The Mystery of the Missing Grandfather
The Mystery of the Missing Grandfather
Autumn Louise Mcfarland knocked on the Perry Crain’s door. Only a moment later, the door opened, and Adelaide Crain’s head poked out.
“Oh, Autumn!” She exclaimed. “What a nice surprise to see you!”
“Hi, Adelaide,” Autumn said, smiling brightly.
“Come on in. We just finished with cleaning up after breakfast, so I have free time right now.”
Autumn walked in.
“We might go outside, if you would rather, and sit by the brooke,” Adelaide suggested.
“And a grand idea,” Autumn said, and grinned.
“Quite so. Come on.”
The two walked outside, hand-in-hand, towards the blue pond. It was a lovely spring day, with the sun shining brightly, and flowers of all color and kind just beginning to bloom. They flung themselves down upon the soft grass, pulled their shoes and socks off, and dangled their legs in the water.
“It’s such a beautiful day today. And warm, too. Quite a change from the rather cold weather we’ve been having lately,” Adelaide commented.
“And so it is. I’m so glad of the nice weather. Just a few days ago we wouldn’t even give putting our legs in the water a second thought, what with that cold chill in the air.”
Just then, Henry Carson ran up. “You won’t believe it,” he said, out of breath and panting from his run.
Autumn jerked her head up in surprise, not having heard him run up.
“Oh! Henry. I hadn’t noticed you were there. You scared me.”
“We won’t believe what?” Adelaide asked.
“Grandfather. He’s gone!”
“He’s gone? Mr. Carson?” Adelaide asked in concern.
Henry nodded his head. “He said that he was going to…Oh, I forgot the name of the place, but anyway, it was a place to buy tools and wood. You know, he was building that play house for my cousin, Brent? Well, he ran out of wood, and went to pick some more up. After being gone about two-and-a-half hours, Dad and mother were getting worried, because he should have been back.
"So, Dad and I drove down to the store. The cashier behind the counter said he had been there all morning since about six this morning, and he had seen nothing of Grandfather. We all know him well, and so he would know if Grandpa had come in there at all. He’s been gone since after breakfast, and never even got to the wood store!"
Oh, my!” Autumn gasped.
“You poor Henry! Has your father alerted the police?” Adelaide asked.
“He did right after we got back home.”
“Well, I never!” Autumn said.
“Autumn, what say you and I walk around town, and see if we can’t find anyone who seen Grandpa Carson?”
“Splendid idea!” Autumn said. “Why don’t you come, Henry? It is your grandpa that’s missing.”
“Alright, I will. But first I’m going to go home to tell my mother. We don’t want her to think I’m missing, too.” Henry said.
“Alright, but do hurry. In the meantime, Autumn, why don’t we go inside and pack lunch? Goodness knows how long we’ll be out.”
The two girls finished packing the lunch, and putting it in a basket, they stepped out onto the porch to wait for Henry.
They didn’t have to wait long before he walked up.
“Hello,” He said.
Adelaide smiled, and Autumn nodded her head. “You ready, Henry?” She asked.
“Yes. Let’s be off.”
The three walked into town. The first person they saw was Mrs. Betty Smith, a nice, well liked woman in her early thirties. She knew and liked all of Carson’s, as well as the Mcfarland's and the Crain’s.
“Hi, Mrs. Betty!” The three greeted her in unison.
Henry spoke up. “Mrs. Smith, have you seen Grandpa at all today? I believe he was in over here about three hours ago.”
Betty Smith lived in town, so of course it wouldn’t be surprising if she was out and about in town that long ago.
“Mr. Carson, you mean? Actually, I did. I was out, pushing the baby in her stroller, and I saw Mr. Carson, and we chatted for a few minutes. Then he told me that he was going to Wood and Paint Supply. You know, the store over there?” She asked, and pointed. “Then we said goodbye, and he went his way, and I, mine. Have you checked that store?”
Henry nodded solemnly. “The cashier says he never even came. Anyway, thanks for your help, Mrs. Smith.”
“Oh, anytime, Henry! I do hope you find your grandfather. I’m dreadfully sorry that you can’t.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Smith,” Adelaide said.
They asked a good deal more people, but no one else had seen Grandpa Carson.
“Looks like we’ve come to a dead end,” Autumn said in disgust.
Adelaide only nodded.
“What are we going to do?” Henry asked. “We’ve got to find Grandfather!”
“Henry, we’re trying. Hard.” Then to Autumn, “Lets search the woods. Grandpa Carson is liable to be in there if he was…kidnapped.”
“Kidnapped!” Autumn gasped. “I hadn’t thought of that! But who would want to do that to nice old Grandpa Carson?”
“I wish I knew,” Adelaide said.
After several minutes of walking with no talk at all, they entered the forest.
“How will we find Grandpa?” Henry asked. “What do we look for, anyhow?”
Autumn shrugged. “A hut, or something made of sticks that’s camouflaged. Or anything that’s camouflaged, for that matter. Or something that could be an underground hideout. Anything like that.” No sooner was Autumn done speaking, than they came upon a tent. It was so well camouflaged, that at first, neither of the teenagers were sure it was a tent at all. Finally, they decided upon going inside. The hunched low, and crept in. It wasn’t very big.
Henry glanced around the room, then gasped.
“Grandfather!” He said.
Autumn and Adelaide looked in the direction Henry was pointing. Mr. Carson was lying on the ground, bound head to foot and gagged.
Henry pulled out his pocketknife, and soon Mr. Carson was free. He grinned and said, “Thanks.”
“What happened, Grandfather?” Henry asked.
“Can’t tell you now. Come on, let’s get out of here, and then I’ll tell you.”
When they arrived home, Grandfather was greeted cordially by the rest of the family, then Mr. Carson Jr. Telephoned the police that they had found Grandpa, but to keep a stakeout at the hideout so the kidnapper might be caught. Henry and Adelaide and Autumn were sent with them to point out the hideout, then they went back home and listened to Grandpa’s story.
“I was pretty near to the wood store, when I saw Betty Smith. We talked, then I headed down the alley toward the store. Well,” he scratched his beard. “All of a sudden like, I got jumped from behind. And they tied me all up and brought me to that place in the the woods. I don’t rightly know why they’d wanna give a poor old man like me such a bad scare, but they sure did. Nearly gave me a heart attack, jumpin’ out at me like they did.” He chuckled. “Then those three young fellers come out rescue me like the brave chillen’s they are!”
Adelaide and Autumn and Henry grinned.
“How many were there?” Henry asked.
“There was two of ‘em,” Grandpa said, grinning from ear to ear.
It was only a few minutes later when the telephone rang, and a police officer informed them that both of the criminals had been caught and were sentenced to prison for the rest of their lives. He also and informed them that they had been planning to hold Grandpa for ransom.
“So that’s the reason, eh?” Grandpa said, rubbing his chin.