The Ghost of Wolfpen Ridge (Chapter 2)
Mr. Jones Comes Over
Sally was the first to wake up with a jolt. She wondered what had woken her up, and was had just laid back down, when she heard the slow, mournful wailing again.
She was just closing her eyes, when a figure emerged from behind the mountain, several yards in front of her, its back to her. Sally sat bolt upright.
“Good night!” She gasped.
She shook Callie, then clamped a hand over her mouth so she wouldn't cry out in surprise, and Sally pointed.
By now Carrie had woken up. All stared at the sight in front of them as the figure drew farther farther away from them. The man had a dark bandanna over his head, and under it they could see a little bit of short, white hair.
He was bent low toward the ground, and carrying a lantern. He walked all around for a while, as thought searching for something. He them went out of sight behind the mountain again, and the girls made up their minds that they should tell Sally's aunt and uncle that someone was trespassing in their yard.
They dashed toward the house, but got no further than a tree when the strange figure reemerged from behind the mountain. The three girls quickly ducked behind the tree, and Callie and Carrie sat down. Sally remained standing, hand on the tree trunk, staring in half-disbelief.
Finally, the man vanished from sight again behind the mountain, and the three cousins ran toward their house.
“I don't think we should tell Aunt Leah,” Sally said when they were inside.
“Why not?” Callie and Carrie said in unison.
“Because I just don't think we should. If we told her about that man, it would only be right that we told her the story of the man that died here. Then poor Aunt Leah would probably be scared out of her wits. Then, who knows what.”
Callie shrugged. “Yeah, I guess your right.”
Carrie nodded in reluctant agreement. The three tip-toed up the stairs and into the bedroom they were sharing. They laid down, and before long all three were fast asleep.
A couple of hours later, Sally woke up to the ghostly wailing. The bedroom window was open. She slipped into her shoes, and not having changed into night-clothes, she crept down the stairs. Everything was quiet.
Carefully she opened the back door leading outside, and walked out. The wailing had stopped, but was now resuming.
Then the same, ghostly figure appeared from behind the rock. Sally quickly leaped back into the dark shadows from the house. Then, when the mans back was to her, she quickly raced behind the tree her cousins and she had hid behind earlier.
Suddenly the wailing stopped. Sally stood tensely against the tree for several minutes, waiting. Finally she peered warily around the tree. The man was no where to be seen. She crouched down low, and kept among the shadows as well as she could, and hastened to the spot where they had been sleeping.
She pulled up one of the pillows they had left behind, propped it up against the mountainside, and sat, staring into the darn night sky. Finally she fell asleep. Hours later, she awoke with the sun shining brightly down on her. She went inside, and found Callie on the couch reading a book.
“Hi, Callie.” Sally said, smiling.
“Is any one else up?”
“No,” Callie replied.
“I've been up since about six o'clock this morning. Reading.”
“Didn't you wonder where I was?” Sally asked.
“No. I did at first, but then I looked outside, and saw you sitting against the tree, asleep. But don't worry. I made sure you weren't dead before I sat down to read,” Callie added, in a joking-sounding tone.
Sally grinned. “Did you really?”
“Of course I did, Sally Freeman!” She retorted. “Why, you didn't expect me to leave you there, looking dead and like you did, having no idea how got there, did you?” She grinned.
Just then, Carrie came downstairs.
“Hi!” She said.
“Hi.” Callie and Sally said together.
“Where's mom?” Carrie asked.
“Oh. I'm going to go get the blankets and pillows we left outside. I'll be right back” Carrie said.
Sally settled down on the couch beside her cousin. Callie put her book down.
“So, why were you outside? Did you sleepwalk?” She asked.
“No. I heard the wailing again a couple hours after we had come back in, and went outside. I hadn't meant to fall asleep, but I did. And I saw the ghost again. Once, at least. It was right after I came outside."
At that moment, Carrie came in, put the things on the floor, and sat down on a chair close to her sister and cousin.
“I'm starved.” She said promptly.
Callie grinned. “So am I. I hope mom wakes up soon. We're out of cereal, and I can't think of anything else to eat except for her wonderful food.”
No sooner had she said this, than Mrs. Evans appeared in the living room.
“Hi, girls,”she said.
“Hi Aunt Leah.”
Carrie said, “Mom, I'm starved.”
Aunt Leah smiled and said, “I know. I'm going to make breakfast.”
And with that, she started for the kitchen.
“That man and all that wailing last night was ominous,” Callie said when her mother was out of earshot.
“I know. It was really creepy.” Carrie agreed, shuddering.
“Do you suppose it could have been the 'ghost' in the story Mr. Jones told us about?” Sally asked.
Callie and Carrie shrugged.
“Beats me,” Carrie said. “I wondered that, too. Maybe if we could get mom to let's go into town today, we could tell Mr. Jones about what we saw.”
But Callie didn't like the idea.
“He'd probably just get this big, crazy smile and say 'I told you so.' And that would be really embarrassing.”
“But maybe not,” Carrie insisted. “And besides, I'd like to know what he says about it. Seriously. How about it? What do you say, Sally?” Carrie asked, turning to her cousin.
“I don't really care. If you two want to, I'm game.”
Carrie smiled at her sister. “Come on, Cal. Why not? Sally doesn't care.
Callie sighed. “Fine. if you'll stop calling me that,” she said.
Carrie grinned. “Good girl. I will. What say we go right after breakfast?” She asked.
They both agreed.
“How do you suppose we'll even see him again?” Callie asked as they walked into town some time after breakfast. “It was wonderful luck that we even happened to find him again the second time, anyhow.”
“I don't know. We might not see him at all. But we'll have to look.” Carrie replied.
But it didn't take long for them to find him, in a drugstore.
“Hi, Mr. Jones,” the three girls chorused.
“Callie. Carrie, Sally,” he said with a nod of his head and a smile.
“Um, Mr. Jones?” Sally asked.
“We'd kind of like to talk to you about something...In private, if you don't mind.”
“Not at all,” he smiled.
“Could we step outside?” Callie asked.
Mr. Jones nodded, and the four walked outside behind the drugstore.
“What is it you want to ask me about?” He asked, smiling in a nice, pleasant way.
“I...figure you guessed by now.” Sally started.
“Sure,” he answered.
“Well, we saw the ghost last night. I mean the guy that's acting like a ghost. Wait'll you hear.”
Sally lowered her voice to a whisper. “Last night, Callie and Carrie and I slept outside, because we were curious as to whether what you told us was true.”
“So we all fell asleep,” Carrie said, taking up the story. “And then woke up to that wailing. Then only a moment later out comes this man. We couldn't see the front of him, because his back was to us, but we did see white hair under the bandanna that was on his head.”
After Carrie was finished telling their listener what had happened, he stood there, shock in his eyes.
“You three girls went out there, to see if you could see old Wills ghost, after what I told you?”
“Ju—Just you three? All by yourselves?”
Again, they nodded. Allen looked stunned.
“And then you went out there by yourself later, Sally?”
“Yes,” she said airily, as though it was nothing at all.
“You really shouldn't have,” Allen said.
“But he didn't see us. And I don't don't see why we shouldn't have. Maybe you should come with us one night, and you could see it yourself.” Sally suggested.
Mr Jones was reluctant to say yes, but it was embarrassing for him to think that three girls weren’t afraid, and he was afraid.
“Alright,” He said hesitantly. . “I'll come tomorrow night."
“Alright, Mr. Jones!”
With that, they left, and the girls walked home.
“Well, how do you like that?” Sally asked. “Coming over tomorrow night to see the ghost!”
“I don't know if mom will like it, though, to be honest. A complete stranger showing up? And then wanting to stay up outside real late at night? I don't thing so,” Carrie said.
“We'll tell he's a friend. Which is the truth,” Sally said nonchalantly.
“Yes, but still, she doesn't know him. And she wouldn't like outside so late with him.”
“I've got it!” Sally said, snapping her fingers.
Without another word, she ran after Mr. Jones.
“Whats she up to?” Callie asked.
Carrie shrugged. “Search me.”
A minute later, Sally came running back down the street, a huge grin on her face.
“Well, what on earth did you tell him, for Pete's sake!” Carrie asked, who was by now bursting with curiosity.
“I told him,” Sally said. “To wait for us out of sight from the house behind the mountain at fifteen minutes to twelve.”
“Oh,” Carrie said.
“Well, we're off for home, now.” Callie said.
When they arrived home they went up to their bedroom and discussed the night that Mr. Jones was coming over on.
“We tell Aunt Leah we're sleeping out there again, then we out there, see the ghost, Mr. Jones leaves after the ghost does, and we sleep outside,” Sally
“Sounds good to me,” Callie said.
“Same here,” Carrie said, with a nod of agreement.
That day and the next seemed to drag by, but finally the night that Mr. Jones was to come over came. A little bit before twelve that night, they found themselves outside in the chilly air, waiting for Allen Jones.
“Mr. Jones was supposed to be hear before this,” Callie said impatiently.
Carrie looked down at her watch. “Its only eleven-fifty-five,” she said. “Give him a few minutes.”
“Sally,” Callie insisted. “You told him to be hear by eleven-forty-five, right?”
“Sure,” She said.
“And its ten minutes after. I must say I'm losing the little patience I have left quickly.”
No sooner had Callie said this, than Mr. Jones came up.
“Hi, Mr. Jones,” They said.
“Hi,” he replied, looking around nervously.
“Get down behind the bushes, you three,” Sally commanded, doing the same herself. “The ghost might be here he any minute.”
The three followed suit.
Several tense minutes passed.
“Twelve-ten,” Sally thought looking down at her wrist-watch.
The minutes dragged by, seeming more like hours than minutes.
Sally thought, “Last time we slept outside, we were on the other side of the mountain, and the ghost came from this side of the mountain. Maybe we'll see where he comes from now.”
But her guess proved wrong, when not five minutes later, the ghostly figure came from the opposite side of the mountain that they were on. Sally stifled a gasp.
“How did he know we're on this side?” She thought.
She and Carrie exchanged glances out of the corners of their eyes, each thinking the same thing. Carrie leaned over to her cousin, and whispered in her ear, “I was hoping we would see where he was coming from. I wonder how he knew we weren't on the other side?”
Sally shrugged. “You've got me.”
The two turned back to the man. He was wailing, and Sally could see shock and fear in Mr. Jones eyes.
“Maybe it wasn't the best idea to invite him over,” she thought. “He looks scared to death.”
Mr. Jones face, white as a blanket, was staring straight ahead at the ghost.
Sally gulped. “I really shouldn't have asked him to come.”
Several minutes passed before the ghost disappeared around the other side of the mountain.
“I—I should be g--going n--no--ow,” Mr. Jones stammered. “We'll talk about it tomorrow. We haven't time now. Meet me at the cafe' in town at two o'clock tomorrow. G'bye.”
And with that he was gone. The three girls laid out their blankets on the hard ground. Callie laid down on her pillow.
“Good night,” she said sleepily.
It wasn't long before she was asleep. But Carrie and Sally stayed up several minutes afterward, talking.
“Mr. Jones was white as a sheet when he saw the ghost,” Sally commented.
“I know. He sure was scared," Carrie nodded.
“I felt really sorry for him. I don't think I should have invited him, in the first place,” Sally said.
“Maybe not. I wish we could prove to him, somehow, that that creepy “ghost” isn't a ghost,” Callie said, frowning.
“Me, too,” Sally agreed.
Carrie looked at her sleeping sister and smiled. She stuck her hand in her skirt pocket. Suddenly the smile erased from her lips.
"What's the matter?" Sally asked.
Without saying anything, Carrie dug her hand into her pocket.
"Oh, no!" She groaned.
"What's the matter?" Sally demanded once again.
"My wallet! It's gone!"
"Gone!" Sally echoed.
"Mr. Jones! He did it!"
"No, I don't think so. Why do you think he would do that? You probably dropped it...Somewhere."
"No, that's not how it happened. While we were all watching the ghost, I saw him reach toward me. I didn't think anything at the time, except he was propping himself up. But no, Allen Jones is a pickpocket!"
"Are you sure?"
"Positive. The pocket my wallet was in was facing him."
"How much money did you have in there?" Sally asked.
"Twenty something bucks. A shame to lose so much money. He may be in a gang, or just by himself, but he sure makes me mad."
“Say, Carrie! You might just have something there!”
“Why don't we look into it tomorrow? As for now, I'm awful tired.” Callie said, stifling a yawn. Only a moment later they were both asleep.