One couples choices lead them to the country, the other to the seashore. In remote mountains on the shore of Woe-Bee-Gone Lake and the water off the Florida west coast, they find adventure and mysteries.
In far reaching series of events, they make new friends, discover new relatives, and gain riches beyond their wildest dreams. Their lives change dramatically as each couple seeks for clues to solve the mysterious tragedy of death, true love, and specters.
Then to be deeply saddened as they face the anguish of two young people of the past. Solving the mysteries takes them into the lore of pirates, buried treasure, death, and life. Will they, in the end find peace on the shore of Woe-Bee-Gone Lake?
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Mystery of WOE-BEE-GONE LAKE
By James Honaker
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 James Honaker
All rights reserved.
Life in the City
Yesterday was my twenty-fourth birthday. It has been one week since I graduated from college. I majored in agriculture, with studies in floriculture.
During those six school years, I took a course in apiculture. The study and care of bees were one of the most satisfying uses of my time.
My goal has been to work in a farm lab in the area of increasing the size of food crops grown in small plots of soil.
One reason for the course in floriculture was to increase the amount of sweet nectar that flowers produce. Perhaps find a way of attracting the insects such as honeybees.
This will assist in the pollination of food crops, other plants, and trees.
My father's hobby was taking care of two beehives. When a teenager I obtained the interest and training that helped me in school. In high school, my science teacher introduced me to the subject of plants.
On two, occasions, my parents enrolled me in summer camp where I studied crop cultivation. One summer I studied floriculture, the beginning of my interest in the production of flowers. Two scholarships were a help in cost. Most of my studying I completed using the local library and my computer.
Exams were at the college campus located in the city almost fifty miles from home. Obtaining a Masters Degree by using this method cost my parents less money than living on campus with all classes and studies being in the classroom. Lodging alone was a considerable saving.
Growing up in a small town has advantages. However, I made the decision to relocate to a metropolitan area after graduation.
One of the largest corporations in the country interviewed me. I now find myself impatiently waiting for the letter of acceptance.
My grade average was excellent, so my confidence was high. I went to the mailbox. The expected letter was not there.
Dad came in from his two beehives with honey. The combination of mom's hot biscuits with fresh butter was delicious.
I had nothing to do; I did the same I have always done in this circumstance, research on my computer.
The world is mine to travel, to learn about the vast differences that are on earth.
There is a fascinating diversity of cultures and governments that I have enjoyed researching. We have availability to obtain information that was limited, not long ago.
Now we can verify; it seems an endless accumulation of thousands of years of knowledge.
The next day I borrowed the car, drove to town, parked between the deli and public library.
The librarian is a friend. We attended high school together. It had been almost three years since we contacted each other.
I entered and took a seat at one of the tables; I noticed there were only five others in the reading area.
An index of the books was on the table. Pulling it toward me I began searching, hoping to find a book on beekeeping that included a section on the cross pollination of plants.
Locating the book, I settled in for a quiet couple of hours. The chapter was captivating. I went to the copy machine, proceeding to copy pages.
Finished, I went back to the table, noticing there were now probably twenty people scattered around the area.
As I reflect back, I focus on the way certain events can shape the future. That day in the library was certainly one of those circumstances.
I now believe it was one of the most fortunate days of my life.
It was close to three o'clock when I glanced at my watch and made the decision to go home. There, I would use the chapter on cross-pollination to help me in more inquiries using my computer.
Absently minded I turned toward the door and bumped into her. To my embarrassment, I had knocked the books the young woman was carrying out of her arms.
Mumbling an apology, I bent down to pick up the books and bumped into her head. Both of us were now saying, "Excuse me.
At the same time, we reached for a book, and my hand closed over hers. She glanced up, and our eyes met. I was motionless my brain frozen, unable to think, unable to speak.
She blushed and I felt my face getting warm. We straightened up. She had the book, and I still held her hand. She smiled and I felt my face getting warm. Her lips were open a little bit. Her
I had to restrain myself to keep from kissing her. Never before had I faced this dilemma. When I was able to speak, my voice stumbled then trailed off without completing whatever it was that I might have spoken.
Finally, it seemed forever before I managed to say, "Hi, my name is Joshua." She glanced down at me still holding her hand and said "Joshua."
Without taking the time to think, I removed the book from her hand, and surprised myself by taking her other hand. There we stood, and she still did not pull away or move her hands from mine.
Oblivious to others in the library I kissed her! Now we were both blushing as the silence in the room ended in cheers and hand clapping.
"Would you, do you want to, to sit down?" I managed to get the words out. Still looking into my eyes, she nodded yes.
We selected chairs at a table and both started talking. "Excuse me." Please, say something, anything." She leaned forward and whispered, "Christy, my name is Christy."
All I could think of was; she is the one.
Do you want to go for a, before I finished the question I heard her say, "Walk" "Yes."
We strolled and talked for over two hours. She was confirmed for a job in the same metro area as me.
Her parents lived in the country outside of a neighboring town. She was making plans to leave the area.
Three weeks from that day, I received confirmation that I was to report for work a week later.
We were married one year later in July.
The honeymoon was a gift from my parents. The island in the Caribbean was incredible, but nothing compared to my beloved Christy.
We are in our early-thirties and have tried the downtown city life.
As the tenth year passed, we reached the point where we did not have the peace we desired.
Happiness with each other was not a problem. It was the traffic, noise and backstabbing in work politics. We agreed that we needed to make a significant change.
One Saturday unusually early, Christy prepared a delicious picnic lunch, and we drove out the expressway to the countryside, about two hundred miles from the apartment we had on the seventh floor of the building.
We were driving on a narrow country road. Christy pointed out a sign that stated, Turn on the dirt road in two miles to inspect estate property for sale. Go ten miles and turn right into the driveway.
We glanced at each other, both nodding, yes, made the turns.
The house, barn, and other out buildings were close to what we had discussed. All the buildings were in excellent condition, except for one. It was almost hidden beyond the trees.
The weathered building was a barn.
Through the trees, we could see a lake with a dock.
We could hear the sound of birds in the distance.
The owner, David Soule, recently a widow, was courteous and willing to answer many questions.
To our immense pleasure, the asking amount was within our financial resources as we had been diligent in saving for the future.
We purchased the house using savings, with closing set for a week later.
We stayed the night in a motel and drove back to the city the next day.
On Monday, we gave resignations. A new life would begin in just two weeks.
We sold stocks and bonds. Christy maintained the funds would provide the items we would need for four years.
Six months later, we hired a company to move the house closer to the lake where it now sits. We added a basement and a stand-alone two-car garage. Of course, we now needed an alternative means of support.
I knew I would put my college and high school studies to advantage in setting up a produce farm, both for our food and sale in the town about twenty miles distance.
Christy, being an expert, in accounting would maintain that part of the business while helping me on the farm.
As the days and weeks passed, we gave considerable thought, lots of discussion, and research that ended with the decision to expand into bee farming.
At this time, working on a farm with a large garden and taking care of the livestock was a pleasure.
Digging up Bones
One-day, months after moving to the farm, I stood looking out the living room window. A swift movement caught my eye as something went across the porch and down the steps at the west side of the yard.
Moving over to the family room, I saw two dogs going across the lawn toward the barn. One looked like a cross between a Saint Bernard and some other breed. The small one was a black cocker spaniel. They walked on out of sight. I continued with my reading.
In the afternoon, I went for a walk near the old barn. I noticed a hole dug close to the barn.
Going closer I could see there, were things of different shapes and sizes in the hole and some sticking up from the bottom. It was too dark to determine what was there. I had no choice but to wait until the next day.
After breakfast, I took a shovel and went to investigate. Imagine my surprise to find bones that appeared to be human. I dug confirming my thinking. At my feet was a human skull!
I called the sheriff and two deputies came out. They looked at the area, made a phone call. In a short time, an investigative team was hard at work. They installed tape around the area, told me not to enter.
They took the bones and other items with them. Several weeks later, we received a request to meet a detective in town.
We answered many questions. We were told they would contact us if they needed additional information. Six months passed with no additional information requested.
Sometimes I wonder what will be the outcome of those two stray dogs, "digging up bones."
In the early spring of our second year on the farm, I noticed an advertisement, listing a mule for sale.
We drove to the farm about fifty miles northeast of our farm. The elder farmer invited us to the stable yard and pointed at the mule.
"A mule is a standalone creature." He said.
"I tell you they can be the most hardheaded animal you will ever encounter. Giving this one some credit, he is a hard worker when he wants to be."
Grabbing an ear of dried corn from the crib, he handed it to Christy.
She asked, "Will he bite?"
The reply was, "Best be careful. You never know. He is a mule."
I was amazed at what that mule did. He came over to the fence flipping his ears around. He gently reached for the corn nibbled a little bit at a time. What did he do next? He calmly allowed Christy to scratch around his ears.
The farmer delivered the mule to our farm in two days. Every time Christy went into the field, the mule would run to her.
Humor me as I tell you of an occurrence that solved one of the mysteries of Woe-Bee-Gone Lake.
A fast moving storm was blowing across the valley.
Christy nudged me and said, "Do you see what I see?" Peering into the dusk, I tried to see what it was.
"It is so beautiful." She said. "Don't you see it?" She asked. "The rainbow; it is so beautiful!"
Ah yes, through the trees, near the lake, there it was a beautiful rainbow. One end was about fifty feet off shore.
While viewing the beauty of forest, water and rainbow I was thinking about the name of the lake.
Woe-Bee-Gone Lake and a rainbow are a contrast of sadness and beauty, not a good match; I thought silently.
Then I remember an old timer's story about buried treasure in the lake. What if there is treasure buried at the end of the rainbow?
Oh, forget it, no such thing. I could not put the thought out of my mind.
I walked down to the lakeshore. Perhaps tomorrow, I would take my boat out and do a little snorkeling. The next day, the rainbow, was still on my mind. I just could not get rid of the thought of "gold at the end of the rainbow."
There is no such thing. Of course, there is not. I had to do it.
I rowed out to the place where the end of the rainbow ended in the water. I peered down all I could see was mud. There was a turtle buried in it. Just then, he moved and to my surprise, I saw something different.
Um, I thought, have to check that out. So taking a deep breath, I swam to the bottom of the lake. There sure was something there. I took hold of it and gave a hard pull, whatever it was the mud was too deep for me to pull out.
I rowed to shore to go to the barn and get a rope that I tied through what appeared to be a hook. I still did not have the strength to get that thing out of the mud.
I will get the mule. That is what I will do. I was talking to myself. After attaching the rope to the single tree on the harness, I put it on Friendly, the mule, I told him to pull. He looked back at me and obeyed.
The object pulled to shore was an old pot bellied stove painted gold. Oh, well, it is not gold, but there was "Gold at the end of the rainbow.
The Beast of Woe-Bee-Gone Lake
We have new neighbors on the south side of the lake. The couple's names are Billy and Joyce Will. We met them at our produce stand at the farmers market in town. They were friendly. There is a small island, almost in the middle of the lake, I recalled the time when my neighbor on the south shore, Billy Will, and I encountered the terrible "Beast of Woe-Bee-Gone Lake."
That encounter solved a mystery that has been circulated in the farming community. Of course, I did not believe them. Ha! It was just another old timer's fable. Life was peaceful. There were no disturbances.
John Dowdy, my neighbor on the east side of the lake, stopped by to tell us that he had been walking along the lake about dusk and saw something that was strange.
He was unable to explain what, just to say, it was "Strange" We shrugged it off and thought no more about it.
On a Friday evening, my wife Christy said to me "Joshua would you like some fresh fish caught out of the lake for supper tomorrow night?" Of course, this indicated that I needed to catch some fish for the next day supper.
I pushed the rowboat away from the dock out on the lake for several hundred feet. Baiting the hook, I took a sip of soda pop and leaned back, might as well relax.
As it was getting dark, I noticed a thing floating on the water. It was far enough away I could not identify it. Whatever it was, I could see that if the fog got any thicker it would disappear.
The time past and I caught some large bass fish. Supper the next day would be enjoyable.
Deciding to row back to shore I picked up the oars and all at once I felt uncomfortable. Turning around I saw it! A grotesque thing was attempting to get into the boat. It backed away I quickly rowed to shore.
Never before had I rowed the way I rowed that night! I was so scared! The next day I called my neighbor, Billy Will, and ask him to meet me at the lake, telling him what happened last night.
We were thinking that whatever I had seen last night might be on that island. This time we took my small motor boat in case we needed to make a quick getaway.
Arriving at the island, we went on shore and walked all the way around it. We searched the interior of the island, found all appeared to be normal. My neighbor looked at me and shook his head silently.
Nothing was seen again for weeks. When I was taking a walk, not long before dawn, I saw the beast coming up on the dock.
I ran and got my shotgun. I attached a flashlight to the barrel. This time I was in charge. Slipping quietly to the dock through the bushes I leveled the shotgun and turned on the flashlight.
In the foggy mist of early dawn, the thing looked as if it had limbs jutting out from an odd shaped body.
I pulled the trigger. The thing rocked in the water and started away from the dock. I ran down there and just then, the fog cleared, and I could see where I had put all that buckshot.
As I watched it slowly sank into the water, disappearing and then about twenty feet out it slowly rose back up out of the water. Our monster was a stump!
The Black Rose
I had some free time I decided to relax and enjoy the day. Dawn arrived with the sun shining on scattered clouds. For a while, I stood on the dock admiring the beauty overhead, I glanced out over the lake in front of the house.
The clouds, the streaks of red, and the blue sky reflected in the water. No ripple broke the surface, no leaping fish to spread rings to the lakeshore.
With no goal in mind, I decided to go for a walk around the lake. As I strolled on the path I thought, Woe-Bee-Gone such a strange name for a beautiful lake.
I glanced up to see the clouds dispersing. All the red sky was gone. The day would be one to remember.
This spring was proving to be one with more rain than usual. The lake was nearly a foot higher than it had been in the winter. There had been several snowstorms. They provided a source of water for the lake as the snow melted.
After walking slowly for over an hour, I was extremely impressed with the scenery as I stood looking over the lake at the widest section. No words came to mind that could adequately describe the beauty of the panorama that stretched out from me across the horizon.
Excerpted from Mystery of WOE-BEE-GONE LAKE by James Honaker. Copyright © 2013 James Honaker. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
About the Book.................... ix
Author Biographical Sketch.................... xi
Chapter 1.................... 1
Chapter 2.................... 7
Chapter 3.................... 18
Chapter 4.................... 22
Chapter 5.................... 29
Chapter 6.................... 38
Chapter 7.................... 44
Chapter 8.................... 52
Chapter 9.................... 71
Chapter 10.................... 80
Chapter 11.................... 93
Chapter 12.................... 100
Chapter 13.................... 113
Chapter 14.................... 127
Chapter 15.................... 137
Chapter 16.................... 150
Chapter 17.................... 156
Chapter 18.................... 166
Chapter 19.................... 181
Chapter 20.................... 189
Chapter 21.................... 193
Chapter 22.................... 197
Chapter 23.................... 203