The Story So Far

Michael, David, and Alphonsus Jr. (aka Fonsy) are spending the summer trying to blow up the town dock and playing marathon Monopoly games. On the brink of death-by-boredom, they head to the local dump in search of treasures—such as oil cans that Michael can use to build a submarine. But what they find is far from garbage. Staring out at them, between two black stovepipes, is the head of a grinning stone gargoyle with shifty eyes and a long snout. He demands that the brothers take him home to live with them, so the boys wrap him in blankets and cart him back in a wagon. At the house, the gargoyle regales them with vivid tales of his exploits in faraway times and places. He even comes up with endlessly inventive ways of terrorizing the boys’ irritatingly dull neighbors. Finally, this is a summer worth writing home about.



"...running about 25 pages, but brief as it is, it offers wonderful insight into what made Bellairs' work so successful and so much fun." - Pop Bop



Everyone sat down to play cards, and to the gargoyle’s great delight, Mrs. Burgy sat with her back almost up against the rim of the fountain. She was a dummy that round, which meant she wouldn’t get to play. Slowly, the gargoyle wriggled forward through the ivy, and though he was plastered to the wall, he got quite a ways out. He began to blow softly through his nostrils, tickling Mrs. Burgy behind the ear. She reached up and tried to brush away whatever it was that was bothering her. After a while, he stopped tickling her and, leaning even farther forward, whispered softly in her ear: “What would you do if a hideous gargoyle was leering at you from behind the bushes and laughing at the stupid plays your husband is making?”

Mrs. Burgy sat dead still for a few seconds, and then she slowly turned around. Everyone else went on playing cards. When she had turned her head all the way around, the gargoyle, whose nose was now about an inch from hers, made his Chinese Temple Guardian face, an awful thing to see.

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