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					Silver and Gold Episode 4

Now, for those who might have lost track of where we are, at this point, Eric, Rick, Laura,
Kristen, and Mary Jane took a ride in Billy's woody up to the Watson's house on Pine Avenue.
There they found Ronnie hiding a kid and two dogs. Ronnie has explained the flashlights with
the fried batteries to Eric, Kristen, Rick, Laura and Mary Jane. He has introduced them to
Bentley who has told them about the Troll Angel and how his name is Amos Begettle McGriddle
Hennesseý and that he is trapped in the tunnel. Billy has talked Chrissy into a short drive, and so
Ronnie, Eric, Rick, Laura, Kristen, and Mary Jane have decided to go back down to Twinkling
Valley to confront the voice in the tunnel.

To talk or not to talk. That was the question. Amos thought not talking would be the best, but
then a lot had happened recently and maybe if he played his cards right, maybe he could
actually get his wife, the delight of his life, his light in the darkest of dark moments, the Ice
Witch, to release him from this tunnel. What would she want him to do? Oh, yes, she had said
he should help the children.

"Hello," he said remembering not to be so loud and let his voice echo throughout the tunnel.

"Who are you?" Eric asked. "And don't try telling us you are a Troll-Angel, cause we don't
believe in fairy tales.

"Yeah," Rick said. "And where are you?"

"I am Amos Beggettle McGriddle Hennessey, and I am here in the tunnel, right in it." Amos said
leaving out the Troll-Angel part. Obviously these two boys were in a bit of denial about the
existence of the North Pole. Probably didn't even believe in Santa Claus.

"Where in the tunnel are you? Come out here and show yourself," Eric said.

"He can't," Bentley said. "I told you the Ice Witch put a spell on him. He is part of the tunnel."

"Yeah, and I told you, too." Ronnie said. "Now do you believe me?"

"Sure," Rick said. "Hey, Amos show yourself."

Okey dokey, Amos thought, and with a great deal of focus and concentration he threw one of
his huge rough hewn rocks right off his outside face, and it fell right in the brook with a big
splash. It landed right in front of Rick and Eric, and the cold water splashed up on them.

Rhea and Checker both barked and barked and ran around the girls. "What are you trying to tell
us little one," Laura asked and reached down and picked up Rhea. Rhea tried, but no words
would come out of her mouth. Checker ran into the tunnel a short ways and put his feet up on
the wall. He whined and howled as if he was talking.

"They know something," Kristen said. "Amos, are you really in the wall?"
"Of course, I am," Amos said happy to see that at least someone was beginning to see the light.
"The little boy is right and that Ronnie fellow, too. My wife, the light of my light, did put a spell
on me, and I am here inside the walls forced to have my essence comingled with the essence of
the tunnel forever and ever or until she thinks I have learned something. No, not something,
until I have learned to be truly good. Did you hear that Dear One, I admitted it. I have to learn
to be good." No one answered him, though. He sighed. It seemed like a losing battle. If she
didn't hear him, what good would it do, but he might as well persevere. He had come this far.

"There are no such things as witches or troll angels and no one is locked into the tunnel." Rick
said. "Someone has to have hooked up a sound system or there is a side cave."

Eric winked at Rick and the others and said. "I think this, uh Troll-Angel might need our help."
And then he said in a whisper, "Let's just go along with this farce, for now."

"Can we do something to help you out of the tunnel?" Laura asked. She didn't believe in
witches and spells and trolls, either, but lately the way things were going, she was beginning to.
No need to tell Eric and Rick that, though.

"Well, now, young lady, perhaps you can. You see, if you could convince my wife that I have
decided to be good. No, no, not good enough. I would actually have to do something good.
What good thing could I do for you?" Amos said feeling rather weird talking about all this good
stuff. Not that he had never been good. Not that he didn't know that it felt good to be good,
but he usually had an ulterior motive somewhere. Now, of course, he did have the ulterior
motive of wanting to be released, but this time he didn't have that other idea. The other idea
that went something like, get me out of here, and then I can find something not good but
definitely more fun to do. No, he was ONLY thinking of good. That was a bit weird for him.

"Do you know where my little sister Frannie and Trent and Darrel are?" Mary Jane asked. "It
would be a good thing if you could tell us where they are."

"Well, they went through the tunnel when my wife, my dear wife, you know I do love her still,
was here. So, the tunnel was open to the North Pole. Hence, I would say that is where they are.
Oh, and little Debbie came in, and they followed her. Now, I believe, she lives in the Sound of
Joy Village, so undoubtedly that is where they are." Amos said.

"This is getting us nowhere." Rick said. "Can you light up your tunnel? Can you open it to this
supposed North Pole?"

"Well, sometimes, believers can go through, but you really don't sound like a believer." Amos
said.

"Rick," Laura said whispering to him. "You have to at least pretend that you believe."

Well, now that was different. For Laura, maybe he could believe. She was pretty special to him
and more and more he was beginning to believe that she liked him, too.

"If we all believe, we can go to the North Pole and find them?" Kristen asked.
"Maybe," Amos said. "I am a little rusty on using my powers, and, well, to be truthful, I haven't
really used the powers I got from my mother for quite a while. Let me concentrate. If you get
through will you find my wife, the beautiful Ice Witch, and tell her that I did a good deed?"

"Of course, we will," Laura and Kristen and Mary Jane and Ronnie and even Bentley said. Laura
looked at Rick and Eric.

"Oh, yeah, we will," they both said. Amos knew they were still non believers, but going through
the tunnel would surely change that.

                                      *********************

"Will you be careful?" Chrissy said. "Don't push me."

"I'm not," Billy said. "I am trying to keep you from falling off the cliff."

"What is wrong with these kids? This is nothing but a cow path." Chrissy said. "I don't get it. I
certainly never wanted to go down in these woods when I was a kid."

"It's kind of neat," Billy said. "Watch out you don't trip by stepping in one of the cows' hoof
prints."

Chrissy and Billy walked slowly down the path that clung to the hill like a shelf of sorts and led
down to Twinkling Valley. "Listen," Chrissy said. "I think I hear them. Ronnie! Ronnie, is that
you?"

Billy and Chrissy stood still and listened, but they couldn't hear anything. They went on down
into the valley admiring how the brook twisted around and through the valley and burbled and
bubbled over the rocks. They noticed all the footprints in the snow and followed them to the
mouth of the culvert or tunnel if you will. "Look," Billy said. "A big rock fell right out of the wall
into the brook."

"Never mind that," Chrissy said. "Look how the foot prints come right up to the tunnel and
disappear. That is the tunnel that Frannie, Trent, and Darrel disappeared in and look you can
see all the way through it, and there is no one in there.

Amos considered talking to these new arrivals, but decided against it. If they knew about him,
too, then they could talk first. Otherwise, it might be better to stay silent. Too many people
going into the North Pole, might not be a good thing. "Go through and see if they're on the
other side," Chrissy insisted. "I will wait for you right here."

"Scared of an old culvert?" Billy asked as he headed into the tunnel stepping from rock to rock.
Before Chrissy answered he was hit by a bit of fear himself. Suddenly the light at the end of the
tunnel that showed more snow and pine branches, went totally black. "Hey, what's going on?"
he said. "Did you see that?"
Chrissy stepped about one foot into the culvert. She looked through the tunnel as far as she
could which was only a few feet, she could hardly see Billy. He looked more like a shadow in the
blackness of the tunnel. "Oh, my God!" She said. "Come back out."
When Billy came out of the tunnel, she changed her mind. "No," she said. "Go back through. I
can't go home without Ronnie!"

Billy and Chrissy stood outside the culvert and looked into it. Once again the light at the end
was there, all lit up with the sunshine on the other side. They could see the snow and the pine
branches as clear as day. "This is ridiculous." Billy said. "Wait here, I'll be right back." He
started inside and had gotten about ten feet when once again the tunnel went black, and there
was an odd laugh that echoed throughout the tunnel. Billy turned back and ran out. "This
tunnel is haunted or someone thinks this is too funny. If it's those damn wierdos Eugene and
Neal, I'll..."

"How could it be them?" Chrissy said. "They wouldn't be smart enough to begin to think how to
do this. Where'd did that laughter come from? Do you think Ronnie and his freinds are in there
somewhere. Could there be a side tunnel?"

"No, it's straight through. I went in there when the cops were searching. There isn't even a hole
in the walls." Billy said.

"Well. I can't go home without him." Chrissy said thinking wasn't that sweet of Billy to want to
help in the search for the kids. "Now what are we going to do?"

                                   ***********************

"Oh, my, now where are we?" Eric asked as they exited the tunnel. "That tunnel was at least a
mile long. It isn't supposed to be more than 100 yards. And where did all this snow come from?
There must be three or four feet and there's about a half foot of crust on top. What the heck is
going on?"

"We are back in the North Pole," Bentley said. "This is where I live. Change us back, Rhea.
Change us back."

"Change you back?" Laura said. "What are you talking about?"

Bentley waited, but Rhea was still a Pomeranian. His beloved Checker was still a Beagle, and
saddest of all, he was still a boy. "Nothing," he said. "Nothing. I just got carried away being
back home."

"So which way do we go?" Laura asked Bentley. "Where is this Sounds of Joy Village, Bentley?"

Bentley sniffed the air, but he had been gone too long. The smells were all different. Maybe his
nose had gotten used to Earth smells or something. "I'm not sure," Bentley said. "Everything
smells, I mean looks different. I....I think its this way. Oh, look there's some reindeer let's ask
them."
Everyone looked in the direction that Bentley was pointing. Sure enough there were two
reindeer just standing there about 20 feet away. "Oh, right, by all means let's ask a couple of
deer." Eric said.

"They are reindeer," Bentley said and walked right up to them and inquired if they knew where
the Sound of Joy Village was.

"Oh, that’s right up the hill and around the bend. Just follow the brook." The larger reindeer
said.

"Who are you looking for?" The smaller one asked.

"Debbie and her three earth friends, Frannie, Trent, and Darrel?" Bentley said with a question
mark at the end. Maybe these reindeer would know where they were, In the North Pole
reindeer walked all over the place looking for places where they could find something to eat
They especially followed brooks so they could munch on the grass along the edges.




"Oh," the larger one said. "You won't find them in the village. I am sure glad you are looking for
them. We were beginning to think the people would be too late."

"Too late?" Mary Jane said. "Too late for what?"

"Well," The smaller reindeer said. "The evil witch Gerscilla and the nefarious wizard, OsSimon,
have them locked in their castle and are planning on eating them. But, if you hurry."
"Do you know where the castle is?" Laura asked Bentley.

"No," he said, but Just then, Rhea and Checker began to bark and run in one direction. Then,
they turned and ran back and then did it again. "They know," Bentley said. "We can follow
them."

Eric and Rick were just standing there staring at the scene in front of them. How could this be
happening? Could they really be in the North Pole? Could reindeer talk? Both of them were
saying "No way, no way, no way," inside their minds, but there eyes were telling them that it
was really happening.

"You'll never make it in time," the reindeer said. "Let us help."

In minutes, two small sleighs had appeared and the reindeer were harnessed into them. They
were on their way across the snow.
Laura, Mary Jane, and Kristen were in the first sleigh and Eric, Bentley, Ronnie and Rick were in
the second one. The Reindeer pulled them quickly and efficiently over the snow. Rhea rode on
the floor in the front of the first sleigh, and Checker settled into the same spot on the 2nd one.

				
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