How is your weather? It's windy and cold here. No snow and the sky looks pretty cloudless. We've had some lovely weather and some windy weather and some cold weather. And as we say here, "If you don't like the weather, wait till tomorrow."
My big exciting news is that the proof copy for TCR-2 has arrived! It looks great, but my mom is going to read it once more and check for any mistakes. If all goes well, this book will be available to purchase by the end of the month, maybe sooner.
TCR-3 is going slowly. I was stuck for a little while because I couldn't figure out where the story was supposed to go next. Was it that evening? The next morning? Finally I skipped an entire day and it's starting to come again. The troubles of a writer. :)
This week I started teaching writing classes again and I even started doing an art course with my niece. We are having fun even if we were pretty much just drawing lines yesterday. :) I have also been working on editing, correcting and doing layout for letters my grandma wrote to her mom in the 70s while my mom and her siblings were growing up. They are quite fun to read. Once I finish editing them I'll put them all in a book for each family to have and enjoy. I already did the 50s and 60s.
But I will take no more of your time, if you even stopped to read this part of my post, and let you get on to what you are really interested in.
The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers
Part 20“I made a copy for you and I have one. Memorize it and write any notes for me with it. I’ll do the same. That way anyone else who might find the notes will not think a thing about them. One other thing about this; never carry it around with you! If you feel that you may need it later, put it in a safe place where it can’t be easily found. Understand?”
Solemnly the Quartet nodded their heads.
“Guy,” Matt spoke softly, “I think we should pray.”
“I think so too.”
The drive home was quiet; everyone was trying to take in all that had transpired since they had left the house that morning. A light snow had begun to fall softly, adding yet another blanket to the already covered ground.
“Well,” Matt asked in low tones just before they reached their driveway, “should we go back home or head back to town?” He turned to look in the back seat where Tim and Selena were riding.
They both looked at each other and neither replied.
“I didn’t look to see if they had more yarn.”
“Then I think we should go back at least to get that,” Matt decided. “Unless you all object.”
Tim and Elsa shook their heads. Sitting silently, Selena stared out the side window without moving.
When saying her name didn’t get her attention, Tim stretched his leg out and nudged her foot.
With a start she turned around. “What?”
Matt repeated his question and Selena shook her head. “I don’t care, but when we come home—” she hesitated a moment. “Could we go the long way?”
“The long way?” Elsa glanced in the mirror at her younger sister. “What long way?”
“By the factory.”
Matt whistled. “Good idea, Sis! Maybe we’ll see something.”
“Or someone,” Tim added meaningfully.
There was no yarn at the store, neither did Selena’s idea of driving by the factory yield anything, for not a soul was to be seen and they drove back home in silence, feeling that it had been a wasted trip.
Back at the cabin, Guy was turning a few knobs on his radio, his microphone held in his hand. The sound of static came over the set and the knobs were adjusted. The static ceased and Guy spoke. “Henhouse to Farmer. Come in.”
“Farmer to Henhouse, go ahead.”
“The Little Red Hen is out. Repeat, the Little Red Hen is out.”
“I read you. How close is the fox to the prize?”
“Not close enough. Any report from the mill or the bakery?”
“Negative. Can you find the Little Red Hen?”
“Heading out shortly. Will report usual time if possible.”
“10-4. Will stand by.”
“Over and out.”
For a brief moment, the FBI agent remained motionless. Then, with a sigh, he replaced the microphone and stood up. He moved his injured leg and was pleased to notice no pain at all. It was time to get to work.
In church the following morning, the Graham family sat in the back of the sanctuary. Every stranger who entered after them was discreetly observed by each member of the Quartet, and the back heads of those who were already seated were studied carefully, but nowhere did they see anyone resembling the stranger who had dropped the paper, nor Aaron Burr.
“I don’t know why we expected either of those men to be at church,” Matt remarked, when the Quartet were gathered in their corner of the library that afternoon. “Not if they are bad guys.”
“I wasn’t looking for them,” Elsa admitted. “I was sort of hoping my stranger would show up there. But if he was there, I didn’t see him.”
“Your stranger?” Selena inquired with a puzzled face. “Who?”
“The man who asked Alice and me about touring the factory.”
With a groan, Tim slid down in his chair and stretched his legs as far as they would go before him. “I wish we didn’t have to go to school tomorrow.”
“Why? Are you falling down in your math again?” Matt grinned at his younger brother.
“I seem to be falling in everything,” Tim admitted, sliding completely off his chair to lie staring at the ceiling. “I just can’t seem to concentrate on anything but this mystery.”
Selena and Matt nodded sympathetically. It wasn’t easy to pay attention in class and focus on such things as english and math when something big and mysterious was happening right in their town and they were a part of it.
Monday passed. And then Tuesday with nothing to report. They arrived home early on Wednesday because a friend was passing their house and offered them a lift. This had given the Quartet no time to linger in town listening and searching for new clues. With the lack of new things to think about, the Quartet was growing more restless and when Mrs. Graham suggested they take some freshly baked cookies to Guy at the cabin, the Quartet dashed for coats and boots. In record time they were ready and on their way through the woods to the cabin.
“You know,” Elsa whispered when their house could no longer be seen, “we always seem to go dashing up to the cabin because we have something to say. Perhaps this time we should see how quietly and stealthily we can approach it.”
“What if we frighten him?” Tim wanted to know.
Matt laughed. “Us, frighten Guy? Come on, Tim. Chances are he’ll hear and see us before we even come close to the place. But I think Elsa’s got a good idea.”
The others agreed, and silently, stealthily and with frequent stops to listen and look about, the four siblings made their way toward the cabin, slipping from tree to tree, crouching behind bushes and trying at times to step in the tracks of the person before them.
In this manner it took them much longer to reach the cabin than ever before and they approached in silence, watching the windows for signs of anyone watching them.
What do you think of this story?
Any questions or comments?
What do you think happens next?