All through the day with Justin, Andi worried about what to do.
Justin noticed the difference and hurried through his business in town so they could get back to the ranch. After they had brushed down the horses and put the tack away, Justin turned to Andi “Okay. I know something’s wrong. WHAT IS IT?”
Andi fidgeted with her braids. “It's nothing, Justin. I'm fine.” Well not exactly lying, Andi thought. I haven't been hurt and I AM still fine.
“Andi, honey, I want to help you but I can' do anything if you don't tell me what's wrong.”
Andi sighed. Justin knew all the tricks of getting people to talk but they wouldn't work with her. “I'm fine. Just tired and I don't feel well. I'm going inside.” She brushed past him and walked toward the house.
Justin sighed, closed the barn door, and followed her into the house.
As she entered the ranch, Andi walked up to her room and sat on her bed. The day had looked so beautiful a few hours ago. Now, Andi didn't even see the beauty. What would keep Mitch home tomorrow? Andi wondered.
Everything she thought of was unsatisfactory. Hugh would know she played a role in keeping him away. Andi shuddered at the thought of what he might do to her if Mitch and herself didn't show up the following day. As she walked out of her room and down the stairs. Andi overheard the conversation in the parlor.
“I don't know what's wrong with her and she won't talk to me.” Justin sounded exasperated.
“She was fine with me earlier today. But, come to think of it, she did think she saw Hugh and that seemed to get her down.” Mitch said.
“I bet Hugh blackmailed Andi into promising not to tell us something. This is exactly how she acted when Taffy got taken two years back,” Chad said his voice full of disgust. “I just don't get how everything that happens has to happen to Andi .”
Andi walked into the parlor. Justin, Chad and Mitch sat there, talking. “I heard what you were discussing. I guess I really should tell you even though he told me not to.” Starting at the beginning, Andi told them everything that had happened since Mitch left her in the barn.
Chad's face clouded over and Andi knew he was getting angry. “How dare he lay a hand on you!” he exclaimed. “Let me see your arm, Andi .”
“No, It'll be fine.”
“Andi , let Chad see your arm.” Justin said in a quiet voice.
Andi lifted her sleeve up and held out her arm. “Just please be careful.” She winced as he touched it. “It hurts a lot.”
Chad's face turned livid as he inspected her arm. “How dare any man do this to my sister!” he exclaimed. “Well, by the time I'm through with him he'll wish he never saw Andi !”
“No, Chad. You can't let him know I told you or he'll do something dreadful to me,” Andi whispered.
“So, he threatened you also?” asked Mitch.
“We need to come up with a plan.” said Justin. “Something where nobody will get hurt, but where we are able to catch Hugh unarmed. Or, at the very least, be able to disarm him.”
At the supper table they talked about it with Mother. They still hadn't reached a decision when it was time for Andi to go to bed. "We'll tell you what we've decided in the morning." Mitch told her. "Oh, and by the way, we hired Dick as a ranch hand. He has a sister your age. You'll be able to meet her at church tomorrow."
Andi grinned. "That sounds fun! Goodnight."
As Andi climbed in bed, she thought What will tomorrow hold?