"YORKSHIRE EVENING NEWS
Arkle House papers sold for ￡75,000
A suitcase full of old papers dating from the nineteenth century was sold this morning for ￡75,000.
The suitcase was discovered last year in a farmhouse near Reeth, North Yorkshire. Inside it were photographs, letters, bills and other papers that once belonged to Sir Francis Goodwin.
Sir Francis, the owner of Arkle House in Arkendale from 1802 to his death in 1866, was always thought to be extremely rich. However, a?fter his death, his children and grandchildren were surprised to discover that he had left? almost no money. There are many stories of undiscovered money, or even gold, hidden somewhere in the grounds of Arkle House, or possibly in the house itself. But nothing has ever been found.
The suitcase was bought by Lord Fitch, the present owner of Arkle House. Thomas Goodwin, the great-greatgrandson of Sir Francis, was also interested in the papers. However, he was unable to offer as much for them as Lord Fitch.
‘What’s that?’ asked Andy, pointing to a dark area on the side of the hill in front of him and his sister.
‘I’ve no idea,’ said Mary. ‘Let’s go and have a look.’
Andrew, always called Andy, and Mary Lawson were on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales in the north of England. The Yorkshire Dales are very beautiful: hills and dales, up and down, wild countryside on the tops of the hills, sleepy villages, rivers and farms in the dales at the bottom. Today Andy and Mary were out cycling in the hills.
‘Let’s leave our bikes here,’ said Andy, putting his bike against a large stone.
‘Good thinking,’ said Mary, placing her bike carefully on the ground. ‘There’s no one around to steal them.’
They hadn’t seen anyone at all for the last hour. The countryside was completely empty of people: no other mountain bikers, no walkers – just birds, lots of rabbits
and a few sheep.
There was a kind of road going up the side of the hill. Together, Andy and Mary climbed until they were standing in front of a large hole in the side of the hill.
‘It’s very dark in there,’ said Andy. ‘What do you think it is?’
‘It’s a mine,’ said Mary, sounding very sure of herself. ‘You know, where people dig into the ground looking for a metal like gold or silver or something like that.’
‘You mean there’s gold here in the dales?’ said Andy, looking rather surprised.
‘No, silly,’ said Mary. ‘Dad was telling me about it last night. There are lots of mines in this part of the dales, but they’re lead mines. And if you ever listened in your geography class, you’d know that lead is a metal that’s used on roofs.’
‘Yeah, yeah,’ said Andy. ‘So why aren’t they still digging for it now, Miss Clever?’
‘Because they’ve taken out almost all the lead that there is,’ said Mary, and she started to take off her backpack and look inside it.
‘What are you looking for?’ asked Andy.
‘My torch,’ replied Mary. ‘I know it’s here somewhere and we’re going to need some light if we want to go and have a look inside.’
‘But …’Andy looked into the entrance to the mine and shook his head a little. ‘Why? It’s dark and cold and wet and probably dangerous.’
‘Here it is,’ said Mary, finally pulling a torch out of her backpack and turning it on and off quickly to check that it worked.
‘Let’s go,’ she said and started to walk into the mine, holding the torch in front of her.
Andy shook his head again and followed her in. He and Mary were the same age, fifteen – they were twins – but everything else about them was different. He was 180
centimetres tall; she was shorter. He had short red hair; she had long brown hair. He had blue eyes; she had brown eyes. And if they got into trouble, it was usually her fault. He didn’t really want to go into the mine, but he thought he should go with her to make sure she was OK.
‘I thought mines went downwards into the ground,’ he said, as they moved carefully along.
‘Some do,’ said Mary. ‘And some go flat, straight into the side of a hill.’
The floor of the mine was even and the roof was low. Both Mary and Andy had to be careful not to hit their heads. In one or two places someone had put pieces of wood across the roof of the mine to stop it falling down. When they came to one of these places, Mary shone the torch on the wood.
‘Look at that,’ she said.
‘Well, those are new pieces of wood,’ she said. ‘Someone’s been looking a?fter this mine.’
‘Maybe they’re still looking for lead,’ said Andy.
Mary did not reply. She just kept moving forward into the mine, waving her torch slowly from side to side. Then suddenly she stopped.
Andy came up beside her. The torch was lighting up a new wooden door in the side wall. There was a lock on the door. Mary went over and pulled at the lock, but it didn’t open. She pulled at the door, but that didn’t open either.
‘I think you should leave it now,’ said Andy.
‘Why?’ asked Mary.
‘Well, if you get it open, someone’s going to know we’ve been here,’ he replied. ‘And they might not like that.’
‘Why not?’ asked Mary.
‘There’s a lock on the door, stupid,’ said Andy. ‘That probably means they don’t want people to go in there.’
He put a hand on his sister’s arm.
‘Come on,’ he said. ‘I really think we should go. If someone finds us here, we could be in trouble.’
Mary said nothing for a moment, then she spoke. ‘OK, Mr Careful. You’re right, as usual. Let’s go.’
A few minutes later they were back out in the warm a?fternoon sunshine. They jogged back down the hill and picked up their bikes.
Before getting on his bike, Andy looked round at the hills. This place is beautiful, he thought, not for the first time. But what was that? Up on the side of one of the other hills the sunlight had caught something. A mirror? It couldn’t be. Then the light disappeared and Andy saw a head move. Someone was watching them! Through binoculars! A man in a dark blue jacket.
‘Look. There’s someone watching us,’ said Andy. ‘Up on the side of the hill over there.’
Mary looked up, but by then the man had gone.
‘Too late,’ said Andy. ‘He’s gone. Come on. Let’s get going.’
Quickly, they started cycling back the way they had come. A few minutes later, as they came over the top of a hill and started down the other side, they saw a Land Rover driving towards them along the dirt road. The Land Rover stopped and a man got out, waiting for them to reach him. He was youngish, maybe twenty-five to thirty years old, and dressed in a green and brown shirt and trousers, and walking boots. He had dark hair, very light blue eyes and an unfriendly look.
Andy and Mary had to stop and get off their bikes to get past the Land Rover. ‘Where have you been?’ asked the man, as they walked up to him. ‘Down any of the mines?’"