By Christopher Cloud

Pablo Perez is a 12-year-old child with out a lot going for him. His classmates have dubbed him “Duct Tape” simply because his tattered discount-store shoes are held jointly with…you guessed it, duct tape. He can’t break out the bullying.

Pablo’s success alterations after he reveals a $20 gold coin whereas swimming together with his sister in a river close to their domestic. Pablo later buys a $1 treasure map on the county reasonable. The map indicates the path to the “lost treasure” of the infamous outlaw Jesse James. Pablo can’t aid yet ask yourself: Is there a hyperlink among the map and the gold coin?

He is decided to determine, and he, his 9-year-old sister, Pia, and 13-year-old cousin, Kiki, rent an ill-mannered cave consultant, Monroe Huff, and start a treacherous underground experience looking for treasure. Their treasure hunt is made extra perilous simply because they're being by way of the evil Blood brothers, who wish the treasure for themselves. The Blood brothers will cease at not anything to assert the treasure as their very own.

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Monroe huffed, and tossed his knife into the steel field. “Sure, let’s speak. ” We went within his one-room cabin. It was once nonetheless as darkish as a tomb. Pushing his sun shades again on his head, Monroe went to the sink and washed the blood from his fingers. He wrapped a fresh dishtowel round the minimize on his hand as we crowded in at the tiny couch. The radio was once nonetheless tuned to the classical track station out of Springfield. Pavarotti was once approximately to sing anything from “Rigoletto,” the announcer acknowledged. It needs to be Pavarotti week, i presumed, whoever that's. Monroe walked over and grew to become the amount down, after which dropped into his rocking chair. “Where’s your cat this present day? ” Kiki requested, peering into the darkish corners. Sucking on his tooth, Monroe stated, “I ate her for breakfast. ” I felt my Adam’s apple click on in my throat, and a tiny whimper arose from Pia. Kiki’s eyes popped extensive, and the entire blood tired from her face. “I can consider my center beating, Pablo,” Pia stated. Monroe performed the hoax for numerous seconds earlier than breaking into laughter. “Gotcha! ” He whistled softly and the longhaired cat strolled out from below the mattress. It paused to arch its again, after which bounced up onto Monroe’s lap, sniffing on the splotchy dishtowel wrapped round his hand. “Well,” Kiki acknowledged, blowing out an important breath of air. “I think now we have ourselves a budding comic. ” “I can nonetheless believe my center beating,” Pia stated, putting a surrender her chest. I shook my head, a grin itching to get out. “Who’s following you young children? ” Monroe requested, his tone unexpectedly all enterprise. “Following us? ” I requested. “What do you suggest? ” “Pablo Perez, you’d need to be blind to not know,” Monroe complained. “The factor is, they’re now not actual stable at staying hidden. ” Cradling the cat in his arm, he acquired up and went over to the window. He dropped his sun shades over his eyes, pulled again the shabby curtain, after which peered outdoor. “I may possibly virtually hit them with a rock. ” He glanced over his shoulder at us. “Come have a look. ” We obtained up and went over to the place Monroe stood on the window. “Look up within the ranger tower,” Monroe stated, gesturing on the deserted remark submit, which rose above the wooded area cover a quarter-mile away. The tower used to be silhouetted opposed to the summer time sky just like the watch steeple of a medieval fort. i realized darkish figures relocating approximately within the loft of the abandoned constitution. “I see them. ” “Looks like men,” Kiki stated, peering over my shoulder. “Why could someone be following you? ” Monroe requested, losing the curtain again into position and returning to his rocking chair. “They you right here the day prior to this, too. ” He driven his sun shades again up onto his head. the 3 people squeezed again onto the couch. “We had a coin,” I acknowledged. “I’ll guess these are the boys who stole it. ” We had biked previous the Blood Brothers buying and selling shop that morning. The SORRY, WE’RE CLOSED signal used to be nonetheless within the window. I had peeked inside of, however the pawnshop used to be coal black. “They needs to imagine we’ll make them extra coins,” I stated, my anger commencing to boil on the considered Earl Blood switching cash.

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