Authors: Eleanor Estes
AN ODYSSEY/HARCOURT YOUNG CLASSIC
Orlando Austin New York San Diego Toronto London
Text copyright Â© 1972 by Eleanor Estes
Illustrations copyright Â© 1972 by Harcourt, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or
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Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be
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First Harcourt Young Classics edition 2003
First Odyssey Classics edition 2003
First published 1972
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Estes, Eleanor, 1906â
The tunnel of Hugsy Goode/Eleanor Estes; illustrated by Edward Ardizzone.
"An Odyssey/Harcourt Young Classic."
Reprint. Originally published: New York: Harcourt, 1972.
Sequel to: The Alley.
Summary: Following a prophecy of a former resident of their Brooklyn alley,
two boys discover an underground passage behind their houses.
[1. TunnelsâFiction. 2. AlleysâFiction. 3. FriendshipâFiction.
4. Adventure and adventurersâFiction.
5. Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)âHistoryâ20th centuryâFiction.]
I. Ardizzone, Edward, 1900â ill. II. Title.
ISBN 0-15-204914-2 ISBN 0-15-204916-9 (pb)
Printed in the United States of America
A C E G H F D B
C E G H F D B
C. and T.
1Â Me and TornidâWho We AreÂ
2Â TunnelâTop SecretÂ
3Â Beginning of the Tunnel QuestÂ
4Â The GloomsÂ
5Â The Good Myrtle Avenue LineÂ
6Â The HomecomingÂ
7Â The PlanÂ
8Â The ReunionÂ
9Â Tunnel Quest ResumedÂ
10Â The Curious VisitorÂ
11Â Unexpected Help with Operation T.Â
12Â On Our Way to SomewhereÂ
13Â Midnight River on Larrabee StreetÂ
15Â The Tunnel of Hugsy GoodeâDescent No. 1
16Â Into the GloomingÂ
17Â Don't Sit in That Chair!Â
Courage, Mon AmiÂ
19Â The Words AgainâDescent No. 2Â
20Â The Throne of Hugsy the GoodeâDescent No. 3
21Â On Down the Alley Maze
22Â Meanwhile, What Had Been Going On Up Top?
23Â Words from Below Again
25Â Descent No. 4 or Nighttime in the Tunnel
26Â On into the Glooming Again
27Â Where We Were
28Â The Phantom of the Under Alley
29Â The Voice of Hugsy Goode
30Â Music in the Tunnel
31Â The Invaders of the Tunnel
32Â The End
My real name is NickyâNicholas Carroll. I don't like the name "Nicky," so I have renamed myselfâCopin. A fake name. The real name of my pal is TimmyâTimmy Fabian. But we have renamed him Tornid. Fake name also. Few people know these names. I am eleven, in Grade Six. Tornid is eight, in Grade Three.
In this Alley where we live in Brooklyn, there is nobody my age to pal around with and nobody Tornid's age for him. There is a strike on in school right now, no teachers there. Our school pals live too far away to come to the Alley to visit unless it's an overnight deal, and there are too many of us Carrolls to ask them to sleep over. No room. The same goes for the Fabian family. So it's lucky Tornid and me both live here to pal around together. It's the month of May. Tornid and me hope the strike won't be settled soon because we have a big plan going and need time to work it out.
There are plenty of girls here in this Alley, but Tornid and me don't count them. We have to keep all our affairs secret from them, all our business. "Contamination," we call the girls. Me and Tornid have to call the girls "Contamination" to keep them from digging our top secret plans. We say the girls have been contaminated by fallout. Or, by just being girls. We close our eyes, try not to touch them or brush up against them, hold our breath, keep them out of Connie Ives's kitchenâone of our headquartersâkeep our mouths shut, and get past them, away from them as fast as possible. They don't like it, and the parents don't like it. But the game was not invented for them to like.
This Alley where we liveâon the campus of Grandby Collegeâis a T-shaped one with twenty-seven little houses on the three sides of it. All have gardens behind them backing onto the Alley, which has two gatesâiron grillâone at each end of the top of the T and usually kept locked. This Alley is a good place to live. But it is the alley under the Alley that has begun to bug Tornid and me.
A boy named Hugsy Goode, who used to live in the Alley, said one time, "There are tunnels under these houses, and they go from house to house."
Almost all the time our plans, our maps, our drawings, our talkâTornid's and mineâare about that alley under the ground. Even though afterwards Hugsy Goode said it probably wasn't so, weâTornid and meâwe believe it. We believe in the underground alley. We draw mazes of it, we inhabit it with good people and bad people, we have wars between two sides down there, in their bunks, their depots, their pitsâwe map out the areas of all their businesses down there. We have a lot of time for all this now because of the strike.
This book is about that underground alley.
The main people that are going to be in this book are Tornid Fabian, my pal, and me, Copin Carroll. Forget the "Timmy" and "Nicky" names our families know us by. But don't say, "Who's that?" if one of the moms calls us by those names as the book goes on, because they don't know our aliases. Not yet, anyway. Remember:
Nicholas Carroll or, ugh, "Nicky" = Copin Nubsy Carroll
Timothy Hill Fabian or "Timmy" = Tornid Nubsy Fabian.
We have adopted the same middle name as part of our aliases.
There are six of us Carrolls now. My mom and dad stick to Christmas names, on account of Carroll, in naming us. So the two youngest are Holly, aged threeâa real hamâand Branch, a boy of one-half, real neat so far. The names of the others of us are: Steve, my brother, aged fourteen, real pious and residing on the other side of this room where I'm writing now (He has the best view of the Myrtle Avenue El.); Star (ugh)
aged twelve; then me, Copin, aged eleven; then Notesy (ugh) more contamination, aged nine. You could say Holly and Branch start a new line of Carrolls, the rest of us being semigrown.
Now take the five Fabians, from the top. There is Isabel (ugh)â"
Blue-Eyes" we call herâaged ten; next, aged nine, comes (ugh) Beatriceâ"
Black-Eyes" we call her; next comes my pal, Tornid, eight; next Danny, aged six, a busy boy; and last, Bill, aged four, who prints his name LLIBâBill, spelled backward. It isn't that he spells his name backward on purpose. It is that he starts the "B" so far over on the right-hand side of the paper he has to put the "I" to the left of the "B" and so on. So it comes out LLIB. His mom says he will outgrow it, he is only fourâsays Danny used to do the same. Too bad, because LLIB looks neat, like code. Contamination Black-Eyes should try to stop trying to reform him. YNNAD would look neat, too, in our code.
Now you know the main people who are going to keep coming in and going out of this book. Some other people who live in this Alley may come into this book now and then, because there are twenty-seven families here and most people know everybody, or at least have their number. But this chapter is not meant to be a who's who of the Alley. And I'll tell you who the people are when they creep in, whosoever or whatsoever they may beâI know not yet myselfâas we get on into the top secret affair of the tunnel under the Alley.
The people who used to run things in this Alley have gone off to collegeâConnie Ives for one. When she comes back, she says "Hello" and has a conversation with me and Tornid. A neat girl, too old to classify as
Billy Maloonâsolver with Connie of a burglary they had in the Alley long agoâhe's in college now, too, and has grown a beard; Arnold, the Rapid Advancement boy, in college and grown a beard; Hugsy Goode, thinker-up of the tunnel under the Alleyâhe's in college now, too, and grown a beard; Katy Starr, the law-maker, the Arps, all, all in college now. Gone.
It is me and Tornid, now, in charge of the affairs of the Alley, now.
The Fabians have a dog, Sasha, a golden afghan; they also have cats, fish, birds. Whatever comes their way, "Come in, come in," they say. Animal-loving people. Not
mom. Once we had one catâ
ânamed J.C. He went away long ago. We have had none since, though my mom permits collecting worms and butterflies.
And now, I will tell you the really sad news about the Alley. Talk about no place to go! We
to have a Circle at the end of the Alley to play in, to have a game of ball in, to turn our bikes around in. No more. No sirree. It is disgusting to have to relate that it was blasted away one spring day three years ago when I was eight and Tornid five. The four families whose yards backed onto the Circle wanted more garden. Each family gobbled up part of the Circle and attached it to their yard.
"Is this democracy?" my sister Star shouted.
No use. On went the blasting, the four families didn't care ... they didn't have any children any more. Now, the Circle end of the Alley looks like a concentration camp, and I heard a Gregory Avenue kid looking in on Tornid and me one day say, "The poor kids, they have to stay in
Yop. Now ... no place to turn around in, no place to play games ... the Circle, headquarters for all the life of the Alley ... gone.
That is the reason Tornid and me have to think more and more about the tunnel that Hugsy Goode said probably exists under the Alley. Some place to go to make up for the loss of the Circle. You have to have some fun. The underground alley will belong to all, and we, Tornid and me, will be in charge. Let those families on top of the Alley try to tear down the Circle of the alley underneathâif there
a Circle down thereâand see what happens. Just let them. Hah!