As soon as the boat docked, Tor and the mean officer hurried down to meet a man in black uniform. As they talked, the two officers kept glancing back at the three passengers from the Kingdom. They seemed to be giving orders to Tor.
"They must be talking about us," said Molly.
"But, remember, when the King has told us to do something, they can't stop us from finishing it," said Dad.
"--because our King is stronger. Right?" added Star.
"That's right," said Dad, "so let's go!"
They walked down the gangplank to the dock. The new officer shouted to them, "What do you think you're doing? You have no right to come here."
"The King sent us," said Dad calmly. "You can't stop us."
"You're not allowed to come ashore without an escort."
"What do you mean--an escort? We can find our way!"
"You're not allowed to. Tor will go with you. Do whatever he tells you!" shouted the officer.
Tor walked toward them.
"Quick. Let's ask the King what to do," said Dad. He put his arms around the two freezing girls. Huddled together against the wind, they stood quiet for a moment.
"Star, maybe He will use you to lead us. You've been here before. If the boys have been captured, where do you think they might be hidden?"
"There are some new buildings over there, behind those trees..." began Star.
Tor reached the three in time to hear Star's answer. "You must go into town," he interrupted. "This road will take us there."
Dad ignored him. "What do you think, Star?"
"I think we should try those buildings first. I've heard that there's something mysterious happening over there."
"All right. Let's go there first," said Dad.
"No, you can't go there," protested Tor. "You'll get into serious trouble."
Dad pretended he hadn't heard. "Here's the path," he said, heading for a narrow road leading into the forest. Molly looked at Tor. He looked sad and scared. What was he afraid of?
When they came to a large open area, Dad stopped.
"There it is," said Star pointing to the main building. It was surrounded by a large garage, several sheds, bulldozers and forklifts for moving heavy things.
"Look at that funny miniature train," said Molly.
"I never saw that before," said Star.
They hurried up to the door of the main house and knocked.
The door opened. A tall woman in a long purple gown stood smiling at them.
"I'm Rama. How can I help you?" she asked. She sounded friendly.
Or was she? I don't like the look in her eyes, thought Molly.
"We're looking for three boys. Have you seen them?"
"Yes, they stopped by this morning and caught a ride into town. I'll find out where they are staying. Come on in."
They followed Rama into a waiting room. Molly felt creepy. There was something strange about the pink crystal pendant Rama was wearing. And the eerie music, which seemed to come from far away, disturbed her.
As soon as they sat down, Rama disappeared. A while later, she returned with a not-so-friendly man wearing a long purple scarf.
"This is Odin. He'll help you find the boys."
"Come with me," muttered Odin.
Molly looked at Dad. She would rather not go with this stranger. She didn't trust Rama, but she liked Odin even less. Dad seemed uncomfortable, too.
"Are you sure they went into town?" he asked.
"Sure I'm sure. I drove them myself. Are you coming or not?" Odin walked outside.
"We better go," said Tor, grabbing Molly's arm. His hand was shaking.
Dad hesitated, then he said, "Well, I guess we'll come."
Odin hurried out to the barn. He returned with a beautiful black horse. Tor's eyes grew big and he gave a long, loud whistle. "Wow! That's a great horse!" he said.
Odin hitched the horse to a fancy carriage and waved for them to get in. Dad glanced back toward the main building. "I wonder if...." he began. Then he shrugged and climbed into the back seat with Molly and Star. Tor sat in the front--next to Odin.
"These are great seats," said Molly, sinking into the soft cushions. Odin flicked a switch and suddenly the same soft, mysterious music they had heard inside the house floated through the carriage. Molly yawned. Maybe she could get used to this music. As Odin whipped the horse into action, she closed her eyes.
Go to Chapter 20