The next day was another beautiful spring day. Andi hurriedly dressed and rushed down the stairs, anxious to hear what her brothers had planned for Hugh after church. As she got to the bottom of the stairs, the breakfast bell rang. She entered the dining room and took her seat. Looking around the table, her mouth watered. Eggs, bacon, flapjacks and orange Juice. One of her favorite breakfasts.
As she started eating, Justin turned to her. “So, do you want to hear what we came up with last night?”
“Well, we decided to have you and Mitch go along like he wanted. It was hard coming up with something because the south-east pasture has no trees and is one of the only places on the ranch that has completely flat allowing someone to see for miles around.“
“So, What did you decide?” asked Andi impatiently.
“Well, we are going to surround the pasture but be far enough away to be out of sight. Anything that happens will be visible to Mitch, the ranch hands, and me. Chad and I will stay within shooting range so, if he does anything desperate, you and Mitch won't be on your own. Mitch will wear his gun in his holster, as usual but he will also wear one inside his shirt that no one will be able to see.”
“That sounds like it will work. I'm going to be so nervous until all this is over.”
Mitch nodded. “Same here. But, It's time to go to church so we'd better all get into the buggy.”
As Andi left the dining room, Mother pulled her aside and gave her a hug. “I don't like this at all, Andrea . I wish there was another way. I'll be praying for you this afternoon.”
Andi returned her mother's hug. “Thanks, Mother. I'm really nervous about this whole thing as well.”
As Andi and her family entered the church, Andi noticed that Dick, Chad's new ranch hand, was there as well as a girl her age. She also noticed that Johnny was back. When church was finished, Andi hurried over to were Dick and his sister, Gail, were seated.
Dick looked up as she walked over and grinned. “Hey, Andi . It's good to see you. Again. Let me introduce you to my sister, Gail. Gail, this is Andi .”
“It's good to meet you!” Andi exclaimed. “It'll be so fun to have someone close to my age around.”
Gail smiled shyly. “Hi, Andi . It's great to meet you. Dick says you remind him of me.”
“That's right. Andi and my little Abby Grace will at along well.” Dick smiled.
Gail rolled her eyes. “He insists on calling me that because he knows I hate it. My full name is Abigail Grace but it's too fancy for me.”
Andi laughed. 'My full name is Andrea, but it's too fancy for me too!”
Just then Johnny walked up. “Hey, Andi. It's good to see you again.”
Andi regarded him with a stony stare. “It's nice to see you back. How was Military school ?”
“Not too great. It was alright. Well, I'll see you later today. Bye, Gail Bye, Dick.”
Andi stared after him, then turned to Dick and Gail. “ How do you know Johnny?”
“He's been my only friend since we came to Fresno. And he’s been a lot of help to Dick,” Gail explained.
“What? Johnny?” You must be mistaken. Johnny is a horrible bully!”
Gail looked startled. “No, he's not. He's one of the kindest boys I know. And he's going to help us move later today.”
Just then Chad walked up. “It's time to go, Andi. Dick and Gail will come to the ranch later on. Dick is going to help us later on.”
Andi nodded. “Bye Gail and Dick, See you later.”
When they got back to the ranch, they had a hurried lunch, then Andi and Mitch went out to saddle the horses and get ready. Chad, Justin and the ranch hands had already surrounded the pasture.
Gail and Dick had already arrived. Sure enough, Johnny had been there helping them move and he was able to talk his way into going with Dick to surround the pasture.
Andi muttered. “I can't believe Chad let him come along. I would never trust him with my life. He's probably working with Hugh. I don't believe Johnny can change as much as he has.”
Just then, Mitch walked into the barn. “Well, everything's ready Andi. Let's go.”