Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective
Christina Weigand and Ricci Moore
During summer vacation, while Anna and her brother Ben along with Bridget and her brother, Sam are participating in the Summer Reading Adventure at the local library the town council announces that they are building low income housing for the homeless. While the housing is being constructed a tent community has been established on an old soccer field on the other side of a haunted swamp. Sam is upset by this turn of events, but his anger is only beginning.
In the meantime, unbeknownst to them, the girls befriend Zoe, one of the homeless people living in the tents. The girls spend time together tracking down clues supplied by the books they are borrowing from the library that will eventually lead to a prize at the end of the Summer Reading Adventure.
When Bridget and Sam’s grandfather dies in a tragic car accident Sam’s anger increases it is discovered that Zoe’s father was the drunk driver in the truck that crashed into grandfather’s car. The family lawyer reveals in the will that the farm and house have been left to the community to build low income housing for the homeless.
Sam’s anger reaches a boiling point and he directs it at Zoe and hatches a plan to get back at the people he thinks are taking away everything he holds dear.
“All right. Love you mom.” Zoe kissed her mom on the cheek and ran back to the camp.
She found the book on her cot in the tent and started to head back to the park. Passing the swamp she noticed Morton the Morph, the yellow toad like creature and his small blue pear shaped panngoes playing on the edge of the swamp. One of the panngoes bounced into the swamp.
“Hey, you guys shouldn’t go in there,” Zoe yelled.
“Oh don’t worry about them. They’ll be fine, just a bunch of panngoes,” Morton answered as more of the creatures bounced into the swamp.
Zoe heard some dogs barking and one of the panngoes squealing. “One of them might be hurt. Shouldn’t you go in there and check on them.” She heard another sound, children talking and laughing. “Oh no someone’s coming. I have to hide. Mamma doesn’t want me to talk to any strangers.” The swamp would be the best place to hide, so she followed the panngoes into the swamp.
One of the bigger ones had fallen in a hole and was calling out for the others to help him. Zoe followed the sound of the crying.
Sam stomped through the kitchen door of their two-story house. “Some animal dumped the trash cans again. Why does it only happen on the days I have to take out the trash?” He snarled as he grabbed a trash bag and a pair of rubber gloves.
“Sam, stop your complaining and get it done. We’re supposed to be meeting Hunter and Anna to go to the park for the Reading Club kick-off,” his sister, Bridget said.
“Yeah, I’d rather head over to the Gullies Swamp soccer field for a quick game of soccer. I’m sure Hunter would too. I’m too old for the reading club.”
“Well, you can’t do that.” Sam’s dad said. “Didn’t you see today’s paper? They voted to take that field on the other side of Gullies Swamp and turn it into a homeless community while they build some low cost housing for the homeless.”
“Why the heck are they doing that?” Sam said. “Where am I supposed to play soccer?”
“The high school field is open and the new field at the park.” Bridget answered.
“But we always play at the Gullies Swamp fields.”
“Well I think those fields are creepy. You have to go past the haunted swamp.” Bridget said.
“It’s not haunted.” Sam said.
“But you told me…”Bridget said.
“Bridget, how many times have I told you not to listen to your brother’s stories about the swamp?” Mom said. “He does that just to scare you so you’ll stay away. Sam, finish cleaning up the trash so you can take your sister to the library.”
Sam grabbed the broom and stomped out the door slamming it behind him.
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