When Penny and Louise take their friend Laura Blair to apply for a new job, they accidentally discover several mysteries. Linda begins work in a boarding house known for strange disappearances. Meanwhile, Penny becomes acquainted with Mud-Cat Joe and his family who are homeless ever since their houseboat was stolen.
at the girls, while her husband, unshaven, straw hat set back on his head at a rakish angle, slowly came toward the car.
"Mercy!" Louise exclaimed under her breath. "Imagine a family living in a place like this!"
Retreat was out of the question for the engine of the Leaping Lena had "gone dead" and Penny knew without trying that it would not start again until the spark plugs had thoroughly dried.
"I surely am sorry to have driven right into your home," she apologized as the man came over to the running board. "We never dreamed anyone was living here."
The ill-kempt man gazed at her quizzically, and a half-apologetic grin spread over his face as he replied in a drawl:
"This ain't really our home. We've just been squattin' here since we lost our boat."
"Well, at least you have a roof over your head," Penny replied. "And that's not to be sneezed at in a rain like this."
The storm gave point to her words as the wind whipped around the building, making it creak in