Girls Horse Club Blog

Let’s Role Play #1: The Red Barn

Published by • May 8th, 2009 • Category: Let's Role Play!

The role play has ended. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Welcome to the first Girls Horse Club role playing activity. To get started, read the BACKSTORY and INSTRUCTIONS below.

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BACKSTORY

You drive for what seems like forever down a one lane road surrounded by a tunnel of trees. In spite of the beautiful scenery, you start to worry that maybe you’re lost. Then you notice the trees start to thin ahead, and the road continues through white fencing and green pastures dotted with grazing horses.

Horse Pastures

Unsure exactly where to go, you head toward a cluster of buildings surrounding the biggest, most beautiful red barn you’ve ever seen. You pull in next to the other parked cars and turn off the engine.

Red Barn

You’re a little early, so you reach across the seat, pull the letter out of your bag and read it for the hundredth time…

Letter

You take a deep breath and open the car door, ready to see who and what awaits you beyond the red doors…

INSTRUCTIONS

1) There’s no limit to the number of ‘characters’ who can participate, but…

2) Only one character per person. Before you chime in, think about the persona you want to take on, and commit to that character throughout the role play.

3) The role play will end on Saturday May 16th. The exact end time will be at the  moderator’s discretion.

5) When commenting for the role play, be sure to enter your character’s name (*not* your GHC name) in the ‘Name’ field of the comment form. Your GHC name will not be revealed during the role play. You’ll have an opportunity to decide if you want to reveal your character after the role play ends.

6) Role player comments will be published at the moderator’s discretion, with the primary goal being to develop interesting characters and story flow while having FUN!

121 Nickers »

  1. Name: Roselyn Hanover
    age: 16
    Hair color: Auburn red
    Eyes: Green as emerarlds
    Height: 5″5

    I am a country gal born and raised. Back on the Quarter Horse Ranch we have a sturdy, old wooden barn; but never such as grand as the one I see before me now. This land belonged to my great-aunt Christabel so im told. I never really knew much about her. For one you should know that I’m adopted so she was not my real great-aunt. Anywho upon her passing away i recieved this letter in the mail asking me to attend the reading of her last will and testiment. I had a lot to do this weekend with training the new quarter yearlings and I didn’t feel right going to a person’s, who i hardly knew, testiment reading. However, my adopted mum told me she would take care of the yearlings and the farm couldn’t spare anyone else attend the reading.

    So here i am getting out of my old, red Ford truck. The Barn is huge, nothing like I’ve ever seen in my life. Apprently my great-Aunt had it made. I nervously strolled over to the front entrance and walked inside. Hopeing someone could direct me to the person in charge. Then i noticed a palimino head sticking out of one of the fancy stalls. All the other horses were either eating or thought too highly of themselves to pay any mind to this human. The Palimino was a stallion and since he seemed interested i decided to go say hello. I love carrots and i always keep some in my pocket. I took a few and gave them to the Palimino. As he tickled my palm with his fuzzy lips i noticed a fancy metal name plate below the door: Hanover’s Sunstorm Silk.

    “What do you think you’re doing!?” said a gruff, teenage boy voice.

    I whipped around momentarily surprised and faced the person who had accused me. It was a teenage guy… maybe around 17-18 years old. With pitch black hair and pierceing blue eyes. He had a smug grin on his face like he had caught me in a robbery or something. I may be a little nervous but im not about to let some stuck up guy show me up.

    “I have every right to be here just as much as you do” i informed him.

    “Oh so your a certified stable hand are you?” he inquired.

    “No I came for the reading of the will and testiment of Christabel Hanover”

    His face darkened a little and his grin vanished. I couldn’t tell if it was because he was close to my great Aunt or if he was against her in some way.

    “Well, you better get back with your parents or whoever brought you then. No loitering around these stables is allowed,” he replied softly but sternly

    “I drove myself here, and i was just about to ask someone for directions.”

    “You DROVE yourself here, you barely look 15 years old!” It was more of an outburst than a question.

    “What’s your name anyhow, kid?”

    “I am Roselyn Hanover, thank you very much!”

    “YOUR Roselyn Hanover!!??”

    Man, this guy sure was big on outbursts. Why was he so surprised about who i was anyhow?

  2. Name: Jessica Lane
    age: 13
    Hair color: Dark brown
    Eyes: Deep brown
    Height: 5″3

    I’m a young stable girl at this barn. I live nearby with my brother, who also works at the barn. I love horses and I try to spend as much time at the barn as possible, looking after all the horses. I wished I had my own, but I enjoyed all the time I spent grooming the horses. I knew there was a reading of someone’s will today, but I wasn’t interested in anything like that. All I knew was I had to keep out of the way- fine by me!

    I could hear my older brother, who was 17, talking to someone as I was mucking out one of the horse’s stalls. I peeped over the stable door to see him shouting at a girl who was a few years older than me. I rolled my eyes, putting my shavings fork down as he shouted again. I walked out and over to them.

    “Hello, please ignore my brother,” I said, scowling at him, “Do you need any help?”

    “She’s Roselyn Hanover!” my brother exclaimed.

    “That’s nice,” I replied, “You must be here for the reading of a will, right?”

    And then I remembered who’s will it was…

  3. Lilly Vandel
    blue eyes
    long blong hair
    always carries a brown bag. It’s square and opens by a flap. It hangs at her hip by a long handel that goes over her shoulder.
    Age-18

    Lilly Vandel jumped out of her blue truck and eyes the place. Her hair hung behind her head in a neat pony tail and her dark green shirt was tucked in her jeans. She pulled a bag on her shoulder and let it hang at her hip. “This looks like the place.” She muttered, glancing at her letter. She sighed. Why did her great grandmother have to die? They were close. Every summer Lilly invited her great grandma on a camping trip where they took their horses on trails, camed in a cabin, cooked on a fire, went fishing…there was so much they did together!
    Lilly looked over and saw a girl talking to a tall guy. I pulled a book out of my bag; The Whispers In the Woods a mystery story by Lilly Vandel. I hugged it to my chest. If only she had lived a little longer! I could have given her the first copy of my first book ever published. I closed my eyes against the tears that threatened to slide down my face and walked over to the girl and guy.
    “Excuse me, is my Great Grandmother in her room? I was hoping to see her before the burial.” Lilly explained, clutching the book with white nuckles.

  4. My dainty prada toe shoes stepped out of the little VMW beetle. Right into a pile of manure. ICK. I just stepped into HORSE CRAP. I just kept on walking. I had to act confident, I had to walk like I meant something to the world. Being a internationally known celebrity, I was used to that. I saw a humongous red barn, no house, no nothing, just a big barn and a couple of people who looked my age. I walked toward them; a girl who introduced herself as Roselyn Hanover and a guy who just scowled. And of course I had to answer them in saying that yes I was Adel Granza, the famed singer, of course they knew me as Adel, instead of Adelaide Granzala Hanover.
    “So… I don’t mean to be rude, but why are you here?,” Roselyn asked.
    I laughed, ” Well, somehow i am related to Lady Hanover, she would be my aunt, you see my real last name Hanover, but my father and Aunt Christabel didn’t get along and never agreed to associate with each other again that is why you’ve never heard of me.”
    ” So YOU are my cousin,” Roselyn said sceptically.
    I wiggled my eyebrows, “Or long lost sister,” I joked.
    The boy that had been standing there rolled his eyes and sauntered away.
    ” Geeeezzzz what a snooty po-tuty,” i attempted to joke around again.
    This time she laughed.
    ” So when is this thing going to start, we’ve been waiting around for a while,” Roselyn said.
    ” Um, well why don’t we try actually entering the barn,” i pointed out.
    Roselyn laughed, she seemed embarrassed. I really liked her because she didnt act like a fan of mine so that was pretty refreshing.
    “Okay here it goes, let’s go in the barn,” Roselyn said with a deep breath.
    We swung open the doors and into a big red barn where a bunch of mere children and teenagers sat around a conference table. (yes a conference table, in a BARN).
    I man walked in who introduced himself as William Wellington the third, he stood up and said, “As you may have noticed this barn is filled with children, that is because Lady Hanover loved her nieces nephews and grand children, and her will testifies that her inheritance should be split among the children related to her family.”
    And guess what right away this guy pulled out the paper to read what people got what. it was ridiculous, some people even shrieked “Yes!” when the got something “good”. Lady Christabel was obviously rich because some children got whole estates, businesses, and numerous amounts of money. My name was last on the list.
    “Adelaide Granaza.”
    Everyone turned there head and there was many whispers.
    “Lady Christabel wants you to have her prized filly, out of the one of the world’s to studs, Cupid’s Only Hope,” the man said with a smile on his face.
    OH MY GOSH.
    Roselyn elbowed me with a huge smile on her face like I won the best prize. Geeezzz, she won a whole estate.
    Ever since I had to sell my Andalusian mare Azhar I never touched a horse. Looks like that’s gonna change.

  5. Name: Ben Blake
    Age: 17
    Hair Color: Black
    Eye Color: Piercing Blue
    Info: I’m a stable hand, work with horses. Always have. Always will. That’s all you need to know about me, thank you very much.
    ***

    “YOU’RE Roselyn Hanover!?” I repeated.
    The girl stared blankly black with her emerald eyes. No… not emerald. Pickle colored. Yes. They were pickle colored eyes. That’s what they were. But to tell the truth, I was rather determined to pick out something wrong with her. It was hard, she was actually quite interesting looking. Her glittery eyes were especially interesting. They reminded me of… NO. I wasn’t going to think of that.

  6. Name: Taylor Davidson
    Age: 17
    Description: Average height, tan skin, medium length brown hair with natural caramel highlights, hazel eyes

    The only thing I remember about my aunt Christabel was her appearance at my mother’s funeral. She came over and hugged me and said, “Taylor, honey, your mother, my sister, was the sweetest thing. Its so sad she passed away.”

    My aunt never visited us, nor did we visit her. This was because my parents were too busy to leave work, and she would not leave her horses. I have always wanted to visit her farm. I’ve been taking lessons three times a week since I was five, so naturally I was curious. However, today was the first time I had seen the place, and I have to admit, I was impressed.

    Since I’m early, I decided to go exploring. Although I’d like to see whats inside the barn, I was even more eager to explore the pastures. Many horses filled the well maintained pastures, but one horse, way past all the other pastures, was alone, in a small dirt corral. From what I could tell, it was a young filly, maybe about 2 or 3 years old, and she was ill tempered. When I stepped up to her corral fence she charged towards the edge of the fence then wheeled and turned away.

    Her lack of manners didn’t bother me. I had delt with many ornery horses before, many of them being young. In spite of her bad manners, I couldn’t help but be impressed. The honey colored filly had a smooth gate, making her not only trot, but float. Her conformation was flawless from what I could tell. And, she was exactly the kind of horse I had always wanted, a light, hot blooded horse that could do well in hunter jumpers and eventing. I made up my mind right then and there that this was the horse I wanted.

    I checked my watch and saw I should be heading back. I entered the red barn to find several stalls filled with many, perfectly groomed horses. I walked toward the end of the barn aisle, where a gate opened up to a large indoor arena. There, many chairs were set up, and people were already taking their seats. I knew I was in the right place.

    I found a seat, and shortly after I had sat down a well dressed man stepped in front of the crowd. After introducing himself, he began to read my aunts will. I waited patiently to hear my name. I didn’t have to wait long.

    “To my dear niece Taylor Marie Davidson, I give her the first pick on any five horses she pleases. Also, I leave her possession of my other farm, a few miles down the road from the main one, when she comes of age to obtain this property.”

    A broad grin spread across my face. I already knew the first horse I would choose.

  7. Name: Christi Smithers
    Age: 17
    Hair Color: beautiful silky blonde
    Eye color: bright blue
    Height: 5’8″

    I glanced at the big red barn through the window of my shiny sports car and stuck my nose in the air. This place was nothing like home. It was nothing like the modern stables we have in England. Even worse, a problem even the English stables have, it contained horses. Those animals must be the dirtiest creatures on earth! Oh, well, I suppose I could bear to stay at this horrid place for a little bit. I might get something good out of the deal. I heard how rich my Great-Aunt was.Not as rich as my family of course. I laughed, no one was as rich as the Smithers. I was a little early, so I reapplied my makeup. What did it matter if I was late anyway? Royalty is never late. I managed another shallow laugh at my own joke. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a girl, I suppose she was pretty, in a country sort of way, and some boy arguing. Silly children, I thought. I stepped out of the car and gave them both a sickly sweet smile. “Hello,” I said, “I’m Christi, where will I be staying?”

  8. Name: Camille Evans
    Age: 16
    Appearance: 5″6, deep brown hair and hazel eyes

    My family always talked about this Christabel Hanover that I supposedly have a relation with. Since my parents divorced when I was young, it’s not really much of a surprise that I don’t recall much of the family on my dad’s side. And since the divorce, I was no longer Camille Hanover. Still, no matter close I am to Lady Christabel, I got invited over here to this gorgeous and very grand barn for this “reading” the letter spoke of. It’s an honour, I suppose, however you put it.

    With a sigh, I locked the car I borrowed from home and headed toward the place that allured me the most – the great, crimson barn. I hadn’t even taken a few steps before I heard this outburst flow out from within the towering entrance. My sudden curiosity of this racket brought me through the open doors and into heaven.

    Horses, each special with beauty you can’t ever imagine, occupied endless rows of stalls. I felt weak at the knees, seeing so many of my favourite animals. My admiration was cut short though. I caught sight of two people – one a teenage stable hand, the other a girl no older than me, and I think was called Roselyn. Cringing at the shouting, I cautiously approached them.

    “Um…hello. I’m Camille. These are very nice horses you have here.” I started. Get to the point, Cam! said this very annoying voice in my head. With an uneasy sigh, I asked “Would you by any chance know where to go for Lady Christabel’s last will and testament reading?”

  9. I looked at the othere people around me. So happy to be getting chunks of my Great grandmother’s properity. I looked down. I didn’t want any of it. I only wanted my great grandma! I only wanted to see her smile and to say “Lilly, you finally got published! I am so proud of you..”

    “Lilly Vandel, to you my dear great grandaughter, I leave my Cabin in the woods, my books in my library, and my dear horse Snow Bell, the first horse she has ever ridden.”

    I looked up at the man who was reading the will. “Snow Bell?” I gasped. The dear grey mare was about 18 now. I had ridden her when I was seven and had ridden every year since then. I forced a smile. I had to be posative. But the reading was already moving on. I never knew there were so many that my Great Grandma loved. So many. I looked accross the room at the girl who got the whole place. My Grandma’s Home! Her barn! I felt jealous. So jealous!

  10. Name: Robyn Wilson
    Age: 14
    Hair: Black
    Eyes: Brown

    I leaned forward on my bike, pedaling carefully down the bumpy road. I was late, I knew, as I didn’t have the proper transportation that the other inheritants had. I didn’t mind though. I was extremely shy and didn’t like being stared at, but either way, someone was going to come up to try to shake my hand, or start up a conversation. I gritted my clattering teeth, and then finally jumped off the bike and began to run, towing it beside me. Finally, I turned the bend. Laying before me was a farm covered in emerald fields, horses of every color grazing in them. Beyond that was a beautiful barn. Above the doors were inscripted the words, “In you lies the answers”; our family motto. I stood, watching the horses. It had been so long since I had ridden, and I missed it sorely. I rolled over to the fence and watched them for a while. Their ears twitched towards me, but otherwise, I was ignored. The feeling struck me in my heart painfully, twisting around and burying in deep. I so much wanted to be a part of them; accepted by them; loved by them. Like my mother. Swallowing down tears and a heavy heart, I quickly jogged down the path to the barn.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I was directed to a room where everyone was congregated, mostly teenagers and children. I sat gingerly on a chair in the back, where I wouldn’t be noticed, as a man stood in front of the group and abruptly began to read off names and inheritants. I wrung my hands. I never even knew my aunt. Why would she want to give anything to me? I rose to leave.

    “Robyn Wilson.”

    I paused. All eyes were on me, and I quickly looked down at my worn sneakers.

    “Your aunt has given you a horse, Violet, as well as this map and letter.”

    He crossed the room and handed a worn map and envelope to me, which I promptly dropped nervously. Some snickers rose from the group, and my eyes stung. The man continued to read, and I looked down at the items. Violet? Map? Maybe the letter would explain. As quietly and as neatly as I could, I began to tear the letter open.

  11. Name: Calamity Jane(CJ) Gould
    Age:17
    Discrip: Taller than most girls my age. Dark brown & red hair,dark blue eyes, and a farmer’s tan.

    I stood in awe before the giant red barn. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Growing up in the south eastern side of Montana it was a rare thing to see such a large barn less than 50 years old.
    Remembering why I came I slammed my pick-up door. Caked mud fell on to the paved drive. “A paved drive!” I thought to myself. At home barns and stock houses either had mud or gravel for a drive.
    Stepping through the huge white doors I felt even more out of place; there was a meeting desk! What kind of place was this any ways? No one was there so I poked around searching for the actual stalls.
    I heard a raised voice to the left through a white double door. I stuck my head around the door. Several people were in the stall aisle, most of them girls somewhat my age. I knocked on the door jam awkwardly and asked, “Hello?” they turned, “Um, yeah. I’m supposed to be the new colt breaker…” I bit my lip, none of them looked very happy; in fact one girl looked as if she would burst in to tears at any moment.
    “Yeah…Um, I could come back later…” I trailed off shuffling my lime green “cowboy” boots.
    “I’m Roselyn Hanover.” A girl with red hair stepped forward. She didn’t look like crying. I smiled and shook her out stretched hand, “CJ Gould. I believe miss Christabel Hanover hired me…?”

  12. Name:Audra Hanover
    Age 17
    Hair: Wavy brown, shoulder length
    Eyes: Caramel Brown
    Height 5′ 9

    I never visited my Great Aunt much. When I was able to get back to Bridgewater we had a fun time together. We would ride (lately though, only I would ride) talk and just spend time together. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that Aunt Christabel had passed away. It seemed like a bad joke….

    Now, here I am again at Aunt Christabel’s farm. I came a little early and drove to a grove of trees that overlooked nearly the whole spread. We used to come up here and talk. Sometimes I would read to her and she would read to me. I loved to hear her read, she had such a lovely voice. My reprieve was interrupted by the alarm on my cell phone. I had 20 minutes before the reading started. I wanted to go look around the stables before then so I unfolded my long legs and headed back to my car.

    When I entered the stables I saw a group of girls and one guy. I started to head over but one of the horses caught my attention. It was the sweet chestnut that I rode almost every time I visited my Aunt. I figured I would introduce myself later. Right now I needed to get reacquainted with an old friend.

  13. I could hear each horse being given to different people at the reading of the will. Where was I going to go? Where would I find such a wonderful barn with so many wonderful horses? No other stables would let me be a stablehand, I was too young, and female.

    So many strangers were in the barn, one by one getting one of my beloved horses. But none were mine, so I couldn’t really complain. I forced a smile. But where would Wishing Star go? I didn’t think I could live without her. I leant against her beautiful, warm, soft coat and cried into her mane. I wouldn’t let anyone take her.

  14. It wasn’t like me to feel disappointed and jealous of everyone else. It was just this overwhelming feeling that crept up on me as I opened the letter the man reading the will had given me. They all knew my aunt, and I never did. I was the sickly child across the country, who couldn’t be moved; who found comfort only in horses. Stifling a cough, I read the letter.

    ‘Dearly beloved niece,
    I have only met you once before, a time that you do not even remember. Nevertheless, be assured that I love you as dearly as all the other inheritants.

    I have chosen you, among a few others, to be led on a strange journey to find a treasure; what, in the heart, matters most. You can choose to accept the challenge or refuse it; whatever you wish. But know this; if you accept, you will see the treasure of the likes you have never imagined before.

    ‘The map will give you some guidance, and the clue enclosed will lead you to the next.

    I am sorry for all the times you and I have missed together, as by the time you read this, I will probably already be gone. But don’t worry. Know that I have loved you always.

    God Bless and God Speed,

    Aunt Christabelle’

    I flipped to the next page, where there was a small list of names.

    ‘The other chosen inheritants have already recieved their team; now recieve yours. Know this; all of these named are trustworthy.

    Lilly Vandel.
    Camille Evans.

    I stared at the two names on the page, then scanned the room. I wasn’t sure what to look for. I couldn’t approach someone and just… tell them that they had been picked for my team. What if they refused? Or I asked the wrong person?

    I looked inside the envelope for further guidance. All I found was a single white card with painstakingly neat writing scratched onto it.

    “Let blue sky and Summer Hill be your guide.”

    Whilst I was puzzling over this, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I jumped.

    “Sorry!” a girl apologized. “You’re Robyn Wilson, right?

  15. Just as I was about to ask my directions elsewhere, a pretty girl with deep brown hair walked up and started scolding this rude guy. She told me not to mind, “Ben” as it were, and if there was anything she could help mw with. I was just about to ask directions when dagnabit he started blurting out my name again!

    “She’s Roselyn Hanover!”
    The whole world might as well know…

    Jessica, Ben’s sisterm popped her eyes out like a frightened horse. Hse reminded me of our young quarter mare at home; full of life and ready for action.

    “Excuse me, but can either of you tell me who i can talk to in charge here?”

    “Sorry,” said Jess finaly zoned in,”Its just that your one of the only true ralatives listd in Lady Hanover’s will.”

    Apparently they didn’t know my true past and i wasn’t about to blurt it out know.
    Then we all heard a car door slam and several voices from outside the barn. Jessica said she had to finish up her work and ordered Ben to show me around.

    “Might as well, kid, youmight get lost.”

    I glared at him and strolled past him and went to see what the comotion was outside. Parked right in front of the stable was a shiny Voltswagon. The girl who got out of it seemed familiar to me. I don’t watch Television, let alone have one but something about her sparked a memory. Of Cource! That pop star magezine i read at the Vet’s office last week.

    “Hey aren’t you Adel Granza?” I asked.

    “Yes, that’s me” she replied.

    I didn’t want to be rude but i couldn’t help asking what a person like her was doing here. Ben had just scowled and walked off. Nevermind him, I’d let his sister deal with him. Apparently Adel was on the will to and Lady Christabel was her Grandmotehr. She said we were cousins, I chuckled inwardly. I like this city gal, for an international pop star she was pretty nice. And i guess it would make since Great-Aunt Christabel was her grandmother, they wer both loaded.

    It was near time for hte reading and i guess it was held in a conference room part of the barn; man this place was huge. THere were several other young people i had yetto meet that were attending the reading. Finaly a short, droopy man started reading off names. Then Adel’s name was read. She inherited one one of Hanover’s priceless horses. Remembering “Sunni” the Palimino, I wouldn’t mind inheriting one myself. Sure would help our financial problems back at home. Still, Adel didn’t seem to entusiastic about here inheritance. Finaly, it was my turn. Wen the short man with the funny glasses read my name he took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes like he misread something. He shook his head and then proceeded to read off my inheritance. When he did the crowd gaped and my own face turned white. Youll have to wait to fine out what it was because just then i blacked out; you would to.

    “Hey aren’t you

  16. After the will reading, I hurried down to the small corral where the filly was kept. “You’re the one I want!” I told her.

    She pinned her ears and charged the fence again. I stood my ground, since she wouldn’t ram into the fence.

    “You want HER as one of your choices?” a guy around my age asked. He must be a groom here to assist me in obtaining my five horses, because he had five halters and lead ropes in his hands.

    “Yes.” I replied with a grin.

    “I don’t see how anyone could ever want her.” he replied. “She’s too wild. She killed your aunt Christabel you know.”

    “WHAT?” I exclaimed, much too loud considering I was around horses.”

    “It’s true. Christabel walked in to work with her one day…”

  17. Before the unvailing of my inheritance let me back up and tell you some of the other “relatives” and teens i met.

    First of all there was this Christi Smithers, an English gal if i caught the right accent. Seemed pretty nice on the outside but it seemed as though she was trying her best to fake it. But apparently Ben couldnt see through it. Her little majesty asked where “she would be staying”. Ben went googled eyed. Boys, of all times and places! Not that im jealous.. nevemind.

    Anywho i also met a country gal like myself called CJ. She aprrently hadn’t come for the reading but as the new colt breaker. Ben said he was a “certified stable hand” and told her to meet “Mr. Green” the stable maneger as he was expecting her. So i quickly introduced myself to CJ and she walzted off to see the boss.

    There were several other girls but ill get to that later.. now for the unvailing.

  18. I scoped out Robyn Wilson and introduced herslef. “I’m Lilly Vandel, this letter I got says you are one chosen for a sort of treasure hunt? Great Grandmother gave you a horse? She gave me Snow Bell. Dearest snowbell…” My voice trailed off as I thought of the beautiful grey mare. How majestic she was! The letter also said I got Snow Bell’s daughter Snow Flake who was 3 years old now. I knew that was the horse grandmother wanted me to ride on this treasure hunt. I HAD to accept the challenge and see what my dearest Great Grandma had hidden for me! I love her so much so I must get everything I can from her for memory!
    “Are you going after it?” I asked, looking towards my Grandmother’s house. I had to get her 68 books still too. I looked at my truck. It should have enough room.

  19. Name Kaily
    Age: 13
    Hair: black
    eyes: blue

    I could tell I was late so I hurried and climbed out of the car.
    “Hold it kid” said my dad. “I don’t want you tripping on stuff. He helped me out of the car.
    “Ah dad just point me in the right direction. Even though I’m blind I’me not completely handicaped.”
    “Okay just go straight.”
    I could hear horses all around and smell them. Horses smell so nice. I guess I better tell you of my blindness. I was blinded about three years ago in a car accident. But not completely blind. In the light I can see the main shape of a big object. Just no color and little things I usually can’t see unless I’m looking for them. Even though I’m blind I do pretty well by my self. And even though I’m blind I still ride one horse named Whippels. Whippels is trained especially for me. I also still work with horses under supervision. I have only met my aunt Christabel once about a year ago, and we like totaly clicked. I’ve been writing to her for a year. Well typing letters. I can’t see letters all though I remeber what they look like.
    “Here honey take my arm and follow me inside. I could tell when we got in the barn by the change of light.
    After sitting a couple of minutes I heard my name read. “To My handicapped neice Kaily…

  20. I could not believe it… i had inherited one of Great aunt Christabel’s estates with a barn of horses included. Well they were mostly retired show horses and old studs but still. This woudl mean soo much for the old farm at home… i didn’t expect something like this. Only problem was that it was in my name and i had to be 18 to actualy own it. Until then it would be taken care of by the athorities and the caretakers that were recently in charge. I still had to take this all in. I told Adel that I’d talk to her later.

    I walked out to the corral and noticed Ben talking to some other girl by the horses. It had better not be that “perfect” Christi Smithers. I stood a distance off, out of sight, but close enough to hear them. They were talking about a nearby nervous and onrey filly.

    “Im sorry but i don’t think youll be able to choose this horse as your inheritance,” Ben told her.

    Her face fell and and she exasperatedly asked why. I could place her now, she was Taylor Davidson apprently one of my first or second cousins.

    “This horse is condemned to be put down in a couple days,” said Ben, “She is the cause of your Grandmothers death.”

    The way he said it, cold and without emotion as he drilled his eyes on the horse almost like pure hate. I could understand his reasoning but what about the horse, a perfectly healthy Mare being put down for what?? Pure hate or blaming it all on the horse? Ben started to retell the story…

    “Your aunt, Lady Christabel, came into the barn early in the morning. Hardly any of the stable hands were around and I was in the back tack room. This little filly here was near trying to break out of her stall kicking and squealing. Mrs. Hanover thought she could calm her down some so she went in the stall and started to try. But that peice of horse flesh wanted nothing to do with it. She tried to rear and buck; which isn’t hard to in the huge condo stalls the horses have. When a front hoof struck Lady Christabel’s chest she fell over backward knocking over a pail of brushes in the process making a large noise. I came running over to see what the comotion was about and there she was spraweld out on the floor blacked out. I immediatly called 911… but they could do almost nothing. A few hours later Lady Christabel Hanover passed away.”

    Taylor was in tears and i myself could feel all the color drain out of my face. She turned back torward the corral and stared at the little filly without a word to Ben.

    “You best stay way from that nag”, Ben stated with a cold face and then saundered off to the barn.

    I wanted to talk to Taylor but i think it was best that i let her alone for just then. What was with Ben!? How could he say something like that to her at a time like this? I raced after him and caught up with him in the barn. I was going to find out here and now.

  21. The reading of the will was over, and no one had Wishing Star, I didn’t think. I was relieved, and gave the gorgeous mare a big hug. I knew that everyone would be staying there, and I wanted to too. I would love to stay just one night next to a barn of horses.

    I saw Roselyn and another girl talking in the barn, so I walked over to them. I heard the other girl saying something about oing about something, and I was curious. I had to know what was going on!

  22. I saw my brother talking to another woman by one of the horses, the gorgeous horse who had “killed” Lady Hanover. I couldn’t believe she was being put down, it wasn’t her fault. Roselyn was near, too, and she didn’t look happy about it either I stood next to her, sighing. Poor horse.

  23. After meeting Roselyn(I figured her to be a nice gal), some seemingly love struck guy told me he was a “certified stable hand” (since when do you need a certificate to clean out stalls?!) and to go find Mr Green. So off I went.
    You gotta excuse my country ignorance (if you can call it that), but I got lost within the first five minutes; I mean this place was HUGE! With all sorts of tack rooms,feed rooms, offices and other places I thought completely unnecessary for a stable. After wondering about for quite some time and seeing nobody I sat down on a hay bale wondering how to get back;there wasn’t even an exit sign. My poor dog was probably sweltering in my truck.
    I heard foot steps and looked up. A girl of 12 or 13 was walking my way with two armfuls of hay. (Good gravy, was this whole place run by teens?) I stood, maybe she could help me out. “Hey! Do you know where I can find Mr Green?” She stopped and shifted her bundles. “Yeah, sure.” She smiled, “I’m Jessica” I grinned back, “CJ.”
    We walked down halls I had missed before, Jessica seemed to know the place well. After a while she broke the silence . “Are you here for the will stuff too?” I noted the change in her voice. So thats what this deal was about”No. Miss Hanover hired me a week before she died. I didn’t know until yesterday what had happened. And I still don’t know if I have a job here.” I sighed. I had only met the woman a couple times at a clinic back home. She’d taken an interest in my breaking skills and had asked my parents wether I could work for her. She said she wanted someone who could train and also be trained without problem. I guess that was me. Mum had disapproved at first because of the miles that would be between us. But I had lept at the chance; after all I had graduated 2 years before(I was homeschooled) so my education wasn’t a problem. And besides I had to do something besides chasing cows, and here I’d get paid.

    Eventually we tracked down Mr Green, he was outside cleaning a horse’s hoof.
    “Ah. CJ Gould.” he said after I told him who I was. “Yes, Christabel said you be arriving soon.” His face saddened, for a brief moment nothing was said. Brightening outwardly he answered the question that had been plaguing me since yesterday. ” I suppose your wondering if you still have a job here, right?” I nodded eagerly. “Well, then, yes you do. If you still want it that is.”
    “YES!” I burst out before I could stop myself. “I mean, yes sir, I would.”
    “Good. Then all I need from you is the signed papers from you and your parents. You did bring them with you?”
    “They’re in my truck.” My truck. Oh, dear. It was a mess from the three days I traveled in it with Scamp, my mini Aussi.” Please don’t follow me!” I thought vigorously. But of course they did. As soon as I opened the door Scamp shot out like a frog on roller skates. “Scamp!” I yelled after him. “Scamp sit!” He stopped running and looked back at me. “Come here, boy” I called coaxingly. He cocked his head to the side, then dived behind a tree. I looked at Mr Green. “Is that… Can he..?”
    “He’s fine.” *whew*
    Jessica giggled. “He’s cute.”
    “He’s a bugger.” I said pulling the papers out of the glove box. I handed them to Mr Green. “Lets go in, shall we? I have to use a computer for this.”
    As we walked in I saw Scamp poke his head up from behind the tree. “I’ll get you.” I thought pretending to be mad, but how can one be at such a cute ball of fluff? He was only a puppy anyway.

  24. I stepped into the barn. The furnishings inside were nice, I suppose. I sat down in a large chair and waited for the reading of the will. An elderly man stepped up and started reading of names. The silly people got so excited and sentimental when they received a special horse or a little part of the estate they remembered from their time with “dear Great-Aunt Christabel”. Oh, well, I wouldn’t get sucked into such sentimentality. Whatever I got, I would promptly sell. I received some horse, Calisto, a bay horse. She was rather pretty, and she would sell quite well. I also received a strange letter. It read…

    My dearest Christi,
    You may not know me, but I know you quite well. Too well. I know of your selfishness and your unkindness to others. How? That is my secret. One of many of my secrets you may find. You are on a journey now, but you must go alone. Follow the way the compass points, that bright light in a dark sky.

    Goodbye,
    Christabel

    That was the strangest letter I had ever received. How silly. The only journey I would be going on was a journey home!

  25. I heard someone call my name and saw an old lady run towards me. Great Grandmother’s cook. “Mrs. Mary!” I ran up and gave her a hug. “Come on, let’s get you those books. I’m so sorry about your Great Grandma. She was a dear friend of mine!” I nodded. “I miss her! I can’t believe she’s gone! She…she didn’t get to see my first book. I dedicated it to her….I wanted her to have the first copy..” I pulled the book out of my bag and showed it to her. Mary sighed. “Come on, I’ll let you show it to her.” She said leading me into the house. I followed her to my Great Grandmother’s room and stopped short. I almost collpsed on shaky legs. My dearest Grandmohter there inside a coffin on the bed never moving!
    I gave a loud cry which rang through the air. The window was opened and I was sure that everyone in the yard heard it but I did’t care! I dropped to her side and held her hand. I knew It’d be sad but…but seeing her so weak and helpless when she had once been so strong! “Great Grandma! You’ve always been there for me. You’ve always been a grandmohter to me! The best! How can I let you go? Why must I?” I cried, tears now slipping out. I reached over and with shaky hands slipped the first ever copy of my book under her arm. “I love you….” I whispered, holding her hand to my cheek. “I love you…”
    Outside the window people were turning their heads..confused at the scream.

  26. Name: Katrina Meade
    age: 17
    Hair color: Black with auburn highlights
    Eyes: Shocking electric blue
    Height: 5’8″

    I’m not that into horses, but there sure are a lot here at my great-aunt’s. I don’t even know her, but I guess she knew me.
    I saw a huge black horse being led by a tall stable hand. I curled my lip at the smell that emanated from the huge barn. Even though it kind of smelled, the barn was gorgeous.
    I’m a city girl, but I love animals, except for the big ones, which scare me, and then of course, there’s the smell.
    I’m a tomboy through and through, I play on the basketball team, and I can’t stand being cooped up inside.
    Mom said that getting out of the city would be good for me, and I’m not complaining, because here in the country, it is absolutely gorgeous.
    I wandered up to the barn, and almost collided with the black horse I had seen from the parking lot.
    “Oops! Sorry, I didn’t see you,” said the person leading the horse, a very tall guy (at least six foot) with spiky, dark brown hair and green eyes. Very green eyes.
    “That’s all right,” I said, then stepped away from the horse lest one of his HUGE hooves crush my foot beyond repair.”What’s the horse’s name?” I asked, trying to keep the conversation going, because this stable hand was very handsome.
    “This is Bold Right, also known as Big Bold. He’s the prize stud here,” said the guy. “By the way, my name is Derek Black.”
    “I’m Katrina Meade. Christabel Hanover was my great-aunt. I’m here for the reading of her will. You wouldn’t happen to know where they’re reading it, would you?” I asked, crossing my arms.
    “Actually, I’m just a stable hand, so I don’t know everything that goes on around here,” Derek said. I groaned. Derek grinned then continued, “But I do know they are reading the will in the house, in the front room. You shouldn’t miss ’em, unless you’re blind.” He smiled again, a beautiful smile.
    “Thanks,” I said, smiling my own smile, then walked into the house.
    To my dismay, the reading was already in progress, so of course, I had to sit down and hope I hadn’t missed my name being read.
    When I heard my name, I held my breath. “To Katrina Meade, my great-niece, I bequeath my prized stallion, Bold Right,” said the lawyer. I groaned in my head. A horse! A smelly, disgusting, horse! Awesome.

  27. Later, after the reading was finished, a girl with auburn hair and green eyes who introduced herself as Roselyn Hanover, came over and started gushing about how lucky I was to have a horse, as all she had received was an estate and the money with the estate.

    I swallowed. Horse crazy would fit Roselyn to a T. “Actually, I’m not that into horses,” I said, then saw a girl who looked just like Adel Granza, my favorite singer, being led into a room off to the side.

    “Roselyn, do you know who that is?” I asked, pointing.

    “Yeah, that’s Adel Granza, who is a distant relative of Aunt Hanover.”

    “Oh, my gosh, I love her! I have every CD she has ever released!” I gushed, sounding like a love-struck teenager. I clapped a hand over my mouth. “God, I sounded so obsessed. I don’t really do that a lot, though,” I said.

    “Well, that’s okay,” said Roselyn, smiling, and suddenly, I liked Roselyn Hanover.

  28. I wandered out of the house, and saw the same stable hand, Derek, with another horse. God, how could he stand the smell? Actually, though, I was getting used to the manure smell. Lovely. Now I’m turning into a farm girl.
    I ran over to Derek, and then remembered to never run around horses. I slowed down, quite a hard feat in my slide wedges.
    “Hey, Derek!” I called.
    “Hey, Katrina. What did you get?” Derek said, turning from the horse.
    “I got Bold Right,” I said.
    “Really? That is awesome!” Derek said, then his face dimmed a little. “I’m gonna miss him. He was really nice.” He looked genuinely sad, and I felt sorry for him. Then I got an idea.

  29. Ok Let’s get something strait…. I don’t like Ben. Yeah ok maybe he’s “cute” as some girls would put it. I guess he’s hooked up on that Christi Smithers girl for all i know but i have to find out why he spoke so harshly to Taylor and why he as been mr “Back-off” since about i came here. When i first met him he looked at me like he saw some spark of recognition or somthing…

    I finaly cornered Ben in the Tack room… which was about as big as my bedroom. I stood in the door way so he had to face me.

    “Ben…?”

    “What do you want, kid?” he said with a dissmisive wave of his hand.

    “Ben, we need to talk. Since this past day ive known you, youve been nothing but cold and insinsitive to most of the people here.”

    I expected him to blow a fuse or start making outbursts again. Surprisingly, he smiled down at his work which was polishing a bridle. A smile of rememberence.

    “Your Great-Aunt talked to me in the same athoritive tone.”
    He sighed and began to talk openly for the first time.

    “When i was talking to Taylor and telling her about your Aunt’s death i didn’t mention the deeper details. Your aunt was like a mother to me or maybe a grandmother. I’ve never had mother of what i can remember.. she died right after Jessica was born. Your aunt showed me the ropes around this barn and i was practicaly raised in it. That morning when she was killed… ill never forgive myself. I was right in the room next to the stables, i should have been with her.”

    “Ben it wasn’t your-”

    “Let me finish. I was one of the only ones Lady Christabel talked to in her last few moments of life. She asked me to take care of the farm before she left for her new home. I was loosing her and i knew it. Now that the property is being split up left and right from inheritance to inheritance its like their’s nothing left to take care of. Like im braking my promise. She specifically asked me to give this letter to you.”

    Ben slipped a wrinkled piece of paper out of his blue jean pocket. His smile faded a little as he gave it to me.

    “Now you know kid, statisfied?”

    I just stared at the paper and he walked past me out of the tack room.

    My Dearest Rolselyn,

    How i wish i could have have spent more time with you in your younger years. Yes i know you are adopted.. don’t be surprised i know a many amount of things. However i only reveal to you what concerns you. Don’t be too harsh towards Ben, he migth blame himself and my raskley little filly but I assure you I am know with the white horses in God’s stables, even bigger than mine! Whatever happens have patience, understanding, and never give up. Please help protect my farm and the horses.. don’t let anything come between their happiness. Ben can’t do this alone. Follow the hoofbeats

    Forever in eternity,
    Great-Aunt Christabel

    I rubbed the wettness out of my eyes. I didn’t know what the last part meant “Follow the Hoofbeats” but i woudl abide by them. There was so much going on right now.. how coudl i have patience and understanding like Lady Christabel requested!?

    Someone walked behind me and put a hand on my shoulder.. it was Jessica.

  30. Name: Christy May
    Age:16
    Skin Tone: light
    Hair Colour: Bright blond

    I pulled my new car into the dusty driveway. The smell of manure and horse perspiration filled the air. I steeped out of the drivers seat and winced at the sight of horses, mud, and a big red barn. But something about the barn felt welcoming, grand! I was never that into horses but with horses all around me, I felt kinda nice. Little did I know that I would be taking one home! As I walked through the barn doors dust! Mud! Horses! I squinted through the mess and saw a beautiful bay stallion. I walked past him then reached a small room, I walked in. I was overwhelmed when I saw a poster board covered in photos. I looked closely at one. It was me, On a horse! I saw a tall figure appear at the door. ” Scared ya didn’t I. Oh yea, the will is being read in the main barn,” He walked away with a huge grin spreading across his face. I walked out just to hear the microphone booming in the room next to me. ” And now, I give my prized stallion, Bellero, to Christy May, my great grand daughter.” I shuddered at the reading. Little did I know I was in for a big suprise!

  31. Mary gently lifted me away from the bed. “come on Lilly dear, come have a cookie and a warm glass of milk. Lady Christabel helped me make them two days ago.” She said. I looked up, tears rolling off my chin. “She made cookies? But she said she couldn’t cook.” I said half heartedly. Mary laughed, but I knew she was faking her happiness and cheerfulness. she and Grandma were close. “She said she’s make them once but if the kitchen exploded not to blame her. Come on, we’ll check out the Library then and load up all your new books.” She led me twoards the hall that led to the secret door. I opened a section of the wall and slipped in to a world of book shelves that towered over me.
    I loved her library. There were books about history, animals, facts of nature, and plain old fiction! Every kind of book imagenable! Poems, mystery, fantasy, romance…how I loved it! But I couldn’t feel joy this time. The secret room ment nothing to me. The fact that only Grandma, Mary, and I knew about the room. Nothing would bring her back to me.
    I slowly began gatheirng books into boxes and taking little trinkets Grandma had on different shelves. I looked at Mary who was hiding her face, crying in her hands. I looked out the small window above my head. Could my life really go on? Just a week ago I was planning on viseting Great Grandma here at her house! And now I was taking her belongings, two of her horses, and watching this house, the one I pratically grew up in, being given to someone who wasn’t even as close to her as I was!
    How could life go on?

  32. Name: Samantha Dodee
    age: 19
    hair color: deep, shocking black
    eyecolor: deep, dark grey

    I stepped into the barn, weary. I hoped nobody noticed me. I haunched my shoulders and pulled my hood up over my face. as soon as the will reading was over, I sauntered out of the room to collect the horse I had inherited. I looked around, my blue hoodie seeming to stick out like a sore thumb. no one else was wearing a sweatshirt. I pulled the hood down, took off the sweatshirt, and tied it around my waist. I groaned when I reached the stall that had my horse’s name on it. ‘Violet Daisy Rose’ was the horse’s name. who named their horse after three flowers? Apparently my great-grandmother.

    I walked up to the palomino mare and put my hand into the stall. I yelped when the mare snapped at me. Her greying muzzle told me that she was old. I groaned again. I reached up and took the shining red halter off of the hook on the stall door. i slid the stall door open and slipped inside. the large stall was roomy, and it kind of scared me. lots of room for the horse to move around; sometimes it was a good thing, but at other times it was a horrible thing. I reached up to put the halter on the horse.

    The only thing I remember from that point was the horse rearing, a hoof aimed at my face, and then nothing.

  33. I woke up, trying to remember everything that had happened. I felt my head and opened my eyes. Again, i tried opening my eyes. For the third time, i tried to open my eyes. I groaned. What was wrong with me? did I die or something? Or something. Then, a thought struck me. WAS I BLIND? I opened my eyes, and used my hand to touch my eye. My eyes were open, but I didn’t see anything. I groaned, and I heard a doctor rush over. Or, I thought it was a doctor. How can I tell if I can’t see their pearly white lab coats? Or their stethascopes hanging around their necks? Or their shiny name tags?

    I said, “I’m okay,” or at least, thats what I thought i said. The person that I thought was to my right a little was quiet for a long time. Then, I heard the tip-tap of feet, and I guess the person walked away. I began to wonder how I would live without seeing. What would happen to the horse? Who had found me? Did I have any broken bones?

    I checked myself over, flexing my toes, then slowly bending my legs. I wiggled my fingers and made my arms and neck move. Then, I reached up to my head. There was a part that when I felt it, it was sore. Great. Thats how I came to be blind. The idiot horse must have struck me in the eye or something. I searched through my memories, trying to remember everything that had happened. I could only remember fear.

  34. Left and right people milled around excitedly, surveying the horses they inherited or chatting about the letters they received. I stood clueless of where I was to go, until I decided to head toward where much of the crowd came from. I entered this room of some sort filled with even more people, people who are relatives I never knew I had.

    With no vacant chairs in sight, I settled myself comfortably against the wall, waiting for my name to be called. When the man standing at the front of the room finally did so, it rang loud and clear. Suddenly, it seemed all the noise evaporated into the air, and I was pretty sure I knew why.

    Lady Christabel, I was told by dad, was my great-aunt or something. My mom, on the other hand, said she was a grandmother of mine. My parents’ divorce certainly mixed up my family tree a little. The thing is, great-aunt or grandma or not, Christabel Hanover was very fond of my dad. Since the day mom started the huge, pointless argument with him and decided she wanted nothing more to do with him, Christabel wanted nothing more to do with her. Of all the people here, I realized I was probably the only one undeserving of an inheritance.

    I grimaced, awaiting for my will to be announced. “Camille Evans is hereby legally inheriting from Lady Christabel Hanover’s will a map, a letter and a chosen horse from the list stated on the letter.” I hurried up to the front, collecting the map and letter hastily in attempt to shorten my time under the spotlight. I could feel numerous eyes burning into my sides as I returned to the back of the room once more, where I turned my attention to the letter. It read:

    “To Camille Evans, dear still in my heart,

    Though our relations where not entirely perfect, I would still wish for you to inheritance a fair amount from me.

    The map enclosed with the letter is one of few which leads to a valuable treasure only those pure of heart can learn to enjoy. I have selected you, along with a few others, to embark on this journey and adventure. Accept or deny, it is your choice, but I hope the two people listed below will help you make the decision. I would like them to be in your team:

    Robyn Wilson
    Lilly Vandel

    In addition, you must choose one of the horses in the north pen as part of your inheritence, or one of my most beautiful and dearest horses, Wishing Star.

    Take Care,
    Lady Christabel Hanover

    Wishing Star…that name was familiar. I’ve heard a young girl around thirteen or so talk about how fabulous she was. In fact, she was hugging her with such affection that it’s impossible to separate them. One of the horses in the north pen it is then, until a startled realization sparked. They were the unnamed ones, broken in but very green. As a girl who takes weekly riding lessons, I am definitely not ready for that much of a challenge. Wishing Star would be the sensible choice, but I know how it is to lose a loved one, I’ve lost many. Taking away a horse who is already loved wouldn’t be a sensible choice at all.

    Decisions and confusion lingered strong, pulling me in wild directions. I only calmed down when I heard another name being called.

    “Robyn Wilson.”

    She was the girl who was listed on my letter. Patiently, I waited until she returned to her seat from the front of the room before I approached her.

    “Hi, I’m Camille Evans.”

  35. After the inheritances and all that had been read off it seemed EVERYONE gathered aroung the horse (like the whole FAMILY is horse fanatics). I just sat around on a hay bale until i finally got the nerve to open the letter I had gotten along with the inheritince.
    Dearest Adelaide,
    I know you don’t remember me but I remember you. Actually when you were young i spent quite alot of time around you and I remember how much you loved those horses. me and your father did not get along. At all. One day when you were about four we got in such a big argument i had to stop seeing you, but i have seen you, in all those magazines, and performing on television. I am very proud of you and I wish i could have been there when you were growing up. take good care of Cupid, she’s my baby.
    With All my Love,
    Lady Christabel

    OK. Shocker there. Now it’s time for me to meet that horse of mine.

  36. I entered the room where the will was being read and took a seat next a girl that I learned was named Kaily Jane. I introduced myself and then we fell into silence as the will was read.

    The names of my cousins and family started being called and the horses, land and other items of my aunt’s started going to their new owners. I waited to hear my name. Then the man reading the will, who read with a voice of disinterest, said: To my great niece Audra Hanover I will Immortal Wind, Flame of Soul and my property with the twin creeks running through it. As this was being read I could feel my eyes bug out and I saw almost every head turn.

    Flame of Soul!! He was one of the most sought after Stallions, I never dreamed he would one day be mine! And Immortal Wind, my sweet chestnut that I had learned to trust and love more with each visit to my Aunt. Aunt Christabel knew that I loved Immortal Wind. With the property and Flame of Soul I would be able to… WOW!

    I must have gasped or in some sense showed that I was thrilled because Kaily leaned over and whispered, “I’m glad that your happy with what you got.” “Yes, I am glad but I would rather have Aunt Christabel back then have a million horses and property.” “So would I,” Kaily said.

    I was drawn back to the reading when I heard my name once more,”….to Audra I also bequeath my diary’s, except the one with the blue velvet cover, which is to be given to another whose name will be mentioned later..” Hmm? Her diary’s??….

  37. “Rose?” I asked, as I stood next to her, “Oh, can I call you that?”
    I didn’t really know what to say. As I was just standing there, I heard the man say the name “Wishing Star”. My horse! Well, she wasn’t mine. I breathed deeply, I would stay with Roselyn for a while and then I would find out about Wish. I hoped she would be going to a nice place, hopefully near by.

  38. As soon as I was released from the hospital, I raced to the barn. I found that my stupid, idiotic horse was still there. I sighed. I wondered how I would get along without sight. The doctor said that if I didn’t rub my eyes and if I didn’t get any more head injuries, I might be able to see again. I was already able to see the outlines of the shapes, and sometimes see facial expressions. If only I had a friend to help me along….I sighed. I wondered a few things. How old was my horse? Why is she afraid of people? Where are all the other people that had been here a while ago, when I was walking into the barn? What time is it?

    No!, I told my self, Stop thinking!

    I decided that if I could find someone to be my friend, I would most likely be able to handle this horse. After all, I owned a stable with twelve mares, seven foals, and one stud. I had trained all of them. I might be able to help this mare, if only I could see. I just need a helping hand.

  39. Name: Crimson Red
    Age: 17
    Discription: Tanned skin, Black hair, Emerald green eyes
    Height: 5’6

    I parked my truck on the paved driveway. “Well, this is it.” I muttered to myself. I was late. I tiptoed into the barn where I could see everyone had gathered in an leaned against the wall.
    “To my dearest great-niece Crimson, I give you Flying Solo, one of my dearest champion studs, and my other property, Willow Hill ranch, where you used to visit me. I also give you this map and letter for your journey.”

    WOW! Flying Solo! She always knewthat I loved him! Wait- journey? What journey?

    The letter said:

    Dear Crimson
    I am gretly sorry that we did not spend more time together. Remember this, you will always be in my heart. The journey you will make is to find something very special for yourself and your teammates. Your teammates:

    Kaily Jane Hanover
    Audra Hanover

    Love you forever and beyond,
    Great-Aunt Christabel.

    I saw two girls standing next to eachother, looking around the barn. I walked over to them and said “Umm… Hi! I’m Crimson Red. Are you two Kaily Jane Hanover and Audra Hanover?” They nodded.

  40. I saw a girl wandering along. She looked like she was blind. I ran to help her, I didn’t want her to hurt herself. She shouldn’t have been on her own.
    “Hi, I’m Jessica. Do you need any help?”
    The girl was called Samantha.

  41. My idea was burning in my head, but I needed to think it through. “Do you know where Big Bold’s stall is? I want to see him. I can go in his stall, right?” I asked.
    “Yeah, you can go in his stall. He’s very gentle for a stallion. It’s the last stall on the right.” Derek pointed to a stall in the back of the barn.
    I walked back there, and when I saw Big Bold, my heart began hammering. He was beautiful, even though he smelled a little.
    I opened the stall door, and slipped inside, latching the door behind me. I petted Big Bold’s velvet nose, awestruck at its softness. Then I heard voices, coming from the tack room, or whatever you call that place with all the saddles and stuff.
    The voices were very low, and I couldn’t hear everything, but I could tell it was a girl and a guy, and the guy sounded sad. Then I heard paper and the silence that comes when you read.
    I figured it was none of my business, but I couldn’t resist. I poked my head out of the stall, then slithered out silently, noiselessly closing the stall door.
    I peeked into the tack room, and I saw Roselyn Hanover and some other guy, obviously a worker in the barn. He was about to leave, and I had to jump behind the door to avoid being caught.
    After the guy had left, I walked into the room. “Roselyn? Do you need help with something? I saw you two talking, and I wondered if maybe I could help?” My voice trailed off. Tears were rolling down Roselyn’s cheeks.
    “Are you okay?” I asked, but then I heard voices, shouts, a whinny. “What?”
    Roselyn and I turned and what we saw took both our voices away…

  42. “Robyn Wilson, Camille Evans? I’m Lilly Vandel.” I said =, returning from the library with all the books and things in my car. I held out a hand to the two girls. “I guess we’ll be going together on an adventure?”

  43. That awful stable hand’s words haunted me. This filly was going to be put down? It wasn’t HER fault that she killed Lady Christabel. Anyone who knows horses would know that horses would rather flee than fight, and would not CHOOSE to hurt anyone. The filly was in a panic, and Lady Christabel HAD to have know she was risking herself by trying to calm her. I couldn’t let that stable hand put her down. I HAD to do something. Then I remembered who I was.

    “Aunt Christabel left ANY five horses to me! Its my pick! I can overrule him!”

    I marched off to the barn to take the halters and lead ropes from that stable hand. I would look at my other four horses later, then move them to my new property.

  44. I walked out of the barn a proud owner of three new horses. I wandered around looking for someone to talk to. I’m a very social person so I walked up to two girls tlaking.
    “hi I’s Kaily,”
    After the two girls introduced themselves as Smantha and Jessica, Samantha blurted out, “If your wondering why I act so wierd it’s because I’m blind.”

  45. I was about to say something, but then I heard a whinny and some shouting. I turned my back on the girls and stared in horror at the beautiful stallion pushing its way through the men and towards the driveway. So quickly that I didn’t even realise what was happening, I ran to the tack room. There stood a horrified Katrina and a crying Roselyn. I quickly stopped to ask if they were O.K, but they were to horrified to do anything but nod. I then ran to the feed bins to get a carrot and grabbed a halter and lead rope on my way out. I slowly approached the stallion, with the carrot in my outstreched hand and the halter hidden behind my back. Slowly, the stallion stopped rearing and took a step towards me. He took the carrot from my hand and I swiftly put the halter on him. I then handed one of the stablehands the lead rope and walked back to the barn.

  46. Dear Jess, she was such a comfort for someone younger than I. She asked if she could call me Rose and i smiled lightly and nodded still staring at the letter. We sat at a small bench next to a window in the huge tack room.

    “I never knew her much but Ben seemd…”
    “Close.. he was very close to her” Jessica finished my sentance. “We all were but him especially”

    I nodded again, it was basically all i had the energy to do. Then someone called a horses name out. Many of the inheritances were claiming their horses. As I heard Jess sigh i recalled what Ben said about everything falling apart and being given away. How could my Great aunt expect me to help take care of everything when she had given away horses and land left and right?

    Another girl came wondering along past the barn. Jess asked if i would be alright I said yes as she hurried outside to meet the girl, Samantha if i can remember right. I finaly got ahold of myself and went to see Sunni. Strolling past several teens I came to his stall in the far left corner. I rubbed the white star on his forehead and asked him what i should do. In his reply he nickered and playfully whisked the letter out of my hand.

    “Sunni, silly boy. You must have been one of Aunt Hanover’s favorite.”

    I picked up the paper and noticed something on the back. It was in faded ink and it looked.. no i was sure it was part of a map! I recalled that each inheritance had recieved a letter from the laywer written from my Great Aunt. Could it be possible that they had a piece of a map on their letter somewhere to? My mind was buzzing with excitement. Who should i tell Ben, CJ, Jessica?? Actualy the first person to pop in my mind was Adel.. i don’t know why but something told me i should.

    I had to find her..

  47. As I went to find Adel I noticed Taylor with a determined face and looking for several halters. I remembered how Ben had informed her about the mare.

    “um hi Taylor.. what are you doing?

    “Taking what’s rightfully mine” she replied stoutly.

    “Taylor i know how you must feel but this isn’t that way. That mare was confirmed to death before you even got here for the reading.”

    She was near tears now. So much saddness had been caused today.

    “But it isn’t fair, its my inheritance and im going to save my horse. They don’t have the right to put her down.. not Ben or anyone!”

    “I know I know… well find away, just not like this. Have patience”

    Those last words i said to her.. have patience were the exact words my aunt told me to have in the letter. Where was Adel.. i needed to talk to her.

  48. I noticed one of the stablehands, Jessica, I think her name was, walking over to a stumbleing girl. If I could remember right, her name was Samantha. I walked over and helped the stumbling girl to get to a seat.

  49. I found the stable hand in the tack room. Slumped down on the wall among beautiful leather saddles, tears were falling. When I entered the room, he looked up.

    “I suppose you are hear to tell me that you are taking that dratted filly.” he said bitterly.

    “Yes.” I said.

    “Well then I guess I should tell you more about her. Her father, Seeing Stars, was ornery too when he was young, and he’s still a handful. I suppose you’ll want to take him as one of your five too, considering his amazing bloodlines and great conformation. Her mother, Dreaming of Daisy, was one of the sweetest horses you could ever imagine. Her bloodlines were amazing, tracing back to top studs and top mares. She had the floating motion that the filly has. She died though, when she cast herself in her stall and broke her leg trying to get up.”

    I wasn’t surprised to find the filly had great bloodlines. Nearly every horse here did.

    “What is her name?” I asked.

    “Dreaming of Fura, but we call her Fura for short.” the stable hand said, “By the way, my name’s Ben.”

    “Taylor.” she said.

    “Do you want help choosing the rest of your horses?” Ben asked.

    “Sure, I’d like to hear about the bloodlines and history of the available horses. But I’ve already decided on Fura and Seeing Stars.”

    “Okay,” Ben said, and he actually smiled.

    Wow, this guy is weird.

  50. As a few people stood to go and get their horses, I followed. At the end of the barn there was a welcoming whinny. I chuckled. Solo never forgot me. I walked over to his stall and clucked to the stallion over the dutch door. He immediatly stepped towards me and rubbed his nose against my arm. “Sorry Solo, I dont have any carrots.” I then remembered the polos in my pocket. “Here boy.” I cooed as I fed him one.

    I felt someone poke my shoulder and turned around. There stood a tall girl, with wavy brown shoulder length hair and caramel brown eyes who looked about my age, I recognised her at once as Audra, one of my teammates. “Hi. You said you were Crimson Red, right?” she said in a classic Tennesea accent. I nodded. “You’re one of my teammates.” I nodded again. Solo nudged my shoulder. “That’s a nice horse you’ve got there.” She said as she eyed Solo up.”Looks like he could do great in english riding or barrel racing.”

  51. Name: Brooke Dawson
    Age: 17
    Hair Color: Dark brown
    Eye Color: Deep-ish brown

    I was late. I knew I was late. Coming all the way from Dawson Stables, my family’s barn. I pulled into the packed parking lot. Was this the place for the reading of the testimony and will of my Aunt Christabel?

    I walked out of my car, and began to go into the big red barn that loomed over me. It was the biggest, finest, barn I’d ever seen in my life.

    Since I was a few minutes late, I had to stand up in the barn- the chairs were all occupied.
    My name was being called, “To my beloved dear niece, Brooke Dawson, I give you one of my favorite horses, Whispers, a letter, and map for your journey as well.”

    I remembered Whispers. When he was really little, I rode him around and around Aunt Christabel’s farm. It would be the only remembrance I would have of her- the letter too.
    Thoughts swirled around my head as I tried to think what my “journey” might be. I had only brought a few dollars, a water bottle, and my soccer ball to practice a bit with.

    As I walked outside, I saw Adel Granza. What was she doing here? I never knew she was my cousin. Along with her, I saw a girl with red hair, teary-eyed, and someone else with brown hair carrying halters.

    The letter sat on the bench, next to me, and I decided to open it. It read:

    Dearest niece Brooke,
    I remember the time you were so little, and I let you ride Whispers. That was the last I saw of you until many years later when your grandmother, my mother, passed on. You are so talented, and I hope this journey will fulfill your dream. Others who will be with you on this adventure are listed below:

    Taylor Davidson
    Crimson Red

    Your first clue is the big oak tree.

    With love~
    Aunt Christabel

    I was so confused. First, I decided to go ask if anyone knew a Crimson Red, or Taylor Davidson. And that’s when someone tapped my shoulder…

  52. I turned around. “Hi, I’m Taylor.” she said. I hesitated for a moment. That was the name in my letter.

    “Taylor… Taylor Davidson?” was all I managed to say. She nodded. I introduced myself, and we talked a little. Taylor told me about a horse that was going to get put down, and how she got to choose what horse she could take home. A very talkative gal.

    “Do you know a Crimson Red?” I asked. Taylor pointed in the direction of the barn. She was talking with Adele Granza. “What do you need her for?” Taylor asked me. “It was in my letter… One of whom is going to be with us on our adventure?” I replied.

    Taylor shook her head and showed my her letter. “In mine, it says you, and Katrina Meade.”

    Taylor and I set off to find someone with the name of Katrina Meade.

  53. I’d found the letter while Ben and I were looking at horses. From I had to sign for something about the will, it fell out. It read:

    Dearest Taylor,

    I remember meeting you for the first time at your mother’s funeral. You told me all about your horse lessons and the horses you rode, and said how you wish you could start your own farm. I decided to give you Whisper Creek Farm and five horses to jump start you career. As a farm owner, though, you will need to be strong, so I am sending you on an adventure. Here are your partners

    Brooke Dawson
    Katrina Meade

    Love,
    Aunt Christabel

    I met Brooke Dawson after I had selected my five horses. I ended up choosing Fura, Seeing Stars, an amazing Warmblood stallion called Fleeting Moment, a young colt called Shooter, and after a bit of a conflict, a mare called Wishing Star.

    Jessica Lane, a groom, was in love with this mare, Wishing Star. I couldn’t blame her. Wishing Star was the sweetest mare you could ever meet, and with excellent bloodlines. However Camille Evans had been given a list of horses to choose from. She had to choose between very green horses and Wishing Star. She wouldn’t have wanted to take Wishing Star away from Jessica, but she only took weekly riding lessons and didn’t think she was up to the challenge of riding green horses. I couldn’t bear, however, to see a girls heart broken, so I offered to help Camille with a green horse, and she agreed. I chose Wishing Star as one of my horses, and offered to hire Jessica as a groom when I turn 18 next month. She agreed, and now everything is worked out.

    Now I’m off with Brooke Dawson to find Katrina Meade, my other partner on the adventure. On our way to find her, we ran into Ben.

    “Taylor, there’s a bit of conflict with Fura.” he said nervously.

    “What? What is it?!” I asked anxiously.

    “There might be some difficulty with other people around here about not putting Fura down. We might have to go to court.”

    Oh no. I desperately looked at Brooke.

    “Don’t worry. She said. I’ll help.”

  54. After signing countless documents, responsibility agreements and other heath related deals, Mr Green said he would show me around. Just as we reached the door the phone rang. “Excuse me. I think this is the call I’ve been waiting for. I’ll get someone else to show you around. I nodded my understanding and waited outside by my pickup. Scamp was excited at his new surroundings and ran around in circles making a funny noise. I laughed. He looked so ridiculous! His little eyes bugging out of his fuzzy head. Dad and Mum had given him to me as a good-bye present. I smiled as I remembered the day: Dad and Mum’s hugs and encouragement, and then my siblings jokes and sarcasm to the end, we were all like that. It was hard to leave the horses. So hard! And the dogs had followed me halfway down our road. I nearly turned back. But my heart was set.
    I remember driving about a seven miles when I noticed a bag of dog food in the already crowded back seat. I thought that maybe dad had forgotten to unload it before he gave the truck to me, so I pulled over to turn round. A scratching noise came from behind my seat. “Corn, I hope this truck doesn’t have mice!” I remember thinking. Then a bark scared me out of my wits; I nearly drove into the ditch! I rammed the truck into park. Slowly I lifted my cowboy hat from the back seat. Under it was the cutest puppy I’d ever seen! I lifted him carefully into my lap and grabbed my new cell phone and called home. Dad picked up. “Dad….?” I trailed off.
    “So you found him. We were beginning to wonder.” I heard him laugh. “What…?” I started again. “Well, since you couldn’t take your horse we figured you’d need someone to talk to. Do you like him?” I got my voice back. “Of course! He’s an animal isn’t he!” I named him Scamp after Charmane James’ horse Scamper.

    “Excuse me.”

  55. I jerked back to reality. A tall guy with bright red hair stood in front of me. I judged him to be around twenty. “Yeah?” I said rather bluntly. “Are you CJ? Mr Green sent me to show her around the place.” He spoke with an Irish accent. “Oh,oh yeah! That’s me.” I remembered I wasn’t waiting for Mr Green but rather his underling. He wore a name tag:Scott.
    “Well, Before I show you around, do you have any equipment?” I gave a kind of snort and waved at my pickup. In the truck bed was three saddles: A roper, an all-round ,and my favorite, my barrel saddle along with an assortment of breast collars,saddle blankets and other useful pieces of leather.
    He raised his eyebrows. “And bridles?” I had several different kinds of those too.
    Satisfied, he led me around the grounds telling me the name and occupation of each horse we past. There ended up being no less than seven halter broke yearlings that needed to be able to ride by next summer. I had my work cut out.
    We walked back to the barn and down the aisle of stalls. “What do you do here?” I asked. I guess it was a bit out of the blue. He paused for a second,nonplused. Then,”I’m head of care management.” A manager for horse care? I WAS in an expensive establishment! I stopped by a stall with an older palomino mare in it. The plaque read Violet Daisy Rose. She looked crabby with her ears pinned back and nose wrinkled in a horse version of a scowl. I leaned against the bars. Kindly I asked “Hey, what’s your problem,girl?” As an answer she charged at me,teeth bared.
    “Careful with that one miss. She’s a bad one.” Scott warned. “She right near blinded a girl this mornin’.” I raised an eyebrow. “The one who inherited her. I’ll have to tell Mr Green about her. We’ll have to put the mare down.” He shook his head. “She’s a bad one.” He repeated. Disgusted and angered I replied hotly,”There is no such thing as a bad horse.” He looked up. ” Only misunderstood.” I stormed out; I going to find whoever the horse hurt and ask if they really wanted the horse killed.

  56. This voice recording is made on May 10th, 2009. I arrived here at the Hanover estate on May 8th to report on the reading of Lady Christabel Hanover’s will. It appears she named A LOT of young women as beneficiaries, which is lucky for me because no one has questioned who I am or why I’m here, and it’s easy to linger and eavesdrop without raising an eyebrow. They have no idea I’m an undercover reporter for the New York Times, and I intend to keep it that way.

    I expected there would be some drama around this reading. There usually is when it’s the will of a very wealthy person with a large family. Funny how so many people forget about mourning a loved one when it comes to who gets what. But that’s beside the point…

    Let me start by recording the cast of characters. There are so many this is the only way I can keep them straight.

    Roselyn Hanover – The great niece of Lady C who looks to be about 15 or 16. Not sure where she got that head of auburn hair. Must have been a recessive gene back in the family tree. I can’t tell if the stable boy despises her or has a thing for her, but I saw him hand her a letter. After reading it she had a perplexed look on her face and muttered something about following the hoof beats, whatever that means. She blacked out after hearing she had inherited Lady C’s estate for retired and rescued horses. Such drama.

    Jessica Lane – A young teen with dark coloring who works at the stable along with her older brother. I’d say she’s not happy about all these strangers coming in to claim horses they’ve inherited. I spotted her sobbing with Wishing Star. My guess is the two of them have bonded and Jessica is heartbroken knowing ‘her’ horse is likely to be gone soon.

    Lily Vandel – Looks older than the others, maybe 18, pretty blond hair. Seems more emo than the rest of the girls, like she’s truly sad about the loss of her great grandmother. I wonder what’s in the brown bag? She carries it around like it’s filled with treasure. Lily inherited Lady C’s cabin, some books, stuff from the house, and two horses — Snow Bell and her daughter Snow Flake. I heard her talking to another girl about a letter and a treasure hunt.

    Adel Granza – The international pop singer formerly known as Adelaide Granzala Hanover. Not sure how she manages to strut around a barn in designer shoes covered in horse manure, but I guess she’s got a lot of experience strutting the red carpet. Needless to say, her ‘elation’ at inheriting Cupid’s Only Hope, her aunt’s valuable filly, looks like an act. She also got a letter.

    Ben Blake – Another stable hand who appears to be the older brother of Jessica Lane, although I have no idea why they have different last names. Like I said before, this guy is tough to read. One minute he’s being snarky and rude, the next he’s fawning over Christi Smithers. I hear he was really close to Lady C.

    Taylor Davidson – By the way she conducts herself around the horses, I’d say Taylor has experience. I saw her watching Dreaming of Fura, the horse that supposedly killed Lady C. I thought that horse had been put down? Anyway, she inherited Lady C’s Whisper Creek Farm and her pick of 5 horses. My guess is she’s bent on saving the psycho killer filly. Looks like she’s also taking Fura’s father Seeing Stars, a stallion Fleeting Moment, a young colt Shooter, and Jessica’s favorite, Wishing Star. She also got a letter.

    Christi Smithers –The stable boy appears to be smitten in spite of the fact that Christi Smithers doesn’t seem to know he exists except as someone to serve her. She inherited the horse Calisto and a letter. I couldn’t get a peek at what it said without raising suspicion, but the expression on her face told me it wasn’t pleasing. Note to self: Look up the Smithers family archive. I know Christi is the niece of Lady C and she comes from a mega rich English family, but need to refresh my memory on the details.

    Camille Evans – Not sure her relation to Lady C. She’s at least 16 since she drove herself here. She inherited her pick of a horse and another mysterious letter. I saw her chatting with Lilly Vandel and another girl, Robyn Wilson, who I’ll talk about shortly. They each appeared to have similar letters, but once again I wasn’t able to get a peek without raising suspicion. Lady C sure was busy writing letters before she died…

    Robyn Wilson – Another niece who arrived late and rode up on a bike, so I’d say she’s about 13 or 14. Seems shy and uncomfortable around strangers, and who could blame her under the circumstances. She inherited a horse, Violet, and another mysterious letter with a map. What is this, a scavenger hunt?

    CJ Gould – A tall, lanky girl about 17 who looks like a fish out of water wearing her Western garb and bright green cowgirl boots in this posh English barn. From what I can tell, she was hired before Lady C died. Supposedly she’s a rock star when it comes to training young horses. Boy did she step into a quagmire of drama. I heard her yelling “Scamp” so assumed the puppy that was running around belonged to her. Cute dog.

    Audra Hanover – A tall, lanky girl. She inherited two horses, Immortal Wind and the famous stallion Flame of Soul, the property with the twin creeks running through it, and all but one of her aunt’s diaries. I wonder who gets that one? Boy would I love to get my hands on those diaries…

    Kaily Jane Hanover – I remember hearing about this girl. She was blinded in a tragic car accident. Supposedly she can see large shapes, but not much else. I hear she still rides horses so she must be the sort of person who doesn’t let a disability get in her way. Her father brought her to the reading. She seemed happy about inheriting three horses. I saw her talking with Crimson Red – more on that her later – about some journey they were supposed to take as part of Lady C’s last wishes. Odd…

    Katrina Meade – Definitely a city girl. I can see her crinkling her nose at the smell around the barn, and she’s clearly nervous around the horses. She’ll have to get over that quickly since she inherited a horse. And not just any horse – one of the prized stallions, Big Bold.

    Christy May – Another city girl. She drove up in a new car, and doesn’t seem too thrilled about being at a horse farm. Looks like she inherited Bellero, another prized stallion. Why in the world is Lady C leaving stallions to girls who appear to have no experience with horses, let alone an interest? I suspect those horses will end up being sold…

    Samantha Dodee – An older girl with very dark coloring who inherited a beautiful palomino mare, Violet Daisy Rose. Sadly the girl decided to march right into the horse’s stall and ended up getting kicked. Apparently the injury wasn’t physically debilitating since she showed up back at the barn not long after being knocked out and sent to the hospital. Unfortunately the kick caused blindness. I don’t know if it’s temporary or permanent. That sweet stable hand Jessica has been helping her around the barn.

    Crimson Red – A great niece of Lady C who inherited Flying Solo, a champion stud, along with the Willow Hill Ranch property. That Lady C sure had a lot of estates. Oh, Crimson also got a letter and map, which appears to connect her with Kaily Jane and Audra Hanover in some way, since the three of them have been chatting away since receiving their letters. I also saw her hanging out with Samantha and Jessica.

    Brooke Dawson – Geez, how many nieces does Lady C have? This one showed up late, just in time to hear she inherited the horse Whispers along with a letter and map. She came up to me and asked if I knew where to find her horse and Crimson Red. I played dumb and managed to get her to tell me the letter said she’d be going on a journey with Crimson Red and Taylor Davidson. Interesting.

    If I can stay under the radar and gather more intelligence, this is going to make a great story. A bunch of girls thrown together around the death of a very rich woman, mysterious letters and maps, beautiful horses. I just might get a promotion, maybe a book deal with directors lining up for the film rights… Oh, gotta go. Someone’s coming…

  57. “Roselyn!” I exclaimed when I found her. “Help!”

    “What happened, Taylor?” she asked.

    I explained how I had gotten Ben to let me get Fura, and then how Ben told me there may be some problems with other people.

    “Some people seems to think she killed Christabel on purpose!” I told her. “It’s not fair!”

    “Okay, okay. Calm down. We’ll figure something out. By the way, who’s your friend?” Roselyn asked.

    I had completely forgotten about Brooke. “Oh, this is Brooke Dawson. She’s going to help me too.”

    “Nice to meet you Brooke.” Roseyln said with a smile.

    “You too, Roselyn.” Brooke said, “Taylor, I’ve got an idea. What if we got everyone together and told them that it wasn’t Fura’s fault? We could give them the facts. But then, there is still the problem of people thinking the filly is dangerous, but you’re experienced. I bet if you could work with her, you could show them that Fura isn’t a threat.”

    “Brooke, that’s perfect!” I exclaimed.

    Roselyn smiled. “It’ll work for sure.” she said confidently.

    “I hope so.” I said.

    This had to work. Dreaming of Fura’s life depended on it.

  58. I heard someone talking near the store shed. I heard my name and i rushed around to see if it was Adel…Hopeing it would be her. Instead i found an older lady maybe around 20. When she saw me she hurridly stuffed something black and square like into her purse.

    “Excuse me, can i help you?” said the Lady with a buisness like attitude.

    “Actualy, i was wondering if you’ve seen Adel Granza?” i asked suspicously and a little surprised.

    “No i haven’t young lady, it if youll excuse me i have some important matters to attend”.

    I hadn’t seen her around since the reading and she didn’t look like any of the inheritances..
    id better keep an eye on her.. note to self to ask Jess if she knows anything.

    Ahh i spoted Adel at last near the house.

  59. There was an uproar over a girl who wanted a filly, but a stablehand didn’t seem like he wanted to give her the horse, and the horse picked up their discord and got angry. Another girl, who had dark brown hair, was standing off to the side. The girl arguing threw up her hands in frustration, then pointed a finger at the stable hand. “Don’t touch my horse, unless I say so!” she said, in a low voice. The stable hand grumbled, and the tension eased.
    Roselyn excused herself. “Gotta go,” she said, then walked away.
    I went to check on Big Bold, because I wasn’t quite sure how he reacted to the noise, but he was okay.
    I was next to Big Bold’s stall, when two girls came up to me. “Are you Katrina Meade?” The girl with hazel eyes asked. “I’m Taylor Davidson, and this is Brooke Dawson.”
    “Yeah, I’m Katrina. What do you need?” I said, studying the two girls.
    “We have two letters, and they both have your name on it. We need your help. Do you think you can help us?” said Brooke, holding out a paper.
    “I can try,” I said, smiling suddenly. I don’t know why, but I smiled.
    The girls led me out of the barn, and my head cleared, finally smelling air that wasn’t saturated with the smell of horse poop.
    I looked at the letters, and I got the idea, that we really needed to find Crimson Red, because I had no idea what this was about. Except…the oak tree. Whatever we needed was at the oak tree, and I had a feeling, Crimson Red, whoever that was, would be at the oak tree, too.

  60. “Hey!” I shifted my attention over to a girl a little older than me with interesting blue eyes in contrast to darker-toned hair, shaking her hand “I think we are.” Then I realized who she was…”Oh my goodness…you’re Lilly Vandel, the writer who published her first book!” I uttered with enthusiasm at the writer who I could only ever dream to be. Heat flushed to my cheeks as I gradually calmed down again. “Sorry, I’m just really excited. I’ve been really looking forward to buying your first novel.”

    My gaze then settled on a small herd of horses out the window, gathered in a large pen. It was the north pen, and the fact that one of those horses would be mine sent me flying over clouds with glee. Many potential choices assembled in my mind as I surveyed each of the horses. All looked beautiful and talented despite their obvious lack of attention and muddy coats. I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of my choices already, before something else caught my attention…

    There was a girl in the yard, apparently quite calm despite the fact that she was very late for the will reading. She seemed rather comfortable, almost enjoying herself, yet acting a little nervous. Excusing myself temporarily from Robyn and Lilly, I walked out and over to her.

    “Hi, the will reading is over there, if you’re lost.” I said, pointing in the direction from where I came from and noticing this person seemed very familiar. I think I know her from somewhere. I could tell, an awkward silence was bursting to come.

  61. I looked at the reader as if he was insane. Then I saw my new horse, Bellero. He was the bay

  62. Adel was surrounded by several teens and a few adults. I guess they were sort of like her mini poperotzi for the evening. They were asking for autographs and stuff like that.

    “Adel can I talk to you for a minute?”

    “Yeah sure let me finish up these last few signatures” she replied

    “Its really important and i need to talk to you alone.” I whipered urgently.

    She turned and looked at me with a little bit of confusion and raised her eyebrows. She excused herself from her fans and they some of them gave me dirty looks for interupting their meeting with a famous pop star. I beckoned her into the house, or should i say mansion, with a wave of my hand. This was actualy the first time i’d been in it. The place was even more grand than the barn.

    “Adel do you know of a room in here where we can get some privacy?”

    “Yeah there’s a little store closet right around the corner”

    I opened up the oak door and it sure wasn’t “little” more like about the size of my bedroom. I guess she was used to living with “little” things like this. I shut it behind us.

    “Now what’s this about, is it that stable hand? If its boy probs you can fill me in!” she inquired.

    “No no.. nothing like that. Its about the will and letters and stuff.”

    Her eyes dialated a little, like she knew something.
    “What I am about to show you i don’t want anyone to know just yet..”

    “You can count on me” Adel said as she smiled… it was sincere from what i could tell.

    “Alright… i recieved this letter from Lady Christabel.” I left out it was from Ben, “I noticed several other people who had recieved a letter from the laywer. Did you by chance get one?”

    She hesitated, stared directly at me searching my eyes, and then pulled out a neatly folded piece of paper from her designer duds.

    “Yes i did Roselyn. I hope you don’t mind but i don’t exactly want anyone to read it.”

    “I understand. However mine had a map, or at least a piece of one on the back does yours have anything like that?”

    Again she hesitated, i guess i understood i didn’t exactly feel like sharing my information either but to put this all together i had to.

    “Yeah its a very small piece of paper that was included with the letter. LIke it was torn of the corner of a map like you said.”

    She handed it to me and i pulled out my own piece of the mysterious map. They didn’t fit together but they were obviously from the same whole.

    “Now what?” she aksed.

    “Now we need to get all the peices together and everyone who as them. There are several girls who do and i need you to help me round them up. We should all meet in middle store shed behind then barn around midnight. I don’t know where this may go or who should and shouldn’t get involved… so the less people who know about it the better. Are you with me?”

    “You bet I am!” Adel whooped, “oops sorry to loud, i mean yeah ill try and round up the girls and the others who recieved letters. With my popularity it shouldn’t be hard.”

    She didn’t say it in a bragging way just a fact. Ok so let the journey begin.. i set off to find the first puzzle piece.

  63. I was grooming Wish in her stall, enjoying what would probably be our last day together. She nuzzled me as I groomed her silky mane. I was thinking about all that had happened in such a short space of time. I thought about the horses, the girls, the maps that I was still trying to work out why some people had them, Fura and the girl who wanted her and so much more. I sighed heavily, putting my arms around Wish’s neck and holding on tight. I never wanted to let go.

  64. (why is everyone I try to talk to ignoring me?)

    Lilly got frustrated with everything. So many people were too busy taking her grandmother’s treasures to even say if they wanted to go look for her treasure she left them a map to. Lilly thrusted the letter into her bag and hopped in her car. She was going to find it no matter what. It belonged to her Grandmother and anything she could get that was her grandmother’s she’d take and treasure forever. She loaded up the horse trailer with the two horses Snow Bell and Snow Falke and drove away from her Grandma’s home…for the last time.
    Tears filled her so she had to sit at the end of the driveway and wait for her vision to clear.

  65. I stood by the old oak tree and sighed. Me and aunt Christabel used to come up here and watch the horses running in the fields. Now, alone, it just felt… empty.

    I notced three girls walking towards me. One of them came to talk to me. “Hi. I’m Katrina Meade and this is Taylor Davidson and Brooke Dawson. Are you Crimson Red?” “Hi. Yeah, I am.” I replied.

  66. Brooke, Taylor and I jogged over to the oak tree, and before we reached the tree, I saw someone. It was a girl my age, with black hair, about two inches shorter than me.
    “Why is her name Crimson if her hair is black?” I murmured to Brooke. She laughed, shrugged.
    We reached Crimson, and she had a letter, too, just like Brooke and Taylor. I wondered why I didn’t have a paper. Obviously, every one else did.
    But then I saw the tree, and a flood of memories came rushing at me. Me riding on a horse, by this very tree, with my dad holding me on. The image of my dad made me double over, I’m not sure why. Taylor and Brooke looked at me, concern etched on their faces…

  67. Name:Hannah Harding
    Age:15
    Hair:long, dark blond.
    Eyes:dark green.

    I woke to the sound of voices. What is that? I lifted my head from the pile of hay I had been sleeping on. Where am I? Then it came back to me. . .

    I had gotten in to a fight with my mom. I had no dad. He was dead. She told me she was going to marry some guy. He worked at the same place she did. “It’s to soon!”, I yelled over my shoulder as I ran to my room. I remember stuffing some clothes into my backpack , flinging it over my shoulder then jumping out my window. Then I ran. I didn’t know where I was going. Just that I wasn’t going back. I came upon a red barn. “Maybe I could spend the night there.”, I said to myself. I opened the big red door a crack. No one was there. I scrambled for the ladder. I crawled to the other side of the loft, and took my backpack off. I don’t even remember falling asleep but I guess I did.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    I peeked through a crack in the barn wall. There was a group of kids, around my own age, down by the barn entrance. How in the world am I going to get out of here?

  68. I asked around for the girl who’d inherited Violet. Finely I cornered the ‘certified’ hand,Ben and asked him. He still had a ridiculous expression on his face and didn’t seem at all happy when I disrupted view of a girl named Christy Smithers, or something like that.
    “What?” He demanded.
    Already deciding I didn’t like him, I ignored his rudeness. “Who got that mare,Violet Daisy Rose?” He glared at me. (What did I ever do to him?!) “Why do you care.” It was more of a statement than a question. Already angry and barely able to restrain myself from punching his smug nose, I asked again. “Where is she?” He shrugged and pushed past me. I grabbed him by the scruff of his shirt,pulling him back. “Listen pal,if there’s a problem let’s have it out.” He tried to break my grip and failed, obviously forgetting that I had hung on to things far stronger than he was for a lot longer. “Let go you country hick!” That nearly tipped me over the edge, but instead of beating the stuffing out of him like I wanted to, I drew patience from *somewhere*.
    “You’re making a scene.” I replied mildly. And indeed he was, everyone was looking at him and, to my great satisfaction, Christy Smithers was snickering. He turned beet red. I sighed. He wasn’t going to give me answers. I let him go. I watched him stalk off. “Why is he like that?” I wondered.
    A girl stepped forward. She didn’t appear to be ‘all there’. “I’m Samantha Dodee. Were you looking for me?”

  69. I was hanging around the house asking people where i could find Cupid’s stall when i noticed Roslyn running toward me. She rushed up and told me that she really needed to talk. She pulled me towards Cupid’s stall. I don’t now what was on her mind, but i was almost worried, i really liked this Roslyn girl. She wasn’t judgmental at all and seemed like she as truly interested in being my friend instead of my celeb status, unlike the others.
    “Whats wrong?” i ask.

  70. “H-h-hi!” I finally said, taking the letter shakily from her. I remembered that this girl had been introduced as Lilly Vandel. She looked sad, but I didn’t notice anything else, because I was too busy examining my shoe-laces.

    There was an awkward pause. “So…” I said, “Did you get the letter, too?”

    “Yeah,” she said. “Aunt Christabell always was like that. Mysterious and playful; it would be like her to create a treasure hunt. That’s what inspired me to write this.”

    She reached into her satchel and removed a book. A mystery. I suddenly was really interested, despite my nervousness. I had a reputation of solving a mystery novel by the middle of the book.

    “May…I see?”

    “Sure!” she said. I took the book and flipped through the first couple of pages. Suddenly, on the third page, I spotted something interesting.

    “Summer Hill?”

    “Yeah!” she said, looking at me. “That’s the name of Heather’s horse. Summer Hill.”

    “Summer Hill…” I said, thinking hard. “Is there a horse by the name of Summer Hill here?”

    Lilly appeared to be thinking hard. “I think so…yes! I rode him one summer.”

    “That’s half the clue!” I said, excitedly. “‘Let blue sky and Summer Hill be your guide…’ What could blue sky mean?”

    “I know!” Lilly said. She dragged me across the room to a map of the stables. “The stalls are color-coded,” she explained. “Green fields, Orange Sunset, White Clouds…”

    “And blue sky!” I said.

    “Right! And Summer Hill is in the blue sky area!”

    “We solved the first clue!” I said. We giggled happily for a few moments, then sighed as we both fell back to previous thoughts.

    “Now, we just need to find Camille, and we can go on our way!” Lilly said.

    “No need to find me; I’m already here!” a voice said. We turned. Camille was holding deeds and was bright faced. “I’ve already overheard everything, and I’m ready to go.”

    “Let’s start!” Lilly said. “I think we’ve got the upper hand.”

    “Wait!” a snobby voice said scornfully. “You are forgetting one of your team members.”

    We turned. There was a girl, impeccably dressed. She had shoulder-length blond hair, permed and bleached and all number of unhealthy things. She wore a t-shirt with the words “Too Cool for You” emblazoned on it, and she wore a smile that evaporated my confidence.

    “I’m Amy Johnson. You can’t forget me. I am the most important person you can have.” she raised her nose in the air.

    Lilly squinted at her. “You weren’t written on our papers.”

    “Well, then, I’m afraid SOMEONE has been blinded by the sun. Look again.”

    I squinted at my paper, and to my surprise, Amy Johnson was written in letters at the top of the page. Lilly, Camille, and I stared at each other in amazement, but Amy just smiled disdainfully.

    “Well, then, shall we start our quest?”

    “W-w-w-wait!” I said. “F-f-first, who are you?”

  71. “Here Katrina, lets switch. Big Bold is too much horse for you.” I said as I dismounted.

    Katrina, Brooke, and I were riding to where the big oak tree was, since it was a mile a way. We got the feeling that Crimson Red would be there, since we heard she went off riding the horse she inherited. I was on Wishing Star, who was an easy ride, Brooke was on Whispers (whom she inherited), and Katrina, being a city girl with not much experience, was struggling on Big Bold.

    I gave Katrina a leg up to Wishing Star and helped her adjust the stirrups. I repeated the directions I had given her earlier; heels down, sit up tall, and don’t hang on the horse’s mouth. Then I went over to Big Bold, fixed the stirrups, and mounted.

    Though the horse was gentle for a stallion, he was still a handful. He tossed his head up a lot, and bucked some when I tried to make him work. This did not faze me, and I kept firm and got him on the bit and to a nice, medium walk.

    At last we reached the oak tree. There, we saw a girl on a horse.

    “Hi, I’m Crimson Red,” she said.

    “I’m Taylor Davidson, and they’re Brooke and Katrina.” I told her. “You were mentioned in our letters?”

  72. Taylor and I found Katrina, and we explained to her our plan about Fura. We also got to know her a bit more. A city gal. She’s kind and caring, and definitely is excited about this “journey” of ours. We set off to get Fura.

    Along the way, I looked at my letter. “Your first clue is the big oak tree.” I had completely forgotten. And that was when I remembered.

    7 years ago, when I was 10, I climbed the big oak tree, while visiting Aunt Christabel. I climbed, and climbed, when I reached the top. The view was amazing. You could really see all around for miles.

    While I was climbing down, I saw a small hole in the tree. There was something white in there, and it looked like a note of some sort. I never opened it. We just HAD to check if it was still there. It might have to do with Aunt Christabel’s death. We might could prove it wasn’t Fura’s fault.

    I spotted the oak tree while walking with Taylor and Katrina. Immediately, I spilled it all out. They understood.

    “But first, we’re going to save that horse of yours.” I said.

    And maybe this really was a journey. A journey physically, and emotionally. And was I glad I had met Katrina and Taylor. They were my closest cousins- for a long time.

  73. I scribbled a note down in my notepad, which was my mini-diary. I had to write it down. Maybe something to track down:

    I feel like I’m being watched. And earlier, someone made me spill out was was in my letter. I just realized that. She introduced herself as Lois McLane… I’ll have to ask Katrina and Taylor if they ran into her..

  74. We came back to the farm later, after visiting the oak tree. Brooke said something about finding a note a while back that she never opened. Although we knew it would probably be there, we needed to come back for Fura. I’m glad they understood.

    Now, I headed to Fura’s pen, a lunge whip in hand, with Brooke and Katrina watching from nearby. Fura charged at me when I approached the gate, and when she wheeled away I let myself in then quickly, and Brooke closed the gate behind me. The filly charged at me when I entered, teeth bared, but I snapped the whip in the air, sending her away from me, and headed to the center of the circular corral.

    She charged at me again, so I popped the whip again, and soon she was cantering madly around me in a circle, ears pinned. I drove her on using body language and the whip, though I never touched her with it. She continued to gallop around madly, and she was already sweating.

    “Alright, wear yourself out. That’s fine by me.” I said to Fura.

    After a few minutes I made her change direction by using body language. She went even faster the other way, and although her pinned ears weren’t very pretty, she was beautiful. Her hooves barely touched the ground from her long strides, making her seem to fly. Her mane and tail whipped out behind her, which only made her more beautiful.

    After a while Fura slowed down into a slow canter, then finally a fast trot. I let her trot like this for a while before asking her to canter again, just for a few laps around the circle. Then I let her fall back into the trot. After a while she slowed, but I drove her on, and she almost did an extended trot. It wasn’t long before she lowered her head, asking me to let her stop. I kept her going a little more, then let her stop and left the pen. It wasn’t quite a join up, but I had established my position as alpha. Anyways, I was out of time.

    Katrina and Brooke were smiling at me when I came over to them.

    “That was great!” Katrina said.

    “Thanks,” I said, smiling, “Now to keep her here.”

  75. Gotta make this recording short. I’m starting to stand out as everyone is claiming their inheritance and comparing letters. The letter that was addressed to me at the Times is still safely tucked away, but a few of the relatives are starting to notice me and wonder who the heck I am. So much for staying under the radar…

  76. “It’s you…” I perked up, recognizing Amy Johnson as the girl I had met outside at the yard, inwardly grimacing as I remembered how she had dismissed me like I was some low-grade being and strutted away. I had returned back to Lilly and Robyn, very puzzled, to overhear them unravel the first clue. “I never saw your name on my letter either, and there’s only three people in a team. When did you get here?”

    “Well, there’s obviously four people now, isn’t there?” Amy replied, ignoring my question like she ignored me earlier.

    I frowned at her, but before I did or said anything else, I saw Lilly hurrying away. One of my eyebrows raised questioningly as I tried to catch up with her. “Hey Lilly, wait up! What’s wrong? Where are you going?” My gaze flickered to the right, where I saw a lady staring at us with interest. She held something black in her hand, something I couldn’t see properly. The day just gets weirder and weirder…

  77. Ok make note of mental plan: Gather girls who recieved letters, maps, books, or whatever literature that is of importance. Have them meet in the Middle store shed at 12 midnight. Make little a scene as possible (the fewer the people to notice the better).

    Back to the Barn i go, it seemed thats were i would be doing most of my talking and planning. As I walked past I saw Ben go by me, his face beat red looking at the ground muttering something about getting a grip on himself. I remembered what Lady Christabel said in my letter “Don’t be too hard on Ben he might blame himself and that little filly for what happened”. And with all the horses going.. i wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t sure how many people knew about his deal but i would get to that a little later.

    I spotted Taylor talking to several girls they were already mounted on a couple horses.. and it looked as though they had started our little “scavenger hunt” without me. Before they had the chance to ride off i shouted a greeting and asked them to wait. We had to complete this together.. i was sure of it now it was just a matter of convincing all the gals to coraporate.. espeically that Christy Smithers. I don’t know how in the world i was going to do that. Anyhow,

    “Taylor, hey Taylor can you wait a sec?”

    “Yeah what do you need?” she looked down at me a little suspicously from her horse as the girls stopped talking.

    Talk about maintaining a low profile, they were probably worried I heard something about their letters or maps. Oh well now to get down to buisness…

  78. Me, Taylor, Brooke and Katrina sat on our horses, talking about the only clue we had gotten, ‘Let the spirit guide you.’ when a girl I recognised as Roselyn walked towards us. “Taylor, hey Taylor can you wait a sec?” We all fell silent. Had she overheard us? “Yeah what do you need?” Taylor replied. “I think we should work on this together.” We must have had a puzzled expression on our faces because she added “Meet me in the tack room at midnight.”

  79. “Jeepers!” I said, as I watched more and more people drive up.

    A few hours later . . . . .

    How long have I been sitting here? Why are all these people still here? I sat there with all of my unanswered questions, watching, waiting, hoping no one would find me.

    1/2 an hour later . . . .

    I can’t stand this any more! I’m getting out of here. I gathered up the few things I had and made my way towards the ladder. I checked to make sure it was safe. All clear. I climbed down the creaking ladder. As I tip-toed toward the barn door I heard somebody walking close by. I turned around and ran for the other end of the barn. The person was coming closer. Where can I hide? I slipped into the nearest doorway. It was full of saddles, blankets, and bridles. I guess this is the tack room. I heard the footsteps coming closer. It seamed as if they we coming strait for where I was at. I slipped behind a saddle stand. “I hope whoever this is doesn’t see me.” I said to myself. The person stepped into the doorway. “It’s a guy.” I said inwardly. As he reached for a bridle I got a look at his face. He looked about 17, with dark black hair, and deep, piercing blue eyes. “He might actually look handsome if he wasn’t scowling so.” I said. As he turned to walk away I saw him rubbing his eyes. Was he crying? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I had to get out of there. And fast. I crawled out of my hiding place and walked to the door. Good! The coast is clear! I decided to go out the door opposite of the one I had entered the night before. I quickly slipped outside. I heard a noise to my right, so I went to the left. I reached the corner of the barn. A group of girls were walking towards the house. I waited until they went inside. I heard some one coming up around the corner. I ran for the shed sitting in the middle of the yard. I prayed that the door would not be locked. I felt the handle. It opened. And just in time too. I girl had just came around the corner of the barn. I slipped inside quick as a whip, and shut the door. Had she seen me? I waited a few minutes. No, I guess she didn’t. Well, I think this place is safer than the barn. “I wish this shed had a window or someplace I could look out.” I said. I heard a truck drive by. It sounded like it had a trailer hooked up to it. Yes, I think it did. Then it sounded like they stopped by the barn. “I can’t get out of this place with that thing there.” I groaned. My stomach growled, and I realized I hadn’t eaten since yesterday. I walked around in there hoping to find something to eat. Though I doubted I would find anything. I came to a barrel. I lifted up the lid, and to my delight found a bunch of apples. I hastily grabbed one and bit in to it. Oh, how good it tasted! I was on my third one when I realized how sleepy I was. For I didn’t get to the barn until after midnight. I still heard noises outside, so I knew I couldn’t leave yet. After arguing about it in my mind I finally curled up into a ball and fell asleep.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    I opened my eyes. What was it that woke me? It must be about midnight. Then I heard a group of people walking in my direction. Yes, they were certainly coming my way. I scrambled to get my things,and I was just about to hide when-

    The door opened . . . .

  80. Someone was riding Wishing Star. I couldn’t help it, I felt so jelous. But she was probably her horse now. Most of the girls were riding. I was quite annoyed. They had only just got here, and they were all off with our horses. I felt left out of something, and I was really curious. It was probably none of my buisness, but I really wanted to find out…

  81. I was wondering what I could do when suddenly Lilly let out a little gasp. She covered her face with her hands and hurried away. “What’s wrong?” Camille called after her. She glanced in the direction that Lilly had been looking in and stiffened. I turned and looked too.

    A woman, about 20, was stuffing a…recorder? camera?…into her purse, rather hastily. She melted back into the crowd of people.

    We caught up with Lilly. “Lilly, are you okay?” I asked worriedly.

    She took a deep breath. “Yes, I’m all right. It was just…she…” She shook her head. “Never mind.” She looked at us. “It’s all right, it’s nothing.”

    I heard someone clearing her throat behind us. “Ahem?” Amy had followed us, and was standing with her hands on her hips. “I suggest that I be the leader of this outfit,” she declared. “With all of you running around, it’ll be a wonder if you find anything.”

    “Lilly, why don’t you lead us?” I suggested. “You’ve been here before. You know your way around.”

    “Yeah, better than some OTHERS,” Camille said meaningly.

    Lilly smiled, but rather sadly, I noticed. “I’d be glad to.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Just like Lilly had told us, the stables were color-coded. It was amazing; the stables were divided into four wings. Once we entered the Blue Sky section, I felt a wave of calm rush over me. The walls were blue, with clouds painted across them. The stalls ran in rows on either side. It was the most beautiful stable that I had ever been in.

    A cat slunk in front of us and leapt into the shadows. I saw something had been tied around it’s neck, and moved to follow it.

    “What is it?” Camille asked.

    “There’s…something…around his…neck…” I mumbled. I managed to pick up the cat, who hissed and spat, and untied the string before putting him down. He quickly dashed in the direction of the barn doors.

    Attached to the string was a note, blue and scalloped, folded neatly. I unfolded it, showing it to Lilly and Camille.

    “Whoever finds this note will know their lives are in peril…” murmered Lilly. “Find the Duke and Duchess, and save the unicorn, ex pay fro shin di.” She shook her head. “Doesn’t make any sense.” “Maybe a prank?” suggested Camille. I shrugged, and put it in my pocket. Maybe it was important.

    “Here he is!” Lilly announced. “Summer Hill.” Inside the stall was a golden palamino, standing tall. He raised his head and nickered when he saw us.

    “He’s beautiful!” I said in awe. Distracted, we took a moment to just gaze at him.

  82. Samantha and I talked for a while and I was suprized to find she wanted the horse alive as much as I did.
    “What are you going to do?” I asked.
    “Well….I’m not sure. I don’t have enough experience to fix her myself!” She pulled her hair in frustration.
    “I could help.” I said simply.
    “Do you know how?” Samantha asked a bit skeptically.
    “That’s what I was hired to do.”
    “Really? You will?”
    I nodded.
    “Thank you!” Tears of gratification filled her eyes. I smiled and said, “Your welcome. When do you want to start?”
    Wiping her eyes as unnoticeably as possible she answered, “I’ll be here tomorrow.”
    “Then we’ll start tomorrow!”
    ~~✵~~
    I ran into Scott on my way back outside.
    “Ah, there you are.” Was he looking for me? “I’ve been asking all over. Ben didn’t even look at me.” ‘Go figure’ I thought with a slight smile.
    “I wasn’t done showing you everything when you ran off.” I still didn’t regret that and was about to tell him so. “Unless of course you’d rather sleep in the loft.” He added jokingly as if trying to make up for earlier. I didn’t buy it. “Samantha Dodee and I are going work with Violet starting tomorrow.”
    “Who’s Samantha? And Why?”
    “Samantha is the girl that got hurt this morning and she believes, just as much as I, that Violet can work with people again.”
    “I’ll have to talk to Mr Green about this.” He muttered.
    “Don’t bother.” I said with a smile. “I already have.”
    “And he’s letting you!?”
    “Yeah,course. Samantha just had to sign some papers. And ask her parents.” I added. “What do you have left to show me?”

    Scamp followed us to a small house behind the middle store shed. “This is where you will live.” Scott said, waving his hand around the little place. Everything about the house was tiny. A miniature stove and fridge, even the coffee pot was downsized holding a little more than two cups per brew. Thankfully my bed was the right size, Scamp liked that.
    “Breakfast is at 6:00am, but the fridge is full if your hungery before then.”
    I thanked him and he left.
    Laying on my bed, I stretched out; it felt good not to be cramped in a pickup. Scamp came over a layed across my face.
    “Thanks dog.”

  83. I did finally introduce myself to my cousins. Lets just call them cousins instead of getting into detail of second cousin and all. They all seemed nice enough and I figured that with some time we could all become great friends. Kaily, Camille Evans, Roselyn Hanover, Robyn Wilson, Lilly Vandel, Christy May, and Katrina Mead to name a few. Man, I never knew I had so many cousins! I hoped we’d be able to spend some time together before everyone goes back to where they came from.

    I was standing with Kaily when a girl walked over to us and said, “Umm… Hi! I’m Crimson Red. Are you two Kaily Jane Hanover and Audra Hanover?” We both nodded. Crimson then showed us a letter that she had received, at the end of the letter it read, “The journey you will make is to find something very special for yourself and your teammates. Your teammates:

    Kaily Jane Hanover
    Audra Hanover

    Hmmm.. what did that mean? Kaily then piped up and said “Oh I got a letter too. I haven’t opened it yet.” She pulled it out of her pocket, opened it and handed it to me. “Will you read it Audra?” “Sure” I agreed. I unfolded it and started reading.

    Dear Kaily Jane,

    I have enjoyed all the letters you have written me over the years. They always brougt a smile to my face. I wish I could have spent more time with you but I am glad that I was able to write to you and see you a few times.

    I know that you will do great things someday. Never let your blindness stop you. You have as much as a purpose as any one esle.

    I have a journey for you to go on. You will not go alone. You will have two teammates. On this journey you will find something very special for yourself and your teammates. They are:

    Audra Hanover
    Crimson Red

    With Love,
    Aunt Christabel

    As I read this I saw a smile come to Kaily’s lips and tears to her eyes.

    I folded the letter and gave it back to her. “Thanks Audra” Kaily said. I reached over and gave her a hug.

    *************************************************************************

    Ok so obviously I was supposed to be on a quest with them. But why didn’t I get a letter?

  84. I pulled my truck up to the house and unloaded my tack in the spare bedroom and put my clothes and other things away in drawers and cupboards. I left my mandolin out hoping to play it later. With my things all around on shelves and in bookcases it began to feel a little like home.
    Digging through my bags I came across my jewelry case. I opened it and looked at my horse hair necklaces. I had one from every horse we owned; each had a different pendent. There was Cash the Chips, a buckskin,Smokey Rose, a smokey dun, Til’ Darrow, a sorrel, Sun Frost, my palomino, and among others, Dakota Dawn, a red dun. He had been my sweetheart for five years; together we did rodeos and state fairs, cattle drives and trail riding. That is until three years ago. I remember it like yesterday, I always will.
    We had been roping and were about to quit; the sun was sinking low. I asked dad for one more run and we backed our horses into the box on either side of the shoot with the steer inside, banging to get out. I nodded to mum and she pulled the lever, opening the shoot gate. Dakota and I shot out right next to the steer. I swung the rope around my head a few times then let it go, sailing over the steer’s horns. I pulled tight and dallied. Dakota turned to the left at just the right moment and dad was able to rope the steer’s hind legs: a perfect run.
    We ran the steer towards the rope box at the far end of the arena where we would get our ropes back. Suddenly the steer charged me and Dakota. In an effort to avoid the oncoming animal, Dakota jumped sideways, slamming into the fence. There was a loud crack. The steer free from the ropes, ran off. Dad loped over to us, I had dismounted and was looking at Dakota’s left hind leg;it was limp. After that I don’t remember anything except dad had to put Dakota down. I didn’t eat for days. I couldn’t sleep. All I could do was cry. My whole world seemed to have been stolen from me.
    I wiped tears from my eyes now, smiling ruefully. It was three years ago,yet it seemed so fresh.
    A knock on the door brought me out of me memories. Scamp barked. I opened the door hoping my eyes weren’t too red. It was Mr Green. “I see you’ve moved in. Do you like it?” he said looking around.
    “Yeah, its great!” I said enthusiastically,sniffing slightly.
    ” Well, I didn’t come for chat, just to bring you this.” He handed me a letter exactly like the ones some girls received at the reading.
    I opened it. My eyes grew wide.

  85. Hair Color: Black
    Eyes: Violet
    age: 15

    “I need to find my friend!” I know she’s here somewhere!” I yelled at the stable hand. He told me his name was Ben and he was seeming to daze out as he watched a certain girl.
    Why couldn’t these people help me?

    “Do you know where Roselyn Hanover is?” that snapped his attention back.

    “Roselyn? why she’s over there,” He said.

    “Thank you!” I said as I flounced my skirt. I made my way to the group of girls. “Roselyn, How nice to see you!”

    “Alexandra? Is that you?”

    “It is, it is… been awhile hmm?”

    “I haven’t seen you since that camp we went to 2 years ago, what are you doing here?”

    I smiled. “You know, don’t you remember? Lady Hanover is my dad’s mother. My grandmother.”

    “What’s going on? Everybody is so quiet…”

  86. I pushed away the girl that was trying to help me. I could vaguely see her shape in my clearing blindness.

    “No, I don’t need help,” I said. “But if you know a way to clear this temporary blindness a little quicker, or get rid of this horse that is currently in my posession, that would be tons of hellp.”

    I blinked three times, and then I could see! I almost jumped for joy. I thanked God silently and looked around. I saw the girl, and I reconized her from the descriptions that had been going around the barn. It was the stable hand Jessica. I glanced down at my hoodie tied around my waist. I was immediately imbarrassed. I shouldn’t have worn a hoodie — a nice, fashionable, brand-name hoodie — to the barn. Oops. Then,I realised that it was really rude to refuse help.

    “I’m sorry,” I said to the girl. “I didn’t mean to snap. It’s just that I am known to be very — independant. Again, sorry. How can I make it up to you?” My eyes slid from the girl’s face to my horse. She was prancing. She kicked out in her roomy stall, and I shuttered. I jsut wanted to get this whole thing behind me.

  87. I peeked inside my horse’s stall while I waited for the girl to answer. She saw a piece of paper sticking out from between the thick boards that made up the stall walls. It said:

    Dear My Baby Sam,
    I have never known you much, but I met you as a baby. I remember how you first pet the horses, using the most careful touch. You loved them, but as I heard from the letters your relatives sent me, your love faded with each passing year. Now, though, I hope this little adventure you are being set on will renew your love and passion. To help you along with this adventure, you’ll need some partners. Here:

    Roselyn Hanover
    Jessica Lane

    Love,
    Dearest Aunt Christabel

    I gasped, remembering seeing some girls around the barn with these papers. I turned to the Jessica girl.

    “Do you know what this is?” I held out the paper an waited for an answer.

  88. I looked down and saw that there was a map inclosed with the letter also.

  89. Behind the brass name-plate was a note. Camille pulled it out.

    “‘Follow weather’s will to the hill… find the golden bridle… return it to it’s truthful owner.'” She looked up, confused. “All these notes seem to be referring to unicorns and hills. It doesn’t make sense.”

    I looked down at my sneakers. I was tired. I wasn’t used to talking to people. I needed a break. I sighed and looked up.

    “Where’s Lilly?”

    Camille looked. “She was just here…”

    We rushed into the yard. We saw Lilly driving to the end of the driveway, her trailer holding her horses in back. “Wait! Lilly!” We called. Her car stopped at the end of the driveway, and we ran to catch her. When we reached her, her head was on the steering wheel. I knocked on the glass, and she looked up, eyes red.

    “Lilly!” Camille said. “You can’t leave now!”

    Lilly rolled down the window. “I’m sorry, guys, but… I’m tired. What’s the best word for it? Heartsick. That’s it.” She sighed. “I just can’t believe she’s gone. After all those happy times… and just gone, one morning, by the thing she loved best.”

    We were silent. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m really, really sorry.” And suddenly, my eyes were welling up and spilling over, and my body was racking with sobs. What was wrong with me? I tried to come to terms with myself and stop, but it wouldn’t stop. “Robyn? What’s wrong?” Lilly asked, concerned. She got out of the car, drying her eyes on her sleeves.

    I ran. Cowering behind the hay bales, feeling sorry for myself, coping with the brief flashes of memories that flooded me everytime I found myself crying. A bright light. A whinny. A scream. I couldn’t understand it, but it always left me feeling sad and depressed.

    A girl came around the corner. I recognized her: Rosylyn Hanover. She was pretty popular around here, but I had been too shy to introduce myself, because it already seemed that she had made a lot of friends. She suddenly spotted me. “Hello!” she called.

    I pulled my knees to my chin and lowered my head, scrubbing at my eyes so she wouldn’t see I had been crying. “You’re Robyn Wilson, right?” she said as she approached. I nodded.

    “I saw that you recieved a letter at the will reading. It’s very important that you and all the other girls meet me in the tack room at midnight.”

  90. I’d seen Jessica Lane watching me ride Wishing Star. I hadn’t had time to talk to her yet to tell her WHY I chose Wishing Star.

    After talking to Roselyn, I agreed to meet at the tack room at midnight. Now, I was on a quest to find Jessica.

    “There you are!” I exclaimed when I found the young stable hand.

    “Hi,” she said.

    “I’m Taylor Davidson, the one who took Wishing Star. I know who you are.”

    Jessica’s eyes widened when I mentioned I had taking Wishing Star.

    “I took Wishing Star so that you could have a chance to stay with her. When I turn 18 next month, I’m going to hire you as a farm hand, if you would like. You can spend as much time with Wishing Star as you want.” I said.

    Jessica’s face broke into a grin.

    At midnight, Katrina, Brooke, Crimson and I headed towards the tack room. We opened the door to find that we were not alone. In fact there were several girls there.

    “Hi,” I said softly.

  91. I read the letter, it was from Lady Christabel:

    CJ,
    I was so looking forward to working with you! But fate would have it this way.
    I never told you, but I have never met anyone so talented and understanding with horses at such a tender age.
    I know that I have already given you more than I would ask of any other seventeen year old, but I have another favor to ask: There is a mare named Violet Daisy Rose. Lately she has been moody, occasionally defensive(biting,kicking,etc.). I have reason to believe it is because fear. I am not sure why it came on so suddenly, but it seems most prominent when a man is around. I was hoping to work with her…. I am asking that you help Samantha Dodee, the inhieritant, to fix Vi for me. I know that you can, for I have seen your extraordinary work. Sam might seem a bit calloused and uncaring at first, but underneath is a flower waiting to bloom, so be patient with her.

    If you find the tasks to much to handle alone, Roselyn Hanover may be the best to ask to take on one of the calmer colts. But I have every faith in you.

    Another thing; I have set a sort of quest for many of the inheiritents as you may or may not have noticed, I would like you to follow along. And who knows, you just might find what you’ve been looking for. Talk to Adel Granza and Jessica Lane they’ll tell you more.

    Sincerely,
    Lady Christabel Hanover

    P.S. I love you boots!

    Whoa. Did she really think that highly of my work? And what quest? Was that what was on the letters the other girls got? And why was Violet so afraid? Why was Samantha? And what was I looking for? And,and,and… The questions seemed endless. I puzzled over all of it for a long time. Finely I decided I would work it out in the morning.
    Adel Granza. The name seemed familiar. And Jessica Lane was probly the Jessica from the stables.
    Tonight was just weird; little did I know it was about to get even weirder.

  92. The sight before me was strangely ethereal, entrancing, beckoning me to admire the artistic skies painted on the firm wooden walls. Summer Hill, glowing like a radiant sun, fitted in perfectly. The second puzzling clue drifted far into the back of my mind. All I could do was spare unblinking gazes at this beautiful, golden horse.

    “Come on, we have to sort out the second clue.” said someone beside me. Immediately my dreamy state drifted away, throwing me back to a shell of seriousness and determination.

    “Alright,” I replied. “The last sentence…ex pay fro shin di…it sounds almost like a foreign language, or it could be abbreviations or acronyms, maybe even jumbled up.”

    “Duke, Duchess and the unicorn don’t exactly fit together. They’re probably not meant to be literal meanings.” Robyn added. “Does any of this sound familiar to you guys? Lilly, maybe you might know something.”

    At that I gave a quick glance at Amy, noticing clearly that we were ignoring her. She stood at the barn entrance, criticizing her nails, not even caring. Rolling my eyes and sighing, I returned back to Robyn and Lilly. The young author seemed to have an idea spark inside: “Maybe Summer Hill will give us some answers.”

    It was an immediate agreement. The three of us, minus Amy, introduced ourselves to Summer Hill and craned our heads around his stall. Our searches prevailed unsuccessful, until our gazes slowly floated to Summer’s hooves – they were graced with shoes like four plates of sparkling silver. These weren’t just ordinary horse shoes, especially not when we approached Summer and lifted his hooves one by one. Each were spotlessly well-maintained except for some lose beddind sticking to them, marked with cursive writing. We were definitely on to something as we saw what it read…

    Duke and Duchess

  93. Ok i had informed several more gals includeing that shy but sweet Robyn girl,Taylor and her friends/cousins (too hard to keep track). Several more to go. I met one of my best friends and “adopted” relaions Alex along the way. We had met at horse camp a couple years back and we were almost inseprepable. I don’t know if she got a letter but i would see to it later.

    As I strolled though the Barn I saw CJ and her pup not to far behind her. I had a dog like that once.. in another life before this. She was reading a piece of paper. Maybe it was from Mr. Green, or somebody she knew. It couldn’t be a letter could it? I mean she wasn’t a rrelation.. well i wasn’t either techniclaly, but still. I would have to have faith that she would understand.

    “CJ’

    She turned around a little startled and then looked down at me. Wow this girl was tall. Then she smiled.

    “Oh hey Roselyn, what can i do for you?”

    “Can you meet me in the tack room around midngiht?” What a question to ask she must have thought i was crazy.

    “Sure but why do you-”

    “Ill explain latter”

    I hated to leave her hanging but i needed to tell more gals. I walked past my new favorite horse friend the Palimino “Sunni” and called to him. Ben walked by and glanced at me as he lead another horse out to some inheritance. Should i invite him? I’d have to discuss it with the other gals. I don’t know how itd agree with them though. There was Jessica she was talking with another cousin of mine who had recieved a letter. I had to talk to her to.

    Man i might as well post a builitan saying meet me in the tack room at midnight. Well here i go.. this had better work out.

  94. “Oh, thanks you so much!” I squealed to Taylor.
    I couldn’t believe it! I felt guilty that I had been annoyed with her, but now I was just overjoyed! I was getting a job at abother barn and I could stay with Wishing Star. Perfect!

    Samantha turned to me, showing me a piece of paper. It looked like the one all the other girls had. It was about some sort of quest. How exciting!!! And my name was on it!!! But what were we supposed to do?
    “Let’s go talk to the others, they have them too. They’ll know what’s going on!”

  95. “Are you Crimson Red?” I asked a girl who wasw about the fourth person I had asked.
    “Yeah, I am who are you?”
    “Oh I;m Kaily Jane and according to this letter you are supposed to be one of my teamates to discover some treasure.” Are you with me?”

  96. I stepped into the tack room at exactly midnight and was not surprised to see I was not the only one there. Roselyn stepped to the front of the room. “Well, we all know why we’re here. We need to help eachother to figure out the clues. First, I suggest, we put all of our maps together so that it is a complete map.” Several people nodded in agreement, some even took out their maps, but plenty wanted to keep it to themselves. I put my map, the center it seems, on the table that sat in the middle of the room. Others copied my action and soon we had a complete map. People spoke their clues, many strange ones like ‘Let the spirit guide you.’ and ‘Find the Duke and Duchess, and save the unicorn, ex pay fro shin di.’

  97. I was embarrassed to go back and face Camille and Lilly after bursting into tears for no apparent reason, so I stayed where I was and tried to sort out what I had learned.

    I laid out the slightly wrinkled clues on the ground, along with the notes I had taken.

    “‘Let blue sky and Summer Hill be your guide…’ ‘Whoever finds this note will know that their lives are in peril. Find the Duke and Duchess, and save the unicorn, ex pay fro shin di.’ ‘Follow weather’s will to the hill, find the golden bridle, and return it to it’s truthful owner.'” Blue Sky and Summer Hill were our guides; we had found the Duke and Duchess on Summer Hill’s shoes. Why had that note been around the cat’s neck? What did the Duke and Duchess mean? What was weather’s will to the hill?

    I shook my head, confused. I needed clearer answers. I looked at clue two again. “‘Whoever finds this note will know that their lives are in peril.'” Something bothered me about that line. Something important.

    I sat up, looking around. Something felt horribly wrong. I heard a whinny, and the sound of horse-shoes crashing on cement. “Look out!” someone yelled. I looked up to see a horse galloping madly towards me. I tried to move, but something had caught onto my jeans, holding me down. I looked towards the horse. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this… not by something that I loved and cared for!

  98. “Oh-kay, I do what now?” I asked the man who was apparently in charge of Grandma Christabel’s estate.

    “Open the letter and you’ll see,” he said abruptly as he left.

    I opened a letter addressed to me:

    Dearest Alexandra,

    Every time you visited, my mare Skylark was happy. As you probably know, she passed away. But what you don’t know is that she had a filly. I am leaving her to you to take care of. Her name is Windsong.

    I have given each of my relatives a letter and something extra.

    Love,

    Grandmother Christabel

    I looked at this letter with a puzzeled frown. What did she mean “something extra”? Then I noticed it.
    A map was on the back of the letter.

  99. When Taylor opened the door to the tack room, I was surprised how many people were there. Roselyn stood in the middle of the room. “Hey, guys, you’re late,” she teased. I wrinkled my nose at her, and also partly at the smell of manure yet again permeating the barn. Did the smell ever ease?
    “Well, ladies, we’re here to discuss the clues. Do you all have letters?” Roselyn asked. The other girls all nodded, except for one… Audra Hanover, I think she said she was.
    I cleared my throat. “Actually, I don’t have a letter. I never received one,” I said.
    “I don’t have one either,” said Audra.
    “Oh, well that complicates things,” said Roselyn, with a sigh.
    She was going to say more, but then, the door to the tack room swung open. A light shone in our eyes, and then the person spoke…

  100. I quickly turned around, wondering why the girl hadn’t said anything to me yet. She was gone. I lowered my head as a tear rolled down my cheek. I must have offended her. I wasn’t usually snappy, but I knew I should’ve been nicer. Now I’d lost what was most likely my only soon-to-be friend in this entire barn. I wiped the tear from my cheek and straitened my back. I’d find a friend. I just needed to decide what was going to happen with my horse. Violet, I decided, would be her nickname. If I ever managed to get her home, I’d start to train her, and if her behavior improved, I’d breed her to try and get a behaved horse out of her.

    There, I thought to myself, that’s better.

  101. I was paralyzed with fear, but the horse instead leaped over my head, disappearing around the side of the barn. I looked down. I had been caught on a rusty pipe, sticking out from under the barn. Shakily, I pulled myself loose and stood up.

    A guy ran up. “Sorry I couldn’t help!” he said. “Kite never gets out. It looks like someone had been tampering with her lock.” He held up a lock, which had been ripped off a stall, it appeared. I almost couldn’t hear him over the roar of the blood pounding in my ears. Whoever finds this note will know that their lives are in peril… I had been one of the finders. I had to get Lilly and Camille, and get to the meeting in the tack room.

    ******************************************************
    I watched as Rosylyn laid the maps together. Where does it lead? I wondered. Why aren’t they telling us. Rosylyn looked up. She looked tired, and restless. What was bothering her? “I need everyone to give me their clues,” she said. “It’ll make sorting this out a lot easier.”

  102. Unidentifiable shapes came and went in many colors. Pinks and yellows,Greens and blues. Then a sound came from somewhere beyond. I tried to ignore it but it persisted. Then a sharp bark. I woke with a start. ‘Where am I?’ I thought, blearily looking around. Then I remembered, this was my home now. Scamp was at the foot of my bed whining his heart out. “You have to go out?” I asked yawning. He jumped up, wagging his stump of a tail. “Ok,ok..”
    I opened the door and he shot out into the darkness. I yawned again and glanced at the kitchen’s clock. 11:53pm. Mind muddled from dozing I thought to my self, ‘Man, it’s late!’ I looked at my reflection on the door’s glass window. Why was I still wearing my day clothes? I shivered slightly in the cool night air.
    “Hurry up dog!” I said to the darkness. Then I heard a thump. I stared out into the blackness. A few lamps illuminated the barn yard but that only made it harder to focus. Another thump.
    It seemed to come from the tack shed. I went over and listened; it was definitely coming from inside. I grabbed a stick about the size of a cattle prod and as thick as my arm. I went to the door, imagining the sort of things one does when half asleep and in the dark outside. I kicked the door open prepared to face what ever peril lay beyond. Roselyn screamed and a chair banged. All was in confusion. I must have looked rather frightening bursting into the room with half a tree ready to swing. Not to mention my tousled hair.
    After recognizing each other and regaining ourselves we said, “What are you doing?!” simotainiously. Then we laughed at the whole ordeal.
    Before I had come to smash any oversized rodents, Roselyn had been setting up chairs, getting ready for the meeting at midnight.
    “The meeting!” I exclaimed. “I forgot all about the meeting!”
    “That’s obvious.” Roselyn stated. We laughed again. “Here, help me set up the chairs. Again.”
    Still laughing a bit we picked up the ones that had fallen in our few seconds of terror.

  103. This could be my last voice recording for a while as I’m about to introduce myself to the beneficiaries. It’s no secret they’re meeting at midnight in the tack room, and after that I suspect adventure is afoot… or should I say ahoof?

    Lady C told me to stay under the radar until the time was right to deliver the letter to whoever emerged as leader of the group. Hope I can catch her before the big pow-wow…

  104. We were in the tack room at 11:45, just in case. We met Crimson Red, and Roselyn Hanover too. Such nice cousins I have.

    We talked about our letters, Aunt Christabel, and heard about the Duke and Duchess. Interesting. The letter at the oak tree was no longer there, but I just had to ask..

    “Umm.. one question.” I yelled. I had to get everyone’s attention.

    “Has anyone heard of a Lois McLane, walks around suspiciously, and carries a notepad and pen? Well, she’s here. And I think she’s trying to get information about all this.”

  105. I was sitting in the tack room with the other girls. I would get killed if my mum knew I was out at this time! I had no idea what was going on with this Lois Mclane person, but I didn’t want her ruining this. I was so happy, I was part of something so exciting although I didn’t really know anything about it. And I was going to be able to keep looking after Wish!

  106. I groaned, as I saw that McLane woman, snooping again, something in her hand. A voice recorder! She WAS spying! Maybe she wasn’t all bad, but I’m not gonna tell her anything. Not a word.

  107. “I’ve seen her!” I said. “She was in the main meeting room, and it seemed like she was either recording our conversations or…taking…pictures…” I faltered to a stop as everyone looked at me. I immeadiatly stared down at my shoes. I hated being stared at; felt like everyone was critiquing me.

    “So, then, we’ll give her information!” someone said. “We’ll set a fake trail, and let her follow it.”

    “That wouldn’t be honest.” I mumbled, still staring at my shoes. “Maybe we should just watch and see what she does. A person can’t be so evil.”

    “Yeah, that’s right,” Brooke sighed. “All right. We’ll keep an eye on her.”

    Suddenly, there was the sound of a cell-phone beeping. Roselyn whipped hers out of her back pocket and answered. “Hello? Yes, hi Mom!” She listened, then her face turned pale and her voice shook. “Don’t worry. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

    She hung up. “I’m sorry girls,” she said. “You’ll have to do the hunt on your own. My dad and brother are terribly ill, in critical condition, and I can’t stay.”

  108. “Yeah, I’ve heard of her. She works for the NY times…” I trailed off. This was strange. A journalist from the NY times at my great aunt’s farm? I had noticed her talking to Brooke about the letters… she must want us to spill!

  109. As soon as I had thought the other girl was gone, she was there again. I heard her speak, and then she was looking at my letter. She said something about others.

    “Ok-kay,” I said shakily. I glanced nervously at my mare. “What do I do with her?”

    I tucked the letter and map into my pocket and waited for the other girl to speak. I peeked inside the stall where Violet was. She was standing with her rump to the door, her ears back and her tail flicking nervously. I knew she could see me, but she still kind of scared me. What was wrong with me? I was normally great with horses; in fact, back home I was known as the ‘Horse Charmer’. I waited for the Jessica girl to speak.

  110. “Yes. I’m with you, Audra, Taylor Brooke and Katrina. Can you find Audra for me? Meet us in the tack room at midnight.” I said to Kaily

  111. (My last post was earlier in the day.Soz I 4got to say.)

    Just then I noticed the journalist staring at us with wide eyes. I nudged Brooke and pointed. I then whispered to her “That’s Lois right?”

  112. I sat in the front row and waited for an explanation on why I was here in the middle of the night. Hopefully this meeting would answer some of the questions in my letter too.

    Scamp lay sleeping in my arms like a human baby; paws suspended in the air. He snored softly.
    “You treat him like a real kid.” The girl next to me sneered. She looked well to do. Straight blond hair in a perfect pony tail and expensive looking clothes.
    “He’s my fur-child.” I smiled, more at my ‘baby’ than at her. She raised an acutely plucked eyebrow. “Fur-what?”
    Inwardly I rolled my eyes. If there was one thing I couldn’t get along with it was snooty people.
    Thankfully I didn’t have to further the conversation since just then Roselyn stepped in front and started speaking.
    Now for the answers….(or not)

  113. I slid my map piece into place along with many others, contributing to a more or less legible map. The relatives around the room were complete strangers, I realised, as I listened to each of them discuss the clues they found. Each made no more sense than the previous.

    As I was furiously thinking about all the cryptic notes, a hand wrapped around my arm, pulling me away from the crowd assembled around the clues and map, into a deserted corner. Regaining my balance from my trip, I turned around, finding myself staring straight at Robyn. “What’s wrong?”

    “Okay, listen.” she muttered uneasily “When I…ran away…I…I nearly got run over by a horse, Kite, and she never gets out. But the clue said something about its finder being in peril.”

    “That’s so strange.” I said, more baffled than ever. “How could it all be so coincidential? It seems almost impossible that Christabel had anything to do with Kite and her behaviour.”

    Robyn looked back at me. “There’s certainly something we don’t know.”

    The two of us returned to the crowd once more, where the conversation topic was now about a suspicious lady I’ve spotted stealthily drifting around, Lois McLane. “I’ve seen her!” Robyn spoke up.

    Meanwhile, I pondered about the clues and the map. The more I tried to define them though, the more confusing they were. I was almost relieved when my train of thoughts were curtly interrupted by a loud ring of a mobile. The next few moments were a blur, the only clear parts being Roselyn saying something about having to leave us to the job, without her.

    Hopelessly wobbling at the legs, I barely managed to choke out at the news: “But…Roselyn, who will lead us now? You’re the one who knows everybody in this room.”

    “But I’m not the only one. You guys will know what to do” she replied reassuringly, dashing towards the door. “Trust me, and Lady C.” I wasn’t sure whether the reassurance was for me or her. An abrupt clang as the shed door closed sliced through the silence of the small gathered crowd.

    I sighed. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. “She…she’s right.” I uttered quietly, hoping it was loud enough for everyone to hear. “We’re a family, we can do this.” Glancing at the map, I decided it was the best way to go so far.

    Many different pieces make a very special whole.

  114. OK, here goes…

    Ahem… AHEMMMMM. Can I have your attention please? Ladies?

    I’m very sorry to crash your meeting, but I’m hoping you’ll give me a few minutes of your time to explain why I’ve been lurking around, then we can get to the business of why I’m here.

    My name is Lois McLane and I’m a reporter for the New York Times. Shortly before her death I received a package from Lady C at my apartment in Manhattan. I have no idea how she got my home address, but that’s beside the point…

    There were two letters inside the package. One was addressed to me, the other was addressed ‘STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. DO NOT OPEN. Read your letter for instructions’.

    You’re welcome to read the letter that was addressed to me, but in a nutshell Lady C said she admired the integrity of my reporting. I’m telling you that hoping it will give me some credibility, cuz by the looks on your faces I can see you’re suspicious of my motives. The letter also said that if I followed her instructions, I’d have an exclusive on the story. At least up to this point…

    Her first instruction was that I must attend the reading of the will. The esteemed William Wellington the third would be aware of my presence along with some of the farm and household staff, but otherwise I was to remain ‘under the radar’ and just observe the goings-on.

    Her second instruction was to deliver the confidential letter to whoever emerged as leader among the beneficiaries. She said I’d know when the time was right. I came here thinking I was supposed to deliver this to Roselyn since she organized the meeting. But given her sudden departure for a family emergency, I guess you’ll need to decide…

    Who gets this letter?

  115. Samantha was looking at Violet, asking me what to do. I had thought that she had horses back where she lived, but maybe I was wrong.
    “She’s quite clean so she won’t need a groom. We’ll get her tack from the tack room. Oh, that’s her saddle and bridle. I’ll help you tack her up.”
    I wasn’t used to helping other people with horses, every farm or stable I had worked at I had been told what to do. Treated as though I was a little kid who had never even seen a horse before.

  116. With Roselyn leaving and everything, I feel that maybe I should recieve the letter. I could lead, and I know a lot about horses. This could help us on our journey.

    “I’ll take it, if that’s alright with everyone.”

  117. We all looked at each other, trying to decide who would get the letter. So much for fun, a get away, maybe added property. Nope. Now we had to decide who got the letter. Since Roselyn had left, we really were without guidance. We didn’t know what to do. And some of us didn’t have letters. Suddenly I had an idea.
    Once I have an idea, it burns in my head until I let it out. I spoke. “What if we don’t need a leader? What if we all work together? If we all work together, we can decode this map, or whatever it is. We don’t need to have a leader, we just need to be unified. Many people, all with one common goal. What do you say ladies? Do we unify? Or do we split up and pick a ‘leader’?” I made air quotes around leader.
    Brooke spoke up. “I think Katrina is right. We don’t need a leader. We just need to be together on this.”
    There were murmurs of assent from all the girls present. I held my breath. This had to work…

  118. Who will get the letter? I wondered tiredly. I had gone through too much today. I had recieved a horse, or so I thought, because I couldn’t find the Violet as described in the letter given. I had talked to some people, but now I was sure if I opened my mouth something weird would come out. I had found several clues pointing towards certain doom. I had nearly gotten killed by a horse who never got out of her stall, but what had I accomplished? What had I learned? I was still in the dark, literally as well as not, and I hadn’t even called home to tell them that I was here.

    Suddenly, something struck me. “Wait!” I called out. Everyone turned to look at me, and suddenly speech evaded me for a few scary moments. I took control of my breath, and I could speak again. “Turn the big map over.”

    “What?” Someone said.

    “Turn it over. It’s the next clue!”

    They stared at me, but Camille began to turn over pieces. I helped her, and soon, everyone was flipping map pieces. When we were done, we peered at the paper. I just saw the scribbling of the letters, and was heart broken. But then, someone abruptly turned off the light, and suddenly, everything was clear.

    Written on the back of the giant map was a letter.

    ‘Dearest nieces,

    By now you have learned teamwork. Without that, you would not have come so far, to reveal this final clue.

    At the top of the fifth hill on my property line, Heather Hill, is a small shed. You may have seen it before, or not. Go there, together, and follow this clue.

    “The first clue may have guided you
    The second may have warned,
    Follow this final clue,
    And you will be rewarded.
    Bring the Duke and Duchess to the hill.
    Find the unicorn
    And greater still
    Discover the meaning to the words
    Which have puzzled you ’til early Morn.
    Ex pay fri shin do.

    You must solve this before dawn. Best of luck to all,
    Aunt Christabell.”

    “Wow!” someone murmured. I had noticed something strange, though. “The final words!” I said. “Before, they were ‘ex pay fro shin di’, but now, they’re ‘ex pay fri shin do’!”

    “Doesn’t matter,” someone shrugged. “Let’s go to the hill. It says that we have until dawn.”

    This was bothering me. We have until dawn… how did Aunt Christabell know that we were going to meet here at midnight? It was just like with the peril message and Kite. Though a million warnings were setting off in my head, I was curious. I wanted to solve this mystery, and I was going to do it.

  119. Staring wide-eyed at the secret message on the back of all the maps, I was, along with many others, more confused than ever. Each vein boiled over with anticipation at the adventure to come and my stomach vaulted with excitement. It all halted momentarily. I piped up, “But who is getting the letter? A leader or the whole group?”

    Katrina and Brooke decided on the whole group, others, like me, were fence sitters and unable to decide. A good group leader is the basis of teamwork, which is what we are aiming for. But is equality just as important?

    “We should be a team – a team of leaders.” I persisted eagerly. “We’re each special and talented in our own way, excelling at different areas. I think everyone can be a leader and step up to take the lead when the rest of the group is lost. We can cover up for each other’s flaws and really work as a team. Everyone can have a chance to lead and help each other out of trouble.”

    Patiently, I awaited answers from the rest of the group. The more I wondered about the idea, the more I believed it could work. Now I just really wished the whole team thought so too.

  120. Teamwork, that was the answer. It was a waaayy better idea than one person getting the letter.

    “Okay, now, enough hanging around. We have to get to that shed before dawn.” I said.

  121. Taylor wanted to get going right away and people started leaving.

    “Wait!” I called. “There’s still the question of who gets the note. Unless all of you want to read it.” I shrugged. I guess it really wasn’t my problem.
    “What do you mean ‘all of you’? Aren’t you part of this too?” asked a girl from somewhere in the back.
    I shook my head, “Nope, not really. I’m not related or anything, in fact I didn’t even know Lady C until a few weeks ago.”
    “I never knew her.” A girl piped up.
    “Me neither.” Said another.
    “My dad and her had a feud so I never EVER knew her.” Still another said.

    I looked around the room every one was watching me. Why?! Why was everyone looking at me?!
    “The more we have the faster we’ll be done.” Adel said logically

    “If I go on this ‘quest’ when on earth am I going to break those seven,” I put enfaces on the seven, “colts?”
    “Three actually.”
    I looked at Jessica. “What? That guy with the red hair showed me seven.”
    “I know. That was before Mr Green sold four of them.”
    “But..” I was stunned. “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” This night was just too weird.
    “I thought someone would have.” She said uncertainly.
    “Mr Green has been selling a lot of things lately.” She murmured, brow furrowed.

    “Wait. He’s been selling things that don’t belong to him?” Taylor joined in. “Isn’t that illegal or something?”
    “It’s use of the black market.” I said tonelessly.
    I sighed. I had seen this kind of work before, after my grandmother’s death. My aunt’s husband sold everything granmum owned on the black market or ‘ebay’.
    I thought Mr Green was an honest man, but I guess you’d have to pretend such things if you wanted to get away with something.
    “Then he wants our treasure too!” Someone put in dramatically.
    “Oh, great now we have an evil axis.” I thought sarcastically. “So what should we do with him?”
    “Well, we’ll need to catch him in the act. That’s how they do it in the movies!”

    In my opinion this was turning into a movie way too fast.