Thinking back on the last half a dozen years or so I think I've spent more of those Valentine days babysitting then I have spent doing anything else. And this evening will be no different. Sis and I will have 8 kiddos ages 7 and under. We'll have our own niece and nephews as well as another friend's 3 kids. Should be fun! Don't you wish you could drop off your younger siblings or join in the fun too? Just be sure you bring a box or two of Annie's mac & cheese because that's what's for supper. :)
I've been writing this week and so far I have 6 and 1/2 parts of TCR-3 written and am hoping to at least finish part 19 tomorrow evening. That means I'm almost 1/3 of the way done! It was a little slow in some places but things are really starting to move now. Keep praying because I still get stuck and have to sit and stare at NEO for a while some times or else I give up for the time and go do something else.
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about Dr. Morgan completely. I'd still like to work on it, but if I want to finish writing TCR Book 3 by my birthday, I have to work on it. And any questions, suggestions or ideas for Dr. Morgan or Triple Creek Ranch Book 3 would be greatly appreciated!
How is your weather? Ours has finally decided to start warming up! Nearly all our snow is melted and it was nearly 50º yesterday! It is cloudy right now and even rained a little. Not much but enough to enjoy the pit-pat-patter-pat on the skylight while I had my quiet time this morning. The sun is supposed to come out later and tomorrow it's supposed to be nearly 60º! Yay!
I hope you all are still enjoying:
The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers.
Part 23“And Guy didn’t give you any hint when he’d be back?”
All four brown heads were shaken. “He didn’t even write this note in code, Dad,” Tim pointed out.
For several minutes Mr. Graham was silent. “I’m afraid I don’t really know what to tell you,” he said at last. “If the note was not written in code, then he was either assuming that no one else would find it or that it really didn’t matter if they did because he’d be long gone by the time it was discovered.”
Selena spoke up for the first time then. “I don’t think Guy really went to the train station.”
“Why not?” demanded Matt quickly.
“Because I’m sure he would have written that in code if he was. I think he just had to be somewhere else and wasn’t sure when he’d be back and didn’t want us to worry about him not being there.”
Mr. Graham nodded. “That sounds like it’s a possibility. As for the stranger, his car might have gotten stuck and then he figured that by the time you kids got home he would have found someone else to help him.”
“But he was spying on us, Dad,” Tim protested.
“You think he was,” Mr. Graham corrected. “How long was it that you actually saw him?”
Tim looked over at Matt and then shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“Could it be that he was just trying to see if it was a real house?”
“Maybe he was tired and sat down a few minutes to catch his breath,” Selena suggested softly.
“But Dad,” Elsa interjected, “what about Guy?”
“What about him?” Mr. Graham turned to look at the slightly worried face of his eldest daughter.
With a sigh, Elsa replied, “I guess I’d just feel better if I knew he made it safely back to the cabin tonight.”
When the rest of the Quartet nodded, their father promised he’d drive out and check the cabin first thing in the morning.
“Can we go with you in the morning, Dad?”
Mr. Graham smiled. “If anyone is up and about, they are welcome to go. Now you four should probably head upstairs. Tomorrow is Sunday, remember, so don’t stay up too late.”
Matt and Tim had joined their sisters in the girls’ room before they split up for the night. They were all worried about Guy, and Tim wasn’t convinced at all that the stranger had really been looking for help. “I know he was spying on us,” he insisted for the tenth time.
“We know that, Tim,” Matt groaned. “I think he was too. But why? And where and how does he fit into the picture?”
“What do you think about the stranger?” Elsa turned to Selena.
Selena shook her head. “I don’t know. He didn’t seem like a bad guy, but I would have said the same about Aaron Burr. And how they all fit together, I don’t know. It’s so confusing!”
“Maybe we should go over all the clues again,” Tim suggested, settling himself a bit more comfortably on the end of the bed.
“I have,” Matt sighed. “And they’re all a mess. We know that something is going on either at the furniture factory or with it, but what does Communist paper, Aaron Burr, Hong Kong, Vanderbilt, Aster, Siam, trains, Mr. Hinken and now this stranger have to do with each other?”
“And don’t forget the message about hens laying and hounds getting closer, that Guy received,” Elsa added.
For several minutes the Quartet sat and puzzled over every clue they had discovered and any possible connections they might have with each other. At last, hearing the distant chime of the clock down in the library, Matt stood up and shook his head. “It’s no use to think more about it tonight. We’ve got to be missing some important information because we’re getting no where. Let’s all sleep on it and perhaps we’ll dream up a solution.” Matt rolled his eyes as he added the last words.
“I don’t know if I can sleep.” Selena’s quiet voice turned Matt back from the door.
“I can’t help thinking about Guy.”
Elsa put an arm about her sister. “I do too.”
Stepping back to the bed, Matt said, “I think we should pray for him right now.”
Without another word, the four heads bowed and Matt prayed for their friend.
Mr. Graham had been right when he said he would go out early in the morning to check the cabin. It wasn’t even light when he tapped lightly on the two bedroom doors of the Quartet. Even though it was early, all four siblings were ready and anxious to go along. However, the trip was disappointing. There was no answer at the door of the cabin, and when Mr. Graham opened the door with his key, everything was as the Quartet had left it the night before. There was no sign anywhere of Guy. While Mr. Graham and the girls looked inside the cabin, Matt and Tim went at once to the place where the stranger had been hiding.
“Look,” Matt pointed. There was a set of tracks leading to the cabin.
“I wonder if these join a set of tracks leading away from the cabin.”
“Huh?” Matt looked at his brother. “Oh, you think that even though it looked like he was heading straight towards the road, he might have doubled back to this track?”
Tim nodded. “Think we can check it out?”
Shrugging, Matt turned to the cabin which was being shut again. “Let’s ask.”
When the question was put to him, Mr. Graham hesitated a moment and looked at his watch. “Well, if it doesn't take too long. Mom will probably have breakfast ready when we get back, and we don’t want to be late for church.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Matt smiled.
“But we should see where he went when he left,” Elsa put in. “Just in case he didn’t go the same place.”
“Good idea. Let’s split up.”
What do you think they'll find?
Can you make anything out of all their clues?
Do you agree with Selena about Guy?
Or did he really catch a train?