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Mountain of Adventure (Enid Blyton's Adventure Series)

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 forty 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 1949 by Macmillan Children’s Books

  This edition published 2007 by Macmillan Children’s Books

  This electronic edition published 2010 by Macmillan Children’s Books

  a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited

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

  Basingstoke and Oxford

  Associated companies throughout the world

  ISBN 978-0-330-52067-6 in Adobe Reader format

  ISBN 978-0-330-52066-9 in Adobe Digital Editions format

  ISBN 978-0-330-52068-3 in Mobipocket format

  Text copyright © 1949 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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  All set for a summer holiday


  At the farmhouse


  The first morning


  Up on the mountain-side


  Arrival of the donkeys


  Off to the Vale of Butterflies


  On the way


  First night in camp


  A different world


  A disturbing night


  A strange happening


  Wolves in the night!


  The face in the tree


  Plenty of things happen


  Behind the green curtain


  Inside the mountain


  Philip again


  A little exploring


  The king of the mountain


  An amazing secret


  On the mountain-top


  The helicopter


  The wonderful wings


  The helicopter comes again


  A thrilling night


  Flight through the mountain


  Escape at last


  Trailed by the dogs


  The tables are turned!


  The end of it all!


  All set for a summer holiday

  Four children were singing at the tops of their voices in a car that was going up a steep mountain-side road.

  A parrot was also joining in, very much out of tune, cocking up her crest in excitement. The man at the wheel turned round with a grin.

  ‘I say! I can’t even hear the car hooter. What’s the matter with you all?’

  Philip, Jack, Dinah and Lucy-Ann stopped singing and shouted answers at him.

  ‘It’s the beginning of the hols!’

  ‘And we’re going to have a donkey each to ride in the mountains!’

  ‘Pop goes the weasel!’ That was Kiki the parrot, of course, joining in.

  ‘We’ve got eight weeks of fun all together.’

  ‘And you’ll be with us, Bill, as well as Mother! Mother, aren’t you excited too?’

  Mrs Mannering smiled at Philip. ‘Yes – but I hope you’re not going to be as noisy as this all the time. Bill, you’ll have to protect me from this rowdy crowd of children.’

  ‘I’ll protect you all right,’ promised Bill, swinging the car round another bend. ‘I’ll knock all their heads together once a day at least – and if Lucy-Ann starts getting tough with me I’ll …’

  ‘Oh Bill! said Lucy-Ann, the youngest and least boisterous of the lot. ‘Jack’s always saying I’m not tough enough. I ought to be by now, though, considering all the adventures I’ve been through.’

  ‘Tough enough, tough enough!’ chanted Kiki the parrot, who loved words that sounded alike. ‘Tough enough, tough …’

  ‘Oh, stop her,’ groaned Mrs Mannering. She was tired with their long car journey, and was hoping it would soon be over. She had eight weeks of the children’s holidays before her, and was quite sure she would be worn out before the end of it.

  Philip and Dinah were her own children, and Jack and Lucy-Ann, who had no parents, lived with her in the holidays and loved her as if she were their own mother. Bill Cunningham was their very good friend, and had had some hair-raising adventures with them.

  He had come with them on these holidays to keep them out of any more adventures – or so he said! Mrs Mannering vowed she was not going to let them out of her sight for eight weeks, unless Bill was with them – then they couldn’t possibly disappear, or fall into some dreadful new adventure.

  ‘They ought to be safe, tucked away in the Welsh mountains, with both you and me, Bill, to look after them,’ said Mrs Mannering. Mr Mannering had been dead for many years and Mrs Mannering often found it difficult to cope with so many lively children at once, now that they were growing older.

  Philip loved any animal, bird or insect. His sister Dinah didn’t share this love at all, and disliked most wild animals, and hated quite a number of harmless insects, though she was certainly better than she used to be. She was a hot-tempered girl, as ready to use her fists as Philip, and they had many a battle, much to gentle Lucy-Ann’s dismay.

  Lucy-Ann and Jack were brother and sister too. Kiki the parrot was Jack’s beloved parrot, usually to be found on his shoulder. In fact, Mrs Mannering had once actually suggested that she should put a little leather patch on the shoulders of each of Jack’s coats to stop Kiki from wearing thin places there with her clawed feet.

  Jack was fond of birds, and he and Philip spent many an exciting hour together bird-watching, or taking photographs. They had a marvellous collection of these, which Bill said was worth a lot of money. They had brought cameras with them on this holiday, and, of course, their field-glasses for watching birds at a distance.

  ‘We might see eagles again,
’ said Jack. ‘Do you remember the eagle’s nest we found near that old castle in Scotland once, Philip? We might see buzzards too.’

  ‘Buzz-z-z-z-z-z,’ said Kiki at once. ‘Buzz! Buzz off!’

  ‘We might even have an adventure,’ said Philip, with a grin. ‘Though Mother and Bill are quite certain they will guard us from even the smallest one this time!’

  Now here they were, all set for a wonderful holiday in the Welsh mountains, in a very lonely spot, where they could wander about with cameras and field-glasses wherever they liked. Each child was to have a donkey, so that they could ride along the narrow mountain paths as much as they wished.

  ‘I shan’t always come with you,’ said Mrs Mannering, ‘because I’m not so thrilled with donkey-riding as you are. But Bill will be with you, so you’ll be safe.’

  ‘Ah – but will Bill be safe with us?’ said Jack, with a grin. ‘We always seem to drag him into something or other. Poor Bill!’

  ‘If you manage to pull me into an adventure in the middle of some of the loneliest of the Welsh mountains, you’ll be clever,’ said Bill.

  The car swung round another bend and a farmhouse came into sight.

  ‘We’re nearly there,’ said Mrs Mannering. ‘I believe I can see the farmhouse we’re going to stay at. Yes – there it is.’

  The children craned their necks to see it. It was a rambling old stone place, set on the mountain-side, with barns and out-buildings all around. In the evening sunset it looked welcoming and friendly.

  ‘Lovely!’ said Lucy-Ann. ‘What’s it called?’

  Bill said something that sounded like ‘Doth-goth-oo-elli-othel-in.’

  ‘Gracious!’ said Dinah. ‘What a name! Not even Kiki could pronounce that, I’m sure. Tell her it, Bill. See what she says.’

  Bill obligingly told the name to the parrot, who listened solemnly and raised her crest politely.

  ‘Now you just repeat that,’ said Jack to Kiki. ‘Go on!’

  ‘This-is-the-house-that-Jack-built,’ said the parrot, running all the words together. The children laughed.

  ‘Good try, Kiki!’ said Jack. ‘You can’t stump Kiki, Bill – she’ll always say something. Good old Kiki!’

  Kiki was pleased by this praise, and made a noise like the car changing gear. She had been doing this at intervals during the whole of the journey and had nearly driven Mrs Mannering mad.

  ‘Don’t let Kiki start that again,’ she begged. ‘Thank goodness we are here at last! Where’s the front door, Bill – or isn’t there one?’

  There didn’t seem to be one. The track went up to what appeared to be a barn and stopped there. A small path then ran to the farmhouse, divided into three and went to three different doors.

  The children tumbled out of the car. Bill got out and stretched his legs. He helped Mrs Mannering out and they all looked round. A cock near by crowed and Kiki promptly crowed too, much to the cocks astonishment.

  A plump, red-faced woman came hurrying out of one of the doors, a welcoming smile on her face. She called behind her to someone in the house.

  ‘Effans, Effans, they have come, look you, they have come!’

  ‘Ah – Mrs Evans,’ said Bill, and shook hands with her. Mrs Mannering did the same. A small man came running out of the house, and came up to them too.

  ‘This iss Effans, my husband,’ said the plump woman. ‘We hope you will be very happy with us, what-effer!’

  This was said in a pleasant sing-song voice that the children liked very much. Everybody shook hands solemnly with Mrs Evans and her husband, and Kiki held out a claw as well.

  ‘A parrot, look you!’ cried Mrs Evans to her husband. ‘Effans, a parrot!’

  Mr Evans didn’t seem to like the look of Kiki as much as his wife did, but he smiled politely.

  ‘It iss very welcome you are,’ he said in his sing-song voice. ‘Will you pleass to come this way?’

  They all followed Effans. He led them to the farm-house, and, when the door was flung open, what a welcome sight met the children’s eyes!

  A long, sturdy kitchen table was covered with a snow-white cloth, and on it was set the finest meal the children had ever seen in their lives.

  A great ham sat ready to be carved. A big tongue garnished round with bright green parsley sat by its side. An enormous salad with hard-boiled eggs sprinkled generously all over it was in the middle of the table. Two cold roast chickens were on the table too, with little curly bits of cold bacon set round.

  The children’s eyes nearly fell out of their heads. What a feast! And the scones and cakes! The jams and the pure yellow honey! The jugs of creamy milk!

  ‘I say – are you having a party or something?’ asked Jack, in awe.

  ‘A party! No, no – it is high tea for you, look you,’ said Mrs Evans. ‘We cannot do dinners for you at night, we are busy people! You shall have what we have, and that is all. Here is high tea for you today, and when you have washed, it iss ready!’

  ‘Oh – have we got to wash?’ said Philip with a sigh. ‘I’m clean enough. Golly, look at that meal! I say, if we’re going to have food like this these hols I shan’t want to go donkey-riding at all. I’ll just stay here and eat!’

  ‘Well, if you do that you’ll be too fat for any donkey to carry,’ said his mother. ‘Go and wash, Philip. Mrs Evans will show us our rooms – we can all do with a wash and a brush – and then we can do justice to this magnificent meal.’

  Up some narrow winding stairs went the little party, into big low-ceilinged rooms set with heavy old-fashioned furniture. Mrs Evans proudly showed them a small bathroom, put in for visitors to the farmhouse.

  There were four rooms for the party. Bill had a small one to himself. Mrs Mannering had a big one, well away from the children’s rooms, because they were often so noisy in the mornings. Philip and Jack had a curious little room together, whose ceiling slanted almost to the floor, and the girls had a bigger one next door.

  ‘Isn’t this going to be fun?’ said Jack, scrubbing his hands vigorously in the bathroom, whilst Kiki sat on a tap. ‘I’m longing to get at that meal downstairs. What a spread!’

  ‘Move up,’ said Dinah impatiently. ‘There’s room for two at this basin. We shall have to take it in turns to come in in the morning. Oh, Kiki, don’t fly off with the nail-brush! Jack, stop her.’

  The nail-brush was rescued and Kiki was tapped on the beak. She didn’t mind. She was looking forward to the food downstairs as much as the children. She had seen a bowl of raspberries which she meant to sit as near to as possible. She flew to Jack’s shoulder and muttered loving things into his ear whilst he dried his hands on a very rough towel.

  ‘Stop it, Kiki. You tickle,’ said Jack. ‘Are you ready, you others? Aunt Allie! Bill! Are you ready? We’re going downstairs.’

  ‘Coming!’ cried the others, and down they all went. Now for a proper feast!


  At the farmhouse

  That first meal in the Welsh farmhouse was a very happy one. Mrs Evans was excited to have visitors, and Effans, her husband, beamed all round as he carved great slices of ham, tongue and chicken. There were a lot of ‘look yous’ and ‘whateffers’, and Kiki was especially interested in the up-and-down song-like way the two Welsh folk talked.

  ‘Wipe your feet, whateffer,’ she said to Mrs Evans suddenly. Mrs Evans looked surprised. She hadn’t heard the parrot speak before.

  ‘Shut the door, look you,’ commanded Kiki, raising her crest. The children squealed with laughter.

  ‘She’s speaking Welsh already!’ said Dinah. ‘Hey, watch her, Jack – she’s absolutely wolfing those raspberries!’

  Jack put a plate over the bowl, and Kiki was angry. She made a noise like the car changing gear and Effans looked startled.

  ‘It’s all right – it’s only Kiki,’ said Jack. ‘She can make all kinds of noises. You should hear her give her imitation of a train whistling in a tunnel.’

  Kiki opened her beak and swelled up her throat as if she wa
s about to make this horrible noise. Mrs Mannering spoke hastily. ‘Jack! Don’t let Kiki make that noise. If she does you’ll have to take her upstairs and put her in your bedroom.’

  ‘Bad Kiki, naughty Kiki,’ said the parrot solemnly, recognizing the stern tone in Mrs Mannering’s voice. She flew to Jack’s shoulder and cuddled there, eyeing the plate that he had put over the bowl of raspberries. She gave his ear a little nip.

  What a meal that was for six very hungry travellers who had had nothing but sandwiches all day long! Even Mrs Mannering ate more than she had ever eaten before at one meal. Mrs Evans kept beaming round as she filled the plates.

  ‘There iss plenty more in the larder, look you,’ she said. ‘Effans, go fetch the meat-pie.’

  ‘No, no!’ said Mrs Mannering. ‘Please don’t. We have more than enough here – it’s only that we are extra hungry and the food is so very very good.’

  Mrs Evans was pleased. ‘It iss plain country food, but it iss very good for the children,’ she said. ‘They will soon have good appetites in this mountain air, look you.’

  ‘Indeed to gootness they will,’ agreed Effans. ‘Their appetites are small yet. They will grow.’

  Mrs Mannering looked rather alarmed. ‘Good gracious! I’ve never in my life seen them eat so much – if their appetites get any bigger I’ll never be able to feed them at home!’

  ‘And we shall starve at school,’ grinned Jack.

  ‘The poor boy!’ said Mrs Evans. ‘It iss a big ham I must give him to take back, whateffer!’

  At last nobody could eat any more. They sat back from the table, looking out of the wide, low windows and the big open door. What a view!

  Great mountains reared up their heads in the evening light. Deep shadows lay across the valley, but the mountains still caught the sunlight, and gleamed enchantingly It was all so different from the country round their home, and the children felt that they could never look long enough on the mountain-tops and the shadowed valleys below.