“Leith! Leith! Wake up!”
Fraser shook the sleeping boy. “It’s Saturday. We told Paisley to meet us
at midnight, but it’s Saturday. Aren’t we going in the day?”
Leith rolled over and sat on the edge of his bed.
“What? Going where?”
“Today is Saturday. What are we going to do today?”
Fraser sat next to Leith. “Aren’t we going to the cemetery?”
Sandy came out of the loo.
“What’s up, you two?”
“I guess we’ve got a free
day. We’re not meeting Paisley till midnight. I wish I’d remembered that
last night,” Leith said. “She’s probably got plans with her family.”
“Why don’t we explore all
those other tunnels; the ones under the school?” Fraser stood and headed
for the loo.
“I guess we could do that
today. Maybe we can find the one that leads to Dunstan,” Leith said.
“I’ll go and get dressed,”
Sandy said. “Let’s meet after breakfast under the big chandelier.”
An hour later they met in
the main lobby. Rory came racing down the stairs with Grant. “We heard you
were going exploring. We want to come,” Grant said.
“How did you hear that?”
Leith glanced at Sandy and Fraser.
“Duncan and Murray told
me. They said that’s probably what you were going to do today, but only
after I sort of twisted Murray’s arm,” Rory said. “We’re coming.”
“All right,” Sandy said. Just then Murray and Duncan
appeared. “It’s the blabbermouths. How did you know we were going to
explore the tunnels today? We just talked about it and made the decision.”
“We just figured that’s what we’d be doing since you
told Paisley not to meet us until midnight. Rory hurt my arm and wouldn’t
let go until I told him,” Murray said. “I told him we might be going down
to the dungeons.”
“Murray, can’t you be trusted to keep a secret any
more?” Leith glared at him.
“Yes.” The boy looked down at his feet.
“I hope so. Now that you know, you can come. We’ll
have to go to the church. I don’t have a key to get into it from under the
steps. It looks like Rufus locked the door up.” Sandy twisted the knob.
The seven of them ran outside and headed for the
church. “What tunnel do we want to take? We’d better not take the one to
Rufus’s old castle. Where do the others go?” Grant pushed the church door
“There’s one that goes to Dunstan. I thought that
might be fun to explore. I’ve never been to Dunstan,” Leith said.
“None of us have. It’s off limits. We’re not allowed
to leave the school grounds,” Rory said. “I think it’s a stupid rule.”
They moved to the back of the church and entered the
tunnel. Splashing through the puddles, they soon came into the torture
chamber. “Which one is it?” Duncan pointed to one or two. “Is it that
“My guess is that it’s the tunnel that is in alignment
with the town. That means that one is the right one,” Sandy said, running
over to it. “Can you imagine if Headmaster knew about this? He’d have them
After walking for half an hour, they popped out of the
tunnel; the hole was surrounded by bushes and leafy red maples. “That was
not a straight path. We were just lucky we picked the right one. There it
is. So that’s Dunstan,” Fraser said. “It’s just a small village with a
pub, a few shops, and a bus station.”
“Paisley’s aunt lives around here somewhere,” Leith
“Who is Paisley?” Grant pulled a daisy from the ground
by its root and plucked the petals off.
“Oh, uh, she’s my cousin,” Leith said, catching his
mistake. “She lives here. I meant she’s staying with her aunt on her
“Oh.” Grant seemed satisfied with the answer.
“What now?” Fraser turned to Leith. “Should we go and
have a pub lunch?”
“Are you crazy? What if someone comes in that knows
one of the staff at school? We need to stay out of view. The purpose of
this was to see if it was the right tunnel. It is, so let’s go back,”
“We could go and see where some of the other tunnels
lead,” Sandy said. “I think one leads to the loch. We could find it and
then hang around the loch throwing stones and stuff. Maybe we could go for
a row in one of the boats.”
“Sounds good to me,” Fraser said.
“Let’s go then.” Leith disappeared into the tunnel.
They spent the rest of the day rowing and throwing the football back and
* * *
One hundred goblins ran
through the woods, swinging from branches and tossing acorns at the
squirrels. They came upon the exposed tunnel entrance, which had been
carefully covered until the lads had come through it. With loud screeches
of excitement, the ugly creatures ran into the tunnel and soon found
themselves in the dungeon. After playing around on the wooden machines,
they split up and disappeared into several tunnels, leaving the dungeon
* * *
“It’s time for supper. This day went by fast,” Grant
“It always does,” Sandy said. “I’m starving. Race you
back to the school.”
Murray ran up the beach. “Hey! What are those?” He
pointed to a gray mass. “They sort of look like monkeys.”
The others turned to look. “Oh no. It can’t be,”
“Can’t be what?” Rory shaded his eyes from the sun.
“Goblins! What are they doing here on school grounds?”
Leith searched for a large stone. “Be quiet. I don’t think they’ve seen
“What happens if they do?” Rory kept staring.
“You heard what they did in Dunstan, didn’t you?
They’ll try to destroy the school, but only after attacking us,” Sandy
“Back up everyone. Try not to trip or do anything to
attract their attention,” Leith said.
“Too late.” Duncan turned and ran towards the school.
“Run!” Sandy darted away, following Duncan. The others
did the same.
“What are we running for? They’re just little
goblins,” Grant said.
“They might be little, but there are a lot of them,”
The sound of the nasty creatures increased as they
drew closer. “Run faster!” Leith picked up the pace.
“Where are we running to?” Rory gasped for breath.
“Head for the church. It’s closest. Sandy, have your
key ready,” Leith said.
“Sandy has a key to the church?” Grant’s breath came
in short spurts. They reached the church door. Sandy shoved the key in and
turned, throwing it open. After the last one of them had safely made it
inside, they locked the door.
The goblins clawed at the wood trying to get in. Sandy
moved to the window and pushed his face against the stained glass. “It’s
not all of them; I only see about twenty. I think they’re giving up. Oh
boy. They’re heading for the kitchen. That should be interesting. I think
it’s Hall Four’s turn to cook.”
“Ouch! Knock it off, Murray.” Fraser rubbed his head.
“Why did you pull my hair?” He turned around and saw Murray standing there
with a goblin’s hand over his mouth. “The goblins! They’re inside the
church.” Before Fraser could say another word the goblins attacked them.
During the struggle, pews were knocked over as the
lads fought to escape, but there were too many and soon each boy had two
or three goblins on top of them, biting their ears, noses, toes, and
None of them noticed the front door opening. “What is
going on in here?” The room went silent as the Minister looked around.
Even the goblins stopped their tormenting. “Demons! No demons are allowed
in this sacred church. How did they get in here?”
“We don’t know,” Leith
The Minister reached into
his black gown and pulled out a wooden Celtic cross. He held it up in
front of him. “Be gone with you, demons. Go back to where you came from.”
His loud voice echoed in the quiet that was quickly broken by high pitched
screams and evil laughter bursting from the goblin’s mouths. They
abandoned the boys and attacked the Minister, tearing his gown, pulling
his glasses off and snapping them in two, and then untying his shoelaces.
One ran off with both shoes, while another tugged at the Minister’s socks.
The lads were too exhausted to fight. Once the goblins had finished
tormenting them and were bored, they disappeared into the tunnel, leaving
the church in silence.
Murray whimpered and sat, leaning his back against a
turned-over pew. “They’re gone.” One by one the boys stood. They walked
over to the Minister, who was awake, but afraid to move. “They’re gone,
Minister. It’s okay to get up now.” They helped him stand.
“What were those?” He took a handkerchief from his
pocket and dabbed the wounds on his hands. “Demons from the gates of
“They’re goblins. They attacked Dunstan and did a lot
of damage.” Grant looked at his reflection and examined his own wounds.
“How did they end up in my church?”
“I think they came in from here. There’s some sort of
hole,” Rory said, pretending not to know about it.
“Why don’t you lads help me tidy up? We need to
straighten the pews and clean these awful bites. Master Knox, why don’t
you and Master Wallace see about blocking off that hole? There is some
plywood in the backroom. Open the bottom drawer in my desk and you’ll see
a hammer and nails. Close it up.” The Minister and the other boys turned
all the pews the right way.
“Will we be having choir practice tonight, Minister?”
Sandy peeked out the window.
“Certainly. I will not allow demons, or goblins, if
that’s what they are, to stop my choir. Be here tonight as usual. I think
you should run along to supper. Master Knox, is that hole boarded up?”
“Yes, Minister.” Leith ran and put the hammer and
nails back in the desk.
“All of you go to the Infirmary and have those bites
looked at. I’m sure you’ll be all right, but it won’t hurt.” The Minister
locked the door behind them and collapsed in a chair.
There was no sign of the goblins during supper, though
the boys kept their eyes open. “I think they went back into the tunnels.
There must be another one around here that we don’t know about. Maybe the
Minister has a good idea. We should block the tunnels, at least until this
goblin problem is taken care of,” Grant said. “I’m surprised none of the
professors, or even the Headmaster, has asked us about our cuts and
“They probably think we
hurt ourselves playing a game of football.” Fraser shrugged his shoulders.
They focused on finishing their meal.
* * *
Rufus, seeing that everyone was in the dining hall
eating supper, unlocked the door to the dungeon and went inside. He turned
on the light and plodded down the stairs.
When he reached the bottom, a wave of fear ran up his
spine. “Who’s down here? I know someone’s here. Is it you, Master Wallace?
Come out.” Rufus’s gaze darted around the room. He saw something move out
of the corner of his eye. “I’ve got you now, laddie.” He marched over to
the wall. Instead of finding the lads, thirteen goblins jumped out at him
from behind a suit of armor; each held handfuls of gold coins. “My gold.
You thieves. You’ve found the castle and stolen my gold. I want it back,
right now. It’s mine!” The goblins laughed at the fearless man and threw
the coins at him. He picked each one up, chasing the rolling coins around
the room. One of the goblins kicked him in the backside and sent him
flying. All the coins flew out of Rufus’s hands. The goblins gathered
them, taunting him. “Give me back my gold.” Rufus ran over to one of the
suits of armor and picked up an axe. “I’ll get you and I’ll get my coins
back.” He chased the goblins around, hacking at them. Before he could kill
any of them, they ran into the tunnel and headed for Dunstan. “I want my
gold!” Rufus stuck his head in the tunnel, shouting after them.
“That does it!” He gathered a few weapons and slipped
a dagger into his pants belt. Grabbing a bow and arrow from the wall, he
slung it over his back. He kept hold of the long-handled axe; fury raged
through his body. “I want my gold back, you thieving goblins.” He
disappeared into the tunnel, knowing he wouldn’t stop until every coin was
back in his possession.
* * *
Choir practice went on as scheduled and was quite
successful. There was no sign of any goblins and the lads sang their best.
On the way back to the halls, Sandy spoke up. “Do you think the goblins
went back to the woods, or wherever they were? I hope they don’t do
anything else mischievous. I am so relieved they didn’t get into the
school. It’s hard to keep all this hidden from Rory and Grant. I keep
forgetting all they know about is the tunnels under the school.”
“The sooner we get this over with, the better for
everyone. We’ll go out tonight. Paisley is meeting us there. Why don’t we
go a little early? We can go down to the beach and wait for her. It’s
supposed to be windy tonight and I worry about her rowing. She’s just a
girl,” Leith said.
“I wouldn’t let her hear you say that.” Duncan
* * *
As the lads climbed into bed at 9 P.M., Rufus crept
through the woods, bow and arrow drawn and ready to shoot. After two hours
a pile of dead goblins lay next to an oak tree, their carcasses smelling
up the woods. Rodents and other vermin nibbled on the bodies. His pockets
bulged with the gold coins he’d recovered. “That’ll teach you to mess with
my gold.” When Rufus returned to the dungeon, he filled up a wheelbarrow
with broken bricks and stones and pushed them down the tunnel. He filled
up the entrance with the stones, making sure the goblins couldn’t enter
again. After ten wheel barrow’s full, the job was complete. Rufus headed
over to the castle and put all the coins back in the chest. He slammed the
lid shut and removed some bricks from the wall. Once the hole was large
enough, he pushed the chest inside and patched it back up with the bricks
and a batch of cement he’d made and carried over in the wheel barrow.
Content that his horde of gold was safe, Rufus went back to the school and