Authors: Jennifer Allison
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.
|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|
|Mystery Isle||Judith St. George|
|In Darkness, Death||Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler|
|Lulu Dark Can See||Bennett Madison|
|Tarot Says Beware:||Betsy Byars|
A Herculeah Jones Mystery
The Ladies of the Lake
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)
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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:
Gilda Joyce: the Ladies of the Lake / Jennifer Allison.
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.]
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
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.
The Ladies of the Lake
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.