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By Christopher Cloud

Pablo Perez is a 12-year-old child with no 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 get away the bullying.

Pablo’s good fortune 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 exhibits the path to the “lost treasure” of the infamous outlaw Jesse James. Pablo can’t support yet ask yourself: Is there a hyperlink among the map and the gold coin?

He is set 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 means 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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A museum map,” he scoffed. “Never heard of whatever sillier. ” “At least have a look at it,” Kiki acknowledged. “I imagine the map is actual, Mr. Huff,” Pia acknowledged, her forehead furrowed. “This complete factor is beginning to odor bad,” Monroe grumbled, kicking the airborne dirt and dust. “Guiding for a host of children with clever telephones. must have recognized higher. ” “What must you lose? ” I requested, my abdominal twisted right into a pretzel. “A little of some time. not anything extra. ” I cherished my argument. It made feel. Monroe had not anything to lose and every little thing to achieve. “There are not any caves on endure Mountain,” Monroe stated. “None. Been there, performed that, received photos to turn out it. No caves on, in, or via endure Mountain. it really is one of many few mountains during this a part of the area with none caves. interval. finish of tale. i assumed perhaps your map could turn out me flawed. ” Monroe chuckled, however it had a tragic ring to it. “I used to be mistaken. ” The uninteresting buzz of locusts smothered the silence. “Please examine the map, Mr. Huff,” Pia appealed. Monroe stomped round the campsite mumbling to himself and kicking the floor. ultimately, he walked over and surveyed the map back. He dropped to his knees and traced a callused finger down James Creek because it headed west at the map. “I can let you know something approximately this vacationer map of yours,” he stated. “It was once darn certain drawn prior to 1895. ” “See! ” Kiki cheered. “It should be actual! ” Adrenalin surged via my veins. “What do you suggest? ” “Here,” Monroe stated, laying his finger on James Creek because it moved previous the western fringe of undergo Mountain. “This map indicates the outdated line of the river. sooner than 1895. there has been a major flood that year—changed the process the river. at the present time the most channel is 440 yards west of the only proven in this map. ” I crowded in beside Monroe. “So you’re asserting we’re 1 / 4 of a mile west of the place the river as soon as flowed? And this map was once drawn prior to 1895? ” i used to be attempting to regulate the thrill in my voice. Monroe nodded. “Yep. Map’s correct on that time. ” “I ask yourself what number of people have checked out this map through the years and recognized that? ” Kiki requested, a cheerful shine in her eyes. “I’m guessing now not many. ” “So the map should be genuine? ” Pia requested. “Can’t say that,” Monroe acknowledged, the various vinegar long past from his voice. “It’s this JJ Rock company that’s confusing. ” His finger tapped the map. “I’m guessing the JJ stands for Jesse James, yet that can’t be correct. ” “Why no longer? ” Kiki requested. “This shows the JJ Rock is close to the doorway to the cave,” he stated. “I understand that component to mountain. i do know each pebble, rock, and boulder. no longer a one among them has the initials JJ carved into it. ” “Maybe it wasn’t carved,” Pia acknowledged. “Maybe it used to be painted. ” I checked out my sister and arched my eyebrows. strong aspect, Pia. “That’s an astute commentary, candy pea,” Monroe stated. “But there’s no painted rocks on undergo Mountain, both. ” “Maybe the paint wore off over the years,” I urged. “If that’s the case, then we’ll by no means locate the cave opening,” Monroe stated. He moved his thick finger alongside the map, prior the JJ Rock and into the inn foyer, after which directly to the street of Chandeliers.

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