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Authors: Brian James

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BOOK: Treasure Trouble
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I crossed my arms and made a huff.

“Arrr! That stinks worse than the fish gut tank,” I whispered to my friends. Then I held my nose and pretended to smell the worst smell I ever smelled.

“Aye,” my friends agreed.

“We should tell the captain the truth,” Gary whispered.

“Aye, but Rotten Tooth would make us walk the plank if we did,” Inna said.

“Aye! Plus, if we tattle on him, he’ll make us do chores for the rest of our lives,” I added. “And chores can sometimes be worse than walking the plank!”

The only thing we could do was moan and groan. But once Captain Stinky Beard opened the treasure chest, we didn’t feel like moaning or groaning anymore. The
treasure was so shiny and sparkly that we forgot all about how rotten old Rotten Tooth was.

“Sink me!” I said. “That’s the richest treasure I’ve ever seen.”

“Aye aye!” Vicky said.

Then Captain Stinky Beard told every member of the landing party to form a line. “It be a pirate tradition that every pirate who finds a treasure gets to keep one piece of it,” he said.

“Arrr!” I whispered to my friends. “That’s how I got my lucky pirate hat.”

“Aye, and that’s how I got my shiny necklace,” Inna told us proudly.

“That’s how Aaron and I got our matching belt buckles, too,” Vicky said. Then she and Aaron pushed their bellies out to show us their silver star belt buckles.

“Once I got a golden goblet that way,” Gary told us. “Then I buried it and made a map.”

“Aye? Where is it?” I asked.

Gary scratched his head and shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said. “I buried the map with the goblet by accident.”

Aaron burst out laughing. “You must be daft to lose something that important.”

“You lose stuff, too, Captain Big Mouth,” Vicky said. That’s the name she called Aaron when he acted like he was better than everyone else.

“Arrr! I never lost anything,” Aaron told her.

“Aye? What about that time on our last ship when we went swimming and you lost your skivvies?” Vicky asked him. “You had to wear a leaf for two hours until you found them again!”

Aaron turned bright red. “Oh, yeah, I forgot about that time,” he said.

“Well, nobody’s going to lose anything this time,” I said. “And even if one of us does, the rest of us will be there to help find it. That’s what best mates do!”

“Aye aye!” everyone agreed.

Then we began to think about which
piece of treasure we would choose once it was our turn to pick. The chest was full of medallions, rings, necklaces, jewels, coins, and everything else that we pirates loved. Since we were the youngest, we were last in line. That gave us plenty of time to decide.

By the time we got to the front of the line, Captain Stinky Beard had gone back to his quarters and the others had all gone back to their posts. Rotten Tooth was the only one left standing near the treasure.

“Pirate Pete reporting for treasure pickup!” I said with a smile. Then I pointed to a set of silver boot buckles. “We’d each like one of those, please,” I said. There were five sets and we’d all decided to get matching treasure.

Rotten Tooth snatched all five sets and then slammed the treasure chest closed. Then he shoved the boot buckles into his pocket. “I’ll be holding onto these for safekeeping,” he snarled.

“ARRR! That’s no fair!” Vicky shouted.

“Aye! We earned those,” I said.

“Aye, and ye will most likely lose them, too,” Rotten Tooth growled.

“Hogwash! I’ve never lost anything!” Aaron said.

“Aye?” Rotten Tooth asked. “Not even your skivvies while you were swimming one time?”

Aaron crossed his arms and frowned. “Soggy sails! He hears everything!” he grumbled.

“Aye, that’s right,” Rotten Tooth said.

“It’s still not fair,” I said. “We found the treasure in the first place!”

“And ye will get your treasure,” Rotten Tooth growled. “Once ye be real pirates instead of wee sprogs, that’s when I’ll give ye your treasure.”

“We are real pirates!” Inna shouted. “You just don’t want us to have them because you’re a dirty rascal!”

We all gulped!

Inna was a real brave pirate sometimes. Sure, she was afraid of lots of things, but she wasn’t afraid of Rotten Tooth. I never
heard anyone call Rotten Tooth names to his face before.

She crossed her arms and huffed. “Maybe we should report you to the cap’n,” she suggested.

Rotten Tooth twisted his face into a scary grin. “I’ll make ye mangy pups a deal,” he said. “Ye keep your traps shut and tomorrow I’ll teach ye how to swashbuckle.”

“SWASHBUCKLE?” we all shouted in surprise.

Swashbuckling was best pirate skill there was. Rotten Tooth had never taught us anything exciting before. If he was really going to teach us how to swashbuckle, it was worth a few boot buckles.

“Deal?” he asked.

“Deal!” we agreed.

Then we raced belowdecks to our room. The next day of Pirate School was going to be the best day ever. We could hardly wait for it to be morning again.

Chapter 5
Abandoned Ship?

“Blimey! What’s that stink?” I asked the next morning as we headed to the mess hall for breakfast.

Inna pinched her nose and stuck out her tongue. “It smells like rotten fish.”

“I hope that’s not breakfast,” Gary said.

“Me too,” Vicky said.

“Me three,” Aaron said.

We went into the kitchen and saw a pot on the stove. I lifted the lid and took a peek inside. It was the seaweed gruel the crew had eaten for dinner the night before. We were too tired from all the rowing and digging to eat. We had fallen asleep before dinner. By the looks of it, it was lucky we did.

“YUCK!” I said. My face turned as green
as the mush inside the pot.

Inna pointed to the stack of dirty dishes piled up to the ceiling. “DOUBLE YUCK!” she said. Then she covered her mouth to keep from being sick. No one had cleaned up and the leftovers had turned gruesome!

“Arrr! I think I lost my appetite,” Gary said.

“Aye, me too,” Vicky said.

“I wonder why no one cooked this morning. Or cleaned up last night?” Vicky asked.

“Arrr! That’s pretty fishy,” I said.

“Who cares? Today we get to learn how to swashbuckle!” Aaron shouted excitedly. Then he picked up a mop and started to swing it around like a sword. I had to duck to keep from being buckled on the head.

I rolled my eyes. “Aye, and you have a lot to learn!” I said.

Vicky giggled. “Aye, you can say that again!”

Aaron frowned. “I still know more than you,” he argued.

“Do not!” Vicky told him.

“Do too!” Aaron told her right back.

I held up my hands to make them stop. “Why don’t we go above deck and find out who knows what?”

“Aye! Besides, it’s too stinky to stay in here,” Inna added.

“Aye!” Vicky said. “Let’s race to the main deck!” Then she took off to get a head start.

“Gangway!” Aaron shouted, and took off after her.

Inna, Gary, and I followed them, but we didn’t race. We wanted to save our energy for our swashbuckling lesson.

When we climbed the galley stairs, Aaron and Vicky were waiting for us on the main deck. They were bickering about who had won the race. They were so busy arguing that they didn’t notice that we were the only pirates in sight.

No pirates were manning the sails.

No pirates were manning the rigging.

No pirates were swabbing the deck.

There were no pirates anywhere!

“Great sails!” I shouted. “Where’s the crew?”

Aaron and Vicky stopped fighting and looked around.

Inna scratched her head.

Gary spun around in circles.

Not a single one of us spied another member of the crew. The deck of the
Sea Rat
was absolutely, positively abandoned!

Chapter 6
Seasick Sailors

“Arrr! This must be some kind of trick,” Vicky said.

“Aye! I bet Rotten Tooth is hiding so he doesn’t have to teach us how to swashbuckle,” Aaron said with a growl.

I wasn’t so sure.

“What about the rest of the crew?” I asked.

Just then a voice boomed from behind us. “Arrr! Most of the crew be sick as dogs!”

We spun around and saw Rotten Tooth standing behind us. His face was as green as his beard! It made him look even scarier than usual.

“Sick?” Gary asked. “Blimey! How did everyone get sick?”

“Maybe it was the seaweed slop,” Inna said. Then she stuck out her tongue because just thinking about it was making her sickish.

“Aye,” Rotten Tooth groaned. Then he ran over to the railing and got sick himself. When he was done, he looked worse than ever. “Whatever it was, it sure be a powerful sickness,” he told us.

Aaron stomped his foot. “Arrr! Does this mean we’re not going to learn how to swashbuckle?” he asked.

“This means you’re not going to learn anything today, mateys,” Rotten Tooth said. “School’s canceled!” Then he leaned over the railing again.

We all turned away.

“I’m glad we’re not icky sicky,” Vicky said.

“Aye!” Gary agreed. “Last time I was icky sicky, I was icky sicky all over my shirt.”

Rotten Tooth stumbled over to us. He was so sick, he couldn’t stand up straight! “Arrr!
Ye pollywogs will need to man the deck,” he said.

“All by ourselves?” Vicky asked.

BOOK: Treasure Trouble
4.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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