Book 2 in the Big Pine Lodge series
by Debra Chapoton
Copyright © 2010 by Debra Chapoton
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Missy kept swinging her left leg lazily back and forth over the edge of the tree branch. Her right leg and right arm were twisted securely around another branch for balance as she sat idly on the platform of the tree house. She was well out of sight, but not sound, of the other vacationers staying at the lodge. Her morning duties as a junior maid, helping the college girls who were working here full time, were finished for today. Her great-grandfather owned the impressive old log lodge and the dozen smaller log cabins that trailed along the edge of the lake. Missy had only just met her great-grandfather last March and she sat now thinking about how much had happened since then.
She reached up with her left hand and pulled off a new green leaf, rolling it absent-mindedly between her fingers and thumb as she recalled the excitement of her first week at the lodge this summer. She had become good friends with Kevin Jackson who lived here all year with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson ran the lodge for Missy’s eighty-seven year old great-grandfather, Mr. Stark, who had feared losing the lodge in a court battle over a proposed expressway through the back of his property. Missy, Kevin, and their new friend, Jessica, discovered a fantastic secret in the caves that ran under much of the property and the lake. Missy had been somewhat scared and apprehensive at first when the three of them explored the vast dark labyrinth of tunnels. But now, after three weeks working and playing at Big Pine Lodge, Missy was as confident as Kevin in the underground caves. The secret of the caves was the key to saving the lodge from the expressway. There were several caverns that had walls covered with ancient pictographs and this fact made the caves practically sacred and definitely safe from the highway. The department of transportation would have to find an alternate route now and the lodge could go on operating peacefully in the two square mile area that Mr. Stark owned.