The Doldrums

The Doldrums
О книге

Archer B. Helmsley longs for adventure. But how can he have an adventure when he can’t even leave his house?Archer B. Helmsley has grown up in a house full of oddities and treasures collected by his grandparents, the famous explorers. Archer longs for grand adventures but ever since his grandparents went missing on an iceberg, his mother barely lets him leave the house. So, along with his best friends, Adélaïde L. Belmont and Oliver Grub, Archer forms a plan to get out of the house and set off on a grand adventure with crocodiles and parachutes and danger. It's a good plan. Well, it's not bad, anyway. But nothing goes quite as they expected…

Читать The Doldrums онлайн беплатно


First published in the USA by HarperCollins Publishers Inc in 2015

First published in Great Britain by HarperCollins Children’s Books 2015

HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd,

HarperCollins Publishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

The HarperCollins Children’s Books website address is

Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Nicholas Gannon

Nicholas Gannon asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780008149390

Ebook Edition © September 2015 ISBN: 9780008149413

Version: 2015-09-17

To my mother,

Cathleen Gannon

Out of the thousands of children born every single day, at least one of them will turn out to be a dreamer. And on May the fifth, in room 37E of the maternity ward at Rosewood Hospital, that one child was Archer Benjamin Helmsley. Yes, there was simply no mistaking it. The doctors saw it, the nurses saw it, and much to her chagrin, his mother saw it. Even a pigeon that wandered into the viewing room station saw it.

The young Archer B. Helmsley lay quietly in the maternity ward, staring at the ceiling. He didn’t know it was a ceiling. He didn’t know what anything was. But Archer lay there all the same, gazing up into that great white nothingness, when all at once, two heads sprouted from nowhere.

“Why hello there,” said one of the heads. “You must be Archer.”

“Yes,” agreed the second head. “He truly must be Archer.”

Whether he must be Archer or not, Archer was Archer, but Archer himself didn’t know that yet.

“Do you know who we are?” asked the first head.

“How could he?” said the second. “He’s only forty-eight hours old.”

The first head agreed. “In that case, I believe introductions are in order. I’m your Grandpa Helmsley and this—this is your Grandma Helmsley.”

Archer didn’t respond because Archer couldn’t respond. There’s really not much you can do when you’re only forty-eight hours old. But the two heads went on and on about this and that, and Archer looked from one to the other, not understanding a single word. Then a third head sprouted from nowhere and just as quickly, all three disappeared, leaving Archer to stare at the ceiling.


Three days later, Archer was released from Rosewood Hospital and carried to a tall, skinny house on a crooked narrow street in a quiet neighborhood of a not-so-quiet city.

Archer was too little to notice that all of the houses on Willow Street were tall and skinny and stacked one next to the other, like a row of tin soldiers. Archer was also too little to know that his house, number 375, was frequently mistaken for a museum. You see, Archer’s house belonged to Archer’s grandparents, the renowned explorers and naturalists Ralph and Rachel Helmsley.


Some parents may wonder, How do we know we have the right one? after bringing their child home from the hospital. If Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley had such thoughts of their own, they were quickly extinguished. From the very beginning, Archer showed all the signs of being a Helmsley.