The Mystery Horse

The Mystery Horse by Gertrude Chandler Warner Read Free Book Online

Book: The Mystery Horse by Gertrude Chandler Warner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gertrude Chandler Warner
said, getting up. “You can start tomorrow morning. Check in with me around five-thirty.”
    â€œI’ll be there,” Jed said. “And thanks.”
    It was barely sunset when Mr. Morgan nudged Benny on the shoulder.
    â€œIt’s time to raise the sides, so you’d best stand clear.”
    â€œRaise the sides?” Benny looked up, puzzled. He had been squatting in the dust, pulling bent nails out of a pine board.
    Mr. Morgan laughed. “This is the moment we’ve all been working for. Look around you, boy. You’re standing right smack in the middle of where the new barn will be!”
    â€œI am?” Benny gulped. He took a slow look around, and realized that the four walls had been assembled on the grass, and men were attaching guide ropes. In just a few minutes the barn would be standing by itself!
    â€œWait on the sidelines,” Mr. Morgan cautioned as he went to lend a hand. “We don’t want any accidents to happen.”
    â€œNo sir!” Benny agreed, and he scampered over to join Jessie and Violet. They watched in amazement as Mr. Tyndall shouted to the workers, and right on cue, all four sides suddenly started to rise from the ground.
    â€œSteady now!” Mr. Tyndall yelled. Everyone started clapping and laughing as the sides stood straight up, pointing skyward.
    â€œLook at that!” Benny said. “It’s a real barn, now, except for the roof.”
    Jessie and Violet hugged each other. It felt like a real celebration!
    At the end of the day, all four Aldens, tired but happy, piled into the back of the Morgans’ pickup truck. Violet craned her neck for a last look at the barn frame, which stood out against the darkening sky.
    â€œJust think,” she said, “we helped build a real barn today.”
    â€œWe sure did,” Benny said sleepily. He nestled his head against her shoulder and was about to drift off when Bob Tyndall hurried over to the truck.
    â€œHey, little guy,” he said, nudging Benny’s shoulder. “I’ve got something for you. A little souvenir to remember us by.”
    Benny sat up straight and watched in amazement as Bob took off the tan leather pouch that looked like a holster and handed it to him.
    â€œYou’re giving it to me to keep?” Benny said, thrilled.
    â€œIt’s all yours. It’s even got some roofing nails inside.”
    â€œWow!” Benny immediately fastened the pouch to his belt. “I’m going to wear it every day,” he said. As the truck rolled down the road to Sunny Oaks, Benny ran his hand over the smooth leather pouch. This was a day he would never forget!

    A Day at the Fair
    T he following afternoon, the Aldens finished their chores early and rode into town with Mr. Morgan and Sarah.
    â€œI always stop at the post office for the mail while Dad goes to the hardware store,” Sarah said. “Then we both head straight to Hilary’s for chocolate ice cream sodas.”
    The post office was crowded, and Benny spotted Ms. Jefferies picking up a large manila envelope at the counter. “Look who’s here,” he whispered. “And for once, she’s smiling!”
    Ms. Jefferies turned quickly toward the door and nearly bumped into Sarah and Violet. “Sorry—oh, it’s you,” she said, recognizing the children.
    â€œHi, Ms. Jefferies,” Sarah said politely. “We would have been glad to pick that up for you.” She pointed to the manila envelope, and Ms. Jefferies shook her head and turned pink.
    â€œNo, I . . . it’s nothing,” she said.
    â€œWe always pick up mail for our guests,” Sarah went on. “It’s really no trouble—”
    â€œI told you no thanks!” Ms. Jefferies blurted out. She clutched the envelope to her chest and hurried out of the post office.
    Benny looked up in surprise. “What was she so mad about?”
    Sarah shrugged. “Maybe she was

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