Lucy’s eyes were dampening as well. “I’m going to see if I can find out where the oil’s coming from. I’ll meet you at our usual spot later.”
“Good idea,” said Maratha. Then she sped off in the murk.
Lucy blew her nose in a handkerchief she kept for emergencies. This was definitely an emergency. “Oh, dear,” she whispered.
Not much farther on, Lucy spotted the neighbors’ mill. The creek was dug wider here. A big water wheel turned slowly.
The last thing Lucy took in as she hurried toward the building was a motorcar parked very close to the creek. “Wow!” she exclaimed.
It wasn’t until she was right up against it that she noticed anything wrong. A pool of black fluid lay beneath the front wheels. It was flowing into the water.
Lucy charged further up the hill to her neighbor’s small wooden farmhouse and knocked on the door. Mrs. Burroughs peered out with a smile. She looked around about Lucy’s head as if looking for someone else. “Where are your—” she began.
“Your motorcar is leaking oil into the creek. It’s horrible,” cried Lucy.
“Oh,” said Mrs. Burroughs. “Let me get John.” She walked through the house to the back porch.
A burly man with a graying beard strolled up to the front door. “Hello, missy. What’s the problem?”
“You’re new motorcar is leaking oil into the creek.”
Mr. Burroughs frowned. “I’ll have to hire a mechanic. There can’t be too much spilled. I’ll grab a bucket.”
Lucy walked with Mr. Burroughs over to the shed and picked up the smallest bucket. Mr. Burroughs showed her how to slick the very top of the water off and pour it in a hole his dog had dug in his yard. The water began to clear.
Lucy wiped sweat off her forehead. She knew it would take a long time to clean everything up, but it would be worth it.
Luckily, Maratha returned. She brought her father with her this time. When Mr. Burroughs turned his back to dump another bucket, Maratha’s father waved his hand and the oil was cleared!
Maratha and Lucy shared a wide grin. Mr. Burroughs looked bewildered at first when he saw the water. Then he muttered, “Creek nymphs,” bid Lucy a good day, and went back inside.The creek was saved.