Driving Team

Free Driving Team by Bonnie Bryant

Book: Driving Team by Bonnie Bryant Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bonnie Bryant
girls inched their way down the table, pretending to look at the shoes. Finally they stood next to the woman. Lisa reached over and tapped her on the shoulder.
    “Excuse me, ma’am,” she said.
    “Yes?” The woman turned. Lisa caught her breath. The lady had snow white hair and twinkling blue eyes. She was more likely to be Cynthia’s great-grandmother than her mother.
    “Uh, have you seen any snow boots on this table?” Lisa asked quickly.
    “No. But I believe you can find them down in sporting goods,” the woman said kindly.
    “That’s right,” said Lisa. “I wasn’t thinking. Thanks!”
    She and Carole turned quickly away from the shoe table. “Well, so much for that red pocketbook,” said Carole. She stood on her toes and looked around the store. “See anyone else?”
    “Yes,” cried Lisa. “There’s a woman with a red pocketbook over there trying on earrings, and there’s another one heading out into the mall.”
    “And there’s one over there buying perfume,” said Carole. She frowned at Lisa. “Suddenly it seems like half the women in this mall have red pocketbooks on their shoulders.”
    “This might be harder than we thought,” said Lisa. “But we’ve got to try. Think of poor little Cynthia all alone at the library, hiding from Mrs. Davidson!”
    They walked over to the woman buying perfume. She was the right age, but she spoke broken English with a thick Spanish accent, and her hair was dark and curly.
    “I don’t think that’s Cynthia mother,” whispered Carole. “They don’t look anything alike, and I think Cynthia would have told us if her mother was from another country.”
    “You’re right,” said Lisa. “Let’s move on to that woman in the jewelry department.”
    The woman trying on earrings had just opened her pocketbook to pay for her jewelry. As Carole and Lisa approached, three redheaded children ran up. They were all about five years old, were dressed alike, and looked exactly alike.
    “Mama! Mama!” they all cried together. “Can we go get a cookie at the cookie stand?”
    The woman looked down and smiled at them. “Alison, Abigail, and Alexandra, have you all behaved yourselves while I shopped?”
    The little girls nodded. “Yes, Mama,” they said in unison.
    “Well,” the woman laughed, “I guess you can have a cookie, then. Let me pay for these earrings and we’ll go. Everybody hold hands, though, so you won’t get lost.”
    The little girls all held hands and soon followed the woman out into the mall, like little ducklings waddling after their mother.
    Carole and Lisa looked at each other in astonishment. “They’re triplets!” Lisa cried.
    “That’s right,” said the salesclerk. “That’s Mrs. McElroy. She shops here every weekend and brings them all with her. Aren’t they precious?”
    “They sure are.” Carole smiled, then looked at Lisa. “So much for Mrs. McElroy.”
    “Let’s go out into the mall. Maybe we’ll have better luck out there.”
    They went out into the mall. It, too, was crowded with shoppers. As Carole and Lisa studied the throngs of people moving from store to store, it seemed that hundreds of women had red pocketbooks slung over their shoulders.
    “Wow!” exclaimed Carole. “I had no idea red bags were so popular.”
    “Me neither,” said Lisa. “I guess the best thing we can do is keep looking and asking the people who most fit the description of Cynthia’s mother.”
    They walked up and down the mall, paying particular attention to women’s clothing stores and shoe stores.
    When Carole remembered that Cynthia had said her mother bought her lots of things, they started looking in stores that specialized in items for children. Lots of women were out shopping with big red pocketbooks, but few looked like they could be Cynthia’s mother. One woman was perfect, except she was visiting Willow Creek from Boise, Idaho. Another good candidate was moving to Tampa, Florida, and had sent her children on ahead of

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