Little Gems - The Witches and the Grinnygog
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The Witches and the Grinnygog by Dorothy Edwards
The children open the museum by placing large white sign on the side wall. The Vicar thinks it looks splendid and the children have done a super job especially since he had not helped at all. The Vicar does, though think that they need some more exhibits. Colin is spending more and more time reading form the little diary's and reads out loud several of the texts. In one of them he reads that only three guardians escaped that ghastly night of burnings. They hid away in St. Cuthbert's church and then disappeared, never to be seen again. Nan thinks something strange is going on ever since they found the diaries and started the museum.
Back at the Firkettle's Jimmy is playing in the garden and spends
most of his time talking to the little stone statue. His mother is becoming
a little concerned about his behaviour but Grandad reassures her.
Later colin and Dave discover the during the previous night, a woman dressed as a tramp was arrested near where St. Cuthbert's church used to stand. It seems she had lost something and was causing a nuisance to the building site owners. She would not leave until she had found it. She was thus arrested by the police and taken to the local police station. The children wonder whether she was looking for the old rags that were found by Flanagan since they looked like they belonged to a tramp. Colin and Dave decide to go and investigate by starting at the County Police Station where the woman was taken.
On arriving at the police station we learn that the boys and the police sergeant are well known to each other since he plays cricket for the village team. He tells them that a woman was arrested after she said something had been stolen on the building site and that it was hers. As she would not leave she was taken into custody for her own safety. The boys ask the policeman if he knows any more details and then offer to help. They suggest they go and ask the woman about the object to find out what she has lost and where she last saw it. The policeman was about to release so it made no difference to him. They all walk down to the cells but when the door is opened they find she has vanished and all that remains is some large writing on the wall. It reads
" Tisher and Lil, I was here, no sign of the Lord, we meet again at his resting place Edie"
All three are confused about what the message means and more importantly how an old lady managed to escape from a locked police cell. The boys find themselves at a dead end and so go back to the church.
Later, unexpectedly, Mr. Alabaster visits Grandad and Jimmy in back of their the garden. He asks them about the stone statue and puts two and two together as to where it came from. He tells them it is a Grinnygog because of the gold flecks in the stone. He notices Grandad limping as he walks and offers him some cream of ancient origin. Colin and Dave then appear in the garden. Mr. Alabaster tells them that there are very few Grinnygogs in the world but one is right here in the garden. As everyone looks at the statue, Mr. Alabaster recites some words and then vanishes. As the others turn around, there is no sign of him. Twice now he has done that leaving more questions that before he arrived.
Mrs. Firkettle returns from work to say that there had been a burglary in her shop. A dummy and some clothes were taken including a cheap white dress with a yellow wig. There was no sign of a break in on ground floor so someone must have somehow come in through a skylight. The police could find no evidence of a break in though and strangely, all the expensive materials were ignored.
Later on Mrs. Firkettle is cleaning the attic and the children want to know
why she is doing this since she did not ask for their help. Mum informs them
that she has let the attic to a nice lady and her daughter. Mrs. and Miss Emms
who would be arriving soon. Grandad returns with the happy news that his leg
is no longer giving him any problems. Mr. Alabaster's cream did the trick. Before
anyone can say anything, the door bell goes and Mrs. Emms is present. Her daughter
is being carried as she is a bit poorly. The daughter is referred to as Marg'ret
but close up she looks like a tailor's dummy. To everyone else she looks like
a pale young girl. Jimmy notices shop labels on her clothes but before he can
say anything Mrs. Emms asks how the little fella is doing. Harold helps them
move in. They have paid one month's rent in advance so Mum is pleased although
she still says they have to be careful with money as they may be laying off
people at the store. The trip to town may still be called off she tells everyone.
Jimmy hears this and runs outside. He was looking forward to going to town.
He runs over the road towards an old looking wooden bus shelter and starts talking
to someone in the upper sections. The person in the roof section talks back
to him and he smiles. Jimmy is told that the person in the roof hates the mess
children seem to leave lying all over the place and she especially hates the
smell of vinegar from fish and chips.
Mum sends Essie and Dave after Jimmy as she is worried about him playing near the road. When the children arrive to get him Jimmy tells them he was talking to Miss Bendybones who lives in the roof of the bus shelter. As ever Jimmy's older brother and sister do believe a word he says and simply think he is making it up.
Later Dave and Essie tell Colin and Nan what Jimmy said. Colin and Nan think it may be true though. Nan think it may because Jimmy is Firkettle and he may be tuning into the witches (guardians) talking. The children also think Mr. Alabaster knows what is going on and decide to ask him when they next see him.
It is getting late now and Dave and Essie return home to find it empty and something not quite normal. As they investigate, suddenly the others all appear from hiding. Grandad has just won £50. He offers to take them all into town..
Later that night, Colin and Nan are trying to recreate the conditions when Mr. Alabaster first appeared. Everything must be the same as the previous time, they think. Suddenly Mr. Alabaster appears at the door and enters the room. He asks if Colin has any questions as he felt someone was needing answers. Before Colin can ask, Mr. Alabaster asks if Colin has found any reference to a Grinnygog in the diaries he has been translating. That will be the key to everything Mr. Alabaster continues. And with that he starts to leave. Colin stops him and asks how the bell did not ring the last time again. Mr. Alabaster tells Colin that perhaps the bell was not there the last time he came or perhaps it was just magic. He then leaves and Colin hears the sound the bell ringing but the bell is not moving.