How many more are there, you might ask? These are the last two. This first scene is between Felicity and her father (for those of you who like to gain insight into minor characters, you've been given a great chance with Felicity.) And after seeing her again after all these years, I just feel a sequel story might be simmering . . . somewhere in a back corner of my brain. At any rate, Felicity has just had Andi grabbed and has stashed her in the shack until she signs Taffy over.
Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home
Lost Scene #14
Randle sighed in frustration. "So, Felicity. Where is she?"
"Where is who, Papa?" Felicity stood quietly in front of the fireplace.
"The Carter girl. You know good and well to whom I'm referring." He scratched his head. "I'm on my way out the door to send a telegram to her family, when Mrs. Nelson tells me the girl's disappeared."
"That's very strange, Papa," Felicity murmured. She shrugged. "I guess she didn't want to stay here any longer. So there's no reason to send a telegram, right?"
"I'll repeat my question. Where is she?"
"How would I know?"
"Somehow, I think you do." He paused. "Let me ask you something. Would the girl leave without her horse?"
Felicity waved the question away and took two steps toward the hallway. Randle reached out and grasped her arm. "I'll answer for you. I checked the barn. The palomino is still there. I doubt she would have left without---"
"Oh, Papa. Who knows what goes on in the mind of a child?"
"Felicity, if you've had anything to do with this, I'll . . ." He tightened his grip on her arm, and Felicity's eyes filled with tears.
"Papa, you're hurting me. How can you accuse me of such a thing!"
"I'm accusing you of nothing, dear," Randle replied, melting at the sight of his daughter's tears. He released her and gathered the tearful girl in his arms. "I'm sorry. I simply cannot think of any reason the girl would leave, especially without her horse."
"I didn't have anything to do with it," Felicity insisted in a tiny voice.
Randle sighed his frustration and patted Felicity gently on her back. "I hope for once you're telling the truth, daughter. If anything's happened to that girl, and the Carters find out she was on this ranch, I will have trouble on my hands. They're a rich and powerful family. They could make my life very unpleasant if they choose to."
"Yes, Papa," Felicity murmured. She allowed him to hold her as she gazed off into space, smiling slightly. She didn't care if her father was worried about that miserable girl. She was totally obsessed with that golden palomino, and nothing was going to stand in her way of keeping it.
Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home
Lost Scene #15
This is the very next scene after the one above. The Carters arrive on the Lazy L ranch.
"This is it," Chad announced. It was as quiet as it had been the first time he and his brothers had visited, nearly two weeks ago.
Elizabeth nodded wearily and continued riding up the driveway.They tied their horses to the elaborate hitching post, and Justin knocked on the door.
Mrs. Nelson opened it. "Yes?"
"We would like to see Mr. Livingston," Justin requested. "My name is Justin Carter."
Mrs. Nelson started and her gaze became alert as she gazed over the four travelers. "Come in, please."
"I will get Mr. Livingston for you." Mrs. Nelson left the parlor. The Carters stood around without saying a word.
Randle Livingston appeared. His face wore a nervous and suspicious look. "Mr. Carter," he said, "I told you the horse is not for sale. I don’t understand why you've returned."
"Mr. Livingston," Justin replied. "We are not here about the horse. We're here in response to a telegram we received two days ago." He held it out.
Randle took the paper and scanned it.
"The wire indicates rather plainly that my sister is here. Did you send this?"
"Certainly not!" Randle returned the telegram. "I have no idea where that telegram came from. There is no girl here except my daughter, Felicity."
"But the telegram says---" Elizabeth began desperately, taking a step toward the man.
"Mrs. Carter," Livingston interrupted, "It appears someone is playing a very poor joke on you---using the name of my ranch in the process. If it is someone in my employ, I will find out and have whoever it is punished. I'm sorry. I'm a very busy man, so if you'll excuse me . . ." He opened the door and ushered them out.
“Another false trail,” Elizabeth whispered. She covered her face with her hands and began to weep softly. Mitch took her aside and tried to comfort her the best he could while Chad and Justin remained on the porch and looked at each other.
Chad crossed his arms. "I find this very curious.""Yes, isn't it?" Justin agreed, taking a step into the yard. "Mr. Livingston seemed almost nervous about something."
"He sure did.” Chad left the porch and followed his brother to where Mitch and his mother stood under a huge shade tree.
“So, what do we do now?” Mitch wanted to know.
Before anyone could make a suggestion, they noticed the housekeeper approaching from the back of the ranch house.
"Mrs. Carter." Mrs. Nelson motioned them over.
"Yes, what is it?" Elizabeth asked, wiping her eyes.
The woman put a finger to her lips and led them away from the house and around to the back of the smokehouse, out of sight from the main house. Then she turned and regarded Elizabeth with sympathy. "Allow me to apologize for Mr. Livingston's poor manners. I do not know why he is acting in such a manner, but Felicity's obsession with your daughter's horse may have something to do with it."
"Andrea's horse is here?" Elizabeth asked.
"Oh, yes. But your sons confirmed that fact not too long ago, correct?"
Mitch nodded. "But we'd much rather hear news about Andi."
"Of course. Forgive me." Mrs. Nelson shook her head. "Little Andrea appeared four or five days ago in the company of the Garduño family---poor migrants from Mexico, new to this country, and looking for work. Apparently, for reasons I only found out recently, your daughter was staying with them, posing as one of their own." She smiled. "But I could tell she was no servant girl."
She took a deep breath and continued. "I sent most of the family to the foreman for work, but Andrea was employed as Felicity's house-girl, errand-runner, and whatever else she could think of to run that poor girl into the ground. It wasn't until a few days ago I found out who the girl really is and why she was with the Garduño family. The husband had found a poster in town, and I believe it is he who sent you the telegram."
Juana shook her head. “When Andrea discovered her horse was here---on this ranch---she confronted Felicity, and there was a terrible argument."
"I can imagine," Chad piped up, thinking how Andi would react if she saw anyone striking Taffy.
"Yes," Mrs. Nelson agreed. "But it did not end so well. The same little riding whip Felicity used on the horse was used on Andrea until Mr. Livingston intervened."
"Not to worry, Mrs. Carter. Your daughter has courage, I'll grant her that. I've never seen anyone stand up to Miss Felicity before, and it may be that some good has come from it." She smiled. "I’m afraid Mr. Felicity has always been blind to his daughter’s faults. She is a strong-willed and high-strung girl, used to getting her own way. But I believe this incident has cut through his indifference to Felicity’s actions. His eyes have been opened. He seemed genuinely concerned for Andrea."
The housekeeper threw up her hands. "Then . . . poof! Two days ago Andrea disappeared. It looked as though she had run off. I would have been relieved and happy to see her safely gone, but . . ." She looked afraid. "The horse is still in the barn. And I, for one, know that she would never leave without her horse. She has endured much for her animal friend, I fear."
"Too much," Chad muttered sadly.
"Yes. The Garduño woman told me why she was with them rather than allowing them to take her home as they wished. They had no desire to keep a young American girl with them, but Andrea would not tell them her name nor where she lived. She insisted she must find her horse first."
"Stubborn little Carter," Mitch commented.
"Perhaps," Juana agreed, "But Nila told me Andrea would not go home without her horse because of the sadness it would cause her brother, because of her own foolishness in losing it in the first place." She smiled slightly. "She must love you all very much, don't you think?"
"Yeah," Chad muttered.
"And we love her," Justin broke in. He laid a gentle hand on Mrs. Nelson's shoulder. "You don't believe Andi left on her own, do you?"
"No, I do not. I think Felicity had something to do with it. That girl has become unhinged in her mind the past week. She wants only one thing---that horse. And . . ." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "I see Felicity riding out in a certain direction at least twice a day. Occasionally, a couple of the ranch hands are with her."
"Which ranch hands?" Chad asked, eyes blazing.
"Both greedy and lazy men," Juana replied with a disgusted look. "Why Mr. Livingston hasn't fired them by now is beyond me. Their names are Pat and Abel. They hang around together and are easy to bribe. They might know something."
"Do you think Livingston knows what's become of Andi?" Justin asked.
Mrs. Nelson shook her head. "I do not think he knows. He suspects, yes, but prefers to let things go. His daughter can be quite a handful, and he spoils her shamefully."
"Where are these two ranch hands now?" Chad asked.
"Probably doing the laziest jobs on the ranch---unless Felicity has them on one of her own pet projects."
It was time to go. Elizabeth smiled warmly at the woman and reached out to grasp her hands in gratitude. "Thank you so much for your help. You can't know what the last few weeks have been like for our family."
"I hope you find her," Mrs. Nelson replied simply. She turned and hurried back into the house.
The Carters mounted their horses and looked at each other. "Well, we've got our work cut out for us," Mitch said. "We've got to track down a couple of no-account cowboys and drag from them anything that might lead us to Andi."
Chad grinned. "It'll be a pleasure."And this last scene is a "mini" lost scene. While Andi finally escapes the shack and is wandering down the road, Chad is up to his own devices.
* * *
Chad Carter was not happy. He had found one of the men who had assisted the Livingston girl in kidnapping his sister and had effectively "convinced" him to tell him where she was. His knuckles still stung from the encounter.
It was with much fear and worry that he found the little shed, kicked open the door, and found . . . nothing. In haste he remounted his horse and rode off in the general direction of town. If his sister was not in the shed, she must be somewhere in the area, he reasoned to himself.
It didn't take Chad long to reach the road. He rode down it at a full gallop, anxiously looking for some sign that Andi had passed by. He slowed down and shaded his eyes as he spotted a small figure running towards him, then pulled his horse up sharply as a girl placed herself right in the animal's path.
* * *
And there you have it. THE END. The rest of the story is from Andi's point of view. I hope you enjoyed this trip down the "lost scenes" path. Perhaps these scenes have given you insight into the minor characters and spur you to new stories. I hope it was fun. I had fun rereading scenes I haven't read in YEARS.
But honestly, I do like the stories to be from Andi's point of view, unless it is absolutely necessary to change to another person's. I did switch things originally in the new book, Thick as Thieves, to Macy's point of view for one chapter. Guess what? When I edited it, I changed it all around so everything stayed with Andi's POV. Hey! That will be a "lost scene" after Thick as Thieves comes out. *rubbing hands together in glee*