Friday, September 30, 2011

Triple Creek Ranch - Part 11

Good Morning Favorite Friday Fiction Fans,
It is in the 40s this morning and only supposed to get to the low 70s! Yay! The last few days have been in the upper 80s, and for the end of September, that just doesn't feel right.

There has been a little writing this week, but not much. For one, the last two evenings/nights I've gotten distracted by the police cars at a corner house. We almost never have police cars stopping, so when they do, I end up watching. The house is a rental house and I don't know how many people live there. One night last month, I think it was, we called the police because it was 11:00 and there were people outside fighting and yelling at each other. They'd been doing it since 9:30. They must have been drunk or on drugs or something because I watched them out our window and they were pushing each other around in the middle of the street and some were telling the others to "stay out of my house." That night the police took two people away. Nothing happened the last nights except a lot of talk.

Today I clean house, need to work on the Boyd's Holler Gazette, and have to remember to go let the neighbors cat out and feed their fish. And, I'll be eagerly waiting for an e-mail from my cover designer. She said she and her brother were going to work on it this morning! I can't wait to see it! And I know you all are anxiously awaiting the day when you can hold the book in your hands and read all the way to the end without me leaving you hanging someplace.:)

I debated a long time last night and even this morning about what to post. I decided on the Triple Creek Ranch, but I could have posted "At the Mercy of the Storm," a two part short story or I could have posted "The Storm," another two part story (At least I think it is two parts.:)). However, I decided to wait on both of those.

Wow, I haven't rambled on like this for a while. Oh, well. If you don't like it, you can always skip it. I won't even know. :}
But here, I should let you get on with reading what you really got on here to read.

Part 11

    As the irate girl was about to strike once more, someone grasped her arm and the stick was jerked from her hand.
    “We don’t strike horses like that on the Triple Creek!” a stern voice commanded.
    Orlena turned around to see a stranger eyeing her from under his cowboy hat as he stood, arms crossed and booted feet planted firmly.
    Instantly the girl’s anger turned from the horse to this newcomer. “Who do you think you are that you can order me around?” she haughtily demanded.
    The man had turned from her to the horse and was attempting to calm it. “Easy girl. No one’s goin’ to hurt ya.” Without so much as turning his head, he replied to Orlena, “I’m Lloyd Hearter. I work here.”
    Orlena stamped her foot, planted her hands on her hips and stormed, “You look at me when I speak to you. Do you even know who I am?”
    “Yep,” the young cowboy replied and again kept his eyes on the horse who was trotting around the corral in a nervous manner.
    “Than look at me! I’ll have Norman fire you if you don’t follow my orders.”
    Then the man slowly turned and looked at the spoiled girl before him. In a calm but deliberate way he spoke, “I follow Norman’s orders and Mrs. Mavrich’s, but no one ever told me to follow the orders of anyone else unless it was Hardrich. Now,” he continued, “never strike the animals again!” Then turning, he simply walked away back towards the barn with an easy stride, leaving Orlena to fume and fuss behind him.
    “I’ll tell Norman,” she threatened the cowboy’s back. “I’ll make him fire you. You can’t give me orders. I give orders!” And she stamped her foot again.
    Lloyd gave no heed to her words and disappeared into the barn.
    Fuming with indignation, Orlena swept on past the corrals. “Ordering me around like that! I’ll speak to Norman first thing and make him fire that impudent hand.” How she would make her brother do anything if he didn’t want to never crossed her mind. She hadn’t lived long enough with folks who couldn’t be bent to her way by some means or another to know that it could prove a very difficult task.
    The sun was blazing down making this city girl uncomfortably warm in her yards and yards of heavy black silk. Pausing to look about her, Orlena discovered that she was on the top of a small hill. Behind her she could see the house, barn and a few of the other buildings. Before her, in the valley, stood some trees, the shade of which looked invitingly cool.
    “I don’t want to go back to the house yet,” she mused. “I will just go on down to those trees.” This decided, down the hill she went, her dress catching on rocks and brambles as she descended, tearing and snagging the lace, ruffles and plaitings. With a satisfied smile, Orlena jerked her dress. “Now Norman will see that I don’t belong out in the middle of no where and will have to send me back to the city,” she thought in triumph. It never occurred to her that though a dress might not be proper for ranch life, there were other clothes to wear.
    Entering the shade of the trees, Orlena discovered a small creek which rippled and gurgled over stones in a manner most soothing and satisfying even to this city bred child. Seating herself on a rock, she sat in complete silence listening to the music of the creek and longing, yet not daring, to take off her heavy shoes and stockings and dip her feet in the cool, refreshing stream. She knew it was cool for she touched it with her hands, letting them stay in the water, enjoying the new sensation of the small current pushing them, moving them, swirling around them when they remained where they were.
    It was all so new and charming that Orlena lost track of the time and of where she was. All reality vanished and memories of the pleasures of her former life claimed her mind leaving her sitting dazed and dreaming.

    “There ya are, Lloyd,” one of the hands greeted the returning young man.
    “What took you so long?” questioned another.
    “I met the newest member of the ranch.”
    “What’s she like?”
    “Jest like Norman said, she’s a wildcat. She said she was going to have the boss fire me.” This was spoken with great apparent amusement.
    “Who said I was going to fire you?” Norman had just ridden up and caught the last few words.
    Lloyd glanced up. “Yer sister.”
    Norman frowned but Lloyd only grinned.
    “Guess you’ll have to, Boss.”
    The others were chuckling as though the whole thing was a joke, so Norman, swallowing his anger, replied, “You’re fired, Hearter!”

    Hearing the ringing of a bell made Orlena start suddenly and look up. No longer was she in the city with her grandmother, she was out on a ranch with her brother and his wife. Her life had changed and not for the better, she grumbled. The light in the trees looked different. She stood up. It was late. Then she remembered, she must hurry back to the house and make Norman fire that insolent man!
    Starting back through the trees, she suddenly saw something move out of the corner of her eye. Peering more closely at it, she saw a small black and white animal. “Another one of those cats,” she snorted in disgust. “I’ll teach this one to leave me alone.” Searching about she soon discovered a few small rocks. Picking one up, she threw it in the direction of the animal.
    “Go away!” she scolded. The rock didn’t come close at all to it and Orlena threw another one. This one landed right next to the black and white creature and when the following rock hit it, the animal raised its tail.

Questions? Comments?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Unexpected Request - Part 59

It is a good thing it is Western Wednesday and not Fiction Friday!
I nearly panicked because I had no idea what to post at first. :) But I'm guessing you would like another Western. Make the most of it. :)

I have writing class again today. This time I have two classes. I'm doing the girls as well as starting class with a younger brother of one of the girls. He has wanted to take writing from me so we'll see how it goes. I think he'll be fun. :)

Have to get on with other things. Enjoy this.

Part 59

     Also, the fact that no positive clue of any kind had been discoved about his sister since they left Fort Laramie was causing serious doubts of ever finding her to torment him. The clue they had gotten at South Pass might or might not have been true. Perhaps they should have continued on to California or Oregon. Would they have to backtrack as a tracker does when he has lost the trail? Unknowingly, Ty’s brows had drawn together, and he neither replied to Carson’s question nor noticed his horse was lagging behind.
    “Cheer up, Ty,” Carson called, having reined in his horse to wait until Ty rode up and then slapping him on the back.
    Ty looked up startled, his hand instinctively reaching for his holstered gun.
    Carson laughed and knocked Ty’s hand away. “I jest said, cheer up. Ain’t nothin’ ta shoot. Why Son, yer as grim as an old billy goat who’s beard jest got pulled. Ya said ya wanted ta make tracks, well by thunder, let’s make ‘em! These here horses are jest longin’ fer a good gallop since the road is right dandy. Why, even them pack horses seem ta think their pullin’ a stagecoach an’ are in an awful hurry. Now, are ya goin’ ta join us or are Sally an I goin’ ta leave ya in the dust?”
    Ty looked a little sheepish. “I reckon I’ll join ya. Let’s go!” And with a loud whoop and a wave of his hat, Ty let Par have his head which he had been trying to get for the past mile and away they all went.
    Racing down the road in that fashion with manes and tails streaming behind and the wind in his face, brought back memories to Carson of the days when he and Jake Elliot were boys together and used to race their horses on the level stretches of road between their two homes. The race didn’t last long and when Ty, who was in the lead, pulled his horse to a walk, there was no trace of the grim expression he had previously worn.
    Sally came up with streaming hair, rosy cheeks and laughing eyes. “That was fun,” she gasped shaking back her hair from her face. “Starlight didn’t want to stop, did you Girl?” and Sally patted her horse’s neck. As though in answer, Starlight tossed her head with a whicker causing all three riders to laugh.
    “That made me feel like a lad again when yer pa an’ I use ta race.”
    “Who won, Uncle Bob?”
    “It were different each time. Ain’t sure who won most, it were mostly jest fer fun.”
    “Well, I reckon we ain’t likely ta do much a that kind a ridin’,” Ty remarked. “But that were jest dandy. Didn’t know Par had it in ‘im.” Ty gave his mount a gentle slap on the neck.

    The trip to Thorn Hollow was made in four days since the trio were used to long days of riding and had good mounts. It was the afternoon of the fourth day when the town came into sight. This town was more up and coming than Dead Horse had been and they found the hotel to be quite satisfactory. On the day after their arrival, Ty, Sally and Carson began their usual questioning of the townsfolk. “Has anyone heard of a family named Westlin? They had many daughters and might have come through about eleven years ago.” Always it was the same, “Never heard of them. Sorry.” After three days of fruitless searching, the companions set off for the next town.
    There the same story was repeated. No one had heard of the family searched for, but perhaps in the next town they would have news. At each town Sally wrote to the Fields always telling them where they were heading next, always hopeful that the next letter might have better news.

    And so the days passed. Towns were one by one reached, the townsfolk questioned and the trio moved on. Hope and faith grew dim and almost dwindled into nothing as town after town only brought fresh disappointments. Could they go on like this much longer? No longer did they race their horses between towns, but plodded along seemingly unmindful of the coolness in the air or the brisk north winds which blew, bringing autumn and winter snows.
    Ty especially seemed disheartend and scarcely spoke. Lost in thoughts of the past and full of bleak thoughts for the future, he rode day after day and sat by their evening fires scarcely eating.
    Sally began to grow concerned and looked anxiously at Carson when, one evening, Ty wondered away from camp to stand on a bluff overlooking a river. “I just can’t stand to see him like this, Uncle Bob,” she confessed watching her brother. “Why don’t we find out anything?”
    “Could be we ain’t on the right trail any more. I’m thinking maybe it’d be best if’n we stayed the winter at the next town an’ then start up the search ‘gain in spring,” Carson replied slowly.
    “Do you think Ty will agree to settle down?” Sally asked.
    Shrugging his shoulders, Carson also watched his young friend. He strongly doubted that Ty would consent to halt the search, at least not until the snows of winter forced him to. What were they to do?
    For several minutes Sally watched Ty. She had been praying every day that some clue would turn up. Even if it meant they had to go hundreds of miles, anything would seem good news at this point. At last she stood and, after shaking the leaves off her skirt, slowly made her way over to Ty’s side.
    Carson watched until she reached him, then, turning away, he wandered away into the woods where in a quiet, sheltered spot, he knelt in prayer for the two young lives so dear to his heart. He prayed also for his missing Sunshine wherever she was at that moment.

Questions? Comments?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Triple Creek Ranch - Part 10

Good Morning FFFs!
Are you ready for the day? I think I am. I'm ready to get many things done anyway. Yesterday was a little different since it was raining and we ended up babysitting Pickle Puss, Goof Ball and Funny Boy for a few hours over lunch instead of doing it tonight. Oh well. They are still fun. 

I'm trying to get many different things written right now. There is Priscilla's next letter that needs finished, "advertisements" for the "Boyd's Holler Gazette" for Family Round-Up, a short story for a friend that I just barely got started, correcting another short story for another friend (both are sisters of Meleah of Meleah's Western fame.:) Otherwise known as The Unexpected Request.), write more of "Ria and the Gang" as well as keep going on "Triple Creek Ranch," and I'm sure there are other things I could think of that I should be writing, but I think that is enough for now, don't you?

Teaching writing class was such fun! We got to make 3 KWOs on Dolley Madison and then fuse them into one. :) We also got started on the very first "Scribbler" assignment.:) I can't wait to see what they write.:) By the way, these students are all girls. I don't think the boys would enjoy "Scribbling" as much.

Getting ready to plan Texas for Priscilla De Silvosa. I also got something in the mail that she HAS to go visit in Indiana! Of course they have many other states to visit first, but eventually they'll get there.

And thank you all for your fun comments. I love reading them. Breanna, yours was especially fun.:) I loved seeing that you left another comment, Hank.:) And just so you'll have something else to comment on, :)  I'll leave you to Part 10 of the Triple Creek Ranch.

Part 10

    Jenelle looked completely unconcerned as she shrugged, removing the offending glass. “Very well, if you don’t want any fresh milk I’ll get you a glass of water.”
    “Bring coffee,” Orlena ordered as her sister-in-law disappeared into the kitchen.
    To this, however, Jenelle made no reply, gave no indication by look or manner that she had even heard the demand and, returning moments later with a glass of water set it gently down beside Orlena’s plate.
    Before Orlena could do more than open her mouth, Jenelle spoke hurriedly. “I must leave you to your breakfast, Orlena, and attend to my bread at once or it will run over. When that is out of the way, I will be free to show you about the ranch if you wish.” And then she vanished, quietly, quickly, without rustle of silk or petticoat, leaving a very astonished girl behind her.
    For one long minute Orlena sat in silence, once again left speechless by the mistress of the ranch. Then, finding the pangs of hunger quite demanding, she began to eat. Since she had eaten no supper the night before, and had only a little to eat on the train, she made a hearty breakfast in spite of not having coffee to drink.
    When at last, her hunger satisfied, she rose from the table, a feeling of independence came over her. She didn’t need anyone to show her around like she was some ignorant, backward child, she could and would go by herself. Wasn’t she used to the city? Out here in the middle of no where there weren’t even streetcars to watch out for. She would simply take a stroll around the ranch and see if she could by some far stretch of the imagination discover a hint of why Norman would not leave this miserable place and move to the city.
    So, leaving her dirty dishes on the table, Orlena ventured outside, forgetting all about the dress she was wearing with its long train and ruffles and plaiting and lace. She was going to explore the Triple Creek Ranch herself.
    Now, if Orlena had been raised on a ranch or even on a farm, she would have fared much better than she and her dress did, for this was not the city she was used to with its sidewalks and stores, its policemen and newsboys, its fashionably dressed ladies and their faultlessly attired escorts; where the only animals were horses hitched to carriages and an occasional pet dog on a leash; with the only feathered fowls being the pigeons and sparrows and now and then some brave little song bird venturing forth from the shelter of its nest in search of a crumb for its young. This young, spoiled child of wealth realized only too late the folly of her decision.
    Orlena’s first stop was the barn which she had seen from her window. Striving to hold her dress off the dusty ground, she arrived in the doorway and peered in. All was quiet for Norman and the hired hands were all hard at work in the fields as were the horses. Slowly the golden haired newcomer stepped into the shadowy aisle. It was cooler there in the shade than out in the sun, she realized. Suddenly a noise startled her and she whirled around, not noticing her dress catching on a loose nail in the door.
    Orlena gasped. There before her was a sleek, calico cat. With another meow, the cat came towards her and rubbed against the silky folds of the “latest style” black mourning dress!
    “Oh, get away you-- you creature!” Orlena fumed, lifting her skirts and trying to move away. The train of her dress was stuck on the nail. “Go away you horrid thing!” She ventured a little kick and the cat, feeling its reception was cold, stalked on with its tail twitching in supreme indignation. Orlena, watching the departing animal, snorted in disgust and gave an impatient jerk to her skirt.
    Ri-i-p! The skirt was free. “Well, Norman will just have to send it back to the dressmakers to fix it,” she thought, trying to see how bad the tear was, but in the dim light it was difficult.
    With a scowl she dropped her dress and moved on down the aisle of the barn. It never occurred to her to look down at her feet or to think of what the train of her dress would be sweeping up. The rest of the barn was empty of life for the horses were out with the men or in the corrals as were the few milk cows.
    Blinking in the bright sun as she stepped from the door on the opposite side of the barn, Orlena paused. To her left she saw several high fenced corrals while on the right and straight before her she saw fields and hills. Being out in the hot summer sun with her heavy, black dress, she didn’t feel like doing much walking so she chose to visit the corrals.
    Approaching the first one, she saw several horses. Swiftly pulling out her lace trimmed handkerchief she pressed it against her nose.
    “How disgusting. It smells,” she grumbled. “I wish school started today!” She looked away across the hot fields where not a tree grew.
    A soft nicker caused her to turn her head. One of the horses, evidently wondering why this person was here, had come over to investigate. Thrusting its nose over the fence, it began to lip Orlena’s hair and blow in her face.
    “Oh, you vile beast!” she exclaimed, starting back. “I’ll teach you to mind your manners with me!” And picking up a stick which lay conveniently nearby, she struck at the horse’s head. She missed, and the startled animal let out a whinny and reared, pawing at the fence with its front hooves.
    A little scared, but mostly angry that a mere horse would dare resist her, she raised the stick again shouting, “I’ll make you obey, you stupid animal!”

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Unexpected Request - Part 58

What a Wonderful Western Wednesday Readers!
I hope it is as wonderful where you are as it is here. Right now it is in the 50s and supposed to get to 73 degrees while being mostly sunny.:) Ah, delightful.

I get to start teaching writing class today!!!! Yay! I've missed teaching. This fall I will only have three students, but that is better than none.:) We are going to have so much fun! It would probably make you jealous if you knew all the fun we were going to have. 

Yes, I have been writing. I'm getting back into it. Sometimes I just have to make myself write a little. Other times I write best when I'm really tired. Go figure that one out if you can.:}

Hope you enjoy this weeks western.

Part 58

    “Shall we go ta the liv’ry an’ check on Starlight?” Ty asked as the three were eating their breakfast the next morning.
    No objections were raised and before long Ty, Carson and Sally were in the street heading for the livery. As they reached the jail, Sheriff Owen hailed them.
    “What’s up?” Carson asked. “Don’t tell me ya let them birds fly the coop.”
    “Hah,” the sheriff scoffed. “They’re not getting out of this jail in a hurry. At least not on their own. I just have some news.” He beckoned them all in.
    “What kind a news?” Ty asked questioningly, leaning against the wall and crossing his arms.
    “Well,” began the sheriff, offering a chair to Sally and then perching himself on the corner of his desk, “I got a wire from the U.S. Marshall. It turns out he’s only on the other side of Rockslide Pass and should get here by the middle of the week. He doesn’t think it’ll be hard to get the evidence we need the hang them all, but he was wanting you,” and he looked at Ty, “to tell me exactly where the cave is you mentioned. That is, if you can remember.”
    “I reckon I can recall it, but what good’s it goin’ ta do with the Marshall here an’ that stuff back there?”
    “I don’t know for sure, but I think he’ll either go there himself or contact the closest law to those parts and look for it. Now, can you tell me where it is?”
    “Yep, long’s I ain’t got ta write it.”
    The sheriff smiled. “I’ll write and you talk.”
    Ty nodded and for several minutes thought while the sheriff gathered paper and pen and seated himself at the desk.
    At last Ty began, “Jest ask any a the town folk a Mel’s Ridge how ta get ta Pine Draw. I reckon it’s ‘bout four miles inta it ‘fore ya reach a rock ‘bout the size a that saloon ‘cross the street.”
    Rapidly the sheriff’s pen scratched across the page. Having had a good education, he was well used to writing and as the pause from Ty grew in length, he looked up. “Then where do you go?”
    “Ya got that writ already?” Ty looked astonished.
    “Well, I’ll be! I ain’t never seen no one who could write that fast. Now, lemma think, ya got ta turn north jest after that rock an’ folla the trail. It ain’t a large one, but the local trappers can find it for ya. Once ta the top a the draw, ya’ll come ta woods. Jest take a straight north course an’ when ya reach the other side ya’ll find the side a the mountain. It’s mostly jest rock, but ‘bout the middle of the cliff there is, or least there use ta be, a snarly old pine an’ jest behind it and up, oh I reckon, ‘bout three feet’ll be the cave. Course if’n they ain’t uncovered it, it’ll still be piled with rocks.”
    “It sure sounds like you know what you’re talking about, Ty,” remarked Sheriff Owen after he had read the directions aloud and Ty had confirmed them. “Were you ever lost in those mountains?”
    “Only once when I weren’t more’n eight years old.”
    Standing up, the sheriff held out his hand to Ty. “Thank you for helping clear our town of four undesirable residents. You sure you don’t want to stay for a few weeks and help clean up the rest of the town?”
    “Sure,” Ty replied, shaking the sheriff’s hand. “We’re goin’ ta check on the horse now an’ I’m wantin’ ta be gettin’ on today.”
    “Where are you heading?” questioned the sheriff, as he followed the three companions out of the door.
    Carson answered, “Thorn Holler.”
    “Well, if I don’t see you again before you leave, good luck and God speed.”

    “Ah, mine Herrs and Fraulein, you have come to see about your horse, nein?” Herr Rohbar came out of his shop wiping his hands on his large apron. “Vell, I have good news. Ze horse, she ish ready to have ze new shoe put on. Zees days of rest ver vat she needed. Now she get ze new shoe.”
    “What about the other shoes?” Carson asked.
    “On zis horse?”
    Carson nodded.
    “I shecked them. I vill put in a new nail in vone of them, but ze others, zey are fine.”
    Ty turned to Carson, “I reckon it wouldn’t hurt none ta have ‘im check the other horses. I ain’t want’n ta lose another shoe.”
    “Sounds like a mighty fine plan ta me. Gonna take Sally with us?”
    Ty glanced around, but Sally was not to be seen.
    A chuckle came from the blacksmith. “You are looking for ze fraulein, nein? Mine kindders, zay come to ze door to see who their papa talk to. Ven zay see their freund, yer schwester, zay fraulein, zey shmile an’ she go to zem. Ah, ze kindders, zay vill be sad to see ze fraulein go, an’ my Frau Senora Juanita vill too. It ish not many freunds she have here.” The good blacksmith ended his talk with a sigh.
    Carson and Ty exchanged glances. Then Ty spoke. “Mr. Rohbar, if’n we brought our other horses, would ya mind checkin’ their shoes?”
    “Nein! Nein! Bring yer horses an’ I vill check zem.”

    It was shortly after noonday that the travelers, Sally, Ty and Carson rode at last out of Dead Horse, heading for Thorn Hollow. All the horses were in fine spirits after their unexpected rest and pranced and tossed their heads in the warm sunshine. Ty had mixed feelings. Though most of the weight had been lifted from his shoulders when he turned Mason, Poker, Shorty and Duffer over to the sheriff, he still wondered about Bartram. Would he, too, show up at an unexpected time? Must he always wonder and watch? Would he never be able to truly put that experience behind him?

Questions before next week?

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Best Park

Good Morning FFFs,
I really don't see how it could be Friday again already! I have been so busy. But the weather is wonderful! It is so chilly that yesterday and today I wore a sweater.:) I always love when I can pull out my long sleeve clothes, my sweaters and my browns, golds and other fall colored clothes. Ah, if I could only curl up with a new book today for a few hours and read . . . but, I have doll clothes sewing I have to get done for Miss Pickle Puss' birthday. 

I was going to try to post a Triple Creek Ranch story this morning, but things were so busy that it never got checked, so you'll have to wait until next week. Maybe next week will not be quite so busy.:} Of course Monday is already full with baby-sitting for some friends. But that will be fun.

This story was an assignment from another friend. Her instructions were:
Characters: animals, can have two people in it
Special Instructions: takes place at a dog park.
So, here is what I came up with. She liked it. Do you?

The Best Park
Rebekah M.

    It was a beautiful day. The sun was a gleaming ball of fire in the azure sky while fluffy, billowing clouds were piled here and there like cotton candy islands in a sea of blue kool-aid. Blowing softly, the breeze held just enough chill in it to indicate the approaching autumn weather. However, the grass was still green and the leaves had yet to change color near the G. Tonnovic dog park in Circle City. The park was large with several tall trees, some bushes and plenty of place to run. It was the most popular dog park of the city, though no one was quite sure why.
    “I’ve taken my dog, Colonel, to every other park,” Mr. Reed remarked to a fellow dog owner, “but he only sniffs around and runs a little. He comes home with just as much energy as before. But for some reason, when I bring him here, he runs all over the place and is worn out when I take him home.”
    “That happens to your dog, too?” Mrs. Phennel looked surprised. “I thought it only happened to Coco because she was a beagle and followed every scent made by other dogs. She always sleeps for hours afterwards.”
    “Huh,” Mr. Reed grunted. “Colonel is a golden, but-- Look at them!” The two owners watched as the dogs began a mad dash across the park, barking and fully excited. It was not only Colonel and Coco, there was another dog who soon joined in the race all the way to the fence where they suddenly stopped, tails wagging furiously.
    Mr. Reed shook his head. “All I have to do here is wait about thirty minutes and my dog will be tired out.” And the man sat down on a bench and unfolded his paper to read.
    Mrs. Phennel puzzled a little over Coco’s strange behavior, but since she seemed to be having a good time, she soon found herself a bench and pulled out her cell phone to check her e-mails.

    Meanwhile the dogs were sniffing about eagerly.
    “I know a rabbit was just here,” Colonel barked.
    “She went in this hole, and I can’t get her to come out,” whined Coco, trying to push her nose into a burrow.
    “Look!” The sudden yelp from Dixie was enough to bring Coco’s head out of the hole. There on the fence, just out of their reach was a squirrel. He was flirting his tail and chattering at them.
    “I’ll catch him,” Colonel thundered in a deep bark. “Watch,” and with a bound he leapt after the little grey creature. But the squirrel was too quick for him and dashed away across the grass.
    In a second the three dogs were hot on its tail until it scampered up a tree to sit on a branch just over their heads and scold them merrily.
    After several seconds of barking up the tree, Colonel discoverd another squirrel coming down from a tree supposedly to bury a nut on the other side of the park. With a bark to the smaller dogs to follow him, the golden dashed after the nut hider with Coco and Dixie at his heels. For a fleeting second it seemed as though the squirrel was going to remain where she was, but in a flash she was scampering, not up the tree, but across the grass to disappear into a log.
    “Can you fit in there, Dixie?” Colonel barked.
    Trying to squeeze in the small hole, the mix whined, “I can’t. I must have eaten too many treats. Coco,” she yipped, looking at the beagle, “can you fit?”
    Coco wagged her tail but backed away. She had tried before and had gotten her nose stuck for her pains. Before she could make any excuses, from the other end of the log there appeared, not the squirrel who went into the log, but a rabbit!
    Great was the astonishment of the three dogs but they soon gave chase and the rabbit led them on a wild run around trees, from this side of the park to the other until it darted into some bushes and disappeared.
    For some minutes, the dogs sniffed around the bushes, tongues hanging out and tails waving like banners. At last, having satisfied themselves that the rabbit wasn’t coming out, Dixie led the others away from the bushes. They thought the chase was over and Coco was getting ready to return to her owner when another rabbit, or was it the same one, popped out of a hole almost at her feet and darted off.
    “It’s a rabbit!” Coco yapped excitedly. “Catch it!”
    Colonel and Dixie were already following the cottontail, and had it not suddenly disappeared down a hole, they most certainly would have caught it.
    “Whew,” Colonel panted. “We almost had it.”
    “I didn’t really want it,” Dixie barked, pretending she didn’t care.
    Coco quivered with the excitement of the race. “If I could chase a few more of those things, I might get in shape to fit in these holes,” and she poked her paw down one, trying to feel a furry body.
    “Make a wish and it comes true,” barked Dixie as the first squirrel came down out of his tree to flaunt his tail at them quite saucily as though daring them to chase him.
    They did. They didn’t come close to catching him, but more energy was spent as the dogs dashed madly around trees and tried to climb them, while Mr. Bushytail kept just out of reach. It was really quite aggravating, and the dogs barked incessantly over their failure to catch the gray creature who laughed at them.
    Before they could finish venting their feelings, they were interrupted by the second squirrel coming down with another nut. There was another chase, followed immediately by another rabbit to dash after.
    At last, when both rabbits and squirrels remained hidden in ground or tree top, Colonel, Coco and Dixie made their way back to their owners, panting heavily and with sides heaving from their races.
    Mr. Reed folded up his paper and snapping on Colonel’s leash, led him to the truck. “I hope your dog is as tired as mine,” he called out to Mrs. Phennel who was opening the car door for Coco to jump in.
    With a laugh Mrs. Phennel waved and drove away.

    All was quiet at the G. Tonnonvic dog park. Evening was drawing to a close and all good dogs and their owners were at home. In the shelter of one of the large trees an unusual group was gathered. Two squirrels and three rabbits.
    “I think things went well today,” chattered Mr. Bushytail.
    “But they almost caught me,” the youngest rabbit ventured.
    “Just run faster next time,” Mr. Cottontail told him. “And remember to zig-zag. I looked out of the bushes after the dogs were following you and they were all going straight.” He reached up his back foot and scratched his ear.
    Mrs. Bushytail twitched her tail in her eagerness. “I got several nuts buried while you were all working on keeping those dogs busy elsewhere. But I must say, if that smallest dog stops eating treats, she may be able to fit in our log.”
    “That is true,” Mrs. Cottontail agreed.
    “Don’t worry,” chattered Mr. Bushytail, “all dogs are fed more treats then is good for them I’m sure. But they will never refuse one.”
    Yawning, Mr. Cottontail remarked, “I think the plan to tire out the city’s dogs is working just fine. But I must get some sleep before tomorrow comes.”
    The five animals departed for their respected homes to rest until the next day when more dogs would come to the park. And that is the secret of G. Tonnovich dog park in Circle City and why all dog owners love to bring their pets there to run.
Your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Unexpected Request - Part 57

Good Morning Western Wednesday Readers,
It is cooler now. The last few days have been summer again with the temperatures reaching 102. Now it is cloudy with an almost chilly breeze. I love fall!

I've gotten a little writing done, but this week is busy. I don't start writing class after all. That will be next week. I certainly wish I was traveling with Priscilla De Silvosa. :) But, I'm much to busy to join her and Amy.

I hope you enjoy this next part of The Unexpected Request. Thanks for the book reviews those that sent them. You all did a great job especially considering that not one of you has read the end yet.:)
What do you think of this part?

Part 57

    But Carson protested, “Rohbar, that mud’s so deep ya’d sink up ta the hubs a the wheels ‘fore ya’d a gotten ta the main street. I reckon Sally can walk on the boardwalks ‘long the street an’ it ain’t goin’ ta hurt her any. If’n she’s afraid a the mud, she ain’t the daughter a my best friend.”
    After a speech like that, Sally couldn’t have been paid to ride in a wagon. “It was very kind of you to offer, Mr. Rohbar, but I don’t mind walking. And,” she added with a smile for the missus, “a little mud never hurt any of my clothes. Good-bye!”

    The trip back to the house took longer than any of them expected, for the mud was so thick and heavy that it pulled on their boots making walking in the street almost impossible. At last, however, the trip was ended, as all trips eventually do, and the trio were sheltered once again in the dry, cozy house near the edge of town.
    Ty brought in wood and Carson started a blazing fire while Sally prepared to wash and mend the best of their clothes in preparation for the morrow. Without any trouble she had secured Carson’s approval to attend church in the morning with the Rohbars.
    The afternoon and evening passed quickly by. As she was mending, Sally questioned her brother and Carson about what had happened during their visit to the sheriff. Though she was relieved that Mason, Poker, Shorty and Duffer were now in jail, she was horrified to find out why Ty had had to leave home so quickly. “Ty, when we get back home, we need to get a sheriff.”
    “Reckon yer right.”
    Sally sewed a few minutes in silence. “Ty,” she began again, “I can’t think of anyone who would make a good sheriff. They’re either too old or too busy or something. You could be the sheriff.”
    Ty snorted and looked disgusted while Carson grinned.
    “What?” Sally asked, puzzled.
    Seeing that Ty didn’t intend to answer her, Carson did. “It’s jest that Ty’s been asked by the sheriff here ta stay an’ be his deputy.”
    “You would make a real good one, Ty,” Sally said slowly.
    “I ain’t gonna be no deputy,” he retorted. “I’ve got other things ta do an’ I ain’t stayin’ ‘round this here town.”
    “Of course we aren’t staying,” soothed Sally. “We aren’t going to really stay anywhere until we find . . . her.” It always felt a bit awkward talking about the missing Eleanor Elliot.
    Hardly any more talk was had that evening, and in silence, the trio prepared for the next day.

    The sun was shining and the mud on the streets was not as impassible as it had been, when Carson, Ty and Sally set off for the little church. Several birds were singing brightly up in the clear sky on that quiet morning. Sighing a contented sigh, Sally tucked her hand through her brother’s arm, and, when he glanced down at her, she smiled up at him, though there were tears in her eyes as she whispered, “It’s been so long.”

    It was a very quiet afternoon which the trio spent back at their temporary home following the church service. Sally wrote a letter to the Fields. It was only the third letter she had written in her life and it took her most of the afternoon as well as part of the evening.
    After supper, Carson and Ty sat before the fire, Carson checking over the bridles for their horses and Ty busy with knife and wood, whittling while Sally labored over her letter at the table.
    “Ty,” Carson began, “if’n we leave tomorrow, where ya thinkin’ a headin’?”
    “Ain’t sure. Jest on.”
    “Ya know winter’s comin’. It ain’t here now, but I reckon that cold rain yesterday wouldn’t a been so nice out in the open. What ya think a goin’ from town ta town, least ways till we get us a clue a some kind. Lest a course ya was wantin’ ta change yer mind ‘bout that deputy notion the sheriff’s got.” He grinned as Ty glowered and snorted.
    Silence descended for a time with only the soft crackling of the fire, the scratching of Sally’s pencil across the paper, a soft brushing sound from Ty’s knife and a gentle jingle now and then from the bridles. Outside the shouts and music from the saloons disturbed the Sunday evening hush which was seeking to settle over the town, lulling the townsfolk into slumber, preparing them for the week of work ahead.
    Sally laid down her pen at last. “I wrote a letter; I don’t know if it is the proper way to write one or not. But Ty, I did want to tell them where we are heading next,” she added the last wistfully.
    “What about headin’ fer Thorn Holler? Rohbar said it’s ‘bout a five day trek if’n we’re goin’ slow.”
    Ty paused in his whittling. “What direction’s it in?”
    “Well, I reckon jest ‘bout any place’d do, seein’ we ain’t got anythin’ ta go on. I sometimes think we were closer ta findin’ her back at Fort Laramie.”
    “We will find her, Ty,” Sally protested. “It hasn’t even been a year. We can’t give up now.”
    “I ain’t givin’ up, Sally. I’ll find her even if I have ta go over this here United States on foot!”
    Leaning back in his chair, Carson crossed his feet and drawled, “Well, I’m a hopin’ we ain’t goin’ ta have ta do much walkin’ I ain’t use ta it.”
    Sally couldn’t keep from smiling at Carson’s attempt to cheer Ty, and then with great care wrote:
    “Ty and Carson said we are going to Thorn Hollow next. It is a five day trip if we go slow. I will try to write from there. Sally.”

    After fastening the locks Carson had discovered on the doors, the trio turned in for the night.
Comments? I love comments.:)

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Mysterious Solution - The End

And a Fabulous Good Morning to all you Favorite Friday Fiction Fans!

This week has been busy, but the cooler weather as been wonderful!!! I've worked on my book, written a short story as well as worked on some other writing things, ironed baby clothes for a sale, made phone calls, sent e-mails, driven, walked every day, done some research for Priscilla, played secretary to Miss Smith, read almost all of a Ralph Connor book (A new one Hank) and other things. 

Tomorrow is going to be fun! I get to dress up and go to George Washington Carver National Monument for their "prairie days" and quilt! There will be all kinds of things to do: candle making, wood working, quilting and many other things. Don't you want to come?

Next week is going to be just as busy. I have to cut out and sew doll clothes, teach my first writing class of the season (I can't wait!), take the baby clothes after I get them all tagged and priced to the consignment sale, attend my niece's 5th birthday party (I can't believe Pickle Puss is turning 5!), babysit one evening, write and who knows what else will come up.

That has been my life. A whirl wind right now. But I won't ramble on any more but let you read the end of The Mysterious Solution.

Last week . . .

It wasn’t until late the next night that the professor again opened the door to his laboratory and entered. This time he wore no glasses.
Some time later, with tears streaming down his cheeks, he descended the stairs. “It works!” he cried. “Now to become famous! And then--” He was so excited that, even though it was nearly the middle of the night, he flung wide his front door and shouted, “Hear all you good people! I, Professor Stovkewetsky, your fellow townsman am about to be known all over the world! And you, my fine friends and neighbors shall all share in my glory!”
Before he had finished this joyful burst of news, windows had been flung wide up and down the street. There were murmuring voices heard, but the professor couldn’t tell what was being said. He naturally assumed it was congratulations and good wishes, so with a final shout he returned to his own house.

Very busy were the next few days for Professor Stovkewetsky. He carefully prepared the last of his new novel and dipped dozens and dozens of sheets of paper in his new mysterious solution and hung them up to dry.
At last the day came when Prof Stovkey loaded his old truck with boxes and drove off to the printer leaving the townsfolks shaking their heads.
“Oh, the poor man,” said one woman to her neighbor, “he is gone insane.”
“He has indeed. Imagine waking the whole town up in the middle of the night to say that he would be famous.”
“Yes,” added a third person with a shake of the head, “and now driving off with that load in his truck. I wouldn’t be surprised if he never made it back.”
“It is a pity,” yet another woman put in, “and he used to teach in the university too.”
“I suspect too much learning has driven him crazy.”

In spite of the dire predictions, Professor Stovkewetsky did make it back to the village two days later with a beaming face; he appeared in the market place the following day with a box of books.
“Come and buy my newest book,” he urged. “I guarantee it will make you cry. If it does not, your money will be given back to you. Now wouldn’t you like to try the story? It will be the most touching thing you have ever read.”
Many were the skeptical looks the professor and his books received, but a few persons, more out of pity than a desire to read what the professor had written, bought some books and the professor was satisfied. For several days Prof Stovkey sold his books in the village market, eagerly asking those who had purchased the book earlier if they had read it yet. No one had.
It wasn’t until fully two weeks and three days after he sold his first book that a villager came up to him in the market.
“I don’t know how you did it, Professor Stovkewetsky,” the man said shaking his head in wonder, “I never cry when I read books, but yours certainly made me cry. Why, I could hardly see the words for my tears.”
“Ah, I’m delighted you enjoyed it,” replied the professor in great satisfaction, rubbing his hands together. “I knew it would be a success.” He added as the reader of his book turned away, “Soon I’ll be able to hire a cook!” and he laughed gleefully in delight.
A crowd gathered around the village man who had read the book. “What was it like?”
“Did you really cry as he said you would?”
The man nodded. “I did cry, but why I don’t know. It is perplexing. When I think back on the story, I remember nothing that would make me cry, yet when I read the book, I couldn’t keep the tears away.”
“Ah, mysterious!”
“I must get one and try it.”
It wasn’t long before word of his touching novel spread throughout the village, and even those of the surrounding towns and cities began to come to buy this much talked of book. Soon the fame of it reached beyond Russia and Professor Stovkewetsky was kept busy preparing his special mixture, dipping and drying his papers, and taking truck load after truck load to the printer.
It was a joyful day for him when at last a cook was established in his kitchen. Many were the delightful meals that cook stirred up which were neither raw nor burned, and for many years Professor Stovkewetsky lived in great comfort from the sales of his last novel. Many a newsman came to interview the now famous author about his success, but Professor Stovkewetsky never would reveal his secret to them.
And the folks in the village marveled at the professor’s success and puzzled over the strange books, for when it was read aloud only the reader would cry while the others just looked on with dry eyes. It was certainly very mysterious.
It was only many years later that he told his cook what he had done. “You see,” he began, “I created this odorless mixture with which I saturate my pages. When those pages are before you, the undetected essence in them creates the need fro tears. Then the moving places in my book are printed on the special paper and my readers cry whether they want to or not. It has proved very effective.” He smiled. “And it has given me enough money to have a cook.” He sighed deeply and raised a large forkful of pie to his lips.
And so, Professor Stovkewetsky lived the remainder of his life eating food that was neither raw nor burnt and spending his days mixing his tear-jerking invention, dipping his papers and printing his novel. He never wrote another story. And people still puzzle over their tears, but only Professor Stovkewetsky and his cook know the mysterious solution.

I hope you cried because this was supposed to be a tear-jerker. :D
What did you think of it?
I mean besides rolling your eyes and saying in disgusted tones, "Bekah!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Unexpected Request - Part 56

Good Morning Western Wednesday Readers!
The cool, early autumn like weather has been here since Sunday! We've been able to get out and walk each day. It is so nice to be able to go outside and not get a sinus headache because of the heat and humidity! If you haven't noticed my publishing progress on this story, go here to see it.:)
I hope you enjoy this next part.

Part 56

It was still raining when the two companions reached the livery. Tramping through the mud had been no easy matter and they were both wet and their boots were filthy. There was no Sally to be seen in the stall with Starlight and, after checking on the horse, Ty and Carson started for the blacksmith’s shop. Here they were greeted from the doorway by Herr Rohbar.
“Velcome, mine herrs! Ze fraulein she ish keeping mine Frau Senora company an playing vith the kindders, nein? But mine Herrs! Your clothes zay are vet! Come in by mine fire, zay shall soon be dry. I call mine Nita. She bring you hot drink, nein?” Before either man could protest, if he had wanted to, Herr Rohbar had pulled open the door leading from the smithy to the little house where his family lived and called, “Nita, bring hot drinks for our fraulein’s bruder an’ friend!”
“Si, my esposo. I bring drinks and food,” was the soft reply heard from the other side of the door.
“She come,” Herr Rohbar informed his visitors as though they couldn’t hear his wife’s answer.
Carson and Ty simply nodded. Both were standing near the blazing fire warming up. The rain had been cold, giving them a taste of the coming fall as it penetrated their clothing.
“Glad we ain’t out on the trail, Ty,” remarked Carson, rubbing his hands together.
“Mr. Rohbar,” Ty turned to the blacksmith.
“Our horse, how soon ya think she can get her shoe on?”
Herr Rohbar thought. “Ze horse, she ish not much hurt. Rest today an’ tomorrow. I maybe think I can give her new shoe Monday. You vant much to be gone from Dead Horse?”
“Jest wantin’ ta get back on the road ‘fore long.”
Before more talking could be done, the door opened and Frau Senora Juanita entered with a tray of steaming mugs and a plate of cakes. Behind her came Sally carrying the baby and wearing a look of relief as she caught sight of her brother and Carson.
Ty took the offered mug with a smile and a murmured thanks. He was watching his sister.
“Oh, Ty!” she sighed softly, “you are back. I was worried. It was taking so long. They won’t get out will they?”
“Not them,” snorted Ty in low tones, glancing about the shop. Carson and Herr Rohbar had already begun a conversation, and Mrs. Rohbar was ushering the older two children back into the house. No one was paying any attention to the brother and sister.
Sally shifted the child from one arm to the other. “Isn’t he sweet, Ty?” she asked as the young one nestled his head against her neck and offered a timid smile to Ty.
Returning the smile, Ty agreed.
“What is the sheriff going to do with ‘them’?”
Trying to smother a yawn, Ty replied, “He’s wirin’ the U.S. Marshall ‘bout ‘em cause Bartram is their leader an’ he’s a wanted man.”
Sally looked concerned. “Does that mean we have to stay here until he comes?”
Ty shook his head. “Nope. I want ta leave soon’s we can. The blacksmith said he thinks he can get a shoe on Starlight day after tomorra.”
“Ty, that reminds me. Tomorrow is Sunday and the Rohbar’s invited us to go to church with them. I accepted for all of us. I didn’t think you would mind.” She looked anxiously up at him. Would he mind going to church? He had gone when he was at home, but that had been years ago. “Please.”
“Ya really want ta go?”
She nodded.
“We ain’t got any goin’ ta meetin’ clothes, Sis.”
“That’s all right. I can wash and mend a few things this afternoon and if you and Uncle Bob, no,” she paused as she glanced across the room. “Uncle Bob doesn’t shave, but you can. You’ll look real handsome after you shave and have some nicer clothes on.”
“As handsome as Joe Fields?” Ty couldn’t resist asking.
“More handsome,” Sally stoutly insisted, though her cheeks flushed.
“All right. I’ll go. Ya got ta convince Carson ta go though, if’n ya want him.”
“I will,” Sally smiled. Her heart was light with the prospect before her, and she began to plan what they would wear.

Soon the call for dinner was heard and Herr Rohbar urged his guests inside to partake. No one hesitated, for the tantalizing smells had been teasing their stomachs for some time and a hot meal on such a rainy day was not to be turned away. Very pleasant it was to sit in a warm, dry house listening to the rain outside and partaking of the marvelous Mexican food, with a few German dishes added, which Frau Senora Juanita Rohbar had carefully prepared.
There was not much talking during the meal and when it was over, Ty rose, thanking the Rohbar’s for their hospitality and preparing to depart. Carson and Sally also arose with expressions of thanks. Sally was anxious to hear all about the interview with the sheriff and she knew Ty well enough to know that he wouldn’t talk about it before others.
The rain had mostly stopped except for an occasional drizzle, but the streets were a mass of solid mud.
“Ah, mine Herrs,” Herr Rohbar protested, rising and stopping before the door in dismay. “You vould not think of taking ze young fraulein out in zat mud! Ja, ze rain, she ish shtopped, but ze road it ish notting but mud. Nein! Her shoes, zay vill be ruined! An’ her clothes! Nein, you vait for a leetle vile.”
“I’m wearing boots,” Sally said, smiling and lifting up the edge of her skirts.
“But your skirt!” The blacksmith was quite upset. “Nein! Nein! Dass ist nicht gut!” In his distress he lapsed into his native tongue. “Vait!” he exclaimed suddenly. “I vill hitch up ze vagon an zen you can ride home vith comfort.”
“Si!” His pretty wife agreed.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Mysterious Solution - Part 1

Good Morning FFFs,
Welcome to September. It is hot! When Dad and I were coming home last night about 9:25, the temperature was 91 degrees! But, next week is supposed to be in the 80s! Yay! Fall is really coming. I love fall. I think it is my favorite season. I've always loved the colors, the coolness, the crunch of leaves, curling up with a blanket and a good book, and I could go on and on, but you get the picture.:)

Life has been busy since I posted last Friday. We came home from my grandparents' and have been busy since. Tuesday we did things we do on Thursday, and Thursday we had a meeting that we usually have on Tuesday! So, I'm mixed up. But at least I'm posting.

I haven't gotten lots of writing in, partly because I've been busy, but partly because I couldn't seem to get my brain to work. However, I did manage to write something. I wrote a story. My dad gave me the plot for this one since a friend wanted me to write a certain kind of story, but I wasn't in the mood yet. This was rather fun to write because I don't write this kind usually.:)
And now that I'm aroused your curiosity, I'll let you read part one.:)

The Mysterious Solution
Rebekah M.

In a little town in Russia, there lived an odd, and if the reports are to be credited, rather eccentric man. For many years he had been a professor in a nearby university and had written and published many a novel, none of which hadsold more than a hundred copies. However, it was not his writing which caused the whispers among the village folks, it was the strange rumors going around about his experiments.
Some people said he locked himself in his house for days at a time and wouldn’t answer the door. Others reported lights on in an upper room late into the night. In the market place the women talked together in low tones.
“Have you seen Prof Stovkewetsky?” asked one woman selling vegetables.
“Not for several days,” replied another behind her stand of potatoes.
“He came to my stand last week and bought all my red flowers. He would only take red,” chimed in a third mysteriously.
“And I heard,” a fourth spoke up as she joined the group with her market basket on her arm, “that several large packages have arrived for him from America.”
“You don’t say!”
“I wonder what he is about.”
“Is he writing another novel?” A sixth person, drawn by the low toned conversation had drawn near and added her question.
The second woman replied, “If he is, then why such secrecy and why did he buy all my red flowers?”
“My house is just across the road from his and things have been very mysterious.” And the speaker looked as though she could tell things of great interest if she so chose.

By himself, away from gossiping, wondering, speculating tongues, Professor Stovkewetsky was very busy in his laboratory on the second floor of his house. He was muttering half aloud as he carefully strained a strange looking mixture into a pan and began to heat it on his little stove. “Heat over low temperatures. Add Q plus ten spoonfuls of X. Stir the onions in cold water while the Q and X amalgamates. Cover R3G with . . .” So, muttering and murmuring, he shuffled here and there mixing, heating, stirring.
He had been at work for weeks, months even, trying to find the special formula which would make him world famous. With no one did he share his idea for fear they would find the correct mixture before he did, and if they did, well, his dreams would perish. The very thought of such a thing happening caused Professor Stovkewetsky to sigh and place a hand over his stomach while a look of dejection crept across his usually placid face.
Having retired from teaching, Professor Stovkewetsky or Prof Stofkey as his students called him behind his back, was now able to devote his entire time to his work. Days passed as the professor labored tirelessly day after day and often far into the nights. At last he was ready for the experiment.
Nearly giddy with excitement, Professor Stovkewetsky cleared a place on a table where he placed a large, square, glass dish. Stringing up some twine across the room, and getting a dozen sheets of plain paper out, he was ready. After donning glasses, a clean white frock, a face mask and gloves, he ever so carefully poured a clear mixture into the glass pan. It was only enough to cover the bottom of the dish about a quarter of an inch, but the professor smiled behind his mask. Then, with fingers which shook with excitement, he placed one sheet of paper into the liquid.
Watching the paper as it absorbed the moisture was a fascinating pocess which required all of Prof Stovkey’s attention. At just the right moment, with extreme care, the paper was removed, held dripping over the pan for exactly thirty seconds and then hung from the twine to dry while another paper was placed in the mixture. Each of the twelve pieces of paper received the same careful attention and treatment.
Taking off his gloves and face mask, though he left his glasses on, Professor Stovkewetsky sniffed.
“I don’t smell a thing. Maybe I have hit on it at last! But I must wait until the paper is dry before I can really test it.” So saying, he left the room, carefully shutting and locking the door behind him, and went downstairs to eat whatever he could find in the house.
He had not been a successful cook in his younger years, so now he ate everything raw or burned. “When I am rich and famous,” he would say to himself, “I’ll hire some good cook to work for me.” And he would sigh and place his hand over his stomach again.
It wasn’t until late the next night that the professor again opened the door to his laboratory and entered. This time he wore no glasses.

Come back next week for the conclusion of the story.
Any questions so far?