It's been a busy week for me. I'm up at my grandparents' and have been painting, painting, painting! They had some remodeling done and wanted to know if I'd come do some painting for them. I said sure, so my mom, sister and I headed up here on Monday. There was quite a bit of painting to do: Dining room, living room, kitchen, downstairs hall, upstairs hall and stairway. Not to mention 14 doors. It's a good thing I like to paint. :) I have 12 doors, the upper hall and stairway left for today. We head back home tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to getting back to writing.
A quick update on Triple Creek Ranch - Book 2:
I have reached the half-way point in the book and am now on the "downhill" part. I've never written 30,000 words in 3 1/2 weeks before! It's been a lot of fun! (Most of the time. :) )
But now I have to go get busy. I hope you enjoy this next part of
Graham Quartet - Part 8
“There’s one disadvantage about this cabin, Guy,” Matt said as they all gathered around the warm flames to enjoy a rest.
“You can’t very well hide the smoke.”
“That’s true,” Guy nodded. “but as long as no one knows who’s staying here, it shouldn’t matter, should it?”
Matt shrugged, “I wouldn’t know.”
Several minutes of silence followed and at last Guy grinned. “All right, you four are probably sitting on pins and needles right now.”
“We have been since we first found you,” Tim blurted out.
“Sorry,” Guy laughed. “I know it’s been hard to wait. I can’t tell you much about the case I’m on right now; only that I’ve been working it for nearly two years. I thought I was close to ending it a few times, but always some new twist comes along. The last one was when I fell and got hurt. That put a damper on things. But now I’m up again—”
“Don’t overdo it, please,” Selena begged, her brown eyes anxious.
“Don’t worry, I plan on sticking to this cabin for another week at least if . . .” he paused and glanced at the four faces around him. They seemed so young. How much should he tell them or ask of them?
“If what?” Matt’s voice broke the silence.
Guy drew a quick breath and continued. “If you’ll help me. Now,” he held up his hand, “before you say yes right away, let me explain a bit more of what I want. You are used to going everywhere in this neck of the woods, aren’t you?”
The quartet nodded and Elsa added, “We know this area from one town to the other. We’ve all tramped the woods many a day, and night too for that matter.”
“And do you think that if you saw a face just once you would remember it again?”
Again every head nodded.
“How good are you at asking questions and finding things out without letting on that you are prying for information?”
“Leave that to Tim,” Matt smiled. “Everyone around here knows he likes to ask questions.”
The detective nodded thoughtfully. “How about seeing things that no one else sees?”
“We’ve been working on that,” Elsa replied. “We aren’t experts or anything, but we notice more than most.”
“Good. I already know you can keep things quiet when you need to.”
A sudden crack and shower of sparks from the fireplace made everyone start. A log had broken. Matt stirred up the fire and added a few more logs.
“There’s one thing more.” Guy had looked over at the snowshoes leaning up against the wall near the door. “How much experience have you four had at hiding your tracks, slipping through the woods without being seen or noticed, and leaving such tracks that few can follow?”
The four siblings exchanged glances and then began to shake their heads. Would this mean they wouldn’t be able to help their new friend? They could manage to leave no trail and to slip up unnoticed when it wasn’t the dead of winter and snow lay everywhere.
Guy must have understood their looks for he said, “Well, there’s no time like the present to start. Of course it’s harder not to leave tracks in the snow unless it is snowing, but here are a few things you can remember and start working on. If you are coming to this cabin, always come a different way than the time before. Don’t make it obvious that this is your destination.”
“Sometimes it is good to just act as though you were only out for a walk in the snowy woods. Then you could all go together and talk and throw snowballs and take your time.” Guy leaned forward and lowered his voice. Instinctively the quartet also leaned forward, their eyes fastened to the speaker’s face as though his words were hard to hear. “But other times come quietly, slipping from dark object to dark object. No talking unless necessary, never more than two of you together at a time, always watching, always listening, always ready for anything.” The detective’s keen, dark eyes notice the alert attention his words were receiving and knew that whatever happened, he could count on the Graham Quartet to follow instructions and to learn quickly.
“Okay, I think I can safely ask for your help.”
“Really?” Tim exclaimed in excitement. “What do you want us to do?”
“First I want you to fetch me the brown folder which is in the yellow envelope under the second blanket which had been in Elsa’s pack and is stacked in the east closet in the bedroom.”
Tim was off in a flash and Guy waited in silence to see if his complicated instructions had been followed fully. He knew there were two stacks of blankets in that closet and wondered if Tim would know in which stack to look.
He didn’t have to wonder long, for in a moment Tim was back and handed the brown folder to him. “Well done.” From the folder he drew out a photo. “Take a good look at this face.”
The quartet crowded around.
“Who is it?” Tim asked.
Shaking his head, Guy replied, “That I’m not at liberty to tell you. But, if you should see him, let me know right away! How good are you at remembering things people say and then repeating them afterwards?”
“I’m not very good,” Selena offered shyly.
“But she’s not bad,” Matt spoke up. “And she can tell you what anyone was wearing, where they were and what they were doing.”
“And the rest of you?”
“I’d say we were were fairly good at remembering a short conversation nearly word for word,” Elsa said. “Of course we’re still working on it. If there are any numbers to memorize or anything like that, Matt’s the one for the job.”
“Sounds like you all need each other to succeed.”
Matt nodded. “We do. None of us could manage without the others in this line of work.”
Questions, comments or ideas?
What do you think is going to happen next?