This, the second story in the series, is set around the
Christmas holidays. Julian, Dick and Anne are unable to
return to their home for the holidays because their mother has scarlet fever so, once again, they descend on Kirrin.
There would be little fun though, as a special tutor had been
arranged to help Julian and Dick catch up on their school work having lost much time through 'flu. George was to have some
extra coaching, too, as she had only started "proper" school that year.
Because the tutor, Mr Roland, takes a dislike to Timmy, George takes an instant dislike to HIM and makes life very
difficult for everyone. She simply will not co-operate and
insists there is something "not quite right" about him. She sees him snooping around her father's study and meeting mysterious people at night but no-one really believes
her - they just think she is being "awkward."
Between coaching sessions, the Five learn about a
mysterious "secret way" which is said to run from Kirrin
Cottage to Kirrin Farm some way off. They set their minds on finding it after discovering some clues as it its location.
The adventure culminates with Uncle Quentin being robbed of his latest top secret work and George and the others have to find the secret way and prove that Mr Roland was behind it.