It is cloudy and cold here. It rained during the night and looks like it might rain again. Most of you know that this has a very exciting week! On Monday afternoon my newly published book arrived! Wow! It looks great! I can't believe I'm really a published author! I mean, after spending 6 years working on something and dreaming of one day getting it published, and then to have it actually happen is surreal. I'll try to get some links up later this morning where my book can be purchased. I'll do that when S can help since she knows what she is doing.:)
I'm going to try my hand at selling some of my books next weekend in Lincoln, NE at the home school conference there. Right now Light of Faith has a few in St. Louis at the convention. I wonder what others think of them?
Okay, back to other things. I finished a Western and a Ranch story last night. Only Scribblers have read my Ranch story, but I think I'll start posting it here before too long. I haven't thought of a name to call it besides "Ranch", so after you read a few parts, I'm hoping you all can give me some ideas.
Here is the rest of Mysterious Words. I must say this is not my favorite story I've ever written. I'm not sure if my mind was just very distracted with my book, or the instructions and the picture just didn't fit, or if the instructions were confusing or if I just didn't write a good story.:) Let me know what you think of it once you read the end, please. I've not liked other stories I've written but my readers loved them.
Mysterious Words - Part 2“Could I be of service in any way?” he questioned politely. “I have the afternoon off, if your brother doesn’t.”
Brooke looked up at him, tipping her head and pursing her lips. Then she shrugged. “If you want. Mom and I just arrived last week, and today she is gone for the whole day. She expected me to have Chad this afternoon, but I guess that won’t work.”
“What were you going to do with him?”
“Oh, wander the beaches and talk, at least until the fireworks tonight. I haven’t seen him in over six months except the brief time when he came to meet us when we arrived.”
“If you’d like,” White offered gallantly, “we could go down the beach and walk to the base. You might get to see your brother there.”
Brooke was full of delight. “Could we?” she gasped. “I’d love to!”
Soon White was strolling down the beach by the side of Chad’s lively, younger sister whom he found very entertaining. They hadn’t gone far when Brooke, who was looking everywhere with delight, exclaimed, “What is that thing in the bushes?”
White looked where she was pointing. A bit of faded yellow appeared tied around the branch of a bush. Going over to it, he carefully untied it and pulling it out, handed it to Brooke.
She squealed, “Look! There is something written on it!”
Sure enough, faded almost beyond notice were some words. After close examination by both White and his young companion they managed to make out the words ‘blood’ ‘save’ and ‘slave’ while several letters here and there were discernable.
“It’s a mystery!” breathed Brooke, very much excited.
“It looks like it,” White replied. “Do you want to take it and show Chad if he’s available?”
Before Brooke could reply, a shout startled them. Looking up they saw Chad pounding down the beach. With a cry, Brooke flew to meet him, flinging her arms about his neck as he lifted her off her feet.
“You came back! I’m so glad! Come and see what we found!” and not giving her brother a chance to explain why he had left, she pulled him back to where White was standing. “See?” she thrust the ribbon into his hands.
Chad studied the lettering on it for several minutes before looking up. “What is this supposed to mean?”
“We have no idea,” White said.
“Maybe there are other ribbons around?” Brooke was already examining a few nearby bushes. The two members of the Coast Guard glanced at each other, shrugged and then began looking too.
For nearly thirty minutes the trio searched but only discovered one more ribbon. It was much like the other one, tied to a branch, yet the words on it were different. After careful study, four words were recognized: ‘home’, ‘free’, ‘banner’ and ‘brave’.
“What does the rest of it say? And why were they tied on these bushes, and who put them there and when?”
“You’ve got me on that one, Sis. I have no clue. Any idea’s White?”
White shook his head. “Not unless it has to do with the legend of this beach.”
“What’s that?” Chad and Brooke asked simultaneously.
“Why don’t we take these back to the base and see if any of the other guys can figure any more words out, and on the way, I’ll tell you.”
The others readily agreed.
“They say,” began White in a slow, mysterious tone that made Brooke shiver with excitement, “that it was on a day in July, much like this one that a young girl was seen walking down to this very beach early one afternoon. She was dressed in yellow and wore a red hat. No one was sure who she was. Supposedly someone from a sailboat out in the bay saw her back there near the rocks, heading this way. They claim to have heard a cry of some sort, and on looking at the beach saw the girl lying unmoving on the sand. Well, there was no way for them to come ashore here, so they radioed a call for help and waited. As they watched, the girl appeared to be disappearing into the bushes. They are sure she didn’t move herself, but was somehow dragged there or something. Anyway, when help arrived, there was no sign of her. The Coast Guard that was here at the time, I’m told, searched the shoreline for days, but nothing more was discovered. No one ever saw the girl again and no one knows what really happened.”
Silence fell as White finished the tale. No one spoke until they were almost to the base. Then Chad said, “That was quite a tale. But, if they searched the whole shoreline, why didn’t they find these ribbons if they came from this girl?”
“You know, Chad,” Brooke began slowly, thoughtfully, “if that happened years ago, those bushes would have been smaller and maybe if these were tied right near the ground, no one noticed them.”
“But they’re white,” her brother protested, looking again at the ribbons,
“Yeah, now. But maybe they were yellow to match her dress and they just faded.”
“Then why the words?” White questioned.
White and Dancroft looked up. “These Pettrot,” Chad held them out to his room mate. “Can you make anything out of them?”
Pettrot stared at the faint marks, and then calling a few more of the Coast Guard over, they all fell to work trying to uncover the mysterious message.
Brooke watched them in shy silence a minute and then, seeing how interested everyone really was, began to offer her own suggestions. The ribbons were scrutinized, held up to the sun, studied in the shade, copies of the letters were carefully traced and criticized and yet no one could come up with a meaning for the seven words. More men came and joined the group and others left. Even the Captain, puzzled by the gathering came and tried, but with no success.
It wasn’t until almost supper time that Chad Dancroft suddenly started up exclaiming, “Wait a minute! Let me see those again!” Snatching them up he began to read, “’Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution. No refuge can save the hireling and slave.’ and the other one says, ‘And the Star-spangled banner shall wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.’” He looked up, his eyes sparkling.
“That’s it!” Brooke exclaimed.
“We still haven’t a clue how they came to be tied to bushes on the beach or why they were there, but at least we found out the message.” Chad grinned at his sister and shook hands with White. “I’d say it was rather fun.”
“I think so too.” White agreed.
Brooke sighed. “Now, tomorrow I can start trying to find out the who, when, how and why.”
The others grinned and then together they headed into mess for supper.
So, what did you think of it now you finished it?