The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge

BOOK: The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge
4.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Back from the dead
.

Lewis heard something behind him. A dry, rustling sound, like crackly old paper being slowly crunched. A hoarse, wheezing
hhaahhhh
sound, as if something were breathing its last. Rose Rita looked over his shoulder toward the barn. She clapped a hand over her mouth, her eyes wide and filled with terror
.

Feeling as if his heart were climbing right into his mouth, Lewis forced himself to turn
.

Something was trying to walk from the ruined old barn
.

Something big and gray and lurching
.

“This entertaining page-turner . . . will captivate readers.”

—
VOYA

DISCOVER THE TERRIFYING WORLD OF JOHN BELLAIRS!
Johnny Dixon Mysteries

The Bell, the Book, and the Spellbinder

The Chessmen of Doom

The Curse of the Blue Figurine

The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie

The Eyes of the Killer Robot

The Hand of the Necromancer

The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt

The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost

The Secret of the Underground Room

The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull

The Trolley to Yesterday

The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost

Lewis Barnavelt Mysteries

The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge

The Doom of the Haunted Opera

The Figure in the Shadows

The Ghost in the Mirror

The House With a Clock in Its Walls

The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring

The Specter from the Magician's Museum

The Vengeance of the Witch-Finder

Anthony Monday Mysteries

The Dark Secret of Weatherend

The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb

The Mansion in the Mist

The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn

JOHN BELLAIRS'S Lewis Barnavelt in

BRAD STRICKLAND

Frontispiece

by Edward Gorey

PUFFIN BOOKS

PUFFIN BOOKS

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England

Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia

Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2

Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England

First published in the United States of America by Dial, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc., 2000

Published by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2002

Text copyright © The Estate of John Bellairs, 2000

Frontispiece copyright © Edward Gorey, 2000

All rights reserved

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE DIAL EDITION AS FOLLOWS:

Strickland, Brad.

The beast under the wizard's bridge / by Brad Strickland; Frontispiece by Edward Gorey.

Based on the characters of John Bellairs

p.    cm.

Summary: Lewis Barnavelt tries to avert disaster when the destruction of an old bridge threatens to release a diabolical force, the legacy of a long-dead evil magician.

[1. Magic—Fiction. 2. Supernatural—Fiction. 3. Wizards—Fiction.]

I. Title: Beast under the wizard's bridge. II. Bellairs, John. III. Title.

PZ7.S8545 Jo 2000 [Fic]—dc21 99-087016

ISBN: 978-1-101-65967-0

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.

For Barbara
,
with all my love

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

About the Author

CHAPTER ONE

For many months Lewis Barnavelt had been worried. It all started when his uncle Jonathan looked up from the evening paper one snowy February afternoon. “Well,” Uncle Jonathan had said softly, “the fools have done it. Progress is coming to Capharnaum County.” He tossed the paper aside with a snort of disgust.

Lewis had been lying on his stomach in front of the Barnavelts' TV set, a nifty Zenith Stratosphere that had a round screen like a porthole. He pushed himself up from the prickly brown carpet and looked away from the Hopalong Cassidy cowboy movie to glance at Jonathan Barnavelt. “What's wrong?” asked Lewis.

His uncle, a heavyset, gentle man with red hair and a red beard streaked with white, shook his head. He put his thumbs in the pockets of his vest and frowned. “Oh,
forget I said anything. Probably nothing.” He wouldn't talk about it anymore.

Later that evening Lewis looked through the paper for a clue to what was bothering his uncle. He found an article on page three that might be it. The headline read
COUNTY TO REPLACE BRIDGE
. The story said that concerned citizens had complained about the old bridge over Wilder Creek. The county authorities had decided that the iron bridge was too narrow and in need of expensive repairs. Therefore, the county was going to replace the aging structure with a modern concrete one. That bothered Lewis almost as much as it seemed to bother his uncle.

Lewis was a stocky kid with blond hair and a round moon face. He had been born in Wisconsin, and for the first nine years of his life he had lived in a town outside of Milwaukee. Then his mother and father both died in a terrible car crash, and Lewis had come to live with his uncle Jonathan in the town of New Zebedee, Michigan.

For a little while Lewis had been lonely and miserable. He was also a bit afraid of his uncle—but only at first. Soon he learned that Jonathan was a sorcerer whose magic was real. He could create wonderful three-dimensional illusions. And their neighbor Mrs. Florence Zimmermann was an honest-to-goodness witch. A wrinkly-faced, laughing, sprightly good witch who also happened to be a fabulous cook.

As time passed, Lewis grew to feel at home in New Zebedee. Now it was the 1950's, and Lewis and his best
friend, Rose Rita Pottinger, were in junior high school. In many ways, Lewis remained timid and unsure of himself. Rose Rita called him a worrywart because his active imagination always pictured the very worst that could happen to him.

And yet, together with Rose Rita, Uncle Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmermann, Lewis had shared some pretty frightening adventures. Still, he especially dreaded change of any kind. Maybe this was because of everything that had happened in his life after the death of his parents. Or maybe, as Uncle Jonathan had said one day, Lewis was just naturally conservative and liked his life to remain comfortably the same from day to day.

Whatever the reason, any little alteration bothered Lewis. When Uncle Jonathan had all the wallpaper in their house at 100 High Street replaced, Lewis had been fidgety for weeks. Later, when Uncle Jonathan had given up smoking his stinky pipes on a dare from Mrs. Zimmermann (who then had to give up her crooked little cigars), Lewis actually missed the odor.

And now the news that the county was going to replace the bridge over Wilder Creek depressed Lewis and made him jumpy. Of course, he had other reasons too.

BOOK: The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge
4.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Cold War by Adam Christopher
Vrin: Ten Mortal Gods by John Michael Hileman
His for Now (His #2) by Wildwood, Octavia
The Twelve Chairs by Ilya Ilf
Love Your Enemies by Nicola Barker
Montana Wildfire by Rebecca Sinclair
In the Kitchen by Monica Ali