Danger at Baird's Den [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Gail E. Hedrick
eBook Category: Children's Fiction
eBook Description: Kate Baird planned to have a quiet, boring summer in her small town in the mountains of North Carolina, cleaning bathrooms in her family's bed and breakfast, Baird's Den. Her mother was laid up with a broken leg and Kate would have to help her out all summer.
eBook Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2012
Kate Baird, Cleaning Girl
"What have I done to deserve this?" I yelled, slamming the phone down sending pencils and the reservation book flying off the desk. I looked in the mirror over the desk convinced that steam would be coming out of my ears. No steam but instead I saw my hair frazzled all over as if it had been shot full of static electricity. When I got dressed that morning I never dreamed I would get this dirty. My favorite football jersey was covered in dust and grease and smudges of furniture polish streaked across my shorts. Dusting, mopping, scrubbing toilets.... It was hard enough doing eight jillion to help Mom and Dad run our bed and breakfast, and now this?
"What's wrong, sweetie?" called Mom, from her room on the second floor.
I hoisted the laundry basket loaded with clean sheets and towels, stomped up the stairs and down the hall to their bedroom. I stopped at the end of the bed where Mom was resting with her leg propped on a pillow. I sat the laundry basket down carefully so it wouldn't bump the white cast that covered her foot. I gently tapped today's decoration, a red gingham ribbon. "I don't want one more person to clean up after."
"Well, yes you do--that's how we make money, with guests." Mom leaned against the pillows piled on her bed and blinked. "So, what brought this on?"
"The phone call I just got."
"Was it Taylor?" said Mom. "When will she be here?"
"Apparently, she'll be arriving by airport limo in about an hour." I grabbed a pile of crisply folded sheets and shoved them in the dresser. "We can't stand each other. Why didn't you tell me she was coming and more importantly, why is she coming?"
Mom reached for a glass of water, took a sip. "I didn't tell you because I thought you'd pitch a fit."
She knew me only too well. "Okay, I might actually be doing that now."
"So it seems." Mom pointed toward her foot. "While I'm laid up from this surgery, we need help."
"True, but it didn't sound like she'd be any help to me. Do you know how many bathrooms we have?"
"I do. We have six and you love cleaning them. You always say that."
I shrugged. It was true. When I finish a bathroom, the shine of the faucets and gleam of the sinks, tubs and even the commodes, make me smile. However, vacuuming and dusting were just the opposite. Seconds after you finished, new dust specks started invading like an evil enemy. "Okay, so I get no help with polishing the furniture. What exactly will Taylor be doing?"
"With you busy cleaning and handling some of the reservations, I need someone to cook."
Wow, I had to defend myself and fast. "I make great chocolate-chip cookies."
"Yes, you do," agreed Mom. "And our guests love them as a bedtime snack. But it takes more experience to prepare the cheese grits, ham biscuits, and fried apples; the things that make Baird's Den breakfasts special."
I was trying to save my summer here so I tried another angle. "Couldn't you have a local lady, like Angela Watson's auntie, come in to be our cook?"
Mom nodded and ran her fingers through her short, layered rusty-toned hair. "I could, but I'd have to pay a whole lot more plus provide insurance. Taylor's won all kinds of cooking contests, and she needs a place to stay while your Aunt Jan and Uncle Dave are away."
Dreading only one of many possible answers, I asked, "Where will shesleep?"
"Well," said Mom, taking a deep breath, "since I'm hoping we get lots of guests, I'd hate to have to keeping moving her from room to room all summer. It would just be much simpler if she bunked with you."