The Disappearing Staircase Mystery (The Boxcar Children, Book 85)
Gertrude Chandler Warner
Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny used to live alone in a boxcar. Now they have a home with their grandfather, and they're fixing up the old Bugbee House, a spooky mansion in their neighborhood! The Aldens are helping the Heart and Hands group restore an old estate. The house is bursting with collections of its mysterious and eccentric former owner. But when the contents of the house are auctioned off, the Aldens discover that much of the collection is missing! And that's not the only mystery awaiting the Aldens in this strange mansion. As the children explore, they come across hidden rooms, secret passageways, and strange noises coming from the walls. The Aldens are determined to learn the secret of the Bugbee house . . . but are they the only ones?
Jessie put her finger up to her lips so no one would speak. A couple of minutes later, the children heard a springy sound, followed by a faint thud, then another springy sound. Some footsteps came close to the bathroom where the children were hiding. The door opened. A dim light swept over the bathroom. The Aldens could barely breathe. What if the person found them huddled behind the shower curtain? The children stood as still as statues. Eventually they heard footsteps going downstairs. They
Jessie said. “Otherwise, why did someone go to all the bother of hiding it up in the hidden playroom?” “What I wonder is, who knows about that playroom?” Henry asked. “A person with big, wet feet,” Soo Lee answered. The children tried not to laugh too hard. “That could be a lot of people in this house tonight. If I get a chance, I’d like to go up there and look around another time,” Henry said. “Well, at least we figured out where the skylight is.” Jessie smacked her forehead. “Wait! We were
guess we have our story, Nan. I’ll run a little piece about your great-uncle and about House and Hands fixing up the Bugaboo House.” “Please don’t call it that,” Nan protested. “My great-uncle was a bit odd but not scary. He made this whole place into a playhouse for his family. He designed it with all kinds of hallways, secret closets, doors that don’t go anywhere, windows that open to other rooms instead of outside. But it wasn’t a scary house.” “Fine,” the reporter said. “Well, show us
what you mean,” Jessie agreed. “Still, Benny and Soo Lee seem happy with what’s here.” Jessie joined Soo Lee. She was crooning over some old dolls, several of them with china heads. But the one Soo Lee fell in love with was a small stuffed doll made of faded cloth. Over on the table was a collection of train cars and metal trucks, including a horse-drawn fire truck, a milk wagon, and even a toy ice wagon. “Look,” Benny said when he spotted a small train set. “This locomotive looks just like a
of the grown-ups returned to the big house later on, the Aldens were fast asleep in their own little house. CHAPTER 6 Mysterious Music “My muscles real strong now!” Benny said as he and the other Aldens climbed to the third floor of the Bugbee House the next day. Nan was following right behind, rushing as usual to get the Aldens working and out of her way. After three days, the Aldens were used to climbing a lot of stairs. “You go up and down these stairs even more than we do,” Jessie said