Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake

BOOK: Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake
3.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Warning: Keep your voice down around the dead.

When Gilda reached the center of the bridge, she looked down at the sparkling water beneath her. Surrounded by redwinged blackbirds perched on cattails and the soft rustling of trees under a cerulean-blue sky, she found it hard to imagine someone plunging through ice to her death. Still, there was something eerie about the sight of the ruins just across the water—something that made Gilda feel anxious despite the serenity of the scene.
There’s a powerful vibration here
, she thought.

Beneath the water, shadowy plants weaved back and forth like the flowing hair of water nymphs. Gilda glimpsed something gold beneath the water—something that moved. Was it a fish?

If you make any sound, she rises out of the water, screaming
.

Summoning all her courage, Gilda decided to take a huge risk and find out whether Miss Underhill’s warning had any basis in reality. “Hey!” she yelled. Her voice sounded small and lonely in the outdoor space.

Gilda watched the water, but nothing happened. She walked to the opposite side of the bridge, leaned over the railing, and yelled louder: “HEY, DOLORES!”

She heard a small splash—a sound that filled her with trepidation.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” said a hoarse voice behind her.

Other Books You May Enjoy
The Dark Stairs:
Betsy Byars
   
A Herculeah Jones Mystery
The Demon in the Teahouse
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Fog Magic
Julia L. Sauer
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Hannah West in the
Linda Johns
   
Belltown Towers
Mystery Isle
Judith St. George
In Darkness, Death
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Lulu Dark Can See
Bennett Madison
   
Through Walls
Tarot Says Beware:
Betsy Byars
   
A Herculeah Jones Mystery

GILDA JOYCE
The Ladies of the Lake

JENNIFER ALLISON

SLEUTH
PUFFIN

PUFFIN BOOKS

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0745, Auckland, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Registered Offices: Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published in the United States of America by Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2006 This Sleuth edition first published by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2007

9 10 8

Copyright © Jennifer Allison, 2006

All rights reserved

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE DUTTON CHILDREN’S BOOKS EDITION AS FOLLOWS:

Allison, Jennifer.

Gilda Joyce: the Ladies of the Lake / Jennifer Allison.

p. cm.

Summary: Having earned a scholarship to a private girls’ high school, self-proclaimed psychic investigator Gilda Joyce investigates the circumstances surrounding the drowning death of a student whose ghost supposedly haunts the campus.

ISBN: 0-525-47693-8 (hc)

[1. Ghosts—Fiction. 2. Secret societies—Fiction. 3. Psychic ability—Fiction. 4. High schools—Fiction. 5. Schools—Fiction. 6. Mystery and detective stories.]

I. Title.

PZ7.A4428Gis 2006

[Fic]—dc22 2005021752

Puffin Sleuth ISBN 978-0-14-240907-7

Printed in the United States of America

Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

To my students, with appreciation for all they taught me

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I am grateful to executive editor Maureen Sullivan and Dutton Children’s Books president and publisher, Stephanie Owens Lurie, for providing a wonderfully helpful and supportive publishing environment for Gilda’s adventures. Many thank-yous to outstanding literary agent and friend Doug Stewart, whose ability to do fifteen things at once while keeping his desk neat constantly amazes me. Thank you also to the very talented Greg Swearingen for capturing Gilda’s world with his fine cover art.

Several friends and family members contributed their professional expertise: Captain John Phillips of the Pittsfield Township Police Department; Valerie Bijur Carlson, who teaches English and theater at Connelly School of the Holy Child; author Carolyn Parkhurst; and Professor Kenneth Brostrom, who shared his keen eye for detail in reading the final draft of the manuscript. I would also like to thank the relatives and dear friends who helped me look after baby Max during his first year: my husband, Michael (who made “Daddy and Max days” a routine); Eleonore Boussoukou (who is secretly an angel); Harry and Ariadne Magoulias (“Papou” and “Neh Neh”); Paula Allison-England (“Grammie Paula”); Barry England; and “Grandpa Ken.” Finally, a thank-you to some friends who use their boundless creative energy to help and encourage others: Nancy Finley, Diane McFarland, Martha Daly, Sean Smith, Matt Howe, and my aunt Nancy Pegg.

CONTENTS

Prologue

1
The Drowning

2
Our Lady of Sorrows

3
The Ghost in the Lake

4
No Escape

5
Going Undercover

6
The First Week of Suffering

7
Ghost Stories

8
Tiara

9
The Ghost in the Rain

10
The Flood

11
Shadows

12
A Foul Fish

13
The Petunia

14
The Interloper

15
Mysteries of the Senior Common Room Revealed

16
Miss Underhill’s House

17
The Ruins

18
The Ladies of the Lake

19
Charms and Curses

20
A Phone Call from a Ghost

21
Dolores Lambert’s House

22
Halloween Day

23
The Halloween Dance

24
The Secret Meeting

25
Turmoil

26
Cat and Mouse

27
The Drowned and the Damned

28
Friends and Enemies

29
The Play’s the Thing

30
The Threat

31
The Final Test

32
The Dark Side

33
The Bedpost Ghost

34
Mrs. McCracken’s Nightmare

35
Surveillance

36
The Runaway

37
A Nasty Surprise

38
The Detective

39
The Breakup

40
The Apology

41
Thanksgiving

Gilda Joyce:
The Ladies of the Lake

PROLOGUE

by Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator

If you think a school for girls is simply a place to wear ribbons in your hair and expose your dimpled knees, you’ve never been to Our Lady of Sorrows.

When I first entered the school, I was all set to tie my hair in a ponytail, get a fake tan, and write my homework assignments in pink gel ink. I was prepared to hear girls bragging nonchalantly about the BMWs and diamond earrings they received for their birthdays. I almost looked forward to hearing the flashlight-wielding nuns tell me to “leave room for the Holy Ghost” when I danced lewdly with messy-haired prep-school boys.

What I didn’t expect was the ominous warning: “Keep your voice down around the dead.”

I didn’t expect the broken sculptures that watched me with their stony eyes, the dungeonlike locker rooms where tarantula-sized spiders lurked in the corners, the floods of murky water that devoured homework and caused mass hysteria.

I didn’t expect the ghost of a drowned girl to wander the hallways.

I certainly didn’t expect to make the most chilling discovery of all: the secret of the Ladies of the Lake.

BOOK: Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake
3.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Demon's Brood by Desmond Seward
The Glimpsing by James L. Black, Mary Byrnes
The Finding by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Resort to Murder by Carolyn Hart