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The Treasure Hunt — Part 3: Chapter 3

“What is going on right now?” the English soldiers yelled. “And don’t tell us it’s heartburn!”

 

 

Mamtowna glared at the captain and set down his hot drink.

“What’s going on?” The English soldiers looked at the tribal leader nervously. “What’s big chief angry about now?”

“He’s just complaining about heartburn, keep calm,” the captain bluffed. “Keep quiet and let me talk him through this.”

“My dear Mamtowna, honorable warrior, please do not misunderstand. I have not come here to get you to perform my dirty work. I am simply coming as an old friend, seeking your aid in my time of need. These men will kill me and my young friend if I do not get rid of them and outsmart their master. I beg of you, open your heart and extend to me your warm friendship once more, as you have in the past.”

“You speak well, as you always have.” Mamtowna picked up his drink and began sipping from it again. “But I owe you nothing. For the services you performed for me years ago, I have already repaid you generously. However, there is something I want now from you.”

“F-from m-me?”

“Yes. I want to know where you hid the treasure of the Lost Island. Obviously, you’ve been there, otherwise these men wouldn’t be hounding you like this. So, clever man, where is it?”

“Great leader, have I not already told you? I have nothing. The Lost Island is nothing more than a story. I was there, yes, but no treasure resides there.”

Mamtowna suddenly stood up and flicked his drink in the captain’s face. “That’s what I think of your lies, white man. How dare you take me for a fool? I am no gullible lackey, lacking brains in my skull! I know you have the treasure buried somewhere, and I want to know where!”

“What is going on right now?” the English soldiers yelled. “And don’t tell us it’s heartburn!”

“Guards!” Mamtowna roared, his eyes flashing with anger.

The tent flap burst open and the spear toting bodyguards leaped inside.

“Grab these men and throw them into the pit of snakes. Keep them under constant guard until someone is ready to talk. The tall one over there has information about a great amount of treasure and he’ll talk eventually. If he doesn’t, well, he’ll die by snake bite or by the tip of a spear!”

“You’ve become corrupted and duller with the passage of years, I see,” the captain said bitterly. “I should have known better than to come to you. You’re a money-hungry monster, just like the rest of the heathens roaming these blackened seas. You’ll never hear me talk about the treasure on the Lost Island, because it only exists in your imagination. Do with me what you want, I’ll never break!”

“We’ll see about that!” Mamtowna chuckled evilly. “Guards! Take all of them out of my sight! Now!”

 

Meanwhile, back on the island, Tuvia was awakened by soft feathers beating against his face.

“J-Jack?”

“Ahoy, bucko!”

Jack settled on Tuvia’s shoulder. There was something tucked inside his sharp little claws. A letter.

“What’s this, Jack?” Tuvia took the tattered parchment and read it quickly.

Hello, kiddo! It’s me! Kotty! I’m here, hiding on this ship. I’ve been watching everything unfold, old friend, and now it’s time to fight back. I bet you’re ready to throw back a punch or two yourself, although you’ve already had a little revenge, eh? Nice move with the panther, mate, that was absolutely brilliant! Now listen to me, Tuvia, because we don’t have long before they discover us both. We need to meet up somewhere and discuss a plan to get out of here alive. Clock is ticking. Respond quick, Tuvia. Let’s get the ball moving… Just write me back and have this wonderful birdie of yours do the rest of the work!

PS: Don’t worry about me at the moment, I’m surviving. There’s plenty of food where I’m hiding in the kitchen galley, so I’m set (you must try the jam when we get out of there. Its blueberry inspired and it’s divine, I tell you!)

Signed, your dear friend Kotty

 

`Tuvia couldn’t help but smile. So Kotty was nearby and waiting to formulate an escape plan. Excellent! But there was just one major issue. Tuvia had no way to write back to Kotty as he had no parchment to transcribe his message on.

“Hmmm, what to do, Jack…” Tuvia mused aloud. “Hey, how did you find Kotty anyhow, you clever little bird? What are you? A carrier pigeon?”

“Shiver me timbers!” was Jack’s ambiguous response.

“That’s not helpful, Jack. I need a plan to respond to Kotty.”

“Fire in the hole!”

“Still not helping here, Jack.”

Suddenly it hit Tuvia.

“Wait, Jack, that’s actually a brilliant plan!”

 

As the sun reached its full strength in the clear blue sky, smoke appeared in the forest, wafting over the treetops.

Thomas was sitting with his feet in the tide, being fanned on both sides by two of his soldiers, when the news arrived.

“Fire spotted in the distance, Captain! Smoke is pouring over the treetops.”

“It’s got to be the boy!” Thomas yelled, leaping to his feet. “Capture that boy! I want him bound in chains within the hour, do you understand?”

“Aye, aye, Captain.”

“Now remember, one of our weapons is still unaccounted for after our run-in with that horrid panther. The boy may very well have it, so proceed with caution.” Thomas crushed a seashell inside his fist. “If he tries engaging you in a firefight, do not kill him. Wound him, yes, but we must leave him alive for now. I’m starting to doubt the captain will ever return, so the boy may be our only chance to discover the secret location of the Lost Island treasure.”

“Aye, aye, Captain.”

 

Thomas’s men shouldered their weapons and marched into the forest. They headed directly toward the location of the smoke and prepared to capture Tuvia once and for all.

to be continued…

 

(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 844)

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