The Dragon’s Secret by Augusta Huiell Seaman
Leslie Crane and her Aunt Marcia have rented a cottage on the Jersey Shore-not in the summer as most people do but in the early autumn. Aunt Marcia suffers from nerves and her doctor recommended rest and Leslie has come along to keep her aunt company and to generally “keep house”. She’s missing school but isn’t worried-her friends are sending her all the lessons she is missing.
“Oh the ocean is wonderful in October!” she murmured aloud. I never had any idea how wonderful. I never saw it in this month before. Come, Rags!” A black-and-white English sheep-dog, his name corresponding closely to his appearance, came racing up the beach at her call.”
One very wet and stormy night, Leslie, looking out her window at the wondrous weather, sees a light through the cracks of the shutters at the closed house next door. Could someone be in there? Its just for a second but…
The next day she and Rags walk on the beach amidst all the flotsam and jetsam from the storm.
“There was a new and wonderful fascination to her in examining this ancient wreckage, speculating on the contents of unopened tins, and searching ever farther and farther along the shore for a possible treasure-trove of even greater interest or value.
“Why shouldn’t I find a chest of jewels or a barrel full of golden coins or a pocket-book crammed with bills, Rags?”
But instead Leslie finds a treasure of a different sort-a friend. Walking with her head down looking at the sand, she plows right into someone-Phyllis Kelvin, a girl about her age who is at the Shore with her father and brother Ted.
The girls go off walking down the beach, back towards Leslie’s cottage, calling for Rags all the way. They spot him in the yard of the closed cottage next door.
“There’s Rags! He’s after another hermit-crab!” cried Leslie…They both raced up to him and reached him just as he had apparently attained the end of his quest and backed out of the hole.
“Why, what has he got?” exclaimed Phyllis. “That’s no hermit-crab!”
It was a burlap bag and inside was a beautiful carved box: a box carved with a dragon!
And so begins the girls’ adventure. Who did the box belong to? Why and when was it buried under the tree? How did the box open? What did it contain? And who was sneaking around trying to get it? All these questions are eventually answered of course but a ripping good time is had until they’re all answered.
I thoroughly enjoyed this 1921 young adult mystery. If you’re a fan of Nancy Drew type mysteries, I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Dragon’s Secret too.
Read by J.M. Smallheer, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf., epub, Kindle and more formats here.