The Holt Children And the Hidden Treasure: Book One (Chapter 1; The Lost Treasure)
The Holt Children and the Hidden Treasure
THE LOST TREASURE
“Oh, look, Joe!” Eleven year old Pamela Holt said, excitedly pointing a something soft and black on the side of the road.
“Why, it’s a puppy!” Pam's twelve year old brother, Joe, said. He had blond hair.
Pam's curly shoulder-length golden-blond hair rippled in the wind as she said, “Oh, mother, won’t you turn the car around? I want to see it!”
“Yes, momma, do!” Betty, who was the baby of the family, and only six, said.
Mrs. Holt smiled, and turning the car around, she stopped where the puppy lay. Pam and Joe jumped out of the car. Pam reached the puppy first, and swooping it up into her arms, she and her older brother walked back to the car. She checked for a collar, and finding none she looked at her mother questioningly.
“It’s so cute!” Betty squealed, twirling her blond pigtails.
“Oh, mamma, she's just a puppy! Poor thing! I wonder where her mother is?” Pam said, sympathetically stroking the puppy's soft, black hair. "May we take it home? We could take care of it, and feed it. Please?”
“Alright, dear. We’ll see what we can do,” Mrs. Holt said.
A few minutes later Mrs. Holt pulled into the the families driveway. Pam, still cradling the small puppy in her arms, climbed out of the car, her brothers and sister following close behind. Stepping into the living room, they saw Mr. Holt sitting in his rocking chair, reading the news.
“Daddy, daddy, look what Pam found!” Eight year old Ronnie said, grinning widely. Ronnie was the only child in the family who had brown hair.
Mr. Holt looked over the rim of his paper.
“Well, I never!” He exclaimed. “Where did you find him, Pam?”
Pam explained, and asked if they might keep it. Mr. Holt turned to mother. "What do you say about it, Karol?”
Mrs. Holt smiled. “Well, Carl, if you don’t mind, I don’t see why not.”
At that moment, she was smothered with hugs and kisses, and nearly knocked over. Mr. Holt laughed, and said, “alright, everybody off! Can’t expect mother to take care the puppy if you’re on top of her!”
At this, everyone laughed, and Mrs. Holt walked over to Pam. Gently taking the puppy from her daughter, she said, “here, Pam. Go get a baby bottle and put some milk in it. We’ll see if he’s hungry. As Pam hurried off to obey, Mrs. Holt let the younger children hold the puppy, and then Joe.
Pam came out with milk bottle in her hand. All at once they started to ask Mrs. Holt if they could feed it. Handing it to Joe, she said, “he’s the oldest. Next time someone else can.”
“May I name the puppy? Please?”
“I don’t see why not. You did find it.”
“Oh, hurrah! I’m going to call her Ginger.”
“Oh, what it cute name!” Betty exclaimed admiringly. "But he's black, not brown. And I think that Ginger should be for a brown puppy."
"I named it Ginger after my cat that died," Pam said.
"Daddy, what kind of dog do you think she is?" Ronnie asked.
"I'm not sure, Ronnie. Ask your sister."
"Pam?" Ronnie said, looking at his older sister. "You know she is? You know so much about animals, anyway."
"He looks like a Schnauzer to me," she said.
"He's so cute!" Betty said, running her fingers over the puppies soft fur.
“I’m starving, mother,” Ronnie said, rubbing his stomach and rolling his eyes dramatically.
Betty grinned. “You took the words right out of my mouth!” She said.
“I’m about to make supper,” Mrs. Holt said, smiling.
“I’ll help you, mother,” Pam offered, and the two hurried off into the kitchen to help.
“Mother,” Pam began as she washed her hands. “Joe and I were talking to our teacher, Ms. Cleo Parker yesterday, and she told us that several years ago several masked men robbed a train that was carrying several thousands of dollars in gold. They buried it right here in Shoreham! Nobody knows exactly where it is, but I was thinking if Joe and I could go to the library tomorrow, I might find something that would be of help. What do you say, mother?”
“You mean you and Joseph are wanting to find that gold?”
Pam nodded vigorously.
“But, how do you expect to find it? It could be anywhere in Shoreham!”
“Why, mother. We’d might as well start somewhere, right? Please, mother. Do let me go!”
Mrs. Holt gave her consent. After supper, without warning, Pam grabbed Joe by the hand and half dragged him into the hallway. When they were out of earshot, Joe said, “what on earth was that about!”
“I’ll tell you in a minute. Come on.” She led the way up the stairs and into her bedroom. Shutting and locking the door behind them, Pam bounced onto her bed.
“Now, Pamela Marie Holt, what on earth is the matter?”
Grinning, she replied, “mother said that I can go to the library tomorrow! I’m sure that there will be at least one book on the treasure. Or at least a magazine or a newspaper. Oh, I’m so excited, Joe!”
“Why don’t I go with you?” Joe asked.
“You could, or you could ask give Ms. Parker a visit. Maybe she knows more about it.”
Joe snapped his fingers. “Say, that’s an idea!”
Pam looked perplexed. “What’s an idea?”
“I’ll go to over to Mr. Grants’! He would have been around at the time of the robbery, he’s so old! Who knows what he’ll know about it!”
“That's a good idea!”
After Joe had left, Pam got ready for bed. She called Joe into her bedroom, and they talked more about the mystery, until Betty came in. Her hair was up in a towel, and she was in blue pajamas with pink and yellow bunnies on it. Joe said that he should probably go to bed now. “Good night, Pam. ‘Night, Betty!” He called over his shoulder.
“Good night, Joe!” The two sisters chorused.
Betty smiled her sweet little smile. She took the towel off her head, which revealed wet blond hair, and put it on the back of a chair. "May I sleep with you tonight, Pam?" She asked.
"Of course you may."
Lying down and pulling the blankets over them, they held each others hands and said their prayers.
“Good night, Betty,” Pam said, smiling.
“Good night, Pam.” Betty returned the smile.
Pam pulled the covers off of her and jumped out of bed. Running into the bathroom, she brushed her hair and dressed. She came out just in time to see Joe and Bobby coming out of their room, already dressed. Betty walked out of her own bedroom, saying, “summer vacation, here I come!” And without another word, she ran down the stairs. Ronnie followed after her, making an equal amount of noise. Pam and Joe, happy to be alone to talk about what they were going to do that day, stood on the top step and talked.
“I dreamed that we found that gold,” Joe said.
“I dreamed that we did, too. But I’m hungry. Let’s go eat.” When they got to the dining room, Ronnie and Betty were already at the table eating. Pam and Joe walked into the kitchen, and finding Mrs. Holt in it, they shut the door behind them.
“Good morning, mother,” they said. Mrs. Holt hugged them, and Pam said, “mother, we were thinking on going to the library after lunch. I mean, I am. Joe is wanting to go to Mr. Grants and see if he can find anything out. Is that okay with you?”
“Of course it is, dear. Now come eat your breakfast before it gets cold.”
Joe and Pam smiled.
Lunch came, and when Ronnie and Betty heard about what their older brother and sister were doing, they begged and pleaded to go, until Mrs. Holt said, “if Joe and Pam don’t mind, then I suppose you can.”
Now they turned to Joe and Pam. “Please, Pam. Let me go with you.”
“Come on, Joe. I want to go!” Ronnie begged.
“Alright, Bet. You can come with me,” Pam said, smiling.
“Hurrah!” Betty said, throwing her arms around her sisters neck.
“What about me?” Ronnie asked.
Joe shook his head. “I’m sorry, Ronnie, but I’d rather go by myself. Maybe next time.”
Pam saw her little brothers face fall, and she said, “you can come with me, if you want to, Ronnie.”
Ronnie shook his head and managed a half smile. “No thanks, Pam. I don’t want to.”
Pam took Betty by the hand, and the two ran out the door, with Joe on their heels. They walked a distance together, until Joe had to turn left, and Pam and Betty kept going straight. At the library, Pam asked the librarian if she had any books on the treasure. She led them to one section, then went back to her place. Pam picked up a magazine called ‘Shoreham Train Robbery’. Opening it, she looked and read what it was about, and was quite sure it was what she wanted. Leading Betty to a table, they sat down and flipped through the pages. A few minutes of reading it, and Pam got the strange feeling that someone was watching her. Spinning around, she saw a man standing right behind her and looker over her shoulder at the magazine. She had never seen him before. "What?" Pam said in surprise. Before she could say anything more he had darted out the door.
Taking Betty by the hand once more, she walked over to the counter, checked out the magazine, and went home. When she got there, Joe was already there, waiting for her. She related what had happened to them, then asked if he had gotten anything.
“Well, he didn’t know anything about it that would be helpful, but he said that a man named Mr. Forting might, because he used to write newspapers in that time. You never know. He gave us his address, so I was thinking you might like to come with me after supper.”
“Me too!” Betty said.
“No, not this time, honey. Maybe another time,” Pam said.
Betty looked disappointed.
Pam and Joe walked upstairs and into her bedroom to look at the booklet Pam had brought.
“Is it all about one robbery, or just several that happened here in Shoreham?” Joe asked.
“I think it’s about several that happened throughout the years. I was looking through the one that I thought might have been the one we were looking for when I realized that someone was behind me.”
odd,” Joe said thoughtfully.
Pam nodded. “Maybe we picked up the book he wanted.”
“Or maybe the name of it just interested him and he was looking at it for a minute.”
“Maybe he wants to find the gold himself!” Pam said.
“By jove, Pam! I’ve hunch that may very well be it!”
After supper, Joe and Pam went into the garage to get their bikes. The air was chilly as they road toward Mr. Fortings house. It didn’t take long before they reached the large, two story house on the edge of a lake. Parking their bikes on the sidewalk, they walked up to the porch steps and rang the doorbell. Pam liked the the house. It was an old fashioned looking house, and very pretty. A few moments later, an old man, who looked to be in his late eighties, opened the door.
“Hello, there,” he said.
“Mr. Forting?” Pam asked.
The old man put his hand to his ears. “What’s that? I can’t hear you. Speak up!”
Pam repeated herself in a louder voice. “Are you Mr. Forting?”
“Am I Sister Courting?” He asked in a perplexed voice.
“No, no!” Pam said, a little frustrated. “Are you Mr. Forting?”
“Am I Mr. Forting?” He echoed. “Indeed I am! Want do you want?”
“We wanted to ask you about something that has to do with the newspaper job you used to have,” Joe said.
“The new caper hobby I used?” Mr. Forting asked.
“No, the newspaper job you used to have!” Joe said, louder.
“Oh, that? Well, should’a said so in the first place. Come on in.” He led them into a large room, neatly furnished with a couch, two rocking chairs, and a nightstand.
“Do you remember the train robbery that happened about thirty-five years ago?” Joe began.
“Sure, I do, son. If your talkin’ about the one where they hid the gold. It hasn’t been found since then, I don’t believe. ‘Course I don’t keep up with that stuff nowadays.”
Joe nodded. “That’s the one, sir,” he said.
“We wanted to know if you had any idea about the area it was buried in,” Pam spoke up.
“It was buried some place or other in Shoreham,” Mr. Forting said.
“We know that, sir, but do you have any idea where in Shoreham it was buried?” Pam asked.
Mr. Forting rubbed his bristly chin thoughtfully. “Um, it was buried somewhere West, so it's always been said, I do believe. Here, I’ll tell you what, girl. I’ll get’cha one of my papers and let you keep it. All the information I have is in there.”
As he left the room, Pam held both her hands up and crossed her fingers. Joe, grinning, did the same. He came back a few moments later with something wrapped in brown paper, and handed it to Pam. “Here y’ar.”
“Thank you ever so much!” she said, beaming.
“You’re welcome, girl,” he said.
“I suppose we ought to introduce ourselves,” Joe said, realizing he had forgotten to do so in the first place. “I’m Joe Holt, and this is my sister, Pam.”
“Nice to meet you,” he said, smiling.
“Well, we need to be getting home. now. Thanks a millioin for your help, Mr. Forting,” Pam said, rising from her chair.
“Oh, you’re welcome,” he said.
“Shall we bring the paper back when we’re done with it?” Joe asked.
Mr. Forting shook his head. “Naw. Got bunches of ‘em down in the cellar. Good bye!”
The two smiled and waved, climbing onto their bikes. “This may very well be a swell clue!” Joe said as they rode home.
“I sure hope it’s a help,” Pam said.
Joe nodded as they pulled into the Holts garage. Parking their bikes there, they went back into the house. They ran up the stairs and into Joe's bedroom.
Pam tore off the paper. “Oh, dear!” She gasped after scanning the paper for a few minutes.
“What is it?” Joe asked, alarmed.
“Mr. Forting must have given us the wrong paper! This has nothing of the sort of a train robbery!”
“Oh, great!” Joe groaned.