Christopher Nichols travels to Knob Hill for a much-needed vacation. Penny unenthusiastically accompanies him, expecting a boring vacation in their secluded destination. The vacation proves to be far from boring.First, there is the strange man who asks for a ride and then suddenly disappears. Next, old Herman Crocker appears to be imprisoning and abusing his grandson. The housekeeper, Mrs. Masterbrook, is caught snooping in Mr. Nichols' belongings, and a young man arrives at Knob Hill claiming to be looking for old Mr. Crocker, yet is unwilling to go see him.
our letter that you wanted a quiet, isolated place----"
"That's right, Mr. Kilkane. I'm not complaining, merely inquiring. However, it might be wise for us to spend the night at a hotel and pay our first visit to the cottage by daylight."
The real estate agent tapped his pen against the desk and frowned.
"We never had but one hotel here and it went out of business three years ago. I could put you up at my house----"
"No, we don't wish to cause you any trouble," Mr. Nichols said quickly. "Penny and I will just drive on to the cottage."
"You can't miss the place," declared Mr. Kilkane eagerly. "I'll loan you my lantern too."
"Will we need a lantern?" gasped Penny.
"Well, you might, Miss. The cottage is wired for electricity but sometimes the company is slow about getting it turned on."
Penny and her father exchanged a quick glance but offered no comment. Mr. Nichols wrote out a check for the rent and in return received the key to the cottage. Mr. Kilkane c
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