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The Castle of Adventure

Enid Blyton

  Enid Blyton, who died in 1968, is one of the most successful children’s authors of all time. She wrote over seven hundred books, which have been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold more than 400 million copies around the world. Enid Blyton’s stories of magic, adventure and friendship continue to enchant children the world over. Enid Blyton’s beloved works include The Famous Five, Malory Towers, The Faraway Tree and the Adventure series.

  Titles in the Adventure series:

  1. The Island of Adventure

  2. The Castle of Adventure

  3. The Valley of Adventure

  4. The Sea of Adventure

  5. The Mountain of Adventure

  6. The Ship of Adventure

  7. The Circus of Adventure

  8. The River of Adventure

  First published 1946 by Macmillan Children’s Books

  This edition published 2006 by Macmillan Children’s Books

  This electronic edition published 2009 by Macmillan Children’s Books

  an imprint of Pan Macmillan Ltd

  Pan Macmillan, 20 New Wharf Rd, London N1 9RR

  Basingstoke and Oxford

  Associated companies throughout the world

  ISBN 978-0-330-50705-9 in Adobe Reader format

  ISBN 978-0-330-50703-5 in Adobe Digital Editions format

  ISBN 978-0-330-50706-6 in Mobipocket format

  Text copyright © 1946 Enid Blyton Limited. All rights reserved. Enid Blyton’s signature mark is a trademark of Enid Blyton Limited (a Chorion company). All rights reserved.

  You may not copy, store, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

  A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

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  1. Now for the holidays

  2. The boys come home – and Kiki!

  3. Settling in at Spring Cottage

  4. Tassie and Button

  5. The way to the castle

  6. How can they get in?

  7. Inside the Castle of Adventure

  8. Up in the tower

  9. The eagles’ nest

  10. A curious thing

  11. An unexpected meeting

  12. Jack is left at the castle

  13. Noises in the night

  14. Jack gets a shock

  15. The hidden room

  16. Things begin to happen

  17. Things go on happening

  18. Prisoners in the castle

  19. Lucy-Ann has an idea

  20. Philip tells a strange story

  21. Another day goes by

  22. Tassie is very brave

  23. A few surprises

  24. Kiki gives a performance

  25. At midnight

  26. Going into hiding

  27. The adventure boils up

  28. A terrible storm

  29. The secret passage

  30. The other side of the hill

  31. The end of the Castle of Adventure


  Now for the holidays!

  Two girls sat on a window-seat in their school study. One had red wavy hair, and so many freckles that it was impossible to count them. The other had dark hair that stuck up in front in an amusing tuft.

  ‘One more day and then the hols begin,’ said red-haired Lucy-Ann, looking at Dinah out of curious green eyes. ‘I’m longing to see Jack again. A whole term is an awfully long time to be away from him.’

  ‘Well, I don’t mind being away from my brother!’ said Dinah, with a laugh. ‘Philip’s not bad, but he does make me wild, always bringing in those awful animals and insects of his.’

  ‘It’s a good thing there’s only one day between our breaking-up days,’ said Lucy-Ann. ‘We shall be home first – and we can have a look round, and then the next day we shall meet the boys – hurrah!’

  ‘I wonder what this place is like, that Mother has taken for the hols,’ said Dinah. ‘I’ll get out her letter and read it again.’

  She fished in her pocket for the letter and took it out. She skimmed it through.

  ‘She doesn’t say very much. Only that she wants our home to be decorated and cleaned, and so she has taken a cottage somewhere in the hills for us to stay in these hols,’ said Dinah. ‘Here’s the letter.’

  Lucy-Ann took it, and read it with interest. ‘Yes – it’s a place called Spring Cottage, and it’s on the side of Castle Hill. She says it’s rather a lonely sort of place, but packed with wild birds, so Jack will be very pleased.’

  ‘I can’t understand your brother being so mad on birds,’ said Dinah. ‘He’s just as bad about birds as Philip is about insects and animals.’

  ‘Philip is marvellous with animals, I think,’ said Lucy-Ann, who had a great admiration for Dinah’s brother. ‘Do you remember that mouse he trained to take crumbs from between his teeth?’

  ‘Oh, don’t remind me of those things!’ said Dinah, with a shudder. She could not bear even a spider near her, and bats and mice made her squeal. Lucy-Ann thought it was amazing that she should have lived so many years with an animal-loving boy like Philip, and yet still be afraid of things.

  ‘He does tease you, doesn’t he?’ she said to Dinah, remembering how Philip had often put earwigs under Dinah’s pillow, and black beetles in her shoes. He really was a terrible tease when he was in the mood. No wonder Dinah had such a temper!

  ‘I wonder how Kiki has got on this term,’ said Dinah.

  Kiki was Jack’s parrot, an extremely clever bird, who could imitate voices and sounds in a most remarkable manner. Jack had taught her many phrases, but Kiki had picked up many many more herself, especially from a cross old uncle that Lucy-Ann and Jack had once lived with.

  ‘Kiki wasn’t going to be allowed to be at school with Jack this term,’ said Lucy-Ann sadly. ‘It’s an awful pity – but still he got a friend in the town to look after her for him, and he goes to see her every day. But I do think they might have let him have her at school.’

  ‘Well, considering that Kiki kept telling the headmaster not to sniff, and Jack’s form master to wipe his feet, and woke everyone up at night by screeching like a railway engine, I’m not surprised they didn’t want Kiki this term,’ said Dinah. ‘Anyway, we’ll be able to have her for the hols and that will be nice. I really do like Kiki – she doesn’t seem like a bird, but like one of us, somehow.’

  Kiki certainly was a good companion. Although she didn’t converse with the children properly, she could talk nineteen to the dozen when she wanted to, saying the most ridiculous things and making the children laugh till they cried. She adored Jack, and would sit quietly on his shoulder for hours if he would let her.

  The girls were glad that the holidays were so soon coming. They and the two boys and Kiki would have good fun together. Lucy-Ann especially looked forward to being with Dinah’s pretty, merry mother.

  Jack and Lucy-Ann Trent had no father or mother, and had lived with a cross old uncle for years, until by chance they had met Philip and Dinah Mannering. These two had no father, but they had a mother, who worked hard for them. She worked so hard that she had no time to make a home for them, so they were s
ent to boarding school, and in the holidays went to an aunt and uncle.

  But now things were changed. Dinah’s mother had enough money to make a home for them, and had offered to have their great friends, Jack and Lucy-Ann, as well. So in term time the two girls went to school together, and the two boys were at another school. In the holidays all four joined up with Mrs Mannering, the mother of Philip and Dinah.

  ‘No more uncles and aunts!’ said Dinah joyfully, who hadn’t much liked her absent-minded old Uncle Jocelyn. ‘Just a lovely home with my mother!’

  Now, in the coming holidays, they were all to be together in this holiday cottage that Mrs Mannering had found. Although Dinah was a little disappointed at not going back to the home her mother had made for them all, she couldn’t help looking forward to the holiday cottage. It sounded nice – and what fine walks and picnics they would have among the hills!

  ‘Do you remember that marvellous adventure we had last summer?’ she said to Lucy-Ann, who was looking dreamily out of the window, thinking how lovely it would be to see her brother Jack the day after next.

  Lucy-Ann nodded. ‘Yes,’ she said, and she screwed up her freckled nose a little. ‘It was the most exciting adventure anyone could have – but oh dear, how afraid I was sometimes! That Isle of Gloom – do you remember it, Dinah?’

  ‘Yes – and that shaft going right down into the heart of the earth – and how we got lost there – golly, that was an adventure!’ said Dinah. ‘I wouldn’t mind having another one, really.’

  ‘You are funny!’ said Lucy-Ann. ‘You shiver and shake when you see a spider, but yet you seem to enjoy adventures so exciting that they make me tremble even to remember them!’

  ‘Well – we shan’t have any more,’ said Dinah, rather regretfully. ‘One adventure like that is enough for a lifetime, I suppose. I bet the boys will want to talk about it again and again. Do you remember how in the Christmas hols we couldn’t make them stop?’

  ‘Oh – I wish the hols would come quickly!’ said Lucy-Ann, getting off the window-seat restlessly. ‘I don’t know why these last two or three days always drag so.’

  But tomorrow came at last, and the two girls went off in the train with scores of their friends, chattering and laughing. Their luggage was safely in the van, their tickets were in their purses, their hearts beat fast in delight. Now for the holidays!

  They had to change trains twice, but Dinah was good at that sort of thing. Lucy-Ann was timid and shy in her dealings with strangers, but twelve-year-old Dinah stood no nonsense from anyone. She was a strapping, confident girl, well able to hold her own. Lucy-Ann seemed two or three years younger to Dinah, although actually there was only one year between them.

  At last they were at the station for their holiday home. They leapt out and Dinah found the one and only porter. He went to get their luggage.

  ‘There’s Mother!’ shouted Dinah, and rushed to her pretty, bright-eyed mother, who had come to meet them. Dinah was not one to hug or kiss very much, but Lucy-Ann made up for that! Dinah gave her mother one quick peck of a kiss, but Lucy-Ann gave her a bear-hug, and rubbed her red head happily against Mrs Mannering’s chin.

  ‘Oh, it’s lovely to see you again!’ she said, thinking for the hundredth time how lucky Dinah was to have a mother of her own. She felt grateful to her for letting her share her. It wasn’t very nice, having no father or mother to write to you, or welcome you home. But Mrs Mannering always made her feel that she loved her and wanted her.

  ‘I’ve got the car outside to meet you,’ said Mrs Mannering. ‘Come along. The porter will bring your luggage.’

  They went out of the station. It was only a little country station. Outside was a country lane, its banks starred with spring flowers. The sky was blue and the air was warm and soft. Lucy-Ann felt very happy. It was the first day of the holidays, she was with Dinah’s lovely mother, and tomorrow the boys came home.

  They got into the little car, and the porter put the trunks in at the back. Mrs Mannering took the wheel.

  ‘It’s quite a long way to Spring Cottage,’ she said. ‘We have to fetch our own goods and food from the village here, except for eggs and butter and milk which a nearby farm lets me have. But it’s lovely country, and there are marvellous walks for you. As for birds – well, Jack will have the time of his life!’

  ‘It’s nesting time too – he’ll be thinking of nothing but eggs and nests,’ said Lucy-Ann, feeling just a little jealous of the bird life that took up so much of her brother’s time.

  The girls looked round them as Mrs Mannering drove along. It certainly was lovely country. It was very hilly, and in the distance the hills looked blue and rather exciting. The car ran along a road down a winding river valley, and then began to climb a steep hill.

  ‘Oh, is our cottage on the side of this hill?’ asked Dinah, thrilled. ‘What a lovely view we’ll have, Mother!’

  ‘We have – right across the valley to other hills, and yet more hills rising beyond them!’ said her mother. The car had to go very slowly now, for the road was steep. As they rose higher and higher, the girls could see more and more across the valley. Then Lucy-Ann glanced upwards to see how high they were – and she gave a shout.

  ‘I say! Look at that castle on the top of the hill! Just look at it!’

  Dinah looked. It certainly was a most imposing and rugged old castle. It had a tower at each end, and its walls looked thick. It had slit windows – but it had wide ones too, which looked a little odd.

  ‘Is it a really old castle?’ asked Lucy-Ann.

  ‘No – not really,’ said Mrs Mannering. ‘Some of it is old, but most of it has been restored and rebuilt, so that it is a real mix-up. Nobody lives there now. I don’t know who it belongs to, either – no one seems to know or care. It’s shut up, and hasn’t a very good name.’

  ‘Why? Did something horrid happen there once?’ asked Dinah, feeling rather thrilled.

  ‘I think so,’ said her mother. ‘But I really don’t know anything about it. You’d better not go up there, anyhow, because the road up to it has had a landslide or something, and is very dangerous. They say that part of the castle is ready to slip down the hill!’

  ‘Gracious! I hope it won’t slip on to our cottage!’ said Lucy-Ann, half scared.

  Mrs Mannering laughed. ‘Of course not. We are nowhere near it – look, there’s our cottage, tucked away among those trees.’

  It was a lovely little cottage, with a thatched roof and small leaded windows. The girls loved it the minute they saw it.

  ‘It’s just a bit like the house you bought for us,’ said Dinah. ‘That’s pretty too. Oh, Mother, we shall have a lovely time here! Won’t the boys be thrilled?’

  There was a fair-sized shed at the side into which Mrs Mannering drove the car. Everyone got out. ‘Leave the trunks for a bit,’ said Dinah’s mother. ‘The man who comes from the farm will carry them in. Now – welcome to Spring Cottage!’


  The boys come home – and Kiki!

  That day and the morning of the next the two girls spent in exploring their holiday home. It was certainly a tiny place, but just big enough for them. There was a large old-fashioned kitchen and a tiny parlour. Above were three small bedrooms.

  ‘One for Mother, one for you and me, Lucy-Ann, and one for the boys,’ said Dinah. ‘Mother’s going to do the cooking and we’re all to help with the housework, which won’t be much. Isn’t our bedroom sweet?’

  It was a little room tucked into the thatched roof, with a window jutting out from the thatch. The walls slanted in an odd fashion, and the ceiling slanted too. The floor was very uneven, and the doorways were low, so that Dinah, who was growing tall, had to lower her head under one or two in case she bumped it.

  ‘Spring Cottage,’ she said. ‘It’s a nice name for it, especially in the springtime.’

  ‘It’s named because of the spring that runs down behind it,’ said her mother. ‘The water starts somewhere up in the yard of the castle, I belie
ve, runs down through a tunnel it has made for itself, and gushes out just above the cottage at the back. It runs through the garden then, and disappears down the hillside.’

  The girls explored the spring. They found where it gushed out, and Dinah tasted the water. It was cold and crystal clear. She liked hearing the gurgling sound it made in the untidy little garden. She heard it all night long in her sleep and loved it.

  The view from the cottage was magnificent. They could see the whole of the valley below, and could follow too the winding road that led up to their cottage. Far away in the distance was the railway station, looking like a toy building. Twice a day a train came into it, and it too looked like a toy.

  ‘Just like the railway engine and carriages that Jack used to have,’ said Lucy-Ann, remembering. And how cross our old Uncle Geoffrey was when we used to set it going! He said it made more noise than a thunderstorm. Golly, I’m glad we don’t live with him any more.’

  Dinah looked at her watch. ‘It’s almost time to meet the train,’ she said. ‘I bet the boys are feeling excited! Come on. Let’s find my mother.’

  Mrs Mannering was just about to go and get the car out. The girls packed themselves in beside her. Lucy-Ann felt terribly excited. She was so looking forward to being with Jack again. And with Philip too. It would be lovely to be all together once more. She did hope Dinah wouldn’t fly into one of her tempers too soon! She and Philip quarrelled far too much.

  They arrived at the little station. The train was not yet signalled. Lucy-Ann walked up and down, longing to see the signal go down – and then, with an alarming clank, it did go down. Almost at the same moment the smoke of the train appeared, and then, round the corner, came the engine, puffing vigorously, for it was uphill to the station.

  Both the boys were hanging out of the window, waving and shouting. The girls screamed greetings, and capered about in delight.

  ‘There’s Kiki!’ shouted Lucy-Ann. ‘Kiki! Good old Kiki!’