The Holt Children And the Hidden Treasure: Book One (Chapter 2; Gold Search)
Joe sighed. “I guess we’ll have to go all the way back tomorrow.”
“I don’t see why we can’t go now. If we hurry, we can get there and back not long after dark,” Pam said.
Joe sighed again. “I guess you’re right. Come on.”
Grabbing the papers, Pam bounded down the stairs after her brother. Running into the garage, they got their bikes out and rode to Mr. Fortings house. Pam rang bell. A minute later Mr. Forting came to the door and opened it. “Back again?” He asked, his face showing some surprise.
When Pam explained what had happened, he laughed and said he would find the right one for her. Inviting them inside, he went out of the room again, returning only a few moments later. “Here we are!” He said, his eyes twinkling. Although they wanted to get home as soon as they could, Mr. Forting kept them there a while, talking. It was dark outside by the time Joe and Pam finally had the chance to leave, so they told Mr. Forting goodbye, and left for home.
“He sure can talk,” Joe grinned.
“Oh-oh,” Pam said.
“What’s the matter?”
“It looks like a storms coming. Oh, dear. We’d better get home before it starts.” No sooner had she said this, than cold, hard drops began to fall on the brother and sisters’ heads. By the time they were seven blocks away from home, the rain began coming down in torrents. The two pedaled faster.
“We’d better get home fast, or we’ll drown in this rain!” Pam yelled, in order to be heard.
Joe nodded, stuffing the newspapers under his sweat shirt, attempting to keep them from getting wet, and the two pedaled even faster. They finally reached home, and putting their bicycles in the garage, they walked up the porch steps, drenched to the skin. Joe tried the door, but found that it was locked. He knocked, and Betty walked to the window, looked out, and upon seeing her soaked brother and sister, she giggled and ran to get the door.
“You look like a couple of wet rats!” She said.
“Well, you would too, if you had to get a bath in the rain!” Joe retorted, smiling.
Just then Mrs. Holt came into the room. “Goodness!” She exclaimed. “You must have gotten caught in the rain. Here, wait right here and I’ll get some towels.” She came back a minute later with two towels, handing both of them over. “Now run up stairs and get into dry clothes,” she ordered.
Joe and Pam needed no urging. The two ran upstairs and dressed.They came out into the hallway at the same time. “I feel a lot better now,” Pam said, smiling.
“Me too. Come on into my room and we’ll look at the newspaper and magazine.”
Pam followed Joe into his room, and shutting the door behind themselves, they sat down. Pam opened the magazine. After reading for a few minutes, she said, “I don’t see anything of too much use, but it says that ‘it was believed to have been buried somewhere to the west in Shoreham, NY.’,” Pam read.
“Mr. Forting said it was buried on the west, too, didn’t he?”
Pam nodded. “I just wish there was more information in here. Have you found anything out?”
Joe glanced down at the newspaper in his hands. “It says the same as yours does. But also, there were four men in on it. They were caught by police, and only got as far as it was buried to the west of Shoreham, New York, and that they buried it, and then the police thought that they must have thought of a way to escape, because they suddenly stopped talking and wouldn’t say anything else. Then that night they were discovered missing. They haven’t been captured since then.”
Pam didn’t say anything; she looked thoughtful.
“What is it?” Joe asked her.
“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking that that isn’t much to go on. It would take forever just to find. And also, I just realized that if they escaped, why shouldn’t they go back to their gold?”
“I hadn’t thought of that. We may never find it.”
“But we’re not giving up. I think we should look around deserted areas on the west side of town. Maybe they have a rock or a stick or something like that over it.”
“It’s possible, though that was a long time ago. But I guess it won’t hurt to look. Right now, I’m going to bed,” he added with a yawn.
“Me too. Good night, Joseph.”
Pam walked into her room to find Betty in her bed with her pajamas on. “Hi, Pamela,” she said. “Mother said to wait for you in here and ask if you would read me a bedtime story.”
Pam smiled, and walked over to her beside, pulled a book out from under it. It was a book of fairytales she had gotten for her birthday. “What do you want me to read?” She asked.
Betty put her chin in her hand and thought for a minute. “How about Jack and the beanstalk? Or Rumplestitskin?”
“Alright, I’ll read Rumplestitskin,” she said, opening the book to the particular story.
“Oh, goody!” Betty said, clapping her hands together.
After the story was over, Pam tucked a half-asleep Betty Holt into bed and kissed her on the forehead. Then, after dressing, she climbed into bed, said her prayers, and fell asleep.
Pam awoke bright and early the next morning, dressed and brushed her hair. Walking into the hallway and up to Joes room, she knocked on the door. “Come in," she heard him say.
“Hi, Joe,” she said, walking in.
“Good morning You want to go after breakfast?”
“To go on a treasure search? Of course I do!”
“Can we take Ronnie and Betty?” Pam asked.
“No, not this time. We wouldn’t be able to make sure they stayed out of trouble and look for treasure at the same time. Maybe another time, though.”
Pam had to admit that this was true, and the two trooped down the stairs and to the kitchen. “Yum!” Pam said, smelling the frying bacon and eggs.
After the meal, Joe and Pam set out on bikes, shovels over their handlebars, to look for the treasure. They stopped at the very first place where there were no buildings or houses around. “It looks…lonely. And creepy, too,” Pam commented as she parked her bike. Joe nodded.
For the first few minutes, every stick sticking up from the ground they saw they would dig several feet under. After digging up under every one that was sticking out of the ground, they didn’t know what to do. Finally, Pam said, “Why don’t we dig a little deeper in the holes we’ve already dug? Maybe the thieves buried them really deep.”
Joe agreed that this was possible, so they began digging. A few minutes of digging, and Joe's shovel hit something hard and metallic. “I’ve struck something!” He exclaimed, and began digging harder and more furiously than he had been before. A few minutes later, to their great disappointment, they realized that all it had been was a rusty piece of metal stuck firmly into the dirt. “Ugh,” Joe said in complete disgust and frustration. They dug for quite a long time after that, but with lunch approaching and no luck, they finally decided to go home and look somewhere else later.