The Figure in the Shadows

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Now the figure was standing before Lewis on the snowy walk. It raised a shadowy hand and motioned for him to come....

Investigating the contents of Grandfather Barnavelt's ancient trunk, Lewis and Uncle Jonathan discover an old coin. Lewis hopes it's an amulet whose magic will protect him from bullies. Together with his new friend Rose Rita, he performs a test to find out the coin's powers -- bu neither Lewis nor Rose Rita is prepared for the astonishing and sinister events that follow.

"...so frightening that even now, when I'm an adult and know that the main characters will get through to the end...I still end up skipping pages and chapters just so I can get to the end and make sure everyone survives." - Sarah (Notadoor)

About the Book

This is the second book in the Lewis Barnavelt series.

The book shows up on the Most Frequently Banned Books in the 1990s list (#37) for its use of profanity and link to magic.

Features one of the few instances where a character in Bellairs's fiction swears: this time it's Lewis [36].





Walpurgis Night
Mrs. Zimmerman explains the significance of Eliphaz Moss and Walpurgis Night.

 

 

 

 

Old three-cent coin
Magic umbrella

Lewis picked the card up and carried it over to the hall window. The gray light of a full moon was streaming in. It was bright enough to read by -- but there was nothing to read. The card was blank.

Lewis began to feel creepy. What kind of message was this? He turned the card over, and was relieved to find that the card was stamped and addressed. But the stamp looked very old-fashioned, and the postmark was so blurred that Lewis couldn't tell where the card had been mailed from. The card was addressed in a neat, curlicued hand.

There was no return address.

Lewis stood there in the moonlight with the card in his hand. Maybe Rose Rita had gotten up in the middle of the night to play him a practical joke. Maybe -- but it didn't seem likely. Lewis turned the card over and looked at the blank side again. His eyes opened wide. Now there was writing on the card.

Venio

Lewis's hand began to tremble. He had read about writing in invisible ink, but he had always heard that you had to dust the message with special powders or hold it over the fire to make the letters appear. This message had appeared all by itself.

And Lewis knew what the message said. He could read a little Latin, because he had been an altar boy once, and he knew what Venio meant: I come. Suddenly Lewis felt very afraid.