Read an Excerpt
Challenge on the Hill of Fire
By MARIANNE HERING NANCY I. SANDERS
TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.Copyright © 2012 Focus on the Family
All right reserved.
Chapter OneA Leprechaun Trap
Patrick and his cousin Beth stood in line at Whit's End. It was Odyssey's most popular ice-cream shop.
Patrick felt very excited. Today was a special day. He was dressed in green. He wore a green baseball cap and a green T-shirt. He had on green shorts, green socks, and a pair of green sneakers.
Beth wore a green shamrock pin on her shirt.
Mr. Whittaker stood behind the counter. He finished with one customer and then turned to Patrick and Beth. His kind blue eyes sparkled. He lightly touched his large white moustache.
"Hi, Patrick ... Beth. What can I do for you?" he asked. "Beth and I would both like a green milkshake, please," Patrick said. "We're celebrating Saint Patrick's Day today!" Whit touched his light-green shirt. "So am I," he said with a smile. He began making the milkshakes. He glanced at Patrick. "Were you named after Saint Patrick?" he asked.
"I don't think so," Patrick said. "I think I was named after my Uncle Patrick."
"But you know about Saint Patrick, I assume," Whit said.
Patrick looked at Beth. She shrugged.
"He wore green, right?" Patrick guessed.
Whit chuckled. "There was more to Saint Patrick than a color," he said.
"What do you mean?" Beth asked.
Whit's eyes twinkled. "I'll tell you more when I bring the milkshakes to your table."
Patrick and Beth sat down at one of the tables to wait. They watched Whit fill their orders.
Just then the door opened. Patrick's neighbor Jake walked in. He wore a yellow bandana tied around his neck. He had on his Cub Scout cap. His Cub T-shirt was green.
Patrick liked going over to Jake's house. That's where they met for their Cub Scout meetings.
"Happy Saint Patrick's Day!" Patrick and Beth both said to Jake.
Jake waved to the cousins and stood in line to order. Then he walked over to their table. He was carrying a bag. He had just bought freshly baked cookies.
"Are you going to eat all those cookies by yourself?" Patrick asked.
"Some friends are coming over to my house in a few minutes," Jake said. "We're going to build a leprechaun trap. I want to catch a leprechaun. Then he'll have to give us a pot of gold. We'll be rich!"
"Are you using the cookies as bait?" Beth asked.
Jake looked at the bag. "I hadn't thought of that," he said. "Do leprechauns like chocolate-chip cookies?"
"They might if leprechauns existed," Beth said. "But they don't."
"Come over and see for yourself," Jake said. He headed for the door. "Hurry up! You don't want to miss your share of the gold." The bell above the door jingled as it shut behind him.
Beth's eyebrows drew together in a frown. "A leprechaun trap? Really?" she asked.
Patrick smiled. "Maybe we'll catch one. Wouldn't that be cool?"
Mr. Whittaker arrived with their orders. "What's all this about leprechauns?" he asked.
"Beth and I are going to help build a leprechaun trap with Jake," Patrick said.
Whit sat down. "Are you?" he asked. "Well, I hope you use the right kind of wood and nails. You can't make a trap out of just anything, you know."
Patrick's eyes lit up. "Maybe you should write out the instructions," he said.
Whit laughed. He had a deep, hearty laugh.
Beth groaned. She said, "I don't understand what all this has to do with Saint Patrick. He wasn't a leprechaun."
Whit looked at Beth and then Patrick. "Would you like to find out?" he asked.
Patrick and Beth looked at each other. That question usually meant one thing: an adventure in the Imagination Station. The Imagination Station was one of Whit's many inventions. It allowed kids to experience different times in history.
"Can we?" Patrick asked.
Beth clapped her hands together. "Sure!" she said.
Patrick suddenly shook his head. "Wait a minute," he said. "I mean, what if it's true? What if we could get a pot of gold?"
"What?" Beth cried out. "When have you ever heard reports of any leprechaun sightings in Odyssey?"
Patrick frowned and said, "I still don't want to miss building a trap with Jake and the group. We've got to get going."
"You know how the Imagination Station works," Whit said. "Time is different there. I think you'll be able to have an adventure and still build leprechaun traps if you want to. Besides, the treasure you'll find in your adventure may be better than a pot of gold."
"Really?" Patrick asked. He was doubtful.
"Come down to the workshop and find out for yourself," Whit said.
Excerpted from Challenge on the Hill of Fire by MARIANNE HERING NANCY I. SANDERS Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.