The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse
Archer B. Hemsley and friends are back and yearning for adventure in this second beautifully told, stunningly-illustrated story from author-illustrator Nicholas Gannon.After two years, Archer B. Helmsley’s famous explorer grandparents are finally coming home. They had been missing – abandoned on an iceberg – and Archer and his best friends, Adélaïde L. Belmont and Oliver Grub led an adventurous mission to rescue them.Archer is overjoyed by his grandparents’ return. However, he seems to be the only one . . . Rumours begin to surface that Archer’s grandparents weren’t abandoned after all. People are claiming that they made it all up. Well, Archer knows those rumours are false, and with the help of his best friends and new neighbour, Kana, he is going to prove it. Off the foursome set, into a snowstorm and beyond, to restore his grandparents’ reputation.
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This book is a work of fiction. References to real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locales are intended only to provide a sense of authenticity, and are used to advance the fictional narrative. All other characters, and all incidents and dialogue, are drawn from the authorâs imagination and are not to be construed as real.
THE DOLDRUMS AND THE HELMSLEY CURSE. Text and illustrations copyright Â© 2017 by Nicholas Gannon. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, 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 hereafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.
ISBN 9780008149437 (hardcover)
EPub Edition Â© October 2017 ISBN 9780008149451
To Patrick and Gannon,
and Staple Guns and Dump Trucks
PROLOGUE: Snowflakes and Rumors
PART ONE: AN ICEBERG IN ROSEWOOD
CHAPTER FIVE: The Greenhorn and His Father
CHAPTER SIX: Bite by Bite and Piece by Piece
PART TWO: JUST AND UNJUST DESSERTS
CHAPTER SEVEN: Murder Is Kind of Serious
CHAPTER EIGHT: Crooked Eustace Mullfort
CHAPTER NINE: Concerning Glubs and Misras
CHAPTER TEN: Over the Garden Wall
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Fearing Disappearing
CHAPTER TWELVE: The Budding Botanist
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Good King Oliver
PART THREE: THE STORM
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Helmsley House Disappears
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Into a Poisonous Dream
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: A Long Journey Home
About the Author
About the Publisher
â¦ SNOWFLAKES AND RUMORS â¦
The city of Rosewood was humming with rumors. They swirled every which way, across snowy rooftops and down narrow streets.
âHow is it possible? Itâs been two years!â
They were exchanged in shops along Howling Bloom Street and slurped in Belmont CafÃ©.
âAre you saying you think weâve been duped?â
âWhat would they have eaten?â
They were laughed about in student rooms at the Willow Academy and gulped in handfuls at DuttonLickâs sweetshop.
âWerenât there penguins on the iceberg?â
âYou think they survived by eating penguins?â
It was a blizzard of rumors. They piled as high as the snow. There were hundreds of answers to one single question:
HOW DID RALPH AND RACHEL HELMSLEY
SURVIVE STRANDED ATOP AN ICEBERG?
Ralph and Rachel Helmsley were two of the cityâs most famed residentsâexplorers, once presumed dead, soon to return to their tall, skinny house on crooked, narrow Willow Street. And there wasnât a single person anticipating the explorersâ return home more than their grandson, Archer B. Helmsley.
âArcherâs dangerous. He set tigers loose in a museum just to see if he could outrun them!â
âI heard he can make acorns explode simply by looking at them.â
âNo, thatâs impossible. But he can turn a flamingo into a glass of pink lemonade when heâs thirsty.â
In truth, Archer couldnât make acorns explode or turn a flamingo into a glass of pink lemonade. But with the help of two friends and a life raft, Archer had outrun a pack of tigers. It had happened two months ago, during a botched rescue attempt to find his grandparentsâwhoâd been missing from Archerâs life since he was a mere two days old. As a result, for the past two months Archer had been living at Raven Wood Boarding School. His parents had insisted it was for his own good. And to make matters worse, just before heâd boarded the train north, Archer had discovered his grandparents were not only very much still aliveâthey were also finally coming home.
So Archer had missed the first rumor spread through Rosewood and the first snowflake fall on Willow Street. And heâd missed the countless others that followed. It had been a particularly cold start to winterâthe kind of cold where if you wrinkled your nose, it could remain wrinkled forever. The whole of Rosewood had become a white sea, and the snow only got deeper with each passing day.
â¦ CLANKING RADIATORSâ¦
On North Willow Street, in the cellar of house number 376, a boiler was hard at work, forcing steam into pipes that traveled up four stories to a top-floor bedroom, where a radiator was hissing and clanking and AdÃ©laÃ¯de Belmont sat at her desk, writing a letter.
â¦ I havenât seen your grandparents yet.
But everyone in Rosewood is talking about themâ¦
AdÃ©laÃ¯de paused and glanced over her shoulder. Her friend and neighbor Oliver Glub stood a few feet from her desk.