In our last episode, the fifth grade class of Beantown Christian School was visiting the town's only radio station, K-BEAN. During the visit, the kids learned that the program "Springs of Hope" went off the air several times a week, without explanation. Mr. Richards, the station manager at K-BEAN, didn't know why this happened. Willie and Grace smelled a mystery in the air!
Willie and Grace decided to investigate. Since K-BEAN's tower was up on Bean Mountain, they decided to take a hike up to the tower and see what they could see. The next Friday was a teachers' day at school, so that's the day they planned their hike.
"Come on Flop!" called Willie. "Let's go!" Flop got up from under the kitchen table and wagged his feathery tail.
The doorbell rang. "That must be Grace. Bye Mom! Bye Dad!"
Willie and Flop ran out the front door, where Grace was waiting on her bike. It was a lovely spring day, with a gentle breeze blowing from the ocean. The kids rode east through Beantown. They came to the outskirts of town, and then came to some pastures where cows were grazing. At last they came to Mrs. Parker's ranch at the foot of the trail. Mrs. Parker was a friend- Willie and Grace helped her discover who was stealing her prize calves last winter! She was glad to see the kids, and gave them each a glass of lemonade, as usual.
"Sure, you can leave yer bikes here, kids. I'll keep an eye on 'em. You have a nice hike, and I'll give you s'more lemonade when you git back, ok? God bless you!"
As Willie and Grace began to hike up the trail that led to the top of Bean Mountain, Grace commented, "Isn't it great to hear Mrs. Parker say 'God bless you?'" Ever since the stolen calf story, Mrs. Parker had been attending church, and last month she accepted Jesus as her Saviour!
"She sure has changed since she became a Christian!" remarked Willie.
As the kids walked, the trail became steeper. Flop was galloping around like a puppy, chasing every butterfly and sniffing every flower. A happier dog couldn't be imagined!
Finally, the trio reached the top of Bean Mountain. "Whew!" panted Grace. "What a hike!" She plopped herself down on a log. Flop flopped down next to her. At the top of the mountain stood a tall metal tower- the transmitter tower for K-BEAN.
"It's almost 10 o'clock," Willie announced. The kids had planned to arrive at the tower at 10 o'clock so they could see if anything unusual happened at the tower that might cause K-BEAN to go off the air for half an hour.
"What's that? I hear someone coming!" whispered Grace. "Let's hide behind those bushes over there and see what happens!"
They got behind a thick stand of blackberry bushes just in the nick of time. Just as they got themselves hidden, two men came into view. The men had backpacks, and walked right over to the tower. One man took off his pack, and began to climb the tower. Unfortunately, the sun was shining in such a way that Willie and Grace couldn't see what the man was doing up there! After a few minutes, he climbed back down, and the men opened their packs. The kids couldn't really see what the men were doing, but one of the men began to speak in a loud voice. The kids couldn't understand what he was saying, though.
Grace let go of Flop's collar, and the dog joyfully chased a rabbit into some shrubs.
"Those men were here at just the same time "Springs of Hope" is on the air on K-BEAN. Or should I say, when "Springs of Hope" is supposed to be on the air!" Grace said.
"Well, now we know how the station goes off the air, but we don't know why," Willie said thoughtfully. "Let's go look for evidence!"
The kids walked over to the area where the two men had been sitting. Flop sniffed the ground intently, and then began to bark. Willie took a look. "Hey! What's this!" he said excitedly.
NEXT WEEK: Strange Evidence