The Hunt

The Hunt by L. J. Smith

Book: The Hunt by L. J. Smith Read Free Book Online
Authors: L. J. Smith
quiet on the matter this time, but Diana surprised everyone by speaking up. “I agree,” she said, and then she looked at Cassie regretfully. “It’s time.”
    â€œWe’re not strong enough to overpower Scarlett, remember?” Melanie said. “Not even all of us put together.”
    Diana took a chance and put her arm around Cassie. “We’re strong enough if we get the Master Tools back.”
    Cassie raised her eyes just in time to see Adam smile. “Exactly,” he said. “With the Tools, we were strong enough to defeat Black John himself.”
    â€œThen I guess we have to find Scarlett,” Nick said. “But just to get the Tools back. That’s all we can risk right now.”
    Everyone seemed to be in agreement—even Nick. But all Cassie could think about was her mother telling her that if she had any chance of defeating Scarlett, the answers were in the book. Nothing seemed possible or realistic anymore without the secrets it contained.
    â€œCassie,” Diana said, and only then did Cassie realize the whole group was watching her. “We need you with us on this.”
    Cassie looked at each of them. Diana appeared desperate but sincere. Deborah and Suzan were newly terrified. Faye was out for blood. Finally, Cassie rested her eyes on Adam. He appeared repentant and regretful for bringing Scarlett back to the forefront of their lives. But he was doing what he thought was best for her, and for their friends. That was plain to see.
    The whole Circle really believed they could do it. They thought they could triumph over evil without resorting to darkness. Cassie envied them, really. There was a time she had believed that was possible, too.
    But what could she say? They were her Circle, and she was obligated to go down with them, if that’s what they were going to do.
    â€œI’m with you,” she said. “Let’s go get our Tools back.”

    That night Diana and Adam gathered salt water from the rising tide, while Cassie and the others prepared the secret room for a locator spell to find Scarlett. Suzan and Deborah set up candles on all four cardinal points: north, south, east, and west. Sean lit their wicks one at a time. Chris and Doug cleansed the air with smoking jasmine censers, while Melanie laid out energy-clearing crystals. Cassie allowed a small part of herself to fill with hope. Maybe they did have enough good magic behind them to stand a chance in this fight. Getting the Master Tools back from Scarlett could change everything.
    Diana and Adam returned from outside with a stone cauldron filled to the brim with seawater. They set it down on the floor, and the group joined hands around it, enclosing it in a circle. Just as they had the last time the Circle performed this spell, they all concentrated on the water—on its clarity and depth, its ability to reshape its form to any container, and its utility as a mirror. Then they invoked the elements.
    â€œPower of water, I beseech you,” Diana said. Together the Circle softly repeated the locator chant four times:
    She who is lost shall now be found
    Hiding places come unbound
    They stared into the cauldron as Diana called out, “Let the water show the location of Scarlett.”
    Then they watched, waiting for the images to come.
    Cassie focused hard, directing all her yearning and desire onto the water. She bent her mind, begging it to cooperate. When the first image started to form she felt a gust of energy rush through her.
    It was an old house—seventeenth-century old. And it was surrounded by a heavy iron gate. The house looked like it should have been a museum, no longer suitable tolive in, but not unlike many houses in New Salem and on the mainland.
    Then Cassie saw a bridge, but not one she recognized. It could have been any bridge anywhere; nothing about it struck her as unique. It disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.
    Finally a strange

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