Authors: Mark London Williams
“Is it part of the key,” she asks, “to the
I nod. Thea is reaching down to pick up the
“Don’t, Thea! Don’t touch it!” I yell.
Howe and Banglees are still fighting. Howe
uses his wrist irons to swing at Banglees. The knife has been
knocked away, and the trapper’s trying to get it back.
With the spreading fire, some of the slaves
have jumped to their feet. “Halt!” Claiborne yells. And then to the
soldiers: “Do not fire until you hear my order!”
“No firing! No firing!” Jefferson yells
In the growing melee, a soldier knocks Thea
down into the mud and is about to kick her. That’s when I raise my
arms. I jump toward Thea, and shove the surprised soldier out of
the way. He gets knocked back a few feet and crashes into the
equally surprised Banglees
I pull Thea up from the ground and with my
free hand, reach for the cap.
“Clyne!” I yell. “Let’s go!”
“Wait!” Jefferson pleads, “Do not
Howe staggers over to me, and collapses as
he grabs my ankle. “Must protect Danger Boy… Can’t let anything
else go wrong…”
“Don’t let them escape!” the governor
shouts. “Stop them!” Some of the soldiers aim their guns at us.
Banglees has picked up his knife and is
going to throw it at me.
Clyne’s tail knocks the blade back out of
“Fire!” Claiborne screams.
fire!” Jefferson yells back.
“That is an order!”
It looks like one of the soldiers is
intending to listen to the governor rather than the president. He
sights us down his rifle.
The sky isn’t quiet anymore. There’s the
crackle of more lightning in the air.
The soldier begins to squeeze the
Then Sally steps in front of him, blocking
his view of us.
The soldier stops, confused, releases his
finger, and looks to the governor, then to Jefferson, to figure out
what to do next.
That gives Clyne enough time to jump over to
us. I pull Thea closer. Howe’s fingers are locked on my ankle.
“Never chrono —
without a ship before! Hope it—”
I put the cap on my head. It’s torn and
dirty, but I still feel the tingling.
I see the lights of the Fifth Dimension
begin to swirl around me, replaced by colors that grow longer and
…as the world of Lewis, Clark, North Wind
Comes, Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, Kentuck, and Gassy
My friends are still holding on to me and I
won’t let go of them.
And this time, wherever we’re headed, we’ll
get there together.
As the whole “Danger Boy” series migrates and morphs
from traditionally published form into the ebook you now hold (or,
at least, read on your screen), all the people who were there at
the beginning, in those four previous acknowledgements, should
consider themselves -- these many moons later -- still thanked,
loved, appreciated: the friends and family who provided the
encouragement (or sometimes the literal space to write), my former
editors at (sadly now defunct) Tricycle Press, and later
Candlewick, who helped whip those early manuscripts into shape. All
of them -- all of you -- thanks so much for being, well, time
travelers, and riding with these stories from their past, into the
At the present moment -- for that is all we time
travelers ever actually have -- I want to especially thank my
agent, Kelly Sonnack, for being such a good steward of the books’
conversion to the format you currently enjoy, and as well,
longstanding “Danger Boy” cover artist Michael Koelsch, who took
many of his “boss” covers from the book series and worked his magic
so they’d look equally cool in download land.
And of course, thank you, dear reader, for taking
this story into your home, and, hopefully, your heart. Happy
Don’t miss Eli Sands’s further
DANGER BOY: Episode 4
City of Ruins
When Thea is infected by slow pox, Eli and
his friends head to ancient Jerusalem to find a cure.
DANGER BOY: Episode 5:
The Danger Boy stories reach a climax in the
forthcoming adventure that ends in a reckoning from which no one
Mark Williams is a fiction writer, playwright, and
journalist. He is the author of the LA Times Bestselling
series for young adults. As a journalist, he’s written for
Los Angeles Times
Angeles Business Journal
, and is currently a columnist for
Below the Line
, covering Hollywood and its discontents. His
plays have been produced in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London,
and he’s written comic books, short stories, and video game
scripts. He teaches workshops on creative writing, genre studies,
and storytelling for the Walt Disney Company and other places. He
lives in Southern California, raising a couple “danger boys” of his