The Case of the Etruscan Treasure

The Case of the Etruscan Treasure

by Robert Newman

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Overview

Andrew and Sara can never escape a mystery—not even in New York City

Verna Tillet’s new play is taking the American stage by storm, and that means young investigators Andrew Tillet and Sara Wiggins have traded London carriage rides for the rattling excitement of New York City’s elevated railway. Affectionately known as the El, it stretches from the Bronx to the tip of the Battery and shows them a whole slice of vibrant city life.
 
All that’s missing is their friend Inspector Peter Wyatt, who’s about to arrive for what he says is a simple holiday. But when a crane load of cargo nearly flattens Andrew and Sara at the docks, it looks like someone in New York has other plans for them.  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497686007
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 12/30/2014
Series: Andrew Tillet, Sara Wiggins & Inspector Wyatt , #5
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 177
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Born in New York City, Robert Newman (1909–1988) was among the pioneers of early radio and was chief writer for the Inner Sanctum Mysteries and Murder at Midnight—forerunners of The Twilight Zone that remain cult favorites to this day. In 1944 Newman was put in charge of the radio campaign to reelect Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was also one of the founding members of the Radio Writers Guild, which became the Writers Guild of America.

In 1973 Newman began writing books for children, most notably the Andrew Tillet, Sara Wiggins & Inspector Wyatt mysteries. The series takes place in Victorian London and follows the adventures of two teenage amateur detectives who begin as Baker Street Irregulars. Newman has also written books of fantasy, among them Merlin’s Mistake and The Testing of Tertius. His books based on myths and folklore include Grettirthe Strong, and he has published two adult novels.

Newman was married to the writer Dorothy Crayder. Their daughter, Hila Feil, has also published novels for children and young adults. Newman lived his last days in Stonington, Connecticut.
Born in New York City, Robert Newman (1909–1988) was among the pioneers of early radio and was chief writer for the Inner Sanctum Mysteries and Murder at Midnight—forerunners of The Twilight Zone that remain cult favorites to this day. In 1944 Newman was put in charge of the radio campaign to reelect Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was also one of the founding members of the Radio Writers Guild, which became the Writers Guild of America.

In 1973 Newman began writing books for children, most notably the Andrew Tillet, Sara Wiggins & Inspector Wyatt mysteries. The series takes place in Victorian London and follows the adventures of two teenage amateur detectives who begin as Baker Street Irregulars. Newman has also written books of fantasy, among them Merlin’s Mistake and The Testing of Tertius. His books based on myths and folklore include Grettirthe Strong, and he has published two adult novels.
Newman was married to the writer Dorothy Crayder. Their daughter, Hila Feil, has also published novels for children and young adults. Newman lived his last days in Stonington, Connecticut.

Read an Excerpt

The Case of the Etruscan Treasure

Andrew Tillet, Sara Wiggins & Inspector Wyatt, Book Five


By Robert Newman

OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA

Copyright © 1983 Robert Newman
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4976-8600-7


CHAPTER 1

The Visiting Detective


"S.S. Britannic," the New York Times had said, "arriving from Liverpool, White Star dock, West 10th Street, North River at 9 A.M."

It was only ten minutes after nine according to the clock in the waiting room, and there she was, swinging wide against the tide, then turning, shepherded by the two tugs that pushed and nudged her until she came to rest at her berth alongside the pier.

Sara and Andrew were at the shore-end of the pier behind a barrier guarded by a heavyset man wearing a black cap with a shiny peak. They had expected to be able to go out onto the pier proper, but the man had stopped them and told them they couldn't without a pass.

"Where do you get a pass?" Andrew had asked.

"Custom House, down at the Battery."

They had been in New York long enough to know where that was. But they also knew that they wouldn't have time enough to get down there and back before the Brittanic docked, so they abandoned the idea and remained where they were.

"Why do they call it the North River?" Sara asked. "It's the Hudson, isn't it?"

She had asked the question of Andrew, but the man with the peaked cap turned and said, "I always wondered about that too. Sure it's the Hudson. But this part, along here, is called the North River—I don't know why."

"The early Dutch settlers called it that," said Andrew. "The two rivers they knew best were the Delaware and the Hudson. They called the Delaware the South River so they called this the North. It was only later that they began calling it the Hudson."

"How do you know that?" asked the man.

"I looked it up."

"You're English, aren't you?"

"Yes. But we've been here for quite a while now—over two months."

"Real old settlers yourselves, eh?" he said, grinning.

"I've been meaning to ask you," said Sara, ignoring his joke, "What are those letters for?"

She pointed to the large letters, running from A to Z, that hung from the rafters overhead.

"It's for the passengers' trunks and luggage. When they're brought off the ship they're put under the first letter of the passenger's last name. Who are you meeting?"

"A friend," said Andrew.

"What's his name?"

"Wyatt."

"Then he'll find his luggage there, under W. A customs inspector will look it over and make sure he's not bringing in anything he shouldn't."

Sara and Andrew carefully avoided looking at one another and hid their smiles. Wyatt as a smuggler was a funny idea.

The ship was tied up now, the gangplank raised and fastened to her side. Longshoremen had gone aboard and some of them had joined the white jacketed stewards and were helping to bring the baggage ashore while others loaded the cranes that were starting to raise the cargo from the hold, swing it out and drop it on the dock.

Andrew and Sara watched the informed visitors who had arrived armed with passes and were now out on the dock waving to the ship's passengers who lined the rails and chatting with them.

There were measured footsteps behind them. They turned and saw an imposing man coming along the dock. He was in his late thirties or early forties, tall and rather portly, with a strong, closely shaven face. He was carefully—almost too immaculately—dressed in a morning coat and striped trousers. His waistcoat was grey and his cravat, of a darker grey, had a pearl stick pin in it. He had one one of those high crowned hats that Americans call a derby rather than a bowler. As he approached the barrier, the man with the peaked cap hurriedly opened the gate and touched his cap. The big man nodded and went through, out onto the dock.

"Did he have a pass?" asked Sara. "He didn't show you one."

"What? He didn't need one. That was Dandy Dan Cady."

"Who's that?" asked Andrew.

The man with the peaked cap glanced upward as if the response to such ignorance could well be a bolt of lightning from on high.

"He's boss of the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Wards."

As if to make it clear that no rule or regulation applied to him, Cady took out a cigar and, standing under a No Smoking sign, lit it and tossed the match away. A policeman, standing nearby, carefully avoided looking at him.

Passengers were starting to come down the gangplank.

"There he is!" said Sara.

"Where?"

"Next to the man with the beard, just behind the two ladies with the big hats."

The ladies moved to the left, getting ready to come down the gangplank, and Andrew saw Wyatt standing there, looking relaxed and distinguished in a tweed suit and soft felt hat with a mackintosh thrown over one shoulder.

"The tall chap with the raincoat?" said the man with the peaked cap.

"Yes," said Andrew.

The man looked at Wyatt, then at them.

"He doesn't look like a smuggler and neither do you," he asid, opening the gate. "Go on out there."

"Oh, thank you," said Sara. "Thank you very much!"

They hurried through, walking quickly down the length of the dock. Wyatt was at the top of the gangplank now, looking around as he started down. Putting two fingers to her mouth, Sara whistled one of the loud, shrill urchin whistles that used to shock her mother so. Wyatt heard it over the noise of the cranes, steam winches and baggage trucks, saw them, grinned and waved.

They were still some distance from him when he reached the bottom of the gangplank. A thin man in a dark grey suit was just behind him. He apparently knew Cady, who was standing at the foot of the gangplank, for he nodded to him. Cady nodded back and took a large gold watch from his waistcoat pocket as if to see just how late the ship had been.

Sara and Andrew were running now and, still smiling, Wyatt quickened his pace toward them. Suddenly there was a rattling rumble overhead and a cargo net loaded with heavy crates came crashing down in front of Wyatt, so close to Sara and Andrew that its impact made them stagger.

They stood there for a moment, shocked into stillness and wide-eyed with surprise.

"Sara! Andrew! Are you all right?" called Wyatt. He came running around the pile of crates, his face white, and clutched them each by an arm.

"Yes," said Andrew. "That was a close one."

"Too close," said Wyatt grimly. He turned to the group of men who were hurrying up, picked out one who was carrying an open notebook. "Are you in charge here?"

"Yes. I'm the stevedore boss. Was anyone hurt?"

"By a miracle, no. But another two feet and these children wouldn't just have been hurt. They'd have been killed! Will you tell me how something like that could have happened?"

"I don't know, but I'm going to find out. And take it from me, whoever's responsible won't work on the docks again!" He went hurrying toward the gangplank that led to the foredeck of the ship.

The customs officers had witnessed the near accident and, to make amends, passed Wyatt's baggage—two large valises—without even opening them. Wyatt had just signalled to a porter when two men, one fairly young and the other a bit older, came up the dock toward him.

"Inspector Wyatt?" said the older.

"Yes."

"I'm Brenner of the New York Times and this is Fitch of the World. Can we talk to you for a few minutes?"

"About what?"

"It's not every day we get someone from Scotland Yard over here," said Fitch. "Are you here on a case?"

"I'm afraid I can't answer that. How did you know I was coming?"

"The World ran a story about it the other day. Why won't you tell us whether you're here on a case or not?"

"I should think that's obvious."

"You don't have to tell us what the case is," said Fitch; "but couldn't you tell us whether you are or aren't on one?"

"Suppose I said I wasn't here on a case—that I was here on a holiday to visit some friends—would you believe me?"

"I don't know," said Brenner.

"Well, there you are. I'm afraid there's nothing we can do about it. Now will you excuse me? As you can see, I have some friends waiting for me, and I'm anxious to get to my hotel."

"I'm sorry. I guess this wasn't the best time to try to talk to you," said Brenner. "You're staying at the Brevoort, aren't you?"

"Was that in the story, too?"

"Yes. Could I stop by in a couple of days and talk to you—not about whether you are or aren't here on a case—but about Scotland Yard and police work in general?"

"Why don't you write me a note and we'll see?"

"Fair enough. Good morning." And he and Fitch went off, probably looking for the Britannic's purser to see if there was anyone else on board that it was worth their while to interview.

"Journalists can be pretty useful, can't they?" said Sara as they walked up the dock behind the porter who was carrying Wyatt's bags.

"How?" asked Wyatt.

"By asking the questions you wanted to ask but weren't sure you should."

"Such as whether I was here on a case or not?"

"Yes."

"My answer to you is the same as it was to Brenner. Suppose I told you that I was here on a holiday. Would you believe me?"

"I'm not sure."

"Well, you've got the same problem he has—you don't know what to think. Now can we drop it?"

"Of course."

They got into a cab outside the pier, though, as Sara explained to Wyatt, Americans only called a two-wheeled hansom a cab. What they were riding in, called a growler or a four-wheeler at home, was called a coupé. And of course, if it was a four-wheeler with two horses, it was called a coach or a hack. Wyatt thanked her gravely for the information, then reminded her that he had been to America long before she had and stayed for well over a year.

"I knew that," said Sara undisturbed. "But I thought you might have forgotten." Then, as he grunted, "You're still upset about what happened at the dock, aren't you?"

"Do you blame me?"

"Well, it was a near thing, but after all it was an accident."

"Was it?"

"You mean it wasn't?"

"Let's not talk about it." He turned to Andrew. "How's your mother?"

"Fine. You'll see her. She said she'd wait and say hello before she left for the theatre."

"How is it going?"

"She says very well. She likes the director and the cast. And of course she likes the play. If she didn't, she wouldn't have come over."

The play was a dramatization of Jane Eyre, done by a British playwright who had been living in New York for the past few years. He had sent her the script saying that he thought that she was England's finest actress and that if she would agree to play Jane Eyre he would wait for years, if that were necessary, until she was free to do so. Verna knew flattery when she heard it, but she also knew a good script, and since she was more or less at liberty at the time, she decided to come over, bringing Andrew and Sara with her.

"I've nothing against the Brevoort," said Wyatt. "In fact, I like it. But I wondered why you're staying there instead of, say, the Hoffman House."

"Mother doesn't like big hotels," said Andrew. "She thinks the Brevoort has the best food in New York and besides it's very convenient to the theatre."

"Which theatre will she be playing at?"

"The Star."

"I don't believe I know it."

"It used to be the Wallack's," said Sara, "at Broadway and Thirteenth Street."

"Oh, of course. Wonderful theatre."

Since the Brevoort was at Eighth Street and Fifth Avenue, just a few blocks east of the White Star pier, it didn't take them long to get there. It was a low, white building with café tables in front of it, which made it seem particularly French. A porter came out to take Wyatt's bags and led the way up the few steps to the lobby. The desk clerk, Mr. McCann, was a friend of Sara and Andrew. He was fairly young, in his late twenties, and had worked with a carnival for a while. As a result, he had learned some sleight of hand and did simple magic tricks like making coins disappear or taking them out of the children's ears.

He greeted Wyatt respectfully, said he hoped he'd enjoy his stay in New York and, after he'd signed the register, gave him a note that had arrived for him a short while before. Wyatt thanked him and read the note as they followed the porter up the stairs to the first floor. This was another reason why Andrew's mother liked the Brevoort, Sara told him. Because there was no lift, or elevator as the Americans called it, and you could get your exercise running up and down stairs. The porter took them to Wyatt's room, which was next to the Tillett suite, overlooking Fifth Avenue and with a view of Washington Square and the Centennial Arch. Wyatt said it was fine and tipped the porter; then Andrew and Sara took him into the sitting room of their suite.

Verna, looking very attractive in a pale lawn dress, greeted Wyatt like the old and close friend that he was, embracing him and telling him how how glad she was to see him. Then, looking at him closely, she said, "Don't tell me something's happened already."

"What on earth do you mean?"

"I don't know. I thought you looked a little disturbed. And you must admit that things do have a way of happening when you're around."

"In London perhaps. But there's no reason why they should happen here."

"I hope not. Well, I'm off to the theatre. We're in the final stretch before the dress rehearsal. But you'll have dinner with us tonight, won't you?"

"Of course."

"Any plans for this afternoon?"

"I'm having lunch downtown with a friend."

Verna nodded. "You'll be able to take care of yourselves, won't you?" she said to Sara and Andrew. "You can have your lunch outside at the café."

"I thought I'd take them with me to meet my friend," said Wyatt.

"Oh? Well, I'm sure they'll enjoy that. See you this evening," she said and left.

"Was that what the note in your box was?" asked Sara. "An invitation to lunch?"

"Yes."

"And your friend won't mind if we come along?" said Andrew.

"I don't think so, but I don't care if he does."

"That's a funny thing to say," said Sara. "Just who is your friend anyway?"

"Inspector Sam Decker of the New York Police Department."

CHAPTER 2

The Accident That Wasn't


When Sara and Andrew discovered that they were meeting Inspector Decker way downtown on Mulberry Street, they urged Wyatt to go by El rather than take a cab as he usually did when in London. They themselves had fallen in love with the El when they had first arrived in New York. Running high above the street on iron trestles and going for miles, from the Battery on the south to the open country of the Bronx on the north, the El—short for Elevated Railway—offered some of the best, most interesting and most varied views of New York that it was possible to get. In places where there were houses, the cars were so close to them that, while you could not exactly reach out and touch them, you could look into the windows and see how the people there lived—what their kitchens and even their bedrooms were like. And since the nationality of the neighborhoods changed every few blocks—the Jews, the Irish, the Italians, the Germans, the Chinese all living in their own areas—a trip on the El was like a journey around the world.

It turned out that Wyatt liked the El as much as they did, so they walked over to Third Avenue, climbed the long flight of stairs to the El station, which looked like a transplanted Swiss chalet, and bought their tickets at an enclosed booth with a small wicket. The tickets were five cents each—which Sara and Andrew had learned to call a nickel. The ticket agent tore them off a large roll and pushed them out through the small opening. Wyatt took them and dropped them in the box as they went out on the long wooden platform. The train, three coaches drawn by the small, puffing steam locomotive, was already in sight up the tracks. It drew up at the station, the conductor opened the doors, they boarded it and were on their way downtown.

As they travelled south, the children told Wyatt about their schools. Though Verna had been anxious to have them come with her, she had been concerned about their missing even a few weeks of school. She had discovered, however, that she could place them at two separate schools: Andrew at a boys' preparatory school, and Sara at a so-called girls' finishing school. They were both closed now for the summer vacation, but during the time they had gone, both children had found them interesting, even though they were quite different from their schools in England.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Case of the Etruscan Treasure by Robert Newman. Copyright © 1983 Robert Newman. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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