After Chad and Justin unsuccessfully try to rescue Taffy from the the Livingston's the story finally gets back to Andi's point of view. The Gardunos find work on the Lazy L, and just like in the real book, things move along about the same, until after Andi interferes with Felicity, mounts up, and rides away on Taffy. She is brought back and Felicity takes some swipes at her with her whip. Ouch. The chapter ends in the book with Andi feeling trapped in the guest room while she heals, but the lost scene below expands on it. Mr. Livingston hears a new sound and goes out in the hallway to have a little heart-to-heart with his spoiled daughter, Felicity.This scene was cut from the book, but at least Andi is listening at the door, so I guess it's really from her point of view, after all. *whew!*
Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home
Lost Scene #12
A new sound prevented further conversation. Felicity was calling loudly for her father. He turned to leave and encountered his daughter just outside the doorway.
“Well, how is our poor little servant girl, Papa?” Her voice was heavy with contempt. She tried to pass around her father and enter the room, but he blocked her way.
“Felicity, please. Leave her alone.” He sighed and shut the door with a solid click. "I think perhaps you’ve done enough.”
The voices of Felicity and her father dropped to a low murmur as the door closed. Andi slid from the bed and made her way to the door. She pressed her ear firmly against the cool wood, hardly daring to breathe.
“What do you mean I’ve done enough?” Felicity’s voice rose to a shrill whisper. A servant girl steals my horse, I discipline her, and that's the end of it." A pause. "I don’t understand all the fuss."
Randle’s reply came back as a quiet whisper. Andi pressed her ear closer. It was no use. The voices were fading. She reached out carefully and turned the knob. The door slid open an inch and the voices grew easier to hear.
“I know, my dear, but I’m afraid this particular servant girl could cause us some inconvenience."
“How’s that?” Felicity wanted to know.
Andi’s heart leaped at Randle's next words. "Her family is rather important. I've thought about it, and I believe the best solution is to simply give the girl her horse and---"
"No! Absolutely not! That horse is mine!" Felicity's face contorted into and expression that took Andi's breath away.
"Felicity, be sensible. The Carters have been here before."
Andi's heart leaped. My family was here? On this ranch? She couldn't afford to think about that right now. She leaned forward to listen.
"I'm certain I'll be receiving another visit from them soon," Randle went on with a sigh of disgust. "The lawyer said as much when he left."
Justin! Andi managed a small smile. Justin could fix anything.
Mr. Livingston pulled Felicity close. “I know this is a hard thing, my dear, but there are other horses just as beautiful. Ones you can ride without . . .” His voice trailed off.
“Ones I can ride without being thrown? Is that what you’re saying, Papa?” Felicity’s voice rose with each question. “I won’t give up that horse! I won’t! I won’t." She jerked free from her father, shaking in anger and humiliation. “I don’t care what happens to that miserable girl. She can stay in the guest room forever, for all I care. I only know that I want that horse and--"
"Felicity! We can’t keep her here."
"Well, let's think of some way of getting rid of her without---"
"No." He approached his daughter and clutched her shoulders tightly. "I will hear no more of this."
"Papa, you're hurting me." Felicity whimpered. Her eyes filled with tears. "I'm sorry. I won't mention it again. I don’t know what got into me. Forgive me.”
"Of course, sweetheart,” Randle replied. “You’re just overwrought by today’s events. Find yourself a quiet place and read or rest to calm yourself. First thing tomorrow I'll tell the Carter girl you're returning her horse. We'll pack her on the mare's back--hurting or not--and send her on her way. I wash my hands of this whole mess. That will be the end of it. You will get another horse and I'll be rid of the Carters once and for all. Understood?"
"Yes, Papa," Felicity replied meekly. She watched her father descend the stairs, then she flounced her skirt and stomped through the hallway. “It is most definitely not the end of anything, Papa. We’ll see who gets what around here.” A slow smile crept over her lips.
Trembling, Andi shut the door and crept back to bed. Her heart was beating furiously. Felicity's last words frightened her, but the words hadn't scared her as much as the look on the girl's face.
Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home
Lost Scene #13
This scene is the very next chapter, a "meanwhile, back at the ranch" scene. Somebody's got to tell the Carters that Andi's on the Lazy L. In the book, it's Senator Farley, whom Andi met at the dinner party and pretended to be just a servant. That all comes out after Chad finds her and relates how they knew where to go. Not so in this first draft. Nope. Somebody (the Gardunos, who had been fired in the next chapter) send them a telegram. Kinda obvious. I'm glad it was changed. But . . . here you go. A scene, after all, is a scene!
"I'll get it!" Chad yelled when he heard a knock at the door. He fumbled with his bandana and threw open the door.
"For you, Mr. Carter," the messenger boy said. He held out his hand and grinned.
Chad dropped a coin in his hand, closed the door, and door open the envelope.
"Who was at the door?" Elizabeth's voice was a hollow echo of her former self. Chad knew his mother was on the continual edge of worry, wondering where Andi was. He, Justin, and Mitch had been home only for a day or two, to restock supplies and change out their tired horses.
"It's a telegram," Chad mumbled. His eyes scanned the paper. "It's very odd." He handed it to his mother to read:
ANDREA. LAZY L RANCH. STOP.
"That's it?" Elizabeth turned the paper all around. "No name?"
"None that I can see." He glanced up at the ceiling, deep in thought. "We know Taffy is there, but Andi. Livingston said he hadn't seen a girl."
"Perhaps Mr. Livingston found Andrea and sent the telegram."
"He would have signed it, Mother," Chad replied. He took the telegram and tossed it onto the table.
"Will you go there?"
"We'll check it out. It might be the real thing."
"Or it could be another false hope." Elizabeth sighed. She glanced back at the table where a small stack of telegrams lay as mute evidence to the greediness of people. The reward money had enticed more than a few folks to insist they had seen Andrea, and these little side trips to check each one were beginning to wear on everyone.
Chad headed for the kitchen. "I'll tell Justin and Mitch." He turned back to his mother and gave her a tired smile. "Mother, don't worry. We'll find Andi eventually."
"Will we, Chad? Will we really?"
"Of course we will!" Chad insisted, smiling broadly. He reached out and took his mother by the shoulders, trying to lighten her mood. "You're just a worrier, Mother. Andi's a Carter. She'll come out all right. She's probably having a grand time somewhere and---"
Elizabeth shook her head. "You know that's not true, son. She would never stay away like this on purpose. She knows we're worried about her."
"Yes," Chad agreed, suddenly serious. His arms dropped to his sides. "I know." He sighed. "Justin believes Andi's not coming home because she's probably out looking for Taffy."
"I agree," Elizabeth said. "It sounds just like her. She lost her best friend and can't come home without her."
"Why doesn't she let us help her?" Chad asked in a frustrated whisper. "We know right where her horse is. If only she’d come home! We could concentrate on getting Taffy back."
"I think you know the answer to that question already, Chad," Elizabeth replied softly. "How could she come home without the horse you gave her?"
Chad let out a breath. "That's what I was afraid of. I feel lousy enough already."
Elizabeth nodded, then suddenly came to a decision, changing the subject abruptly. She straightened her shoulders and looked at her son with determination in her eyes. "I believe I'll accompany you to the Lazy L ranch."
Chad shook his head. "Oh, Mother. No. It's a long trip for what may turn out to be another false alarm. You're worn out enough with worry. And another thing. What if word comes to the ranch while you're away?"
"Melinda will stay. She can wire us in Livingston Flats if it's important." Elizabeth shook her head. "I can't stand it anymore. I need to come along, just to---well---" She shrugged. "I know it makes no sense, but I really need to do this."
"All right, Mother." Chad gave in with a sigh. "I'll have Diego saddle your horse. We'll leave right away."
Click here for the last 2 Lost Scenes
Click here for the last 2 Lost Scenes