Jerry Todd’s Poodle Parlor - Leo Edwards - ebook

Jerry Todd’s Poodle Parlor ebook

Leo Edwards

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This story begins with a summer vacation in the small town of Tutter, Illinois, where the protagonist was born and raised. These are the adventures of the boys during their summer holidays. Many events revolve around the Woodlawn Bay Hotel and the old Windmere House, which stood side by side on the south bank of the river, each with about fifty acres of forested land around it. It was a new hotel, with its modern amenities, which put the old Hotel out of business. Now, after many years of idleness, the old hotel was demolished and its lumber and equipment were sold.

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Liczba stron: 251

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Contents

CHAPTER I. BUSINESS PLANS

CHAPTER II. AT THE OLD HOTEL

CHAPTER III. MORE TROUBLE

CHAPTER IV. OTHER PLANS

CHAPTER V. EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS

CHAPTER VI. AT THE PET FARM

CHAPTER VII. GETTING INTRODUCED

CHAPTER VIII. AN EXCITING MORNING

CHAPTER IX. MYRTLEOVA THE GREAT!

CHAPTER X. GROWING MYSTERY

CHAPTER XI. THE POODLE PARLOR

CHAPTER XII. IN THE CEMETERY

CHAPTER XIII. A STRANGE FLIGHT

CHAPTER XIV. POODLE TENDER!

CHAPTER XV. THE DEAD POODLE

CHAPTER XVI. THE EMPTY GRAVE

CHAPTER XVII. A WILD NIGHT

CHAPTER XVIII. THE PICTURE IN THE NEWSPAPER

CHAPTER XIX. THE CAPTURE

CHAPTER XX. MYRTLE’S TRIUMPH

CHAPTER I. BUSINESS PLANS

This new story of mine starts with the start of our summer vacation in the little town of Tutter, Illinois, where I was born and raised.

The last week of school had been packed with final examinations, hurried programs and class picnics, as is usually the case with small-town public schools, but now everything about the old red brick schoolhouse had been closed up tight for the summer.

Oh, boy! I’ll never forget how happy we were as we started out from Tutter that first morning of our vacation in Dad’s old brickyard dump-cart. We were on our way to the old Windmere hotel, south of town, to get some lumber that we needed to carry out a scheme of ours.

There were three of us in the scheme–Red Meyers, Horse Foot Rail and myself–all lined up now on the narrow seat of the two-wheeled dump-cart with Red in the middle driving.

“Say, Jerry Todd,” he presently spoke to me, as old Prince jogged along the sun-baked country road, “how much lumber do you think we’ll get for our two dollars? Do you think we’ll get enough to build the little candy store we’ve planned?”

“It’s all old lumber,” I told him, “so we certainly ought to get several times as much for our money as we would new lumber. But why puzzle about that till we get there? Boy, get a load of that blue sky up there! Look at those bluffs down there by the river, too! Aren’t they pretty? We couldn’t possibly have had a finer start for our summer vacation.”

“Yes,” Red spoke as happily, “it looks like this is going to be a grand summer for us, with our store and everything. But tell me, Jerry,” he lowered his voice, “are you really going to give Horse Foot a third of the profits?”

“Of course,” I declared. “He coaxed his ma into letting us build the store in his front yard, after your own ma and mine both turned us down. So he’s certainly entitled to an equal share.”

During the time that we had been talking, the Tutter church steeples had disappeared into the treetops behind us. We were almost to the Illinois River now, which we had to cross. Beyond the river our course lay by a big sanitarium on the shore of a beautiful little lake with wonderful scenery all around it. City people came by the hundreds to spend the summer months there, and in the big Woodlawn Bay hotel near there.

The Woodlawn Bay hotel and the old Windmere house stood side by side on the south river bank, each with about fifty acres of rolling wooded land around it. It was the new hotel, with its modern conveniences, that had put the old hotel out of business. Now, after years of idleness, the old hotel was being torn down and its lumber and fixtures sold for whatever they would bring.

Scoop Ellery, another chum of mine, had told me that the old Windmere house was being torn down. If I wanted to buy some old lumber for a little store building, he said, there was the place to get it cheap. I asked him then if he didn’t want to go in with us, but he had gotten himself a vacation job with some woman with a bunch of summer cabins. He was going to be bellboy or something–he wasn’t quite sure what yet, but he had been promised five dollars a week and his board. Later I heard that big Peg Shaw, the final member of my five-cornered gang, had gotten a summer job there, too, which made it look as though the old gang was going to be pretty much broken up for the summer. Big surprises were ahead of us though!

I’ll come to Scoop pretty soon, telling you more about him then, and then later on in my story I’ll better introduce Peg. But right now I want to tell you a little bit more about Red and Horse Foot.

Given the fancy name of Donald Henry at the time of his birth, Red gets his nickname from his fiery red hair. He has freckles, too, and a mouth that spreads all over his face, especially when he gives one of those impish grins of his. There was a time when I thought he was the meanest kid in our block, but today we get along swell. That’s why you find him in all of my books. Whatever I’m in, he’s in, too–one of the best buddies that any boy could ever have anywhere.

Of Horse Foot I can’t say so much–at least I can’t be so enthusiastic about it. Younger than me by at least two years, he got into my gang when he recently moved next door to me. His real name is Samuel Horace Butterfield Rail, but we call him Horse Foot because when he’s out with us he always plods along behind like an old heavy-footed plow horse.

I’ll never forget the first day he came over to my house. With that expressionless fat face of his, and his numerous fat bulges, all I could think of was something made out of putty. I thought then, as I grinned at him amused, that he had just dropped in to say hello, in his stuttering way, and that would be the last of him. I was soon to learn though that I couldn’t turn around without having him at my heels. Oh, oh, how I suffered that first month! I had to take it though, Mother having told me that I must never slight him or do anything that might cause him to carry home angry stories about me. He looked so blamed stupid and had such a hard time with his speech, she was afraid his parents might be overly sensitive about him and liable to take offense if any trouble came up.

So wherever I went he went, too. I thought at first that he was absolutely cuckoo but came to learn in time that a lot of his dumbness was just put on. In fact there were times, I found out, when he was downright brilliant. He had grit, too. He’d tackle anything.

Crossing the long river bridge, we turned, still laughing and talking, into the winding lake road, passing first the richly-appointed sanitarium on the lake shore, then the showy Woodlawn Bay hotel on the river bank, turning finally into the weedy Windmere hotel road.

Horse Foot had been sitting half-asleep all the way over, but awoke now, with a frightened squawk, when a low-hanging branch from one of the trees that had crowded in when the old road was abandoned almost slapped him off his seat.

“A-a-are we lost?” he asked, looking around surprised.

“That’s just what I’m beginning to wonder myself,” put in Red, as the road narrowed to a mere trail. “Are you sure this is the right road, Jerry?”

“Of course it’s the right road,” I kept on, old Prince picking his way first to the right and then to the left to avoid the crowding bushes. “The old hotel is directly east of the Woodlawn Bay hotel, isn’t it?–and this is the first road since we passed the Woodlawn Bay road. The old hotel’s just down around that bend, I think.”

Here a familiar black head popped out of the left thicket. It was Scoop Ellery in a nifty blue bellboy uniform with a squirming fox terrier in his arms. There was a stare all around as our eyes met, Scoop as much surprised as the rest of us over the unexpected meeting.

“Oh, boy!” he leaned wearily against the side of the cart. “Am I ever hungry! Peg and I got here on our bikes at five-thirty and we’ve been on the jump every minute since.”

“But I didn’t understand that your cabins were down in this woods,” I told him, surprised. “I thought you said they were on a farm.”

“They are–I just came in here to run down this crazy four-legged soupbone. Every time he gets loose he makes a beeline for this woods. The cabins are over that way, on the old Beesaddle farm,” Scoop pointed east.

“What farm did you say?” Red pricked up his ears at the odd name, grinning.

“The old Beesaddle farm,” Scoop repeated. “Peg and I are working for a Mrs. Flora Beesaddle. There’s a Mr. Beesaddle over there, too–Pappy Jim, she calls him–but he doesn’t amount to much, the lazy old coot! She’s the boss–and how! Boy, can she find jobs for a fellow! She’s down there by the old hotel now picking out lumber for more cabins.”

“Is that her dog?” I asked, as Scoop struggled with it to hold it.

“No, it belongs to one of the cabin renters. I’ve had to run it down four times already this morning. Boy, wherever you go over there there’s dogs, cats or something! I never saw so many pets in all my life. Peg and I thought at first this morning that we had gotten into some kind of a zoo.”

“Well, you wouldn’t have been very much out of place if you had,” Red put in slyly.

“How do you like my uniform?” Scoop asked, stepping back to better show it off.

“Swell,” I told him. “You ought to wear it to town some day and give the girls a treat.”

“Yes,” Red slyly slipped in again, “with those brass buttons maybe you could even get a date. Girls usually fall hard for a uniform, regardless of what’s in it.”

“Listen, funny face!” Scoop soured up. “You’re going to find that freckled nose of yours pushed through the back of your head, if I hear another wisecrack like that.”

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