Are you looking for a new book to read for free? Today’s Sunday Snippet is from the Children’s Chapter Book The Heath Cousins and the Kingsgate Bridge by Eileen Hobbs. The Heath Cousins and the Kingsgate Bridge by Eileen Hobbs was published in 2018 by Palmetto Publishers and is currently available as a paperback with ISBN 978-1-64111-250-5 and Amazon Kindle ebook with ASIN: B07PJ1RWXQ.
Synopsis of The Heath Cousins and the Kingsgate Bridge by Eileen Hobbs
The Heath Cousins and the Moonstone Cave introduced readers to Addie B. and her cousins, Jack, Bodie and Beanie when the kids traveled to the otherworldly Garden of Choice and encountered new friends and adventures.
In Book 2, The heath Cousins and the Kingsgate Bridge, Addie B. and her cousins must return to the Garden of Choice – this time to help their friend Gemma. Gemma is the kind woman from the Garden of Choice who reminds all the cousins of their Grandma Winnie who recently passed away. Addie B. and her cousins return to the Garden of Choice through the Kingsgate Bridge and, along with help from friends, must face the evil wolf Daiyu and help save Gemma.
Name of chapter snippet is from: Chapter 4 – The Treasure Chest
At first they could see nothing because of the blackness. Addie turned to Bodie.
“Quick Bodie! The marble!” she urged.
But Bodie was ahead of her. “I’m already on it!” he said, holding up his marble that he had been given from their visit to Moonstone Cave. As before, the marble glowed like a flashlight, illuminating the small room around them. It was a very small cave, with rounded stone walls. Jack’s head almost touched the ceiling. The room was empty except for a wooden treasure chest in the center.
“Maybe there’s gold in there!” Beanie said excitedly, leaning down next to the chest. He started to open it but Addie cautioned him.
“Wait Beanie!” Addie said. “Remember the sword?”
Beanie nodded, thinking of the sword that burned his hand from their previous adventure.
“I’ll do it,” Jack said, kneeling down in front of the chest. If anyone would get hurt, it would be him. He was the Protector after all.
Slowly, he grasped the latch on the chest and lifted the lid. There was definitely no gold. Bodie held his glowing marble over the trunk to reveal its contents.
Addie reached in and lifted out a red velvet floor length cloak with a fur lined hood. It looked to be her size.
“I already have a coat,” Addie said. “Am I supposed to wear this?’” Her cousins only shrugged. The next item was an axe in a leather sleeve.
“Darn!” Jack said. “I was hoping for my sword back.” Addie handed him the axe. She knew it wouldn’t be safe for Bodie or Beanie to carry no matter how much they wanted to. She reached deep down inside the chest to see what else was in it. Her hand touched a small smooth pouch with a draw string closing. She lifted it out.
“What is it?” Bodie asked curiously. Addie opened it and peered inside.
“It looks like…some seeds.” She poured some out in the palm of her hand.
“That’s weird,” Beanie said. “What is that for?’
Of course, none of them knew the answer. It was all a big mystery.
“Can I keep it?” Bodie asked. Addie handed Bodie the small pouch. It seemed harmless enough.
“Anything else in there?” Jack asked.
Addie leaned back over the chest again. The next item she brought out was a magnifying glass. The handle was gold and had a snake carved around it.
“Cool!” Beanie said. “Can I have that?”
Addie shrugged and handed it to Beanie.
Addie leaned over the chest again, rubbing her hand across the rough wooden bottom. “I think that’s it…” she started to say, and then exclaimed. “Wait. There’s a piece of paper! And something shiny next to it…”
Addie pulled out a crinkled paper that looked yellowed and worn. Along with it was a beautiful gold necklace with a bright turquoise stone. Addie’s hands began to shake as she examined the necklace.
“It’s Gemma’s!” she whispered.
“How do you know,” Jack asked.
“I remember her wearing it! When we first met her in the garden. But it wasn’t around her neck. It was around her forehead, like a crown.”
She turned to look at her cousins. Their pale faces shone like ghosts in the light of Bodie’s marble. “This is not a good sign,” Addie said. “She must be in real danger.”
“Read what’s on the paper!” Jack urged.
There was a dark ink script on it. It was covered in smudges as if the author had shed a tear while writing it.
“What does it say?” all her cousins asked at once. The writing was in Latin but none of them had been surprised. All their previous instructions had been in the same language and only Addie, with the help of her Moonstone ring, could read it. Her ring began to glow as she started to decipher the writing. But before she did, she skipped to the bottom of the page to see who the author was. There, a hurried signature read:
“It’s from Gemma!” Addie exclaimed. “Hang on!”
She began to read the letter, slowly at first, as the Latin words changed into English before her very eyes.
“Dear Wanderers” she read.
I write this letter in great haste!”
“What’s haste?” Bodie asked. Beanie punched him lightly in the arm.
“It means in a hurry, silly” he said.
“I didn’t know!” Bodie fired back, frowning at his older brother.
“Stop it!” Jack said. “There’s no time for fighting. Go ahead Addie.”
Addie continued. “As I write, my Garden is being destroyed. Jumani has been taken from my side and I know now I am next. Remember these words, Wanderers.
The jewel of the garden is gone.
To find her, remember this song.
What seems to be right may be wrong.
The jewel may appear
But test that she’s real
One stone is pearl white,
The other like night.
Ignore the one who sings
But Follow the sapphire wings
Where once the secret treasure lay
This is where you’ll find the way.
Now hurry to the garden door
Or Wanderers will be no more.
Addie looked up at her cousins. They were all silent for a moment, taking in Gemma’s words of warning.
“What does all that mean?” Bodie asked finally.
“I’m not sure,” Addie said. “But I think we need to find out.”
“There’s no door,” Beanie said, looking around the small enclosure. “How do we get to the garden from here?”
A rumbling noise startled all of them. It seemed to be coming from the stone walls of the cave. The dirt floor under them began to shake.
“It’s an earthquake!” Beanie exclaimed.
“Look!” Jack said. “The walls are moving toward us!”
He was right. The room was getting smaller and smaller as they watched. It wouldn’t be long before the walls would close in around them and crush them!
“What do we do Addie?” Bodie asked. His voice trembled. Addie knew he was fighting back tears. Her heart was also pounding. She looked at Gemma’s letter again, searching for clues to a way to escape the suffocating walls.
“Addie!” Jack said, trying to control his fear as well. “I can touch both sides of the cave! What should we do?”
Addie looked up and saw that Jack’s long arms were outstretched and his palms were flat against both sides of the wall. The door where they had entered the small room had disappeared.
“Where once the secret treasure lay…” Addie read again. “The treasure!” She repeated. “I think she means the treasure chest.”
She leaned over the treasure chest once again and felt the bottom of it. Her hands touched a metal handle that had not been there before. She pulled on it but it did not budge
“Jack!” she yelled. “See if you can pull this up.” The sound of the moving rock walls was getting closer and closer.
Jack reached passed her and tugged on the metal ring. It began to lift up slowly.
“Bodie! Let me see your marble!”
Bodie shown his light over Jack’s shoulder.
“There are stairs!” Jack yelled. “Quick! Get in!”
He helped Bodie into the chest first. “Go on down the stairs Bodie. We’re right behind you!”
Beanie descended next. Addie quickly stuffed the cloak, Gemma’s letter and amulet into the backpack and followed Beanie down the shaky wooden steps. She looked back to make sure Jack was behind her. He had taken his first steps down the stairs when they heard a loud crunching noise. The walls closed in on the treasure chest above them and it began to splinter into pieces. Jack quickly closed the trap door just as the chest disintegrated above them.
They stood in silence at the bottom of the stairs, breathing hard. Their faces glowed pale white in the light of Bodie’s marble. They looked around to see where they were. It was another small cavern. In front of them was another door, arched at the top and made of iron..
“Let’s get out of here!” Jack said. Beanie took out his key and inserted it in the rusty metal lock. It turned and they pushed it open. Bright sunlight greeted them and they hurried out, anxious to be out of the dark cave with the deathly walls.
“We’re back!” Bodie yelled with excitement. “We’re back in the garden!!”
Bodie was right. All around them, the familiar walls of a garden rose up around them. They had returned to the garden where they had first met Gemma and Jumani last summer. They were back!
Their joy and excitement quickly turned to dismay, however. While the sun shone brightly and it was very warm, everything looked different. Where once luscious pink, purple and white flowers bloomed and emerald colored ivy trailed over the stone walls, there was only brown, dried leaves and dead stalks. Some of the plants even looked as if a fire had swept through, leaving black, ugly sticks in their place. There were no flowers, no heavenly scents of honeysuckle like before. There was no life at all.
“Oh no!” Addie whispered. “What happened?”
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