Authors: Marsha Hubler
Tags: #ebook, #book
Other Books in the Keystone Stables Series
A Horse to Love (Book One)
Southern Belle's Special Gift (Book Three)
Summer Camp Adventure (Book Four)
Leading the Way (Book Five)
Blue Ribbon Champ (Book Six)
Whispering Hope (Book Seven)
The Long Ride Home (Book Eight)
On the Victory Trail
A True Test for Skye
Copyright Â© 2004, 2009 by Marsha Hubler
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ePub Edition June 2009 ISBN: 0-310-86334-1
Requests for information should be addressed to:
Grand Rapids, MI 49530
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Hubler, Marsha, 1947-
Â [True test for Skye]
Â On the victory trail / by Marsha Hubler.
Â Â Â Â p. cm. â (Keystone Stables ; bk. 2)
Â Â Summary: The love of her foster parents, her friend Morgan, and her own devotion to the horses and dogs at Keystone Stables help Skye become a Christian and to, in turn, find a way to help her troubled friend Sooze.
Â Â ISBN 978-0-310-71793-5
Â Â [1. Foster home careâFiction. 2. Horsesâ Fiction. 3. Christian lifeâFiction.
4. FriendshipâFiction. 5. DeathâFiction.] I. Title. II. Series.
Â Â PZ7.H86325On 2010
Â Â [Fic]âdc22
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
Holy Bible, New International Version
1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
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Cover design: Sarah Molegraaf
09 10 11 12 13
5 4 3 2 1
In memory of Beth Barnhart
who lost her battle with a brain tumor but
won the victory on October 30, 1999.
1. The Chambers' house
2. Parking lot for Chambers' Chambers
3. Dirt road
7. Picnic pavilion
8. Wooded area with riding trails
9. Piney Hollow
11. Small paddock
12. Large fenced-in field
13. Wall jumps
14. Practice obstacle course
17. Hill with view of Shade Valley
ooze, what do you think you're doing?” Skye Nicholson's voice rang out high and shrill. She leaned out Sooze's bedroom window, reaching toward her best friend who had staked herself out on the scorching-hot porch roof. “Your mother called us. She said you were â ”
“Get lost!” Sooze yelled. “I hate this dump! I hate the old lady! I hate everything! Just get out of here â and leave me alone. I mean it!”
Skye's attention darted to Eileen Chambers, Skye's foster mother, standing in the front yard, staring up at them. “Sooze, please come down. Your mother is going to call the police if you don't,” she said, her voice filled with concern.
Skye pulled herself back into the bedroom and hurried her sweating hands through her long, silky dark hair. Her brown eyes glanced around Sooze's ransacked room.
What will get her in from that roof?
Skye focused on a picture hanging lopsided on the wall, and then she took a deep breath.
Maybe, just maybe!
Skye leaned out toward Sooze. “Hey, come in, would you? What do you think you're going to accomplish any-way â besides getting in even more trouble?”
“You think I care? What have I got to lose?”
“Maybe more than you think, Sooze. I was just going to talk to you about this great idea I had. You like horses, right?”
For a brief moment, the tiniest spark of hope flashed across Sooze's face. Wiping sweat from her brow, she hunkered down against the side of the house.
Skye leaned out the window a little farther to see if Sooze was listening. As usual, Sooze's chopped off, straight, mousy brown hair stuck out all over, especially where a cowlick crowned her head. Her dark, hollow eyes and tight lips did nothing to enhance her skinny shoulders and big hips. A yard sale T-shirt hanging on her scrawny frame gave the impression of a wet blanket on a coat rack. The rest of her, packed into tattered jean shorts and sneakers full of holes, added to the unmade-bed look that had become her trademark.
Although Skye and Sooze had never had classes together at Madison Middle School, the two had been friends for several years. Skye's memory haunted her: They had gotten into lots of trouble before. Thinking about the past made Skye realize how much she'd changed.
Again, Skye yelled out to Sooze, “Don't go anywhere! I have to check on something, but I'll be right back to tell you about my idea.”
“Yeah, right,” Sooze said.
Skye raced out of the bedroom and down a hallway. Two and three at a time, Skye clattered down a flight of rickety stairs and came to an abrupt halt in the doorway of the kitchen. Sooze's mother, Mrs. Bodmer, sat at her kitchen table, feeding her nervous lips a cigarette and wringing her hands. Her fingers, flaming with bright red polish, paraded as many rings as they could hold.
“I haven't ever been able to control that kid since she was little,” Mrs. Bodmer mumbled to herself.
Skye bit her lower lip as Sooze's mother continued to ramble, now directing her comments toward Skye. “She just wouldn't listen, and now â
â she wishes I were gone! I don't know what I ever did to make her hate me! She hates me, you know, and â ”
Skye turned to see Mrs. Chambers coming in the front door. Before she was halfway across the living room, Skye was at her side. “Hey,” Skye said breathlessly. “I just remembered that Sooze loves horses. I only said the word
once, and she shifted her gears from angry to neutral. Could I tell her she can come out to Keystone Stables and ride? I'm sure she doesn't really want to cause trouble.”
“Anything's worth a try at this point, Skye,” Mrs. Chambers answered. “How's her mother holding up?”
They both glanced into the kitchen where Sooze's mom was lighting a cigarette. Her bottle-blonde, frizzed-out hair was blowing in all directions from a fan perched on the counter next to a pile of dirty dishes.
“I'll talk to Mrs. Bodmer, and you go back upstairs,” Mrs. Chambers suggested.
Skye rushed up the stairs and stuck her head through the window opening onto the roof. “Okay Sooze, you've got to come in now. I've got the best news ever. Mrs. C. says you can go riding with me out at Keystone Stables. But you have to come in if you want to hear the rest.”