Mary Pope Osborne - Magic Tree House 46, page 1part #46 of Magic Tree House Series
Magic Tree House® Books
#1: DINOSAURS BEFORE DARK
#2: THE KNIGHT AT DAWN
#3: MUMMIES IN THE MORNING
#4: PIRATES PAST NOON
#5: NIGHT OF THE NINJAS
#6: AFTERNOON ON THE AMAZON
#7: SUNSET OF THE SABERTOOTH
#8: MIDNIGHT ON THE MOON
#9: DOLPHINS AT DAYBREAK
#10: GHOST TOWN AT SUNDOWN
#11: LIONS AT LUNCHTIME
#12: POLAR BEARS PAST BEDTIME
#13: VACATION UNDER THE VOLCANO
#14: DAY OF THE DRAGON KING
#15: VIKING SHIPS AT SUNRISE
#16: HOUR OF THE OLYMPICS
#17: TONIGHT ON THE TITANIC
#18: BUFFALO BEFORE BREAKFAST
#19: TIGERS AT TWILIGHT
#20: DINGOES AT DINNERTIME
#21: CIVIL WAR ON SUNDAY
#22: REVOLUTIONARY WAR ON WEDNESDAY
#23: TWISTER ON TUESDAY
#24: EARTHQUAKE IN THE EARLY MORNING
#25: STAGE FRIGHT ON A SUMMER NIGHT
#26: GOOD MORNING, GORILLAS
#27: THANKSGIVING ON THURSDAY
#28: HIGH TIDE IN HAWAII
#29: CHRISTMAS IN CAMELOT
#30: HAUNTED CASTLE ON HALLOWS EVE
#31: SUMMER OF THE SEA SERPENT
#32: WINTER OF THE ICE WIZARD
#33: CARNIVAL AT CANDLELIGHT
#34: SEASON OF THE SANDSTORMS
#35: NIGHT OF THE NEW MAGICIANS
#36: BLIZZARD OF THE BLUE MOON
#37: DRAGON OF THE RED DAWN
#38: MONDAY WITH A MAD GENIUS
#39: DARK DAY IN THE DEEP SEA
#40: EVE OF THE EMPEROR PENGUIN
#41: MOONLIGHT ON THE MAGIC FLUTE
#42: A GOOD NIGHT FOR GHOSTS
#43: LEPRECHAUN IN LATE WINTER
#44: A GHOST TALE FOR CHRISTMAS TIME
#45: A CRAZY DAY WITH COBRAS
Magic Tree House® Fact Trackers
KNIGHTS AND CASTLES
MUMMIES AND PYRAMIDS
TWISTERS AND OTHER TERRIBLE STORMS
DOLPHINS AND SHARKS
ANCIENT GREECE AND THE OLYMPICS
SABERTOOTHS AND THE ICE AGE
ANCIENT ROME AND POMPEII
TSUNAMIS AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS
POLAR BEARS AND THE ARCTIC
PENGUINS AND ANTARCTICA
LEONARDO DA VINCI
LEPRECHAUNS AND IRISH FOLKLORE
RAGS AND RICHES: KIDS IN THE TIME OF CHARLES DICKENS
SNAKES AND OTHER REPTILES
More Magic Tree House®
GAMES AND PUZZLES FROM THE TREE HOUSE
This is a work of fiction. All incidents and dialogue, and all characters with the exception of some well-known historical and public figures, are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Where real-life historical or public figures appear, the situations, incidents, and dialogues concerning those persons are fictional and are not intended to depict actual events or to change the fictional nature of the work. In all other respects, any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright © 2011 by Mary Pope Osborne
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Random House and the colophon are registered trademarks and A Stepping Stone Book and the colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc. Magic Tree House is a registered trademark of Mary Pope Osborne; used under license.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Osborne, Mary Pope.
Dogs in the dead of night / by Mary Pope Osborne ; interior illustrations by Sal Murdocca. — 1st ed.
p. cm. — (Magic tree house ; #46)
Summary: Jack and Annie travel to a monastery in the Swiss Alps where, with the help of St. Bernard dogs and magic, they seek the second of four special objects necessary to break the spell on the wizard Merlin’s beloved penguin, Penny.
[1. Magic—Fiction. 2. Time travel—Fiction. 3. Saint Bernard dog—Fiction. 4. Dogs—Fiction. 5. Brothers and sisters—Fiction. 6. Alps, Swiss (Switzerland)—History—19th century—Fiction. 7. Switzerland—History—1789–1815—Fiction.] I. Murdocca, Sal, ill. II. Title.
PZ7.O81167Dn 2011 [Fic]—dc22 2010047554
Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.
For Joey, Mr. Bezo, and Little Bear,
and in memory of Teddy and Bailey
And with special thanks to Janet Marlow
and Cheryl Barber and the Brushy Creek Saints
Other Books in This Series
1. The Second Thing
2. Buried Alive!
3. The Saints
5. He’s All Yours
6. Good Dog?
7. I Don’t Believe It
8. Dogs for an Hour
9. Lovers of Knowledge
10. Spirit of the Buttercup
“His name is not Wild Dog anymore,
but the First Friend, because he will be our
friend for always and always and always.”
—from Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
One summer day in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, a mysterious tree house appeared in the woods. It was filled with books. A boy named Jack and his sister, Annie, soon discovered that the tree house was magic, and just by pointing at a book, they could go to any time and any place in history. While they were gone, no time at all passed back in Frog Creek.
Jack and Annie eventually found out that the tree house belonged to Morgan le Fay, a magical librarian from the legendary realm of Camelot. They have since traveled on many adventures in the magic tree house and have completed many missions for both Morgan le Fay and Merlin the magician. On these journeys, they often received the help of two young enchanters from Camelot named Teddy and Kathleen.
Now Teddy and Kathleen are in desperate need of Jack and Annie’s help. While Merlin and Morgan were away, Teddy accidentally put a spell on Penny, Merlin’s beloved penguin, and turned her into a stone statue. Teddy fears that he could be banished from the kingdom unless Jack and Annie can save Penny.
Teddy and Kathleen have found an ancient spell that will undo the one that Penny is under. To make the spell work, Jack and Annie must go on four adventures to collect four special things. They have just returned from a magic tree house journey to India, where they found the first thing: an emerald in the shape of a rose.
Now they are waiting for Teddy and Kathleen to send word about what they must find next.…
“Jack, Jack!” whispered Annie.
Jack opened his eyes. He’d been dreaming about running away from cobras. “What’s wrong?” he said, sitting up in bed. It was still dark outside.
“The tree house?” said Jack sleepily.
“Teddy and Kathleen may have translated the next lines of the spell,” said Annie. “We have to see if they’re there, or if they’ve sent a message.”
“Huh?” said Jack. He was still half-asleep.
“We have to find the second thing to break the spell that turned Penny to stone!” said Annie. “Remember? Come on, Jack, wake up!” She shook his shoulder.
“Okay, okay. We have to get the second thing!” Jack jumped out of bed. “I’m ready!”
“No, you’re not,” said Annie. “You have to put your clothes on. I’ll meet you downstairs.”
Annie left the room, and Jack quickly changed out of his pajamas and into jeans and a sweatshirt. He picked up his backpack and reached into an inside pocket. He pulled out the emerald rose they’d found in India. It was the first thing Teddy and Kathleen needed to break the spell and bring Penny back to life.
Jack grabbed his notebook and a pencil from his desk. He put them into his backpack along with the emerald rose. Then he slipped quietly out of his bedroom and down the stairs.
Annie was waiting on the front porch. The sky was just starting to become light. The spring air was damp and cool. Jack was glad that he had worn his sweatshirt.
“All set,” said Jack. “Let’s go.”
Jack and Annie ran across the wet grass of their front yard and dashed down the sidewalk. The houses they passed were all quiet, but the world of nature was awake with birdsong and dogs barking in the distance.
Jack and Annie crossed the street and headed into the Frog Creek woods. It was hard to see in the shadowy dark, but they were so familiar with the path to the tallest oak that they quickly found their way.
The tree house was there, waiting for them. But no one was looking out the window.
“Darn, no Teddy and Kathleen,” said Annie.
“Well, at least they sent the tree house,” said Jack. “That must mean they were able to translate the next part of the ancient spell. They must have stayed in Camelot to work on the rest.”
“Yeah, probably,” said Annie. She grabbed the rope ladder and started up. Jack followed her.
Inside the tree house, daylight was starting to creep through the windows. Jack saw a small scroll on top of a book in the shadows. “That’s it!” he said. He picked it up and read aloud:
The second thing to break the spell
is a white and yellow flower.
Live its meaning for yourself,
if only for an hour.
“A white and yellow flower?” said Annie. “Well, that sounds easier than finding an emerald shaped like a rose.”
“Okay. But where do we go to look for it?” said Jack. He picked up the book from the floor and read the title aloud:
“What’s that mean?” asked Annie. “The Swiss Alps?”
“Those are mountains in the country of Switzerland,” said Jack. “People ski there and stuff. The Alps are the mountains they climb in The Sound of Music.”
“Oh, that place!” said Annie. “Great!”
“Look, there’s a bookmark,” said Jack. He turned to a page marked with a blue velvet ribbon. There was a picture of tall mountain peaks and an open, snowy area surrounded by rocky slopes. The caption read: The Great Saint Bernard Pass.
“That must be the exact place we’re supposed to go,” said Jack. “Ready?”
“Hold on—there’s something else,” said Annie. She picked up a small blue bottle from the floor of the shadowy corner. The bottle had a label on it. She read aloud:
“Whoa,” said Jack.
“Anything we want?” said Annie.
“That’s what it says,” said Jack.
“This is going to be so much fun!” said Annie. “Let’s get going.”
Annie handed Jack the bottle. He carefully put it and the scroll into his backpack. Then he pointed at the picture of the Great Saint Bernard Pass in their Alps book. “I wish we could go there!” he said.
The wind started to blow.
The tree house started to spin.
It spun faster and faster.
Then everything was still.
A cold wind swept through the window. The purple light of the setting sun filled the tree house. Jack and Annie wore scratchy wool pants, shirts, hats, scarves, and gloves, and leather shoes. Jack’s pack had turned into a leather bag. When he opened it, he saw the scroll and the blue bottle inside—along with his notebook and pencil and the emerald rose.
“So these are the Swiss Alps,” said Annie, shivering and looking out the window. “Pretty, but cold.”
Jack looked out with her. The tree house was nestled between gray boulders on a mountain slope. Snowy peaks loomed overhead. Below the peaks was the snow-covered pass they had seen in the picture. Smoke rose from a tall building.
“This must be the Great Saint Bernard Pass,” said Jack. He picked up their book and turned to the page with the bookmark and read:
The Great Saint Bernard Pass is an ancient road between the two highest peaks of the Alps. For thousands of years, it was the only route between Switzerland and Italy. The pass was named for Bernard of Menthon, who built a monastery there in the eleventh century. For hundreds of years, the monks at this Swiss monastery have welcomed cold and weary travelers who are crossing the pass.
“So that building must be the monastery,” said Jack.
“Great,” said Annie. “We can start our mission by going there.”
“Okay,” said Jack. “But I don’t get it. To save Penny we have to find a white and yellow flower. And we have to live its meaning, if only for an hour—whatever that means.”
“We’ll figure it out,” said Annie.
“Let’s hope,” said Jack. “But where do we find flowers here?”
Jack and Annie looked out at the treeless landscape of ice, snow, and rock. “Well, there must be flowers somewhere,” said Annie.
“I don’t know,” said Jack. “Maybe Teddy and Kathleen made a mistake and sent us to the wrong place.”
“They’ve never made a mistake before,” said Annie.
“Uh, excuse me. Teddy didn’t make a mistake turning Penny into stone?” said Jack.
“Okay, good point,” said Annie. “But let’s head to the monastery before it gets dark. We can ask about flowers there.”
“But what if—” started Jack.
“Stop worrying,” interrupted Annie. “Our book says the monks welcome cold, weary travelers. I’m cold, and your questions are making me weary. Come on.” She climbed out the window into the snow.
“Funny,” said Jack. But he was ready to find shelter, too. His face was freezing. He packed up their book and slung the leather bag over his shoulder, then followed Annie out the tree house window.
Jack’s feet crunched down onto the icy snow. As the sun went down behind the peaks, deep purple shadows climbed over the tall mountains. The monastery in the hollow below was completely hidden in darkness.
“We have to hurry,” said Annie.
“No, we have to move slowly down the slope, so we don’t slide,” said Jack.
“Well, then let’s move slowly quickly,” said Annie.
Jack and Annie started down the slope. As they carefully put one foot in front of the other, a strange sound came from above: whumph!
“What was that?” said Jack, looking around.
Next came a low rumble like thunder.
“What’s that?” said Annie.
Then came a noise like the sound of glass breaking.
“Whoa!” cried Jack.
Directly above them on the mountain, big blocks of snow were breaking into smaller chunks and sliding down the slope.
“Grab my hand!” shouted Jack. He reached for Annie, and she gripped his hand.
Suddenly snow was moving all
“Jack!” Annie cried.
Another chunk of snow knocked Jack off his feet and sent him tumbling headfirst down the slope. Jack kept falling downhill until a wall of frozen snow stopped him. He tried to stand, but a giant wave of soft, powdery snow blew over him, burying him completely.
Jack kicked his arms and legs, trying to surface from the fluffy sea of snow. He kicked and flailed, but the harder he struggled, the more snow there seemed to be. Snow clogged Jack’s eyes, ears, and throat. Every time he coughed, he sucked in more snow. He felt as if he were drowning—until he finally pushed his head up through the snow into the cold air.
He could breathe!
But Jack still couldn’t see. A gust of snow powder blinded him. He couldn’t move his arms or hands, his legs or feet. The soft snow around his body had turned hard and solid. Jack felt as if he were trapped in cold concrete, buried up to his neck. Where was Annie? Had she been buried alive, too?
Jack tried to yell, but no sound came from his throat. He kept trying to shout for Annie, but it was hopeless. His lips wouldn’t move. He couldn’t even feel his mouth. He couldn’t feel his arms or legs, feet or hands. He closed his eyes. He couldn’t feel anything, not even the wind that kept blowing snow in his face.…
Owww! Jack screamed in his head. His eyes shot open. He was freezing cold, and creatures were attacking him! They were whimpering, snuffling, panting, whining. Wild dogs! Jack thought with terror.
Two dogs were scratching and digging all around Jack’s body. A third dog licked his eyes and ears and the top of his head! Jack felt as if he were about to be licked to death!
Help! Jack tried to shout. But no sound came from his clogged throat. Help! Help! His mind roared. But the three huge, panting creatures kept licking him and pawing the icy snow that had trapped Jack’s body.
As the giant dogs hovered over him, Jack saw flames behind them. Figures in hooded robes were moving about in the fiery light, carrying torches. The figures were scarier than the dogs.
“Jack!” came a faint cry.