The Ghost of Wolfpen Ridge (Chapter 7; last chapter)
The Gangs Capture
All next day Sally and her cousins sat near the telephone, hoping for the Chief
Police to make a phone call with good news, but it didn't come.
“I think we should find the gangs new hideout,” Sally said suddenly.
Her cousins looked up from the books they were reading, surprised.
“I said,” Sally repeated herself, “Why don't we find the gangs hideout?”
Callie shrugged. “Because we have no possible way of finding it and it's too dangerous and—”
“Mom wouldn't like it,” Carrie finished.
“Oh, sure,” Sally replied, annoyed. “I'll go myself. The police aren't making any progress, and I'm really getting sick of waiting for them to tell us they've caught them. Come on,” Sally said, hoping that they would cave in and at least ask their mother.
“Oh, alright. I'll ask mom,” Carrie said with a sigh.
Sally smiled. “Thanks,” she said.
Carrie walked into the living room, where her mother sat, knitting. “Mother,” she began, “Sally really wants to go out hunting for the gangs hideout. I told her you didn't want us to, but she insists, and says if we don't, she'll go without us.”
“Why, certainly not!” Aunt Leah exclaimed in surprise. “And your cousin isn't going to either. Why, she must be stark raving mad!”
Carrie hid a smile behind her hand. She was used to her mother flaring up like that when they asked something that was 'Completely silly and out of this world.' As Aunt Leah put it.
“But, Aunty,” Sally protested, grinning, as she walked into the room. “I'm not stark raving mad, I just want to find the gangs hideout. I wouldn't let myself be seen. Honest. After I had found their hiding place, I would come right back and tell the Police where they are, and they could do the rest.”
“No, indeed! Why, the very thought of it is the most crazy thing!”
“But the police aren't getting anywhere, and I just might be able to find it. Come on, Aunty,” Sally pleaded.
“That's just it!” Aunt Leah exclaimed. “If the police aren't getting anywhere, why do you think you should you be able to? You're no gangs hideout
tracker!” she said flatly.
“No, but, Aunt Leah, you never know. I still may be able to find it.”
Aunt Leah sighed. “Alright go if you wish, but I tell you, you'll not find it if you have a hundred years to find it! It will be like hunting for a needle in a haystack! Mark my words!”
Sally grinned and gave her aunt a hug around the neck.
“You're the best, Aunty,” she said. Aunt Leah gave an inward smiled, but said nothing. Sally walked out of the room and told Callie she had had success.
This surprised Callie. “Mom can almost always holds to what she says, especially when it comes to something she doesn't want you to do. It's a wonder you got her to say yes, and in that amount of time,” she said.
“When are you going?” Carrie asked from the doorway. “Not tonight, I hope,”
Sally shook her head. “It's too late right now. I'll go tomorrow. Are you two coming with me?”
Her cousins nodded vigorously. Aunt Leah came in the room at that moment.
“I see you now want your cousins in on on this silly wild goose chase, too!” She said.
Sally nodded, and Aunt Leah walked into the kitchen, shaking her head.
“So, where are you planning to go, exactly?” Callie asked the next afternoon as she sat on her bed tying her shoe strings.
Sally shrugged. “I really don't know, Callie,” Sally replied. "But we're going to find their new hideout.”
Callie raised her eyebrows. “You hope,” she corrected her cousin. Sally did not reply. She was busy tying her own shoe strings and thinking. At that moment Carrie walked into the room.
“You two ready?” She asked, smiling.
“Practically,” Callie replied.
“I'm outside, just so you know,” Carrie informed them, and walked off. Sally
stood up after putting her shoes on.
“Well, we're off,” she said to Callie, and down the stairs they went. They bid
Aunt Leah goodbye, and told that they would try to be back by suppertime.
They found Carrie standing outside waiting for them like she said. She was wearing a dark blue skirt and and light pink shirt. She smiled as her sister and cousin walked out onto the porch. They hopped onto their bicycles and rode off. The three cousins hadn't been riding very long when they came upon a forest.
“I've seen this place several times,” Carrie commented as the neared it. “I brought along our compass in case we should go anywhere like in there. You think we should? It would be a great hiding place.”
Sally nodded, and, leaving their bicycles at the opening of the forest, they walked in. Sally nudged Carrie and pointed. Not five hundred yards ahead, a dark figure was walking rapidly, his back to them. Where, of course, the girls did not know.
“Perhaps he's one of the gang,” Sally said, and Carrie nodded. At that moment Sally tripped over a tree root and fell forward.
“You all right?” Callie asked, concerned. Sally nodded. She smiled and began to get back up, but she suddenly stopped abruptly. Callie wrinkled her forehead.
“Whats the matter?” She asked.
Sally put her finger to her lips, got down onto her hands and knees, and put her ear to the ground. She sat like this for several moments, while her two cousins looked on in complete puzzlement. Finally sat back up, shrugged, and got onto her feet.
“That was odd,” Callie commented dryly. “What were you doing?”
“I could have sworn I heard voices,” Sally answered.
Callie and her sister exchanged glances.
“Voices?” Callie echoed.
Sally nodded. “But they stopped. That is, if they were ever there. I might have just been imagining that I heard them.”
Callie lay her ear to the ground. She suddenly began motioning with her finger.
“Do you hear them?” Sally whispered.
Callie nodded, and Sally and Carrie put their ears to the ground also. “I can hear it!” Carrie hissed.
“So can I,” Sally said. “Is it coming from under the ground?” Callie whispered, a quizzical look in her light blue eyes.
“I don't know,” Carrie answered. “But it must be. I wonder if it's the gangs new hideout!”
Just then the voices ceased. In one particular place, the ground began to raise! The girls dashed behind a tree and watched with growing curiosity. A head popped up. Sally and her two cousins recognized the face immediately. It was Ike!
The three cousins exchanged glances. They knew where the gangs hiding hiding place was. The girls were well concealed behind the big Oak tree as Ike climbed out, and behind him what was left of the gang. As they walked past their hiding place, Callie absentmindedly bit down hard on her lower lip. A cry nearly escaped of pain her lips, but she caught herself.
“As soon as they're out of sight, we have to get the police!” Sally whispered after the gang was gone, and Callie and Carrie nodded. After waiting a few minutes, Sally peered out from their hiding place. No one was in sight. They approached the gangs hideout.
Sally moved the bit of ground, which actually turned out to be a big stone that was completely camouflaged. They looked downwards. The room was rather small, and had stairs leading down.
“Shall we go down and look around?” Callie asked.
“Not on your life!” Carrie exclaimed. “The gang could be back any minute.”
Sally shook her head rather doubtfully. “I doubt if they will. They just left. I vote we go down.”
Finally Carrie complied, and the three descended the stairs. They found cans of food and a water barrel full of water. On a table beside a wooden chair sat a map of the woods. Carrie glanced up and down the room. She saw something blue on a chair beside a lamp. She stepped forward for a better look.
"My purse!" She said excitedly. She opened it quickly and counted the money. She sighed with relief. "It's all here!"
"Good," Sally said, smiling.
"I'm glad you found your wallet," Callie said.
After a while, they climbed up the stairs, bringing the map with them. At the top, Sally replaced the stone in its place, and marked the hiding place with a stick.
“That should do,” she said. Carrie grinned as they approached the police department.
“Won't Mother be surprised when she finds out that we did find the gangs hideout?”
“And all because Sally stumbled over a tree root.” Callie chuckled.
“Hi, Chief Walker,” Callie said, smiling as the three walked into the Police Station. Chief Walker smiled in return.
“What is it?” He asked.
“We found the gangs current hideout,” Sally said nonchalantly as thought it was nothing. Chief Walker jumped to his feet in surprise.
“You what!” He exclaimed. Then he burst out laughing. "You're not joking?"
Sally and her cousins nodded their heads.
“That's—That's j—just too good!” He managed to say between laughs. “We have police searching everywhere, and you three girls find it! That's just completely hilarious!”
Sally and her cousins explained how it had happened, then led the Chief Police and a few other Police Officers to the gangs hideout.
Sally showed them where she had left the stick, explaining why she had put it there, then Chief Walker sent them back to the police car, which was hidden somewhere outside of the forest. The Police Officers walked down the stairs, revolvers out and ready should the gang have already returned. There was a handle on the other side of the rock in which to close the whole back up when the gang was inside.
Police Officer Sean Walker, Chief Ben Walkers nephew, set the stone back in place. No one was there, and the Police hid themselves in different spots to wait for the gang. Minutes dragged by before there was a sudden light coming from where the stone had been. Footsteps sounded, and soon feet came in view. It was Ike and the re rest of the gang. Chief Walker jumped out his hiding place when all were down and too far from the stairs to make and escape. Ike stood there frozen stiff, his mouth agape.
“Reach, all of you!” The Chief ordered. They all obeyed without any hesitance, and the Police soon returned with the remainder of the gang in handcuffs.
“Why, I declare!” Sally said. “You didn't have to wait too long for the gang to come back.”
Chief Walker smiled and nodded. They drove to the police station.
“Alright,” Chief Walker said to Ike. “You had better start talking.”
Ike, looking rather reluctant, explained everything. “My dad started it all,” he explained. “The story about the robber and the rich man were true, so dad took advantage of it. He started the ghost thing, and every time someone moved in, he would steal something valuable at least once. For quite a long period of time, nobody lived in the Wolfpen Ridge house, so he began robbing banks. He died, completely unsuspected of what he had done. I decided to keep it going. And so I did.”
“When did you father die?” Ben Walker asked.
“About sixteen years ago,” Ike answered.
“What was you dads name?”
“Jerry Davenport,” Ike replied.
“So that's your name? Davenport?” Asked one of the Police Officers in the room.
“Jerry Davenport!” Chief Walker exclaimed. “Why, I knew him in college! How on earth did he die? it's a shame he went crooked. He was such a nice chap in those days.”
“Car accident,” Ike Davenport replied. “He was sixty-four."
"He was still doing it at sixty-four years old?” Chief Ben asked in surprise.
Ike shook his head. “He stopped it at the age of sixty-two, and then he wanted to stop his criminal life and be normal, but he died just two years later. He started the playing ghost at the age of nineteen. I started my gang forty just after my dad went straight, without my moms or dads knowledge. Really, when my dad was a criminal, my mom knew nothing of it at all. At the age of forty-one, I hired all of my gang except for Kyle and Oliver. Kyle and Oliver are brothers. Their last name's Cadwell.”
Saying this, he insisted there was nothing more to say, except he had long ago spent all the stolen money.
As he was led away to his jail cell with his gang, he shook his fist menacingly at Sally and her cousins.
“I'll get you for this!” He vowed angrily. “I'll get you all! Just wait until I'm out of here!”
Chief Ben turned to Sally and her cousins.
“There's not much worry of that right now,” he said, grinning. “He's going to be in there for one good mighty long time!”
“That's nice to know,” Callie said.
“You did an awful good job,” Chief Ben praised the girls. “I'm sure you'll be all over the newspapers!”
Chief Walker drove the cousins home, and then went back to the Police Station. When Sally and her cousins told Aunt Leah of their success in the finding of the gangs hideout and their capture, she was clearly impressed.
“Well, I'll be!” She declared, much surprised. “So, you did find it after all! And I was so sure you wouldn't! I'm very proud of the three of you. You did such a splendid job!”
The three girls beamed, and Callie said, “Thanks, mom.”
Sure enough, the next day, just as Chief Walker had said, the story of what the girls had done was in the newspapers. Sally was just reading the article to her cousins when the phone rang. Aunt Leah came out to get it.
“Don't bother, Aunty, I've got it,” Sally said, rushing over to the telephone.
“Hello?....Oh, hi Chief Walker!...Yes....Would we!” She exclaimed suddenly, and her eyes widened with excitement. Callie and Carrie, now completely bursting with curiosity and impatience, rushed over, putting their ears close to the phone to see what they were talking about.
"Wonder what's up?" Callie asked.
"Search me," Carrie replied, baffled.
“Alright, Chief....Goodbye!.....Right, I'll call you back and tell you what she says. Goodbye!...”
“Well, what on earth was that about?” Callie asked impatiently.
“The whole Police Force wants to get our photograph—with them!” Callie's and Carries eyes widened with astonishment and excitement.
“Go, hurry! Asked mom!” Carrie said, giving her cousin a slight push toward the kitchen, where Aunt Leah was. Sally gave her cousin a playful slap on the hand and grinned.
“Aunty, Aunty!” She cried.
“Yes, dear?” Aunt Leah asked.
Sally explained, and Aunt Leah consented, saying it that it was a marvelous idea. Sally called back, and the Chief Police set the time for next Saturday, six days from then.
The day finally came. There was a huge crowd, and a lot of them told the three cousins what a wonderful job they had done. They very next day, the girls were happy to see that the picture was in the paper.
When Sally went back home, three weeks later when summer vacation ended, with the two different newspapers about how they solved the case and explained every detail she could remember to her mother, Ms. Freeman was indeed very proud of her.
“Oh, I can't believe it!” She exclaimed. “And you even got your pictures taken with all the Police Officers! Oh, how simply marvelous!” Sally beamed happily and hugged her mother.