Five on a Secret Trail
|This article does not cite any sources. (July 2015)|
|Illustrator||Eileen A. Soper|
|Series||The Famous Five series|
|Genre||Mystery, Adventure novel|
|Publisher||Hodder & Stoughton|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)|
|Preceded by||Five Have Plenty of Fun|
|Followed by||Five Go to Billycock Hill|
George is worried as her dog, Timmy, has hurt his ear. She pays a visit to the vet, and he tells her to place a round cardboard collar on Timmy to prevent him from scratching the bad ear. George is annoyed when everyone starts teasing Timmy because of the collar, and she goes to the end of Carters Lane on the common to camp alone, free from people who laughed at Timmy. She also leaves a note telling her family where she had gone, and tells them to send her cousin Anne to the place if she was willing to come.
When Anne comes to Kirrin Cottage and asks for George, Aunt Fanny tells her about Timmy wearing the collar and George being annoyed. So she leaves for the common. She goes there, only to find nobody. Then suddenly George signals to her. They both discuss about the camp. Anne asks her where the camp is, and George says that she planned it near a cold spring and an old cottage.
Next, when George asks Anne about Julian and Dick, who were very adventurous as usual, she replies that they have some kind of an educational tour. George is very disappointed.
George and Anne meet a boy who is the son of an archaeologist. He has a small, black and white, one-eyed, adorable mongrel called Jet. They ask him why he was there and he tells them that the area he was digging was an old Roman camp. He shows them some of his interesting finds. He asks them to promise that they wouldn't be disturbing him again. They promise him but on the condition that he shouldn't be wandering into their own camp too.
Then they have their meals and start to sleep, but Anne is woken up by pangs of thirst. She goes to the spring to have a drink, but she is lost and goes towards the old ruined cottage. She hears some sinister voices and sees some lights from the cottage. She comes back with the help of Timmy and tells George about what she saw in the morning. George is surprised and excited.
The next day they see the boy in their camp. George asks him why he had broken his promise. The boy tells her that he had made no promise. The girls are most annoyed.
That night they face a storm and have no choice other than taking shelter in the old cottage. They lie down with Timmy and in the middle of the night Anne sees three or four figures outlined in the lightning. She tells George but George tells her that they were just trees. But when the next streak of lightning came, they saw a figure of a man which had come close to the cottage, looking through the window. After the storm the girls reach their camp and the next morning they are fresh and happy.
They later get the news of Julian and Dick coming to Kirrin Cottage. George is most happy. When they reach the camp, George informs them about the cottage and also the boy. The Five walk off together and they see the boy beside a bush reading. The girls inquire of Jet and the boy replies Jet was never with him.
Then Julian and Dick search the cottage but they find nothing unusual. They decide to visit the cottage during the night and hide and watch whether there was anything queer about the cottage. They also find that the strange behavior of the "boy" was because there were twins, Guy and Harry Lawdler. But Julian and Dick discover that the cottage is not abandoned after all...