The last few days have been cool enough to have the windows open again. Though we did turn the AC on yesterday afternoon. I don't know about you, but I'm starting to look forward to fall. Not that I'm in any hurry for this year to end, but . . . I just like fall. :)
This week has been a week for getting things done. I've gotten many of those small things on my "to do" list accomplished and it sure feels good. Yesterday morning I mowed the yard. It was in need of it and it was cool out. Why is it that a freshly mowed yard looks cooler than one which needs mowed?
Writing update. Yes, I have written! In fact, last night I reached the quarter mark on TCR-4! It's always exciting when I reach this point. And this book reached it at a good part. I'm also starting to get a few ideas for a possible book 5. Would you like five books in the series?
I've been thinking of what to write for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Any ideas? If you come up with an idea, or create a first line for a story, let me know. Should I post a Thanksgiving story? I know if I can write one, I'll post a Christmas story in December. I just don't know what about.
But now that I'm done rambling, I'll let you read the next part of
Last week . . .
At that a cry of dismay arose from Dick and Lou. “We don’t want to go back yet!
“And we haven’t gotten to show Mel Lookout Rock.”
“Oh, do we have to go back now?”
“Please let us stay longer, Don!”
Don looked at Cath questioningly but spoke to his youngest siblings. “I can’t let just the two of you stay here—” he began.
“But Mel will be with us,” Lou pointed out.
“And I could stay too, couldn’t I, Cath?” Liz asked, her eyes pleading silently with her older sister.
“Well . . . All right,” Don consented as Cath nodded. “But—” he added firmly. “Don’t stay too long. I want you all home in plenty of time before supper, and the horses are not to be taken off the trail, is that clear?”
“Yes!” Liz, Lou and Dick exclaimed in one breath while Mel nodded, her mouth too full to talk.
“Mel,” Don turned to his cousin, “you are the oldest, and I’m putting you in charge. You are to start back for the ranch no later than a quarter to four. Don’t let them talk you into staying one minute longer.”
Nodding soberly, Mel looked down at her watch. A quarter to four was a long time away. They should have plenty of time to enjoy their excursion.
Soon the oldest four, after giving many admonitions to be careful and to stay together and to keep the horses on the path, mounted up and rode off back to the ranch, leaving the youngest ones wildly excited behind.
“Come on, Mel,” Dick called, trying to pull his cousin to her feet. “Let’s go to Lookout Rock.”
Laughing, Mel allowed herself to be pulled up. “All right. Let’s make sure we have everything with us and then we’ll go.”
After a hurried check, the others declared all was in order and, untying their horses, they mounted and were ready. “One of you lead the way,” Mel said, “because I don’t know where we are going.” She felt very grown up just then, knowing that she was in charge of her three younger cousins and that they were in the mountains not just back among the ranch buildings. Of course, Liz was only seven months younger than she was. She could hardly believe Don and Cath had agreed to leave them. “But I’m sure it must be perfectly safe or they wouldn’t have done it,” she thought.
Before long Liz reined up her horse and looked back. “We’ll have to leave the horses here,” she said. “The path to Lookout Rock in just over there.” She indicated some place on her left before swinging down from the saddle.
Rapidly the others followed her example, and soon the horses were tied to the trees which grew along the trail. Dick, eager to reach the special place first, hurried ahead of his sisters and cousin. And when Mel called after him to be careful, Lou assured her that Dick was like a mountain goat.
Scarcely had the words died on the air when the rumble and crash of falling rocks sounded just ahead of them and then a scream! Madly the three girls rushed forward until Melody, gripping her cousins’ arms, stopped. “Wait, girls!” she cried. “We’d better be careful.”
Cautiously the girls moved along the trail which now wound along the edge of the mountain.
“Look!” Liz exclaimed, pointing ahead. “The rocks near the edge have slid! There must have been a rockslide since we were here last and Dick—”
Thankfully the path widened just then and they were able to make it safely past the rockslide to solid ground. Here Melody and Elizabeth peered over the side of the cliff.
“Dick!” they called together as they spied the boy lying on a ledge some twenty-five feet below them.
“I’m down here,” his faint voice came back. “Help me!”
“All right, Dicky,” Mel shouted back. “Just stay right there and don’t try to move.”
“But I don’t want to stay here,” Dick cried. “I want to get up there.”
“Just wait a minute, Dick,” Liz called down. “We’re going to figure out how to get you back up.” Then she turned a pale face to her cousin. “What are we going to do? Dick won’t be able to stay still down there for very long. Not by himself.”
“Someone is going to have to ride back for help,” Mel said. “I don’t know the way, so it is going to have to be one of you.”
Lou shook her head emphatically. “I can’t do it.”
“I can go,” Liz said. “But how are we going to keep Dick still? If he moves too much he’ll fall again.”
“If I could get to him, I could tell him a story,” Mel suggested hesitantly. Carefully she studied the rocky wall below her.
“But you can’t climb down there,” Liz protested.
“No,” Mel began slowly, “but maybe I could climb up to him.”
She pointed. “See those trees over there, going down the side of the hill? I’m sure I could get down there and then once on the bottom of the cliff I could climb up. It looks like there are lots of places to step and hold on.”
For a moment Liz looked doubtful. Something had to be done she knew, but . . .
“We’ve got to decide—” Mel began and then stopped. Wait, she was the oldest. She had to make the decision and she had to make it quickly. The longer they delayed, the more chance they had of Dick moving too much. “I’m going to try it,” she said aloud. “Liz, stay here with Lou and keep talking to Dick until I reach him. Then get the fastest horse and ride as quickly as you can for help. Lou,” she told the silent, frightened girl who was clinging to her hand, “you have to be brave and help Liz keep Dick from moving. When she goes for help, you sit still up here and talk to us, okay?”
Sorry, you'll have to come back next Friday.
Will you be back?
Do you like this story?
What do you think happens next?