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The siblings exchanged excited glances and helped the sailors pull the still sleeping pirates down into the bottom of the ship. After this was done, they practically flew to the captain’s cabin. He was already there, a map spread out over his desk. Beckoning the children, he pointed to an island.
“That is our true destination. Thanks to you children, this map was kept out of Rudy’s hands, and they still don’t know where we were headed. I hope that it will stay that way until we are safely back in England.” He looked at the siblings, smiling. “Because you were such a great help to me, I’m going to let you three help me with this mission I’m on for our good Queen Bess.”
Luke’s eyes grew bigger. “How can we help?”
“And what is your mission?” Asked John curiously.
“How long will it take?” Emily worriedly voiced her concern.
The captain held out his hands. “Slow down!” he exclaimed. “You don’t give a man any time to answer!” Silence followed immediately, and the captain answered Emily’s question first. “Don’t worry, it won’t take long. The island we are headed to is only a few miles ahead of us, and we’ll get our business done soon after landing there. As for your question Master John, our mission is retrieving the lost treasure of Captain Kidd. Legend says it’s guarded by a giant serpent and that only Captain Kidd’s own saber, used by one of his own descendants, can kill it. Of course, that’s all nonsense, but interesting, don’t you think?” The siblings exchanged significant glances, but the captain didn’t seem to notice and continued on cheerfully. “You can help by assisting in our search for the treasure and with carrying it onto our ship. We’ll need all the manpower we can get. Besides, we need to re-fill our fresh water tanks and find some fresh fruit.”
Luke cleared his throat. “Uh, sir, how big is this island?”
“Not very big, but I happen to know there is a fresh water pond on one end of it as well as a good sized forest of tropical trees,” he smiled. “Calm your fears. We’ll be headed back to England in no time at all. Just be patient.”
“I think we’ll go try to get some rest,” Emily gulped, fearing lest her brother’s notice how afraid she was of what they were going to face.
The captain nodded understandingly and dismissed them, saying that he himself was exhausted from the strain of the last few days. Emily made her escape, and pulled the boys after her into the kitchen. As soon as they were alone, her brother’s turned questioning eyes up to her own.
“What was that for?” Luke spoke out first, a little indignant from being pulled by his older sister.
She sat down, passing a shaking hand over her brow. “Didn’t you hear what he said?” she asked unbelievingly.
Finally, the knowledge of the captain’s words struck Luke and John, leaving them speechless for a few seconds.
“You know that I’ve been researching and writing about our family’s history,” Emily began, “When he mentioned Captain Kidd, I suddenly remembered that we are related to Captain Kidd through our grandparents.”
Luke’s mouth dropped open. “You mean…you mean that the saber we found is actually Captain Kidd’s saber? The one that can kill the giant serpent?” Emily nodded. Luke and John hopped up and down in excitement.
“What are we waiting for?” John demanded. “Let’s go kill the serpent and get the treasure!”
“Hush!” Emily’s voice stopped their joyful antics. “Remember, the captain still thinks it’s only a legend. Let’s keep it that way for as long as possible. Besides, we aren’t even getting to the island for another hour or so. We need to have patience like the captain suggested. I, for one, am going to take a nap.”
Grudgingly, Luke and John agreed to rest until the island was sighted.
* * * * *
Luke jumped from the bunk on which he had been reclining, trying to rest for a few minutes. He shook John who had fallen asleep beside him. “Wake up, wake up! Didn’t you hear? Land ho!”
John sat up so quickly that he narrowly missed hitting his head on the top of his bunk. “Land ho?” he asked, groggily trying to sort out his mixed mind.
Luke bounced out of the bunk in his excitement. “Yes, land ho! We’ve come to the island! Come on, I’ll race you to the captain’s cabin!”
The two boys took off on a run and nearly plowed down their sister who was coming in the opposite direction.
She looked down at them and laughed. “I take it that you two heard the land ho call!” she said. “I just came down from the upper deck to tell you that if you want to see the island, the best view of it will be from up there.”
Eagerly, Luke and John followed her directions and raced up the stair way to the upper deck. Breathless, they leaned as far over the front railing as they dared and looked at the island.
It looked deceivingly ordinary and Luke exchanged a disappointed glance with John. The captain came up behind them, closely followed by Emily.
“What do you think?” he asked, leaning on the railing himself.
Luke sighed. “It’s rather…” he paused. “It’s rather…ordinary.”
Emily quickly hid her smile behind a hand. “What did you expect?”
“Well,” John shrugged. “I thought it might be covered by a fog or mysteriously dark and foreboding.”
“It definitely should be creepier,” Luke agreed. “Right now it looks just like any other island, not as an island that holds the treasure of Captain Kidd should look.”
Laughing, the captain put a hand on Luke’s shoulder. “But then my men would be afraid to find the treasure. Sailors are very superstitious you know.”
“I suppose it’s good that it’s not too creepy then,” Luke relented.
Hopkins came up to the captain. “Sir, we should send the boat out to the island now,” He said, and then smiled. “By the way, Polly has been fed and wants to come with us to the island.”
“Of course she can come with us. John will take care of her.” The captain smiled. “Order Jones and Smith to lower the longboat and wait for me, the children, and the parrot.”
With a quick nod, Hopkins took off again, and John followed him to get Polly. Emily snuck the magical saber into the long boat and in no time at all, the siblings, the captain, Hopkins, Jones, Smith and the parrot, Polly were well on their way to the island.