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Mystery #05 — The Mystery of the Missing Necklace tff-5

Enid Blyton

  Mystery #05 — The Mystery of the Missing Necklace

  ( The Five Find-Outers - 5 )

  Enid Blyton

  Fatty's disguises are better than ever. No one recognises him as a balloon seller, or as the old man in the village. Burglaries are going on and the police are baffled. It's a new mystery for the Five Find-Outers and Dog!

  Mystery #05 — The Mystery of the Missing Necklace

  Mystery05 — The Mystery of the Missing Necklace—Blyton, Enid.

  Oh, for a Mystery!

  Pip and Bets sat in their garden, in the very coolest place they could find, They had on sun-suits and nothing else, for the August sun was blazing hot.

  "A whole month of the summer hols gone already!" said Pip. "And except that we've been away to the seaside for two weeks, absolutely nothing else has happened. Most boring."

  "The boringest hols we've ever had," said Bets. "Not even the smell of a mystery to solve I And not even Larry, Daisy, Fatty, or Buster to play with—they've been away at the sea for ages!"

  Larry and Daisy were friends of Pip and Bets, and so was Frederick—or Fatty as everyone called him. Buster was his Scottie dog, loved by all the children.

  The five children called themselves the Five Find-Outers and Dog, because for the last four holidays they had tackled curious mysteries and solved them all—much to the annoyance of the village policeman, Mr. Goon.

  "But now it seems as if you and I, Pip, are the only Find-Outers left," said Bets. "I don't feel as if the others will ever come back! Soon the hols will be over, you'll all be back at boarding-school again, except me, and we shan't solve any mystery at all these hols."

  "There are still four weeks left, so cheer up, baby!" said Pip. "And the others come back this week—and I bet old Fatty will have heaps of new disguises to try out on us! We'll be on the look-out for him this time, though—and we jolly well won't be taken in!"

  Bets laughed. She remembered how Fatty had disguised himself as a French boy, and deceived them all beautifully. And in the last holidays he had produced all kinds of disguises, which he wore with a red wig and eyebrows. There was no knowing what old Fatty would be up to next!

  "But this time he won't deceive us," said Pip again. "I shall be very suspicious of any peculiar-looking stranger who tries to talk to me, or comes to call on us. I shall say to myself, 'It's you all right, Fatty,' and I shan't listen to a word!"

  "Do you think there will be a mystery for us to solve these hols?" asked Bets. "I do so like looking for clues, and making out lists of Suspects, and crossing people off the list when we've made enquiries—and finding the real Suspect at the end!"

  "We've been jolly lucky so far," said Pip, sitting up and looking round for the bottle of lemonade he had brought out. "We've been able to solve every single mystery. We can't always be successful, though. I don't expect even real detectives are always successful. Bets, you pig, you've finished the lemonade. Go and ask Gladys for some iced water."

  Bets was too lazy to move. She rolled over out of Pip's reach, and yawned loudly. "I'm bored! I want the others to come back so that we can have games with them. I want a mystery—a really good one. And I want to solve it before Old Clear-Orf does!"

  Old Clear-Orf was Mr. Goon the policeman. He told children and dogs to "clear-orf" whenever he saw them. He disliked all the Find-Outers intensely, and never had a good word to say for them. Pip and Bets hadn't seen much of him in the summer holidays, and were very glad, for he had often been to their parents to complain of the behaviour of the Five Find-Outers. Bets was afraid of him, because when he lost his temper he shouted, and was very unpleasant indeed.

  "Bets, didn't you hear me tell you to go in and fetch some iced water?" said Pip crossly. "Go on!"

  "I'm not going to be ordered about by you," said Bets, rolling a bit farther away. "I suppose you order all the little boys about in your school, and then when you come home you think you can order me about too. Well, I shall soon be ten, and you're not to!"

  "Don't you cheek me, young Bets!" said Pip, sitting up. "You're much younger than I am, and you've got to do as you're told! Go and get that iced water—or I’ll catch you and give you a jolly good smacking."

  "I think you're a horrid brother to have," said Bets. "I'd much rather have Fatty. He's always kind to me!"

  "He wouldn't be, if you were his sister," said Pip. "He hasn't got any sisters—if he had, he'd know what a nuisance they are. Now—are you going to go and ..."

  "Yes, I’ll get it!" said Bets, getting up, "but only because I'm thirsty, and I want some to drink, see? I don't mind bringing you out a little too, as I'm going to get some for myself, but I'm really going for myself, and..."

  Pip pretended to be getting up, and Bets fled. If only the others would come back! She and Pip were getting tired of one another.

  Bets hadn't long to wait before the others came back. In two days' time Larry, Daisy, Fatty, and Buster all turned up together, looking so brown that Pip and Bets had to gaze earnestly at them to make sure they really were their friends. Buster wasn't brown, of course—he was still jet-black, and he flung himself on Pip and Bets in joy and delight, barking and licking and whining as if he had gone mad.

  "Buster, darling! You're fatter! Oh, Larry, I'm glad you're back! Daisy, you're terribly brown. And oh, Fatty—you've grown!"

  Fatty certainly had grown in the last four months. He was still plump, but he was taller, taller even than Larry now, and much taller than Pip, who didn't seem to have grown at all in the last year.

  "Hallo, every one!" he said, and Bets gave a cry of surprise.

  "Fatty! You've got a different voice! It's a grown-up voice! Are you putting it on—disguising it, I mean?"

  "No," said Fatty, pulling Bets' hair teasingly. "It's just broken, that's all."

  "Who broke it?" said Bets, in alarm, and the others roared at her till their sides ached.

  "She'll never be anything but a baby!" said Pip. "Never."

  Bets looked so upset and puzzled that Fatty put his arm round her and gave her a squeeze. "Bets, don't be silly. You know that when they grow up, boys get deep voices like men's, don't you? Well, when boys' voices change Eke that we say that their voices break—that's an. We don't mean broken in half, or smashed to pieces!"

  "Oh, Fatty—I don't know you with such a deep voice," said Bets, half-alarmed. "You don't sound the same. You look like Fatty—but you don't sound like him! I wish you had your old voice."

  "Bets, you've no idea what a difference it makes to me, now I've got a proper grown-up voice," said Fatty earnestly. "It means that I can disguise myself as a grown-up instead of always like some kind of boy! It gives me much more scope—and I've got some fine grown-up disguises!"

  Bets immediately changed her mind about not liking Fatty's new voice. More disguises I Now life would be exciting and thrilling and unexpected things would happen. Fatty would disguise himself as all kinds of grown-up people—the Find-Outers would have a simply gorgeous time. She stared at Fatty happily.

  "Oh, Fatty! You've only been able to dress up as telegraph boys or butcher boys or messenger boys before! Now you can be all kinds of things—old men with beards—a postman—a dustman—a window-cleaner with a ladder—even a sweep! Oh, Fatty, do be all those things and let's see you!”

  Every one laughed. "Give me a chance!" said Fatty. "I'm going to practise a bit these hols. I didn't have much chance whilst I was away, because Mother wouldn't let me take much luggage—but I don't mind telling you I'm going to collect a few things now! I've got taller too, so I can almost wear grown-ups' things. By the time our next mystery com
es along I shall be able to tackle it in whatever disguise is necessary."

  "You do sound grown-up," said Bets. "Doesn't he, everybody?"

  "Well, as a matter of fact," said Fatty, swelling up a little with pride, "I'm the tallest boy in my form now, and you should just see the muscles in my arms. I'll show you!”

  "Same old Fatty!" said Larry. "Best in everything, aren't you? Nobody to beat you!"

  Fatty grinned and peeled off his shirt. He bent his arm and showed them how his muscles came up in a big lump. Bets looked on in awe, but Larry and Pip did not seem to be much impressed.

  "Fair!" said Larry. "I've seen better ones on a boy of twelve!”

  "Huh! You're jealous!" said Fatty, good-humouredly. "Now then—let's hear any Peterswood news, Pip and Bets. The village seemed pretty crowded when I came through it just now."

  "Too jolly crowded for anything!" said Pip. "This hot weather is drawing the people to the river in their hundreds! We get motor-coaches all day long—and down by the river there are all sorts of shows to amuse the people when they get tired of the river, or it's raining."

  "What sort of shows?" asked Fatty, lying down on the grass, and tickling Buster on his tummy. "Any good?"

  "Not much," said Pip. "There's a Waxwork Show—pretty dull really—you know, figures made of wax, all dressed up—and there are those Bumping Motor-Cars—they're quite fun for the first two or three times you go in them...."

  "And a Hoopla game," said Bets. "You buy three wooden rings for twopence, and you try to throw them over any of the things arranged on a big round table—and if the ring goes right over anything, you can have whatever you've ringed. I like that game."

  "You would!" said Pip. "She spends a whole shilling on hiring the wooden rings—and then wins a mouldy little brooch worth a penny, that Mother can't bear and won't let her wear!”

  "Well, Pip, you spent tenpence once, and you didn't win a thing!" began Bets hotly. But Fatty interrupted.

  "Sounds as if Peterswood is going quite gay!" he said. "Well have to make up a party and go down to all these shows one wet afternoon. If it ever is wet again!"

  "Fatty, win you go in one of your new grown-up disguises?" asked Bets excitedly. "Oh, do! It would be lovely to see you acting like a grown-up, and taking everybody in!"

  "Ill see," said Fatty. "I'd like to take in Old Clear-Orf, I must say! He's up to all my boy-disguises now—he'd see through them at once—but I bet he wouldn't see through a grown-up disguise!"

  "What will you go as?" asked Daisy.

  "Don't know," said Fatty. "And listen, all of you—if you can get any old things of your fathers'—you know, old hats they don't want, or boots, or even old coats—they'd come in mighty useful for me. I'm afraid if I take too many of my father's things, he'll be annoyed. Mother doesn't let him keep any of his old things, she gives them away—so he's only got rather newish clothes."

  "We'll do what we can," promised Larry, and Pip nodded too. Anything to help old Fatty to disguise himself! Bets sighed with joy to think that Fatty was back again. Now life would really be exciting once more. And oh, if only a mystery turned up, how heavenly the rest of the hols would be!

  Mr. Goon is Very Annoying.

  It was lovely to be all together again, day after day. The Five bathed in the river, went for long bicycle rides, lazed in the garden, squabbled, drank pints of iced drinks, and ate hundreds of ices. Buster liked both lemonade and ices and had his full share. He got rather fat and Pip teased him.

  "You're too fat to go after rabbits, Buster!" he said. "Why, even a mouse would escape you now. You don't walk any more, you waddle. You don't breathe, you wheeze! You..."

  "Oh, don't tease him so," said Bets, who was always quite certain that Buster could understand every single word said to him. "He doesn't waddle. I bet if he saw Old Clear-Orf this very minute he'd be after him like a shot!"

  "By the way, what's happened to Goon?" asked Fatty. "I saw him yesterday, in a great hurry and looking frightfully important."

  "Probably solving some Mystery we don't know anything about," said Larry gloomily. "There have been a lot of burglaries lately, and perhaps Goon is getting at the bottom of them.

  "Yes—but the burglaries haven't been in his district," said Fatty. "They've mostly been miles away. I've read about them in the paper. Lady Rexham's jewels were stolen only last week—and somebody else's famous diamonds the week before. It's a clever gang of thieves—but they're not working this district, as far as I know."

  "I wish they were!" said Bets. "Then we could catch them. You could put on one of your new disguises, Fatty, and track them down."

  "It's not as easy as all that, little Bets, and you know it!" said Fatty, with a laugh. "You just think of all the difficulties we had in our other mysteries."

  "We haven't seen you in any grown-up disguise yet, Fatty," said Daisy. "Do put one on, so that we can spot you in it, if we can."

  "I've been practising in my bedroom," said Fatty. "I don't want to try anything out on you till I'm perfect. I'll try it on you when I'm ready, I promise. And I'll give my second-best propelling-pencil to any one of you that spots me first, see?"

  "Oooh, Fatty—the pencil that can write in lead, or in red, or in blue?" said Bets. "Can you really spare it?"

  "I'll certainly give it to any of the Find-Outers if they're bright enough to spot me in my first grown-up disguise," said Fatty. "It's a bargain!”

  "I bet I’ll spot you first," said Larry. "The girls won't, I'm sure. Pip might—but I'll be first!"

  "We'll have to leave Buster behind when we try to-do the spotting," said Pip. "Or hell simply rush up to you and bark madly to tell every one it's you!"

  "Yes. Buster's out of this," said Fatty, and Buster cocked up his ears at his name. "Sorry, Buster, old boy—but tomorrow you must stay at home with the cat." "Oh, Fatty—are you going to dress up tomorrow?” asked Bets, in delight. "Really tomorrow? Well, you won't deceive me! I shall look at every one with an eagle eye!”

  "Right," said Fatty. "But all the same—I have a feeling that my propelling-pencil will still be safely in my pocket tomorrow night! You may be quite good Find-Outers—but I’m a bit cleverer than any of you!"

  "You're certainly best at boasting!" said Larry. "That trumpet of yours must be quite worn out by now."

  "What trumpet?" said Bets, in curiosity. "I've never seen Fatty with a trumpet."

  "No, but surely you've heard him blowing his own trumpet? " said Larry. "It's deafening at times! It's..."

  And then Fatty sat up and flung himself on Larry and there was a great deal of shouting and yelling and squealing, with Buster plunging into the middle of the brawl and getting wildly excited too.

  Mrs. Hilton, Pip's mother, appeared. "Children! You do know I've visitors in the garden, surely? If you want to yell and squeal and fight, will you go somewhere else? What about a nice walk?"

  "Oh Mother—it's too hot for a walk!” groaned Pip.

  "Well, I should have thought it was much too hot to fight," said Mrs. Hilton disapprovingly. "Really, Larry and Frederick, you look very dirty and untidy!"

  "Sorry, Mrs. Hilton," said Fatty meekly, and Larry tried to smooth his hair down. "Well go for a walk. I forgot you bad people to tea in the garden. I really do apologize."

  Fatty had marvellous manners with grown-up people, and Mrs. Hilton began to smile again. "Go down to the dairy and get yourselves an ice-cream each," she said. "That will get rid of you for a bit. Here's the money, Pip."

  "Oh thanks, Mother," said Pip, and they all got up, pleased. It was the fourth ice-cream that day, but it didn't seem worth while mentioning that to Mrs. Hilton. Fatty's mother had already provided ice-creams and so had Larry's, and Fatty had generously given them one each as well. Now this was the fourth lot. Goody!

  They walked sedately down the garden and round the drive to the gates. They went to the dairy, which made real cream-ices that were most delicious, and sat down at the little table in the window to eat them.
  Mr. Goon passed by on his bicycle as they sat there. He pedalled furiously, his face hot and red.

  "Spot of hard work for Goon," said Fatty, letting a cold spoonful of ice-cream slide as slowly down his throat as possible. "Looks busy, doesn't he?"

  Before they had finished their ices, Goon came pedalling back again, as furiously as before. The police-station was just opposite the dairy, and the children watched the policeman go smartly up the steps. Then they saw his head behind the frosted window-pane of one of the rooms in the police-station, talking to somebody else. Goon was talking the most and was nodding vigorously.

  "Never seen Goon so busy before!" said Fatty, in astonishment. "Do you think he's really got a case to work on—a mystery to solve that we don't know anything about?"

  "Golly, here he comes again!" said Pip, as Goon scuttled out of the police-station, buttoning a big sheaf of papers into his breast-pocket. "He's simply bursting with importance."

  "He's feeling jolly pleased about something," said Fatty. "I should be mad if something had cropped up in Peterswood whilst I've been away, and we don't know anything about it!”

  Goon jumped on to his bicycle and pedalled away again. It was maddening to sit there and watch him so busy and important and not know why. Fatty felt as if he was bursting with curiosity.

  "He's on to something!" he said. "He really is. I know that look on his face. We must find out what it is!"

  "Well, you find out then," said Larry. "And if he tells you, you'll be lucky! It's what Goon has dreamed of for months—a mystery all to himself, that the Five Find-Outers don't know anything about!”

  "I can't bear it!” said Fatty, and let the last spoonful of ice-cream go down his throat. Then he looked dismayed. "Oh I say—do you know, I was so puzzled about Old Clear-Orf and his mystery that I ate that ice-cream without tasting it. What a fearful waste. I'll have to have another."