Read Christmas Treasure Online

Authors: Bonnie Bryant

Christmas Treasure

MEET
T
HE
S
ADDLE
C
LUB

Horse lover
CAROLE
 …
Practical joker
STEVIE
 …
Straight-A
LISA
 …

#1 HORSE CRAZY
#2 HORSE SHY
#3 HORSE SENSE
#4 HORSE POWER
#5 TRAIL MATES
#6 DUDE RANCH
#7 HORSE PLAY
#8 HORSE SHOW
#9 HOOF BEAT
#10 RIDING CAMP
#11 HORSE WISE
#12 RODEO RIDER
#13 STARLIGHT CHRISTMAS
#14 SEA HORSE
#15 TEAM PLAY
#16 HORSE GAMES
#17 HORSENAPPED
#18 PACK TRIP
#19 STAR RIDER
#20 SNOW RIDE
#21 RACEHORSE
#22 FOX HUNT
#23 HORSE TROUBLE
#24 GHOST RIDER
#25 SHOW HORSE
#26 BEACH RIDE
#27 BRIDLE PATH
#28 STABLE MANNERS
#29 RANCH HANDS
#30 AUTUMN TRAIL
#31 HAYRIDE
#32 CHOCOLATE HORSE
#33 HIGH HORSE
#34 HAY FEVER
#35 HORSE TALE
#36 RIDING LESSON
#37 STAGE COACH
#38 HORSE TRADE
#39 PUREBRED
#40 GIFT HORSE
#41 STABLE WITCH
#42 SADDLEBAGS
#43 PHOTO FINISH
#44 HORSESHOE
#45 STABLE GROOM
#46 FLYING HORSE
#47 HORSE MAGIC
#48 MYSTERY RIDE
#49 STABLE FAREWELL
#50 YANKEE SWAP
#51 PLEASURE HORSE
#52 RIDING CLASS
#53 HORSE-SITTERS
#54 GOLD MEDAL RIDER
#55 GOLD MEDAL HORSE
#56 CUTTING HORSE
#57 TIGHT REIN
#58 WILD HORSES
#59 PHANTOM HORSE
#60 HOBBYHORSE
#61 BROKEN HORSE
#62 HORSE BLUES
#63 STABLE HEARTS
#64 HORSE CAPADES
#65 SILVER STIRRUPS
#66 SADDLE SORE
#67 SUMMER HORSE
#68 SUMMER RIDER
#69 ENDURANCE RIDE
#70 HORSE RACE
#71 HORSE TALK
#72 HOLIDAY HORSE
#73 HORSE GUEST
#74 HORSE WHISPERS
#75 PAINTED HORSE
#76 HORSE CARE
#77 ROCKING HORSE
#78 HORSEFLIES
#79 ENGLISH HORSE
#80 ENGLISH RIDER
#81 WAGON TRAIL
#82 QUARTER HORSE
#83 HORSE THIEF
#84 SCHOOLING HORSE

THE SADDLE CLUB SUPER EDITIONS
#1 A SUMMER WITHOUT HORSES
#2 THE SECRET OF THE STALLION
#3 WESTERN STAR
#4 DREAM HORSE
#5 BEFORE THEY RODE HORSES
#6 NIGHTMARE
#7 CHRISTMAS TREASURE

THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Veronica turned to Stevie. “You haven’t been doing anything to my locker, have you?” she asked, her green eyes narrowing.

“No,” Stevie replied with a clear conscience. “I’ve been talking to Carole and Lisa.”

Veronica slowly began to open the door an inch at a time, as if she expected a rubber snake to come bursting out. Finally Veronica opened the door all the way. Everything in the locker seemed normal.

Stevie, Carole, and Lisa tried hard not to laugh as Veronica then turned each boot upside down and shook it before she pulled it onto her foot. Next she checked the pockets of her jacket to make sure nothing disgusting had been hidden there.

“Well,” she said airily, trying to disguise the nervousness in her voice. “Everything seems fine. See you in class.”

“Have a good lesson,” Stevie called. “And don’t forget to check your stirrup leathers. You never know what can happen around here at Christmastime!”

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CHRISTMAS TREASURE

A Bantam Skylark Book/December 1998

Skylark Books is a registered trademark of Bantam Books, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and elsewhere.

“The Saddle Club” is a registered trademark of Bonnie Bryant Hiller. The Saddle Club design/logo, which consists of a riding crop and a riding hat, is a trademark of Bantam Books.

“USPC” and “Pony Club” are registered trademarks of The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., at The Kentucky Horse Park, 4071 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511-8462.

All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1998 by Bonnie Bryant Hiller.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information address: Bantam Books.

eISBN: 978-0-307-82587-2

Published simultaneously in the United States and Canada.

Bantam Books are published by Bantam Books, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. Its trademark, consisting of the words “Bantam Books” and the portrayal of a rooster, is Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. Marca Registrada. Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036.

v3.1

I would like to express my special thanks
to Sallie Bissell for her
help in the writing of this book.

“S
TEVIE
,
THIS IS
one of the craziest things you’ve ever done!” Carole Hanson shivered in the cold morning air as she tiptoed behind her friend Stevie Lake. “I feel like I’m in some kind of spy movie!”

“Shhh!” Stevie edged along the back wall of Pine Hollow Stables. “Don’t talk so loud. Max might hear us.” Stevie spoke in a whisper, her breath coming out in frosty puffs of smoke.

“I don’t understand why we can’t just walk in through the stable like everybody else,” Carole complained as she sneaked through the frozen grass. “So you’re late to Horse Wise. Everybody is late to something sometime in their life.”

“But I was late for the last Horse Wise meeting and my riding lesson on Wednesday. This makes the third time in
two weeks. And you know how Max is about that!” Max Regnery, the owner of Pine Hollow, was an excellent horseman and wonderful teacher, but he didn’t approve of people being late. Stevie had seen his blue eyes flash with disapproval more than once.

“If we can sneak into Horse Wise without him seeing us, he’ll never know we’re late.”

Carole frowned as she crept along behind her best friend. “But he’s probably conducting the Horse Wise meeting now. He won’t notice we’re late if he’s busy talking.”

“I can’t take the chance,” Stevie replied. She stopped suddenly under a window, rose on tiptoe, and peeked in. “It’s just as I thought,” she reported in a hoarse whisper. “They’re meeting in the indoor riding ring. It looks like they’re watching some slides. We’ll have to sneak through the door in the back. Otherwise, Max will see us.”

“Is Lisa there?” Carole craned her neck and tried to peek over Stevie’s shoulder.

“I can’t see her, but I’m sure she is,” Stevie said. “Lisa’s never late for anything.” Lisa Atwood was Stevie and Carole’s other best friend and the third member of the Saddle Club, a club the girls had started sometime earlier. The club had only two rules—that the members had to be crazy about horses, and that they had to help each other out at all times. Of the three girls, Lisa was the oldest and most responsible. Carole was the craziest about horses, and Stevie was mostly just the craziest. Stevie was almost
as good at getting into trouble as Carole and Lisa were at getting her out of it.

The two girls crunched through the stiff grass to the back door and peeked inside. The indoor ring was dark, and all the members of the Horse Wise Pony Club were seated in front of a portable movie screen, on which Max was showing slides of horses jumping. This was the last Horse Wise meeting before the Christmas holidays, and the girls knew that Max would announce Pine Hollow’s party plans. They both hoped they hadn’t missed that part already.

Stevie inched into the darkened arena and motioned for Carole to follow her around the shadowy edges of the ring.

The slide projector clicked. A picture of a gray horse leaping over a double oxer flashed up on the screen. “This horse is going to land properly,” Max’s voice said, echoing in the dimness. “His legs are well out in the front, and he’s got a lot of impulsion from behind. The rider’s hands are also in good position, and he’s looking straight ahead with soft eyes.”

Everyone studied the slide; then Max cleared his throat. “There are two other riders I know of right now who aren’t showing such good form,” he said. “They’re way out of position, their seats are definitely in the wrong place, and instead of having soft eyes, they’ve got a wild and terrified look in them. Welcome, Stevie and Carole. Glad you could join us.” Max’s gaze never left the screen.

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