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Mystery May
The Mystery of the Strand of Pearls, Part 2



The Mystery of the Strand of Pearls, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.15

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bespeckled, crucial, happening, leather-bound, luminescent, restrung, undiscovered, strand, hard-packed, dependable, nightstand, upcoming, altogether, petticoat, volume, steeple
     content words:    Boring Bookkeeper, Jane Gray, Charles Black


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The Mystery of the Strand of Pearls, Part 2
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Felicity awoke the next morning and saw the bright rays of the sun dance across her comforter. Then she felt a sinking feeling and remembered that her sister, Jane, was missing.
 
2     Last night the whole family sat around in the drawing room for hours waiting for some answers. They all felt sure that Jane would show up and that everything would go back to normal. The only event that punctuated the dreary evening was when Jane's somber fiancé stopped by to see if they had any news. He was dependable, bespeckled, and altogether dull. Jane's parents had arranged their marriage. The wedding date was next week, and everyone except Jane was thrilled. Felicity knew that Jane had no interest in the boring balding bookkeeper, but poor Jane had no real choice in the matter.
 
3     Felicity got out of bed and put on a silk dressing gown. She walked down the hall. She peeked into Jane's room as if to prove to herself that Jane was really, truly gone. It seemed so silly that Jane's careless habit of leaving her things lying about would bother Felicity so much at this crucial time, but it did.
 
4     Yesterday, Felicity had found a blue sash, a strand of pearls, and some of Jane's clothes tossed here and there. Jane loved those pearls; they had been in the family for generations. Felicity picked up the strand, the very strand that Jane was going to wear to her wedding. She turned the beads gently in her hand. The "wedding poem" in its gilded frame caught her eye again: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue."
 
5     Suddenly, Felicity had a crazy idea. It startled her so much that she dropped the strand of pearls on the floor. The fragile strand broke, and the shattering sound of pearls dropping on wood broke the early morning stillness. Felicity drew in her breath. She had ruined the pearls! But maybe, just maybe, she had a clue about Jane's whereabouts. She quickly scooped the luminescent beads up into her hand and dropped them into the drawer of the nightstand. She would have to fix them later.
 
6     Felicity ran back to her room. She dressed quickly and ran downstairs.
 
7     "Why are you in your riding outfit?" asked Mother when Felicity dashed through the kitchen.
 
8     "I need to go for a ride. I need to clear my head!" said Felicity breathlessly.

Paragraphs 9 to 17:
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