After the lunch was dished out and grace was said, Evelyn addressed Adam. "So how did things fair at Rebecca and Joe's? Did Asher finally settle down?"

"Sadly no," Adam replied. "Turns out it wasn't Giddy-up he wanted after all, but his top."

"His top Pa?" asked Lizzie getting in on the conversation.

"A small blue spinning top your Uncle Joe bought him at the mercantile a week ago," continued Adam. "They still can't find it either. Poor Asher is a wreck and so are all the others."

"Could he have left the top here Pa, like he did Giddy-up?" Luke enquired.

"It's possible Luke," said Adam wiping his mouth with a napkin. "Wonderful lunch Evvy, thank you."

"You're most welcome. Will you be going to town now?" Evelyn wondered.

"Yes, if you'll excuse me," Adam answered rising from his seat at the head of the table.

"Do you need any help Pa?" Luke eagerly asked. "Benny and me could help you load all of that barbed wire."

"Benny and I," corrected Evelyn.

"Sure Luke," smiled Adam, "you two finish your lunch then meet me in the barn. I'll go start hitching up the team to the buckboard." He walked over to Evelyn and gave her a quick kiss before exiting the house. Benny and Luke shovelled down their meal, thanked Evelyn then followed their father outside.

Morgan gave Jake a mischievous grin then turned to his mother. "Ma, can Jake and me be excused to go play?"

"May Jake and I, Morgan."

"May Jake and I be excused?" Morgan recited.

"Yes you may, but stay close to the house."

"Yes Ma'am," he called as he and Jake raced outside. The two boys huddled together at the far end of the front porch. "Jakey did you see Asher bring a blue top with him when we took him up to the tree house?"

"Nope, did you?"

"No, but that don't mean it ain't up there. I reckon Uncle Joe might give us each another silver dollar as a reward for finding it."

"Gee Morgan, do ya think he will?"

"Sure he will. Uncle Joe'll be so happy we might even get more than a dollar."

"Wow! We'll be rich!" exclaimed Jake.

"Quiet!" Morgan snapped. "Do ya want everyone findin' out? Come on let's go check."

With their father and brothers in the barn and the girls helping Evelyn inside it was a perfect time to see if Asher did indeed leave his spinning top in the tree house. Morgan and Jake darted to the side of the house and proceeded to climb the rope ladder hanging along side of a large pine that played host to their tree house. Close to the entrance of the house was a small platform that had been secure to the side of the tree. Here the children could step off the rope ladder and get their footing before lifting the door and entering through the floor of the little shack. When the two boys reached the platform, Morgan lifted the latch and pushed upward allowing the door to slam on the tree house floor. He pulled himself up and sat of the ledge as held out his hand to Jake and helped him in.

"Howdy boys, looking for something?" Morgan and Jake spun around to see Adam sitting in the corner of the shack. He was leaning against the wall with the left leg stretched out in front of him and the other bent and propping up his right arm. The stunned boys were speechless. "You wouldn't happen to be looking for a blue spinning top would you?" questioned Adam, cocking his eyebrow.

"EJ told you, didn't he?" Morgan realized.

"He did" replied Adam.

"There's no spinning top is there?"

"No, there is not. It isn't much fun being lied to is it, Morgan?"

"No sir, it ain't," Morgan sighed. "What happens now?"

"For starters, you'll both be spending the rest of the day in your room. I will talk to the pair of you when I get back from town. Now get inside!"

Morgan descended the tree with a puzzled Jake close behind. They tread slowly towards the house as Adam climbed down the rope ladder and ascended the buckboard with Luke and Benny then drove out of the yard.

"Morgan, why're ya so sad? Pa just said he was gonna talk to us, that's all."

"You've got a lot to learn Jakey," Morgan said shaking his head as he trudged up the stairs to their room.