Authors: Carolyn Keene
Table of Contents
THE GHOST OF BLACKWOOD HALL
WHEN Mrs. Putney seeks Nancy Drew’s help in recovering her stolen jewelry, the search for the thieves takes the teen-age detective and her friends Bess and George to the colorful French Quarter in New Orleans. But the quest is hampered by the strange behavior of Mrs. Putney and two young women who are being victimized by so-called spirits. How can Nancy fight these unseen perpetrators of a cruel hoax? And how can she help the gullible victims when the spirits warn them not to have anything to do with Nancy?
The young sleuth’s investigations lead her to a deserted old mansion haunted by a phantom organist. How Nancy uses her own ghostlike tactics to outwit the ghost of Blackwood Hall and aids the police in capturing a group of sinister racketeers will keep the reader tense with suspense.
The ghostly figure was wading deeper into the water
Acknowledgement is made to Mildred Wirt Benson, who under the pen name Carolyn Keene, wrote the original NANCY DREW books
Copyright© 1995, 1967, 1948 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., a member of The Putnam & Grosset Group,
New York. Published simultaneously in Canada. S.A. NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORIES® is a registered trademark of Simon & Schuster,
eISBN : 978-1-101-07726-9
A Mysterious Message
“IF I ever try to solve a mystery with a ghost in it, I’ll use a smart cat to help me!” Nancy Drew remarked laughingly. “Cats aren’t afraid of ghosts. Did you know that, Togo?”
Laying aside the book of exciting ghost stories which she had been reading, the slim, titianhaired girl reached down to pat Togo, her fox terrier. But, as if startled or annoyed by her words, he scrambled up and began to bark.
“Quiet, Togo!” ordered Hannah Gruen, the family housekeeper, from the living-room archway. “What’s wrong with you?”
But Togo, hearing the sound of a car door slamming, braced his legs, cocked his head, and barked more excitedly than ever. An automobile had stopped in front of the house, and a middle-aged man was hurrying up the walk.
“It’s Mr. Freeman, the jeweler,” said Nancy in surprise.
A moment later the doorbell rang sharply, and Nancy hastened to open the door.
“I can’t stay long,” Mr. Freeman said, speaking rapidly. “I shouldn’t have left the jewelry store to come here, only it’s important!”
“But Dad isn’t at home, Mr. Freeman.”
“I came to see you, Nancy. I want you to help an old customer and friend.”
The jeweler indicated the parked car. “Mrs. Putney is out there waiting. I tried to get her to talk to the police, but she refused. She won’t even tell me all the details of the theft—says there’s a good reason why she must keep the matter to herself.”
By now, Nancy’s curiosity was aroused. “Please bring Mrs. Putney in,” she said. “If there is some way I can help her, I certainly will. But if she is unwilling to talk—”
“She’ll tell you everything,” the jeweler advised in a low voice. “You see, you’re a
“What has that got to do with it?”
“You’ll find out,” the jeweler said mysteriously. “Mrs. Putney is a widow. She lives alone and is considered rather odd by her neighbors. I’ve known her for years, however, and she’s a fine woman. She needs our help.”
Before Nancy could ask why she needed help, he ran back to the car. After a brief conversation, the woman emerged and the jeweler led her up the walk to the house.
“This is Mrs. Henry Putney, Nancy,” Mr. Freeman introduced her, adding, “Nancy Drew is the best amateur detective in River Heights.”
From her father, Carson Drew, an outstanding criminal lawyer, Nancy had inherited both courage and keen intelligence. The first case Nancy had worked on with her father was
The Secret of the Old Clock.
Recently she had solved the mystery of
The Clue in the Old Album.
Although only eighteen years old, Nancy’s ability was so well known that anyone in River Heights, who was in trouble, was likely to seek her assistance.
Stepping aside so that the caller might enter the living room, Nancy studied Mrs. Putney curiously. She was a woman well past middle age, and the black of her smartly cut dress accentuated the thinness of her body. Her expression was sad, and in the faded eyes there was a faraway look which made Nancy vaguely uneasy.
Mrs. Gruen greeted the newcomers, chatted a few moments, then tactfully withdrew. Nancy waited eagerly for the callers to reveal the purpose of their visit.
“I shouldn’t have come,” Mrs. Putney said, nervously twisting a handkerchief. “No one can help me, I’m sure.”
“Nancy Drew can,” the jeweler declared. Then from a deep pocket of his coat, he withdrew a leather case which bore traces of dried mud.
He opened the case and displayed a sizable collection of rings, necklaces, and pins. He held up a string of pearls to examine.
“Clever imitations, every one!” announced the jeweler. “When Mrs. Putney brought them to me to be cleaned, I advised her to go at once to the police.”
“I can’t do that,” Mrs. Putney replied. “There must be no publicity.”
“Suppose you tell me everything,” Nancy suggested.
“You promise never to reveal what I am about to tell you?” her visitor asked anxiously.
“Of course, if that is your wish.”
Mrs. Putney looked at the jeweler. “I cannot speak in your presence,” she said haltingly. “I was warned never to tell any man or woman of this matter.”
“That’s why I brought you to a
the jeweler said quickly, directing a significant glance at Nancy. “You’ll be breaking no confidence in telling Nancy everything. And now I must be getting back to the store.”
Bidding them good-by, he left the two together. Satisfied, Mrs. Putney began her story.
“I’m all alone now. My husband died a few months ago,” she revealed. “Since then I have had strange premonitions. Shortly after my husband passed away, I had an overpowering feeling the house was to be robbed.”
“Clever imitations, every one!” the jeweler announced
“And it was?” inquired Nancy.
“No, but I did a very foolish thing. I gathered all the family jewels, put the collection in this leather case, and buried it.”
“Somewhere on your grounds?”
“No, in a secluded clearing in the woods about ten miles from here.”
Nancy was amazed that a woman of Mrs. Putney’s apparent intelligence should commit such a foolish act. However, she remained silent.
“I decided I’d been unwise, so this morning I went there and dug up the leather case,” Mrs. Putney continued. “Then I took the collection to Mr. Freeman to have the pieces cleaned. The moment he saw them he said they were fake.”
“Someone stole the real jewelry?”
“Yes, and substituted these copies. I prized my husband’s ring above all. It breaks my heart to lose that.”
“This is a case for the police,” Nancy began, only to have Mrs. Putney cut her short.
“Oh, no! The police must learn nothing about what happened!”
Nancy regarded the woman intently. “Why are you so opposed to talking to anyone except me?” she asked.
“Well, I’m afraid if I call in the police there will be a lot of publicity.”
“Is that your real reason, Mrs. Putney?” Nancy was certain that the widow was deliberately with holding the truth. “If I am to help you, I must know everything.”