Authors: Brian James
“We need to remember
everything that happened yesterday, step by step,” Inna said. “Then we can figure it out.”
“First, we rowed all the way to shore,” Vicky began.
“Aye,” Inna said. “Then Gary splashed me.” She still seemed a little bit angry about that.
“Aye, then he blundered into you and you tumbled into the hole,” I said. Then I covered my mouth because remembering that made me giggle.
“Then I saved you from those stinky sand crabs that tried to attack our treasure,” Aaron said.
“Hogwash! You mean Rotten Tooth saved
from those crabs!” Vicky reminded him.
“Same thing,” Aaron said.
Vicky was about to argue with him, but Clegg interrupted.
“Hold on, buckoes, did ye say sand crabs attacked the treasure?” Clegg asked.
“Were they giant sand crabs?” he asked.
We nodded again. I even held my arms far
apart to show Clegg just how giant those crabs were.
“How did you know? Were you spying on the landing party?” Vicky asked.
Clegg shook his head. “I wish I were, matey,” he said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Inna asked.
“It means the crew is in serious danger,” Clegg said. “Ye see, giant sand crabs only guard cursed treasure!”
We all double gulped!
“Gary was right! He knew those crabs were bad news!” I said.
“Ahoy! We’re starting to spin faster!” Gary shouted as he tried to steer the
out of the whirlpool.
“What are we going to do?” I asked.
“Let me see,” Clegg said. “By chance, did every seasick pirate take a piece of the treasure?”
“Aye, except Rotten Tooth. He took six pieces,” Vicky said.
We all made grumble noises because five
of those pieces were supposed to be ours.
“That’s it, then. The treasure is making them sick,” Clegg said.
We stopped grumbling right then. I guess Rotten Tooth stealing our boot buckles wasn’t so bad after all. It kept us from being icky sicky.
“We need to get all those pieces back in the treasure chest!” I said.
“Aye aye!” my friends agreed.
“I’ll stay here and man the wheel,” Clegg told us. “Ye better hurry. And remember, if ye touch the treasure too long, ye will be as sick as the others.”
We all made faces. None of us wanted to be icky sicky. Then we all put our hands in a circle and said our pirate cheer.
“Swashbuckling, sailing, finding treasure, too. Becoming pirates is what we want to do!” we shouted.
Then we split up to find every last piece of treasure before it was too late!
“Shhhh!” Inna whispered with her finger pressed to her mouth. “We have to be extra quiet,” she told us as we sneaked down the galley stairs to where the sleeping quarters were.
“Aye,” I whispered back. “If any pirate catches us taking their treasure, we’ll be shark bait.”
“Sink me,” Gary whispered. “We’re only trying to help.”
“Aye,” I said. “But stealing is against the pirate code, even if it’s for a good reason.”
“What are we going to do when they wake up?” Gary asked. “Will we get in trouble?” If there was one thing Gary was afraid of, it was getting in trouble.
I shrugged. “We have to hope they’ll believe us about the curse,” I said.
“If you two don’t stow it, we’ll wake them up before we have the chance,” Inna whisper-shouted at us.
Gary and I quickly covered our mouths.
“That’s better,” Inna said. Then she slowly pushed open the door to the main sleeping quarters. It creaked and squeaked, but the pirates inside didn’t budge.
“Arrr, it looks like the curse has changed from seasick to sea sleep,” Gary said. He was right, too. Every pirate inside was snoring away. But it wasn’t the good kind of sleep. I could tell because every one of them was also green and sickish-looking.
Inna snooped over to one side of the room and Gary snooped to the other. I snooped right down the middle. We went from sickbed to sickbed, quietly snatching the pieces of treasure. The
continued to sail around in circles faster and faster, and we had to try hard to keep our balance.
Inna finished her row first. She had bracelets dangling from both arms and necklaces all around her neck.
I finished my row second.
“Hurry up,” Inna whispered to Gary. We had to be quick or we would be seasick, too.
Gary hurried as best he could. Only whenever Gary hurried, he got clumsy. I could see him getting clumsy as he tried to climb up the last bunk.
He wibbled and wobbled.
Inna and I covered our eyes and waited for the thump!
But that thump never came.
Gary never blundered!
“Done!” Gary said once he sneaked over to us.
“Good work,” I said.
“Aye,” Inna agreed. “Maybe you’re not such a blunder head after all.”
We were all happy. But our good cheer didn’t last long. That’s because with all the treasure we were carrying, we were starting to feel a little seasick.
“We have to hurry and get this back into the treasure chest before we get icky sicky all over the place,” I said.
“Aye,” Gary moaned.
“Aye, let’s hope Vicky and Aaron were able to get the rest,” Inna said.
When we got on deck, they weren’t there yet.
“I hope they didn’t get caught,” I said. Vicky and Aaron had the most dangerous job. They had to scoop Captain Stinky
Beard’s treasure away and Rotten Tooth’s, too.
We put the treasure we were carrying back in the chest. It was just in time, too! I was starting to feel as sick as a rotten fish!
“I hope the crew wake up soon,” Inna said. “The
is starting to swirl.”
“Aye!” I said, looking out to sea. Clegg was trying his best to steer the ship, but soon it was going to be too late. If the crew didn’t come to help, we were going to sink!
Just then, I saw Aaron and Vicky racing toward us. But there was one problem…Rotten Tooth was racing right behind them!
“Get back here, ye little thieves!” he shouted. He looked meaner than a school of angry sharks! He grabbed Aaron with one hand and Vicky with the other. I thought he was going to toss them overboard right then and there.
“I think we’re in trouble now,” Gary said.
“Aye,” I said. The rest of the crew had
woken up, too. They were starting to come above deck. And they didn’t look too happy.
“Our treasure’s been stolen!” they said.
“AYE! It be those pollywogs who stole it,” Rotten Tooth roared. “Stealing from sick pirates—ye’ll be walking the plank for this.”
“Blimey, I think we’re doomed,” Gary whispered.
“Aye,” I agreed, staring at the angry crew.
Suddenly, a voice boomed, “Unhand those li’l shipmates!” It was Captain Stinky Beard! He’d woken up, too. “We’ll all be swimming for our lives if we don’t man the sails!” he bellowed.
For the first time since coming on deck, the sleepy crew noticed the ship was spinning.
Rotten Tooth dropped Aaron and Vicky. “We’ll deal with this later,” he warned us before running off to help set the ship back on course.
The crew tugged this way and that way. Then they tugged that way and this way. It took forever, but finally the
was out of the whirlpool’s current.
“Looks like we saved the ship just in time,” I said to my friends.
“Aye, just in time for Rotten Tooth to toss us overboard,” Aaron said.
Rotten Tooth stumbled over to where we were standing. “Arrr! Mayhaps we should be leaving ye back there in Serpent’s Whirlpool?” he growled.
“Mayhaps not!” Inna shouted at him.
“Aye,” Vicky agreed.
“Aye, we saved the ship!” Aaron added.
“QUIET!” Rotten Tooth roared.
“Ye stole, and stealers walk the plank!” The whole crew was gathered around us.
“We weren’t stealing,” I tried to explain. “The treasure was cursed! That’s why the whole crew got seasick.”
“Aye!” Inna said. “We had to take the treasure so everyone would wake up. It was the only way to keep from sinking.”
“Hogwash!” Rotten Tooth said. “There be no curse on that there treasure.”
“Then what about the crabs?” Gary asked. “Pirate legend says that means the treasure is cursed.”
“Aye, and Clegg says the same thing,” I added.
Clegg was still at the wheel and the crew took us over to him. Then they asked Clegg if we were telling the truth about crabs and cursed treasure.
“Aye, it be a true fact that crabs only guard cursed treasure,” Clegg told the crew.
“Those are just silly stories,” Rotten Tooth said. Then he grabbed Aaron and me and hoisted us up in the air.
I thought we were going to be shark bait for sure!
“Unhand our wee mates!” Captain Stinky Beard ordered.
“But Cap’n, they stole,” Rotten Tooth said.
“Aye,” the cap’n agreed. “But if ye had reported to me about the crabs in the first place, I’d have known that treasure was never supposed to be found.”
“Aye?” I asked.
“Aye,” Captain Stinky Beard said. “Once again, ye shipmates have proven yourselves to be shipshape pirates.”
We all smiled real proud.
Captain Stinky Beard ordered the crew to reverse course. “We’re going to return to that island and rebury the treasure,” he said. The crew were more than happy to obey. They’d had enough of being icky sicky.
“We’re sorry, mateys,” they told us. “We should’ve known ye would never steal from us.”