Alvarado Gold

Alvarado Gold by Victoria Pitts-Caine Read Free Book Online

Book: Alvarado Gold by Victoria Pitts-Caine Read Free Book Online
Authors: Victoria Pitts-Caine
Tags: Christian fiction
It’s generous of you to save those back for Donnie.” I handed Clay the last roll of packaging tape. Donnie didn’t deserve a thing. He failed to join us, even though he obviously knew the rest of us were here. I started to feel a growing distrust for our “missing” cousin.
    “I don’t know why he thinks we’re trying to take anything away from him; all he had to do was show up. We would have included him, too.” Clay left the room and carried the package out to the kitchen table.
    I shrugged. “I don’t understand either. None of us have seen him since we were little kids. I just don’t get it.” I thought about all Donnie had given up not being with us.
    “Now, if this house sells as quickly as Williams says it will, Donnie shouldn’t have a thing to gripe about.” Mel made a disgusted face. “It still burns me he had us tailed. My encounter with that thug of his surely wasn’t pleasant.”
    I felt a hint of sadness flow over me. The past few days rekindled my subdued longing for family. We were all grown now. The last of the Barnes family were scattered across the country. Grandpa’s death brought us closer, if we could only stay that way. “I’m going to miss you guys.”
    ****
    Clay came back in and settled into the recliner. “Okay, Addie. It’s story time.”
    I pulled great-great grandmother’s account of the cattle drive out of the tortoiseshell box and read the final installments. The journal explained the long trip into the valley cradled by the Sierra Nevadas and the Coastal Range in California. Grandma Annie wanted to purchase the valley, which runs the length of the center of the state encompassing eight counties, but Grandpa Harold urged her on to San Francisco. There at R. Matteucci & Company the two brooches were purchased, her prize, he told her, for following him all those miles and back again. Then they made the final leg of their journey home, the trip around the horn from San Francisco to Texas. That alone would have been a feat it itself. I read the final lines:
    We found the ranch much as we’d left it. We endured the trip. It was profitable for Harold, but it is good to be back home where we belong. The Texas sun has baked the land dry, and the cattle bellow for water. I long for the cool, damp weather of Seattle.
    “That’s it. What an adventure.” I let out a long, slow sigh. “She actually mentions buying the brooches. Mel, did you catch that?”
    “Yeah.” Mel yawned and stretched. “We need to get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be busy. Especially, if we’re going to Mr. Darrow’s before we leave.”
    Susan’s quiet voice came from the corner. “Are we coming back?”
    “I’m in.” Clay stood up next to Mel.
    “Me, too.” I joined them.
    Susan walked over and we all put our right hands together like athletes before a game. Clay raised our hands over our heads and we all echoed, “For the Gold!”
    And in my heart, I knew it meant more. I marveled at the completeness I felt. I’d reconnected with part of me that I’d lost, or not exactly lost but had been taken away from me. I loved my mother as I am sure my cousins loved their parents but whatever secret they kept had robbed their children of knowing their family.
    The next morning before we headed for the airport, we stopped off at the lawyer’s office. Clay gave him the gun and sword while Mel left him instructions on how to get in touch with Mr. Williams. The money from the sale of the house would be evenly distributed by Mr. Darrow.
    “Mr. Darrow, could you give this to your friend Mr. Wright?” I crossed the room and stood in front of him. “It belongs to him and I must have picked it up with my papers.”
    As he reached out for the document, I remembered that same large hand resting on the top of the tortoiseshell box only a week ago. It had revealed one of the secrets of our family, but with it, more questions were created. “What is it?” he asked.
    “It looks like a list of

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