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Treasure in a Field

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Chapter 1

     Haley MacKenna sat on her dorm room bed, head propped in one cupped hand with her elbow on her knee, focused on the notepad. She brushed a lock of shoulder-length red hair away from her eyes. What had she written during the afternoon lecture? She shook her head in disgust. “Chicken scratches. I can’t stand it when my scribbles come out worse than a doctor’s signature.”

     Pointing to the middle of the page, she held the spiral pad out toward her roommate, who sat at a desk against the wall. “This word. I can’t figure it out. Did Professor Duncan mention something about a treasure in that lecture? Here. See if you can read it.” Haley tossed the pad onto Kayla Ross’s lap.

     Kayla laughed and examined the paper, then glided to Haley’s bed. “You have the worst handwriting I’ve ever seen, girl.” She squinted at the page. “I think…I don’t know…but I think it says treasure.” She flipped the pad onto the comforter in front of Haley and sauntered back to her chair.

   “Yes, siree. Don’t you remember? He talked of nothing but gold and jewels for a few minutes when he went off on a rabbit trail again, just as he usually does. He gave details of his vacation last year when he and his wife had gone to Florida to see if they could find buried treasure on the beach after he’d read of interesting discoveries. But why notate that?” She resumed reading her geological engineering book.

     A moment later, while Haley scratched out the undecipherable note from the paper, Kayla shut her textbook and turned back to Haley. “Professor Duncan carried on and on about the gold coins. I thought it would pique your interest after the story you told me our first year here. The MacKenna legend. Do you plan on a trip to Florida to hunt for gold yourself?”

     Haley glanced up at her and sighed. “Must have zoned out after I wrote this word. For most of my life, I’ve been spoon-fed that old family myth. To be honest, if I never hear another story with a connection to treasure, Spanish galleons, or pirates, I’ll be a happy camper.”

     She jumped at the loud knock on their door. Her hand flew to her chest. Rapid taps followed. “What on earth?”

     Kayla ran to the door and peered into the hallway through the peephole. “Haley, I think it’s your brother.” She turned with her brows furrowed, pointed to the picture on Haley’s nightstand, and shrugged. “Doesn’t he live in California?”

    “Yes. Well…let him in.”

    As Haley leaped out of her chair, the door swung open. “Hi, big brother. What brings you to—”

    Aiden wrapped his strong arms around her in a tight hug. “Sis, I have bad news.”...

University of Colorado ~ Boulder

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Could the Treasure be Real?

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