Nearly Here! // A Sampling of Prisoner of the Pyrenees

The months since our family summer holiday have been very busy indeed, and I am overjoyed to say that Prisoner of the Pyrenees – number 5 in the Baker Family Series – is almost ready for release!

I have grown up reading the works of authors like R. M. Ballantyne, whose experiences prompted him to write adventures. How thrilling it has been to take the blessing of a trip to southern France / northern Spain, and turn that into inspiration for a story! But then, who wouldn’t be inspired by views like these?

  

So, without further ado, here are a few quotes from Prisoner of the Pyrenees that I can’t wait to share with you. Enjoy 🙂

______________________

“Stop!”

Abby made her legs work again, dashing after the vanished figure. She saw her twin Andy frozen at a stable door, and yelled to him, “Help! Catch her!”

The girl was a few strides ahead and gaining ground.

Andy had let the horses out of the paddock that morning, and they were waiting in their stables for breakfast—all except one. The new mare, Honey, was loitering outside, snatching a mouthful of grass. As Andy joined in the chase, the girl leaped onto the horse’s back and dug her heels into its ribs.

“Stop!” Abby shouted. “Andy, get her!”

This exhortation wasn’t necessary. Andy was throwing himself forward as fast as was possible for him before breakfast, and he didn’t slacken even as Honey was coaxed into a canter. The twins followed at a run, away from the stables, past the paddock, and towards the gate.

Abby had an idea, paused, and summoned her strength to branch off to the house. She stumbled up the steps and collided with Phil, who was coming out the front door.

“Phil, help!” She gulped. “Girl . . . stealing Honey!”

One sandy eyebrow lifted and the other lowered as momentary confusion registered on his face. “Stealing honey? Like Winnie the—oh! Stealing Honey! Abby, where?”

“The gate.”

Phil flew down the steps and then the path, Abby following after him. He was fast—faster than Andy, even—but he was twenty years old and fit, so that was to be expected. They came in sight of the gate, but were much too far away to have any hope of reaching it at the same time as the girl.

Abby stopped and waited, panting, to see what would happen. The girl seemed to hunker down on Honey’s bare back and urge the horse faster, straight at the gate. They were going to jump it!

____________________

The clock struck two, and struck fright into the Bakers. They were nearing the tower. The waiter’s steady footsteps could be heard behind them. Sunlight bounced off the yellowish walls of the street they turned down. Its desolation was an eerie contrast to the bustle of the rest of the town—yet noises filtered in, heightening their sense of being alone.

Two men very much like the waiter stood at the end of the street, their arms folded. Abby saw the predicament they were being pushed into. At that moment, they only had one attacker to deal with. Soon, they would have three. But the waiter was armed! Even if she thought herself capable of stalling him with a bit of resistance, what if his automatic response was to pull the trigger?

Her eyes grew as her heart climbed higher in her throat. There was one thing that she could risk doing. She kept looking straight ahead while her fingers crept slowly to the locket around her neck. She pressed her nail between the two lids. The hinge sprung. Her finger slid away the false panel and found the little button beneath it.

 

____________________

Another bullet cracked into the car. Hands grabbed Phil around the waist and jerked him inside. As soon as his back touched the seat, Mr. Baker punched the button to close the window.

The bomb had only touched the top of the gate when it exploded. Mr. Baker swerved right into the the blast. The windows shook and orange light clouded all vision. The temperature became that of a furnace—was the engine still running? Or were they stranded in the fiery blaze?

A rough jolt and a skidding of tires told them they were through the furnace. A dim blaring of car-horns accosted their ringing ears before they could see the tour bus speeding toward them.

“Right-turn!” Detective Mortimer screamed. “Turn!”

____________________

Briosa’s breaths came in panicked gasps. She tried to swallow, and her dry throat seemed to stick shut.

“Intruder, can you hear me?”

“Y-yes. I’ll d-do—whatever you ask. Just don’t—send your men—”

A glance over her shoulder made a wave of dizziness and nausea wash over her. The ground below seemed to swirl into a deepening abyss of darkness. She felt herself overbalance—or was that illusion?

 

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Copyright © 2014 C. R. Hedgcock.

All Rights Reserved.

http://www.crhedgcock.com

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