Jerry Todd, Caveman - Leo Edwards - ebook

Jerry Todd, Caveman ebook

Leo Edwards

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Red Meyers and Rory Ringer, both members of the famous gang of Jerry Todd. They disappeared into the wilds of Oak Island to create a kingdom of cavemen, taking with them a parrot and a donkey, a goat, a monkey, a cat, eleven pigs, six pies. While Jerry gets there, the king on the throne built himself a royal chariot, pottery, created a new language. A royal reception, a banquet, a moon cat hunt, a silver skull, a singing tree and a wooden cow – all these are the main points in this mixed story about stormy fun and a riddle that will need to be solved.

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Liczba stron: 268

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Contents

CHAPTER I. THE INTENDED GHOST HUNT

CHAPTER II. ADDED PREPARATIONS

CHAPTER III. IN THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY

CHAPTER IV. A NIGHT OF SURPRISES

CHAPTER V. THE SILVER SKULL

CHAPTER VI. GREEN HANDLES AND BLUE HANDLES

CHAPTER VII. THE SINGING TREE

CHAPTER VIII. ON THE ENEMY’S TRAIL

CHAPTER IX. THE KING OF THE ISLAND

CHAPTER X. CAVEMAN STUFF

CHAPTER XI. THE MEETING OF THE GREAT

CHAPTER XII. IN THE KING’S COURT

CHAPTER XIII. AN INTENSIVE SEARCH

CHAPTER XIV. THE KING GOES HUNTING

CHAPTER XV. HIDDEN EYES

CHAPTER XVI. A STRANGE DISAPPEARANCE

CHAPTER XVII. THE WOODEN COW

CHAPTER XVIII. STINGING TAUNTS

CHAPTER XIX. INTO THE EARTH

CHAPTER XX. THE SKULL’S SECRET

CHAPTER I. THE INTENDED GHOST HUNT

It was a sunny summer’s day. Just the right kind of a day for a swim. So I lit out for Red Meyers’ house, intending to go from there to our new swimming hole on the edge of town. Oddly though Red’s house was closed. And the same was true of little Rory Ringer’s house in the same block.

Red and Rory are members of my lively gang. I’ve known Red all my life. When we were smaller we used to pitch rotten apples at each other over the back-yard fence. And never will I forget the day that he socked me with a pumpkin. Sweet essence of sauerkraut! But he got the worst of it in the end. For his ma had bought the big pumpkin for a Hallowe’en party. And what she did to the freckled family nest-egg when she found the wreckage of her prized party decoration in the gutter was nobody’s business.

Like me, Red was born in Tutter, Illinois, which, I might add, is the swellest small town in the whole United States. My dad owns a brickyard while his dad, who has a glass eye and a Ford, runs a motion-picture theatre. The brickyard was started years ago by my Grandfather Todd, who, after the Civil War, came back to Tutter with a medal, a peg-leg and a big ambition to organize a business of his own. Some day, I suppose, I’ll be a brick maker like Dad, who learned the business from his father. But I’m too busy right now having a good time to think about future brick making. Still it will be fun when I do get to be a regular brick maker. For I have a swell dad. And I know that I’m going to enjoy working with him.

I might add, too, that I have a swell ma. And can she fry liver and onions! Um-yum-yum! The mere reference to it makes my mouth water. Loving her, I frequently wipe dishes for her. And often I make my own bed.

Red though, whose temper is as fiery as his hair, never made up a bed in his whole life. And if he were to offer his services with a dish towel I dare say his ma would faint. To hear her tell it he’s the laziest boy in town. All he does, she says, in her fat puffing way, is to eat and track in mud.

A warm friend of Mother’s, she often pops into our house to get the latest news. It’s fun to listen to her. For she wheezes and squeaks even worse than her fat widowed sister, Mrs. Pansy Biggle, who runs a beauty parlor on School Street.

If you have read my book about the “Stuttering Parrot” you’ll remember Aunt Pansy. Having lost her husband, who fell into the Illinois River and forgot to come up for air, she now lives at Red’s house where she divides her time (so he says) between her beautifying business and bossing him around. It was her goofy parrot that caused us so much grief. I thought of the simple-acting parrot as I cut across the lawn to Rory’s house. Little did I dream though, as I tripped over a croquet arch, that I was soon to be messed up with the parrot in another wild adventure involving a blind ghost, a silver skull and, most amazing of all, an animated wooden cow.

As a matter of fact the parrot had already disappeared, and with it Cap’n Tinkertop’s ring-tailed monkey, as I was to learn, with mounting surprise, later on.

Rory Ringer is the funniest kid that I ever listened to. Raised in England, he calls owls “howls” and hawks “’awks.” At school he keeps the reading class in an uproar. For you can readily imagine how such tangled-up pronunciations as “howls” and “’awks” would be received by a bunch of lively American schoolboys. “Rory Ringer, the ‘ick from the hupper hend of Hengland where the blasted bloomin’ ‘unters make ‘atchet ‘andles hout of bloody hoak.” That’s the kind of stuff we hung on him when he first came to town. But he didn’t mind it, jolly little wart that he was. And now, as I say, he’s one of my bosom pals.

Other members of my gang are Scoop Ellery, the leader, and big Peg Shaw. Also I have a chum by the name of Poppy Ott, around whom I have written a separate set of books. Good old Poppy! He and I have had piles of fun together. We’ve solved a number of odd mysteries, too, involving “Prancing Pancakes,” “Galloping Snails” and “Tittering Totems.” Yes, sir, Poppy is a swell guy. And as smart as a whip. With his help I dare say that we would have solved the new mystery of the silver skull and singing tree a whole lot quicker than we did. But he couldn’t help us, as I learned later on, for he was out of town.

Puzzled by my discoveries at Red’s and Rory’s homes, both of which had the outward appearance of having been temporarily abandoned, I lit out for Scoop’s house on Elm Street.

“Where’s the ‘atchet-’andle guy from the hupper hend of Hengland and his big-mouthed confederate?” I inquired, as I tumbled into the wood shed.

The leader, I then observed, as I coughed up a bug, was fooling around with a pair of old football shoes to the soles of which he had glued felt pads.

“I’m going ghost hunting,” he explained, when I dismissed Red and Rory from my mind and started asking other natural questions.

“Ghost hunting!” Still, I told myself, as I curiously inspected one of the padded shoes, it was like Scoop, fun-loving, happy-go-lucky kid that he was, to think up a scheme like that.

He makes a swell leader. For he has a lot of peachy ideas. Which isn’t saying though that all of his schemes work. Suffering cats! If you must know the truth of the matter he’s gotten us into hot water more than once. But that’s all right. Even Napoleon, capable leader that he was, made a few mistakes, as history admits.

Scoop then brought out another pair of padded shoes.

“They’re for you, Jerry Todd,” he said, handing them to me.

“And what am I supposed to do?” I cheerfully fell in with his crazy notion. “Hang to the ghost by the seat of its pants while you carve your initials on its windpipe?”

“This is a blind ghost,” he spoke gravely.

I thought, of course, that he was putting on. For he’s full of truck like that. Anyway, as everybody knows, there’s no such thing as a real ghost, blind or otherwise. So a dickey-bird hunt would have been less nonsensical. Still, I told myself, as I studied his sober face, he had something up his sleeve.

I was curious now.

“Is there a new ghost in the neighborhood?” I began to quizz him.

He nodded.

“Where does it hang out?” I further inquired, with mounting curiosity.

“In the old Grendow place.”

“Br-r-r-r!” I shivered, as I balanced myself on a stick of stove wood. “Don’t tell me that it’s the ghost of old Adam Grendow himself.”

It takes a lot of queer people to make a world. And if what I have heard about old Adam Grendow is true he undoubtedly was one of the queerest men that ever lived. An Englishman, like Rory, he had built himself a big rambling house on the edge of town. And there he had lived for years. Strange men frequented his place. But it was noticeable that the unknown visitors came at night. The neighbors wondered at this. And they further wondered, with mounting uneasiness, at the roving lights in the big house. Why, they asked among themselves in awed whispers, did the odd master of the secluded place go nightly from the basement to the attic with a lamp in his hands? And what was the meaning of the eerie metallic sounds that occasionally reached the outside world through the open doors and windows?

Small wonder indeed that strange stories grew up about the stoop-shouldered, eagle-eyed master of Grendow Hall, as the place was called in true English custom. Some said he was an inventor of firearms, still in the employ of the English war department. His nightly callers were government agents. Other people in the neighborhood, of more imaginative turn of mind, declared that he was a wizard. His callers, they said, with frightened faces, were spirits from another world.

Not until he was killed in a motor-boat accident, following a wild midnight dash to Ashton, the county seat, was it learned that his only son was a notorious English counterfeiter. Caught in this country he was taken in hand by federal agents shortly after his father’s tragic death. Though still in his early twenties he was conceded to be one of the cleverest engravers in the world. And great indeed was the relief of the agents concerned when the federal prison doors closed behind him.

All this I had heard from Dad. And I had heard, too, that for years the federal agents had tried to round up the prisoner’s European accomplices. But no added arrests were made. Nor were any of the counterfeiting dies or coin presses ever confiscated.

The arrest that followed old Mr. Grendow’s tragic death started whispers that he, too, had been engaged in the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit money. This, the excited neighbors declared, fully explained the old man’s odd nightly activities. His secret visitors, much less than being government agents or spirits, were merely confederates. It was learned though that these men were jug buyers. Instead of being rich, as the neighbors suspected, old Adam Grendow had to make jugs, like his father before him, to earn a living.

People had wondered why the Englishman had built his house over a clay deposit. But now they knew the truth of the matter. A search of the house, following its owner’s accidental death, revealed a secret tunnel, through which the needed clay had been brought into the basement. Here, too, were many odd home-made pottery wheels. And a further search of the attic disclosed an immense stock of completed jugs.

Thus was the mystery of the roving lights cleared up.

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