We’ve all heard of Throwback Thursday, the day you post photos from the past to Facebook or Instagram. Retro Reads is my bookish version of Throwback Thursday. I’ll be rereading and posting a recap/review of books I loved when I was younger, mostly series books. Fair warning: These are more recaps than reviews. They will be thorough and there will be spoilers.
Trixie Belden #5: Trixie Belden and The Mystery Off Glen Road
Author: Julie Campbell
When a storm blows through Sleepyside, the Bob-Whites’ clubhouse is crushed by a fallen tree. Trixie, Honey, and their brothers set to work at the Wheelers’ game preserve to raise the money to repair it. Of course, no one expected Trixie to stumble across the trail of a dangerous poacher!
I like to post series recaps in order, but when I read that Greg was going to be doing a Trixie Belden review, I couldn’t resist joining him. He had already picked up the fifth book in the series and I thought it would be fun to post one of my detailed Throwback Thursday recaps to go along with his more traditional review. We picked out a week for posting and here we are! Don’t forget to check out Greg’s review of The Mystery Off Glen Road.
Trixie Belden uses words like “super-glamorous.” In fact, it’s the second word in the book. I like her already. Trixie and her best friend Honey are checking out the Bob-Whites of the Glen’s (BWG) new clubhouse. The BWG consists of Trixie (13), Honey (13), Trixie’s brothers Brian (16) and Mart (14), Honey’s adopted brother Jim (15), and a girl with no brothers: Di (13). The clubhouse is courtesy of Honey’s rich family. It’s the gatehouse on their property, right next door to Trixie’s family’s own Crabapple Farm. I’m sorry, but that’s a terrible name for a farm. It makes me crabby just thinking about it.
“Where do you live?”
Just no. Wild Apple Farm would be a much better name.
Crabapple Farm and Manor House (Honey’s place) are both about two miles outside of Sleepyside. When I was younger I was never able to figure this out, but I now believe Sleepyside to be in New York.
But back to the clubhouse. The BWGs have recently put a new roof on it, painted it, built shelves, made furniture, and added curtains (sewn by Honey). It’s a super-glamorous place to store their ski equipment, skates, pup tents, and basically everything else they own. I hope they have a lock on the door. They’ve spent all the money in their treasury fixing up the clubhouse, and I have to admit that it’s pretty impressive that a bunch of teenagers could and would do all that. I mean, I can’t sew curtains, let alone roof a house or build a table. I could probably figure it out, I guess, but…Walmart sells curtains and finding free or cheap stuff on Craigslist would be a lot easier. Except for the roof part.
The clubhouse does not have heat and the girls are concerned that with winter coming they won’t be able to stand the cold. I can see how that might be a problem in New York. Trixie thinks that with the way the wind is blowing, a hurricane might be coming. Too bad there was no Weather Channel in 1956. Jim Cantore would have been all over any potential hurricane days before it was due to hit Sleepyside. (There was no Jim Cantore in 1956 either.)
Plans for the day include the wedding reception of Manor House maid Celia and chauffeur Tom. The Wheelers must be seriously rich if they can afford a chauffeur. Trixie feels guilty because she doesn’t have money for a wedding gift. The girls rush off to get ready for the reception. Trixie finds her brothers putting storm windows on their house (their real one, not the clubhouse) and the siblings bicker over the fact that Trixie was supposed to wash the windows first but had run off with Honey. There are mentions of women’s work and lazy squaws that I choose to ignore. The fifties were a different time.
I never cared much for Mart and this part reminds me why. He considers himself “mentally superior” to Trixie and likes to use big words to show off. Despite arguing over it with her brothers, Trixie knows she was supposed to wash the windows and that she had promised to help her youngest brother, six-year-old Bobby, get ready for the reception. Hearing Bobby’s yells of protest, she knows her mother (who she calls the cringeworthy name of Moms) has already begun the job in her absence. Trixie’s friends and siblings may be extraordinarily skilled, perfect teenagers, but Trixie is kind of a slacker.
As Trixie is mentally beating herself up for her selfish behavior and making plans to stay home from the reception to vaccuum the entire house and scrub and wax the kitchen floor to make up for it, she hears a loud noise from outside. Going to the window, she sees that a crabapple tree has been uprooted by the wind.
That was the end of the first chapter. I need to be less long-winded in these recaps.
The tree fell so close to Brian and Mart that they have scratches from the branches on their faces. Now the boys have to stay home to take care of the tree, while Trixie has forgotten all about her housecleaning penance. She teases them that she’ll save some leftover scraps for them — after the dogs have been given their shares.
Brian and Mart do make it to the reception though, and they’re among the earliest guests. People coming from nearby towns have been delayed by Sunday traffic. You would think they might have worked that into their travel plans, and Sunday generally happens every week and they should be used to the traffic.
Honey’s parents are not at the reception, which seems kind of stupid as they’re the property owners and are pretty much the hosts. Her father was called away on business and her mother chose to go along. They’re going to Florida, but because of the winds all the flights are grounded in their area so they’re driving to Washington and flying from there. That’s quite a drive, even at today’s higher highway speeds.
Now that Trixie’s family has lost a tree, the girls are again worried about the fate of the clubhouse. The walls aren’t very strong and it’s surrounded by old evergreens. Trixie calls an emergency meeting of the BWGs, but Honey, helping her governess Miss Trask stand in as hostess, can’t make it. It seems like Miss Trask would probably be doing a lot of the hostess duties even if Mrs. Wheeler was home. Mrs. Wheeler is described as “not very strong.” I don’t know what that means exactly, but she sounds pretty useless. Miss Trask and Regan, the groom, run the estate. Mr. Wheeler has recently hired a gamekeeper to look after the land he’s been buying up on Glen Road. He now owns three hundred acres, fully stocked with deer, pheasant, partridge, trout, and bass, so that he can enjoying hunting and fishing on his land. Regan hates the new gamekeeper Fleagle, a fact made all the more unfortunate because they’re being forced to share an apartment above the garage. Fleagle’s rude and inconsiderate and takes horses from the stable without asking then refuses to groom them or clean the tack.
Miss Trask has her hands full trying to keep the men from killing each other, and Honey’s afraid that Regan is going to quit over the matter. Trixie thinks that would ruin their lives because Mr. Wheeler would surely sell all the horses. Regan is the best groom around, and he’s understanding when the teens don’t exercise the horses daily. It makes him angry (furious, even) when they have other things to do and he has to do it.
Um, isn’t that his job? It’s certainly not Trixie’s or her brothers’. I may be mistaken, but I don’t think any of the horses belong to the Beldens. If it’s not all up to Regan, then Honey and Jim should be out there on the horses every day, and if they’re not that’s something Regan needs to take up with their parents, but it doesn’t fall on the Belden kids.
When Trixie finally meets up with the boys, she relays her concern over the trees and their clubhouse. They boys all agree that it could be a problem, but there’s nothing at all they can do about it. The wind continues to gust for the rest of the day and it’s not until 5:30 that the gang is allowed outside to check on their clubhouse. When they offer to help Regan and Fleagle clear the bridle path, Fleagle tells them to scram. He actually uses the word scram. He has to get the path cleared so he can check the game preserve for damage the next day. It’s the most important thing.
Regan points out that the weather is likely to get worse overnight and they might even lose electricity and phone. If power lines fall, it could cause a fire and Celia and Tom could lose their trailer — and everything they own, including their wedding gifts. His idea is to clear a path to the trailer then take as much as they can back to the main house.
Fleagle, uninterested in that quits. I’m not clear here on whether he’s just quit his job in a snit or if he’s only quitting helping Regan clear the path. Regan sends Trixie and Honey on home (they are, after all, only girls) and tells the boys that they need to help him with the trailer.
The electricity is out by the time Trixie gets home. Her mother is distraught worrying over the meat and vegetables in the freezer, but their father’s concern is the water pipes freezing. Is it really that cold? He says they’re going to have to light fires in all the fireplaces (they have more than one!) to keep the house warm. Mr. Belden goes off to buy kerosene and flashlight batteries at a local store. Bobby, who has some speech problems (he pronounces help as holp), wants to know why flashlights have two batteries. Trixie, being a girl, doesn’t know. She doesn’t even understand what makes a car run. Talk turns to Brian, who’s a whiz with cars and has finally saved up $50 to buy a car.
Mrs. Belden is worried about Mr. Belden and the boys. The wind has been rising again in the last half hour and they’re likely to get hit hard by the tail of the storm and lose some more trees. So why the hell did Mr. Belden go out in it to get kerosene and batteries? The boys come home, but without electricity they don’t even have running water. Mrs. Belden gets the idea to use the kerosene heater to cook on and to broil chops over the fire. We usually just have peanut butter sandwiches when we don’t have electricity.
Mr. Belden returns. While he was out, he looked over the car Brian is buying. It’s a good buy and Brian’s registration should arrive in tomorrow’s mail. His parents are so proud of Brian for raising the $50 and Brian’s so excited about it that I hope the car isn’t damaged in the storm.
The storm blows through overnight and is gone by morning. Bobby informs Trixie when she wakes that school has been called off. Just as she’s enjoying the good news, Mart comes in with some bad: a tree fell on the clubhouse. It damaged the roof, tore out the back wall, and rain got in to soak everything inside. Jim thinks it will cost $50 to fix the roof and wall.
I wonder who has $50. Hmmm.
Brian wants to use his car money to fix the clubhouse. Trixie and Mart go on about how unselfish and honorable Brian is. How honorable is it to back out of a (verbal) commitment to buy the car? It’s not like he’s giving the money to someone else to fix up a house they need to live in. Fixing the clubhouse will benefit him just as much as anyone else in the club and it will make him a hero in his friends’ eyes.
The group goes to Manor House for breakfast. No one wants to use Brian’s car money, but he insists, reminding them that they absolutely cannot use any money for the club that they didn’t earn themselves. THE RULES! you know. That means no money from Honey’s father, no loan from Miss Trask, and none of Jim’s inheritance. Brian goes to use the phone to order supplies while the rest of the group mulls over the problem. Trixie comes up with the idea to take over Fleagle’s job for the week. Honey points out that Miss Trask is already advertising the job opening and someone could show up to fill it tomorrow, and Jim says they can’t ask for a week’s pay in advance anyway.
Why not? Doesn’t Miss Trask work for them?
Trixie comes up with another brilliant plan. She wants to convince her father to take the diamond ring Jim gave her (!!!) out of the safe deposit box so she can give it to Mr. Lytell as a security deposit on Brian’s car. He’ll hold the car as long as he has the ring and then they can use the $50 to fix the clubhouse. Oh, and she’s not going to tell anyone other than Honey about this plan. She’s going to trick her father by acting like she’s suddenly interested in feminine things like dresses, perfume, lipstick — and diamond rings. Honey says no one is ever going to believe the overnight change — unless Trixie’s in love. She has just the man for the job, too: her cousin Ben. He’ll be visiting for Thanksgiving next week, so this week Trixie can pretend she’s practicing to make him fall in love with her when he gets there.
Honey admits that she has no idea how to act when you’re in love, but offers up some lame schoolgirl advice anyway, like “droop[ing] around” the way Celia did. Oh, and there’s this:
…And whenever you answer the phone, you don’t just doodle aimlessly with a pencil. You write your name and Ben’s and cancel out all the same letters in both names, and then you go through the letter that are left and say ‘Love, hate, courtship, marriage.’
When Mart comes to Trixie’s room to let her know it’s time for her to head home to begin her chores, she and Honey start the game. Trixie says she can’t possibly do any work that will give her dishpan hands, and Honey backs her up, pointing out that when a girl starts wearing diamond rings, she has to have pretty hands. They are so bad at this, but the do manage to work Ben’s name in to the conversation.
It’s getting harder and harder to ignore Mart’s racism as he is constantly bringing up the lazy squaw business.
Honey thinks they should let Mart in on what they’re doing, but Trixie says that even if he agrees to go along with it for Brian’s sake, he’ll just mess it up.
Trixie dresses up for dinner, stunning her entire family. It takes all of three pages before she’s begging for the diamond ring. Surprisingly, Moms backs her up, stating that the ring is Trixie’s and that it’s her right to wear it when Ben’s visiting if she wants to — as long as her father doesn’t object, that is.
Dad nods, but Brian has some objections. He thinks Ben is a creep and that he’s going to be in the way while they’re repairing the clubhouse. In fact, if he’s there and Trixie’s going to be flashing her diamond ring around, Brian quits!
Trixie keeps this up for a week, dressing for dinner, writing Ben’s name all over pieces of paper that she leaves around the house, and borrowing costume jewelry from Honey and Diana. By Thursday, she’s worn her brothers down. She has or all the extra work they’ve put in on the clubhouse. She shows up for dinner that night wearing six bracelets on each arm, earrings, and cheap pearl necklaces, lamenting the fact that she still has no diamond ring. Mr. Belden finally agrees to bring it home the next day, but only for the week.
On Saturday morning, Trixie and Honey set off on
their Honey’s family’s horses, bound for Mr. Lytell’s to trade the ring to him for security on Brian’s car. Trying to take a shortcut through the game preserve, they’re stopped by branches and debris across the path. Neither girl has any sense of direction, but they choose to take another path anyway, figuring that if they just decide not to get lost, they won’t.
Trixie reminds Honey that she needs to get the ring back in a week so that she can give it back to her father. They just have to talk Miss Trask and Regan into giving them gamekeeper job for the next week. The boys are busy working on the clubhouse, so it’s going to be up to Trixie and Honey to do the job. By this time they’re lost in the woods. Trixie spots a recent footprint and says it must have been left by someone who was trespassing, which means he must have been a poacher!
Honey thinks Trixie has an overactive imagination. She thinks the footprint belongs to Mr. Lytell, which must mean they’re getting near his store. After all, he trespasses on her father’s land all the time. They reach the road and see that they’ve found Mr. Lytell’s store. Hooray! Honey offers to stay with the horses while Trixie goes to do business with Mr. Lytell.
A man with his cap pulled low walks out of Mr. Lytell’s store carrying a box and disappears into the woods. Trixie goes into the store and demands to know who the man was. Mr. Lytell already does not approve of Trixie’s tomboy ways and gets on her case about the volume of her voice. Apologizing to him, she pulls out the ring. Mr. Lytell inspects it, declares that it’s worth $200, and wants to know where she got it. Trixie explains to him about Jim giving it to her and, in a roundabout way, gets him to understand what she wants. Mr. Lytell is suspicious, but he does like Brian and wants him to have the car. He agrees to the deal for one week. After that he’s going to tell her father.
The girls head home to talk Regan into temporarily giving them the gamekeeper job. When he goes into the house to discuss it with Miss Trask, the girls finish cleaning their tack and then go to the clubhouse to see the boys and hold an emergency meeting. They explain about the gamekeeper job and ask Jim to go talk Miss Trask into it. When he returns from the main house, it’s good news except that he’s promised that the boys will stop working on the roof until the paths are cleared and the feeding stations are repaired. The girls will patrol the preserve while the boys do the clearing and repairing.
The boys manage to get most of the work done on Saturday, so things are looking good. Still, Honey worries that they won’t get the clubhouse repaired before sleet and snow come to completely ruin the interior. As the girls ride, they discuss the man they saw yesterday. Trixie thinks he was a poacher, pointing out that he was wearing hunting boots like the footprint they found, but Honey thinks he was just someone taking a shortcut home.
They reach Mr. Lytell’s store, where Trixie is to buy her family’s Sunday newspapers. She sends Honey in, thinking that she can probably get more information on the man out of Mr. Lytell than Trixie was able to do the day before. She’s right, too. Honey even has a name: Maypenny. He’s a local hermit who’s lived in the area for years. Now Trixie thinks Maypenny didn’t leave the footprint. Since he has land of his own, there’s no reason he would have been on Mr. Wheeler’s.
But they saw him go into the woods! And Mr. Wheeler has bought up all the land around there, so obviously he was on Wheeler property.
When they reach the clearing with the footprint, Trixe dismounts and goes into the woods to investigate. She comes back with a look of horror on her face and a shocking story: the dogs (Jim’s and the Beldens’) who were with them have killed a deer!
It couldn’t have been a poacher?
The dogs were sniffing around the deer, although Trixie didn’t see them kill it. She says they have to get rid of it because if anyone finds out, even Jim and the Belden boys, they will shoot the dogs! Whoa. This game preserve is serious business.
Honey says that now that the dogs have killed one deer, they’ll do it again and other dogs will join them and will form a pack and kill deer after deer. It seems to me that there’s a simple solutions for this: don’t let your dogs run loose!
Now Trixie’s changed her tune and she thinks a poacher killed the deer. Right, like I said all along. But, no, Honey is convinced that the dogs killed it and she says if they find out for sure that the dogs killed the deer, they’ll have to tell Jim. Trixie says that if they don’t, they won’t be able collect the money for the gamekeeper job and then Brian won’t get his car.
What the fuck? WHAT. THE. FUCK?
LIE, girls. LIE. You know, like you’re doing about the ring and Ben. You’re not that innocent.
My goodness. I had forgotten about all of this drama. It’s making my blood boil that they’re going to shoot those dogs. And I don’t even like dogs!
The girls start sobbing right there in the woods, thinking about their families and the dogs. Trixie knows Brian would rather have Reddy than a car, and it would just kill her to tell Bobby. They decide to quit the job and keep a close watch on the dogs to break them of the habit of chasing deer. They’re also going to try to let nature take its course and let animals and insects take care of the carcass.
They girls take the dogs home (who then both run right off again) and meet up again to finish patrolling. Honey has a new plan to introduce Ben to their friend Di and hope they hit it off. Then Trixie can pretend to be jealous for a little while but accept it and be ready to move on and return to her normal self. None of them really like Ben (because he’s a prankster and a jerk) so I don’t think it’s very nice to try to pawn him off on Di.
The plan works pretty well. After the girls greet Ben, Honey and Trixie slip off to Honey’s room, leaving Ben and Di alone to play records and talk. They look through Honey’s costume jewelry to find a ring that looks enough like Trixie’s to fool anyone who might wonder why, after all that fuss, Trixie isn’t wearing the ring. They end up borrowing one from Mrs. Wheeler’s jewelry box. She has the real stuff and then she has good imitations that are expensive enough to keep locked up and some junk that she keeps out. Honey assures Trixie that the one she’s picked out is hers and it’s one of the cheap ones. It’s loose so Trixie worries about losing it.
What do you want to bet that it’s not cheap junk after all?
Honey’s having a little party, just hot chocolate and cookies, but Trixie really doesn’t want to stay and spend any time with Ben. With her parents and Bobby gone to town and Brian and Mart at Honey’s party, Trixie’s free to go back into the woods to check on the deer. When she gets to the right spot, the deer is gone. She knows she’s in the right place because some of the leaves have blood on them and there are “unmistakable signs that a human had eviscerated the carcass at this very spot.”
There’s her proof that Reddy and Patch didn’t kill the deer. Actually, that’s only proof that Reddy and Patch didn’t finish off the deer, but Trixie doesn’t care about those little details. She also finds bike tire tracks. She somehow realizes that they are single tire tracks, not double, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
Trixie returns home to find her parents and Bobby are already there. Her parents are surprised to see her, thinking that she was supposed to be at Honey’s all evening. Trixie “sadly” explains that Ben and Di are crazy about each other and tries to seem jealous. Now that all hope of having Ben for her true love is lost, Mr. Belden wants to return the rink to the safe deposit box, but Trixie reminds him that he said she could keep it for a week. She plans to continue dressing up — and wearing the ring — all week because the Wheelers will be having parties and formal dinners.
Trixie’s tiring of all the cover stories and lying and guilt, and she considers coming clean about everything, but she knows that her parents won’t approve of what she’s doing with the ring and that Jim and Brian will be mad that she didn’t confess about the deer while they had time to catch the poacher. The only thing to do is for Honey and Trixie to catch the poacher themselves.
Trixie wakes the next morning to find that it’s snowed. She and Honey meet up for their patrolling and Trixie tells Honey about the deer and the single tire tracks. Honey says the tracks must be from a unicycle. I still don’t understand why they can’t be a regular bicycle’s tire tracks, but I’m just going to let it go. Anyway, they think it’s crazy to be riding a unicycle in the woods, and I have to agree with them.
Honey just wants to forget about the poacher. After all, the only reason Trixie saw the deer is because she left the trail after she had been told by the boys not to. They’re a little lost, but fortunately the horses know the way home. When they get to the stable, the boys are there getting ready to ride out and look for them. They’re getting suspicious of how long Trixie and Honey are spending in the woods, so Honey quickly covers and says that they need to leave Trixie alone because of her broken heart. Jim and Brian seem to buy it, but not Mart. After the others leave, he demands to know what’s going on with Trixie and the ring and why Mr. Lytell saw Trixie leaving the woods so late and on foot the day before.
Trixie tells Mart about the deer. He’s very interested in catching the poacher, but because he has to work on the clubhouse, he’s going to have to leave it to Trixie and Honey to keep looking. He wants them to watch out for signs of snares and fishnets and then tell him so he can catch the guy.
School lets out at noon on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and Trixie and Honey plan to spend the afternoon in the woods while the boys race to get as much work on the clubhouse as they can before precipitation in some form comes in that night. They’re not in the woods for long at all before they spot a dead rabbit hanging from a tree, proof indeed that there’s a poacher in the woods.
Honey worries that the poacher might be nearby listening to them. Just then, two shots ring out — very close to them. The horses bolt and run through the woods. By the time the girls manage to get the horses to stop, they’re hopelessly lost. They round a bend into a clearing only to find a cabin, which must be where the poacher lives. The cabin has obviously been there for a long time. There’s even a garden. It’s getting dark and the girls fear that the poacher is on his way back to the cabin, so they decide they need to find their way home too. Again, it’s the horses that get them home. Trixie’s proud that they now have proof of a poacher, but Honey points out that they’re never going to be able to find their way back to the cabin.
Oh, if only these girls weren’t so stupid. If only they had thought to mark their way back on the trees.
If only they hadn’t lost Bobby’s wrist compass. Trixie had “borrowed” it off the mantle, where it rests because it’s too expensive for Bobby to actually use it until he’s older. But she and Honey have no idea how to read a compass, so it was not useful anyway. It fell off during their ride through the woods and of course now that it’s gone, Bobby has decided he needs it the next day. He’s promised Ben he can use it. Trixie has to confess that she lost the compass just that afternoon. Bobby, the brat, “bursts into screams of rage.” When Moms finally manages to get him out of the room and calmed down, Trixie confesses to Mart. Mart promises to lend Bobby his wrist compass — if Trixie tells him the whole story about the diamond ring. Trixie agrees, but only if he promises to keep it a secret. He also tells him about the poacher, the clearing, and the cabin and garden.
Mart agrees that they need to find the poacher’s cabin again before they can collect the gamekeeper paycheck, but first they have to go to dinner at the Wheelers’. While Mart’s upstairs getting ready, Moms tells Trixie that she’s going to have to buy Bobby a new compass.
On the way over to the Wheelers’, Trixie asks Mart to patrol with Honey the next day because she has to stay home and help Moms prepare the meal for their Thanksgiving open house. He agrees, stating that he was planning to patrol anyway. He thinks Honey can lead him to the cabin, but Trixie reminds him that they were lost and Honey has no better idea than she does. Mart thinks there must be a trail of broken branches from the horses’ wild gallop through the trees. He does consider telling Jim about it, since Jim’s a better tracker, but if Jim has to quit working on the clubhouse to find a poacher, there’s no way it will be done before snow comes.
Mart and Honey do not find the cabin the next day. When Mr. Lytell arrives at the Beldens’ for their open house, Trixie, not wanting to risk him seeing her wearing yet another ring, ditches her fake diamond in a decorative bowl on a side table. Honey assures her that no one will notice she’s not wearing it, but sure enough, Brian does. He questions her about it and Trixie notices Mr. Lytell watching them, close enough to overhear. Trixie manages to put Brian off.
Bobby disappears during the party, but no one really notices until Ben offers to put him to bed for Trixie. When Ben can’t find him anywhere, the BWGs become alarmed. Not wanting to scare Mr. and Mrs. Belden, they set out to find him, searching all of the Belden property and the Wheelers’, everywhere he’s hidden before when he’s run away. Finally Trixie works out that Bobby must have found the fake ring and taken it for revenge. He would want to hide it somewhere and since they’ve already checked almost everywhere else, she heads for Celia and Tom’s trailer, where she finds him sleeping next to Jim’s dog Patch.
When she wakes him, Bobby confesses that he lost the ring. Trixie reassures him, telling him that it was a fake and then letting him in on her secret about giving the real one to Mr. Lytell. She makes him promise not to tell their parents, Jim, or Brian, but Brian is standing behind her and has overheard the whole thing. Brian’s so choked up he can’t even tell Jim about it when he comes along a few minutes later.
The next morning on patrol, Trixie and Honey easily find their way to the cabin. They’re shocked when the door opens and Mr. Maypenny walks out. He says he’s seen them trespassing on his property and asked Mr. Lytell about them. He produces Bobby’s compass and asks if they lost it.
Trixie says this can’t be his property; it belongs to Honey’s father. Mr. Maypenny says his land, land that’s been in his family for a hundred years, is right in the middle of Mr. Wheeler’s but that he wouldn’t sell it when asked. He even has an explanation for the unicyle tracks: it’s his one-wheeled deer carrier.
The girls and Mr. Maypenny talk over stew and it comes out that not only does Mr. Wheeler know he lives there, but Jim and even Brian do too. Honey begs Mr. Maypenny to be their new gamekeeper. His arthritis tells him a blizzard is coming, so he offers to ride over to help the boys weatherproof the clubhouse.
Bobby’s so upset when Trixie returns his compass that he spills the beans about taking the ring, losing it, and it being the wrong ring with the right ring belonging to Mr. Lytell now. Trixie’s forced to tell her parents everything. They’re not mad, so everything is okay with the family.
It does snow that night, but the clubhouse is weatherproof, thanks to Mr. Maypenny. He spoke to Mr. Wheeler on the phone the night before and the gamekeeper job is officially his, with Jim as his assistant. The BWGs enjoy the day of snowshoeing and playing in the show, hoping that Brian will be able to get his car home now that the snowplow has been through and that there will be a thaw that refreezes enough to stop the school bus from running on Monday.