Horse Magic

Horse Magic by Bonnie Bryant Read Free Book Online

Book: Horse Magic by Bonnie Bryant Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bonnie Bryant
“Even the best-run stable has an occasional accident.”
    Mrs. Reg glanced down at the bucket, and the worried crease in her forehead deepened. “Occasional, yes,” she said softly. “But when the occasional becomes the everyday, well …”
    Stevie laughed. “Mrs. Reg, you’re not seriously suggesting that a poltergeist is haunting Pine Hollow, stealing all our saddle soap!”
    “Of course not,” Mrs. Reg snapped. Without another word, she got up and stalked back into her office, closing the door firmly behind her.
    The four girls traded bewildered glances. “What was that all about?” Dinah exclaimed. “I mean, I remember Mrs. Reg’s stories are always a little out there, but really. Soap-stealing ghosts? That’s a wild one, even for her!”
    “No kidding,” Carole said. “But as usual, I have no idea what she was actually trying to tell us. I doubt it was that Pine Hollow is haunted.” Mrs. Reg’s stories usually had a moral, but her listeners often had to work hard to figure out what it was.
    Carole glanced at her watch. “Oops!” she said. “I’d better go call my dad and tell him to pick me up here. It’s navy bean soup night at the base, and he hates to be late for that.”
    “Oh, rats,” Stevie said, looking disappointed. “I was going to invite you guys to have dinner at my house tonight in honor of Dinah’s first night. You heard my mom—it’s Lake lasagna tonight.”
    “Sorry,” Carole said regretfully. “But you know how my dad feels about navy bean soup.”
    “How about you, Lisa?” Stevie said. “You’ll come, won’t you?”
    Lisa stared at her fingernails, trying not to meet Stevie’s eye. “Um, I can’t,” she mumbled. “I promised my parents I’d eat at home tonight.”
    “Well, just call them,” Stevie suggested. “I’m sure they’ll let you come when you tell them why.”
    “No, I don’t think so,” Lisa said.
    Stevie’s eyes narrowed, and she glanced from Lisa to Dinah and back again. It finally dawned on her that the two of them hadn’t been acting particularly friendly. In fact, they had barely spoken to each other at all. She bit her lip. How could she not have noticed before now? And more importantly,how could two of her best friends in the world not be friends themselves? She decided they just needed a little more time to get to know each other. Working together on the Halloween event was sure to do the trick.
    “All right, then,” Stevie said to Dinah. “It’s just you and me, kid. And the rest of my family, of course. Speaking of which, we’d better get going, or my brothers will eat everything in the house before we get back.”
    The two of them hurried away. Carole knocked gingerly on Mrs. Reg’s door, but there was no answer. “I guess I’ll have to use the pay phone. Do you have a quarter?” she asked Lisa.
    Lisa dug a handful of coins out of the pocket of her jeans. “Here’s one,” she said.
    The two girls walked to the pay phone in the corridor. “My dad can drop you off if you want,” Carole offered. “Your house is right on the way to the base.”
    Lisa nodded. After Carole had finished her call, the girls headed outside to wait for Colonel Hanson. It was dark and chilly, and there was a hint of dampness in the air.
    Carole wrapped her arms around herself. “It sure feels like fall, doesn’t it?” she remarked.
    Instead of answering, Lisa said, “I don’t think Dinah likes me.”
    “I don’t know about that,” Carole said. “But I definitely got the impression that you don’t like her.”
    Lisa looked a little surprised. “I’m trying to like her,” shesaid. “I really am. After all, she’s one of Stevie’s best friends. There’s no reason I shouldn’t like her.”
    “But?” Carole prompted.
    “But I guess we don’t have much in common,” Lisa said, scuffing her feet through a pile of orange and yellow leaves. “We’re completely different from each other.”
    “Just like you’re completely

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