The Abandoned House by Buelah Poynter
Amateur Sleuth

The Abandoned House

by Buelah Poynter


Trying to escape the storm, Alan and his sister, Nell, seek shelter in the old abandoned house. But when they discover Judge MacPherson recently murdered, will they find the killer or death?


Table of Contents
  1. The House
  2. The Dead Man
  3. The Woman
  4. The Truth

Chapter 1

The House

The blinding rain which had been steadily falling for the last hour cut and stung our faces, and the wind wheezing through the trees about us rocked our little car until it made progress almost impossible. An illuminating streak of lightning, followed by a deafening crash of thunder, caused me to cower down in the seat and cover my ears with my hands.

"Well, here's our finish!'' exclaimed my brother, who had valiantly striven to pilot the machine in the storm. "There's a tree lying directly across the road."

He brought the car to a standstill, and turned his spotlight on the dark object blocking our path. It was a huge tree, evidently stricken down by the lightning, and it covered the entire road.

"What on earth are we going to do ?" I sobbed hysterically. "We can't stay out in a storm like this, and we are miles and miles away from anyone!"

We had been steadily climbing an upward grade, and the cavern-like ravines on either side and the depths of blackness behind me struck a chill in my heart. "I wish we'd never come out on this crazy motor trip," I wailed. "New York is good enough for me. Alan, what can we do?"

"I'll see," he answered. "Keep your hand on the brake, this is a pretty stiff hill, and the road is slippery; if the car starts skidding it's good night."

He spoke jocularly enough, but I knew he was worried. Climbing out of the machine, he went around to the big, supine tree and examined it.

"It's no use, Nell," he called to me, pitching his voice above the roar of the wind, "I can't budge it."

In the brief light caused by a second flash of lightning, I saw the stark, bare outlines of a two-story house, possibly a hundred feet ahead of us on my right.

"Alan, there's a house! A house up there further on the hill," I cried wildly.

"You're right, there is. It's either an empty one, or its occupants hit the hay early. I'll pull the car out onto the side of the road, and we'll make a run for it."

He got back into his seat, and with a few careful maneuvers of the wheel succeeded in bringing the machine around to a spot where it might stand in safety. Then he searched in the darkness until he found a rock, which he placed under the wheel in case something should start it rolling down-grade.

"Turn up your collar! The rain feels like ice-water when you're out in it. That house is probably farther off than it looks."

Taking my hand, he helped me out. My feet went into deep mud, and I almost lost my balance. With a little shriek I clutched him to save myself. Then we started to run.

It was up-hill all the way, a much steeper and longer climb than I had anticipated, and, as Alan had said, the rain was like ice-water beating against the back of my neck and shoulders. I was shaking and shivering like a drowned cat by the time we reached the stoop on the front of the building.

The house was barren of fence and surrounding trees, and stood on a sort of knoll at the side of the hills. No light was visible anywhere. Alan used his pocket flash and that guided us to the front door, which was swinging dismally back and forth on one hinge, making a doleful, creaking noise, distinguishable above the wind. We did not stop to knock, feeling pretty certain the house had no occupant or the door would be locked on a night like this.

"For such shelter let us give thanks!" Alan chuckled grimly, pushing me in first. He closed the door after us to shut out the rain, but it immediately swung open again.

The story continues … learn the story of who murdered Judge MacPherson and why!

Table of Contents
  1. The House
  2. The Dead Man
  3. The Woman
  4. The Truth