Chapter 24. Ezra stared in amazement

Ezra stared in amazement. At first he didn’t believe his eyes.

The opening was covered by a wall of stone!

Ezra pulled the study door open a little farther.

“What on earth!” he exclaimed, scratching his dark hair. The room had been completely walled in.

Gaping in astonishment in the dim light, Ezra saw that the stones had been piled one on top of another but not cemented together.

“What I am looking for must certainly be on the other side of this strange wall,” he said. The sound of his voice reassured him.

He reached for a stone and attempted to pull it away.

It was then that he heard the scratching sound.

He lowered his hands.

The scratching continued, low and steady.

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

More field mice? Ezra wondered, listening hard.

No. The sound is too regular, too steady.

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

What is making that sound?

With renewed energy Ezra began pulling the heavy stones out of the wall and tossing them down on the floor behind him.

Dust flew as he worked, choking him, burning his eyes.

The scratching sound grew louder.

Did my great-uncle wall in his own study? Ezra wondered as he worked, pulling the stones away, heaving them behind him.

Did he hide something in here that he didn’t want anyone to find?

He could see only darkness through the small opening he had made. With a quiet groan he pulled away more stones.

He worked feverishly for several minutes, thinking about what he might find on the other side, pulling away stone after stone.

“So much dust,” he muttered. “So many stones….”

Blinking, he resumed his back-breaking work—and gasped.

A grinning decayed brown skull leaned toward him from the darkness on the other side of the wall.

Ezra tried to cry out—but he was too late.

The skull slid toward him.

The skeleton’s brittle arm slid out through the hole in the wall, and its bony fingers closed around Ezra’s throat!

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