Read The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode Online

Authors: Eleanor Estes

The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode

The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode
Eleanor Estes

ILLUSTRATED BY
EDWARD ARDIZZONE

AN ODYSSEY/HARCOURT YOUNG CLASSIC
HARCOURT, INC.

Orlando Austin New York San Diego Toronto London

Text copyright © 1972 by Eleanor Estes
Illustrations copyright © 1972 by Harcourt, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval
system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be
mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc.,
6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

www.HarcourtBooks.com

First Harcourt Young Classics edition 2003
First Odyssey Classics edition 2003
First published 1972

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Estes, Eleanor, 1906–
The tunnel of Hugsy Goode/Eleanor Estes; illustrated by Edward Ardizzone.
p. cm.
"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. Tunnels—Fiction. 2. Alleys—Fiction. 3. Friendship—Fiction.
4. Adventure and adventurers—Fiction.
5. Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)—History—20th century—Fiction.]
I. Ardizzone, Edward, 1900– ill. II. Title.
PZ7.E749Tu 2003
[Fic]—dc21 2003045295
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
(pb)

To
C. and T.

Contents

1 Me and Tornid—Who We Are 
[>]

2 Tunnel—Top Secret 
[>]

3 Beginning of the Tunnel Quest 
[>]

4 The Glooms 
[>]

5 The Good Myrtle Avenue Line 
[>]

6 The Homecoming 
[>]

7 The Plan 
[>]

8 The Reunion 
[>]

9 Tunnel Quest Resumed 
[>]

10 The Curious Visitor 
[>]

11 Unexpected Help with Operation T. 
[>]

12 On Our Way to Somewhere 
[>]

13 Midnight River on Larrabee Street 
[>]

14 Trats 
[>]

15 The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode—Descent No. 1
[>]

16 Into the Glooming 
[>]

17 Don't Sit in That Chair! 
[>]

18 
Courage, Mon Ami 
[>]

19 The Words Again—Descent No. 2 
[>]

20 The Throne of Hugsy the Goode—Descent No. 3
[>]

21 On Down the Alley Maze
[>]

22 Meanwhile, What Had Been Going On Up Top?
[>]

23 Words from Below Again
[>]

24 The
Grils
Accuse Me
[>]

25 Descent No. 4 or Nighttime in the Tunnel
[>]

26 On into the Glooming Again
[>]

27 Where We Were
[>]

28 The Phantom of the Under Alley
[>]

29 The Voice of Hugsy Goode
[>]

30 Music in the Tunnel
[>]

31 The Invaders of the Tunnel
[>]

32 The End
[>]

Chapter 1
Me and Tornid—Who We Are

My real name is Nicky—Nicholas Carroll. I don't like the name "Nicky," so I have renamed myself—Copin. A fake name. The real name of my pal is Timmy—Timmy 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 kitchen—one of our headquarters—keep 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 live—on the campus of Grandby College—is 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 gates—iron grill—one 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 talk—Tornid's and mine—are about that alley under the ground. Even though afterwards Hugsy Goode said it probably wasn't so, we—Tornid and me—we 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 pits—we 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
and
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 three—a real ham—and 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)
contamination,
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)—"
Contamination
Blue-Eyes" we call her—aged ten; next, aged nine, comes (ugh) Beatrice—"
Contamination
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 LLIB—Bill, 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 four—says 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 be—I know not yet myself—as 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 college—Connie 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
contamination.
Billy Maloon—solver with Connie of a burglary they had in the Alley long ago—he'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 Alley—he'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
my
mom. Once we had one cat—
one
—named 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
used
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
there?
"

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 underneath—if there
is
a Circle down there—and see what happens. Just let them. Hah!

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