Friday, June 28, 2013

Time Traveler

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,
I hope you all had a good week. It's been a hot week here. Yesterday it was 102 degrees with a heat index of I'm not sure what! And the humidity is really bad! It is supposed to cool off some tonight and be only in the mid 80s tomorrow which would be wonderful!

This week has been pretty good. On Friday evening my Heart-Sister came down and spent the night and we played tennis in the morning and spent the rest of the day talking. She had to go home that evening. It sure was good to have her even for a little while.
Most of this week has been full of working on getting Triple Creek Ranch corrected and compiled into chapters and the chapter titles thought of. I also had to try and find pictures to be models for my characters so my illustrator would have something to go off of. That took a while!
I've also been writing in the evenings. The last two evenings I've actually started earlier than I have for a long time and was able to get a lot written. Last night I wrote 2,000 words of the "sequel" to "The Graham Quartet and the Lonely Cabin." (Hmm, is a sequel the same length at the first part or can it be a different length? Maybe this is just the rest of the story and not a sequel. I guess you'll have to read it and decide.)

But . . . My big new adventure that is going to begin next Wednesday is that my best friend and I will be driving up to Canada to visit her twin sister and my other best friend! Neither one of us has ever gone on such a long road trip with just another girl. And though I've had a passport for several years, I've still never been out of the country! The planning is pretty exciting, but it is hard to believe we're really going to do this! So, if you happen to think about us on the 3rd, 4th or 5th you can pray for safety as we drive. We'll only be going about 3 hours on Wednesday, but on the 4th we'll be driving about 11 hours. Then we're crossing the border on the 5th. (Next Friday.) And we'll be gone for two weeks! We won't be getting home until the 16th.
But don't worry, I will have something scheduled to post on the 5th and the 12th. If I have time and internet, I'll get on and update the posts before they post so you'll know how things are going. :)

Now I wrote something the other night to post, but it turned out to be a flop. I almost never have a flop when I write but I guess all authors do some times. That really was a problem, however, because I had been counting on that story to post today. So I scrambled. And I searched through my files hoping I'd discover something I hadn't posted yet. At last I did. It was a story I'd written for a paper some friends were writing, but I never posted it here. It's not as long as usual and was written several years ago, but I hope you enjoy it. It's at least better than the flop. :)

Time Traveler

    Panting after their rapid climb up the steep mountain, Wallace and Morgan paused before the little cabin.
    “I wonder where we’ll go this time,” Morgan wondered when she could speak.
    Her brother shrugged and opened the door. Once you pushed that time button you never knew where you would end up. This time would be no different they were both certain.
    Climbing in the strange machine and taking a deep breath, Wallace asked, “Are you ready?”
    “Ready,” his sister replied.
    A whirl, a roar and everything went black; the seats shook and then all at once they heard shouts and cries as though a great throng of people were nearby.
    “Where are we?” Morgan whispered, as they were still in the dark.
    “I don’t know. Maybe this is a closet.” As he spoke, Wallace was feeling around. “Ah, here is a door handle,” he exclaimed. Giving the door a shove, it opened to reveal a room of some sort. The sound of people was coming from outside though.
    Quickly, with scarcely a glance about them, the two children dashed through the room into another which proved to be a shop of some sort. Out the windows they were able to see the crowd lined up, talking and making such a lot of noise.
    Gripping each other’s hands so as not to become separated, they opened the door and began to slowly push and shove their way through the men, women and children until they reached the edge of the street.
    “Wow!” shouted Morgan as she saw the tall buildings across the street and then, looking up, noticed the equally tall ones behind them. “Wallace, look at all the people in the windows!”
    Wallace looked, completely puzzled. It was evident that they were in a large city and the people spoke English for he caught stray words here and there like “Solo” “Lone Eagle” “Received Flying Cross” and “Paris.” However, before he could figure it out, a sudden shout was heard.
    “They’re coming!”
    Instantly thousands of throats filled the air with cheer upon cheer while pieces of paper began floating from the windows above.
    Morgan and Wallace joined in the cheers for it was impossible not to shout when everyone around you was, even if you didn’t know what or who you were cheering.
    Down the street came policemen mounted on horses. There were also soldiers, some of whom carried flags.
    “I think that is New York’s flag, Morgan,” Wallace pointed. That must mean they were in New York. Probably in New York City.
    Then a car, with mounted riders for escorts on either side, came into view. In the car a young looking man sat on the back with a grin on his face and waved to the people. All at once the ticker tape which had only come down slowly before, began to pour from the sky or so it seemed. Millions upon millions of pieces; so many that it almost looked like a blizzard though it was much too warm for snow.
    As the parade drew closer, Morgan, standing on tiptoe, shouted in her brother’s ear, “I’ve seen that guy before.”
    “So have I,” Wallace hollered back in return, “but where? When?”
    “Lindy! Lindy! Lindy!” the crowd chanted.
    “Hurrah for the Spirit of St. Louis!” someone in the crowd behind the children bellowed.
    That was it! Wallace gasped in excitement, his eyes wide with delight and excitement.
    Without thinking what he was doing, he dashed forward, darted before a horse and reached the side of the car. Looking up, he saw his hero, the daredevil barnstormer, the first to cross the ocean in an airplane flying solo, the great Charles Lindbergh himself!
    As he looked up at the young man with his infectious grin, Lindbergh reached out his hand and quickly grasped that of Wallace. It was only a brief handclasp for someone jerked him back away from the car, but he had touched him! He had shaken his hand! What a story to tell back home!
    Morgan was shaking his arm and shouting at him. He turned to look at her.
    “Did you really get to touch him?” she shouted. “For real?”
    Still astonished that it had happened, Wallace could only nod and stare at his hand.
    The rest of the parade passed, but neither children took much notice. They had seen Charles Lindbergh! The crowd pushed them along with its masses until, gradually disappearing from around them, they were left standing together on a sidewalk.
    There was a blast of a horn, a roar and everything went black.

    Opening their eyes, Wallace and Morgan climbed out of the time traveler and looked at each other with starry eyes.
    “Wait till we tell those at home what happened to us!” Morgan breathed.
    But Wallace shook his head. “They’ll never believe us. Never.”

Did you enjoy it?
How would you like to travel back in time for a brief visit?
What would you like to experience?

P.S. If this was too short for you, go and read "The Graham Quartet and the Lonely Cabin" because next week you'll get the next part of it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dr. Morgan - Part 12

Hello Friday Fiction Fans!
Wow! That was quite a response I got with plenty of votes to make it interesting. When I started the voting last Friday, I wasn't at all sure which brand would win. And as time went on and more votes came in, I still wasn't sure. Those that voted were a great mixture of folks. I had adults, children, young people, boys and girls. Some gave their reason for which one they voted for, others voted and didn't tell anyone. Last night I began the count and finished counting the last few votes this morning that had come in after I went to bed. You want to know the outcome? First I do want to say thank you to everyone who voted. It made choosing a brand so much easier and more fun. Also, yes, I do realize that any brand with a C can be changed to an O, but some of these could be changed easier than others. There were 69 votes cast.
With that said--

drum roll please . . . . .  .
Tied at last place are B & D with 3 votes each

5th place is A with 7 votes.

4th place goes to E with 8 votes.

3rd place is G with 12 votes

While 2nd place goes to F with 13 votes.


The winning brand is . . . 
C with 23 votes!

Thank you all for voting.

Now on to other things.
I haven't had a much time to write this week as sometimes, but I did manage to finish one story and (Triple Creek Ranch fans will be glad to know) I started writing the 2nd book. I haven't gotten very far, but it's started. Just pray I get lots of ideas and time to write. :) The other story I started working on is a sequel to "The Graham Quartet and the Lonely Cabin." :) I think I know what is happening, now I just have to have the time to write it. But don't worry, it's pretty interesting and I want to keep writing.

Come back next week to hear about my newest, biggest adventure that is coming right up!

Here's the next part of Dr. Morgan for those of you who have been waiting for it. I'm not sure it's going to be of much help to you, but I hope you enjoy it. And please let me know if you have any ideas as I don't have much more of this story written.

Part 12

    Justin rose. “I must go. I didn’t realize it was so late. If all goes well, I’ll release Amy tomorrow and bring her up.”
    The others rose also and followed him into the entry way where he put on his coat.
    “Thanks again for letting her come here. I don’t know if it will help her memory any to be around the little ones, but she couldn’t remain at the hospital much longer.”
    “Be careful driving down, Justin.”
    “I will, Mom. And,” he added kissing her, “I’ll call when I reach the hospital. Good night.”

    It was a matter of seconds after Justin replaced the phone in his office when Philips appeared at the door.
    “I’m glad you’re back, sir.”
    Dr. Morgan looked up in surprise. “What’s wrong?”
    “I’m not sure anything is really wrong, but Amy won’t go to bed. She is restless and hasn’t eaten. She won’t talk, but she doesn’t have a fever.”
    “Who is with her?” Quickly Dr. Morgan was getting ready.
    “Nurse Jones.”
    “How long has she been this way?”
    Philips glanced at his watch. “I went up to check when her tray came down untouched at seven-twenty-five.”
    Justin glanced at his watch. It was nearly ten-thirty now. “Why wasn’t I called?”
    “No one thought it was anything to worry about, sir. Dr. Wright and Dr. Douglas didn’t want to bother you since there really was no cause for alarm.” The young intern spoke apologetically and looked worried.
    Seeing this, Justin hastened to reassure him. “It probably isn’t anything to worry about. She’s been restless for several days now. I’ll run up and see if I can’t get her to sleep. Thanks for filling in for me, Philips.” And Dr. Morgan hurried away.
    On the stairs, Dr. Douglas met him. “Going up to check on Amy?”
    Justin nodded. “Why didn’t anyone call me?”
    “And tell you what? A missed meal should not be alarming; as for not going to bed, that’s only been in the last hour, and we figured you’d be back. Calm down, Morgan.” He placed a restraining hand on his colleague’s arm. “Nurse Jones hasn’t called for anyone, so things can’t be too serious.”
    Drawing a deep breath, Dr. Morgan gave a slight smile. “I was rather startled by the news. Perhaps it will help if I tell her she’s leaving the hospital tomorrow.”
    “It might at that. Things worked out?”
    Dr. Morgan nodded and the two physicians parted.

    Pausing outside Room 212, Dr. Morgan knocked softly and a moment later Nurse Jones opened the door. She looked visibly relieved and held open the door.
    “Hello, Amy.”
    Amy stood at the window with her back to the door and didn’t turn around, though she acknowledged the greeting with a grunt.
    Shaking her head, Nurse Jones murmured, “She’s been like this since I’ve been here. Won’t talk, won’t sit, won’t sleep.”
    Dr. Morgan nodded and stepped farther into the room. “Amy, I was planing on releasing you from the hospital tomorrow and sending you up to stay with Danny and Jenny, but if you don’t get to bed and get some rest, I’ll have to keep you another day or so.”
    Turning around, Amy looked at him, her face full of questions, fear and frustration. “You really will let me leave tomorrow?” she asked.
    “If you take your medicine and get to bed now.”
    “It won’t do any good,” she muttered half aloud.
    Dr. Morgan eyed her searchingly. “Why?”
    “I can’t sleep.”
    “You haven’t tried.”
    “I tried earlier.” She hobbled over to the bed and sat down. “But I can’t remember the song and it’s driving me crazy!” Her words were frantic.
    “Do you know any of the tune?” The question was quiet and calming.
    “Only parts.”
    “Hum them for me.”
    With her eyes on the floor, Amy hummed a phrase or two and then waited. She wasn’t sure Dr. Morgan could help her remember the song, but it was worth a try.

“God that madest earth and heaven,
Darkness and light,
Who the day for toil has given
For rest the night . . .”

    Dr. Morgan had no need for any song book to remember that tune, and he sang the first verse softly.
    “That’s it! Why was I remembering that song?” Amy demanded as the nurse came and helped her into bed, settled her pillows and gave her her medicine.
    “I’m not sure,” Dr. Morgan replied, “but perhaps it is because my sister sang it to you several times just before your fever broke.”
    Amy was quiet as Justin looked at her chart and then moved to the door.
    “Doctor,” she called to him just as he snapped off the light. “Please, won’t you sing the entire song. I don’t know why it was bothering me, but I want to hear it all.”
    For answer, Dr. Morgan began the evening song once again standing in the doorway. He sang it with feeling, remembering that night when Heather had sung it. He prayed it would calm Amy now as it did then, but he didn’t know that down the hall another patient, hearing the haunting tune, relaxed and slept or that Dr. Wright and Dr. Douglas paused on the stairs to listen while the few nurses stood silently at their posts letting the music refresh them for the long, quiet night ahead.
    The song over, Dr. Morgan shut Amy’s door and moved quietly down the hall to the stairs. He glanced curiously at his fellow physicians standing on the stairs, passed them and headed towards his office.
    He checked his desk for anything important, put on his boots, grabbed his coat and headed to his small boarding house across the street, little dreaming what comfort and rest that song had given.

    “Oh, I’m tired,” he yawned, taking off his boots and hanging his coat on its hook. “At least Amy will have a good home, and maybe I won’t worry so much about her.” He sighed, snapped off his light and crawled into bed.

Questions you want the story to answer?
Ideas of what might happen?
Comments about this part?
Any other thoughts you wish to share?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cookie Trouble - Part 2

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans!
It has been a hot week here with heat index in the 90s. At least we don't have heat index of 115 like we have had the past few summers.

 If you are a new reader to this blog, welcome! I'm delighted to have you and hope you'll stick around and read for a while. :) Feel free to check out my other stories and leave me comments about anything.

I need your help! I received 21 brands for Triple Creek Ranch and after looking them over and getting others to pick, we've narrowed it down to 7 semi-finalists. This is where you come in. I'm going to post a picture with all five of the brands on it. Your job, should you choose to accept it and I hope you will, is to vote on your favorite brand.
Two things to remember:
* This brand will be on all the cattle of Triple Creek Ranch and must be easy to read.
* Also, be careful of cattle rustlers. (Men who steal cattle) They like to add something to brands to make them look different so they won't be so easy to recognize.
Click on the picture to see it larger.

Just leave your vote in a comment. You can leave your name or vote anonymous. I'll let you know next week who won. 

Not too busy of a week. I've been working on another story for "Project 12." I really need to write a few short stories just for the blog. Anyone have any ideas of what they'd like? Plots, instructions, story ideas, sequels to other stories, etc. If so, let me know by a comment or by e-mailing me at

Now I suppose I should let you all get back to Ria who was left locked in her room by "the gang" while they ate the cookies. It was fun to hear that Ria wasn't the only one who would have locked all those boys out of the house. But here is the end of the story. Enjoy!

Cookie Trouble
Part 2

    Left alone, Ria laughed heartily for several minutes and then began to wish someone would let her out. She tried the door in a vain hope that Al had slipped up and unlocked it for her, but it was not so. She could hear the lads talking and enjoying themselves below. Sitting on her bed her eyes glanced about the room for something to occupy the time. Alas, she had left her book downstairs. What could she do? She didn’t want to do anything really. And then her eye fell on the half open window.
    In a flash she was across the room and looking out. Her window was on the front of the house and looked out over the porch roof. To the side of the porch a large tree grew with several branches stretching out above the roof. The more Ria gazed, the more convinced she became that she could do it. Without waiting for second thoughts, she pushed the window open all the way and clambered out. Once on the roof, she stifled a giggle and carefully shut the window. Cautiously she crept closer and closer to the tree. She had climbed the tree many times, but never had she started from the roof. Before she began her descent, she paused and listened. No voices were to be heard on the porch.
    “Just the same,” she said to herself, “I’ll stay on the farther side of the tree if at all possible. I don’t want them to know that their prisoner is escaping!”
    The green leafy branches soon hid her behind them as limb by limb she climbed down. When she was level with the porch windows she peered around the trunk and saw no sign of any boy.
    “Good, they’re probably still in the kitchen or dining room.”
    One final drop, a dash across the yard and a spring up to the porch of their neighbor. The storm door was wide open allowing the fresh breeze to blow in through the screen door.
    “Come on in, Ria,” a voice called before Ria had a chance to knock.
    Breathing hard from excitement Ria slipped quickly inside.

    The clamor in the kitchen had somewhat died down and the cookies were vanishing with great rapidity before one of the boys asked, “How long are we going to make Ria stay up there?”
    “Until we finish the cookies,” Chris suggested.
    “Well that won’t be long at the rate you are devouring them,” snorted Walt giving his cousin a friendly shove as he reached for yet another cookie.
    “I think we ought to let her out if she promises never to do the like again,” Sam laughed.
    “Oh, come on, Sam,” Fred put in quickly. “Would you deprive her of all her fun? I say we let her out now.”
    “Second it,” came Al’s quiet voice.
    Ed jerked his head towards the stairs. “Go do it then.”
    Al and Fred took the steps two at a time and were soon knocking on Ria’s door. There was no answer. “Ria,” Al called turning the key to unlock the door.
    Still no response. The cousins looked at each other. Why wasn’t she answering? Fred knocked again. Still silence. Al pushed open the door quietly and looked in. The room was empty!
    “Hey, where is she?”
    “Got me! Maybe she’s hiding.”
    However, a quick search of the room soon showed that Ria was not there.
    It didn’t take long before the entire gang were searching in every conceivable place about the house. It was useless, and finally Ed called them all together in the front room.
    “Since Ria is not in the house, she must have gotten out somehow--”
    “Hey!” Chris broke in, “what about the tree?”
    Raising an eyebrow, Ed looked questioningly at his youngest brother. “What tree?”
    “You know, the one by the porch. I’ll bet she climbed out her window, went across the roof and then down the tree.”
    A chorus of agreement filled the room and Chris was sent up to check the window. He quickly returned saying the window was shut but not all the way.
    Rapidly the guys were divided into groups to go around the yard and neighborhood. The twins and Jack were sent to check with a few neighbors where Ria might have taken refuge.

    Corporal lowered his paper as Jimmy knocked and called for the three boys to come in. “What can I do for you?” he asked pleasantly.
    The twins, after glancing around, saw no sign of Ria. “Well, we were wondering if you had seen Ria.”
    “Oh yes,” Corporal said, “she is not quite five feet, has dark hair and--”
    Johnny interrupted him with a grin, “We meant have you seen her today.”
    “Today? Why yes, she did come over this morning. Have you lost her?” There was a twinkle of amusement in the older man’s eyes.
    “We didn’t exactly lose her, Sir, but we can’t find her.”
    “So what did happen? You boys weren’t picking on her too much now, were you?”
    Grinning, the three lads told their story, not omitting Ria locking them out of the house. Having inherited the art of storytelling from their mother, it was several minutes before Johnny finished the last of it.
    Corporal looked at them momentarily and then burst into a roar of laughter as from behind the couch, Ria’s head popped up while she asked sweetly, “Were you looking for me?”
    Johnny rolled his eyes and Jimmy shook his head. Jack just chuckled.
    “Go call the others in, Jack,” Johnny begged, “before they disturb all the neighbors. We should have known she was here when she wasn’t at home.”
    “And you,” Jimmy pointed a finger at his sister, as she crawled from her place of concealment, and pretended to speak sternly though his twinkling eyes betrayed his amusement, “are going home with us and with us you will stay so we can keep you out of mischief.”
    Ria giggled as she darted over to hug Corporal. “Thanks for the fun time. If the gang didn’t eat all the cookies, I’ll bring you some later.”
    “You are most welcome, Ria. Remember, my door is always open to you.”
    With a merry laugh, Ria darted out the door with cousin and brothers hot on her heels.

Did you enjoy the story?
Would you have climbed out the window or just waited?
If you were one of the "gang" would you have been for letting
Ria out with Al and Fred?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cookie Trouble - Part 1

And a Lovely Good Morning to You, FFFs!
I hope this morning finds the sun shining and the sky blue above you. Well, of course it always is, you just can't always see it because of those clouds that get in the way.

The last homeschool conference for me is over and I'd rather glad. I enjoy conferences, but after a while they do get tiring. Now maybe I can get back into writing for real. This week hasn't had much of interest except my sister's birthday and my parent's anniversary. (All on the same day.) I've gotten some writing done in the evenings, but not much. It's been one of those times where I can't seem to figure out what to write on any of the stories started on NEO, or if I have ideas, I can't seem to get them from my brain to the screen. But, it is getting better. I actually finished a short story that's been on there since February! Worked on another story that's been on there longer than that, and even got some ideas and wrote a little on a story that was started a LONG time ago. But that's not all. I do have some news for you. :)

News Flash!
Triple Creek Ranch - Book 1 has been written! Now I didn't say it was ready for publication. The ending was approved this week, I re-read and marked corrections and handed the notebook off to my first test reader/best friend/chapter divider. Once she's done with it, I'll give it to my sister for another read before making all the corrections and dividing the book into chapters with chapter names. :) Then the book has to go to my test readers, get to my illustrator and all that sort of thing. And, since I didn't think you all would like it if you got the first book and then had to wait several years for the 2nd book, I'm going to start work on the 2nd book hopefully very soon. I'd really like to be able to get them published within a few months of each other. So, you can pray that I'm inspired. :)

All readers who would like to enter cattle brands for Triple Creek -- This is your last week to do so! Since I have finished writing the first book, I'm going to need the Brand soon. (Can't have the cattle running around unmarked.) Send your brands to You might want to make sure your brands only have Triple Creek in them. (Or some form of the name or initials.) Don't use Norman's initials because the Triple Creek was around long before it was his. Also, you might want to leave Ranch out of the brand since all the ranches had brands like "Silver Spur," "Rimrock," "Broken K" and so on. Feel free to enter as many brands as you would like. The more I get the more I'll like it. :)

Now, since I couldn't decide just want story to post this week since I haven't gotten any new ones written and ready, I went looking through my files. Ah hah! What did I discover but a few stories that I had written for "Ria and the Gang." However, when I decided not to write that book, I kept all the stories and never posted them. This is the very first story I wrote about Ria and the Gang. I hope you enjoy it! :) I'm chuckling just rereading some of it again. :D

Cookie Trouble
Part 1

    The smell of freshly baked cookies pervaded the kitchen and drifted out into the rest of the house. Ria Mitchell paused before the front screen door and sniffed. Her mouth was already watering as she pulled open the door and stepped in letting it slam behind her.
    “Mom!” Ria’s steps halted in the kitchen doorway.
    Mrs. Mitchell looked up from the cookies she was placing on a tray. “Hi Ria. Did you have fun shopping with Grandma?”
    Ria nodded and reached for a cookie. “Are you leaving soon?”
    After a quick glance at the clock, her mother nodded. “As soon as I get the last pan of cookies out of the oven. You don’t mind staying here alone for a little while, do you?”
    Ria grinned. “It won’t be long. The gang is supposed to be here in fifteen minutes, and unless Jason or Sam delay them, they’ll be here then.”
    The last pan of cookies was pulled from the oven before Mrs. Mitchell replied. “If they are late, you can always go over to Corporal’s house. He told me he would be home all day today. You can even take him a plate of cookies if you want. But you might want to fix the plate first or the gang will eat all the cookies.”
    Mother and daughter laughed. They well knew the gang’s ability to make food disappear. The so called “gang” was composed of Ria’s brothers, male cousins and a few friends, all of whom were older than herself. The Mitchell home, central in its location in town, was the usual meeting place for the gang. It was here in the spacious front room with its large fireplace and numerous windows that discussions and debates were held and plans made for the future doings of the members. Mrs. Mitchell, or “Aunt Emma” as nearly all the gang called her, was a welcomed guest whenever she chose to make an appearance as was “Uncle Mitch.” Ria came and went at her own pleasure among the gang knowing she would be welcomed, petted or teased depending on the mood of the lads. Being the only girl cousin around, above the age of four years, made her rather special. If she had been anyone else, Ria would no doubt have been lonely. As it was, however, she made the most of the gang and thrived like a daisy among the thistles. Having twenty-five lads around could grow somewhat tiring and Ria was thankful for her new best friend Lydia Smith and her correspondence with her cousin, Milly, who lived in Massachusetts.
    As Mrs. Mitchell drove away, Ria stood in the doorway waving. The sun was shining brightly and everywhere things were green. Birds sang here and there in the trees and over at a neighbor’s house, a dog barked.
    With a giggle Ria suddenly bent down and pulled the extra key from under the doormat, shut the door and locked it. Hurrying to the back door she shut and locked that as well. She was quite hungry. The cookies were waiting. No one was there. She really wasn’t going to eat them all. She knew better than that. First of all she fixed a plate of cookies for Corporal and set a note on top.
    Pouring herself a glass of milk, Ria sat down at the kitchen table and picked up a cookie. She could hear the voices of several of the boys approaching the house and she hoped Ed didn’t have a key. Quickly she glanced toward the door. No, the key was still hanging on the hook. A smile flickered across her face and then settled into a broad grin as she heard the door being tried unsuccessfully.
    “Mom must have left. Hey!” Jimmy exclaimed, “The key isn’t here. Oh well,” he added, “The back door is probably unlocked. Come on.”
    They were coming! Ria couldn’t contain a little laugh and nearly choked on her cookie. It wasn’t everyday she could think of something like this to do.
    “This door is locked too, Ed.”
    “What? Well, knock on the door. I’m sure Ria is home or Mom would have left a key or one of the doors unlocked.”
    “Hey!” the voice of the youngest Mitchell lad was heard. “Ria is in the kitchen eating the cookies!”
    Ria grinned to herself and pretended not to hear.
    The door was pounded on with great force, but Ria remained unmoved. Even the rattle of the window didn’t disturb her quiet enjoyment of freshly baked cookies.
    “Ria! Open this door!” Ed’s voice was commanding.
    No answer.
    “Come on, Ria, please!” Tom begged.
    “Yeah, we’re hungry.” Jack rattled the door handle.
    “If you open the door now we promise to not do anything to you,” Ray told her.
    And Will added, “But if you don’t open the door . . .” To all coaxing, pleading and threats Ria remained deaf. After a little while she would unlock a door and then run for her life. But right now she was enjoying her little joke.
    Outside, Ed spoke softly to Tom and Jack, “Keep up the knocking and demanding an entrance.” Then, beckoning the rest of the gang to follow him, he led them some distance into the yard. “All right. It looks like Ria is in a stubborn streak right now and there’s no telling when she’ll let us in. Johnny, you and Jimmy, Winston and Sam go around to the front door and knock and call and try to get the door open. Don’t stop until the door opens.”
    The four boys set off at once.
    “Will, Jason and Fred, go help at the back door.”
    William nodded, and they hurried back to the house.
    “Now, Chris, Dave and Walt, you three see if you can get in at a window somewhere. You are small enough to fit in. Just be quiet about it. Once you are in, one of you slip to the front door and unlock it and the others take the back door and Ria. Ray and Phil, they might need a hand. The rest of us will help wherever we’re needed.”
    It was only five minutes later that Chris discovered the sewing room window was unlatched and, softly calling to the others, pushed it open. With great caution Ray and Phil assisted the three younger lads to crawl in through the window. Once in Chris, Dave and Walt grinned at each other.
    Ria was on her fifth cookie when suddenly Chris and Walt burst into the room. Before she could run, Walt had the back door open and the older boys came pouring in. Quickly she turned towards the front of the house in hopes of escape, but to her dismay the others had come in through the front door which Dave had unlocked. Her hour of doom had arrived.
    She saw the grim teasing looks in every face before her and knew there was no hope.
    “Take her up to her room and lock her in!” Ed ordered in stern tones of an officer. Instantly Ria felt herself being seized and hustled from the room.
    “Al!” she cried above the noise of boyish voices. “Save me! I promise I won’t do it again!”
    Her pleading might have released her, for Al was soft hearted when it came to this cousin of his, but Ria couldn’t keep back the giggle that rose at the thought of what she had done. That giggle sealed her fate, and she was born up the stairs by brothers and cousins alike and locked securely in her room.

What would you have done to Ria?
Or would you have been Ria and locked the others out?
What do you think Ria did?
Come back next week for the rest of the story.