Excited to have the last in the Search For Truth series – Trial by Ruth Chesney now in stock and we know some of you have been waiting for this next instalment. A terrible farm accident is only the beginning of a difficult time for Cherryhill Farm. With one disaster after another, in the middle of an already busy season on the farm, cousins Seb and Lavinia are driven to breaking point. In addition to all of this, Seb has the strain of his father in prison awaiting trial. Things go from bad to worse when it becomes evident that someone wants to destroy Cherryhill Farm. They desperately need to find out who is behind the attacks before it is too late. There are many lessons to be learned through the trial, but will Seb and Lavinia listen and learn, or will they ignore and reject what God is trying to teach them?
Suitable for ages 11+
Here’s an extract from the first chapter to wet your appetite:
“Seb! Move!” Uncle Matt yelled as five hundred kilos of Holstein bull charged across the yard. Seb grabbed the upper bar of the gate and vaulted over, his wobbly legs barely supporting him as he landed. He pressed against the wall, the ground vibrating beneath his feet. He was no longer able to see where the bull was, but knew that any second now the animal would launch himself at the gate. Seb only hoped the gate would hold and not be torn from its hinges. The bellowing and snorting came closer. Seb winced and braced himself, holding his length of blue alkathene pipe aloft, like a medieval knight in a sword fight.
The thundering hooves drew near, then abruptly stopped. The bull bellowed again. Seb frowned. If the sound was anything to go by, the animal seemed to have changed direction. Gingerly, Seb peered around the wall, and froze in horror. The bull had a new target in his sights. Head lowered, he pawed the ground once, then catapulted himself towards Uncle Matt. Matt turned and dashed for the gate on the other side of the yard, but the bull was too fast. He lifted and flung him against the pillar like a ragdoll, pinning him there and grinding his head against Matt’s leg.
“No!” screamed Seb. He looked desperately around for help, but no one was in sight. He leaped back over the gate. If he didn’t do something, Uncle Matt was going to die. The bull was in a frenzy. Wild. Angry. Seb approached, trembling, driven by desperation. Suddenly the animal backed away and Uncle Matt dropped to the ground in a crumpled heap. Was the bull moving away to renew his attack? Or was he now going to turn on Seb?
Seb breathed a silent prayer. He could hear his heart thudding in his chest and he took a deep breath. Surely the same God who could calm the wind and waves in ancient Israel could calm a raging bull in modern-day Northern Ireland!
The bull strolled into the middle of the yard, his anger spent like dandelion fluff on a windy day. Seb glanced at Uncle Matt. He wasn’t moving and, more than anything, Seb wanted to go straight to him. But he needed to get the bull out of the way. He took another deep breath and walked towards him, suppressing the urge to rush. The last thing he needed was to startle the animal.
The bull headed towards the cowshed, paused to sniff one of the heifers in the adjoining enclosure, then sauntered into his pen. A prayer of thanksgiving on his lips, Seb quickly rammed the bar of the gate into the socket before dashing out of the shed and across the yard. He dreaded to think what he would find.
“Uncle Matt? Can you hear me?” Seb reached down to touch his uncle’s shoulder. He cringed at the cuts and grazes on his face.
His uncle groaned.
“You’re alive!” Seb exclaimed.
“Barely,” Matt ground out between gritted teeth. “My leg…”
Seb glanced down at his uncle’s leg. Was it lying at a strange angle? “Stay there. I’ll go for Aunt Karen.”
“Not moving anywhere anytime soon,” he moaned.
Seb shook his head in self-rebuke. “Of course not.”
As Seb burst through the back door, Karen jumped. “Goodness, Seb! Is something wrong?”
“It’s Uncle Matt… The new bull… His leg…”
Karen turned pale and the vegetable peeler clattered into the sink. She dashed through the door, wiping her hands on her apron as she sprinted across the yard.
“What’s wrong with Daddy?” a small voice said as Seb prepared to follow his aunt. Martha, his little cousin.