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The Cryptic Discovery Tree Root Cavern PLR Ebook

The Cryptic Discovery Tree Root Cavern PLR Ebook
License Type: Private Label Rights
File Type: ZIP
SKU: 65562
Shipping: Online Download
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“That’s it!” Mr. Smith boomed, his throaty Middle Eastern accent echoing heavy throughout the small jalopy as it skidded to a halt. A look of grim satisfaction crossed his tawny, leathered face as he compared a worn-out picture to the scene outside. “After thirty long years,” he trumpeted, “I finally found it!” He planted a big fat kiss upon the photo.

“Let me see, Boss,” Bubba said, leaning over from the passenger seat, his rotund belly pressing firmly into his boss’s rib cage.

“Ugh!” Mr. Smith groaned, plowing his pointy elbow into his hefty henchman. “Get off me, you big oaf!”

Just then, from behind, a horn blasted and a delivery truck swerved, just missing the back left corner of the clunker’s bumper. The trucker shook his fist, screaming, “You idiot! Get that rust bucket off the road!”

“Well, don’t just sit there,” Mr. Smith barked, after maneuvering his mechanical menace onto the soft dirt shoulder. “Give me those binoculars and help me out of this thing!”

Ignoring his overbearing employer, Bubba shoved his shoulder against the sticking passenger door, forcing it open, and stepped out into the arid San Joaquin valley air. A blistering wave of heat and dry, dirty air blew harshly into him.

Breathing hard, he pushed forward into what felt like a blast furnace.

Perturbed at Bubba’s disrespect for his authority, Mr. Smith angrily snatched his walking stick from the back seat and thrust his own door open, all the while muttering disapprovingly under his breath. Then, grimacing from the pain in his bad hip, he struggled his way out and stood beside the car, coughing and hacking from the plumes of dust wafting past his face. Spitting dryly, he cursed the heat and aridity of this infernal place.

Peering over the top of the car, Bubba’s large frame cast a shadow on a California King snake as it slithered underneath their automobile. Across the street, a barbed wired fence marked and outlined a large country property. Beyond the fence and across a dry meadow, a blunt terrace called God’s Thumb jutted out from the bottom of a hillside. Upon the terrace sat a house and other structures. Visible above and beyond the roof of the house was the landmark that initially caught Mr. Smith’s attention: an African Baobab tree; a tall, foreign, strange looking, largediameter tree with leafless branches that protruded from its top only, appearing more like roots than the crown of a tree.

“Hey, Boss,” Bubba said. “Now that you found the place, are you going to fill me in on what we’re looking for?”

“No!” Mr. Smith barked. “Your job is to be my muscle. That’s all you need to know.”

“Well,” Bubba pressed, “thirty years is a long time. How can you be sure the item is still there?”

Through dark sunglasses Mr. Smith silently surveyed the property as best he could from this distance. “It doesn’t matter,” he replied in a thoughtful manner.

“That house,” he said, using his walking stick to point toward God’s Thumb, “was its last known location. So that is where we’ll begin our search.”

At that very moment, about a quarter mile down the road, two occupants in a royal blue SUV also had a reason for going to God’s thumb, and were on their way there now.

I don’t rightly know what she expects me to do for them, twelve-year-old Ryan pondered sulkily as he stared out the window while fidgeting anxiously in the passenger seat. Their family died; they’re supposed to be bummed out.

The sound of their car passing the seemingly endless rows of grape vines reminded Ryan of the sound playing cards make when slapping against bicycle spokes.

Ryan removed his cowboy hat and let his head drop back against the seat. Why do I have to be the one to pull them out of their slump? I should be riding horses and exploring the mountains behind Granny’s ranch right now.

Driving the car, sitting smartly dressed and characterized by her purposeful mannerisms, was Mary Whitmore, owner and C.E.O. of Over the Top Sporting Goods, a chain of stores spanning thirteen states. To Ryan however, she was just good ol’ Granny.

Ryan looked over. “Gran’,” he said. “Why can’t they get someone else play nursemaid to those youngins? I came out here to spend the summer with you.”

Granny kept her eyes on the road. “They don’t need a babysitter, Ryan.

They need a friend. And Lisa has already tried to motivate them,” she replied. “But Lisa doesn’t have your energy and charisma,” she added, with a flattering smile.

“But Gran, I don’t . . .”

“I need you to do me this favor, Ryan,” Granny interjected sternly. “It’s just for a few weeks.” She patted his knee. “Besides, I have a lot of work to do right now with the ranch, and the store, and I’m afraid I wouldn’t be much of a host at the moment, anyway.”

Pondering his predicament, Ryan gazed down absently at the prize belt buckle he won back home in Texas in this year’s junior rodeo. Finally, with as much feigned concern as he could muster, he looked up and said, “Gran, I really think I should stick around! You know you are . . .”

“I know, I know, older than a redwood!” she said with a laugh.

“Well—you are, and I think you need me around the ranch to help out,” he asserted.

As Ryan tried his darnedest to change Granny’s mind, their SUV approached a black sedan parked on the shoulder of the road. Ryan noticed two suspiciouslooking men standing by the clunker and staring out across a dry meadow, toward an oblong outcropping at the bottom of the hillside. The lanky foreigner leaned on a walking stick and Ryan noticed a scar on the man’s cheek as they drove past.

Noticing something vaguely familiar about the disfigured gentleman, something that conjured up memories from her past, Granny shifted her eyes surreptitiously in the rearview mirror for another peek at the stranger, before losing sight of him. After making a mental note to herself, she returned her eyes to the road ahead and her attention to her grandson. “You’re right about my getting old, Ryan,” she said in reply to his earlier comment. “But I can manage a while longer—don’t you worry. You, on the other hand, need room to run around, and good friends to run around with. It’ll do you no good being cramped up in town and meandering around with hooligans.”

Ryan furrowed his brow and shot a hard, fixed look at Granny. “Okay,” he said. “But two weeks only, deal?”

“Deal,” granny said with a nod. “Promise?”

Ryan said (just for reassurance). “I

promise—unless you change your mind.”

Ryan peered out his window. Rows and rows of green, broadleaf grape vines filled his view. He turned his head and looked to the other side of the road.

Nothing was visible but dry, dusty, uncultivated, tumbleweed-covered flatland, all the way to the hills in the distance.

Ryan looked at Granny. “I ain’t gonna change my mind.”

Moments later, Granny turned off the main two-lane thoroughfare and onto a private road. The mailbox near the open gate at the road’s entrance bore the painted name Walborg.

“Ah, here we are,” Granny said, “Stegosaurus Ridge, straight ahead.” She proceeded through the gate and up the long unpaved road toward the intriguing, rugged foothills that ran southwest, off of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Her tires made a crunching sound on the gravelly road as they forged along between the wide fields of tall dried grass. Large boulders dotted the landscape and became more frequent, the closer they got to the mountainside.

Ryan wondered about the uniqueness of this strange landmass. Something about it seemed mysterious; like it was hiding some deep, dark secret. “Gran, why do ya reckon they call it ‘Stegosaurus Ridge’?”

“If you were to see it from above,” she said, “you would notice that the mountain peaks look like the back plates of a Stegosaurus. Isn’t that fascinating?” While trying to imagine what this mountain range might look like from above, Ryan’s mind began to wander, and he started to long for the mountains back home and the camping and spelunking trips he’d used to take on horseback with his friends. Noticing Ryan’s gloomy disposition, Granny attempted to lighten his mood, “You know, Ryan,” she said, “I think once you get settled, you’re going to have a lot of fun out here.”

Gazing out at the acres of dried grass and tumbleweeds in front of him, Ryan frowned. “You’re sticking me out in the middle of nowhere, with no horses, none of my stuff, and nothing to do,” he muttered. “How much fun can I have?” A few minutes later, however, they passed a partially overgrown motocross track (woopty-doos and all). He raised an eyebrow. “That could have potential,” he said to himself.

Reaching the base of Stegosaurus Ridge, Granny swung the car to the left, up the long inclined road, until they finally arrived atop God’s Thumb. Sitting along this oblong terrace was a fairly large, two-story house with a steeple attic at its rear. The house resembled an old country church.