The Curse of the Blue Figurine

The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs

Book: The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Bellairs
that the yellow stone flashed. And then a strong wind began to blow. It sprang up out of nowhere and blew past Johnny. The bushes that grew in the courtyard flailed madly to and fro. Bits of paper sailed up into the air, and a cloud of yellowish dust flew at Eddie. Coughing and sputtering, Eddie staggered backward. The wind blew harder and threw him, stumbling and reeling, against the brick wall. Bottles flew this way and that, and when Eddie stuck out a hand to steady himself, it came down on a piece of broken glass.
    Eddie howled and jerked his hand toward his mouth. He sucked at the bleeding cut. Then silence fell. The wind died as suddenly as it had sprung up, and the yellow dust settled. Eddie looked at Johnny, and Johnny looked at Eddie. And which of them was more frightened it would have been hard to say.

    It was a bright, sunshiny Saturday in May, and the professor was up on the square Italian cupola that jutted above the roof of his house. He was wearing overalls, his mouth was full of nails, and he had a hammer in his hand. The cupola had windows all around and a tiled roof with a silly wooden finial sprouting from it. All around the cupola rickety scaffolding had been built, and attached to the cupola roof was a fantastic framework of wooden slats, braces, joists, and whatnot. Someday, when it was finished, this framework would support an elaborate radio aerial. The professor was a wild Red Sox fan. He loved to listen to the Sox on the radio while he corrected his students' papers. The problem was this: WITS in Boston was the only station that carried the  baseball games, and its signal was pretty faint by the time it reached Duston Heights. But the professor was confident that his superduper whizbang aerial would solve the problem. He had been reading up on aerials in Mechanix Illustrated and other handyman magazines, and in his study was a blueprint that he had drawn up, all by himself. Now if he could only get the job done, everything would be fine.
    But as he worked the professor frowned and muttered to himself. He was worried. Not about his work but about Johnny. It was May 10, ten days after Johnny's run-in with Eddie Tompke. And in all that time the professor had not seen Johnny to talk with, not once. Normally Johnny came over three or four times a week for chess and conversation and chocolate cake. But not now. At first the professor had felt hurt. Then he had told himself that he was an old fool, that Johnny had— no doubt—found some young friend who was fun to be with. But then he began to watch for Johnny out of the front windows of his house. And what he saw alarmed him. Johnny was never with anyone. He always walked alone, head down, briefcase in hand. And he looked awful. His face was very pale, and there were dark circles under his eyes. He looked as if he had not slept for a week.
    And so the professor was concerned. He wanted to know what was wrong. So far he had resisted the urge to butt in on the Dixons' family affairs. He couldn't imagine that Gramma and Grampa were mistreating  Johnny. That did not seem possible. But then, what was going on?
    The professor drove in another nail. The framework creaked and shuddered, and the professor growled at it. He ordered it to hold together. From somewhere below a door slammed. The professor glanced over and saw Johnny plodding down the front steps of his house. Now he was moving along the sidewalk, head forward, hands folded behind his back. Oh, this is just unbearable! grumped the professor to himself. I have got to go see the Dixons, or I will go out of my ever-loving mind! And slowly he began to clamber down the scaffold.
    A few minutes later the professor was knocking at the front door of the Dixon home. Presently the door rattled open. There stood Grampa. He was wearing a blue denim apron, and his sleeves were rolled up. In one hand he held a hypodermic syringe. The professor was not surprised at this. He knew that Gramma Dixon had

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