Haunted Island

Haunted Island by Joan Lowery Nixon

Book: Haunted Island by Joan Lowery Nixon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joan Lowery Nixon
enough light so that the scattered coins could be seen. Chris hurried to place the gold chain just inside the large hole they had dug. If Joshua saw it he would be able to see the bones of Amelia’s hand.
    Chris stood against the wall of the cave and wished he was invisible. He waited.
    Where was Joshua?
    Just when Chris was about to give up, the entrance to the cave became dark. From where he was pressed against the wall Chris could see Joshua peering into the cave.
    A horrible cry echoed through the cave. Joshua’s ghost stumbled to its knees, and tried to scoop up handfuls of the coins. He moaned and muttered to himself, as Chris slowly edged closer and closer to the opening in the cave.
    Then Shadow slunk into the cave like an evil shadow. Silently he slipped around Joshua and sat in front of the hole that Chris had dug, his tongue hanging out, a wicked look in his eyes.
    “Oh no you don’t!” Chris yelled at Shadow. He picked up a small stone and hurled it at the dog.
    Shadow, true to form, left his spot to snarl and threaten Chris.
    Chris didn’t care. Shadow couldn’t hurt him. Joshua had seen the gold chain, and beyond the chain to the bony hand. Joshua’s wail bounced off the walls of the cave.
    There was nothing more Chris could do. He hurried out of the cave and made his way along the track as fast as he could without stumbling. Amy was waiting for him and grabbed his arms, pulling him into the woods.
    “What happened?” she asked.
    Suddenly the cave seemed to explode with a gigantic roar. Chris and Amy were knocked off their feet by a swift rush of wind.
    It was over almost as soon as it had begun. Amy raised her head. “What was that?”
    Chris sat up. “Listen,” he said.
    The forest had come alive with sound. There was a soft soughing in the pine trees, and a bird chirped somewhere over their heads. They could hear the splash of wavelets against the rocks and the motor from a boat far out on the river.
    “Shall we go back to the cave?” Amy asked.
    “Not now,” Chris said. “It’s going to be dark soon.”
    He and Amy got to their feet. There was just enough daylight left for them to trace their steps back to the beach.
    “Look at our pile of wood!” Amy said. “What happened?”
    The pile was stacked high, as they had originally left it.
    “Maybe when we thought it was scattered along the beach it really wasn’t,” Amy continued. “I mean, it might have been an illusion, and we thought—Well, it could have been that way. Or could it?”
    “Stop talking to yourself and hold this,” Chris said, handing her a short stick of the pine. He pulled the tinder box from his pocket and set to work with the flint and steel. In just a moment the pine had caught. He thrust the flaming branch into the pile of logs and boughs, and the whole thing caught with a whoosh.
    Chris and Amy stepped back from the blaze.
    “Mom and Aunt Jennie will see the fire,” Amy said.
    “They’ll send a boat,” Chris said. “I don’t think we’ll have long to wait.”
    Amy sat on the beach, pulling her knees up and hugging her legs. She rested her chin on her knees. “I’m not afraid anymore,” she said. “I like the island now. It’s just the way it should be.”
    “We’ll have a lot to tell everyone,” Chris said.
    “They won’t believe us.” Amy sighed.
    “But when they go to the cave they’ll be able to see the coins and the gold chain and—and Amelia,” Chris said.
    “I mean they won’t believe about the ghosts and what they did. You can’t see ghosts.”
    “But if we explain.”
    “You didn’t believe in ghosts until you actually saw one,” Amy said. “Mom and Aunt Jennie and everyone else will just think we came over here, and our boat sunk, and we went exploring and found the cave and Amelia’s body. If we tell them about the ghosts they’ll just say that we have ‘lively imaginations.’ ”
    Chris sat down next to her. “I suppose you’re right. Don’t you think anyone

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