My week has been crazy and busy and I am so mixed up on what day it is that I called my friend on Wednesday evening thinking it was Thursday. Then yesterday I did something that I usually only do when it is not Thursday. And we babysat the kiddos on Wednesday evening and Tuesday evening (well, I was only here part of the time then since I had a political meeting to attend) instead of Friday, and I am so confused!
Well, this has not been a good week for writing TCR-4. I did write Sunday and Monday and then . . . nothing. So sorry. Maybe I can write tonight. I think I told you all last week that I was a quarter of the way done with book 4. If so, that is just an example of what my brain can do with numbers. ;) I'm actually a little over 1/3 of the way done. Does that sound better?
Oh, here is my other news. How would you like to listen to a professional read my book "Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories"? You are going to get your chance because right now it is being recorded! :) I put my first four books up on ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) last week and on Saturday someone auditioned to read "Pirates." She did a wonderful job with the sample part and was looking forward to recording the rest. I'll be sure to keep you informed about the progress. And I'm still waiting for auditions for the other books. Wouldn't it be fun to get to listen to these books on audio? Do you listen to many audio books? I grew up listening and I still love it.
But here is the next part of
Last week . . .
"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?”
“And pray, girls,” Mel said, standing up and pulling her hand away from her cousin’s grasp. “Hang on Dicky,” she shouted down. “I’m going to come to you and then I’ll tell you a story.” Without waiting to hear if Dick would reply, Mel had begun to move toward the trees. The hillside was steeper than she thought but she didn’t care. Half running, half sliding from tree to tree, she made her breathless way down and at last reached flat ground. Here she had to push her way through a tangle of brambles before reaching the open. Once there she could see the cliff side.
“Help me, dear Lord,” she panted, running along with eyes open, looking for the best place to climb up. At last, reaching a place that seemed most likely, she started up. But she had only gotten a short ways before her feet slipped.
“I can’t climb the side of the cliff with cowboy boots on,” she muttered, jerking them off. Next her socks came off and were stuffed in her pockets. It was easier to climb after that, for she could grip rocks with her toes just as she used to climb the swing rope back home. As she climbed higher, she could hear Liz’s voice up above her. Not once did she dare to look down lest she panic. “Keep going, keep going,” she told herself each time she wanted to stop. “Dick needs you.”
Persistently she continued upwards, unmindful of rocks which cut her hands and feet, ignoring the aching in her legs and arms as she pulled and pushed herself ever higher. Liz’s voice was growing louder and then she heard Dick’s voice. She was almost there! By this time she was breathing in gasps. “Just a little farther,” she thought. “I’m almost there!”
It felt like months to the waiting cousins on top of the cliff who had watched the slow climb with pounding hearts, but to the climber, it seemed like years before she at last pulled herself onto the ledge with Dick. She had made it.
“I’m here, Liz. Go!” she shouted up as soon as she could catch her breath.
“Tell me a story,” Dick pleaded, whimpering a little as he moved his leg slightly.
“All right, just you lie still now. Lou, can you hear me?” Mel spoke loudly.
“Yes,” came back a tremulous voice.
“Good, because I have a story for you and Dick. Listen up now.” And she launched into a story filled with excitement and adventure, making it up as she went along. She had told stories so often that this one just seemed to tell itself, for, while her mouth was telling the story, her mind was busy with other thoughts. How long would it be, she wondered, before help would arrive? How badly was Dick hurt? She knew almost nothing about first aid, but even she could tell he was suffering, though the gallant little figure didn’t utter one word of complaint. Why had Don left her in charge? Would her uncle or cousins ever trust her again?
As the shadows began to lengthen, Mel began to wonder how long her voice was going to last. She was sure their canteens of water were still on their horses, but she dared not send Lou to get them. What if she were also to fall! And anyway, how would she be able to get them if Lou did bring them? No longer in the sunshine, for the sun had slipped farther to the west, Dick began to shiver. Mel didn’t know if it was shock or cold, but she pulled off the light jacket she had put on that morning and laid it over her cousin.
Would no one ever come? What if something had happened to Liz? Oh, why had they come? Her feet and hands hurt and she was starting to feel dizzy being up so high on such a small ledge.
Then, just when she was sure she could stand the situation no longer, she heard voices above them.
“Listen, Dicky,” she whispered. “Someone has come.”
“Mel! Dick!” A voice called down to them.
“We’re right here, Don,” Mel croaked back, her voice hoarse from her long story and lack of water.
“Just hang on a few more minutes. Tom is coming down for you.”
“You hear that, Dicky,” Mel asked, “Tom is coming.”
Dick nodded his head slowly and a faint whimper escaped his lips.
Looking up, Mel saw her cousin slowly start down the side of the cliff; a rope was tied securely around him and he moved like one used to such things. She noticed he wasn’t wearing his cowboy boots, but regular shoes. This fact brought to mind her own boots lying far below and quickly pulling her socks from her pocket, she gingerly pulled them on.
“I thought you were supposed to go to Lookout Rock, Dick,” a cheery voice said just above them. “And here you are half way down a cliff. Is the view any better here?” As he talked, Tom had reached the ledge. “Slack off the rope!” he called up.
There wasn’t much room for three of them on the ledge and Mel wondered how Tom was going to get Dick up from such cramped space with his injured leg. She couldn’t exactly move farther over, for she was sitting on the edge now. Tom’s next words answered her thoughts but didn’t make her feel more comfortable.
“I’m going to send Mel up first,” Tom shouted upward and began untying the rope which was around him. “All right, Mel,” he said cheerily, “scoot back just a bit so I can get this rope around you. All you’ll have to do is hold on and Don and Jim will pull you up. Come on now. That’s right.” As she scooted back away from the edge.
What would you have done in Mel's place?
Will you be back next Friday?
Would you like to listen to any of my books on audio?