For the first volume. The second volume starts with Thorn showing Fone around the festivities of the Spring Fair. Thorn lets us know Fone and his cousins only have a few more days to stay in Barrel Haven, since Smiley and Phoney are almost done washing dishes for the room and board they’ve acquired and in the meantime she wants to show Fone a good time and decides to look for a honey-booth, with the cuter honey-sellers to buy from, pretty much deflating any love Fone was harboring for the moment. Thorn soon realizes what she’s looking for and gets two honeycombs. Soon Fone and the honey-seller are squaring off for a fight when Fone realizes he can make his arm muscle bulge larger than the young man and proposes arm wrestling, happily. Thorn puts a stop to it after though and rushes off with Fone in tow. Thorn gives him a peice of her mind when they’re alone though, expressing to him she’s had enough of his confrontational behavior and can join her when he’s through showing off his masculinity; at least it’s the impression I got.
Fone soon steps upon some honey and comes up with a plan to get on Thorn’s good side again. He goes over his plan as he executes it, but soon realizes his folly upon noticing the distance he’s travelled up the tree without making it to the hive, yet. Fone doesn’t understand why he isn’t seeing a swarm when he discovers the location of the honey and a humongous bee walks up and takes his flaming grass like it’s a smoking implement. Back at the bar, Smiley is getting caught up in tasks and being told by Phoney to put out the food which was waiting to be had by a customer. Smiley then relates why he hasn’t gotten to it yet with the knowledge he’s found a couple of guys willing to bet on the race, perking Phoney’s interest. When he’s told of the good bets, he then comes up with some numbers for Smiley to return with to make sure no one bets on Gran’ma Ben, making it plain for Smiley they’re fixing the race so they can win and how they’ll be “splitting” the goods. Then Phoney asks him if he’s ever seen any monsters about asking for him, Smiley giving it a good long think, annoying Phoney. Then Mr. Down makes Smiley get back to work waiting on customers, making sure Phoney realizes he’s keeping his eye on him, then complimenting his chef’s hat in a way which again annoys Phoney. We then see Gran’ma Ben running, training for the race and chatting with a local of how she’s been feeling, soon being approached by more men about whether they thought she looked well and in shape. Gran’ma Ben is soon talking to more townspeople of their lack of faith in her winning and betting on the mystery cow. Then we see Fone coming back to the festival with his huge honey-comb prize, hoping Thorn will be pleased, but sees her sitting off in a quiet spot under a tree with the honey-seller.
We see Phoney taking bets when Fone walks up and almost ruins Phoney’s position of bookie. Then they get into why Phoney has to try and “make a living” in this way, when Smiley walks up in his mystery cow costume, working Phoney up into a frenzy with the possibility of him being seen by the locals before the time is right. Smiley then tries to convince Phoney of his skills as a cow, when Fone asks why he’s dressed up and Phoney comes up with it being a part of a promotion they’re using for the race. Fone isn’t buying it and asks what else he’s been up to, confiding in him of how he’s seen the rat creatures after him, Phoney denying knowing what it’s all about. Then Smiley relays Phoney a message from Lucius which gets him back to the bar quickly enough, but Fone makes sure to inform Phoney he’s going to have to straighten his act before they get back to Boneville. Then it’s night and we see hooded figures walking along, soon they feel they are being followed and one runs off with a child who was with them, soon leaving the little girl by herself, he walking toward a dark figure outlined by the stars, then coming back for her to make her stay in Deren Gard, commanding her not to follow.
Then we uncover what creature the girl must follow. Soon they reach a cave, when he hears something close-by, which is when we see the little girl inside the cave amongst dragons. After, we see Thorn wake up and upon waking Fone, confides in him about her strange dream she had and go on to talk of how Gran’ma Ben had reacted to the dragon, knowing she isn’t divulging everything to them. Thorn then tries to figure out why the dreams she’s having have come back, since she used to have them when she was younger. Fone brings out the map they’d used to get there, after she asked about it and realized she’d drawn it, soon they’re trying to figure out if what her dream showed, was real, Fone deciding they should show Gran’ma Ben since Thorn was too confused to figure out its reality or not. Thorn decides to wait until after the race to confess about it, not wanting to make her more concerned about anything else, soon suggesting they go sleep, but Fone seems to struggle with this prompt.
Gran’ma Ben greets the group the next morning at breakfast in the bar, soon deciding to have a jog to “loosen up”: fifty or sixty miles loose, but then changes her mind upon hearing talk around the bar of her being too old to win, again. Lucius tries to cheer her up, but it doesn’t do much, especially when Phoney chimes in with support, but only makes her suspicious, going back to her room, sending for tea. Phoney makes a mistake when he thinks to offer Lucius a chance at betting against Gran’ma Ben, putting no pressure and informing him he’ll be open for bets until the start of the race, which makes him wonder about Phoney’s reasons, I imagine. Fone is seen trying to ask Thorn on a “walk-around-the-fair-date”, which she has to decline from for already promising Tom the honey-seller. We then see Lucius asking around about what the deal is with everyone betting on the mystery cow rather than Rose. Lucius then plants the fact nobody has even seen the mystery cow and once confirming it amongst themselves of the truth of this, Phoney happens to walk up mentioning the cow again, everyone dead silent, he unaware of the reason, but upon threats to his person, Phoney promises to show the “scary” cow by noon. Thorn is then shown looking for Tom and seeing him with another girl, who looks like a Disney princess, relating to her he was walking with her and she was welcome to “tag” if she so wished, which she didn’t and they walk off.
Fone is reading a book in the woods and is chatted up by Ted, popping out of nowhere. Ted gets right to the point of Fone needing to be straight with Thorn instead of mooning about in the woods because of her. Ted guesses his timid reasonings and suggests he write her instead. He isn’t for it at first, but Ted convinces him and he tries his hand at some love poetry. Ted goes off, promising to return and then we see rat creatures hiding behind Fone in the foliage. They argue how they’ll eat him after debating whether to bring him back to Kingdok instead, settling on their tummies. They creep up and Fone gets some rhyming advice from one without considering who’s doing the helping, at first. We then see Phoney approaching the barn with the mystery cow, the betters following him. After Phoney warns them to stay quiet, they being loudly threatening anyways, they hear a loud noise, we then see who’s making it, within the barn. Phoney still offers the chance to take a look, but with it seeming too life-threatening a risk, no one partakes, instead going off to locate good seats before the race starts, Phoney hearing the bell chime, which signified the start of the race being close at hand. Phoney then makes sure Smiley is ready to begin for the race, as well. We then see Gran’ma Ben approaching the starting line with Thorn calling after her. She wishes her luck and then asks Lucius if he’s seen Fone, which he hadn’t since breakfast, which makes Thorn wonder where he is, knowing he wouldn’t miss the race. We then see Fone’s pack and letter still in the woods.
When the race is about to start, Phoney gets Smiley ready to move in for the starting line, knowing no one else will be getting a close look at his grunge-y looking cow costume. Phoney confirms once more with Smiley he knows what to do and then goes racing back to his betting booth to see about any last takers. Lucius walking up to take a bet for Gran’ma Ben to win, which surprises the hoo-hah out of Phoney since he won’t be able to pay off Lucius’ bet compared to his own. He high-tails it back to Smiley to be sure he tries to win the race instead, which panics Phoney so badly he tries to step into Smiley’s suit so they have double the running power, but doesn’t get fully into the suit before the race is on. Apparently Gran’ma Ben and the mystery cow are neck to neck before entering the woods, meanwhile Thorn is still worrying about Fone as she watches the race. We then see Fone is having a race of his own, keeping ahead of the rat creatures, definitely giving them a good work out in the hunt of him. Soon though, he falls down a sharp decline, cuddled with one of the rat creatures until hitting a tree, Fone hanging onto the one, until the other falls onto his compatriot, making them all fall into more branches near the bottom, giving Fone his chance to make off into the woods and running into the possum kids, warning them of who’s chasing him, they all hiding until they’ve passed, which soon have the kids upset they didn’t help Fone in some way, coming up with a plan and one returning to update their mother what’s happening.
Meanwhile, the mystery cow is ahead of Gran’ma Ben and she’s decided to try and get a closer look at them, but the mystery cow falls over a ledge in their haste to get away, falling amongst many rat creatures and soon they’re running away from the horde, Fone behind Smiley now and when catching up to them, Smiley’s surprise Fone’s running the race with them. We then see the two possum kids revising their plan upon seeing Fone’s cousin is with him, then realizing the big stampede which was heading towards them, not only including the cows. When mystery cow collides with a rat creature, stopping both in their tracks, Gran’ma Ben sees them entangled and gets extremely steamed, everyone screaming to get away from her screaming, charging at them all. Soon, Lucius and the others all see the insane sight heading out of the woods, surprising everyone. Gran’ma Ben ignoring the Bones and everyone else, getting ahead of them and winning the race, watching the others pass her and ready to exact revenge upon the Bones.
Then we see Gran’ma Ben making her way through the woods with the Bones, Thorn, and Lucius; Phoney, “drippings with goo”, making him silent for the ride. We learn after Phoney got an old fashioned “licking” for his trouble-making. Smiley and he soon figuring out they will be dividing their time between doing chores for Gran’ma Ben and Lucius since she paid off Phoney’s debt and with the time to be decided upon, at the two’s discretion; Phoney, of course making a stand, but being quieted due to their still perilous journey back, not knowing where the rat creatures had run off to. Soon they get to talking about who will protect them if the rat creatures do come back and possibly are watching them right then, when they hear rustling in the trees, Lucius taking a closer look, not seeing anything and so moving on to their destination, being the farm. Fone keeps watching and soon sees the dragon looking at them from the bushes. A little further ahead, the Hooded One is shown watching them from above, in a tree. We then see a rat creature, during the day, ahead of the other and calling the “all clear”, both worried as to what Kingdok will have to say of their failure in capturing Fone again.
One makes clear to the other no one will find out and they would hide for a few days until everything calmed a bit. One of them freaking out repeatedly and babbling of how much had gone wrong until the other shouts for silence, then commiserating on their hunger. The conversation goes on for a bit, soon ending with the one’s favorite food item and annoying the other making the first pay for his big mouth, then taking a nap. We see Gran’ma Ben and group have returned to the farm after and Lucius gauges the damage done to the farm-house. Gran’ma soon confides in Lucius why she’d decided to rescue the Bones from their disastrous fate, being the only connection between her and the rat creatures. Soon they discuss the natures of the three, she trusting Fone Bone wouldn’t lie, Phoney is definitely a trouble-maker and Smiley, a simple lad. Lucius soon makes his worries known to Rose and she quells his nervousness for her by mentioning to him she won’t have to fight the rat creatures alone if they do come back earlier than judged since the dragon has returned. Lucius then has his supposition confirmed Fone actually does know of the dragon, as well as Thorn, Rose then hinting at the other part of the truth being not yet safe for Thorn to learn. Rose decides they should wait and figure whether the rat creatures are solely after the Bones and meanwhile Lucius and she will have fun using Phoney as a work horse, but will first rest whilst it’s still safe during the day. Fone gets first watch since he’d been able to get a few winks on the ride and soon goes off a ways to try and finish his love note. Then we get a little poem which shows the little possum kids playing. We also see the start of work and how Lucius gets nailed in the head with a plank by one of the Bones.
Lucius soon asks Smiley’s help to secure the rope which was keeping him from falling to his death, wondering what had kept Smiley, he alluding to how he’d been thinking of how vast of a fix-up job they were embarking on for the farm-house, perhaps needing to upgrade some more and wanting him to wait to share his opinion until hearing his plan out, but the dragging out of it is putting Lucius in a murdering mood. Smiley sharing his plan, but soon getting to reminiscing about his job in Boneville, making Lucius keep him on track with handing him enough shakes for the shingling, but is flustered to the point of being the cause of his own falling off the roof, which Smiley watches, being so distracted he’s unable to light his cigar for the fascination of it, but upon the crashing of his body on the way down and it becoming quiet, he lays back on the roof and accepting his current surroundings will suffice in the absence of Boneville, thus ending the second volume. It’ll be a treat to start the third. By this time it is also possible to read Bone Sourcebook.