I walked up to Wade, mulling over what I was going to say.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“I thought that was what we were doin’.”
“Can I trust you with a secret?”
“What kinda secret?”
“A…a Thornton secret.”
“I already know all of those.”, He said, starting to walk away.
“I’m sorry – I meant a Charlotte Thornton secret.”
“W-what did you say?”, He said, stopping in his tracks.
“You heard me.”
He turned back toward me.
He read them, his eyes getting wider with each second. I could tell that he was reading each one over and over again.
“I…I never knew h-how much she really cared.”
I could tell that Wade was getting very emotional.
“Why…why are you showing me these?”
“Because, Wade, I need your help. I don’t feel safe taking on Clara alone – she may or may not be…violent.”
“Well…it’s possible…but, knowing her, I think it’s more likely that she’d find some way to get you arrested..”
“Are you willing to risk that…again?”
“Ye-…n-no. I…can’t – not again.”
“NO, NANCY!…The answer is no.”
I started to walk away. I couldn’t believe it…if Wade wouldn’t help me, who would? Would Jessalyn be willing to do something so heartbreaking as to confront her mother?
I turned around to face Wade, again.
“I…I’ll do it.”
Ned and I decided that we might as well walk up to Thornton hall, after all, Ned couldn’t lug my bags around all night…
When we reached the front porch, a young man walked up to us. He was dressed nicely and had blond hair and beautiful eyes.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Ned Nickerson, and this is Bess Marvin – we’re friends of Nancy Drew.”
“I’m Colton, Jessalyn’s fiance.”
I sighed. Too bad.
“Nancy told us about everything, and we’re here to help.”, Ned said.
“Great.” I couldn’t tell if Colton was being sincere or not. He seemed very difficult to understand.
I walked up to Colton.
“Do you know where we might find Nancy?”, I said, giving him my signature puppy eyes.
“Um…no. She could be anywhere.”
“Well, thanks anyway.”
We said goodbye to Colton and walked inside the building.
It was beautiful, yet run down and old. I felt like I was stepping right into The Haunted Mansion at Disney World. It really freaked me out.
Ned led the way through a door immediately to the right of the entrance.
“Hello?”, Ned called into the room.
A woman was standing near a window on the right side of the room. She gasped and whirled around to see who had spoken.
“Um…hello.”, she said.
She studied us, probably wondering what two strangers were doing on the island.
“May I ask who you are?”
“Of Course.”, I said, introducing myself and Ned.
She introduced herself as Clara Thornton.
I explained why we were there, and she smiled.
“Well, thank you – both of you. I’ve been terribly worried about my Jessie.”
“We’re happy to help.”, Ned said.
“Would you like some tea?”, Clara asked, gesturing to a lovely silver tea set which sat atop a small table near the door.
“No, thank you.”, Ned said.
“Is there a place where we can leave our luggage?”, I asked.
“Certainly. Nancy has already set up her stuff upstairs – you can leave your things there.”
We thanked Clara and said goodbye for now.
We (AKA, Ned) carried our bags up the stairs until we reached the top.
All we saw was a sleeping bag, which we assumed was Nancy’s “stuff”.
Ned dropped our luggage. “What’s in your bags? Bricks?”
“Bricks – no. Every outfit a girl could possibly need – yes.”
I sat down on Nancy’s sleeping bag.
The air was warm and stuffy, yet, every once in awhile, a cool breeze would enter the room through the shattered windows.
Suddenly, a beautifully formidable voice pierced the room, sending a shiver down my spine.
“Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home…”
“Where’s that coming from?”, Ned asked.
I was so terrified that I couldn’t answer, so I pointed down the hall.
Ned and I stood transfixed as we stared down the hall.
A beautiful young woman was standing there. She was dressed in a lovely red dress, which was covered in half-burned black lace.
She held a black mask in her hand.
Her deep haunting eyes seemed to stare straight through me, but they suddenly became fixed on Ned as he took a step forward.
“Ned, w-what are you doing?!”
he turned around to look at me. He gave me that good ol’ be-quiet-I’m-in-detective-mode look. Strange – I usually get that look from Nancy.
I replied with my very own fine-but-don’t-blame-me-if-you-get-abducted-by-a-ghost look.
I was so buisy trying to perfect my fine-but-don’t-blame-me-if-you-get-abducted-by-a-ghost look that I had hardly noticed when the singing finally ceased.
“The ghost is gone!”
Ned turned around. “Oh c’mon!”
“Where do you think it went?”
“I wish I knew.”
Ned walked towards where the “ghost” had stood.
“Ned, please, let’s just go find Nancy.”
“Wait just a minute, Bess. I want see if the
“ghost” left anything behind.”
“Fine, but count me out.”
I walked over to a table near the window – or, at least, what was left of the window.
“Hm…”, I said, as I picked up a book about the ghost of Thornton hall. I started to open the book but quickly closed it.
“Don’t do this to yourself, Bess! Remember the ankle-grabbers!”, I said to myself.
Everything had been quiet until, suddenly, I heard a thump and a thud.
“Did you find anything, Ned?”
Curiosity had overcome me. I was scared but I was also feeling bored.
“Ned?”, I repeated, as I walked around the corner.
“Did you-“, I stopped mid-sentance.
Ned was nowhere in sight.