Tag Archives: dumbwaiter

233E: A book with a dumbwaiter, hair embroidery and a bat with writing on its wings

Children’s book, I read this book(s) in the late 60’s. It was a library book and I don’t remember it looking new, just a canvas textured hard-covered book with no paper jacket, so it may have been written sometime earlier. It was quite thick, and there may have been more than one book with the same characters. There are 3 (?) children, two boys and a girl, in a large old house with lots of interesting historical references. One thing I recall is a picture of the same house embroidered with human hair, a type of Victorian handiwork. I looked it up – I don’t think the book was clear on that point. The book did mention the difficulty of embroidering with a black child’s short curly hair – so it may have predated political correctness. My apologies. There was a feeling of almost time travel, or of dreams of events in the lives of the house’s past occupants, and of something mystical about the house. I also remember a dead bat nailed, wings spread, in the bottom of a wooden box. The bat had writing on its wings. There was a dumbwaiter in the house, large enough for the children to ride in. There was younger boy named Ben, not sure if he was one of the children mentioned above or someone from the past. There was something about Ben and a pet monkey, and how Ben related his short suit (suit with shorts rather than long pants, like you sometimes see young boys wearing in old pictures) to the clothes the monkey wore.