S: The Case of the Abandoned Castle by Phyllis Burroughs
1: The Case of the Abandoned Castle | Copyright 2010, Phyllis Seeley Burroughs Published by Sweet Bee Press Whitefish, Montana
2: The Case of the Abandoned Castle Hi, my name is Samantha, Though everyone calls me Sam, My dad says I am a tom-boy, But I really don't think I am. I do like games and all kinds of sports, Climbing trees ranks high on my list, One time I fell from a limb near the top, "No more climbing," my dad did insist! I don't have a sister or brother, I am the only child in this family, I don't even have a mother, She's been gone since I was three. | I remember my beautiful mother, A lady who liked to please, But daddy told me God took her home Losing her battle to a dreadful disease. Sometimes when I feel really lonely, I pretend I have a very close friend, My made-up pal is always with me, Until I choose this friendship to end. My dad is a private investigator, He is a wonderful man all agree, But sometimes I see him crying, I know he is lonely like me. We have a dog named Sniffer, Who helps dad in solving his cases, When we are sitting by the fireplace He sometimes licks our faces.
3: We live in a very large home by the sea, To move would create too much fuss, But even Sniffer seems lost when alone, So he starts searching for us. There's a house that looks like a castle, That has been abandoned for years, Everyone says it is haunted, It terrifies even my peers. Dad told me never to venture there, "I forbid it!" he said in his best 'dad's' sound, He was just scared I could get awfully hurt, When he worked and wasn't around. But something happened one eerie night, As I sat looking out towards the bay, A light shown bright in the castle, Which took my breath away! | I went to dad's office to check his files, Or I might just use the phone, Dad wasn't home and neither was Sniffer, So I was totally all alone. Fixing my gaze at the castle, Keeping a check on the uncanny light, Did a shadow come between us? But no one came into sight. Not taking time to search dad's bins, For with the nightfall I now had to wrestle, Taking the flashlight from one of the drawers, I made my way to the forbidden castle. The castle wasn't far but a fog was blowing in, Which seemed to creep over all the earth, No moon tonight to help me find my way, As I fumbled along in just my night shirt.
4: Closer and closer I came to the castle. I was trembling to my very core.
5: Closer and closer I came to the castle, Whoever built this seemed totally weird, I crossed a draw bridge to the front door, And into the moat I peered. I never thought myself in danger, But the fog felt like a misty cold foam, I did wonder what dad would say When he found me not at home. I was trembling to my very core, My body was all in a quiver, And what I was planning to do right now Would make even Sniffer shiver. I slowly crossed the draw bridge, And stood looking at the front door, The windows were too high for me To climb into and drop to the floor. | I took a chance with the big brass knob, And was amazed the door opened wide, Stepping into an empty entryway, With flashlight grasped close to my side. In front of me stood a huge staircase, On top a light shown under a door, I heard rustling and then something drop, I'd have to climb the stairs to explore! There was a musty smell as upward I crept, No one lived here for a very long time, But the boards didn't creak under my feet, And the place showed no dust or grime. The castle seemed eerily quiet, Nary a sound came from the room, Now, with only the door between us, I felt warmth in spite of the gloom.
6: My flashlight lit up his face. His expression I can never erase.
7: So many questions I threw at him, He was a boy not fully grown, "I thought I was alone," cried he, "I've always been alone." Upon his answers I did rely, I found he was just my age, His parents were killed in a car wreck, Which humbly left him in a rage. He was lonely too, I discovered, Putting family high on a shelf, He ran away from boarding schools, In search of finding himself. My heart went out to him right then, Knowing how lonesome one can be, I wanted him to meet my father, Would dad be as excited as me? | Something compelled me to investigate, In this way I was much like my dad, Sometimes I rushed in without checking facts, Which dad said could become very bad. Going back now was not an option, I would not be deterred by fear, Dad always cautioned me to seek the 'truth', But no warning came to my listening ear. Not hearing a sound from within the room, I gently opened the heavy wood door, I couldn't believe what my eyes saw then, There was a boy asleep on the floor! I stealthily tip-toed to his side, My flashlight lit up his face, Suddenly awakened, he looked right at me, His expression I can never erase.
8: As it was getting extremely late, I knew I must get going, Did he wish to come with me now? Was my anxiety showing? "Perhaps I should introduce myself, Samantha is my name, Though everyone calls me Sam for short, It all seems part of a game." He smiled at this as he spoke again, "People call me Danny when they can, I don't often stay around too long, So I am often just called Dan." "I think the name Danny sounds very young, So I shortened it when I ran," He then puffed out his chest as far as he could, "I want to be known as Dan, the man." | We both began to laugh then, Neither one of us wished to flee, I really liked him for a friend, And I think that he liked me. But I guess he still did not fully trust, As he thought he'd better wait, I said I would be back the next morning, With food upon a plate. If I could get Danny to come live with us, I would always have a friend, No more imaginable pal would I need, What message to him could I send? I made my way back alone to my house, Again the fog forcing me to beware, With flashlight blazing ahead of me, I expected Sniffer and dad to be there.
9: I hurriedly ran as fast I could, Sneaking in through the back door, And sure enough the lights were on, Sniffer was laying on the floor. Dad yelled, "Where in blazes have you been?" What I had to relate seemed so grave, He was upset but gave me a warm hug, He was proud I had been so brave. "Let's go get the boy right away," Dad said upon learning the tale, "But first get dressed and put on dry shoes, We must return quickly without fail." Thanking dad in quickly acting, After all, the boy was so all alone, It was his idea to invite him back, To return with us and stay in our home. | So happy was I that dad agreed In getting Danny, with his consent, So off I darted to put on dry clothes, Even Sniffer wagged his tail in assent. Back to the awesome castle we went, But this time it wasn't so daunting, I wondered if the boy would hear us, Thinking something was strangely haunting. This time, with my dad and Sniffer in tow, And taking courage in their presence, I walked right in to where I had been before, Hoping this puzzle would make some sense. Danny hopped right up when he saw us, Confused when I went to embrace, And worried lines seemed to disappear, When Sniffer licked his face.
10: Dad and Danny started right in talking, I stood smiling at their camaraderie, And when Dad asked if he would like to visit, Danny instantly did agree. "Let's go now," Dad said, snatching up gear, There wasn't much for us to take, Now Sniffer led the way downstairs, We all laughed when he stopped to shake. | The sunrise seemed to spring from the sea, Since it was summer the rising was early, It felt warm and inviting as it lit up our path, This season no one would be lonely. I said good-bye to my imaginary friend, Good-bye to my companion past, For now I have someone to play with me, As long as our games will last. | I know my father's been dating, He says, "Maybe we'll find another mother", Right now I don't really care very much, For I have me a wonderful brother.
11: The Whispering Forest | I was so happy with my new found friend, Envisioning mysteries to solve with each other, No more imaginary pals for me, As I had me a full-time brother. Since the time he came to live with us, And we found him in the castle next door, We discovered we were alike in many ways, And we both liked to search and explore. | He didn't know the date of his birth, He thought he was a year younger than me, It was okay if he wished to think this way, For I was much taller than he. There is a forest behind our house, In fact, its right to our back gate, But it is so thick with underbrush, It was nothing that couldn't wait.
12: One day Dan asked if we could venture there, And take Sniffer who was asleep on the floor, Something seemed to be urging us, So, I packed lunches and we went out the door. We found a small path overgrown with weeds, And we had to fight limbs from overhead trees, This wasn't going to be a pleasant trek, Some places we had to crawl on our knees. At one point we thought about turning around, To return to the security and safety of home, But what we might find impelled us forward, Adventuring toward the unknown. Then without warning we came to a clearing, I believe it was around noon, As we were very hungry we sat down to eat, Our empty stomachs were full very soon. | What was to discover we did not know, But by then we were both excited, We followed Sniffer, through more underbrush, Wagging his tail to show we were invited. We were scratched by twigs and hanging vines, Not to mention the prickly thistle, One time I had to call Sniffer to come back, Pursing my lips into a small whistle. Then out of nowhere we came to a lake, It really was quite a surprise, Sniffer was already swimming there, Dogs are unwittingly wise! We found a log to sit upon, So we could dangle our feet in the water, And splashing the wetness on our faces, We all felt better than ever.
13: Walking over to see what Sniffer found in the pit, A sweater! from the mere looks of it.
14: Suddenly we watched Sniffer digging wildly, In the dirt by the water's edge, We laughed as his nose was muddy by now, The hole he dug formed quite a ledge. So amused at the dog that we got off the log, To see what Sniffer found in the pit, It was a piece of cloth or even more, A sweater! from the mere looks of it. The tag in the back showed a size number one, Of course, it was filthy with grit, It had been navy blue but was losing its hue, But a boy's sweater no doubt about it. In front of the sweater there was a pocket, Something was in it but it wasn't a toy, We took it out carefully so we wouldn't rip it, It was a faded picture showing a young boy. | We decided to keep these to reflect upon later, So I put them in my knapsack, It was getting late, soon dad would be home, We thought we had better start back. Of course, dad was there when we arrived, And he asked us where we had been, Our arms were burned from fighting the brush, And the undergrowth of the forest within. Dad wasn't happy when he heard, I didn't know why all the fuss, We explained that Sniffer also went, That there were just the three of us. "Because," He declared, "no one has been there, To tend to the scrubs, weeds and trees, Someone could hide there and frighten you both, Regardless of all of your pleas."
15: We were so tired we completely forgot, To show Dad our secret find, We ate in silence and went straight to bed, Our treasures never entered my mind. Later I heard someone sneak into my room, It was Dan and he wanted to talk, "Do you have the photo tucked safely away?" "Yes," I said, "before we came from our walk." "Good," he cried, "We'll discuss it later." "What is it?" I asked in reply, "It's something that is really bothering me," He said with such a strange stilted sigh. It was days before we could discuss it again, Intriguing perhaps only to myself, I was cleaning my closet before dinnertime, And my knapsack fell off the top shelf. | I then remembered the navy blue sweater, And the picture, both pretty faded at best, I pulled them out of my knapsack, Remembering Dan's urgent request. I peered once again at the sweater, And couldn't find anything urgent to see, I took the picture from out of the pocket, Then dropped it, as if stung by a bee. I lifted the photo so gently, So my eyes could get used to the hue, But under the light and now piercing sight, I could not guess as to what might be true. I had an old pair of magnifying glasses, Graciously given to me by my dad, I dug them out of the drawer of my desk, Troubled by the thoughts that I had.
16: Cautiously peering at the pale photo, I could see a child around the young age of one, His blond hair was in a mass array, His blue eyes squinting from the setting sun. But just as I had started to lay it away, As it didn't seem anyone I knew, The glasses stayed on a corner that was frayed, Upon a face of a girl around two. The girl was peering from behind a drape, Behind the drape showed a faded blue sea, Her face held a smile as she looked at the boy, That face looked somewhat like me. I remember seeing a photo of my parents and me, They let me hold Sniffer as if to appease, Dad said that was the last picture taken, Before mother died from her ill-fated disease. | Looking at this photo seemed painful for dad, The image of his lost love appeared to offend, So I never asked him to show me again, Figuring his heart took time to mend. I carefully put the picture back in my pocket, And off to find Dan I went, I called for Sniffer to help me locate him, With his nose we could follow Dan's scent. I really thought he would be close-by, But we looked in every room in the house, Louder and louder I called his name, My voice would scare even a mouse. By then I was getting very worried, As no where could Dan be found, He did not seem to want to talk, Not even when only I was around.
17: Sniffer and I walked out on the porch, I constantly called Dan's name, I was terrified what I might find outside, Or was Dan just playing a game? Suddenly I saw fresh footprints, Left in the ground next to the gate, Because of the rainy weather last night, The earth showed the marks made late. I wish dad was here. I needed to ask him, If I could enter the forest without blame, For this tract of land was beckoning me, It seemed to be whispering my name. But dad was NOT presently here, So, I had to decide now by myself, Finding Dan who had gone from our home, Could not be put on the back shelf!. | I did leave dad a note on the table In the hallway by the front door, Then once again I made a quick lunch, In case I needed to eat something more. Then after what I call 'gear checks', Of what we might need to find Dan, Sniffer and I left the house once again, To find out why Dan suddenly ran. We ventured along the path to the lake, We had hiked on not very long ago, I called Dan's name along the way, But all was still in the morning glow. Eventually we came to the hidden lake, I must ask dad about this charming surprise, Right now Dan and I had to talk, No more secrets and no more lies.
18: Then I saw Dan all alone on a log, He never spoke a word to me, As I walked over he just stared at some clover, He must have thought me a part of this mystery. "Dan, there is something I want you to know, This is all very puzzling to me, too, You know that the forest and even the lake, Everything we found was unexpectedly new." "Then," said he, "we should find your dad, And see what he can tell us, Maybe he can answer some questions for me, Knowing something would be a big plus." We called poor old Sniffer from the lake, He started in on his best dog whine, He shook off the water and wagged his tail, To show us he was fine. | Sniffer wasn't really very old, I remember having him for most of my life, But he and dad were extremely close, Sniffer was there instead of a wife. Following Dan as we ran through the woods, His blond hair seemed the color of mine, His eyes were as blue as the sky's pure hue, As if we were drawn from a similar line. We returned to the house before dad got home, And cleaned up without too much fuss, I pulled out thick thistles from Sniffer's fur, I even started dinner for us. When dad got home we sat down to eat, Dan and my nerves were extremely frail, I pulled out the picture from inside my pocket, Upon seeing it dad became very pale.
19: "Dad," I began, " we found this photo, Inside a pocket of a faded blue sweater, We need to know what you can tell us, Down to each and every letter." | So, I pulled out the picture from inside my pocket, Upon seeing it dad became very pale.
20: Abducted "Alright," sighed dad, "I guess the time is here, To tell you both all that I know, You have already found so much by yourselves, I will try placing these events in a row." "The picture you found is of you and Dan," Dad took time as he looked our way, "Yes, you are truly brother and sister, But I wasn’t sure right away." "Sam," dad was now looking straight at me, Your mother didn’t have a fatal disease, She died giving birth to your baby brother," Dan gasped as he fell to his knees. | "But" dad said, now facing Dan, "You were what we both wanted so much, I didn’t want to tell you for fear, This burden might be used as a crutch." About that time Sniffer was born, He was the runt of his mother’s litter, But you, Sam, wanted to watch over him, And be like his baby sitter." "Sam, you named him Sniffer that very day, I laughed as he was such a young pup, You hoped he could help me detect evidence, As my case files were filling up." "Sniffer would someday be a nice hunting hound, And he had very black watchful eyes, He was brown except for his eyes and his nose, And by scent he could help catch the bad guys."
21: "Dad," I asked, "Remember that other photo, You and mom and a young Sniffer and me? I saw tears falling down and a sudden frown, Were you hurting and didn’t want me to see?" "I didn’t want you to store it away, I wanted it by my bed, It would help me to think of mother, To look at her face as I read." "And now you shall have it," dad stated firmly, "You should have insisted I give it to you, We were so happy then, when I saw it again, My thoughts with sad memories grew." "Before the arrival of Dan," Dad continued, Mother pulled me aside by myself, If anything should go wrong you will have Two children to raise by yourself." | "I told her not ever to talk like this, She was so beautiful, gentle and wise, She was also serious, demure and very petite, Which led to her great demise." "Now, we had a couple working for us, A gardener and his wife as a nanny, They couldn’t have children of their own, We knew them as Garth and Fanny." "But as it turned out, they weren't nice people, For they plotted from the day Dan turned one, To abduct you, Dan, and run from here, Leaving me without my wife or my son." "They ran through the forest to the lake, The path then was kept pretty nice, You, Sam, was napping in your bed, So couldn’t offer any advice."
22: "The police searched all around the house, Then found footprints leading out the gate, I went on ahead as fast as I could, I would not sit around here and wait." "One man stayed in the house with you, Sam, I was beside myself as I ran, I fled through the woods and the underbrush, Looking for clues to help me find Dan." "I have always prided myself to be, Pretty good as a private detective, But nowhere that day, could I find any clues, You can imagine I felt so dejected!" "Garth and Fanny slipped away quietly, But Dan was such a small-fry, They couldn’t stay very long by the lake, Possibly afraid Dan would start to cry." | They stopped for lunch for I found their sack, Although it was very wet weather, It rained that night and was sprinkling still, When they buried the photo and sweater. "The sweater was one of yours, Dan, Given to you by your mother, You were wearing it when they took you away, Then made you change it for another." "What happened next is really unclear, As to how long they would wait by the lake, For it wasn’t long before I found, They scattered clues with a portable rake." "Did you know about our little train?, Called, ‘The Crystal Lake Express Run,’ It comes and goes once a week from the city, Carrying those who like outdoor fun."
23: They ran through the forest to the lake
24: "Since it only comes to the lake on Sundays, And it was a Friday they abducted you, Dan, I can only think they made haste to the castle, To avoid getting nabbed by a man." "I couldn’t think clearly at the time, My thoughts seemed only to roam, But there was a locket I gave your mother, It’s been missing since they left our home." "The locket was gold and shaped like a heart, Your mother took it off only when bathing, The open locket showed two pictures of us, Taken while we were in Crystal Lake wading." "When you find this locket I truly feel, There will be more clues to this tragedy, I have searched and have never found, Any other solutions to this mystery." | Dan jumped up and started pacing the floor, While his hands he nervously wrung, "Some of these things I remember," he cried, Even though I was ever so young." "I remember being carried onto the train, Hearing,’for me it would be a new quest,’ They told me, ‘we were on a big adventure,’ And in the city I’d forget my unrest." "Once in the city we were always moving From one apartment to another, And over the years I started calling them, My father and my mother." "Then one evening just before dinner, They left me with a friend, They said they had some errands to run, And I never saw them again."
25: "They drove their car really fast that night, I don’t know where they were going, They both died instantly when they hit a pole, I was without details of ever knowing." "Then I was shuffled around so much, From one household to another, Nobody seemed to really care, To them I was only a bother." "One night I started remembering, The castle, the forest and lake, And the train that brought us to the city, Was my memory real or was it all fake?" "Once I overheard Garth and Fanny talking, About their move on The Crystal Lake Train, This is what I must take to get to this lake, What I must do kept me from going insane. | "When I was again put in an adoption home, There was one thing that I found, I showed anger and hurt so much every day, No family wished to have me around." "So, I left suddenly to find the train, To leave behind all degradation, I did not know where my journey would lead, And I felt a great deal of trepidation." "I think," I said, "we should take a break, And have some lemonade, Into deep waters we’ve all been through, Into all these facts we now must wade." Dad agreed as he got up to stretch, We must formalize a plan, "Where do we go from here?", he asked, Should we search from where Dan ran?"
26: "There is nothing in the city," Dan decried, "No memory for me is good, Only pain of not knowing my troubling past, For answers I've not understood." "There is still one thing missing," I declared, Maybe it lies somewhere in a pocket, We will search each place where you've been, Until we find mom’s stolen locket." "But," dad said, "I can’t go with you now, And your safety is beyond measure, There is a jewel thief thought to be by the lake, I want to catch him with all of the treasure." It was agreed that Dan and I could take the train, Which took vacationers back to the city, But dad said we could not get off, He said this without remorse or pity.
27: Dad had the larcenist on his mind, I’m surprised this much dad would confide, I didn’t even know there was a train at the lake, But it would be great fun to ride. We all planned to arise early the next morning, And walk through the forest to the lake, Dad said Sniffer couldn’t go on the train, But wanted him there for dad’s sake. It was Sunday and the woods were swarming, With hikers and picnickers galore, Swimmers and boaters filled the lake, Not even an inch was left to explore. But I didn’t even know about the train, On which my brother Dan was abducted, So much we learned just recently, Our minds felt totally corrupted.
28: But Dan and I were joyous at the news, We were truly sister and brother!, Even dad seemed to be happier now, We were a family content with each other. Dan’s abduction was but a bad memory now, To dwell on it was like eating a lime, Dad’s comment was, "I wish I had known That he was in the city all of the time!" But now we had other things to traverse, New worlds for discovery, Excitement reigned in all that we did, Beginning with the train ride for me. | It was then that we found out from dad, Something Dan and I both had to learn, On Sunday, the train stops twice at the lake, So Dad would wait for our return. We were told again not to get off the train, Dad’s tone was somewhat gritty, We promised dad that we’d be here again, As soon as the train left the city. I worried that the ride would bother Dan, Causing nightmares to reappear, The abduction of Dan and the way they all ran, Would bring back all his moments of fear.
29: Dan and I saw dad pay the conductor, For our ride to the city and back, Dad didn’t want us getting off any time, So there was nothing we had to pack. Dad and Sniffer were going to wait by the lake, Dad hoped Sniffer might pick up the scent Of the jewel thief trying to hide In the woods or perhaps inside a tent. The total time it took to the city, This special train ran less than an hour, Our journey that day was very frightening, Almost turning any future rides sour. | The Runaway Train | Shortly after the train left the lake, We were only about half-way there, Across from us a little man sat, Wiping his brow as he stared with a glare. He held a small bag inside his coat, His breath was short and wheezy, His eyes were darting all around, He seemed frightened and uneasy. About that time our little train, Seemed to pick up a lot more speed, Books and papers flying everywhere, No one could possibly read.
30: Jewels started spilling from the pouch,
31: Although this was a very short train, The engine and two cars in the rear, No one could get to the locomotive, To check on the engineer. As this was my very first time on a train, The speed really tested my nerve, Upon looking out a window, I thought, We would not make it around a sharp curve. We then saw the man place the small bag, Under his seat as he gazed straight ahead, Jewels started spilling from the pouch, And the man kept on wiping his forehead. Suddenly my mind was on high alert, This nervous man seemed in so much pain, Could this be the wretch Dad hoped to catch? He was not at the lake; he was on this train. | I rose unsteadily to my feet, After whispering my thoughts to Dan, I left to find the conductor, To see if he could come up with a plan. I found the conductor in the last car, Trying to make contact with the engineer, But he did take time to listen to me, About this man, the jewels and my fear. Maybe I should have been very scared, When we started picking up speed, But then only one thing was on my mind, Catching this man with all of his greed. The conductor followed me back to my car, As our eyes all at once did meet, The thief then must have remembered his bag, For he reached for it under his seat.
32: Just then there was a loud screeching noise, Brakes were suddenly being used, Those standing were thrown into various seats, Everyone was annoyed and very confused. The train was coming to a sudden stop, The ride had been fast and rough, Before the man could escape off the train, The conductor had him in handcuffs. I picked up the bag of jewels, Gathering all the gems which had fallen out, Then I called dad on my cell phone, Telling him events which had just come about. Dad listened to me very carefully, From the scary man to the racing train, At last, I heard his cracking voice say, "To let you go I must have been insane." | "Dad, I thought you would be very pleased, Hearing we helped capture this crook, Now you and Sniffer can relax and have fun, Since you don’t even have to look." Then Dad said, "You don’t understand," I am very proud of you and Dan, I’m trying to say I worry for your safety, You always do all that you can." "Tell me about "The Crystal Lake Train," Dad asked, "Why was it racing the tracks?, Have you talked to the conductor?, Have you gotten any facts?" The conductor gathered the crowd outside, "Everything is fine," he told all of us, The engineer had a mild heart attack, And is very sorry for all the fuss."
33: "Sorry for all the fuss!," someone screamed, "The train could have left its rails, Anyone who hadn’t been frightened then, Must be as tough as nails." Then I noticed the man on the train, Everyone else had got off to walk, Excitement was in the air everywhere, You could hear it in the passengers’ talk. The thief was still handcuffed to a seat, So Dan and I got off to look around, Although we could stand inside the train, It was nice to put our feet on the ground. When the engineer had his heart attack, He had hoped to phone his peer, But his hand pulled down on the throttle, Putting the train into high gear. | The engineer was embarrassed and hurting, The look on his face showed pain, Upon coming around, the brake lever he found, To stop the speed of the train. Then Dan and I spoke to the conductor, The crook had to be put right in jail, He told us, "I wired ahead to the police, Who will meet us there without fail." It was not long before we were back on the train, And heading for the big city, All the buildings that came into my view then, Seemed to me to be awfully gritty. As the train pulled into the station, All the people cheered and smiled, Photographers grinned and took pictures, The flashbulbs on cameras went wild.
34: I looked around for the jewel thief, The police were guarding him carefully, When people told us then how brave we had been, Dan seemed embarrassed just like me. Without delay we were to ride back to the lake, So we boarded the train once more, Then what the conductor asked us right then, Made our spirits suddenly soar. "Would you like to ride in the locomotive?" he asked, We could not believe our ears, "Boy, would I," said Dan and then with a laugh, I hope there’ll be a different engineer!" The conductor smiled warmly at us, Knowing how our troubles grew, He said, "We'll all remember your brave act, And we are all very indebted to you."
35: During the short ride back to the lake, Sitting in the locomotive with a new engineer, We were able to see all the scenery, That we had missed on our journey here. Arriving at the lake we saw Sniffer and dad, They were right there for us waiting and willing, We thanked the conductor and engineer, Riding in the locomotive was so very thrilling. On hiking back to our safe and secure home, I talked about the whole trip on the train, Dan and I did not leave out any part of our story, Then dad wanted me to repeat again. I almost forgot to tell them one thing, I got a look inside the thief’s coat pocket, For a short time he had laid it on his seat, I searched but didn’t find mom’s golden locket. | The conductor smiled warmly at us.. "We are all very indebted to you."
36: Sniffer and dad had also been busy, Some jewelry had been accidentally dropped, Sniffer got the scent with his wonderful nose, But at the train depot he suddenly stopped. We asked dad hoping that he would agree, One last item we had on our list, We had to return to the forbidden castle. To look for what we may have missed.
37: Back to the Abandoned Castle | Something was urging us back to the castle, It was a necessary family quest, But dad said, "In the morning we would talk, Right now we all needed some rest." After the energy put forth on the train, Thoughts of my bed were very inviting, Past events were emotionally draining to me, Even though they were terribly exciting. We walked home through the whispering forest, Its’ secrets we would never forget, Urging us into the woods to discover the goods, Upon finding them we had no regret. | We passed the hole that Sniffer had dug, Exposing the sweater and all this corruption, For the photo found also buried in the ground, Is when dad told us of Dan’s abduction. Upon getting home we took a shower, And into our beds we crawled, If anyone had asked me for anything, I think I would have bawled! I said goodnight to Sniffer, To dad and my brother, Dan, I wanted to explore the castle once more, We will go tomorrow if we can.
38: Once again Dad mentioned the locket, Given to mom on bended knees, Bestowing it this way was done all in play, Dad said he just loved to tease. He showed how the rare locket opened, Showing pictures of both of them, Reflecting again of his happiness then, His hurts pouring out from within. Eager to find the gold locket, Impatient to search showing through, To be left behind for Dan and I to find, Was this keepsake of dad’s taken too? My mind was drowning in memories, In the sea before restless sleep, No sounds were made while in bed I laid, I didn’t hear even a peep. | My dreams were of constantly running, Chasing crooks that dad had once sought, Upon turning on me I started to flee, I raced but stayed in one spot. I woke up extremely exhausted, Deep sleep I had wanted to gain, My adventures at night were an annoying plight, But waking proved I was still sane. Dan and I were going back to the castle, Exploring our plan of today, I jumped out of bed thinking what dad had said, "You wouldn’t be going if I had my way." Dad and Dan were sitting and eating, And Sniffer was racing around, I had to agree as they looked straight at me, My appetite was not to be found.
39: "I have to file a report," dad was saying, "On the thief you helped catch yesterday, I feel your sorrow but wait ‘til tomorrow, That way I can be with you all day." "Dad," I cried, "Please let us do this, There is something we still need to find, If Dan and I stall we may find nothing at all, Besides we both want to unwind." Dad winked, "Alright, Sam, knowing I am, How you handle yourselves in tough situations, I just didn’t want you to have to go through, Yesterday’s similar aggravations." "Thanks, dad, I trust, that you believe in us, Thank you for your confidence, Both Dan and I feel these impulses are real, Otherwise going there would not make sense." | I was extremely excited and anxious to leave, My milk I tried not to guzzle, There would be no fuss taking Sniffer with us, To help find the last piece of the puzzle. Dad left for the city to file his report, Of the crook we helped catch yesterday, Then Dan, Sniffer and I went to the castle, Quiet in our own thoughts on the way. I had an old earring of mother’s, I gave it to Sniffer to smell, Then bounding ahead with his nose he led, I hoped the scent was directing him well. We tried catching up to Sniffer, The odor he’d never erase, He didn’t wait after he smelled the bait, But the earring I kept just in case.
40: We finally reached Sniffer by running, The castle was teeming with thrush, The moat was dry so the draw bridge seemed high, Looking strange hanging over the brush. Once more I stood at this castle, Remembering the first time I came, I was alone then and I shivered again, Never again will my life be the same. I stared at the ornamental brass door knob, Hoping to turn it once more, Again someone forgot surprisingly to lock, And it opened revealing a floor. I am sure that Dan would remember, How lost he felt when he was last here, The questions he sought his fright overwrought, But this time his face showed no fear.
41: Sniffer immediately ran to the staircase, Soundly wagging his tail as he bound, He scurried halfway then howled as if to say, "Hurry up and see what I found!" We saw where Sniffer was pointing, Guarding his treasure he stood, His nose in the air his bark heard everywhere, But all we saw were the stairs made of wood. Sniffer pawed and whined and would not move, Dan and I searched but found nothing at all, Feeling quite low we started to go, What Sniffer smelled must be very small. Down the middle of each step a red rug ran, From the top to the bottom of the stairs, Each step fairly wide showing on each side Oak wood with all the flairs.
42: The board of the step Sniffer stood on, Was a little different from all the rest, A thin cut spread across the top of the wood, Trying to see it was really a test. But Sniffer’s nose had smelled something, This part of the floor was one of a kind, We looked at each other anxious to uncover, What was it that we were to find? After pressing our fingers along the fine line, The wooden step raised up detached, The crack wasn’t wide; we reached deep inside, Finding mother’s locket with a note attached. It read: "Dan I know you are searching, For your identity of who you must be, Garth and I worked for your parents, From here your real home you can see." | "As a gardener, Garth is excellent, He cares for gardens better than any man can, And I was hired as your personal nanny, After your mom died giving birth to you, Dan." "I saw to your needs as a baby, It was me who was there for you, Dan, We so loved you and your sister too, Her name's Samantha but we called her Sam". "Sam was two on her birthday last month, You were exactly one, Dan, We left the day of your birthday, And to the city we ran." "I don’t know why I took this locket, As it would tie us to family sessions, So I left it here with this note in fear, And give you answers to some questions."
43: One new thing we read in the note, Dan was taken the day he turned one, It was Dan’s fate and the record was straight, He felt like the returning son. We couldn’t help but hug one another, Now the puzzle was a perfect fit, The answers were clear as the note was near, It was a proper and suitable knit. Dan cried, "I have no other questions," "No more do I wish to roam," "I am happy at last and peaceful of my past," "And," he firmly said, "I am finally home." With that he patted and played with Sniffer, And Sniffer in turn licked his face, I don’t know when but I think it was then, Dan felt he was back in our family with grace. | And Dad’s instinct was pretty amazing, He hardly ever seemed to be wrong, For inside the socket, the note with the locket, Had confirmed what he thought all along. Dad wanted to like Garth and Fannie, Even though he detested their plan, It hurt him so when they planned to go, Carrying out the kid-napping of Dan. We left the castle behind us, We felt like we had found a rare treat, Our heads were held high as we let out a sigh, Our mystery was finally complete. Gallantly we walked and attentively talked, Of all that had recently occurred, We hoped to see dad with the news we had, To see if his opinions concurred.
44: Returning home before Dad, We were very impatient to wait, Sniffer started barking as dad was parking, His car in the drive was the bait. We all started talking together, As dad walked through the front door, "Whoa," he’d recall, "I can’t listen to all, "Let me sit and take my feet off the floor." I began since I had the locket, Telling our tale as best that I could, While Sniffer laid his nose on dad’s toes, As a happy family dog should. | This mystery ends with smiles and some tears, Our emotions causing a fuss, Remembering how our family was, Before Dan came back home to us. And then dad had his story to tell, And the girl he just met, "who’s a winner," They talked for awhile and liking her style, Invited her out here for dinner! Then Dan and I gazed expectantly, And Sniffer started to scratch, "We may walk down the aisle," He said with a smile,
45: "But first I have another thief to catch!"