A couple of weeks later, Swara and her class made a field trip to the town’s museum. Swara, Ragini, and Kavya stayed together as they walked through the museum while the tour guide, Ragini’s grandmother, talked about each of the exhibits. Most of the exhibits were about the history of the town and the men and women who helped to settle it a long time ago. There were numerous exhibits about the Indians who used to live in the area, and these were the most interesting to the girls.
“I wonder if we will see anything about Chief Floating Cloud,” Kavya said.
“That would be cool if they had a picture of the Chief,” Ragini said.
Swara gasped, and the two girls hurried to her side. They stood in front of a painting hanging on the wall above a glass case. There was a brass name plate under the painting that read, “Cheif Rajat Sharma receiving the lost peace pipe of the White Buffalo Woman.” The girls gaped at the painting on the wall. It showed the Chief surrounded by members of his tribe. Three young girls stood in front of him. One of the girls, a Curly-haired girl, had a peace pipe in her extended hands, presenting it to the Indian chief.
Kavya gasped. “That’s you, Swara!”
“No way,” Swara said.
“It is you,” Ragini said. She pointed to the glass case below the painting. “And that is the pipe.”
The girls stared in awe at the peace pipe stored in the glass case below the painting.
Ragini’s grandmother stepped forward and placed her hands on Ragini’s shoulders. “Have you girls heard the story of the White Buffalo Woman?”
“Yeah, kind of,” Swara muttered. She could not take her eyes off the painting.
Ragini’s grandmother explained to them how two hunters on the prairie saw the White Buffalo and how it turned into a beautiful maiden. The maiden went to the tribe and presented them with the sacred peace pipe. Years later, the tribe lost the peace pipe and wandered the prairie for many years in search of it.
“According to the legend,” Ragini’s grandmother said, “Chief Rajat Sharma looked everywhere for the pipe. He even searched the spirit world for it. In the spirit world, he met three young girls. One day the girls came to him in his village and returned the sacred peace pipe.”
The three girls gazed at the painting in awe.
“Of course it is just a legend,” Ragini’s grandmother said. “There’s no such thing as spirits. But it is said his tribe was camped nearby when the pipe was returned by the three spirit girls. And now, we have the actual pipe here in the museum.” She patted the glass case. “Safe and sound!”
“Wow,” Swara said. “So he does get the pipe back.”
“Oh, so you know the story already?” Ragini’s grandmother asked.
“Yeah,” Swara said. The other two girls giggled nervously.
Ragini’s grandmother frowned at them. “Well, we need to continue our tour. Let’s go, girls.”
The girls followed their classmates through the tour, but hung back from the rest.
“That is the real pipe, Swara,” Kavya said. “We can return it to the Chief.”
“But it’s locked up in that case,” Ragini said. “How are we supposed to get it?”
Swara grinned at Ragini. “I think I have a plan.”
Ragini and Kavya leaned closer to Swara. “What is it?” Ragini asked.
Swara pointed to Ragini’s grandmother. Hanging on her belt was a key chain full of keys. “Those are the keys to the museum, and your grandmother has them.”
Ragini’s eyes got big. “You want me to get the keys? But she will never believe the story; she won’t give them to me!”
“Of course not,” Swara said. “That’s why you will have to get them when she is asleep or away.”
Ragini stopped and grabbed Swara’s arm. “You want me to steal them?”
“You have to.” Swara pointed to the painting of the Chief and the three girls. “According to the museum, we are going to return the pipe to Chief Floating Cloud. It’s already history!”
Ragini looked back at the painting. “So it’s like we already did it, even though we haven’t done it yet. That’s weird…”
“That is weird,” Kavya said. “We know what we are going to do, and we also know we will not get caught doing it.”
“Right,” Swara said. “We are going to steal the pipe from the museum and return it to Chief Rajat Sharma.”
Well what do you guys think? Will they be able to steal the pipe from Museum and hand it over to chief??????????????????