How can it be Friday already? I just posted! At least it feels that way. It wasn't that this week was super busy or anything, it just went by too quickly.
I have been working on TCR-3 and some times it goes quickly and at other times I can't seem to get anything written. Since last Friday I have managed to get 4 parts written and another part started. As far as Book Two goes, my mom is still trying to finish reading and proofing it. Hopefully next Friday I'll be able to tell you that it is available for purchase. :) Would you like that? I'm wondering, how many of my readers have already purchased or read "Triple Creek Ranch—Unbroken"? And how many of you are waiting to get book one until you can get book two at the same time?
I'm glad to know that some of you are still enjoying the Graham Quartet. :) Things certainly get interesting in this story. At least I thought so when I was writing it. I hope you enjoy this next part.
Part 21They saw nothing, however, and Matt gave the signal knock.
There was no answer.
He knocked once more, but again no one came to the door and Matt turned a puzzled look on his siblings.
“Try the door,” Tim hissed softly.
It was locked.
“He did say that he might not be here every time we came,” Selena remarked quietly. “But now he’ll wonder who was here, won’t he?”
“Probably not,” Matt reassured. “He’ll see all our tracks. Besides, we can send him a note and tell him. But now, let’s head back to the house. I’m hungry and we have homework to do.”
Tim groaned. “Why’d you have to mention that?”
“Because if you aren’t done by the time I am, I’m going to work with you on your math.”
With a snort, Tim turned to Selena who was trudging along through the snow beside him. “Don’t you want Matt to help you tonight, Selena?”
She shook her head and said, “No, but I do want to eat one of those cookies we brought.”
In a few minutes, the cookies had all vanished, and feeling more energized, the Quartet started off again with rapid steps.
The following day, Matt, as he did some research for school in the library across the street from the school, overheard two men discussing a recent trip to Hong Kong. From everything he heard, it had been a business trip, but he made a mental note to write it down in code for Guy. This he did, telling the rest of the Quartet what he had heard after tucking the note inside the hollowed part of the tree.
“I really don’t think it was much,” he said in answer to Tim’s question. “They were two men I didn’t know.”
“Did either of them look at all familiar?” Elsa asked, glancing away from the road for a moment.
“Nope. They were complete strangers.”
“Isn’t it kind of strange?” Selena mused.
“That we’ve seen so many strangers around town, but we only see them once and then they just disappear.”
There was silence in the car for several minutes before Matt said slowly, “You know, you’re right, Selena. These two men were strangers, you and I saw a stranger talking to Mr. Hinken at the hardware—”
“Don’t forget my stranger,” Elsa put in.
“Nor Aaron Burr,” Tim added.
“That’s five strangers in town. I wonder if the sheriff has noticed any unusual strangers?”
As Elsa flipped on the turn signal and made the turn into their long driveway, she asked, “Do you want me to drive back to town so you can ask him?”
Matt snorted and didn’t bother to reply. To have asked Sheriff Marr any questions about strangers in town would have roused his suspicions that the Quartet were on to something, and Guy had told them not to tell anyone.
The air was bitterly cold on Friday morning and the sky looked heavy with snow. On the way to school, Elsa stopped the car at the tree and Tim ran over to check for a note. Pulling something from the tree, he quickly scrambled back into the car with a small piece of paper clutched in his hand.
“What does it say?” Matt demanded, as Tim stared at the note with a puzzled face.
“I don’t know. I can’t read the writing.” He passed the note over to Selena who, after glancing at it, passed it up to Matt.
Matt, more accustomed to reading illegible handwriting than the others, for his history teacher’s writing was very difficult to decipher, quickly read the note, translating from the secret code. “He wants us at the cabin tomorrow afternoon.” He looked up. “Maybe those two men I heard were important!”
“Tomorrow!” Tim breathed in excitement, his eyes shining with anticipation. “I don’t think I can wait that long!”
“There’s more,” Matt added, staring at the note again. “He said not to come all together the same way and . . .” For a minute he squinted at the paper, trying to figure it out. “I think he says to use great caution.”
Nothing further was said until Elsa had parked the car at the school. She was going to spend the day with Alice.
Then Tim leaned forward and whispered, “We should have signals and approach the cabin from opposite sides and—”
“And we should get inside before the bell rings,” Matt interrupted, opening his door and effectively quieting his younger brother. “We’ll plan tonight after we get home. For now focus on school!” He looked into the backseat at both his younger siblings. They nodded.
* * *
The Quartet had planned all they could about slipping up to the cabin the following day. Their plans were carried out until they reached the cabin and discovered that Guy wasn’t there. He had left them a note saying he had to catch a train. An uneasy feeling of being watched had caused Tim to check out the loft windows. To their dismay, he discovered that there was someone crouched in the shadows watching the cabin. Quickly Matt, Elsa and Selena had moved to other windows. Had this been a trap? Were there others watching the cabin as well?
After several long minutes of watching and searching every shadow for movement, Matt spoke in low tones. “I don’t see a thing.”
“Me either,” Elsa and Selena whispered.
“Tim, what about you?”
Tim, his eyes still fixed on the motionless shadow that he knew was a man, replied, “Just this one guy, and he hasn’t moved.”
“How are we going to get home, Matt?” Selena wondered. “I wish this cabin had a phone so we could call Dad to pick us up.”
“What if we build the fire up again so it looks like we’re still here and then slip out a back window?” Tim offered.
“Too noisy. He’d hear us in a minute and then we really would look suspicious. Besides,” Matt added, “I don’t like the idea of leaving a blazing fire burning in an empty cabin.
Will you be back next Friday to find out how they get out?
Or do they?
Who is the man watching them?
Must someone come to their rescue?
I'd love to know what you think.