As the year winds down, Tom has reformed, or so the town on Adenville thinks. Christmas preperations are underway, and parents are excited to buy presents that their children might actually get to keep this year! But their older brother does not believe that Tom has changed his ways at all. In fact, he tells J.D. that Tom is only pretending to be good so that he can get the one thing that he really wants for Christmas. As it happens, he was right, and as soon as the holidays are over, Tom is back to his old tricks. It all starts when one boy shows up at school with a knife that Tom wants. So he puts his big brain to work to try and figure out a way to get it away from him. As time passes, Tom puts more time into devising a way to take the knife. But the scheme that he comes up with will turn the entire town upside down!
After some careful consideration, Tom puts out the story that there is a monster living in the cave, hoping to scare Parley into not meeting him as agreed. When he finishes laying his trap, the entire town goes into panic mode. Since the tracks are not recognizable, the idea that a prehistoric monster has been living in the cave and left to get water from the river is circulating. More deputies are brought on, and telegrams sent to the Smithsonian Institute informing them of the discovery.
But J.D. can’t stay quiet for long, and after Tom sneaks out again to go meet Parley, he runs downstairs to tell his mother and aunt about what is going on. As Tom is returned home and the entire story unfolds, Uncle Mark and their father are at their wits end. Not only did they buy into the idea, but they ran with it. Their father run the local paper, so people trust what he puts out, and since Uncle Mark is the Sheriff, well, things are going to get a little sticky for the boys. With some quick thinking, the mouth to the cave is dynamited in the middle of the night, and a local sheep herder walks his sheep through the area, obliterating the tracks that were made, so that nothing can be found. But Tom and J.D are not off the hook yet…
This week we are reading Chapter 1
- Did you think Tom could refrain from swindling the kids again?
- Why do you think J.D. did not tell his mother earlier about what Tom was up to?
- Should more of the kids in town have been more careful around Tom?