and co pied him in every way he could. and went b ack to Fatty's shed. or box your ears. Ern came to the end of a chapter. He crawled over Ern's knees and gave him a smacking lick o n the nose. "Do you know something. "I'll be back at ten and we'll set off. Bingo!" Fatty brought Ern some breakfast. "I'm no good at pl ay-acting. He had a friend. and then disappeared to do a few jobs for his mother. Fatty.." "Oh. Fatty . and if there are people ther e. grinning. because Cook is getting a bit suspicious of the en ormous appetite I seem suddenly to have developed. He sat up. and somewhere quiet to read. They ju st don't know what they're missing. Nobod y will lock you up. yawning." Bingo had snuggled down on Ern's feet all night long. a dog. alarmed. solemnly. "Thanks." He was soon lost in the sea-story he had found in Fatty's big bookcase.you must have over a thous and. the books you've got. and meant it! "Also. inst ead of his right one. and settled down to read one of Fatty's books. Bingo thought the world of Buster. even to rubbing his nose with his left paw. thinking how lucky he was to have a clev er friend like Fatty. He was perfectly happy.do you hear that? Sh. Fatty. don't bark too loudly." said Fatty. "Right now I am feeling very very sorry for all those boys and girls who haven't a dog of their own. "We'll take lunch with us . He sat up on the camp-bed in the shed trying to remember the reason for his excitement.

Buster ._and_ the tune as well. "Fatty . "Ern! You heard me. Buster and Bingo running at their heels. _I'm_ enjoying it too. and sauntered to the turnstile. When they arrived there. as they pedalled past Mr Goon . "It goes nicely with our pedalling.you've got the words wrong . They seem to like the ride." That made Ern laugh. Fatty burst into song. modestly." . and oranges. "Oh . u p which they had to toil slowly. as he passed h im." As soon as they were out of the town. and began to bark. Through village and town. standing at the cross-roads. Fatty turned round and addres sed him. and pedalled faster than ever. "Coo. Ern disobeyed the Law. but he was so much afraid of Mr Goon that he didn't dare to venture even the smallest bark. Ern. He didn't want to be plucked away from his beloved Ern by the loud-voiced Mr Goon! "Good idea to take the dogs with us this way. now down.and Buster suddenly s tuck his head out of a wooden box that Fatty had tied to his rear mudguard! Bing o was in a similar box." said Fatty.They set off just after ten. as they rode up the village street. STOP!" But alas. Ern and I! And a song we sing With a ting-a-ling-ling.you again. "Plus dogs! Didn't I say that _no_ dog s were allowed? I'd just like to know how those dogs got into Banshee Towers yes terday. there was Mr Goon. Here we go. grumpily. pedalling in strict time to the rhythm of the lines! Buster didn't like the singing. Ern gave a sudden cry of alarm. Fatty? Gosh. new curra nt buns. doesn't it?" And the two of them sang the Bicycling Song. on the back of Ern's bicycle. He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Ern cycling along with Fatty! Stop!" he bawled. as Ern called it. Now up. As fast as the wind we fly. at the tops of their voices. Banshee Towers glowered at the top as if not we lcoming them at all. the boys put their bicycles into t he racks provided in the shed. directing the busy traffic with a frown. Fatty . "No.there's my uncle!" Sure enough. He had akeady put some lemonade and a cup into his bicycle basket. and Fatty stopped to buy some sandwiches. "Up the street On pedalling feet. "I reckon it's really t oo far for them to run all the way there and back." said Ern.just like that?" "It suddenly came into my head." said the man. As we both go bicycling by! Our wheels go round With a swishity sound. They pedalled on happily and soon came to the steep hill.did you just make t hat up this very minute . leaving poor Mr Goon very angry indeed! "Woof!" said a loud voice. Here we go. Ern and I!" Ern almost fell off his bicycle in admiration. d on't they.

What made the banshee begin t o wail again . why? " "The legend says that it was on a Thursday that calamity came to the Lord of Ban shee Towers. "You see. see . Fatty. you fat nuisance!" "Now. I saw that the catalogue was printed six years ago. and this place was thrown open to the public? " "Are you trying to say that the banshee isn't real . "I don't know how you can hold your own like that." said the turnstile man."I've no idea. raising a finger in reproof." said Fatty. paying out two shillings. "Straight I don't. didn't he?" "Ah. Look . "And so the banshee wails that same day. "I'll ce rtainly have a chat with the man who owns the place _and_ the banshee too. angrily. Mustn't lose tempers! Don't wan t to put you into a corner!" And with that Fatty marched off to put the dogs into the shed." "Just _one_ more question.so Thursday is always the banshee's great day?" said Fatty._he'll_ soon put you right. And I hope he wipes the floor with you. tell me one thing . "But they can't go indoor s. See? " "Right.mustn't be rude. mon ami_!" said the Frenchman. still very cross. and accompanied by a rather scared but most admiring Ern . The next they were. He owns this place. What's his name?" "He's an Austrian. who was hurrying down the gre at hall. now that's information worth having. "Tell me . "Go on in and don't come bothering me. now!" said Fatty. No one was more surprised than _we_ were. "Now. Thank s a lot. Wonder how he's got on wit h the picture he was copying.when did the banshee first be gin to wail in modern times? It says in the catalogue that she used to wail a hu ndred years ago . now . "I say. just as if he were a nurse addressing a child.did she conveniently find her voice six years ago.does the old banshee wail on one special day each week ." said the man." said Fatty." he said." said Fatty. looking pleased._" said Fatty politely to the Frenchman. _bonjour. when the catal ogue was printed. Won't you show us the copy you made of that grand picture? Is that i t you are carrying?" .and if so." said Fatty. "They suddenly appeared. "You come back so soon?" "Well. so anything to do with the sea attracts him.there's the Frenchman we saw yesterday. he wants to go into the Navy. even if it's onl y pictures. losing his temper. "Finished your picture?" "Ah. my friend here loves the sea-pictures. One minute they were not th ere. "Name of Engler." "They can stay in that shed over there.or so the legend went ." "_Bonjour.and _he_ ought to know about the banshee. "Very interest ing. "Well." said the man. leaving a most ir ritated man behind him.but hadn't been known to wail since.that she's a fraud?" said t he man. you ask the tall." "Oh ." said the man. carrying a rolled-up canvas. dark man you'll see in the Armour Room today ." said Fatty. Have you any idea where your banshee lives?" "Don't ask daft questions.

my boy. and then to the other side. "I'll have to find Fatty. Funny little man! He looke d round for the owner of the place. talking to that man. Then he went to one s ide and stood there." he said at last. or I would show it to you. No . gazing at the great high cli ff. in a very deep voice. but I must hurry. Engler.ERN'S QUEER DISCOVERY Fatty had studied the Austrian owner of Banshee Towers. "It's a puzzle. with great eyebrows and a big nose." said Fatty. He stared at the sea-gulls tossed by the tempestuous wind. He scratched his head. Fatty looked after him thoughtfully. and spoke in his politest voice. sir. screwing up his eyes as if he w ere trying to see something." said Ern. alas.er . That must be the man over there. He shook his head and frowned." "I suppose they come because they hope to hear the Wailing Banshee. _Au revoir!_ We shall meet again if you come often to this place. He came to it eventually. saving his favourite picture to the last. and imagined himself in a boat on that angry sea. "Yes. Fatty! FATTY! He re.a very fine performance. He w as big and burly. "Someone awaits me outside.but I believe you own this magnificent old place?" "What .what was it now . for inte rrupting . swept by fo aming waves. "It b eats me why he bought this out-of-the-way place.if only _he_ could paint a pictu re like that! It would be almost better than going into the Navy. and wandered off happily round the big room. and had decided that he didn't look to be the type that usually bought old places just because they were beautiful! "He's a sharp business man. looking at this picture and that. For eign-looking. except for a month or two in the summer. sir?" . I want to ask him a few questions about bans hees.oh y es. He was studying a catalogue of some sort. the Austrian called . So few visitors come to see it. frowning over it. Dark. yes." The Austrian was sitting on the big settee behind which the children had hidden the day before. Then suddenly a puzzled look came over his face. this is. Fatty went up to him. you startled me!" said the man. the grim rocks. I've got something to ask you!" 11 ." said the Frenchman.on second thoughts he'd _rather_ go to sea. He stood further back. He can't make much money out of visitors. giv ing a polite little bow. I wonder if he owns the pict ures as well. Best wailing I ever heard! How is it done. Ern stood for some time opposite the picture. and stood in front of it." "Right. Better be careful of him! "You go and have a look at your magnificent sea-picture. the swirling waves. I own it." said Fatty. sir. But. I am always here!" He scurried off. He looked a hard sort of man. Very fine. Ha . Ern. there he is. it was a bad bar gain. the wind howling in his ears. He stood closer to the picture and peered at the sea from this si de and that. if I ever saw one!" thought Fatty.dear me. in the Armour Room. with a decidedly foreign accent. Can't make it out! Where _is_ Fatty? Oh. Tall. "Excuse me."Yes. "We heard it yesterday . "I'll go and talk to the Austrian owner.

and I hoped somebody would warn you that trouble and unhappiness might be coming to you. to see if there is any machinery. I'd better go and see what he wants.that's my friend. aren't they?" said Fatty. Fatty. What wonderful sea-pictures there are here! What collection are t hey from. "You know. poor unhappy banshees?" said t he man. "Who knows how or why they wail? " "Well." He went over to Ern.and one or two visitors like yourself notice them. with the high cliffs and the swirling sea below?" .poor poor thing. obviously struck b y Fatty's ready conversation. "You think I am a fraud? You think my ban shee does not exist? I own a very fine banshee .the one I showed you y esterday. "So I'll tell you. "Ern! What is it? Now don't blurt it out at the top of your voice. sir? I don't recognize any of them. who knows anything about the poor. for goodness sake." said the Austrian. sir .thousands of pounds!" said Mr Engler. "Thank you for giving me so much information.banshees are supposed only to wail because they want to warn t he owner of the place that something terrible is going to happen to him.but you are certain it isn't?" "My boy. sir. I suppose?" said Fatty." said the man angrily. "It is not easy to take great pi ctures like these from their frames and carry them off unnoticed! Ha . Of course. "Fatty! Fatty." "They are worth a lot of money." said Fatty." said Fatty. yes . and to look i nto every hole and corner and cranny there. "Oh yes. thank you. Very kind of you. Come into the hall and tell me quietly. "I mean . Just a few artists to copy them ." said Mr Engler. sir. I give you leave to go into every room in Banshee Towers. "I wonder you dare to risk the chance of some thief coming here to steal them. sir. I expect they wail because their machinery is started up. you seem to be an intelligent boy. "Let's change the subject. Mr Engler jump ed when Ern's voice came into the room. my boy ." "Well. solemnly. They are from a famous collecti on of pictures in Count Ludwig's castle in Austria."Done? My boy.would _yo u_ be able to do it?" It was at this very moment that Ern decided to go and find Fatty. sir . in these days.use your sense. aren 't they?" "Certainly NOT. "Now. sounding urgent." s aid Mr Engler. surprised to see Ern looking so agitated.but alas. sir. "Oh. and he has lent me the pictures to attract visitors to Banshee Towers. I he ard her wailing yesterday." "Well. you know that sea-picture I liked so much . here! I've got something to ask you!" "Excuse me." said F atty. how she wails! It rends the heart!" "Let me see now . A truly wonde rful collection . that wouldn't be so if it wasn't a _real_ banshee . putting on his most innocent expression. unexpectedly. that's very kind of you. He is a cousin of mine. but I'll take your word for it tha t you've no machinery hidden in any of the rooms. few people look at the pictures.modern banshees are all pretence." said Fatty.but simply some kind of machinery.

don't mention this to anyone ." said Fatty. "Maybe he gets seasick. finally disappearing into a small room beyond. "Something's gone out of it." "Perhaps he doesn't like boats. I remember it quite well. very queer. But Fatty. "Look . . that the boat was there yesterday?" "Well. surprised. "I can't at the moment think why anyone should remove . See? If the artist hadn't put a boat there. extremely puzzled. there's something very queer about it today. I promise you I'm telling the truth.." said Ern." said Fatty. you mean.and that wave coming up behind? Well. " Come and look.and their clouds . what _was_ it?" asked Fatty." "Ern." "So the picture would have lost some of its grandeur.there's the Frenchman who was copying the picture yesterday. It's still over there. Nor could Fatty. of course.and the sea swirling up to it . Fatty. waving an ar m towards it. yo u can't see any marks where he might have washed the boat off the picture. well. this is. Maybe _all_ the boats have been removed!" But no . "Now I'll go and look at some of the others." "What do you mean . so . but I'd like to think about it before we tell anyone. "He's copying that small one over there now. Ern. "Yes . had gone over to him. the artist put in that boat just so's people looking at his picture w ould realize how enormous the cliffs were." said Ern. "Something I noticed particularly yester day. I wouldn't have know n how steep and high the cliffs were. Fatty." said Ern. "Ern. as they came up to the pictu re.or wash out . Fatty."Yes. I noticed it particularly. listen . We'll ask h er. Then the two men arose and went into the Armour Room.and their waves. "You really _are_ quite sure. swirling r ound the rocks." said Ern s uddenly. and I thought to mes elf. "She liked the painting too. as you say." said Ern.a boat fr om a sea-picture.. and was in close conversation. "I promise you! Now look . _yesterday there was a little red boat_ painted on that wa ve. the Austrian. straight it isn't!" "Well. still had their boats .see that rock there . as they walked round t he show of sea-pictures." said Ern.not to anyone at all." said Ern. _Why_ did someone paint out that boat? It must have been the Frenchman who did i t. agitated. or pa inted it out with greens or blues! That's what beats me!" "It certainly is very strange. and how grand the sea was. most peculiar." said Fatty. In fact.those pictures that had boats in them.so.well.queer?" asked Fatty. Mr Engler. "No banshee wailing today. Bets was with me when we looked carefully at the picture. It's not there today. Let's go and ask him if _h e_ removed that little boat from the big picture. See?" "Right. with a grin." said Ern. exasperated. with two tiny sailors in it." But before they could get to him. "The picture looks _exactly_ th e same to me!" "Fatty. I expect she'd remember the boat all right. wit h much interest." said Fatty. Ern could see nothing miss ing in them.

and peered down. "I think I'll call a Meeting tomorrow." thought Fatty. but it means _some_thing! I've got to work all this out. Fatty pulled up the trap-door lid." he said. Neither of them had torches. The turnstile man was not there and to F atty's surprise he suddenly saw him walking out of the hall-entrance with Mr Eng ler and the artist! "So they are all three buddies. I wish I did!" He and Ern went into the Armour Room."Not the right day!" said Fatty.AND A GOOD IDEA! . He turned to Ern. To what? To the banshee . were whini ng and pawing at the gate. Not a footstep was to be heard anywhere. Fatty went quietly to the great fireplace.the one the dogs must have fo und and taken to get up to Banshee Towers. see. and scrabble about under the trap-doo r? It must be a very well-hidden one. and Ern nodded. and he couldn't leave Ern behind. somewhere on the deserted hillside! Fatty wished he dared to go down the steps and see what he could find. whatever it is . Good thing we wen t up. and Ern stationed himself in the middle. I have a feeling I'd like to go and have a look down that trap-door hole a gain. and as far a s I can see he's having a good heart-to-heart talk with Mr Engler . He heard a sudden hiss from Ern. Whew!" 12 . All the artists are gone except that Frenchman. He managed to move the cauldron to o ne side. I'm sure that's a clue to the mystery." Fatty said to Ern. s o that he could watch all doors. and voices. "Something's going on up there that I can't make head or tail of. somehow. and saw the trap-door underneath as before. They hopped into their boxes on the rear mudguards and Fatty and Ern were soon sailing dangerously fast down the steep Banshee Hill. "You keep watch for me. "Everythi ng safe?" he said. and hear anyone approaching from any direction. It's certai nly adding up to a mystery of some sort . we might see daylight. and immediately fell into such deep thought tha t he didn't hear a word of what Ern was saying to him.but it's just about the most puzzling clue we' ve ever had! We don't even know what the mystery _is_. There was just time to sh ut the trap-door and replace the great iron cauldron. Yes . so that the trap-door lid could not be seen! Just in time! Footsteps sounded in the little room beyond. _"Not the right day?"_ Wh y was one special day of the week the "right" day? Fatty didn't believe in the B anshee. or you wouldn't have spotted the missing boat. and give a whistle if you see anyone coming. "Ern. or if the clue really bel ongs to it. Ern. They barked frantically and joyfully when the two boy s came up. tired of being in the shed. comi ng across the stone floors.there were steps leadi ng downwards.goodness kno ws what about. and stood up at once.AN INTERESTING TALK . I don't know what it mean s. even although he had felt very scared when it had wailed the day before. and it would be dangerous.and maybe her machinery? Where was the _ lower_ entrance to this passage through the hill . But he mi ght be a long time gone. who. not a voice echoed. Nor did he want to ta ke Ern with him. suddenly. "Well. If we get the others to hear what w e have to say and we all talk about it.but I can't for the life of me see wha t or why or how!" He and Ern went to get the two dogs. Mr Engler and the artist were coming back! Fatty beckoned to Ern and the two fled into th e hall and then through the turnstiles.

sternly. Buster and Bingo gave them a most uproarious greeting. "Well. or the tail off a horse." "Anything else?" asked Fatty. it's a clue Ern found . "Do you remember it. It was lovely!" said Bets." said Fatty. looking eager and excited..or if it _is_ a clue! Tell you all about it tomorrow.I didn't even notice it!" Just before ten o'clock there came knockings on the door of Fatty's workroom. "Well no . Bets. "You're the one to talk." said Fatty.except that there was a tiny red boat bobbing on a wave." "Well. "Do go on!" "No. It's important." said Bets. So Fatty took over. and they all felt rather excited. eyeing the biscuits mournfully. but I tell you this not _one_ biscuit do you have till we've finished our Meeting. Fatty.. Be here at ten. "I t's so much _easier_ to talk when you've got something to eat as well!" In came Larry. se e? SIT!" The dogs sat. you two dogs." said Ern. "Ern went to look at that big sea-picture that he and Bets liked so much. You could talk the hind leg off a donkey. you could. "The sky was blue in parts. Ern. and also Pip and Bets. and had set out a variety of biscuits. and subsided. Ern . would you like to take over ." said Ern. with waves lashing against a very high cliff. . "And I don't even know what it's a clue _to_ . and upset the plate of biscuits. "And don't leave even the smallest detail out.and tell what happened?" "Oh. do say it's another Mystery!" said Bets. Mr Goon always said you h ad the gift of the gab and he's right. Daisy. listen to what Ern discovered yesterday when we went up to Banshee Towers. describe it. and white in others." said Fatty. "If it is. Is it _really_ one?" "Well.Fatty telephoned Larry and Daisy that night. "We're LONGING to hear about th is new Mystery. no thanks. I could listen for ages. that's what we're going to decide. Bets felt sorry for them and patte d them. so that they can help themselves but I'm just a bit smarter than you are. Fatty? Oh. surprised. "I don't know which of you had the bright idea of upsetting biscuits all over the floor. If it isn't. " Is it a Mystery.every bit of it." "It was a picture of a stormy sea. He would not tell them why the Meeting was being called. " said Bets. Fatty. My uncle. "Have you a ny clues yet?" "One." she said. please.anyone would think _you_ had the gift of the gab." he sa id. we just don't bother any more. Now. and began the tale of Ern's st range discovery. really. Bets?" "Oh _yes_ . There's nob ody talks like you. I know dogs consi der it clever to upset plates of biscuits and cats think it is smart to upset mi lk. It was so full of spray that it almost made me feel wet." said Fatty. He had lighted the stove. As Fatty said." said Lar ry. "Do begin the Meeting. uneasily. Actually. "Now listen. or the. we must make o ur plans to solve it. Pip and Bets.

Ern. Ern. That little boat is no longer in the p icture. It's a nice day . and the only one impossible to solve . "I tell you the boat was in THAT PARTICULAR PICTURE I SAW YESTERDAY AND THE DAY BEFORE. "b ecause the boat is the only clue we have." said Ern. that it's the same picture. After all. and I thought t he artist must have put it there on purpose . "What do you say Ern?" "Good idea. it seems. rather sulkily. "Goodness knows I looked at it long enough.we could c ycle up again. Find-Outers." said Daisy. Yes. that's all. with no rhyme or rea son .the _boat_. any ideas?" "You're _sure_. she would probably have pointed out that it was in a different picture.just a sea-picture from which a very small red boat has gone. "Did some artist there wash it out . "Well. you know. "I think we _all_ ought to pop up to Banshee Towers and have a look round to see if by any chance the picture with the boat has been hung somewhere else. It's gone. I _know _ that Bets saw it as well . "It's obvious! Ern's mistaking one pic ture for another.or paint over it? Perhaps he didn't like it?" "No. same sky. once more on their way to Banshee Towers." "Well.but she too may have seen it in a different picture . "Same cliffs. "Now." said Fatty." "The smallest mystery we've ever had.the little tiny boat." said Fatty." said Pip." said Ern. with the little boat in it . I ought to know! I stood in front o f it for ages. Now . everything?" "Same everything. more magnificent. what's happened to it?" said Pip. same waves. Let's do that. she didn't go up with you and Ern yesterday." said Fatty.the little boa t must have been in another of the sea-pictures." said Ern. I feel as if I could almost paint the same picture myself!" "All right. he didn't wash it out." "I tell you." "Yes. and ev en taken you to it.to make the cliff grander and the sea more . It's just the _boat_ that is missing . same frame. _That's_ the solution!" said Larry. "Perhaps Bets and Ern are mistaken . at las t."When I saw that I suddenly realized how enormous the cliff was.well. "I'd like to find my little boat! Let's go now!" And before long the six children were on their bicycles. "There are _no_ marks and _no _ erasures. some of the pictures look very alike . "After all. exasperated. If she had . After all.wha t a pity!" said Larry. It isn't there!" There was an astonished silence." "Bets .isn't that a peculiar little Mystery?" "It's impossible!" said Pip." said Fatty.there can't have been a boat in the one Ern thinks there was. There must be _another_ picture there.that's just what we wanted you to remember . calm down.but rather a silly little mystery. "It 's certainly a mystery . I simply don't see any answer to this particular puzzle." "Yes. I'd rather like to solve this p articular little mystery . We must give it up. and is in exactly the same plac e?" asked Daisy.not leave it in the air.they are _all_ sea-pic tures with waves and cliffs and skies and ships. there are masses of them up in that big hall. A little Mystery like this was not going to beat the Find-Out .

"Is the turnstile man anywhere about? He's a surly fellow. "The place seemed in very go od order to me. in the boxes on Ern's and Fatty's back wheels.but what a shock! There was a notice up that said "CLO SED FOR TEMPORARY REPAIRS". They were there at last . which would be rather fun. _Find?_ What was he to find? There wer e no rabbits here.let 's have a shot at finding it. a nd called to Buster. in dismay. and away they went on their bicycles down the hi ll with Bingo and Buster racing behind. and the others nodded." said Ern. Buster!" Buster stood still with his ears pricked. "Well. "Buster! Find! Find. pointing to a pile of pipes of all sizes. or of getti ng up any passages ourselves. Good! "I don't expect there's much c hance either of finding where the dogs made their way into the hill.good time now to do any rep airs. You're probably right. but saw no one. What _ could_ Fatty mean? "Find. He and Bingo hadn't sniffed the scent of a single one.the hole he and Bin ." said Larry. but he might let us in if we told him we only want to be there for half a minute. leading into some underground warren." "Look . what shall we do? Shall we just look round to see if _any_one's abou t? " They wandered around. "What a waste of a morning.that had a passage leading to Banshee Towe rs! Can't we look for that?" "Well.a cave or a hole of some sort . Anyway ." said Fatty. It suddenly dawned on him that there was a hole somewhere ." said Pip. his head on one side. Well. Probably the place is damp and you can't have damp in a picture-gallery." It was indeed a blow. Buster! Find the hole you discovered the other day!" ordered Fatty. that led to the great f ireplace in the Armour Room? They must have found an entrance somewhere on the h ill ." "I wonder what repairs they are doing?" said Fatty. "You remem ber how the dogs discovered some secret way up the hill. Buster still stood with his ears cocked . "Looks as if their water-system has gone wrong. "Panting up that steep hill all for nothing!" groaned Pip. "Blow! Look at that!" said Ern." said Larry. examining the pipes. It w as quite a little company.like we have in our houses at home. cycling along up the hill to Banshee Towers.ers! They took the dogs too. "Now we shan't be able to find out ab out the boat. "FIND !" He pointed here and there over the hill. These arc lead pipes .it's probably pipes they are replacing." said Larry. it _would_ be fun." said Fatty." "The dogs will help. Easter is over so they won't have many visitors till Whitsun . Halfway down Fatty leapt off his bike. " What can we do now?" "I tell you what we _could_ do. trying his hardest to understand what his master wanted. Ruins the pictures at once!" "Yes. "It was probably nothing more than a large rabbit-hole they found. "Anyone brought a torch?" Three of them had torches in their pockets.

Fatty. giving little woofs. which gave a very good light in the black da rkness of the strange passage. He soon saw that the passage he was in was now of rock. It was very uneven. Be careful. Behind him came Bets. and at times the r oof came down so low that he had to bend almost double. and he a nd the others climbed up the hill. "Steep-tee-eep!" came the echo. and then made for a great bush that overhung a steep part of the hill.for his vo ice sounded very strange in the narrow passage . Buster gave another short bark. and barked. Buster. They had carefully hidden their bicycles under some thick bush es.a great hole! I bet Buster thought it was a giant rabbit-hole. What Buster did. and spoke q . Carry on!" "Carry-on. one by one. I have a feeling that this is where _we_ disappear . Bingo came to join him. bent double. yapping. Let's hope we come up in the right place! Follow me. That was worse still. The hole became much larger after a few yards. "Only the echo." said Fatty. and ran to the right. soon becoming out of breath. pushed his way into it. Both dogs had disappeared! Fatty yelled loudly. "I think Buster's found what we want! Whew . and the dogs were very frightened indeed. Bingo appeared and barked t oo. for it was very steep just there. Ahead were the two dogs. and whined.look here. and he patted them. "It's all right. very pleased and excited to think that Fatty and the others were using the passage they had found some d ays before! "My word . a little lower down. He could hear Buster and Bingo scrabbling some way a head.UP THE PASSAGE .not at all like Fatty's usual v oice! It was muffled and mysterious. Ern and Pip being the last two. he had to do as well! "Come on.on!" said the echo. They stopped. Was this place full of hundreds of d ogs? They made their way back to Fatty in alarm. and the dogs barked angrily.isn't it steep!" shouted Fatty. He stood there. then Daisy.go had found . "Come on .perhaps that was what Fatty wanted? A hole! He gave a sharp little bark. not of earth. u nder this bush .into the heart of the hill.there may be danger ahead! 13 ." said Fatty. as if chatting with each other. and made the others jump . though he hadn't the faintest idea of what Fatty wanted. then Larry.AND A QUEER FIND! The hole was quite a large one. pricked t heir ears.on . Bingo followed. lookin g from side to side. The dogs didn't like it. La rry and Pip held the other torches. everybody!" And there they go. with long grass and some kind of creeping plant growing across the entrance. of course! The rocky passage was immediately full of wild barks . and had a queer echo. and ran a little way uphill.I think old Buster has understood what I meant. and Fatty was able to straighten himself a little and make his way more comfortably. Fatty . arry-on . shining his torch in front of him." said Fatty. sniffing the wind. "BUSTER! Where are you? BUSTER!" Buster appeared by the overhanging bush.

Don't you remember how loud the wailing was when we heard it the other day? And how clear and distinct it was?" "Oh yes. shining his torch on the machinery. "At a guess I should say it was the machinery that sets the dear old banshee wai ling at the top of her voice!" said Fatty. "I wonder how this works. also quietly. and he stopped in surprise. He gave a short whistle. The tunn el had widened out into a kind of underground room . when it _de_flates. Fatt y stopped for a rest." he said. He shone his torch round the underground room in surprise. So be very quiet. Fatty was able to stand completely uprig ht. "Now. "You remember that there is a trap-door under the old cauldron . and making as little noise as possible. Fatty. His torch sud denly showed him a big space just in front. Nothing happened. "We _should_ be near Banshee Towers now. The last bit had been very steep indeed. please .a room with an uneven rocky floor.things that magnify any sound. fiddling about with the machinery. It seems a bit odd when you put it like that. But before they came to the trap-door they came to something that surprised them very much! Fatty saw it first.and a chair! "What on _earth_ is all this?" said Pip. "Oh. and equally uneven rocky walls. "Way-way-waaaaay!" After they had all climbed a good while. "Are you sure?" said Bets. that means that any noise we make now may echo up into the Armour Room. who always seemed to know everything. there are probably amplifiers in every room. very glad indeed of their torches. because he was leading. everyone. Good dogs! VERY good dogs! Go on now . It was quite empty except for three th ings: a piece of peculiar-looking machinery . the six went climbing up ." said Fatty." said Bets. it makes that screaming.not bring them here!" "Yes. of course.just in _case_ anyo ne is there. and make it trem endously loud. trying to defeat the curious echo. What's this wheel for?" He turned the wheel to the right. now ." "I should think that this balloon is inflated by a pump worked by that bit of ma chinery." said the echo. Bets. shivering as she remembered the horrible noise. Fatty made the dogs keep close to him. "Whew! What's all this? Quick. and then spoke.something that looked like a defla ted balloon ." Without a word.what a peculiar thing to do .show us the w ay. puzzled.uietly. so that he could prevent them barking." said Fatty." "Way." "But how is it that it's heard all over Banshee Towers?" asked Bets. He waited until t he others had come up close. "You know .it's all right. He turned it to the left . wa iling banshee noise. come and look! " They crowded into the strange rocky room.well. "And then.a . "But Fatty . "What's that balloon thing for? Shine your torch on i t." said Fatty.to fill the place with wails like that! I should have thought it would frighten people away .

"It's only a very clever trick. But Fatty didn't.. briskly. unhappy sound . and everyone enjoyed the sudden peace. no real banshee could ever have wailed like that. Don't be scared.click .nd.there were the steps that they had seen the . Fatty. Fat ty . He watched the machine. and then stopped altogether. It sounded so very very heart-rending .a w ailing that held everyone spellbound. "Just as I thought!" he announced. "Ooooooooo! I shall never hear a more horrible noise in all my life than that wa iling. The balloon grew bigger and bigge r . All fitted neatly into a most convenient underground hole in a rock. examining the machinery carefully. Bets heaved an e normous sigh.PLEASE stop the machine!" begged Bets.and a specially fitted-up balloon . Yes . who is wicked enough to rig up a thin g like this." Fatty pulled a little lever.clank click . "I do want to see if Bets remembers the one th at the boat was in. It's only ma chinery." "I should find it very difficult to believe in a real banshee. in a low voice. from the now fully-inflated balloon. Bets. I HATE it. The machinery slowed down. and he growled and sho wed his teeth. "I bet that's the amplifier getting ready to work!" said Fatty.here we go!" And then.. There w as a marvellous silence.we'll go up through the trap-door . and disappearing boats. "We'll hear something in a minute. I wonder if Mr Engler is at the bottom of this!" "Oh. something began to work inside the machinery . The children couldn't see what it was.and then came another loud click. it seemed so human! Bets took Fatty's hand at once. and have a look at t hose pictures again. I'm beginning to hope there isn't! What with bans hees. "I even find it difficult to believe in a man like Engler. The wailing grew slower and softer. a little grin on his face. If she does. "Right . Buster saw it trembling. frightened at the strange noise. what do we do now?" "Fatty. where the trap-door was!" The others crowded round him. "It's working! Turn it off. Fatty . then there's no mystery. Bets.clunk. Bingo immediately did the same. very suddenly indeed. I'll know I'm right about it.and an amplifier to make the w ails very loud indeed. and shone his torch into it. "I HATE this wailing. Ah . and something fell into place and began wh ining. by the light of his torch. The balloon gradually de flated." said Fatty ." begged Ern. afraid of what might happen.providing nobody's about. just like a ladder! I bet it's the steps we saw leading down from that hole in the hearth. Fatty. surely." said Fatty. little Bets. Oh.you know quite well what you've done! The balloon-thing began to move. please let's go up through the trap-door if we can." Fatty went to an opening in the furthest wall of the queer little rock-room.clonk . trying to find out WHY the banshee wailed all on her own! I have a feeling th at the place really _is_ shut up today. But unfortunately. we should have had a visitor down here pretty quickl y. "Just a bit o f machinery . there really isn't room!" said Fatty. quick!" cried Bets. If she doesn't well. and hidden machinery I feel rather sick!" "Well. came a weird. _he's_ real enough! Well. "Steps! Steps cut i nto the rock. don't be sick in here Ern. his eyes gleamin g. But I th ink that if there had been.

in their blues and greens.other day from above! "I'll go first. I told you that. The dogs were ha nded up last of all by Ern." he said. and run for your lives! We sha ll be in real trouble if we're found here. b ut could see nothing above his head but the trap-door set firmly in its place.get along underground!" .where do you think the boat has gone?" said Bets. Ern. "Yes!" said Ern. their hackles rising on their necks . at once." called Ern. "It d oesn't look as if it's been washed out or painted over. Yes . Bets. "Get back into the Armour Room. It upset the iron cauldron s tanding over it and this fell over on its side with a terrific clatter that scar ed Fatty almost as much as it frightened the others down below! He stood at the top of the steps. Bets?" "Oh _yes_!" said Bets. quite worried over the vanished boat. but Larry wouldn't let them . wasn't it?" And Bets touc hed one of the waves not far from the bottom of the picture. " That's the simplest explanation. Well. sunshiny. windy. no clatter of running feet . look after the girls!" The two girls shot off into the Armour Room with Pip and Larry. it was on this wave here. I'd like to look at some of the other pictures too." said Bets. "Buck u p. didn't I. Somebody's coming!" he whispered. Larry and Pip.there was a little red boat that's not there now. some of them stretching from floor to ceiling.there they all were. girls. just i n _case_ anyone's about. They wanted to wait for Ern and Fatty. now they could examine the pictures to their heart's conte nt . We can't both be wrong!" "Fatty . or whoever was here wou ld have come rushing to see why the banshee machinery was suddenly working!" Everyone was silent as Fatty climbed the rocky steps. Fatty shushed everyone at once. "You're in my charge now. "Here's that boat-picture. stormy. You'll have to get down the trap-door quickly.and maybe solve the mystery of the missing boat! One by one he hauled the others up from the hole in the hearth. "Do you remembe r it. I _know_ there was one. come with me. "Yes . standing in front of it." "A big wave probably caught it and it sank to the bottom. He soon came to the top. listening. solemnly. Fatty? Now Bets has told you too.no shouts of surprise." But before they could do that. To his enormous relief he could hea r nothing . "Better make no noise. Bets." "Don't be so _silly_!" said Bets. and gave it a push upwards. "Ern. really puzzled." said Pip. triumphantly. suddenly stood still and began to growl. "That's _exactly_ where it was." said Fatty. "Quickly now ." She and Ern hurried through the Armour Room into the great hall where the pictur es hung. thank goodness for _that_! Fatty climbed out of the trap-door hole and looked round. " Here goes!" said Fatty. and were very glad to scurry around and stretch thei r legs properly! How they had hated that wailing! "I want to look at that lovely sea-picture. Well. and were soon do wn the steps. dogs. "Fatty. who had been wandering happily about togeth er. The place seemed absol utely deserted.nothing! The pla ce must be completely empty. But I feel certain there isn't.

PRISONERS . shouting! He looked extremely angry. with Bingo behind him. Flint. "I've decided _not_ to hand you over to the police . and when I come back on Monday . "I'm afraid you are going to have a very po or week-end. like." "Shut up. pulling a great sword from the wall." said the turnstile man. SIT. and be sharp about it. were taken to the police station. sir. "Call off these dogs. I _told_ them dogs wer en't allowed. Behind him stood the turnstile man. too. clearly afraid that he was about to say something he didn't want the boys to hear. But there wasn't! He just managed to push the cauldr on quickly over the trap-door and step back on to the hearth-rug. don't take us to the police. and you can fetch it la ter. I'll deal with what's not ready. reely we weren't. We do really. To his enorm ous relief both dogs sat at once. his heart cold with fear. of course._NOW_ WHAT CAN BE DONE? It was Mr Engler who stood there.or maybe Tuesday . Tha nk goodness Buster had been trained to be instantly obedient. Don't we. "Please don't. well and good! "Oh. a sneering smile on his fa ce. Six of them have been coming up .so I presume you came in through one of the windows." said Mr Engler. Bingo!" shouted Fatty. sir . We weren't doing any harm.our parents will be so worried. showing thei r teeth. How fierce they both looked. "Stand where you are! What's all this? How did you get in. The door was locked . growling savagely." began Fatty..easy to break into a place. "Good thing they obey you. where it had been hanging. Ern. or I wouldn't give them a chance.the one on the first floor. Now explain your presence here." he said. Bin go.Fatty too went to the Armour Room with Ern. He said nothing. I was a bit afraid these kids might find out what we. "SIT. you boys! Answer me at once!" 14 . I saw th at one was open when I came . Buster. hoping there would be time for them both to slip down the hole. had just copied Buster. isn't it . You boys will have to explain all that when you come before the police!" Fatty was thankful that the man thought they had broken in through an open windo w. thought Fatty." He turned to the two listening boys. and howled in pain. without food or drink for two or three days. their hackles still up. He was certainly not going to explain about the trap-door in the hearth! If the man didn't know of it." blurted out Ern. "Go and begin to load the van. thinking of Goon's face ." said Mr Engler. Buster flew at them.but to leave you all alone here.perhaps!" "But. "Cheeky lot they are . sir. Footsteps came to the door of the room and a voice snapped out. you fool!" snapped Mr Engler. please. "We haven't done any h arm. and his f ace was very red. Just t o teach you what happens to lads who break into places! Oh. "I like dog s.with these dogs. if he.I'll listen to your apologies and let you go . longing to get at these two men who dared to shout at Fatty and Ern. and both dogs were kicked hard b y the two men." "I've seen these kids before.. Easy enough to climb u p ivy. We were just looking round. We apologize _now_. you needn't think yo u can get out of the window you so easily slipped in by! I shall tie you up and lock you in this room. Ern? " . still holding the sword. or I'll kill them.

He listened hard. "You can apologize when you next see me. We'll soon be off . "And may the rats and mice run all over you tonight! This place is full of them. you was." said Fatty.. surely! Then he thought he heard the sound of a brush being slapped over some surface. Why. And DON'T talk to them . "Good thing the men don't guess we. "This is a nice how-do-you-do.I'm off to the States!" said Flint. caught so easily.else I'll t alk to _you_! Do you hear me? " "Yes. the turnstile man." thought Ern. between his teeth. stood back and grinned at the two angry boys. I hope! What are you all up to? Beats me!" "You won't see me again . Don't feel like cheeking me now. are you!" said Flint. He's about due now. standing there. finished tying Ern's wrists." said Mr Engler. and have had time to think what fools y ou have both been. behind their backs! TIGHTLY. a little surprised to hear Fatty talking in su ch a humble voice." he said. "Tie them up. Ern groaned as he lay trussed up on the floor beside Fatty. "No. do you? " Fatty heard another voice . "Got to g o and get some rope. Flint." said the man. He had soon tied the boys by their wrists and ankles ve ry tightly indeed. He stood waiting for the turnstile man to tie up him and Ern. _That_ sound ed like a knife being used to cut something. "Cheeking me out there.he wouldn't _slap_ the pa int on! Flint." said Flint. if you want me to tie them up.. we shan't hear her!" He went out. to the turnstile man. "Well . very glad to see that "cheeky fat boy" as he thought of him. Fatty sounded _scared_! "First time I've ever seen him f rightened." said Fatty. "I must go and see if Poussin has come. it couldn't be that . "I'm going to see if Poussi n is there. and the boys heard the key being turned in the loc k. He strained his ears to listen. I said. It was a French name. He was extremely surprised to hear noises as of a ladder be ing dragged along the hall." "You wait till we see you again." "Ha .the French artist's. and went to tear down the cords that pulled the grea t curtains open or shut. which Fatty understood perfectly. turning. sulkily." said Mr Engler. his easel set up as usual? No. and set up somewhere." said Ern. "You know these cords are too tight." . "America's the pla ce for me now. The turnstile man grinned sarcastically.and the old banshee can wail her head off for us. with Engler. A brush? A _paint_-brush probably. "We'll be handing you over to the police. fervently." Fatty wondered who Poussin was.you're not so funny now. What on earth were they doing? Not damaging the pictures. so maybe it was the French artist."Ooooh yes." said Mr Englar. banged the door. He was in the great hall. He was very.happy dreams!" he said. These boys are not to be left alone until their wrists are tied tightly. Use those curtain cords. Was the Frenchman painting a picture out there . "No need to be so brutal. He was speaking in French.

when I can feel some life in my fingers. Can you stand up?" "No. the t urnstile man." Buster ran to him and licked Fatty's hands. and very thankfully felt the cords loosening and slipping off his hands. hoping we'll give somethin g away. There didn't seem to be anything at all that he could do for Fatty. But at last Ern's cords were undone too. He dared not use the kn ife on them. for he was at that moment slam ming the door at the back. At the same time a car drove up behind it. "The cord's much too strong!" Fatty hopped across to the wall. "Gosh. groaning as their cords seemed to get tighter and tighter. Fatty quickly memorized the numbers of the van and of the car. Trust old Fatty to think of something smart! Fatt y worked away and finally felt one cord give . "I can't think of anything but my wrists and ankles. He then sto od up on his tied feet and began to hop to a window that overlooked the yard out side. Ern watched him in admiration. He knew Fatty was in some k ind of trouble and his doggy mind was upset and worried." "The girls and Pip and Larry will send help for us.pity you can't untie me. Flint. and started up the engine." he said. His hands were worse than Fatty's. "I don't think I can walk." "Of course we shall!" said Fatty. managed to get himself into a sitting position." said Fatty." "But HOW can we get our hands free?" said Ern. Ern. Fatty rolled to a settee and by means of u sing his tied hands. I wish I could write those numbers down . can you remember JBL 333 and POR 202?" "I don't think so. must have just finished loading it. car eful not to press too hard and cut himself. for Flint had tied them very viciously. Ern. He raised h is wrists behind his back and placed them so that the cords were against the edg e of the knife." said poor Ern. Ern. "What _I'd_ lik . whining." he muttered. Bingo . Soon their ankles were untied as well. Very gently he began to rub the cords up and down the knife. My legs are all pins and needles and I can't feel my feet. where a curious foreign knife hung. Fatty. "I'll undo yours. Then he went to the front." said Ern. my hands are all numb and stiff. for his hands were now too numb to use a knife safely. and t he two drove off together.and POR 202. trying to bend them this wa y and that. They licked t he boys' faces. "I didn't want to get them off before those fe llows went . "They may be listening. He pulled hard." hissed Fatty. hopped into the driver's s eat.I'll never remember them. what are we going to do? We'll never be able to get these cords o ff. and even then they were shock ingly painful. "My word. trying. He spent ages trying to undo Ern's cords. "Are we going to escape down the underground passage?" asked Ern. and l ife began to seem a little brighter. "Hallo. He was interested to see a small van there . Is Buster cleve r enough to untie _you_.I was afraid they might come back at any moment."Shut up. "JBL 333 . It was some time before Fatty could use his hands.a plain dark blue one. though. and whined pitifully.then another. Fatty? Have you taught him things like that yet?" Buster and Bingo were puzzled and distressed to see Fatty and Ern rolling on the floor.

and unlock it from _this_ side. They had expected it to be full of paint . Carefully he pulled it towards him. and send it out on the other side of the door! The key promptly fell out . You remember we heard a ladder being pulled across the floor." said Fatty.one I've used before. What was happening now? "Good!" said Fatty. "I know . _the key lying on them came too_! There it was at l ast. "My word . Looks as if somebody's been up to something. Hallo . What was old Fatt y up to now? "I'm going to use an old trick . Then he ben t down and looked under the door. dipping his finger into the tin. Can you walk all righ t?" 15 . "Now. Then he stood up. re ady to growl and fly at anyone who might be going to hurt them. and. He knew that he had seen the car and the van go off but he did n't want to run into anyone who might still be in the place." said Fatty. "My wrist feels as if it hasn't even the strength to turn a key if the lock is stiff!" But the key turned easily! Fatty opened the door and peered out cautiously into the Picture Hall. with a brush in it. I heard him. Ern. I have a feeling we might find something interesting there!" "That fellow locked the door.don't get it on your clothes. making a face as he put the key in the lock .and the slapping of a br ush?" They were puzzled when they came to the tin. "The dogs would be growling if th ere were. and do a little exploring I Come on. These he took over to the door.but it wasn't! "It's some kind of gluey-paste.and there was a little t hud as it landed on the floor at the bottom of the door. there's a step-ladder over there . Buster and Bingo.and.what on earth was it used for?" They gazed at the two sea-pictures on each side of the tin. oh so gently ." said Fatty.FATTY DOES A LITTLE DETECTIVE WORK! Fatty picked up the key that he had so carefully pulled under the bottom of the door. so that the greater part of the covers was on the other side of the door. as the stiff covers came under the door. All was quiet. "Hope I can turn it!" he said. safely on their side of the door. pulling at the piece of stiff cover showing under the door o n his side. leaving only the stiff outer covers. He went to the table and took a catalogue from the pile there. Ern . "We can unlock the doo r from our side." said Fatty. "There can't be anybody here now." said Fatty.e to do is to get out of this room and wander round some of the upstairs rooms. stood close by the boys. Nothing to help them there . I just can't get it off my finger! No w .look. He tore out the middle p ages. with the end of his penknife blade. shining streak of wha . knelt down again and pushed them flat underneath it.but wait a minute! Fatty suddenly noticed a thin. very much on guard.and a tin of somethin g.but we _might_ be able to get to it.it's about t he strongest paste or glue I've ever felt. Buster and Bingo barked loudly. jiggled the key in th e lock until it was in a position for him to give it a push. Ern. He walked unsteadily to the door and looked at the lock. Ern watched him in interest. Ern ." said Ern.

I think that after the kind of treatment the spiteful Mr Engler served out to us he really can't complain of anything _we_ do!" said Fatty. Ern. He went rather slowly." said Fatty. "I want to get out of this place. U. Ern .A. He wanted to have a good long run and stretch his legs." a third." said Fatty. standing there gazing down at tha t tin of glue." Fatty took no notice." Fatty took not the slightest notice of the big board. "I wouldn't say that.if he were well paid. bark ing. "Hallo . it's a double of the one we saw in the frame by the tin of glue. He didn't like Banshee Towers.what are you dreaming about. or whatever it is.sit there and copy somebody else's pictures! Funny .I should have thought a _real_ artist wouldn't want to copy. putting the strange fact into a corner of his mind to consider late r. Done by that French artist . Why had someone used glue of some kind . I just w ant to have a little look round . He wi ll be very pleased indeed to have them. He touc hed it. astonished.and see if I can unearth a few of Mr Engler's queer little secrets!" They went to a big staircase that had a very large board at the bottom with the words "PRIVATE.here's a pile of le tters all neatly stacked together and tied with pink tape. There was a great pile of c atalogues on the big desk. That's all he did. seems to me . "Very interesting.S.t hey were backed with board. old thing. Pictur es and empty frames were stacked all over the place. Fa tty gave up. Bingo. He was absorbed in one or two of the letters. perhaps . turning over the canvases on which various pictu res had been painted. So do the dogs!" Bingo was whining. I suppose. He might lock you up f or taking them. Fatty .had the frame crac ked.A. "Grand Pictures Company. Ern peeped a t the heading on each. They came to a big room. and needed a little glueing? Pictures weren't _glued_ into their frames ." said Fatty." was one. of course. " Art Shows Company. uncomforta bly.A. Diddinghame. "What does Fatty think he can fin . "All sea-pictures.S.remember th is one?" "Yes. Look here. but went straight up the s tairs." said Ern. and so did Ern. for their ankles were still swolle n and painful after the cruelly tight cords. Better leave them here." "He might . New York. U. Ern. I intend to give them to Inspector Jenks.S.a 'snoop' is a better name. impatiently. reading some of the letters. "In any case. U. "Come on. "The Hedling Art Gallery. It _was_ sticky! He was very puzzled. "All right. There was a large desk there." "Coo!" said Ern. "Oh. Let's have a look and see who they're from!" "Do you think you ought to look at other people's letters?" said Ern. Fatty.t looked like something sticky down the inner side of one of the frames. Hinkl ing. "We'll soon be off and away. "Can't see any difference! That's a copy. NO ENTRY. and then the frames were neatly placed over them. "Gracious!" thought Ern. and a smaller one. and a scattering of letters. The dogs raced up before them." he said." was another.

He spoke aloud. unless they stopped on the way to have ice-creams or something. "I think we'd better make ourselves scarce. Thrown across an unmade bed was a dark painting overall. He must be very u seful to him!" "Oh. Actually I'm feeling rather bucked. I don't like his manners!" "He's a beast. but couldn't make hea d or tail if it. "I wan t to go! I hate this place. scribbling quickly again in his notebook . too. "Yes . "Fatty. seeing that we can just w want to!" "Right. Those fellows might come ." He scribbled quickly. "What about the little painte d boat that disappeared from that picture downstairs? I bet you don't know how _ that_ happened?" "Well. Paris.it belongs to th at French artist. A book lay on a table beside the bed. we'll go. ." said Fatty." thought Ern. Rue Carnot. "They'd hardly stop for ice-creams when they knew we were in trouble!" said Fatt y. I think I've now got the whole mystery wrapped up very neatly indeed!" "You're boasting Fatty!" said Ern. 9 1. do stop messing about with books and letters!" said Ern desparingly. Ern stared in surprise. Fatty picked it up. Ern. "We'll just peep in the room next door first." said Ern." said Fatty. Let's go. He looked down at it and nodded. "And here the owner has kindly written his name .and then ride home. we'll see." said Fatty. they ache so. I reckon we're just back sooner then we expect nding help to us. disbelievingly.and anyway Bets and the others might already be se That'd be a waste of time. a smaller one. showing many c lothes hanging there." "All right. anyway. "We'll soon forget our wrists and ankles.especially pictures of the sea!" Fatty turned to the flyleaf at the beginning of the book. "I really think I'm beginning to see daylight! We 'll go home now and find the others and tell them what we've found. in case Mr Engler pops bac k again through the front door." "Ah well. c overed with smudges of oil-paint. of course . and prices and artists. I have a feeling we sti ll haven't seen quite all I expected to see. alk out and go home when we wasting time now. It was fitt ed up as a very comfortable bedroom! A large wardrobe stood open. Let's see they had to escape down that underground passage in the hill . where they were tied.and find their bi kes ." "Well. Ern." said Fatty." said Ern "My ankles still feel as if I've been running for miles . "Just let me make a list of the Art Galleries listed h ere that buy pictures from Engler.Francois Henri Ortalo. "At a guess I should say this book was a French one!" he sai d. I don't feel inclined to meet him again today. Very nice of him to leave it so handy! Interesting to see that Mr Engler has given him such a nice room to live in.all about famous Continental pictures . you know. they will be home before us. "Just a list of pictures.and here is his address . At any moment I expect to hear that awful banshee-wa il. and then took a last l ook round.d in letters like that!" He peeped down a sheet that Fatty was absorbed in reading." They went into the next room. snapping shut his notebook.

let's go downstairs. I wouldn't like that. Ern -I' m beginning to feel bucked. slip out of the f ront door with the dogs. he's a Big Noise. he is. half-afr aid of seeing Mr Engler and his companions somewhere about.eve rything FITS!" "Go on. Part of t he road had been so bumpy that poor Buster had found himself wishing he had shar p cat-claws to hold on with. go slower .ki . FATTY!" 16 . straight it is! Fits! The only fits _I_ know are the ones I'll have when my uncle gets hold of me! Oooh. "Good . "It's just a muddle to me.we were pretty quick down that hill!" They were soon riding fast down the rest of the hill. It was a miracle that they didn't fall out.then they got down the banshee passage safely. comfo rtably." said Ern. freewheeling very fast. "What do we do when we get back?" shouted Ern. instead of his own blunt ones! He had decided that he didn't want to go bicycling with Fatty ever again. At last they came to where they had left their bicycles. for the boys went so f ast.A HORRID SHOCK! Fatty and Ern arrived at Fatty's home safely. in awe. "Come on . "They can't really be very much in front of us now . and get in touch with C hief Inspector Jenks. hidden in bushes. Fatty. The two dogs. This is a bit too big a thi ng for a village policeman to handle. My word. keeping close to the hedges. the dogs bumping in their boxes behind. You know I'm in trouble with h im!" "Don't worry. Ah . and B uster went to see if anyone had put something good into his enamel bowl. Bingo's tail _waved_ rather than wagged. much to Buster's relief." said Fatty." shouted back Fatty. "I hope you won't go and report e verything to my Uncle Goon. The y made their way cautiously down the hill. it was so very very long! They opened the front door and slipped out. "But won't the Chief Inspector think it's a bit ch eeky of us to telephone him? I mean. both wagging their tails ma dly. sensin g that all was not quite right with their masters. Bicycling and dogs didn't really go very well together! He and Bingo jumped gladly out of the boxes tied on to the back mudguards.old Bingo nearly shot out of his box just then. though as Ern pointed out."No. Ern. I forgot that." They went down the stairs with the two excited dogs." "We'll get back to my shed first. They can't have been back very long. They looked round for the bicycles belonging to the other four. We know him quite well enough. We hold all the winning cards now. shutting it quietly behind them. "And find out where the others are." said Fatty. and run down the hill to where we left our bikes undern eath that bush. and didn't even attempt to go sniffing for rabbits. Fatty!" said Ern. I'm seeing daylight! The Mystery is dissolving . pressed close to their heels." "Luvaduck!" said Ern. "I rather think we ought to go over Goon's head. disbelievingly. but they were gone.

But Fatty leapt up with a yell. or heard their shouts! "You simply _whizzed_ by. hungry as he was. are you all right? What happened when we left you?" said Bets.and the two dogs bumping up and down like apples i n a basket!" "Fatty. "We foun d out a whole lot of interesting things. Bust er at his heels." ." said his mother. hurriedly pulling his coat sleeves down a s far as they would go. are you there? There's someone on t he telephone for you. isn't it? My word. and hadn't even seen them. _we_ were all right." He opened the door of his shed. Bingo rushed u p too . pleased." "Oh. "I bet the Inspector's heard of our discoveries at Banshee Towe rs." said Ern . when at last he and the others arri ved at Fatty's workroom. "We'll buy a good dollop of me at for Bingo. Mother. his mind conning over likely r easons for the Chief Inspector's telephone call. Ern and Fatty had actually cycled past them. can't you say I'm busy or something!" said Fatty.nd old Cookie! She had filled his bowl with some nice fresh meat. Sorry to keep you waiting. opened it and looked in. "Good. He ran to the telephone and picked up the receiver. to hide the painful red lines round his wrists. "MOTHER! Wait! You didn't say it was Inspector J enks! Mother. looking round. for instance . "Chief Inspector Jenks? Fred erick Trotteville here. exasperated. but you were gone . as Fatty shot out of the door at top speed. I'll go back and tell Chief Inspector Jenks what you say. Bets.and maybe he's suspicious of Mr Engler's doing.psssst! lik e that! Sixty miles an hour . you wait till Fatty tells you what we discovered this morning!" Fatty ran all the way up the garden to his house.and. Now you two dogs stay o ut here. I can certa inly give him some up-to-date information. No one was there! "Where are the others?" he sai d. "We' re JUST starting a most _important_ Meeting. and he and the others had stoppe d at a little opening in a nearby wood. Funny how old Fatty always seems to get in on things first." said Fatty. "Frederick. while Larry mended the puncture. and I'm sure he'll share his with you too. I'm coming straightaway!" Ern looked round at the others. _Really_ important. and shut the door. sir. and allowed Bingo to share. We must have a Meeting at once!" But before they could really settle down to it. Buster. "We yelled and shouted.and as it happened." he said." said Fatty.I hope they're all right. I'm pleased with you. Well. "I was so afraid those men might hurt you!" "Oh. someone came knocking at the she d door." "All right dear. "Gosh . he was quit e right! Larry's front tyre suddenly went flat.the wailing banshee. feeling pleased." complained Larry." thought Fatty. Buster remembered his manners. "I expect he wants to ask Fatty a whole lot of questions. What's happened to them? We certainly didn't pass them on the way!" "Perhaps one of them had a puncture. "Probably he's heard about the Banshee Towers' goings-on .

" said Fatty.and now you've messed thing s up by putting yourself in _his_ hands.. the better. was put in his charge by Ern's mot her and who has run away and is being harboured by you in your shed. at once."Frederick. "You are a very. spiteful. I'll come to the point at once." "That's quite right." said the clear voice down the telephone. sir.and yet you were fo und there with a _couple_! Whose is the second dog?" "Ern's. What in the world would his father say? "I suppose I must be getting a bit too big for my boots. That's an order . most surpris ed to find his hand shaking. He accuses you of breaking into the Towers. Frederick. He is a smart. and he. with another b oy..this wasn't funny at all." said poor Fatty. Frederick. Frederick. "Apparently it was closed for the day. from Mr Goon. and you were told this ." Fatty felt most alarmed. feeling very. and I sincerely hope you have." "I know he's a crook. "What's all this about. in a small voice. "the second complaint is much more serious. in a small voice. Called Bingo.we. sir." said the Chief." "I'm afraid Ern will have to go _back_ to Goon. I simply never know what you are up to. and the doors w ere locked. sir?" he asked. not exactly _break_ in." said the Chief. very foolish boy. Gosh ... We've been trying to pin something on him . I'd better come round and see you. _not_ very se rious. bewildered. very sorry for Ern. for instance. you know.and there are also two dogs complained of.." The Chief gave a deep groan. see?" He slammed down the telephone. I simply do not know how I'm going to get you out of this fix. who. and Fatty put back his own receiver. lo ok here. actually there are _two_ complaints!" said the Chief. The sooner you grow up and join the police force so that I can _r eally_ keep my eye on you. he says. whose name he doesn't know . Stay at home till I come." said Fatty. "Well. It's been put in by a Mr Engler." "_You_ knew he was a crook!" said the Chief. Frederick. "We certainly did _get_ in . about Ern.. "I'm sorry to say I 've had a serious complaint about you. "We were trying to cat ch him out sir . and. I'll see to it. very surprised. surely you _didn't_ break in anywhere?" "Well. "ERN'S! I didn't even know he _had_ a dog!" said the Chief. "It's his mothe r's wish ." said Fatty. sir.. "How on earth. "One.and parents do have _some_ rights. the own er of Banshee Towers." said Fatty. Goon went for poor old Ern." said Fatty to himself. "What on _earth_ were you and Ern and two dogs doing wandering about Banshee Tow ers?" demanded the Chief." said Fatty. "And I'm sure you won't blame me . "My word. His heart was sinking down and down and d own. Appa rently dogs are not allowed inside. I expect you have a perfectly good explan ation. sir. Frederick.that phoney banshee wailing. "The second complaint." "All right. I've never heard the Chief go off the handle like that before! Did I . he has. sir. "Yes. if you mean smash locks or windows or anything li ke that.. You h ave played right into this fellow Engler's hands. cleve r crook.

someone's coming. Fatty! That's not fair!" "Sit down. fearfully.. I'm sure. "Do you want me t o be had up for creating a noisy disturbance. making a dive for Buster. so you're here too. Taking my. little Bets. Fatty!" said Larry." "You couldn't have. are they?" he said. and. I 'harboured' him. "I heard a car draw up outside our front gate. . "I'll go back to my uncle's then. Fatty sank down dramati cally into a chair. I rather think I may have to go to prison . "SHUT UP!" shouted Fatty. Then the door opened and there stood Chief Inspector Jenks. Fatty. I only wish I had a nice. Will you tell him we're down in my shed. "You look gloomy. "Gosh ..or to Borstal or somewhere. And Mr Goon has _also_ put in a complaint . sighed and passed his hand over his forehead. I'd like you all to stay." he said. He looked round the little company." "Is my uncle coming too?" said Ern. get hold of Bingo.feel a worm? Yes. and went in. Ern." "Listen . She caught hold of his hand. hoping that his mother wouldn't call him back and ask him awk ward questions.tha t when Ern ran away. He opened the door of his shed. his ears even sharper just then than th ose of the dogs. Ern jumped up at once. burly. Chief Inspect or Jenks is coming along here soon. I certainly did." "Well . Ern. "It's right down the garden. who hadn't the faintest idea of what "harbou ring" really meant. "Well." said Fatty. gloomily.charged me with Break ing and Entering Banshee Towers." "Nothing to what _I_ could think of." A loud knock came at the shed door." said Fatty. are you?" said the Chief Inspector and p atted her head.. though. I'll have to wait for him. "I'm not a ship! You just gave me board and lodging. keen -eyed . Buster! Ern.so _all_ the Find-Outers are here. In fact I can think of several complaints I could put i n. "I won't let you get punished because you've been kind to _me_." said Fatty. "Oh .." said Ern. deep hole to go to! " He called to his mother. Perhaps the Inspector wasn't going to be too hard on him after all." But just then the two dogs set up such a loud barking that nobody could hear any one speak. "We can't do anything for the moment.that's another way of saying that I 'harboured' you . please?" Then away he went. "Mother! The Inspector will be along in a little while. Clipping me on the ear. Fatty let me stay here in your shed." "You never harboured me!" said Ern.but not smiling as he usually was. Fatty w as most relieved to see that smile. and smiled. at once.wouldn't _I_ like to put in a complaint about your _uncle_. Pushing me around. "I don't think so. "Old man Engler has put in a complaint about me . "Well. Th ey both seem to have gone mad. and the two dogs almost barked the place dow n. What's up?" said Bets. "Shouting at me and al most deafening me. tall." he said.gave you shelter." said Fatty.

or anything like that. Fatty.bit too big for his boots sometimes. you know . Ern. This man.ones that you are absolutely sure of! " Buster sat up straight._they'll_ be surprised too! I rather think you'll turn your attention to Mr Engler. will you?" "We'll talk about you and Bingo later. I can't ima gine why. You see. who immediately rolled over on his back in delight. mind . as Fatty told the story of the Banshee Myste ry. "A boat in a _picture_!" said the Inspector. "Well. "It was Ern and I who _really_ wanted to go. You should see him play with Buster here . "He's just been working hard on a mystery. sir.and one or two others . we thought we'd make a few expeditions these holidays. with such pride in his voice that everyone smiled. "I gather your uncle doesn't like him." said Fatty." he began. certa inly has a sound complaint against you. sir."Inspector Jenks. sir . They were going to listen with as much interest as everyone else. and Bingo sat up straight too. My very own." he said. "Tell your story. will you?" she said. Frederick." said the Chief. What do you know about him?" "I know a great deal. and t hat was one of them . Engler." said the Inspector.. and patted Bingo.no embroidery." "Nor can I. Bets ..when I'v e finished telling my story!" Inspector Jenks looked most surprised." 17 ." w ent on Fatty. sir. "Yes. Well. "Sir. puffing out smoke. that's all.to Banshee Towers to see the lovely sea-pictures there. "and see what can be done.I couldn't take him if I tried!" said the Chief.just the plain facts . in a sudd enly choky voice. He took out his pipe and began to light i t. sir?" "Bingo. . now. "It all started with the disap pearance of a tiny boat in a big picture. Still a kid." said Ern. "And very surprising it is." "Cheer up. you won't take Fatty to prison. you won't let my uncle take him away from me. The others d on't yet know all the things I know . Then he sat back comfortably in his chair. "It all started with the disappearance of a tiny boat in a big picture in the Pi cture-Gallery at Banshee Towers. sir.FATTY SOLVES THE MYSTERY! There was dead silence in the shed." said Bets. they are. It's Frederick here I'm worried about. how's everybody? My word." said Fatty. We all have. "I'm ready ." "He's a nice dog. in a very serious voice. in a much more friendly tone. astonished. that's all . "He's not old enough.they're a pai r. sir. here's a new dog. "He's _my_ dog." said Ern. What's your name.

sir. and if so." "Oh . as for me. He wasn't very nice.the pictures were grand." said Fatty. sir. a man called Mr Engler. sir. "Frederick." said Ern." "Strange. Mr E ngler is an Austrian too." "Smashing.he forgot t o put that tiny boat into the copied picture! That's the _only_ difference that Ern and Bets could see in the two pictures!" "A very." "Well. They were most of them awful .there were artists there." said Fatty.he pain ted Ern right across the face by slashing at him with his brush. and paid a shilling to go in. it might _never_ have been spotted. We had a look rou nd . sir. briskly. The artists were copying them just for prac tice. and Bets nodded. WHAT reasons? This is as important for you. you may as well know that we have reason to believe Engler is a croo k." said In spector Jenks. that the pictures there belonged to a Count Ludw ig. But he was a _r eal_ artist. "And it wasn't painted out or anything . were there?" said the Inspector. for a large sum of money. the others were only art-students from some art-school. "Please tell me straight out if _you_ have any reason to bel ieve he is.Bets here can say the same as me. though ." said Fatty." "No."So we all went up on our bikes. I didn't much like the turnstile man.I wouldn't have given ten shillings for any of them!" went on Fatty. and I went to look at that picture agan . "Well. very small omission!" said Inspector Jenks "One that might have gone un noticed for years . and rolls it up . I don't think a nyone but sharp-eyed children would notice and remember a tiny boat so clearly! . "That was the beginning of the Mystery." said Fatty.. you can prove it now.looked at anoth er picture perhaps. sir . "You must have made a mistake . "And it had a tiny red boat. sir. Then he take s the original picture out of its frame.i t just wasn't there." said Inspector Jenks. "Except the French man. painted on a wave near the bottom of the picture. sir . or to sell as copies afterwards. we went again the next day. who had lent them to this Mr Engler to show in his gallery. it was!" said Ern. And I didn't m uch like one of the artists there." said Fatty. what about it?" said the Inspector. taking up the story.. a Frenchman. sir ." "All right.but couldn't prove!" "Well.and I must say that Francois Ortalo makes some wonderful copies!" "He sells the originals somewhere.honestly he was very very good. sir. "Copying the pi ctures?" "Yes. and I certain ly didn't like the owner of the pictures. "I'm pr etty sure that what he does is to get that French artist to copy the pictures he has had lent to him from various Art galleries all over the place. of Austria." said the Chief. I believe. "I sort of smelt something fishy from that very moment.but not awfully well. "It said in the catalogue.and sticks the finish ed copy in its place .in fact. "Just what we suspected . of course. I can give you plenty of reasons. in my opinion. "That French artist made a big mi stake when he copied that fine sea-picture that Ern and Bets loved . "and Ern here stood for ages in front of a very big one.and the boat was _gone_!" said Ern.

broke into his bedroom." said Fatty. "You are much smarter than he is. but only dud co pies. I found it in a book when I . and couldn't. and gave Inspector Jenks the list he had written down that morning in the office at Banshee Towers." said the chief." Everyone stared at Fatty in surprise. I was. "I _can_ tell you a few things. tried to say something. give it to me. Frederick?" "Well.I just _happened_ to see Mr Engler's office desk. h as he?" he said. you will jo in the police-force and not the ranks of the burglars!" said the Inspector." said the Inspector. r ogue though he is!" "Well. How in the world do you kn ow this?" "Well .Ern . hardly able to believe his ears.wit . "But Ern here was rather shocked.and the artist . "I wouldn't like to say how many different countries want him f or swindling people over pictures. he has apparently never noticed the difference!" "Then he won't notice that the tiny little boat is missing when he gets the copy ?" said Bets." went on the Inspector. little B ets! And Ern too!" "Can you charge Mr Engler . I wasn't sure." said Ern. "we want to know quite a few more things. opening a notebook.I congratulate you! You may be the means of catching a very clever and rem arkable swindler!" Ern went as red as a beetroot. "and I ju st glanced at a few things. who lends these pictures to Mr Engler?" as ked Fatty." said Fatty.quick.so Francois Ortalo has turned up here. "Of course." said Fatty. of 91 Rue Carnot. "He kn ows all about the famous pictures on the Continent of Europe.and perhaps the turnstile man . be fore we can charge this rogue with stealing. T he Frenchman's _real_ name and address. "Am I dreaming ? We've been looking everywhere for this information." said Fatty. "Oho . with a twinkle in his eye. sir. Paris. Perhaps you can tell me some of the m. "His name is Francois Henri Ortalo. I found his name i n a book about them. Fatty! Anything else?" "Well. "But then I didn't know that Fatty was getting inf ormation to pass on to _you_. "Oh yes." The Chief gave a little whistle. "And he must be a poor judge of art . sir." "I can only hope." "Is there really a Count Ludwig. Ern?" "Well. sir.er . amazed. weren't you. I don't know. though. for instance. that when you are grown-up.because alth ough Engler never sends him back his valuable original pictures. "What's his name . "He certainly won't. "Bless my soul!" said the Chief. "I s uppose you do know that you had no right to go snooping in that fellow's desk." said Fatty." said the Chief. Frederick Trotteville. sir. sir. I know which Art Galleries in America _buy_ the original pictures. yes. Good work.

It isn't easy to smuggle big pictures out o f a place you know .and I sa w something tightly rolled up in it . of course. that's easy. I couldn't see the whole picture. for instance." said Fatty. apparently. They went away in a blue van and a car. "Yes . I wasn't quite sure how everything fitted. Now let me see ." "Yes. "I'd feel safer if I could find out how he gets the original pictures safely out of the Art Galleries he shows them in . "It's difficult. It's been really puzzling us. ast onished.and the slapping of a brush?" almost shouted Ern. FOR for 'Pair of Rogues!' and JBL for 'Jolly Bad Lot'. S o I fear we can't set up road-blocks anywhere." "Fatty! You never told us! _How_ did they get the pictures out?" said Larry.POR 202 and JBL 333. Fatty?" . or issue a general warning to the police.it stuck almost at once. I went and snooped down one ." "Pair of Rogues . sir.s uch as Banshee Towers." said Fatty." "Why didn't you tell us all these things?" said Bets. It wasn't till this morning that I foun d the last piece . or you _might_ get a swelled h ead. t ill I'd found _every_ bit of the jigsaw. Ern. I won't say what a marvel I think you are. But I rather fear the men have smelt a rat and gone. or know what it meant.not only here but in other places too and we've never been able to lay our hands on any pictures being smuggled out o r in!" "Oh.I nearly forgot." said Fatty. The man we had on watch unfortunately wasn't quick enough to take the numbers. "Someone must have tipped them that we were on the watch.but now I'm absolutely certain that it was a rolled-up. "That was what they were doing then! They climbed u p the ladder to cut the picture out . Fatty.one was Pair of Rogues. "You know. "I saw the numbers this morning.a picture off the w alls." said the Inspector." said the Chief. You've been pretty clev er over this. "And the other was Jolly Bad Lot.I couldn't imagine then what it was . shutting his notebook. sir . Easy way to remember thos e vehicles. for that matter." said Fatty." said the Inspector.then they slapped some sort of gluey paste on the empty space . half-leaping from his chair." said Fatty. "Well.suppos ed to be for repairs?" said Fatty. We _have_ to know the registration numbers of the vehicles. "Do you remember that there were always lengths of fat lead pipes about .and the cutting sound we heard when we were locked in that room . I remember. We've watched and watched that fellow . "I guessed that early on. "You're quite right.the letters described the occupants so well!" "Well.. canvas .yes .or into one. jotting down the numbers at once." "Oh those . It wouldn't be missed.the pipes in the shed! Then at last I knew how they managed t o get the pictures out without anyone guessing!" "You've done remarkably well._that's_ not a car-number!" said Larry. for a copy would be immediately slapped into place! " "FATTY! Remember that ladder this morning . it was a bit like a jigsaw..and stretched the copy over it .h robbery and swindling? "asked Fatty. "Well. and. "Do you happen to ha ve memorized the number of _my_ car in the same way. sir.

"Thanks. sir ." "_That's_ the way to talk. Your car number is VGF 888." "Yes. and have a word with Ern.ERN. when she heard he was n't here. Ern." "Hm: well. I wouldn't mind teaching hi m a few things myself. when I'm _out _ of favour. is Master Frederick Trotteville!" 18 . "And you needn't worry about Mr G oon. Ern!" And with that. sir." said the Chief. Just like her s auce!" . well.break ing and entering into Banshee Towers. Downright angry she was . sir?" asked Fatty. briskly. Fatty. And you say Ern . He's certainly worth watching. Once Frederick gets those brains of his t o work. He simply couldn't b elieve his ears. I am going straight up to the police station to tell him of the unexpected . If he's going to be as brainy as you think he is. "It's a pity y ou scared him so much. I shouldn't be surprised if your nephew doesn't make a very fine po lice-officer in some years' time." said In spector Jenks. and he ran away. in the circumstances. considering that you have given me so much help in this case." "Well." said Inspector Jenks. anxiously.we ca me up that underground passage. sir. Frederick. I pity all the rogues and swind lers and thieves in a few years' time. never. "I shall tell him that his nephew Ern was clev er enough to spot what is probably the only clue in existence that could lead to the arrest of a smart rogue like Mr Engler." sai d Goon. I sort of lost my temper."Yes. out went the Inspector. but with _me_. I shall cross out that complaint in my books.and really astonishing . "Will it be _safe_ for him to go back t o Mr Goon's?" "QUITE safe. As for that boy Frederick Trotteville . Actually we didn't _break_ in. they will not see many beautiful pictures!" "What about Mr Engler's complaint about me.I just wonder what _else_ Fatty makes those letters stand for. and the originals _sold_! That fellow Engler must ha ve made a fortune. "You know . He might have been of some use to you. sir.not with Ern. Well done indeed.VGF stands f or Very Good Fellow. and put them somewhere where. and clapping the p oliceman on the back.my car's number is VGF . my nephew. I must say that I think the Five Find-Outers are remarkably good detectives!" "What about Ern?" asked Bets. th anks. getting up. "I'd like him back." said Mr Goon. was the one that spotted th e first clue! I'd never have thought it of Ern. that might be useful to him later on.well. I'm glad to hear that" said the Inspector.and Fatty said it stood for Very Good Fellow. sir. getting up. sir.help you have given me this morning. promptly. I am pretty certain. "Let's se e now . Goon. they won't have a chance!" "I think I'll go down to the Trottevilles' house. "His mother's been after me about him. H m . getting up." "Well. We can now pin down those three rogues. with a very broad smile indeed. Goon." said Fatty. "Youngsters nowadays have some fine stuff in them." said the Inspector. "Er .YOU _NEVER_ KNOW WHAT OLD FATTY IS UP TO! Mr Goon was amazed to hear what Inspector Jenks had to say. "All those pictures copied. you kno w. murmuring something to himself.

" said Bets." said Fatty. and no hard words said on either side. and that even the banshee must have been pre tty scared of Ern. Fatty immediately leapt out of the window with Buster. I'm not seeing him this morning." said Larry. with the air slowly departing from him. I might be a bit rude if he starts saying anything nasty about old Ern. I suppose. you just tell her how clever Ern has been . wasn't it!" "I _wish_ we had that machinery here. that was a clever st unt of Mr Engler's. the first day we were there. and find out extraordinary clues." said Larry. They were all talking a bout their adventures in Banshee Towers. leaving Mr Goon feeling rather like a pricked balloon.whoever would have thought he had a brain in his head? I can't believe it!" He set off on his bicycle to ride to Fatty's house.carefully putting the pictures into those lead pipes. My word." said Fatty. well-behaved dog he has. And I've no doubt that the French artist used to do a bit of packing up then . Whatever is _he_ he re for?" "To complain about me 'harbouring' Ern. Goon!" He departed. ready for collection. I'll let you know when we catch those sw indlers. like.but no doubt about it. frowning. I nearly died of fr ight!" "There's only one part of the Mystery we didn't solve. as his feet went up a nd down on the pedals. I'm sure you'll enjoy having Bingo back." thought Goon. what a VERY nice. too." "Bang-bang!" That was Mr Goon knocking at the shed door. Silly name . It was a curious thing." "Sh! Someone's coming. "Look. "And that wa s why the banshee apparently chose Thursday for its weekly wail."Ah. "Oh. hasn't he! Even SITS when he's told.that will smooth her down.." sai d the Inspector. popping his head through the window . Fatty. That Ern now . and that was to race out into the road at top speed. Thursday is the turnstile man's halfday off .so he used to set the machinery going to clear everyone away early! Th en he'd be able to shut up the place and get off in good time. they seemed to have but one thought in thei r doggy minds. if you particularly _want_ to give your neighbours a shock. when you wailed in that Armour Room.you're as good as any banshee. good-bye. somehow or othe r they _did_ solve mysteries. barking at t he top of their voices. and leap at poor Mr Goon's ankles. Down in the shed no one guessed that Mr Goon was coming." he said. keeping a sharp look-out for dogs.. _you_ don't n eed banshee machinery!" said Pip. "What a shock everyone would get in the middle of the night!" "Well. "My word. then they'd tell me things. of course. "If you have any trouble with Goon. giving Fatty a friendly punch. "All you need i s your own frightful wail . "Well." said Fatty. "Maybe it's silly of me to go against them. "An d I needn't have bothered my head over it. but as soon as dogs saw Mr Goon riding majestical ly down the road on his old bicycle. apparently there really _wasn't_ any mystery about that. You'll have Ern back. and. Goon. Well. he'd better go down and see those "Find-Outers " as they called themselves. "THE most exciting part was where we se t off the wailing banshee machinery. don't let it worry you. Why Thursday?" "Well. And by the way. Fatty -it's Mr Goon. "Be better if I was more friendly. hurrying to the window at the back of the shed. Now you others t ell him that Ern's been marvellous.

" said Mr Goon. in a stem voice. "Stop that! SIT!" And Bingo meekly sat down at once.er ." There was another awkward and astonished silence.and you all .well-trained dog that. "Eeee-oooooooo-oh-oh-oh. The others muttered a greeting too . eeeeeeeeeeeee!" wailed Fatty." And then. yelping at the top of his voice. I hear that you were quite clev er at spotting a very important clue. Mr Goon gave a sickly smile. "It sounded like . I . and rus hing at Mr Goon's ankles. came a little wail. you know. surprised. and soon the little ro om was full of the most heart-rending. he must have scared that old banshee! Ha ha ha!" Nobody else laughed. like." said Bets. It's said to wail. What with the wailing and the barking. Then it became louder and pitched higher in tone. My word.and at once they clutche d one another. and tried to push him away. "Very fine. enjoying himself thorough ." said Mr Goon. "Here you all are oh." Larry then opened the door.." Ern blushed bright red at this compliment." said Goon." said Bets. Bingo broke it by suddenly giving a loud bark. he's a fine dog.just a bi t excitable at times. Uncle . though he still looked longingly at Mr Goon's ankles! "Ha . Ern. b ut _I've_ never heard it whenever I've been near the Towers! Ho ho . in a hearty voice.I bet it wo uldn't dare to raise its voice if it saw _me_ anywhere near!" "Well. Mr Goon was scared out of his lif e. not looking nearly so fierc e as usual. Ther e was an awkward silence.came to congratulate him .oh. "Good morning. Bring him with you when you come. "Well. trying to find where the weird noise was coming from.. Th e sort of thing that Frederick would make a lot of. let me see.I'll be quite pleas ed to have him back again. to o. and there stood Mr Goon. _we_ heard it all right. too? He's not a bad dog . They were all still a bit wary of their old enemy. politely. except Frederick.. "I'll be listening out here. eerie wailing that Goon had ever heard. and couldn't find a word to say. and rushed round the room." "Oh. "Do you really w ant me to come back. and looked so frightened that Mr Goon felt as if _he_ wanted to c lutch at somebody too! Bingo was terrified. Ern broke it. sudd enly.. well.and Bingo here.." said Mr Goon. He stepped in." said Ern. "Er . in an unexpectedly hearty voice. from outside the window. Ern.but she and the others knew at once that it was only old F atty showing the disbelieving Mr Goon what a banshee's wail was like! "Pretend to be scared!" whispered Larry to the others . and to everyone's immense astonishment. Just a very little one at first. "Of course. I know. B ets jumped at first . "Bingo. and I'll come to your help at once. and everyone's frightened looks. "that banshee business is a bit of a fraud. Obedient. but he's not much more than a pup.on help ing to solve the mystery of Banshee Towers. smiled and no dded. Mr Goon.

Mr Goon could stand it no longer. He had no breat h left to be a wailing banshee any longer! Buster and Bingo had gone completely mad and were barking and tearing round and round the room non-stop. Mother!" asked Fatty at once. "Mother.ly outside the window. You know I'm ticklish. "One of the children had been hurt!" said Mrs Trotteville. It was most unfortunate that Fatty's mother and the old cook were picking early daffodils in the garden just then. "I'll get help!" he panted. She poked at Fatty with a hard forefinger. and didn't stop eve n when Mrs Trotteville walked into the shed. Mother. you'll be p ut into prison if you do things like that. and up the garden. Poor Goon ." "Sitting down in the _mint_ bed. we must see what's the matter. as he lay collapsed in a chair. They had all collapsed into chairs or on the floor. this is too good to be true!" said Fatty. looking mos t astonished. if you want to know. "Oh. hoping that a banshee wouldn't suddenly appear before him. what's happened?" cried Mrs Trotteville. Mother.but shrieks of la ughter! "Ha ha ha ha! Oh. and gazed round at everyone in indi gnation." So down to the shed they rushed at top speed. he he. and was wiping tears from his eyes. Why are you so cross? It's not against the law to wail like a bansh ee is it?" And off be went again into another roar of laughter. But w hat in the world was this noise they heard _now_? No wailing . I was only bein g a banshee." said his mother. feeling very anxious indeed. "I shall fetch your father. Poor Mr Goon ! Mrs Trotteville and the cook ran to the shed.oh. astounded at Fatty's behaviour. ho ho." said Fatty. "Mother.. ho ho. He sat down heavily in a bed of mint. and Mr Goon was kno cked flying by the plump cook. I never thought Goon could run like that!" "Ho ho ho! Good old banshee!" "Ha ha. Mother! Oh. "What's happened. They heard the wailing too. don't. what terrible sc reams and wails! Quick. and stood upright at once.or Mr Goon either!" "Goon ." said his mother. "He's sitting down in the very middle of my mint bed. He just went on sitting in the mint. "Has the shed stove f allen over? Has there been an accident?" But Mr Goon had no breath to reply. "I really do not know what has come over you all .he'll smell of mint for w . "Someone's in danger!" And out of the door he rushed . just as Mr Goon was racing up the path as if wild tigers were after him! They met at a corner. "FREDERICK! WHAT IS ALL THIS?" demanded Mrs Trotteville in a very cross voice in deed. Fatty had climbed back into the room through the window. "And serve him right too .rushing straight into us like that. a nd when Fatty began another set of wails. Buster began to yelp as soon as he heard Bingo barking.. panting loudly." The laughter went on and on. "Oh. do you mean to say you pushed him over . listening in fright.what's he doing that's upset you.

" said his mother.eeks!" "Oh. Go and help Mr Goon out of my mint bed. please don't make _me_ laugh. Mr Goon. listening in amazement to the laughter coming from Fatty's sh ed! "What's happening now? How is it something _always_ happens when that fat boy is about?" he grunts. "Pooh. I'll get the better of you! You see if I don't!" Well.there he is. will you? You just NEVER know what old Fatty is up to! . But don't be too sure of yourself. Fatty. Master Frede rick Trotteville. Fatty. I'm sure the poor man i s still there!" Yes . Y ou're a bad lot. "I don't know _what_ to do with you. we'll see next time there's a Mystery to solve. what a smell of mint! One of these days. feeling a sudde n desire to join in the merriment. too.

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