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Something Suspicious in Saskatchewan

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208 pages
Katie and Rusty are heading East. Fresh from their thrilling adventures in Alberta, facing down devious developers, the cousins have made their way to Aunt Margaret's farm in Saskatchewan. After rescuing her aunt when she is trapped under a piece of farm equipment and learning of other acts of possible sabotage, Katie decides that she has found another mystery to solve. Puzzled by the changes they notice in their cousin Megan, and alarmed by a series of threatening phone calls, Katie and Rusty embark on another adventure. With no shortage of suspects -- from Cousin Megan to the jilted boyfriend and the controlling farmhand -- the two detectives find themselves in deeper than they thought and are soon in real danger.
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Dayle Campbell Gaetz
Dayle Campbell Gaetz
Orca฀Book฀Publishers
Copyright © 2006 Dayle Campbell Gaetz
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Gaetz, Dayle, 1947-
 Something suspicious in Saskatchewan / Dayle Campbell Gaetz.
ISBN 1-55143-565-9
 I. Title.
PS8563.A25317S64 2006 jC813’.54 C2006-903480-X
First published in the United States, 2006 Library of Congress Control Number:2006928998
Summary:Rusty and Katie uncover a sinister plot to run their aunt off the family farm.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs
provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing
Industry Development Program and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of
British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Doug McCaffry Cover illustration by Ljuba Levstek
Orca Book Publishers POBox 5626, Stn. B Victoria,BC Canada V8R6S4
Orca Book Publishers POBox 468 Custer,WAUSA98240-0468
www.orcabook.com
Printed and bound in Canada
09 08 07 06 • 5 4 3 2 1
Other books in this mystery series by Dayle Campbell Gaetz
Mystery from History Barkerville Gold Alberta Alibi
For Kristin K., a young and promising Saskatchewan writer.
Acknowledgments To Harry, who owns a two thousand–acre farm in southern Saskatchewan, thanks for so patiently answering my many farm-related questions when we happened to sit next to you at Tim Hortons in Moose Jaw. And to Harry’s assistant, originally from Neepawa, thanks for your input as well, and for suggesting we visit Margaret Laurence House in your home-town in Manitoba. To “Gump” (Greg Gumpinger) at Moody’s Equipment Ltd. in Unity, Saskatchewan, thanks for not laughing at an ignorant West Coaster’s questions and for providing such excellent information about that amazing range of huge farm machinery. To Andrew Wooldridge, thanks once again for your always valuable editing advice.
1
Katie pushed damp curls back from her forehead with hot sweaty fingers. She leaned sideways to peer past GJ’s right ear. That straight dirt road still shot out in front of the truck as bland and boring as ever. It stretched endlessly across this dreary land until, in the distance, its two edges grew so close they seemed to touch. On both sides of the road were fields. Rocky fields, bumpy fields, green fields, brown fields, they stretched in all directions to a flat and featureless horizon. In a place like this a truck might drive right off the edge of the earth and vanish forever. Worse than the flatness, though, was the heat. And dust. And mosquitoes. “I hate Saskatchewan!” Katie announced. Gram poked her head around the passenger seat. “We’re almost at Aunt Margaret’s farm.” Her voice
2
sounded dry and creaky as if she just woke up. “We’ll all feel better when we get there.” “Not me. Not if Megan’s there.” Gram’s dark brown eyes fixed on Katie. “Katie, give Megan a break. The last time you saw your cousin she had just lost her father, so you can’t blame her for being unhappy. Try being nice to her.” “I tried. It didn’t work.” Two years ago, when Megan and Aunt Margaret had visited them in Victoria, nothing could please her older cousin. The girl complained about every-thing. Tall, swooping cedars in Katie’s backyard? Gloomy and depressing. Snow-capped mountains in the distance?Get in the way of the sky. Sandy beaches teeming with life?Ew—disgusting. It stinks worse than dead fish. “Why’d you come here if you hate everything so much?” Katie had shot back. Megan’s face had crumpled, and Katie felt bad. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…” “You’re such a spoiled little brat! Just stay out of my face, and we’ll get along fine.” “Besides,” Gram continued now, “Megan was only fifteen then and going through a lot. I’m sure she’s much more mature now that she’s almost seventeen.”
3
“Don’t remind me,” Katie groaned. “I really hate that I have to share my birthday with her.” “And I hate the way she treats me,” Rusty added, “like I’m two years old.” “I’m sure you three cousins will have a wonder-ful time together,” Gram said lamely. She must have tired of the conversation then because she flicked the radio on. “Superweeds threaten to take over Saskatchewan,” a man’s voice announced. Superweeds? Katie glanced out the window, half expecting to see a row of tree-sized weeds wav-ing their hairy green leaves over the road, bending down, waiting to grab any unsuspecting truck that came along. “Aren’t you exaggerating?” a woman suggested. “Not at all. These big biotech companies have un-leashed a monster no one can control. They’ve ge-netically manipulated canola DNA and made new species that herbicides can’t touch. The pollen blows through the air and contaminates other fields. Every year weeds become resistant to stronger herbicides. How do we farmers ever get rid of a superweed like that?” “I guess that’s for scientists to figure out,” the woman said.