Little Gems - The Witches and the Grinnygog
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The Witches and the Grinnygog by Dorothy Edwards
Colin finds out that the author of the diaries was a former church Cannon called Alloway. He was rector of the church from 1760-1790 and during his time there he wrote the diaries about the terrible happenings, the persecution, the burnings that took place in the little village a long time ago. The children stop to down tools, pool all their resources and try to look at what evidence they have and what it all means. Back in the past the people in the village were not all of the Christian faith. To show their separation they wore bright green ribbands on their legs. Nan remembers that Miss. Bendybones was wearing one similar to this when she saw her in the museum. They decide to test Miss Bendybones by playing some old records known to be composed about the witches Sabbath. As the music starts Miss Bendybones rushes in and tells them to stop it at once. She is very anxious about the music and calls it an evil sound and they must stop it. With a wave of her hand the record needle scratches across the surface and stops. Nan looks at her record and finds that it is now unplayable, the record is ruined. Miss Bendybones then leaves the room, happy that it cannot be played again.
At the Firkettle's house, the children decide to do a test and a bit of snooping. Essie prepares some green ribbon and Dave decides to go upstairs to the attic door to see if he can get a glimpse of Mrs. Ems daughter. Before the Essie is ready and whilst Dave is knocking on the attic door, Miss EMS returns much to the surprise of Essie who tries to stall her so Dave can make his escape. Essie tests the green ribbon garter out which Miss EMS says it is not hers. Dave still has not come down and as Miss EMS starts to climb the stairs, Essie asks Mrs. EMS if it is the wrong colour. Mrs. EMS shows her that she wears green but not quite that colour of green by showing her ribbands. She then goes upstairs and Dave makes an excuse that he was wondering if she wanted paraffin for the heater. He quickly goes downstairs.
Grandad tells Dave and Essie that the Adams and Firkettles were special people or at least that was what they called themselves. They kept themselves to themselves as people in the village long ago would be persecuted or tortured or worse still even burnt alive. Grandad thinks that the Grinnygog is a special spirit and has been handed down through the ages and only special people can see and hear it like Jimmy. Grandad starts to remember a song but cannot finish it until Jimmy tells him the words. All the children and Grandad go outside and from a ring and start to sing the song.
Later that day back at the museum, the four children again meet to look again at the facts they have acquired. Outside the church the Vicar sees a young girl wrapped in old clothes sitting on the ground in the church porch. She looks very sad and lonely but tells the Vicar that she is waiting for her mum to come and collect her. The Vicar tells the girl that is she wants to, she can go to the vicarage if her mother does not turn up.
The children decide to head back to the Firkettles and have another go and catching a glimpse of Mrs. Em's daughter. The boys climb out over the roof and into Mrs. EMS attic room. There they are totally mystified at what they find. There sitting in the chair is a a wax dummy, the same was dummy recently stolen from the shop where Mrs. Firkettle works. Colin and Dave accidentally breaks the end of one of the fingers off and so Colin puts it in his pocket. They then leave the room quickly and quietly.
Colin and Nan go off to see Harold since he arrived with Mrs. EMS and her daughter and even carried the poorly girl inside the house. Harold tells the kids, that he picked them up at Marsh Road where the old church of St. Cuthberts used to be. They then ask him who told him to pick them up and he says that is was a black man. Colin and Nan realise it was Mr. Alabaster. The thanks Harold and quickly run off back home with their new information.
It is now approaching early evening and the Firkettles are getting ready for tea. Grandad is sitting comfortably in his favorite chair sketching a girl he used to know called Daisy. He shows it to Jimmy who says it is Marg'ret. Dave and Essie take the drawing back to the museum to show Colin and Nan. The Vicar looks at the sketch and instantly recognises it as the girl in the church porch. The mystery deepens.
Later in the church, Miss bendybones is speaking to the Vicar and the children. She tells them that Mid summer's eve is approaching and she must hand in her notice and leave. The vicar is very sorry to hear she has to go.