Thank you for taking the time to read this book. This book is dedicated to all the dogs in the world. I hope you have read the two previous books: “Malaya’s Backyard Mystery” and “Sal’s Jail Mystery.” If you have not, that’s fine too; although I do encourage you to read them for background purposes. These books, in my eyes, are easy to catch on to. So, here we go! Please enjoy.

– Graycee F. Babb

CHAPTER 1

Will Seets was awakened from sleep.

Clash! Bang! Clash!

“What is that noise?” Will thought to himself.

Bang! Crash! Bang!

“It’s coming from outside!” Will almost shouted as he jumped out of the bed and ran to his window. He peered out into the clear, dark night. He then noticed that his Dad’s tin trashcan was on its side, rolling and shaking.

Grabbing his coat and baseball bat, he quietly slipped down the stairs, out the door, and straight to the side yard, where the trashcan was located. He began to take the lid off the can…

BANG!

Will jumped and barely stifled a scream. He looked around and found that it was just a shutter banging against the window in the wind. He then continued to open the can. To his surprise, he found a small dog, which was shivering, whimpering, and cold.

Will immediately scooped up the obviously frightened dog, held it in his hands, and, realizing she was a girl, gave her a nice, warm, welcoming hug.

“What were you doing in there, huh girl?” he carefully questioned as he petted her soft, slightly matted coat.

He brought her inside and took her to his room, where she slept peacefully with him that entire night.

* * *

The next morning, Will told his parents what had happened the night before, what he had done, and apologized to them if he had done anything wrong.

“Son, needless to say you did the best thing you could have done. I am very proud of you,” Mr. Seets approved, grinning at his son.

Will smiled in reply. “So, can we keep her?” Will wondered.

“Well, it’s fine with me, but, Margaret, what do you think?”

“Well, it’s just fine with me,” she smiled, “now, eat, both of you,” she said, shoving a plate full of biscuits, gravy, eggs, and meat toward both Will and John, his Father.

“Yes, Margaret.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

When breakfast was over, and Will had done his chores, he and his new companion, whom he had named “Found,” began to go to their crew’s clubhouse.

* * *

The minute Will and Found stepped into the quaint little clubhouse, Malaya was first to say, “You’re late, and… oh, a puppy!” she said as she looked up.

“I found ‘er in Dad’s trashcan last night. Parents said I could keep ‘er.”

“Well, she needs a name. How about ‘Sweetie’?”

“Cutie,” Sal commented.

“Uh, how ‘bout ‘Trashy’?” Ryan asked with a mischievous smile. Everybody laughed at Ryan’s hilarious joke.

“Thank you for the input, but I already named her. ‘Found’ is her name. Also, thanks for that funny joke, Ry.” (“Ry” was Ryan’s nickname.)

“So, what are we going to do? With the dog and our club, I mean.” Malaya inquired.

“Why don’t we make ‘er, you know.”

“No, I… part of the club?!”

“Well, yeah. We could always use a good guard dog in our club.” Will pointed out.

“Yeah. I like the idea.” Sal agreed.

“Me too.” Ryan agreed.

“Me three.” Malaya joined in.

“Alright, then. We’re agreed. Found, welcome to the Hope Falls Secret Club.” Will introduced.

“Uh, Will.” Malaya grabbed his attention, “What’s that, behind Found’s ear?”

“What are you… I think it’s a…..”

“It’s a camera!”

CHAPTER 2

Nathaniel Anders sat in Sam Wons’ office. “Nate! So good to see you again! Heard that you’ve already gotten a head start on the plan.”

“Yes. I guess I got a little ahead of myself. I just want to get them so bad.”

“Yes, but you must control yourself. By going ahead with this plan, you have put this company, and its purpose, in danger.”

“Wha… what do you mean, danger?”

“I mean this kind of danger,” Sam said, shoving a piece of paper toward him. Along with a picture, it read:

NATHANIEL ANDERS
WANTED FOR TRESPASSING AND ESCAPE

“You’re a wanted fugitive now. And, by going ahead and starting the plan when I hadn’t given you the go-ahead, we couldn’t cover you like we needed to. And if someone saw you, you’re in trouble. And…”

“And, what?”

“Well, your daughter, Nate.”

“Well, what about her?”

“She helped the Sheriff, AGAINST you.”

“So?”

“Doesn’t that make you at least a little mad?”

“No. Not really. She’s doin’ what she thinks is right.”

“Well, I’ll tell, no, I’ll WARN you right now, Nate. Keep your daughter in line, or we’ll have to silence her altogether.

* * *

Sal walked down the stairs to the “Prayer & Peace” room. When she had first come to the Knotes’ house, Malaya told her whether she needed to think, was ready to pray, or just wanted (or needed) some peace and quiet, to come here. She just walked into the room, took a deep breath, and went back to Malaya’s bedroom.

* * *

“Now, son, we need to figure out where Found is sleeping tonight.”

“Well, can’t she just sleep with me, Dad? Please?”

“Does she bother you any?”

“No, sir. Not at all.”

“Alright, then. I don’t see why not. Now, go wash up. Dinner will be ready soon.”

“Ok. Thanks Dad.”

* * *

At the dinner table, Will’s father gave thanks.

“Dear Lord, thank you for this food that you’ve set before us. Thank you for the hands that prepared this meal, Will, and his friends. Please be with Sal as she goes through this trial of pain. Thank you for sending Found to us. Please help her to accept us, to get used to us, and to love us and our place like family. In Jesus’ sweet and wonderful name, amen.”

After prayer, Will’s mom wondered something. “How’s Sal doing?”

“She’s…she’s taking it pretty hard. It’s a major change, all of a sudden. I think she just needs time, and we’re here for her. She knows that. She’ll get through it, I’m sure.”

Everyone remained quiet after that. Then, at the end of the meal, Found jumped on the bench by Will, and stared straight and hard at one thing…the chicken bone. When Will noticed what Found longed for, he inquired of his father on Found’s behalf.

“Hey, Dad?”

“Yes, son. What is it?”

“Can Found have the chicken bone? The really big one?”

“Well, my son. Chicken bones are not good for dogs. I’m sure Found wouldn’t want her first night in our house to be disturbed by having to go to the vet.”

“Besides, I need it for making the broth you guys are always asking for to drink. I also need it for some of my recipes.”

“Oh, I had no idea,” Will admitted, petting Found, “Sorry, girl. Perhaps I should do some research.” To that, Will and his father began to chuckle. Soon, the whole house was filled with the sound of laughter.

CHAPTER 3

Will woke up the next morning, and, realizing that Found was no where to be seen, jumped out of the bed and ran down the stairs. After searching downstairs, and still not finding her, Will turned to the living room.

As he walked in, he saw a knife pinning a note down on the table. Will walked over to read the note, which said:

HOPE FALLS CLUB
WILL BECOME AN
ARCHIVE WRITTEN
DOWN IN HISTORY,
REMEMBERED AS
THE DOG, WHO WAS
ENDED BY THE KNIFE.

BRING NOTE TO HOLLOW
LOG MEADOW BY NOON
TOMORROW IF YOU
UNDERSTAND. YOU
MIGHT EVEN GET YOUR
PRECIOUS DOG BACK.
OTHERWISE, THIS DARE
WILL, ‘WILL’, COME TRUE.
GOOD LUCK!

Will stepped backward and, tripping over his own feet, landed on his backside. Sitting back up, he began to cry.

John, hearing the noise, came downstairs and, seeing Will sitting and crying in the floor, ran over to figure out what was going on. “Son? Son?,” he questioned, “What’s wrong?”

“Th…the…they took…” sniff, “Found.” Sniff.

“Who did?” he asked in a sterner and more interrogative tone.

“Wh…who…whoever wrote that…that note.” Sniff.

“What note, Son? What note?”

“Tha…that note,” he said, pointing to the knife-pinned note on the table.

John went for the note.

“No, Dad! Don’t touch it! The police can use it for evidence.”

“You feel that she was ta…..kidnapped?” he stopped himself.

“Yeah.” sniff.

“What’s going…oh, Will, I’m so sorry!” Margaret said as she came, read the note, and scooped Will up.

“What are we going to do? I just wanted a friend that stayed all the time. I wanted us to be friends and a part of the club together. I just got ‘er. I can’t lose ‘er within three days of having ‘er.”

“We’ll get her back, Son. Don’t you worry.” Margaret coaxed.

“You’re right, Margaret. Will, we’ll find and get Found back, if it’s the last thing I do.” CHAPTER 4

“Now, you’re sure that the asset is in place?” Sam Wons questioned.

“Yes, I’m very sure,” Nathaniel replied, “the dog is perfect. Young Seets will be seeds, if he’s not careful.”

“If he so much as touches the area, the trap had better be set. If not, it’s the dog’s life.”

“And, Sal?”

“Who?” Sam acted as if he didn’t know.

“My daughter, Sam. What are you going to do abou…”

“I’m going to see if you can bridle her. If not, it’s her, and her friends’ lives.” He cut him off.

“But, Sam. They’re kids and…”

“Well, they’re kids. Just kids. They’re the kids who put you behind bars. They also didn’t get killed when you shot at them from that house’s window. I kind of wish you had killed all of ‘em. Then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Is that understood?”

“But, Sam, please…”

“Is that understood?!”

“Yes, Sir. It’s understood.”

“Good.”

* * *

Will went into the clubhouse.

“Hey, Wi…where’s Found?” Sal wondered.

Will lowered his chin, a sad expression on his face.

“Will?” Malaya wondered, tenderly.

“What’s wrong, Will?” Ryan interrogated.

“They took ‘er.”

“Took who?” Malaya inquired.

“Found?” Sal questioned.

“WHO took Found?”

Will looked at Sal. In recognition, Sal looked down, and said, “My Father. My Father took Found.” Sudden guilt came flooding over her. “Will, I’m so sorry. I’ll do whatever I have to, to make up fo…”

“Sal, stop.” Will cut her off, tears now streaming. “Sal, don’t blame yourself for what your Father, or anyone else, for that matter, does. Also, don’t ‘make up,’ or try, anyway, for what others do. ‘Cause it’s not your fault. And you can’t change that.”

There was an awkward silence as everyone let what had just been said sink in deep. Finally, Malaya broke the silence with a question, “Did they leave you with a clue of any kind?”

“Yeah, they said to bring this note they left last night to Hollow Log Meadow if we understood. If we don’t do it by noon, they’ll kill ‘er.”

The gang looked at each other. Then, Sal, Malaya, and Ryan looked at the door and said, “Let’s go get ‘er!”

* * *

After running for thirty minutes, the gang stood in the middle of the meadow.

Rustle, rustle. Pst, pst.

Malaya leaned to Will’s ear and whispered, “What was that?”

“I don…”

*whimpering sound* Will was cut off.

“Found!” Will shouted as he turned and loosened a rope, which held Found to a fence post.

“Halt!” a mean-sounding voice shouted, scaring the life out of the gang. Will turned to look towards the direction of the voice. He saw black-clad men approaching, literally running straight for the crew.

“Run!” Will shouted in warning.

The gang bounded into the forest, being chased by the black-clad men coming after them. CHAPTER 5

The Crew ran straight through the woods.

“Are they still following us?” Ryan yelled.

“I think so.” Will replied, worry in his tone.

“Whatever you do, don’t look back. And stay together.” Malaya instructed, shouting yet again.

“I’m C-A-L-L-I-N-G H-E-L-P.” Sal stated.

“Ok.” The others agreed, beginning to run out of breath.

Once dialed and ringing, a male voice picked up, “Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?”

“This is Sally Anders. We, my friends and I, are being chased through the woods of Hollow Log Meadow.”

“Can you tell me who’s chasing you?”

“No, sir. Some men in black outfits with shark masks. That’s all we saw before we had to start running.”

“Ok. Do you know where South Ridge is?”

“Yes, we do.”

“Okay, go there. I have some police officers coming now.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

After Sal ended the call, she told the gang where to go. “ S-O-U-T-H R-I-D-G-E!”

“Okay!” they replied.

“Sal, C-A-L-L D-A-D!” Malaya shouted.

“Okay.” She agreed as she dialed the phone number. Thankfully, Malaya’s dad picked up.

“Hello?”

“Mr. Knotes, write this down.” She allowed a quick moment to get ready.
“The Crew is headed to S-O-U-T-H R-I-D-G-E. Meet us there. We’re being chased. C-O-P-S will meet us T-H-E-R-E.”

“Ok. I’m coming. Be careful.”

“K. Bye,” Sal said as she quickly hung up and put the phone away. Then she told Malaya, whom was running furiously beside her, “Will M-E-E-T us T-H-E-R-E.”

“Ok.”

“I see them!” Will said, swaying Found back and forth in his hands.

* * *

“Here they come!” The deputy shouted.

The Police moved to let the kids through a line they had created and, reforming the line, caught the black-clad men.

“You’re under arrest!” the sheriff shouted as they grabbed and handcuffed them.

“Gang!” Mr. Knotes greeted from behind as he ran to them.

“Mr. Knotes!” “Mr. Knotes!” “Mr. Knotes!” “Dad!” the gang shouted at random times.

“Oh, I’m so glad that you’re safe!”

“Us, too.”

“Kids?” Officer Thomas wondered as he came over to them. “What happened here?”

They told him everything that had happened as he wrote it down in his black flip-book.

“Well, I’m glad that you’re all okay. Found included. These fellas will help us build our case against Nathaniel Anders. Thank you, and be safe.” READERS,

This is only the third book in this series, so there’s more coming. I hope you enjoyed this book, just like the last two, and hopefully you’ll enjoy the next books to come. Until then, I encourage you to read what you have over and over again. I hope you’ll find the next one just as fun, action-packed, and loving as this and the previous books. Until we read, I mean meet, again.

-Graycee F. Babb

The fourth book, “Ryan’s Mysterious Friend,” coming soon!