A family mystery is unraveled by a boy and girl visiting their uncle one summer. The story combines history and modern plot in a stirring way.
cottage, and could see that the big tree at the sumit was an oak. The orchard was a deserted waste and the house seemed uninhabited. Yet just below summit, the hill was dotted with small, boxlike structures, painted white, that might have been chicken houses, but seemed scarcely large enough. Filled with curiosity, he went forward to investigate, munching, as he went, a yellow June apple that he had picked up in the grass.
A rough lane opened before him, that passed through the orchard and wound up the hill, with its high grass trodden a little as though, after all, people did sometimes pass that way. He had climbed only a little way when he heard voices.
The tumble-down cottage was not empty, as he had thought, for two people were standing in the doorway. He stopped abruptly. The man in worn overalls and the girl beside him, with her bobbed hair, bright eyes, and faded pink gingham apron, did not look like a very forbidding pair. But Oliver's uneasy conscience made him feel that any person he