archive-com.com » COM » F » FIDRABOOKS.COM

Total: 84

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Fidra Books - The House in Hiding
    and was already forgotten drowned in the blaze of the sun and shimmer of the water Come on said Sovra and started running down towards the shore Ian followed more slowly thinking about the boat made of stone After all you can get thousands of tons of iron to float quite easily why not stone The boat was lying on one side pulled up on the pebble beach below the cottage in a little bay sheltered by rocks It was not a large boat but it looked wide and shallow built and difficult to overturn Old Donald had used it for fishing before his bad leg got too much for him and they had often seen him setting out in the evening with two rods propped against the thwarts and the two lines running out behind the boat When a rod jerked Donald let his oars rest in the rowlocks leaned forward and reeled in the fish then paid out the line as the boat drifted and started rowing again all without getting up from his seat Ian and Sovra had lunged to try it it looked so easy We must go fishing soon by ourselves said Sovra as Ian joined her by the boat They had been out after mackerel and saith but always in somebody else s boat Perhaps we d better get it into the water first suggested Ian Silly We ll have to do some baling first The floorboards would be awash if it wasn t so much on its side There were two empty tins in the boat which had been used to bale it out before and they set to work with these I suppose this is the last lot of rain said Sovra I d have thought it d dry up in this weather It s had the whole year s rain in it Ian pointed out It s a good thing too Why If it was quite dry the boards would shrink and it might leak badly until they were wet enough to swell again As it is that upper side looks rather dry I hope we don t sink it Daddy thinks we always make a mess of things Well so we do usually But we don t when we are in a boat At any rate said Sovra severely we won t be getting run over by cars We ll probably get rammed by motor boats instead I think that s good enough said Ian putting the tin under the stern seat There was still a little water there but not enough to cover the floor boards when they pulled the boat upright on its keel Oh isn t this thrilling Sovra exclaimed Come on let s push it down The tide was nearly high and with the help of two round pieces of wood that Donald had left for rollers they managed to trundle the boat down and into the water As soon as it was afloat Ian pushed

    Original URL path: http://www.fidrabooks.com/publishing/chapters/HouseHiding.shtml (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Fidra Books - We Daren't Go A'Hunting
    might have known said his sister Your short cuts always take hours longer than the proper way There s been snow on the mountains and now it s melting because of the mild weather said Ian trying to sound learned to make up for being so bad at short cuts They went up the bank of the burn through wet tufts of grass and dead heather that scratched their ankles When they reached the bridge they realized that they would have to cross the water somehow if they wanted to reach the road for on this side of the bridge there was a new fence of barbed wire They looked at each other doubtfully for a moment The noise of the water was too loud for speech but Ian pointed at the bridge and nodded encouragingly and Sovra saw that there was a ledge just wide enough to put your feet on about six feet below the parapet Ian climbed onto the ledge stretched up and caught hold of the top of the bridge and began to work along sideways across the burn with Sovra following him The water roared below him and then suddenly he was beyond it and the noise was deadened by the steep bank As he pulled himself up onto the wall he heard a man s voice saying There now who ll know that that s the menace of the glen Monarch said Ian loudly and jumped down onto the road Sovra close behind him The two men standing on the bridge both said Owch and started violently The little man must have risen a good two inches off the ground other was tall and very fat and wore a long coat with a fur collar They both had black trilby hats perched sideways on their heads and from under these their eyes stared at the two children who had suddenly popped up from nowhere Monarch of the glen said Ian before they had collected their wits enough for speaking If you re talking about stags that is The fat man took a deep breath and started to smile It was not a nice smile but you could see that he meant it to be Merely reciting poetry he said Monarch it is of course May I ask where you ve come from Back there said Ian waving vaguely at the loch Sovra was looking hard at the two men and at a small blue van that stood at the side of the road just beyond the bridge facing the way that she and Ian were going As she reached the top of the bridge she had seen something being bundled into the back of the van and she felt curious about it Have you broken down she asked and went over to the van Another man leaned out from the driver s seat and scowled at her He was a thick looking unpleasant sort of man No said the fat man sharply The little

    Original URL path: http://www.fidrabooks.com/publishing/chapters/DarentGoAHunting.shtml (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Fidra Books - Run Away Home
    not chosen Wordsworth for them to study that day and had not given her that particular part of that particular poem to read The orphans took turns at reading aloud standing at the big desk while the others sat at their table and sewed and looked as though they were listening hard Miss Abbott sat beside them and sometimes helped the clumsy ones to thread a needle They were in the middle of a very long poem when Cathie s turn came and she went up to the desk feeling guilty for she had not been listening However she was quick on the uptake and a good reader and in a few seconds she had found the place although she hadn t seen the poem before She started off clearly and carefully as Miss Abbott had taught her Her pale face was serious and her straight brown hair swung forward as she bent her head over the book In the dark blue dress and black stockings that all the orphans wore she looked even thinner than she was Miss Abbott looked severely at her and wondered whether to stop her and make her begin again She knew Cathie wasn t attending to what she was reading Suddenly though her clear voice halted stumbled over a word went back and read the line again and went on in such a jerky breathless manner that all the other girls looked up in surprise Hence in a season of calm weather read Cathie Though inland far we be Our souls have sight of that immortal sea Immortal sea That was it exactly She had once had a dream or a memory of the sea and now here it was again clearer and clearer with every word that immortal sea Which brought us hither Can in a moment travel thither And see the children sport upon the shore It wasn t a dream it couldn t be She had played by the sea once in that faraway past that had vanished for ever She could just remember the bright sky and waves and sand It was like seeing something out of the corner of your eye Go on Catherine said Miss Abbott impatiently Cathie clutched the book and made a great effort And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore She whispered the words to herself again forgetting where she was and what she was doing She had almost remembered it all now The sand was white and she sat there with bare pink toes and before her rolled the mighty waters great green foaming waves and she was playing with something what was it Catherine said Miss Abbott Oh please exclaimed Cathie Just a minute What s the matter with you Will you please continue Oh be quiet Cathie cried for the picture was fading and she couldn t remember now what it was like at all Her pale face grew red and her eyes flashed Cathie s going off the deep end again

    Original URL path: http://www.fidrabooks.com/publishing/chapters/RunAwayHome.shtml (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Fidra Books - Dragon Castle
    The chauffeur replied that his name was Crowley and Glyn House was away to the left on the estuary not on the hills at all Oh that s a pity said Martin and climbed over to sit on his suitcase D you mind if I sit beside you Mr Crowley Oh well I expect the hills aren t far away I saw a castle up there somewhere The chauffeur glanced at him and said nothing but he looked amused and Martin decided that at least there would be one friend at Glyn House The house itself was big and impressive and Martin was silent as they approached it down a long drive through wide gardens There were rose beds and rockeries and lawns so smooth they might have been clipped with nail scissors Beyond all the smooth greenness curved a high wall and beyond the wall there were trees and rocks again like wild things barred out into the jungle As Martin reached the front door which stood propped open an oldish woman came hurrying to meet him across a wide polished floor She looked as though she walked on a mirror except for the thick rugs that lay across it Come in she said Mrs Ollerford is expecting you Martin stepped cautiously on to the slippery floor and heard someone running down the stairs The person who had greeted him turned and called up the stairs He s arrived she said Oh good replied a voice very excited and rather shrill and round the corner down the last flight came a girl with long plaits wearing white shorts and a white shirt When she saw Martin she stopped with a jerk and her mouth fell open with disappointment Miss Hastings she said reproachfully after a moment I thought you meant the puppy Oh dear me no this is Martin Read Will you take him to your mother Oh all right she replied still looking annoyed and came down the rest of the stairs more slowly I m Dorothy she said when she reached Martin Come on I think Mother s in here Martin smiled at her and felt sorry she had been disappointed but she gave him no chance to say anything She led the way into a room on the right while Miss Hastings went off up the stairs with his suitcase Mrs Ollerford was sitting by a big window doing embroidery She was tall and stately and Martin thought she looked half asleep Here s Martin said Dorothy and Martin went up to her with his broad smile saying Oh Mrs Ollerford you are nice to ask me here thank you very much and I ve got a note for you from Mummy but she put it in my case so I wouldn t lose it You had better call me Aunt Enid said Mrs Ollerford Though of course we are not really related I hope you will not be too dull here I m sure I won t I m afraid my two are rather too old for you They spend their time playing tennis I don t expect No of course he doesn t play tennis interrupted Dorothy He s only eight or nine aren t you Martin Nine he said feeling for the first time that Dorothy wasn t being very polite Nearly ten Never mind said Mrs Ollerford Dorothy will you see to his unpacking Have you had tea No Mummy gave me sandwiches but I ate them all for dinner Oh dear that s awkward Never mind Miss Hastings will find you something We have dinner at seven thirty Have you something tidy to put on Martin looked down at his grey shorts and blazer and answered These are my best things Won t they do Oh never mind It s only the Vicar tonight and I expect you will want to go to bed directly after the meal in any case Run along now and Dorothy will you see about his tea Dorothy nodded sulkily and took Martin up the wide staircase and along a passage that was just as polished and slippery as the hall His room was at the far end and on the wall across the end of the passage there was a wonderful collection of swords and daggers and curved knives fastened on nails to make a gleaming circular pattern Dorothy hurried him past them and into his room where Miss Hastings was unpacking his suitcase When you ve finished that will you get him some tea Dorothy asked The bathroom s next door You ll be all right now won t you Martin nodded but she hardly waited for any answer Miss Hastings smiled at him as Dorothy hurried out again and said She s expecting some friends to bring her a dog That s why she s a little impatient Oh I don t mind I say are you doing all my unpacking Don t bother I can do it It didn t take long she said looking at him kindly and a little anxiously I thought I d wait and see that you had everything you wanted You d like some tea after your long journey Did you really come all the way alone Martin assured her that he had and he had been quite all right and he was quite all right now and didn t mind about tea but she bustled out to see about it and said she would bring up a tray Then we needn t bother Mrs Ollerford at all she said Martin wondered for a moment why Mrs Ollerford would be bothered by seeing him eat some tea which she hadn t even had to get ready but soon he forgot about it and was leaning out of the window to see what happened outside His window faced the steep hillside beyond the road and he could see a broken wooded ridge and above that a bare shoulder

    Original URL path: http://www.fidrabooks.com/publishing/chapters/DragonCastle.shtml (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Fidra Books - Fly-By-Night
    she wondered if there was such a thing as a mounted policewoman and meanwhile as far as she could see her life was being wasted If she were to say that to her father he would laugh and say she had no sense of humour Well I haven t Ruth thought Her only consolation was that for her age she was small and thin Pony sized for a few years yet She pulled her anorak off the hook on her bedroom door She was already wearing jeans and a blue polo necked jersey so getting ready did not take long Ted started putting on his motor bike clothes Ruth fetched the old crash helmet she wore when she rode pillion and her mother gave her her bus fare home If you can find a bus she said which I doubt Now mind how you go Ted You re not in a hurry It was cold on the back of the motor bike Ruth pressed up close to Ted her thumbs hooked in his belt her nose full of the oily smell of his coat The bike crackled through the village bounced over the level crossing then roared away with the ear splitting din that Ted loved up the hill and into the country Through streaming eyes Ruth saw the Friesian cows the bare elms and the rolling pastures that fell away to the flat ditch seamed marshes and the shining thread of the tidal river She grinned into Ted s coat for having come to live in such a place after London She saw herself riding along the sea walls on her pony a gleaming eager little beast ears pricked up the wind in his tail Oh I must she said into Ted s coat After some twenty minutes of wild swooping along narrow lanes Ted turned and shouted something He was slowing down Ruth lifted her head and peered over his shoulder She saw a flag flying at the gateway of a field purple pale blue and gold and in the field a lot of ponies being ridden and horse boxes parked in a row by the hedge Here you are said Ted pulling up by the gate All right Yes Ruth got off shivering I ll look out for you on the way home in case you re still walking I ll manage Ruth said She pulled off her crash helmet Here what shall I do with this She looked round in dismay Nothing would have induced her to enter the field wearing anything as inappropriate as a motor bike helmet Can t you take it I can t wear two can I Stick it in the hedge Don t leave it behind though Cheerio With a blast of noise he was gone Ruth nervously fumbling the helmet walked through the gate There was nobody to take any money or tell her to go away nobody took any notice of her at all The field was huge and

    Original URL path: http://www.fidrabooks.com/publishing/chapters/FlyByNight.shtml (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Fidra Books - The Team
    you drop out Thank you very much he said bitterly Put another log on the fire We aren t saving them any more Jim brought another load up from Pot Wood yesterday Jonathan heaved another half hundredweight log into the ancient fire place and watched an explosion of sparks spray across the soot dark recess It was snowing outside a wet slow drift spattering the dusk He was grateful for his privilege sitting there with his knees close to the embers feeling the warmth striking through his thin denims He had been selling Christmas things in the Oxfam shop all day and now didn t even have to go out and do his own horse for the night for there was a groom to do it for him Having been surrounded all day by posters of starving children his own life suddenly seemed a bit odd even pointless His mother for example frowning over her card index As if it mattered There s Peter McNair of course if he happens to have a decent pony when the moment comes You can never count on his father doing the right thing He only thinks of the money Well it is his living Jonathan pointed out Mr McNair was a horse dealer and his son s mounts came and went The good ones mostly went and Peter was left with the pigs If only he hadn t sold that chestnut Toadhill Flax Mrs Meredith grieved Peter and that animal what a combination They could have gone right to the very top Made for each other I wonder what became of that pony I ve never heard of it since it was sold No We ve got the riders What about that odd little girl Ruth somebody that Peter McNair s friendly with

    Original URL path: http://www.fidrabooks.com/publishing/chapters/Team.shtml (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Fidra Books - Six Ponies
    and he s nearly two hands bigger But then you re only a girl and girls can t do anything Girls can said Jill I can do lots of things you can t Now children said Mrs Morrisson stop quarrelling You must be overtired I think you d better go home directly after the potato race No no shrieked Jill We must watch the novice jumping to see how Major Holbrooke jumps Anyway I m not going home until the end said Richard You and Daddy both said last night we could stay until it finished and you can t change your mind now All right then darling said his mother But don t overdo it or let little Jilly tire herself out As he waited in the collecting ring Richard thought how tiresome his mother was and wondered what the chaps at his school would say if they could see him now Peter was a pretty good looking pony he sometimes won in showing classes but of course he didn t touch Golden Wonder Richard wished Peter was better at gymkhana events He would like to show that conceited John Manners that he wasn t the only person who could ride but best of all he would like to win the jumping Peter wasn t bad they generally got round but he was rather careless and usually knocked a great many jumps down with his forelegs Richard had been told that he took off too close but he was always much too busy staying on to do anything about Peter and anyway he didn t see how you could make a pony take off where you wanted him to Jill Morrisson thought that none of the other ponies was nearly as pretty as Wendy with her long mane and tail Richard might say she looked like a Shetland pony and jolly silly but he was awfully tiresome since he had been at a boarding school Once he had liked Wendy s mane and tail and her name she d been given to them just after they had seen Peter Pan now he said Peter Pan was only fit for girls and babies and he had been livid when Mummy had made him call his new pony Peter Pan so that he would go with Wendy Actually he never called him Peter Pan but Peter or sometimes Pete Jill wished she had a sister for Richard spent all day fretsawing or reading books about cowboys and when she wanted him to play with her he only said girls were feeble and couldn t do anything sensible Susan Barington Brown dressed in expensive but ill fitting riding clothes rode her dark brown pony Beauty into the collecting ring It was Susan s first show and she almost wished that she had stayed at home in spite of the third prize which she had won in the best rider class She loved riding but she didn t think she liked gymkhanas much

    Original URL path: http://www.fidrabooks.com/publishing/chapters/SixPonies.shtml (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Fidra Books - Alison and the Witch's Cave
    the various rivers and lochs that dotted the countryside around Both Alison and Niall had landed their first salmon when they were very young and given their choice there was nothing they would rather do than go off for the day with their rods The waters were mostly private belonging to the laird Sir Angus Forbes but he was a friend of Mr Campbell and so there was usually some stretch of water available Nothing could have been more perfect than the setting for the Campbells home a long low white washed cottage built on a rocky promontory just above the beach with the garden separated from the sands only by a wall Sir Angus was the uncle of Alison s friend Shona Lessing whose home was near London but who with her mother spent most of her holidays at Clarig House The Campbells saw a lot of Shona but there was a but in their friendship Niall considered that she was spoiled and frequently told her so but while Alison found her a little difficult at times she liked her quite well As the only niece of the wealthy Sir Angus possessing almost everything she wanted from a horse of her own to a motor boat Shona perhaps naturally had not learned to be unselfish and think of others Alison had much more in common with her other friend Sallie Macleod whose father farmed Tigh an eas a few miles down the coast Sallie though not much older than Alison had left school and was learning dairy work on Mr Macleod s farm which meant that she had to refuse many invitations to golf and fish and ride This Shona could not understand or pretended she could not but Sallie loved her job and was not in the least offended when Shona became sulky and made fun of Sallie s chores Sallie s cousin Ronald also lived at Tigh an eas where he was learning farming with his uncle and he was Niall s special friend The Campbells loved visiting the farm Like themselves the Macleods were not too well off and had to do without most of the luxuries that Shona considered necessities The curious thing about Shona was that while she had everything at hand to make her holidays perfect and Alison and Niall had to make their own amusements she somehow envied everything they did She could not understand why when she had so much and as she thought they had so little they should have so much more fun than she had This was a constant puzzle to her vaguely she felt that it was not fair Shona would have been much more envious had she guessed that of late years they had encountered a new type of excitement Properly speaking this was not fun for it was caused by a gang of crooks who had made a great deal of trouble in the quiet countryside of Clarig and not only had Alison and Niall

    Original URL path: http://www.fidrabooks.com/publishing/chapters/AlisonWitchsCave.shtml (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive



  •