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Authors: Terry Deary

The Apple Spy

BOOK: The Apple Spy
2.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub





Illustrated by James de la Rue

Chapter 1

Spiders and stories

Scotland 1940

Miss McLennan had a round, porridge-white face and little brown eyes. When she read us stories her little eyes grew wide and her voice grew excited.

Some of the kids in her class stared at her, mouths open, as if her words were dripping honey. Me and my brother Jamie thought she looked plain daft.

‘“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is fairest of them all?”' the teacher read.

‘It's not you,' Jamie muttered and I sniggered. I snorted too loud. I couldn't help it.

Miss McLennan slammed the book shut. ‘Marie Bruce, go and stand in the corner,' she said and her mouth wrinkled like a breakfast prune.

I blew out my cheeks. She always picked on me. Jamie made trouble but I was punished. He liked that. Brothers.

The teacher went on, ‘The wicked queen went into her most secret room and she made a poisoned apple.'

And the class went ‘Ooooh!'

‘From the outside it was beautiful, and anyone who saw it would want it. But anyone who ate a little piece of it would die.'


You know the story. The queen pretended to be an old apple seller and visited Snow White, who refused to eat the apple. Snow White didn't live in war time like we did. We would have eaten a barrel full of apples.

‘“Are you afraid of poison?” asked the wicked queen. “Look, I'll cut the apple in two. You eat half and I shall eat half.”'

‘Don't do it, Snow White,' Jamie cried out loud. Miss McLennan glared at him.

‘Now, the apple had been made so that only the one half was poisoned. Snow White stuck her hand out and took the poisoned half.'


Jamie listened, and it saved our lives.

No, really. Snow White saved our lives.


Chapter 2

Poisons and platforms

The class were sitting on the polished wood floor, legs crossed and arms folded.

Miss McLennan said, ‘Snow White barely had a bite of apple in her mouth when she fell to the ground, dead.'

Jamie jumped to his feet and said, ‘An apple a day doesn't keep the doctor away.'

The teacher slammed the book shut and banged it on her desk. Her porridge face turned raw-beef red. ‘Jamie Bruce, I am sending you home right now. You cannot spoil story-time for the whole class. Get out. I will send a letter to your father.'

‘And you can go with your brother,' she screeched at me.

We were out of the classroom faster than a sausage out of a frying pan when our cat was in the kitchen.

The September sky was a cloudless blue as we raced down the hill towards the harbour. ‘Where are we going, Jamie?' I cried.

My ribbons were coming loose and my hair whipped around my face. Jamie's short grey trousers slapped at his legs.

‘To the station,' he shouted over his shoulder. ‘The Edinburgh express will be coming in.'

The station platform was quiet and smelled of the soot and oil from the locomotives that stopped there, steaming and coughing and creaking. The station-master, Mr John Donald, was smart as a pin in his navy uniform with brilliant buttons. His nose wrinkled when he saw us run onto the platform. ‘Do you two rapscallions have tickets?' he asked.

‘Yes,' my brother told him.

The man took a deep breath. ‘Would it be possible for me to have a look at them?'

Jamie reached into his pocket and handed over two pieces of card. Mr Donald placed a pair of spectacles on the end of his nose and squinted through them. He tapped them. ‘These are library tickets.'

Jamie shrugged. ‘You asked if we had tickets.'

‘Railway tickets?'

‘Not yet,' I said.

But we were saved when the station-master looked towards the entrance of the station and said, ‘Hello. What have we here?'


Chapter 3

Eggs and legs

Strangers. A man and a woman. They wore grey raincoats and brown felt hats and fine shoes. She wore a heavy tweed skirt and thick woollen socks. The man wore a dark blue suit.

Their pale, hard eyes scanned the platform and fastened on Mr Donald the station-master. The woman took a step towards him. ‘Excuse me,' she said, and her voice was odd. Foreign.

Mr Donald gripped the lapels of his uniform and said, ‘Yes, madam?'

‘Tell me, porter, what is the name of this station?'

Mr Donald was a short man but he stretched as tall as he could and said, ‘I am not a porter, madam. I am the station-
. And the names of all stations have been removed. Then if a German spy arrives…' he said very slowly, ‘they will not know where they are.'

The man stepped forward. He had an accent just like the woman. ‘What a wonderful idea. Those German spies must be defeated. No?'

‘No…I mean, yes,' station-master Donald said.

‘We came here to Forres for a walking holiday,' the man said. ‘Now we take the train to London.'

‘This is not Forres,' Mr Donald said. ‘This is – '

‘Lossiemouth,' I said quickly. I met the eyes of Mr Donald and those eyes seemed to say, ‘Thank you.' He had almost given us away.

BOOK: The Apple Spy
2.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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