Stockholm Estate

Stockholm Estate

by Matthew Mark Tougas


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Caution - this fast paced story has no shortage of mystery, magic and adventure. It will take you from a typical little modern family, back to the days when pirates ruled the seas. The simple contrast of good vs evil will make this modern tale of adventure, feel like an old classic. This tale of adventure starts with a mystery of the past and three kids putting the clues together. The clues and some magic lead them through time on an adventure to save a girl and her mother. Along the way some bad men are after this magical power for themselves. With many many surprises, twist and turns this story is intended to be enjoyable reading for all ages. Watch for book two as the adventure continues.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781456755386
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 05/25/2011
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)

Read an Excerpt

Stockholm Estate

Secrets of the Wooden Castle
By Matthew Mark Tougas


Copyright © 2011 Matthew Mark Tougas
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4567-5538-6

Chapter One

The Key to Moving Forward

It is late November, and the Weston family is getting ready to move. They are heading north to an old town in the Adirondack Mountains. Dave and Norma Weston are both in the furniture business.

"Norma, do you know where my great-grandfather's chisel set is?" asked Dave.

"Yes, I packed it with the other hand tools in the trailer," replied Norma. "We must leave by eight if we are going to be on schedule, Dave."

It's a nine-hour drive from Pennsylvania to the Stockholm Estate in the Adirondacks.

"Billy, leave your sister alone. She needs to finish packing by seven thirty," said Norma.

Emily is twelve and the baby of the Weston family.

"Mom, Billy is being a jerk. He's got my diary," said Emily.

"Billy, leave your sister alone and give her back her diary," said Norma.

"Baby, baby always got to tell on me!" shouted Billy.

Billy's fourteen, and like most fourteen-year-old boys, he has a lot of energy.

"Dad, why do we have to move to the Adirondacks?" asked Em.

"Emy, Daddy and Mommy have a new job that we both have spent our entire lives working for," replied Dave. "This is a place that your great-grandfather worked and positions there are held only by the best in the business."

"Dave, before we leave, let's get a picture in front of the old house. Come on, kids, we're going to take a picture," said Norma.

Norma is very anxious but disciplined. The picture was perfect; you could see Em's bright blue eyes and the dimple on her right cheek when she smiled. Billy is always on the edge of trouble. He was squinting his eyes and boxing his fists. Dave was perfect to Norma, with a smile that came effortlessly and quite often. Norma also was perfect to Dave, with her hair let down from a ponytail, only to look like she came from the salon.

"Ok, kids, pile in." Dave said, "It's time to hit the road."

The drive was long, and to pass the time, Dave and Norma told the kids stories of the Stockholm Estate.

"Dad, what did Great-Grandpa do at the Stockholm Estate?" asked Em.

"Well, Emy, the Stockholm Estate is the oldest furniture and craftsman shop in our country. Great-Grandpa worked for Sir John Stockholm, a master craftsman. Grandpa was known as the watchman," replied Dave.

"What's a watchman, Dad?" asked Emily.

"The watchman has to make sure all the precious antiques are kept safe," said Dave.

"Is there a watchman now?" asked Emily.

"Yes, Emy, there is a watchman now, but I do not know him," said Dave.

"What about Sir John?" asked Billy.

"I think your mother read a book about him," said Dave.

"Yes, I did, Billy," said Norma. Sir John Stockholm came from England a long time ago and was considered one of the best craftsmen in the world. When he arrived here, he met a lovely woman Anna Marie. She had long red hair, which she always tied back with a ribbon.

"She does sound lovely," said Em.

"She was very lovely and had a great passion for adventure and travel. She also loved to paint; she took her easel and paints where ever she traveled," said Norma.

"I've got to go," cried Billy.

"We are going to stop in a few minutes, Billy," said Dave.

"Mom, tell more," said Em.

"Okay, Em, Sir John and Anna Marie were married a year later. Then Sir John began building the Stockholm Estate. He built it from the largest and oldest trees in the world. It looks like a wooden castle, with the most wonderful carvings, like the ones you see on the front of old ships. Everything at the estate is large and has a magical feel given to it by the chisel in master craftsmen's hands. There is a huge warehouse that has the largest collection of antique furniture and items in the whole world." said Norma."

"Mom, where will we live?" asked Emily.

Norma said, "We will live in the west end of the Stockholm Estate. It is a very big mansion, and each part connects to the next with an upper bridge and lower gate. In the center is a very large courtyard with an old British battleship in the middle."

"Oh my gosh, Mom," said Billy. "There is a real battleship where we live now!"

Norma said, "Yes, Billy, this was the ship that Sir John, Anna Marie, and Elizabeth used to sail around the world on many adventures."

"Mom, who is Elizabeth?" asked Em.

"Elizabeth was their daughter, and when she was ten, they left on their first voyage," said Norma.

"What was she like?" asked Emily.

Norma said, "She was a lot like you, Em. She loved to write and read and wanted to help others. She looked like her mother, with long red hair and green eyes."

Dave said, "We are going to stop at this store."

"Oh boy, this store is really old. Do you think they have a restroom, Dad?" asked Billy.

"I'm sure they do," said Dave.

It looked like an old hunters' lodge. The front steps had grooves worn in them from years of use. The porch was covered in items like pots and pans, saws, strings of herbs, and baskets. Inside was just as cluttered, with a whole range of strange items. There were stacks of canned food on the floor and things hanging from the ceiling that seemed to meet in the middle. It made it feel as if they were going through a jungle of left-behind items of an old village. Toward the back of the room was an opening. There was a counter made of an old tree on its side. Some of its branches were going straight to the ceiling covered with old skeleton keys and horseshoes. It was dim, and you could hear the hiss of a kerosene lantern over the counter.

"Hello?" yelled Dave. (It was silent.)

"Dad," said Billy.

"Shh," he replied.

They heard the slow creak of footsteps down stairs. From behind a pile of baskets in the jungle came an old woman with a gimp in her walk. "Good day," she said.

"Hello," said Dave. "Would you have a restroom my son could use, Ma'am?"

"Yes, I would," she said. "Go through the front door and around the back."

Billy ran off without a second to spare.

Dave said, "Hello again, I am Dave Weston. My wife is Norma, my daughter's Emily, and Billy's the one with the emergency."

"Nice to make your acquaintance," said the woman. "My name is Betty Hackenshaw."

"Are you related to the Hackenshaws of the Stockholm area?" asked Norma.

"Yes, but my family has not been to the Stockholm area since the disappearance of Murdow Hackenshaw and Elizabeth Stockholm," replied Betty.

Emily's eyes got big when she heard Elizabeth had disappeared. She felt Betty had noticed, so she started looking at the skeleton keys hanging on the branch.

"Do you see one you fancy?" asked Betty.

"This one here has a flower carved on the end," answered Emily.

"That's the one," said Betty. A long pause followed.

The silence was very uncomfortable for Emily. She shouted out, "What's that one?"

Betty replied, "That's the one my great-grandmother found in her son's belongings."

Norma asked, "Was that Murdow?"

Betty said, "Yes, it was Murdow. I would like little Emily to have the key, with your approval, of course, Mrs. Weston."

Norma said, "Okay, but you don't have to, Mrs. Hackenshaw."

"What—" Emily started to say.

"Yes, dear?" said Betty.

"What happened to them, I mean Elizabeth and Murdow?" asked Emily.

Betty explained. "Well, dear, nobody knows exactly what happened. It was very mysterious. It was winter at the time, and a northeastern storm had come in that day. The wind was whirling; snow came like a white blanket over Stockholm. Murdow was the Stockholms' butler and had served dinner that night. The dinner manifest for the night included the Stockholms and three guests. The dinner was a grand event in those days, especially when there were guests. Murdow's position at the time was the highest among the servants. He had planned the whole evening. First, before dinner Elizabeth read some poetry she had written. She had made one little slip but was never shaken. She had a confidence in herself that allowed her to push forward at everything she tried. Then dinner was served. It was full of pleasant conversations and stories of adventures.

"The guests were three very old friends of Sir John and the best craftsmen in the world. Each man was the very best at his trade. Five years before, the Stockholms had set out to sea with the War Hawk, an old British battle ship. Sir John had set course southwest to the Caribbean Sea, where he first set port at Pandora. His quest was to find a Captain Burgos Poza, who was considered the best craftsman in all things nautical. Sir John left the War Hawk in port and made his way inland to Cartago.

"In Cartago, he found Captain Poza in a cantina, making a trade of swords and muskets for some rare metals. Sir John introduced himself to Captain Poza, and they shared a bottle of whiskey. Sir John explained to the captain that he wanted to work with the very best craftsmen in the world. He wanted to learn more techniques that he could use in his furniture making. The captain agreed to build two alike compasses with him. They would each have one, for safekeeping.

"They worked for many seasons and used the rare metals that the captain had collected. The captain also was a traveling man. He was a medium-built man who loved cigars and whiskey. He had traded with pirates and men of the black markets across the globe.

"Anna had spent her time painting the landscapes and many portraits for her newfound friends. Anna and Elizabeth spent their days on shore and would return to the ship at nightfall. The nights were full of dangerous pirates, drunken on whiskey and rum. The War Hawk had many large cannons and a trustworthy crew, which made it safe for them at night. Elizabeth found delight in reading and writing as much as she could. She had made friends with the native people, and they showed her many natural herbs for healing. This became a new interest for Elizabeth. She studied the trees, plants, and minerals of the land.

"The week before they left was full of trading goods with the natives and they also celebrated with a king's feast. There was a roasted boar and barrels of beer. The natives danced and sang songs. The captain and Sir John joined the celebration on the last day. It had been a year and a half since they began their friendship and continuous hard work on the compasses. The compasses were an exact match, both forged from the same rare metals. The compasses would be the best ever made. Each one had a second hand on them that could be used to figure out the range and distance of travel. Both men were very pleased with the results of their hard work. Just as agreed, each of them kept one, and agreed to meet at Stockholm when Sir John's journey around the world was over.

"Next they set sail for Vilhelm. Sir John was looking for a watchmaker by the name of Hanz Hammerfest. They sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in record time. The War Hawk was the fastest ship on the seas, except for a pirate ship known as the Black Horn.

"The War Hawk was a massive warship, with the scars of many battles. The ship sat ten feet higher in the water than most ships and had three more sails than most. The Black Horn was the sister ship of the War Hawk and shared as many battle scars. The Black Horn was given its name because of the many fires that blacken it, and just before they attacked, a horn would sound. Some men would say the horn summoned evil spirits. The Black Horn was the most-feared ship on the seas, and also the ship's captain, Captain Alvaro, was the most-feared captain.

"They set port at Vilhelm, and this time his search was a quick one. Hanz Hammerfest had a shop on the main street. The shop was full to the second floor with shelves of watches and clocks. Hanz had been a watchmaker since a little boy. His father was considered the best keeper of time, but Hanz had taken over for him. Hanz was a young man, tall and slim. He wore strange clothes for the time, with pockets all over his pants, shirt, and hat. In each pocket was a different tool, and each tool was made by Hanz. Hanz was always thinking of work and any way he could create a better timepiece.

"As before, Sir John approached Hanz with his desire to work with the best craftsmen in the world. Hanz was taken in with the idea and agreed to build two alike watches. The watches would be made with the rare metals that Captain Poza gave to Sir John. They both worked very hard to create a watch better than any other. The watches had an extra dial that gave the year and date. This was Hanz's newest idea. Each of the watches had the holy cross carved in the cover. The holy cross was the symbol used by the Knights Templar. Each of the men had strong Christian beliefs.

"The third and last guest that evening was Vike Dresko. He was an important member of the Knights Templar. He defended the most important items held by the Knights Templar. He was also known as the greatest craftsman of arms. Sir John had set sail to Strasbaurg in search of Vike. He found a friend of Captain Poza's, who brought him to a small church in the country. Here he found Vike and explained his long journey.

"Vike instantly liked Sir John. They had much in common. They were both tall and fit men with passion for causes greater than themselves. They both agreed to make two alike swords and shields. Just like before, each of them would have one when they were done. They forged the steel with some of the rare metals included. When the steel work was done, Vike showed Sir John a piece of wood for the inlay of the handle of the sword. He said it was one of the last remaining pieces that had been blessed for the Knights. They used very little of the wood for the inlay work on the sword and shield. The remaining piece Vike gave to Sir John to make a pen for Elisabeth's birthday. Vike also gave him some parchment for her. The paper had been used to make scrolls of the Lord's word. With all the hard work done, Sir John and Vike felt they created a sword and shield that would forever protect goodness."

"That's quite a story," said Norma.

Mrs. Hackenshaw gave a big, warm smile and said, "Thank you, my dears." Emily was hungry for more stories but knew better than to ask.

Dave said, "It was very nice to meet you, Mrs. Hackenshaw. We best be on our way."

Norma leaned in and gave Mrs. Hackenshaw a small hug. Emily waited her turn and gave her a big hug.

Emily said, "I hope we see you soon. Mrs. Hackenshaw."

"Yes dear, I hope so too," said Betty.

Chapter Two

Finding a Direction

The Weston family arrived at the Stockholm Estate. The road to the estate ended at the base of a mountain. The walk in from there was wonderful. It was just turning dusk, and the lanterns were being lit. Halfway down the walk, the family was met by an elderly gentleman.

"Good evening, I am Willburbee Chestnutter, the Stockholm Estate watchman," he said.

"Good evening, I am Dave Weston. This is my wife, Norma, and my two kids, Emily and Billy," said Dave.

"Yes, I have been expecting you," replied Willburbee. "If you would please follow me, I will show you in."

"Mr. Chestnutter, can I see the battleship?" asked Billy.

"In good time, young man, in good time," replied Willburbee.

"Mr. Chestnutter, is there a library here?" asked Emily.

"Yes, Miss Emily, there is a library," replied Willburbee. "I will show you in good time."

"You must excuse us, we are all very excited," said Norma.

"That is quite understandable," replied Willburbee. The front of the castle is made of logs that are as tall as a man. The carvings are positioned all over the castle and make it feel very mysterious. The front gate is two large wooded and steel doors. The inside of the castle is both wood and stone.

Willburbee said, "This is the heart of the estate. The dining hall, ballroom, and library are located here. From here, the living quarters are to the west, the servants' quarters to the east, and the warehouse is at the north end."

Emily could sense a mystical, magical air to the castle. Her thoughts seemed to be crowding each other. She thought of Elisabeth and her possible loneliness. At the same time, she thought of the library and how wonderful it must be. When she awakened from this confusion a handsome young man was standing in front of her.

Willburbee said, "Allow me to introduce my grandson, Timmothy Chestnutter."


Excerpted from Stockholm Estate by Matthew Mark Tougas Copyright © 2011 by Matthew Mark Tougas. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Key to Moving Forward....................1
Chapter 2 Finding a Direction....................15
Chapter 3 Battles of the Past....................27
Chapter 4 Finding Truth....................39
Chapter 5 Helping Those of Good Heart....................49
Chapter 6 Choosing Your Path....................59
Chapter 7 Risk and Reward....................65
Chapter 8 Courage for the Good Fight....................77
Chapter 9 Faith Brings You Home....................89

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