After Missy and Kevin solved the mystery in The Secret in the Hidden Cave, they thought the rest of the summer at Big Pine Lodge would be normal. But there are plenty of surprises awaiting them in the woods, the caves, the stables and the cemetery.
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Mystery's Grave, Book 2 in the Big Pine Lodge series, continues with the main characters, Missy and Kevin, and some new friends who come to stay at the lodge. There is danger in the woods, adventure in the caves and many surprises, some good, some not so good. And what's living in the graveyard?
This book is for good readers ages 8 to 12.
from chapter 14:
“Where are you going to keep them?” Missy wanted to know. “And if you’re leaving in a few days, then what?”
The Paulson girls stopped a few feet from the front entrance to the lodge and looked at one another.
It was Scooter who answered. He took his thumb out of his mouth just long enough to say, “Keep them in the caves and feed them with your stupid baby doll bottles.”
“Good thinking, Scooter,” Marnie praised him then she looked at Missy. “Will you and Kevin take care of them after we leave?”
Missy glanced at Kevin who was nodding his head. “Okay, I guess so. But I really think we better tell my great-grandfather.”
“Wait a few days,” Lizzie suggested, “until we’re good at taking care of them and he can see that you can handle it.”
Everyone bobbed their heads up and down in agreement. One of the kittens mewed and the kids hustled into the lodge and they all crammed into the playroom under the stairs. Luckily there weren’t any little kids in there and Missy unlocked the secret trap door in the floor and they went down into the caves. Missy grabbed two flashlights that they kept near the bottom of the ladder and turned them on. She left one at the ladder and used the other one to look for a nice spot on the floor for a nest. Kevin took off his sweatshirt and made a cradle for the kittens and Kristie and Lizzie gently settled them into the center, all the while petting and stroking their soft fur. Both kittens started mewing loudly letting the kids know that they were hungry. Marnie and Missy went back up into the lodge to get some warm milk.
“You know,” Marnie said to Missy as they searched through the playroom for a baby bottle, “we’ll have to take turns feeding them all night. They eat like twenty times a day.”
“I know, but my great-grandfather is really smart with inventions. I’ll bet he could figure out some kind of contraption to automatically feed them.”
Marnie looked doubtful but didn’t say anything. She found two little plastic bottles then the two of them raced to the kitchen for milk.
In the cave below Lizzie, Kevin and Kristie sat around the bobcats thinking up names for them while Scooter started exploring the edges of the rock walls with the second flashlight. When they finally decided to agree on names that could be either male or female they settled on Fluffy for the larger of the two and Tiny for the smaller one.
Marnie and Missy showed up with the bottles and took the first turn at trying to feed them. The hungry little kits wasted no time in learning how to suck the warm milk out of the little bottles. They finished quickly and settled back down for a nap.
“That was easy,” Kevin said.
“Hey, where’s our brother?” Marnie exclaimed.
They all looked around for Scooter but didn’t see him in the dimly lit cave.
“Well, he must have the other flashlight. It won’t be hard to find him,” Kevin said. He picked up the light and they all had to follow him or be left in the dark with the bobcats.
They started calling out for Scooter who heard them but didn’t answer. He just kept going deeper and deeper into the maze of tunnels, turning right at the first choice and left at the next one then waiting until he could hear his sisters yelling for him before leading them further and further.
At every fork Kevin would turn the flashlight off and they would all stand quietly in the pitch-black darkness until their eyes adjusted and they could see a hint of light from whichever tunnel Scooter had taken. Then Kevin would switch the light back on and they would start hollering again and follow the beam.
Unfortunately for Scooter his flashlight wore out first and he was left in the total blackness. He just sat down, closed his eyes tightly and started to wail.
“Finally I hear him!” Lizzie cried. They all picked up the speed and hurried down a long and winding tunnel.
“It’s okay. We’re here.” Marnie said as she hugged Scooter who stopped crying to stuff his thumb into his mouth. “Man, mom would have killed us if you got lost again.”
“Are we under the lake?” Kristie asked.
“Yeah. We’ve gone a long way,” Kevin said. “It might be better to keep going just in case this flashlight gives out, too.” He took the other one out of Scooter’s hand and gave it a shake. The weak battery had a little juice left and the tunnel brightened up for a moment until Kevin switched that flashlight off. “We’d better save it just in case.”
They hurried along the tunnels under the lake all the way to the other side where they came up under the little stone cottage. They had a bit of a hike to get back and were ready for a snack and a swim when they arrived. They didn’t see the mama bobcat watching them from her perch high in an oak tree at the edge of the forest.