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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 get away the bullying.

Pablo’s good fortune alterations after he unearths a $20 gold coin whereas swimming along 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 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 event 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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Monroe, is it like turning out to be wild? ” Kiki requested. Monroe shrugged. “I heavily doubt that—” “Stop! ” I ordered from the again of the road, creating a startled gesture. “Everyone, examine me! ” all people stopped and became towards me. “What is it, Pablo? ” Kiki requested in a hushed voice. “Don’t speak,” I acknowledged. “Pablo,” Pia started in a scolding tone, “what are you—” “Don’t speak, simply listen,” I interrupted, making eye touch with every one of them. “What’s up, Pablo? ” Monroe requested soberly. “We’re being watched,” I stated, attempting to hold my voice delicate and lower than keep an eye on. “Where? ” Monroe requested. “Pia, Kiki, glance away,” I acknowledged. “Look instantly forward into the wooded area. Don’t glance to the proper or the left. Nod if you happen to comprehend. ” Pia and Kiki spoke back with nervous nods. “Off to my correct, Monroe,” I acknowledged in a halting tone. “Seated in a tree stand approximately ten ft off the floor. He’s donning camouflage and face paint. approximately 50 yards away. ” Monroe stored his head nonetheless, yet shifted his eyes. Then, in a strangled whisper, he stated, “Yes, I see him. ” “Pablo …? ” Pia choked. “Everyone simply stick to me,” Monroe stated, “Do as Pablo acknowledged. maintain taking a look into the woodland forward. ” Pia started to say something—my sister may be dangerously obdurate sometimes—but I gave her a stiff shake of my head. Monroe became and started jogging promptly out of the marijuana patch and into the woodland. Pia, Kiki, and that i undefined. when we had marched 100 yards or so into the heavy bushes, Monroe stopped. He grew to become and confronted us. “That used to be very shut, my younger associates. ” “I don’t get it,” Kiki stated, the stress draining from her face. “That marijuana box was once being guarded by means of a guy in a tree,” Monroe acknowledged. “I think he had a weapon of a few type. He was once, doubtless, preserving his crop. ” “Whew! We dodged a bullet—literally,” Kiki acknowledged, out of breath. “But I by no means observed him. ” “How’d you spot him, Pablo? ” Pia requested. I blew out an worried breath. “I observed a glint of solar off his glasses. ” We hiked on. once we reached the bottom of endure Mountain we fanned out in ten-yard durations throughout its western slope and started trying to find the mysterious JJ Rock. The cave entrance—if the map was once accurate—was positioned just a couple of steps from the JJ Rock, and we tested each rock, boulder, and stone of any dimension, trying to find something comparable to the letters JJ. We came across no such writing, and through midday we weren’t any towards fixing the secret. We rested less than a tall chestnut tree midway to the summit of the mountain. the warmth and humidity have been suffocating—our T-shirts have been plastered to bodies with sweat, and gnats stored flying up our noses—and Monroe insisted we take widespread water breaks from the canteens hooked to our belts. I saved a detailed eye on my sister. The going hadn’t been that onerous for somebody with solid legs, yet for a nine-year-old lady with one undesirable leg, I imagined it used to be a true problem. yet Pia was once stuck up within the thrill of the search, and she or he had now not complained. Nor did Pia item whilst I prompt that she take a holiday whereas we inspected a steep component to the mountain forward.

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