“Morning, moonbeam,” Derek said. “Earth to Savvy.”
I flushed. “Sorry. She confuses me.”
“Oh, does the Josh drama continue?”
“They’re mutually ignoring each other now.” I told him and leaned against the desk. I pulled off my sunglasses and rubbed the bridge of my nose. “So, um, we’re going to the disco tonight. Or at least I think we are.”
Derek grinned. “Is that information or an invitation?”
I felt my face heat. It only does that when I’m super embarrassed. “A bit of both?” I squeaked out. I didn’t know his hours or anything.
“Well, if it was an invitation. It wasn’t worded like one.” He pointed out.
I mock pouted at him. “Boys are supposed to do the inviting.”
He raised an eyebrow at me. “I’ll see what I can do with that information.”
I snorted at him. Over my head, Star snorted too. Someone shouted behind me and I felt my face heat again. I grabbed my sunglasses and got onto Star. “I better go, Mr. Popular.” I told him and went off to find Misty.
He laughed and waved me away. I don’t know what to make of him. I just don’t. We headed back to the manor at a jog to get the horses and I didn’t know why my heart felt like it was flying out of my chest. I hummed Jack Mannequin’s Dark Blue as we did chores. It suited my mood.
And I had the gall to call my roommate insane. Oh well.
We’d barely finished cleaning the stables when Judy told us that the baroness wanted to see us. Well, apparently Aaron got mail and returned it much faster than Misty did. Turns out the oil drills were stolen. Gasp! Who would have thought? That just didn’t seem like the upright and proper businessman of Mr. Kemball at all!
The Baroness was mad. She was going to down there personally and kick some ass if Mr. Kemball didn’t stop drilling right now. Do not mess with the feisty old ladies! They will take names, kick butts and destroy your worldwide business if you get on their bad side. Once we were out of her presence, I keeled over Heart’s neck and laughed myself silly.
And when we told Mr. Kemball what she’d said. He accused us of threatening him! Misty stuck up her nose and told him it wasn’t a threat, it was a promise. Go Misty! He then called us evil. I told him thank you in a very serious tone of voice. Except then he called me immature and stupid. Excuse me? Excuse me! Who exactly just brought your business to a standstill because you weren’t smart enough to hide the fact your oil drills were stolen a little better? Who is the stupid one? The one who checks the serial numbers or the one who forgets to take them off in the first place!
I wonder who actually owns the drills. Maybe they can come and take them away.
He turned so red though and steam came out of his ears. A freaking child throwing a temper tantrum, that’s all he is. And he has the gall to call me immature.
We rode back to the Baroness with our heads held high. As we did, I heard the creak and thumps of the oil drills stopping. The Baroness was pleased. I took great delight in telling her about Mr. Kemball’s, as Misty would probably put it, unseemly fit of temper. She laughed.
I’m still not sure about her, but she can’t be all bad. This thing with Linda still worries me though. Our obligation to the Baroness done for the day, we went and found Alex. And she had decided that it was time to play detective before we did anything else. We needed to search around for clues. Footprints would be long gone of course.
But when Misty and I started to poke about the back of the stables where people rarely go, we found a cell phone, a pair of glasses and a page ripped out from a book. My good mood vanished and I felt really uneasy. I told Misty that no teenage girl goes anywhere willingly without her cell phone. Something must have happened. Misty thought we were lucky that the glasses weren’t broken. We took our finds back to Alex. Who agreed with us, Linda’s glasses were part of her face! She couldn’t see without them. She wouldn’t have gone anywhere willingly without them. The book page was from Peter Pan, Linda’s favorite book.
The phone still had charge, thank goodness. The last text message was ominous. I trust no message that says “come alone.” We called the number of the text and Godfrey answered, the baroness’ butler! That man couldn’t sneeze without the Baroness being mixed up in it. Alex thought it might be a misunderstanding. A misunderstanding doesn’t end with a girl missing! We ran over to confront him but he refused to answer our questions, and drove away in his car.
Misty put forth, rather hesitantly, that maybe the book pages were the start of a trail. She’d read the page and it was the part where Wendy and the Darlings had been captured by Captain Hook! Maybe if we followed the pages, we’d find Linda. I thought that was a great idea. I just hoped that in the week or so since Linda had vanished, they hadn’t blown away. (Hopefully this positive reinforcement helps Misty, she looked positively white putting forth that suggestion. Ugh, talking like mother again.)
We started from behind the stable and rode away from the manor, towards the castle. Sometimes we had to split up to find the next page. It ended where I feared, the Baroness’ castle. I looked up and up and up towards the top of the tower. “The crying girl ghost of the tower,” I whispered. “It has to be Linda.”
I knew it’d all been connected!
We turned and rode at speed back to Alex.
Alex agreed. The rumor of the crying girl and the book page trail could only mean one thing. It had to be Linda. We had to be positive though. She had to run some errands. Whatever that meant, probably reporting to whoever she’s working for, but she gave us a good recording machine. She wanted us to hang around the base of the tower and try to get a recording of the girl crying. We could be there for hours before the crying started. Which was probably why she had us doing it and not doing it herself. Isn’t Linda her friend?
In the end it wasn’t expressly my business. We took the machine and went. We must have looked so odd hanging around the base of the castle. Misty got off Evening and fussed with his tack. We waited some time before the girl started crying again. I got the sounds recorded. And then it was back to the winery. When Alex listened to the tape, she paled. It was definitely Linda. And with Godfrey gone, there was only one person left to confront.
We went together. Alex had to get into the Castle. The Baroness turned nasty on us. It was like night and day from the way she’d been earlier. She threatened us even.
That pretty much confirmed it for me. If she had nothing to hide, then she would have let us in. Just, we couldn’t take on the Baroness! She was an old lady. I’d feel bad. We retreated as Alex fretted. Misty spoke up again, proving how smart she is. The Baroness has Linda. We need to know why. Godfrey had told Linda when they’d met he’d tell her the truth. So, whatever Linda knew was the reason she was in the castle. We needed to find out what Linda knew. Then we could get Linda out.
That stiffened Alex’s resolve. She said she had some thinking to do and we’d continue this tomorrow. Linda may be sad but she was still alive. Surely, she’d keep for a few more days as we figured this out. I certainly hoped so. I think as long as we kept away from the Baroness until we had the mystery discovered, Linda would be all right. But if we kept going at the Baroness, she might move Linda. The old lady didn’t give off the vibe to me that she’d kill Linda, but right now we knew where Linda was! It’d be harder to rescue her if she was somewhere else. Misty didn’t seem happy about the idea but didn’t way why.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.