Five Run Away Together
Original 1944 first edition cover
|Cover artist||Eileen Alice Soper|
|Series||The Famous Five series|
|Genre||Mystery, Adventure novel|
|Publisher||Hodder & Stoughton|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)|
|Preceded by||Five Go Adventuring Again (1943)|
|Followed by||Five Go To Smuggler's Top (1945)|
Julian, Dick and Anne arrive in Kirrin cottage to stay with George (short for Georgina), for the holidays. They plan to spend time exploring Kirrin Island but their happiness is spoilt when Aunt Fanny falls ill and has to leave with Uncle Quentin to be treated in a far-off hospital. They are cared for by Aunt Fanny's temporary cook, Mrs Stick, who is accompanied by her husband and their ghastly son Edgar. The Sticks and the children come to hate each other. When Mrs Stick tries to poison George's dog Timmy, George can take it no more. She hatches a secret plan to run away to Kirrin island and look after herself but when Julian catches her leaving she decides to allow the other children to go with her.
While on the island, they find evidence of smugglers on an old wreck. A scream in the night and the discovery of a young girl's clothes alert the Five that there could be something very sinister going on. They discover that the Sticks have kidnapped and imprisoned a little girl on the island, the daughter of a very rich man. Having tormented the Sticks into a retreat they rescue the girl, taking her to the police who are amazed to see the child "the whole country is looking for!!" The police accompany them back to the island in time to trap and arrest the Sticks. The kidnapped girl's father allows her to spend a week with her new friends on Kirrin Island.
In the 1970s series, Mrs.Stick is first seen with her husband who drives her to Kirrin Cottage at the beginning; in the book Mr. Stick does not make an appearance until he confronts Julian when the latter steals food from the pantry after Mrs. Stick refuses to feed the children properly. Aunt Fanny is not ill, but she does leave the children to care for a sick relative. Jennifer Armstrong and her family are never mentioned, although the Sticks kidnap George and Dick before Julian and Anne rescue them.
In the 1990s TV series, Jennifer's father is General Armstrong, who has information on the Gemini project. Jennifer's kidnapping is shown, she is snatched from her bed, then bound and gagged and left in the cave before the Five rescue her. When they leave they bind and gag Edgar, the Sticks' son. In the book, she is kidnapped while playing in the garden. The Sticks are the only ones mentioned to be involved in the crime. Aunt Fanny - re-christened as Aunt Francis - is not taken sick, she goes to visit a friend, who needs support having broken her leg.