After a visit to Mandie's Cherokee kinpeople, Mandie, Celia, and Joe prepare for their trip to New York to visit Jonathan Guyer. Just before they leave, though, Mandie receives an urgent wire from Jonathan: "Hurry on to NY. I have just discovered a great big secret from long ago." Mandie is wild with curiosity. But when they finally get to New York, Jonathan has gone to Long Island and won't be back till the next day! Can Mandie wait another day to learn the secret? What on earth could it be?
About the Author
Lois began her first Mandie story when she was only eleven years old. But eventually the manuscript was tucked away in a drawer and forgotten. Lois went on to attend Furman University and studied music for several years in New York City where she and her sister sang professionally. Some years ago, Lois was prompted to pull that old manuscript out and began to work on Mandie's story-of her childhood in the South at the turn of the century and her Cherokee heritage. The rest is history and now the MANDIE BOOKS series have sales nearing six million copies! Lois writes from her home in South Carolina. Enthusiastic young fans fill her mailbox with their insightful responses to her stories.
Read an Excerpt
New York at Last!
The train pulled into the station in New York and stopped with a sudden lurch. Mandie Shaw straightened up in her seat and recaptured her white cat, who had managed to escape her with the motion.
"Snowball, you have to behave now. We�re going out there into a noisy, overcrowded street," she said as she secured his red leash and bent to pick up her small bag.
"I�ll help you with him," Celia Hamilton said as she stood up.
Mrs. Taft, Mandie�s grandmother, looked back as she started down the aisle of the train car and said, "Amanda, be sure you hold on to that white cat now."
"Yes, ma�am, I will," Mandie replied, following Celia.
Joe Woodard and his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Woodard, came along behind them.
"Yes, I don�t want to have to search for that cat in this big city of New York," Joe said with a grin as Mandie glanced back at him.
As they all got off the train, Dr. Woodard led the way out of the depot and hailed a public carriage. While everyone waited inside the carriage, he went back to pick up the luggage.
"It won�t be long now until I find out what the secret is that Jonathan said he had found," Mandie said to her friends.
"It must be something important for him to send you a message by wire to the depot back home," Celia said.
"Remember he said in the wire to hurry up and come on up to New York, that he had found a secret," Mandie told her. "And he doesn�t know how close he came to missing me with the message."
"He knew you were coming on up to visit while your mother and the others were at his house," Joe said.
"But he didn�t know when we would get back to my house from visiting my Cherokee kinpeople," Mandie replied, rubbing Snowball�s fur to calm him down as he tried to get away from her again.
"I hope my mother has already been shopping when we get to Jonathan�s house so I won�t have to spend so much time buying clothes," Celia said.
"Yes, and my mother, too," Mandie agreed. She glanced at her grandmother, Mrs. Taft, and Joe�s mother, Mrs. Woodard, sitting across from them, but they were deep into their own conversation and were not paying any attention to the young people.
Finally, Dr. Woodard and the driver came back with all their luggage and loaded it, and then they started on their way to Jonathan Guyer�s house. Even though Mandie had been to the big city of New York once before, and that was for Thanksgiving in 1901, it was now June of 1903, and everything seemed new to her again. The carriage driver drove as though he were going to a fire and ignored the pedestrians who scampered out of his way as they crossed the streets before them. She held tightly to Snowball as the vehicle swayed.
When the carriage turned into the driveway of the Guyer mansion and stopped under the portico, Mandie remembered seeing it that first time and being absolutely speechless to learn that Jonathan lived in such a huge stone building. And as it had happened the other time she came to visit, the door opened and the butler came out to assist with the luggage, only this time she knew the man�s name.
"Good morning, Jens," Mandie greeted the man as he assisted Mrs. Taft out of the carriage.
Without even looking at her, the proper butler replied, "Good morning, Miss Amanda." After Mrs. Taft was safely out, he turned to help Mrs. Woodard alight.
As Mandie waited for everyone to go inside the house, Mrs. Yodkin, the Guyers� housekeeper, appeared at the doorway. "Please come in," she told Mrs. Taft and Mrs. Woodard. Looking back she added, "All of you, please come into the house."
Mandie looked around as they stepped into the parlor that opened off the portico. There was no sign of Jonathan or his father, or Mandie�s mother and the others who had come to New York ahead of them. Then she realized the others were also wondering where everyone was.
"Is Jonathan at home?" Mandie asked the housekeeper.
Mrs. Yodkin stopped and looked directly at Mrs. Taft and Dr. and Mrs. Woodard, who had been following behind her. "I regret that there is no one here at the present. Everyone has gone to visit friends in Long Island. Since we did not know your arrival date, Mr. Guyer left the message that if you arrive in his absence you are to make yourselves comfortable."
"Gone to Long Island?" Mrs. Taft repeated, frowning. "Probably to see the Fredericksons."
"Yes, madam, that is where they went," Mrs. Yodkin replied. "Now, if you will all come with me, I will show you to your rooms." At that moment Monet, the French maid, came into the room. "And Monet here will show you young people to your quarters," Mrs. Yodkin added.
Mandie thought, What a difference in our servants and the Guyers�. The ones in the Shaw household were treated with friendliness and love. These people seemed to be cold and detached from the world.
When Mrs. Yodkin started toward the door, Mrs. Taft just stood there, frowning. "When is everyone coming back?" she asked.
Mrs. Yodkin stopped and looked back. "Mr. Guyer said they would return tomorrow," she explained. "They only left yesterday." She continued walking out into the huge hallway. The others followed.
Mrs. Woodard looked at Mrs. Taft and said, "That will at least give us time to recuperate from that long train journey."
"Yes, but we don�t have that much time to stay here," Mrs. Taft replied.
Monet finally spoke to the young people. "If you will come this way, I will show you your rooms," she said, turning the other direction in the long hallway.
The girls and Joe looked into the rooms they passed along the way. Mandie remembered seeing the huge library they passed, the music room with two baby grand pianos in it, a formal drawing room, and another parlor. Huge double doors set in the mahogany wainscoting were closed.
They reached the carved stairway, split in the middle and rising on either side to meet a balcony above. At the bottom of the stairs, Monet stopped and, pointing to a door with glass windowpanes in it, said, "I remember you do not like the lift. Do you still not like it?" She waited.
"Let�s walk up," Mandie and Celia said at once and then grinned at each other.
Joe spoke up as they continued up the stairs. "I should just ride up and let y�all walk. What are y�all going to do when you find a place that only has elevators and no steps?"
"Oh, Joe, there won�t ever be such a place," Mandie replied, holding on to Snowball as he tried to get down.
"I wouldn�t guarantee that," he replied.
Monet went ahead of them, threw open the door to a room on her right, and said, "Here is the room for you." She looked at Mandie and then added, "Box of sand for cat is here."
"Oh, thank you," Mandie replied, looking into the room.
"And you will be next door," the maid told Celia, pushing open the door to the next room. Then quickly stepping across the hall, she opened another door and said, "And this will be your room." She looked at Joe.
"Thank you," Joe said.
Jens and another servant came along the hallway with their luggage, and Mandie, Joe, and Celia stepped out of the way while it was deposited in their different rooms. Monet stood there waiting until this was accomplished. Then she said, "We will have luncheon ready in thirty minutes." Then she turned and walked back down the hallway, following the other servants.
"Thirty minutes," Mandie repeated. Turning to Joe, she said, "I�ll meet you back out here in fifteen minutes."
"All right," Joe agreed, going into the room he had been given.
The girls found their rooms had an adjoining bathroom, and each bedroom had a huge four-poster bed. Mandie put Snowball down at last, and he immediately found the sandbox.
"Why don�t we just share one room?" Celia asked. "Then we can talk."
"Yes, I was going to suggest that," Mandie agreed. "We can use this one because Snowball�s sandbox is in here. Now, let�s hurry and change clothes so we can go talk to Joe." She looked at the small china clock on the mantelpiece.
At that moment there was a slight knock on the door, and Zelda, the other maid, stuck her head in. "I come to unpack zee clothes," she said in her foreign accent.
"Oh, hello, Zelda," Mandie greeted her. "Let us just get something out right now to change out of these traveling clothes, and then you can hang everything up."
"Yes," Zelda agreed, going to open the trunk the men had put in the bedroom.
"They put my trunk in the other room, and you can hang everything up in the wardrobe in there, but I am going to sleep in here with Mandie," Celia explained.
Zelda looked at her, smiled, and said, "I know. House too big, dark, empty." She began unpacking Mandie�s dresses.
While Zelda was doing that, Mandie went into the other room with Celia to help her open her trunk and get something out to change into.
The girls actually made the change and were out in the hallway within fifteen minutes. Joe was already sitting on a settee near his doorway. Various pieces of furniture and lamps were placed all along the corridors of the Guyer mansion.
"Y�all made it," he said, standing up and grinning.
"Let�s just sit here a minute," Mandie told him as she and Celia sat down and he sat beside them.
"It�s a long way back to the parlor, so we can�t sit too long," he reminded them.
"I know," Mandie replied. "I just wanted to ask, without anyone around to hear, do y�all think we could start trying to find out what this secret is that Jonathan said he had found?"
"Oh, Mandie, how can we look for something when we don�t even know what we are looking for?" Joe asked with a loud sigh.
"Well, in the message Jonathan said he had found a secret, so it must be something you can see," Mandie explained.
"But this house is so big we�ll never be able to see any secret that Jonathan might have found without his help," Celia reminded her.
"Anyhow, how can you find a secret?" Joe asked. "A secret is usually something someone knows or does that they don�t want you to find out about."
"Joe, now you are getting complicated," Mandie argued. "You know Jonathan doesn�t exactly use the same English we do, since we�re from the south and he�s here in the north. So he says things in a different way from us sometimes."
Joe suddenly stood up and said, "Anyhow, I think we�d better get started back to the parlor." Grinning at Mandie, he added, "We sure don�t want to keep your grandmother waiting for her meal."
"Joe, that�s mean," Mandie said, pouting as the three started down the hallway.
"Well, I could include my parents in that, too. They like their meals when they are hungry, and I imagine they are all awfully hungry by now," Joe said.
"I am hungry myself," Celia told them.
"Me too," Mandie added, walking faster down the long hallway. "And I have to bring something back for Snowball. I hope nobody lets him out of our room while we�re gone."
"All of the servants know you brought him, so I imagine they�ll be watching out for him," Celia said.
Suddenly Mandie stopped and asked, "Where are we going? No one told us where to go." She looked at her friends with a frown.
"Hmm," Joe said, running his long fingers through his unruly brown hair. "I suppose we should go back to the parlor where we came in."
"There will probably be someone in there to tell us where we are expected to eat," Celia added.
"This house is just too big," Mandie complained as they walked on down the huge staircase they had come up before.
"Now I believe we go down this hallway," Joe said, motioning to the left.
The girls stood there looking at the different corridors branching off from the bottom of the steps.
"Yes, I believe you are right," Mandie agreed.
With Joe leading the way, they eventually found the parlor again. Mrs. Taft and Mrs. Woodard were sitting there talking as Dr. Woodard roamed the room looking at the fine objects on shelves and in cabinets, which had evidently been collected from various countries and which looked very expensive.
"We finally got back," Mandie said, going to sit on a settee near the two ladies. Joe and Celia joined her. "Grandmother, I thought your house was big, but this one is absolutely too big. You have to walk miles to get from one place to the other."
"Yes, I know," Mrs. Taft replied. "I see no reason to display one�s wealth in that way."
Before Mandie could reply to that, Dr. Woodard settled down in a nearby chair and said, "But it is good exercise, especially after eating all the rich food served in such households."
Mandie smiled at him and said, "But I like to get my exercise outdoors where I can walk and walk. And as far as I remember, New York is not very walkable."
Joe grinned at her and said, "Is there such a word? Walkable?"
Mandie blew out her breath and said, "Oh, you know what I mean. It�s so crowded here in New York, you can�t walk down a street without getting bumped into and having to get out of someone�s way." And then grinning at him, she added, "But I do love New York. I�m just not used to it."
Mrs. Yodkin came to the doorway just then and said, "Ladies and sirs, if you will all follow me please. We have the meal ready."
She led them to a small dining room at the back of the house that had French windows overlooking an enclosed garden. As everyone sat down at the table, she explained, "We did not open the windows because Master Jonathan�s dog is out here in the garden and he would be likely to come into the house."
Mandie quickly leaned forward to look out one of the windows. "Yes, there he is, sitting there watching us," she said. "So Jonathan still has him." The big white dog was looking at her.
"Yes, miss, and he has become one of the family," Mrs. Yodkin said with a smile. "Now, if you are all ready, we will serve the food," she added to Mrs. Taft and Mrs. Woodard.
Mrs. Taft nodded, and Mrs. Woodard said, looking around the table, "I believe we are ready and probably hungry, too, after that fare on the train."
Mrs. Yodkin stood back, watching and supervising the other servants as they poured coffee, brought steaming food to the table in expensive china bowls, and checked to see that everyone had napkins and the proper silverware, all of which was already on the table when they sat down. Mandie smiled to herself as she realized the servants were only going through a memorized ritual for serving meals.
Finally, as everyone began eating, Mandie looked down the table at her grandmother and asked, "Do you have plans for us today, or are we just going to sit around and rest?"
Mrs. Taft laid down her fork and replied, "Mrs. Woodard and I have been discussing that, dear, and we have decided that we will just recuperate from our journey today." Smiling at Dr. Woodard, she added, "And the doctor thought that was a good idea."
"A good idea except that I need to get some exercise," Dr. Woodard replied. Looking at the young people, he said, "Thought maybe you all would be interested in a long walk this afternoon."
"Oh yes, sir," Mandie quickly replied with a big smile.
"Yes, sir," Celia nodded.
"Count me in," Joe told them.
"Then we�ll just get out and go," Dr. Woodard replied. Turning to his wife and Mrs. Taft, he added, "Are y�all sure you don�t want to come with us?"
"No, I�ll get enough exercise just walking around this huge house," Mrs. Woodard replied.
"And I will get my exercise tomorrow when we all go shopping," Mrs. Taft said. Looking at Mandie, she said, "Now, Amanda, you are not to go off out of this yard without an adult with you. Is that understood?"
"Yes, ma�am," Mandie replied. Then she asked Dr. Woodard, "Do you think we could take Jonathan�s dog with us for that walk? As far as I remember, Whitey loves exploring streets and sidewalks."
"Yes, I suppose we could. But, Joe, you will have to be responsible for the dog and see that he doesn�t get away from us," the doctor answered.
"Yes, sir, Whitey will remember us, I think, and there won�t be any problem controlling him on the streets," Joe said.
Looking at her grandmother, Mandie said, "I should take Snowball with me so he can get some exercise. I can put him on his leash!" Then smiling, she added, "And Whitey will behave with Snowball around. He�s afraid of the cat."
Everyone laughed. Even the prim servants smiled.
Turning back to her friends, Mandie said, "Maybe we could explore the garden to see if we can find Jonathan�s secret."
Joe blew out his breath, frowned, and then smiled as he said, "Amanda Elizabeth Shaw, how are we going to find Jonathan�s secret when we don�t even know what it is we�re looking for?" He spoke so loudly he caught his father looking at him.
"Joe, let�s keep this a secret among us three," Mandie whispered. "We don�t want grown-ups messing in our business, do we? We�d never solve a mystery with them in on it."
Celia smiled at Mandie and asked, "And what are we going to do when we get to be grown-ups? I�m already fifteen, and you soon will be."
"Oh, that�s a long time away before we get to be grown-ups," Mandie quickly told her. "And tell me one thing. Why should we we stop tracking down mysteries and secrets when we do grow up? I�m sure I�ll have the same curiosity about things that I do now."
"That�s the truth," Joe said, grinning. "You�ll never outgrow it, Mandie."
Celia thought about that, frowned, and then said, "I�m not sure what I will do when I am grown. It might be fun to act like the dignified young ladies that Miss Hope and Miss Prudence are trying to make out of us at their school."
"No, that would be too restrictive," Mandie protested. "I want to do whatever I want to do, not what someone else thinks I should do."
"Wait till you get to college," Joe said, looking at both girls. "Then you will have to settle down, at least a little."
"Oh, Joe, you go to college and I can�t see that you have changed any," Mandie told him. Then, lowering her voice so her grandmother wouldn�t hear her at the other end of the table, she added, "I am still thinking about asking Grandmother to take all of us back to Europe next summer for our graduation from the Heathwood�s School. We could at least have one last fling." She grinned at Celia and Joe.
"Well, I suppose, if you call that a fling," Joe said.
"I would call it very educational and a whole lot of fun," Celia added.
"When I catch the right time and place to ask Grandmother about this, I�ll let y�all know," Mandie promised. She hurried to finish eating. She was anxious to walk the streets of New York right now.
Mandie & the New York Secret (MANDIE BOOKS) by Lois Gladys Leppard
Copyright © 2003, Lois Gladys Leppardr
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was okay but definantley not the best. I thought the fight between Mandie's grandmother and Jonathan's father was very interesting. If I were you I would read this book even though I thought it was a little bit boring. After all everybody has a different oppinion!
This mandie book is one of my favorite's because mandie gets to visit her friend Jonathon,and because she finally turns fifteen and gets to know why her grandmother and Jonathon's dad hate each other. You deffiantly need to reed this mandie book.
Normally the Mandie books are SO exciting and thrilling, but there was hardly any suspense in Mandie & the New York Secret. Most of Lois Gladys Leppard's mystery stories are edge-of-the-seat can't-put-it-down-until-the-end sort of books. But this addition, although it has a good, fresh mystery, doesn't have enough action in it. But this is a good book for learning about life in the early 20th. century.