Everyone in Legan’s mansion slept while Candy was going to wash her neighbors-horses.
- Good morning, Cesar, Cleopatra! – she greeted them, putting the on the ground. – I’ll clean you!
- You did wake up very early, Candy! – she heard the gardener’s voice, Mr. Whitman. He entered to stable doors and smiled.
- Good morning, Mr. Whitman! – Candy greeted him with smile.
- Have you a good mood now?
- How did you learn? – she smiled again.
- If someone wakes up early, he’s got a good mood always! – Mr. Whitman said, coming inside.
- So, you’ve got a good mood too? – Candy asked, turning up the sleeves of her plain dress for avoiding to make it wet.
- I’m old, therefore I wake up early. Moreover, I must put the garden in order. We’ve got an important guest.
- Have we a guest? – Candy amazed and gladdened.
Mr. Whitman caressed his white beard, recalling something:
- Mrs. Brighton will come.
Candy’s hand with brush stopped itself. Candy was thrilled from agitation from that news.
- Mrs. Brighton? – she turned her head towards old man, waiting answer.
- Do you know her? – Mr. Whitman surprised.
- Me..? – she didn’t want to say the gardener, that Mrs. Brighton came to Pony’s Home to take the girl from there. But Candy’s green eyes could say the girl remembered Annie, her Annie, which name was Annie Brighton now. Annie’s mum comes to mansion! – Will she come alone? – Candy had no patience to know.
- Well… I saw her many time ago… - Mr. Whitman pulled words, without noticing Candy’s impatience. – I’m not sure, but in my opinion she’s got a daughter, - he began to go out. – Excuse me, I carried away with chat.
But Candy has no time for Mr. Whitman’s chat. Her heart sang like spring birds, who make their nestles in the high tree, where Candy watched the yellow band of the road and Brighton’s carriage from.
- Annie’ll come… Mrs. Brighton will come with her! – Candy whispered and then ran to the stable to wake Clin up, who slept in his basket. – Clin! Clin! Don’t be surprised, Annie will come. – she took the raccoon in her arms. – Annie… That girl from Pony’s Home. I thought we can meet but I didn’t wait it would be so soon. Annie… - she recalled the years, which had been spent with Annie in Pony’s Home… They lay in their little beds, they make snowmen, they promise to never separate… - When we were small we were like sisters. We had fun together, were in sorrow together, cried and laughed together… We did everything together… Annie will come… Annie will come!!! – in joy, Candy twirled around, repeating her friend’s name…
Neal and Elisa hadn’t got such sunny smiles like Candy. And now, sitting in the guestroom – Elisa in the armchair, Neal on the sofa – malicious siblings called Candy, intend to make some other bad thing.
- What’s matter? – Candy came to room. Neal and Elisa glanced each on other and giggled with malice. Candy saw it’ll begin…
- What’s matter? – with wicked smile Elisa asked.
- Don’t you know how to ask? – Neal added from the sofa.
- Well… what should I do for you? – Candy decided to escape the quarrel.
- Take care about horses, we wait the guest! – Elisa blurted out.
- Who? – Candy interested timidly.
- Annie Brighton, - Elisa said proudly, not to suspecting Candy’s heart became to beat faster.
- I’ll take care about horses! – Candy cried running out from the guestroom.
Neal and Elisa were surprised and disappointed: they thought Candy’ll frustrate but she… But their faces became merry soon:
- She thinks it’s easy. She doesn’t know it’s a hard job! – Elisa said with malice.
Some hours later, Brighton’s carriage arrived to mansion. Candy saw it, hiding behind the bush near front of the mansion. She longed to see Annie!.. But she couldn’t allow it to herself. She’s no more than stable girl there, and Annie didn’t want someone knew about her relation to Pony’s Home. That’s why she stopped to write letters when Candy stayed in the orphanage… So, Candy looked at the carriagestaying behind the bush.
The carriage door opened and Candy saw Mrs. Brighton in beautiful green dress. She came on the ground, turned towards Mrs. Legan, who said “How do you do, Mrs. Brighton!”, coming out. Then Mrs. Brighton turned to carriage door, giving her hand to someone.
- Annie… - she called.
Candy looked with intense and saw… yes, it was Annie! Annie, her best friend forever! She was so beautiful and looked as if she was born in Brighton’s’ family.
- Annie! – Candy cried. – “She’s beautiful like a princess…” - the girl thought.
- Annie, you’re very cute girl, very much, - the hostess praised her guest.
- We didn’t see each other for long time, - Mrs. Brighton answered.
- You’re wonderful, as always, Mrs. Brighton. I envy you, - Mrs. Legan continued her compliments.
- You’re too kind…
Annie didn’t hear them, for there not far from the house she saw the familiar yellow tails with pink bands, familiar green eyes… It was Candy! Candy that she didn’t see so long whom. Annie smiled; Candy waved her carefully, greeting her. But Annie’s smile disappeared and she turned back…
“Good bye, Candy, - she thought. – I don’t want to recall about Pony’s Home. I won’t be writing you anymore…”
Candy didn’t need any explanations, she understood everything… But how to tell Clin that difference between girls, who recognized Annie and rushed towards his old master.
- O, Clin, no! – Candy yelled, leaving her refuge.
The raccoon reached Annie and touched her dress, wanting on her arms. Mrs. Brighton scared:
- Help, someone!
“Clin…” – Annie got sad more. She remembered her days in Pony’s Home, which she spent with that sweet animal. Pony’s Home…
- Candy! – Mrs. Legan called.
- No-no, Clin, come with me! – Candy took the raccoon in her arm.
- Annie, are you alright? – Mrs. Legan asked.
- I’m very sorry… - Candy whispered.
- Candy! And what if something would happen with our guests? – Mrs. Legan burst out.
- Yes, but Clin…
- Get him away quickly!
- I’d like to ask you… - Mrs. Brighton interfered. – Could you give me a room?
- Of course, but why? – Mrs. Legan surprised. – I’ll talk with that girl…
- No, I’d like to talk with her myself.
- I didn’t wait to see you here, Candy, - Mrs. Brighton began in the guestroom.
- So do I, - Candy sat opposite her, putting her arms on the laps.
- Are you going to lock yourself like a raccoon in the hole? – Candy lowered her head. – I understand you remember Annie. But now Annie is Brighton’s daughter. If Legans would learn Annie was in Pony’s Home together with you, Annie will be hurt. If you love Annie, pretend you don’t know her, - Mrs. Brighton asked. Candy nodded. – Did you agree, Candy? Well, that’s good, - Candy became gloomy more. – Did we agree each with other? – Mrs. Brighton asked again and Candy nodded.
- Of course, Neal and Elisa are not like Annie, - Mrs. Brighton laughed politely, when they gathered in the one room.
- O, don’t say that. Annie is the only daughter of noble Brighton.
- Annie, aren’t you tired? – Elisa asked brunette, who sat, turning to the window.
- Annie’s shy girl, - Mrs. Brighton added, seeing Annie just looks at them without any word.
- I think the same… I like her very much.
Annie lowered her head: “Candy!..”
- Clin, sometimes people can’t meet each other, even if they want… Don’t be sad, Annie will come to stable later… - Candy hoped those words will calm if not the raccoon then herself.
Candy saw in the stable someone, whom she didn’t want to see – Neal knelt in the hay and dug in the yellow straws.
- Neal! What are you doing here? – the girl called him.
- I’ve got a reason! – Neal blurted. He jumped, hiding something behind his back.
- You do hide something, - she pointed to his hidden hands.
- Why do you care? – he asked with malice.
- What have you got in the hand? Show it! – Candy demanded. But Clin took it himself.
- Give it back! – Neal tried to reach the raccoon but Candy took the little thing.
- The broken eperon. What will you be doing with that? – Candy asked suspecting evil thing.
- I’ll repair it! – Neal grabbed it from Candy’s hands and ran out from the stable.
- I’d never been riding! – Annie scared, when Neal and Elisa proposed her to ride.
- Don’t be afraid! – Elisa said.
- Of course, our Cleopatra’s quiet. It’ll be easy to ride and make a round.
- I’m afraid… - Annie said, lamenting.
- Annie, why wouldn’t you try? – Mrs. Brighton asked, turning to her daughter.
- A noble lady should be able to ride, - Mrs. Legan noticed.
- Let’s go! I’ll give you my suit for riding, - Elisa said with sinister enthusiasm, taking Annie’s hand.
Meanwhile, Candy prepared Cleopatra to riding. Seeing Annie coming out with Elisa and Neal, the girl said Clin:
- Clin… Don’t twirl around Annie, - pouted raccoon returned to his basket.
Annie, Neal and Elisa stayed near Cleopatra, not to paying attention to Candy.
- She seems quiet, - Elisa said, calming.
- Yes… - Annie whispered.
- That’s not dangerous at all… - Candy said it. She patted horse’s head; her face had got a smile – only for Annie.
- That’s not dangerous, don’t be afraid, - Elisa added.
Candy crossed her arms and put its for Annie’s feet.
- Put your feet here…
Annie looked in her friend’s eyes. She loved her much but she couldn’t even hug her after long separation. That girl, whom Annie grew up with, slept in one bed with, ate at the one table with; now she put her arms – with so working hands! – Just for Annie to put her foot on it? Destiny was so unfair, when it separated them in other ways…
- Please, put your foot here… Please! – Candy showed her kindness and good mood. Annie did. – Cleopatra, behave… - Candy said the horse.
- Well, it’s not scared? – Elisa asked Annie.
- It’s so high and pleasant to sit on the horse’s back, - Candy added.
- Hold on not to fall!
Neal didn’t cheer up. He took out that broken eperon, looked on the sharp dents and slapped Cleopatra. The frightened horse lifted her head and neighed.
- What’s wrong? – Candy didn’t understand but she saw the eperon in Neal’s hand leaves red marks on the horse’s skin. – Neal!
Cleopatra made Candy fall on the ground, âñòàëà íà äûáû. When Annie barely held the horse’s neck, the horse ran, carrying Annie on the dangerous walking.
- Annie, hold the ropes! – Candy yelled.
- Candy! – Annie found the courage to turn and call… Yes, she called Candy, the first person, who came to her mind. Candy, sweet Candy, who could find the right way in the hardest cases.
Cleopatra jumped over paddock’s barrier and ran away.
- Help me, Candy! – Annie cried.
- Hold on, Annie! – Candy cried.
Before the right decision came to her mind Candy rushed to the stable to take a next horse.
- What’s happening? At first was a one girl riding… Now it’s a next! What does it mean? – the personnel asked, seeing Candy runs after Annie, trying to catch the mad Cleopatra.
“Annie, hold on… I’ll come to help you soon…”
- When I sat Annie on the horse, Candy slapped the horse with that thing, - Neal demonstrated the broken eperon to his mother and Mrs. Brighton. Elisa stayed behind him and nodded:
- Yes, it’s she! We couldn’t prevent it!
- Candy did it because you scolded her before. She hid her malice! – Mrs. Legan turned to Annie’s mother.
- How did she dare! – Elisa frowned, pretending being angry.
- When she becomes mad she can do everything! – Neal nodded.
- If something will happen with Annie… - Mrs. Brighton whispered.
“I will save Annie, I will save Annie!” – Candy thought, seeing Cleopatra’s back.
- Help me, Candy! – Annie cried to emptiness.
- Annie, I come! Hold on! Annie, hold on! – Candy responded her, making her horse run faster.
Cleopatra ran through the local bridge on the other side of the river. Candy turned Cesar and now they rode with Annie almost on the one line – but on the other sides of the water. When Candy rushed forward a little, she turned her horse towards Annie through the river.
- Stop, Cleopatra, stop! – Candy yelled, resisting the wind. – Stop, Cleopatra! – she grabbed the roads. – Cleopatra, you’re good girl… - horses ran more slowly, and Candy felt Annie’s saved. – You’re a good girl, Cleopatra, - she caressed the horse and said Annie: - Annie, you’re out of danger!
Annie tore her crying face from horse’s neck and looked at Candy.
- It’s so good to see you’re alright! – Candy smiled
- You’re so beautiful… - Candy said, when girls have been sitting on the green grass. – I’ll pay him for that! – the girl clenched her fist, demonstrating, that she never will forgive Neal that thing. – Annie, why are you silent? Why don’t you tell anything? There’s no anyone you to scare. I pretend with others that I don’t know you. We didn’t see each other for long time… - she smiled. – Sister Maria and John had come there…
- “John…” - Annie remembered that boy, that they with Candy helped to wipe his sheets. – I beg you don’t say anything about Pony’s Home, - Annie tried to hold her tears.
- Candy, forgive me, forgive, but I must forget everything. Do you understand me? – the girl didn’t hold and began to cry.
- Does it mean you will forget Pony’s Home, Miss Pony, Sister Maria, all of us and me? – Candy couldn’t believe in it.
- I can’t forget! I can’t but I’m Brighton’s daughter. I don’t want to loose that happiness… My mum tells me often: Annie, you’ll marry and will heir the great fortune of Brighton, you will be happy. The problem is that you lived in Pony’s Home. If someone will know about that, you won’t be accepted in high society…”
- I don’t understand, why it’s a bad for high society – not to have a parents… - Candy looked away. – Why?
- Don’t say anything, Candy! – Annie cried. – There’s nothing to help, we can’t do anything! Clin… - she closed her face. – I can’t hold on! He was so happy when he saw me, and I even couldn’t caress him!..
- Miss Annie!.. – girls heard the sound and saw the driver and Mr. Whitman run towards them.
- O, Legan’s car’s there, - Candy rose up.
- Are you alright, Ms. Annie? – running driver asked, worrying.
- I’m glad you’re alright, - Mr. Whitman said.
- Don’t worry, nothing happened with her, - Candy came forward, closing her friend, but Legan’s secretary yelled at her:
- Madam’s mad at you, Candy! – did she imagine or Mr. Whitman lowered his eyes, feeling some guilt ?..
- Why at me? – girl didn’t understand.
Mrs. Brighton with Annie and Mrs. Legan were sitting in the guest-room. Candy, understanding nothing, stayed in front of Mrs. Legan:
- Candy, you say Neal stuck the horse?
- Yes, Neal hurted the horse, using broken eperon, - Candy said.
- Shut up! – Mrs. Legan rose up from the sofa. – It’s you put your sins on the other shoulders!
- It’s Neal puts his matters on other shoulders! – Candy didn’t bear it. – Call Neal!
- You didn’t say “Mr. Neal”! – Mrs. Legan interrupted her. – Did you forget?
- Then I will pull him by myself! – Candy jumped out from the guest-room. Annie looked after her with fear.
After seeing Candy’s face Neal’s scared but decided to pretend:
- What’s matter? – he asked roughly
- Are you a man or coward mouse? – Candy approached him and took the ugly boy’s collar.
- Don’t! – Candy’s grasp was strong and Neal scared more.
- I’m mad because I was scolded! – Candy yelled at him.
- Let me go!
- If I didn’t hold her, she’d fall from the horse and break something! – she continued, loosening Neal. Expression of pleasure appeared on his face:
- Why is such care about her? I don’t get!
- Because Annie is… - Candy began but stopped at once. No, she mustn’t tell Annie’s secret!
- Annie – what? – Neal didn’t understand.
- Annie, - Candy tried to choose words. – She’s important guest! Promise to not to do that anymore!
- Who’ll promise you?! – Neal laughed, but Candy threw herself on him and made him fallen on the ground:
- Dumb ass!
- Without offences! – he choked.
- If you’d do something bad to her, you’ll regret about!
- Mum! – Neal yelled. – Let me go! – he cried Candy/
The door opened wide and Mrs. Legan with the servant appeared.
- What’s happened? – the man asked.
- Servant, faster! – Mrs. Legan commanded and he pulled Candy away from Neal:
- Yes, madam! Candy, stop it!
Neal fearfully looked at Candy, who continued to ask him:
- So, do you promise?
- Yes, I promise!
- Candy, you must leave that house, - Mrs. Legan said, being in guest-room. Elisa behind Candy’s back grinned with pleasure.
- But I didn’t do anything, that I could be punished for, - Candy insisted.
- But I’ve got a witness! – Mrs. Legan continued with iron voice.
- But you won’t say…
- It’s truth, - Elisa added. – And Annie told it herself!
- Why? – Candy couldn’t understand. Annie lifted her frightened eyes up:
- I just said Candy was… - but her mother laid her hand onto girls’
- Annie… - she said softly.
- Yes… - the girl answered.
- It wasn’t Neal? – Elisa, gazing on Annie, leaned to her. – Tell, Annie!
- Did I do it? – Candy asked.
- Tell! – Elisa didn’t pause. Annie didn’t know what to do. To say Candy did it meant to betray her; to say Neal did it meant to betray mother’s good friends. What to do?
- Well… I don’t know, - Annie said.
- Annie, what’s matter? – Mrs. Brighton asked and Annie buried the face into her mother’s laps, crying:
- Madam, why wouldn’t we stop to discuss about that problem? – Mrs. Brighton asked Mrs. Legan. – I wouldn’t like our important guest had got unpleasant memories… - she looked at Candy. – but there’s no need to fire her from there.
- Yes, madam, - Mrs. Legan agreed. – why wouldn’t we forget about everything if Candy would bring her excuses to you? – Mrs. Brighton nodded. – I’ll do so. Well, Candy?
- Should I? – Candy looked at Mrs. Brighton questioningly and the woman nodded to girl with semi-smile.
“When we’ll meet next time, it’ll be your Birthday!..” – she remembered Anthony’s words.
“If I will have left that house now, I won’t be able to see Anthony…” – Candy thought.
- Candy? – Mrs. Brighton called her.
- She’s not polite enough to bring excuses, - Mrs. Legan began to get mad.
- She’s stubborn! – Elisa cried.
- Excuse me! – Candy blurted out. Then she ran out from the mansion and had been running until she approached the stable.
“I was right,” – she thought. – “It’s better to give excuses. Annie understands, it’s very hard to do…”
“Candy…” – Annie whispered, staying near stable and not to daring to enter.
- I was so careless, Ms. Annie… You’re so soft, - Candy said to Clin.
Couple hours later horse-shoes were heard again and Brighton’s carriage arrived.
- Please, visit us next time, - Mrs. Brighton and Mrs. Legan began to change with polite words again.
- Without doubts… - the hostess assured her.
- I’ll be waiting!
- Of course, madam, see you!
- Annie’s going home! – Candy lifted sad eyes up at the side of carriage’s sound… but she didn’t come to say good-bye Annie.
“Forgive me, Candy…” – Annie was sitting in the carriage, tears rolled on her cheeks. She said good-bye to Candy, to childhood, to old home…
- Good-buy, Annie. Take care… - Candy whispered and cried too.
- Candy! I see you’re sad, - Mr. Whitman came into stable. – I came to ask your forgiveness, - old man sat onto girl’s bed. – Forgive me, Candy, - she lifted eyes up at him, - I’m guilty at you. I saw who did it but I couldn’t tell the truth. I was afraid to loose my job.
- No matter, Mr. Whitman, - Candy wiped her tears. – I didn’t cry. I lost my friend today, who was like sister for me.
- Do you mean Annie? – Candy nodded the gardener.
- Yes… Annie’ is Candy’s best friend, - he said. – And evidence exists for that. When the horse had run, whom Annie did call?
- Annie called me! – Candy’s eyes opened wide. She remembered, riding Annie called only her, Candy’s name.
- She called neither father, not mother, but you! – the gardened agreed. – In dangerous the one’s called, who was loved the most.
- Annie… - Candy whispered.
- Annie!!! – she ran out from the stable, intending evidently to chase the carriage. But something took her attention and stopped. The pink silk band, which was on Annie’s head recently. Now it was tied up to log near stable.
- It’s Annie’s band… - Candy carefully untied it. – She tied up her band before she go away. Probably, Mr. Whitman’s right, - Candy hugged the band.
“Annie… we will be friends forever!”
The small band… It united Candy’s and Annie’s memories. They recalled their childhood and there are a lot of good memories!
The end of 11th series.