This week, the our latest adventure starts winding down.
Copyright 2021 J.B. Norman
When the group comes back out of the pit and into the forest, there’s no sign of either the hornets or the pirates they chased away.
The journey back out of the forest is significantly less eventful than the journey into its depths. The greatest excitement occurs when Dunstana finds the bush that she got stuck in and gives it a final fierce kick. It is, after all, a stupid bush.
The stupidest bush.
Nodding in grim satisfaction, Dunstana is finally content that she has avenged the hole torn in her favourite coat.
The group decides to take a break at the edge of the forest. They’ve emerged back onto the beach, but not in the same place where they first went into the forest.
Kat slumps down onto a nearby tree stump. “Well, that was fun,” she says, not particularly meaning it. Mostly, she’s hungry.
“What are you going to do now, Myra?” Jonas asks, fanning himself with his hat.
“I’ll have to tell my grandfather that we lost the orichalcum,” she says. She manages a faint smile. “But at least no one else will be able to steal if now.” She glances towards Dunstana. “We smashed up the place pretty good.” She shrugs. “Maybe I’ll figure something out, a way to get it back. Or maybe not, there might be more of those big crabs.”
Dunstana speaks up, “Um, actually, it’s not all gone.”
She is met by four confused faces and eight quizzically cocked eyebrows.
“What do you mean, ‘Stana?” Annie asks.
Dunstana takes a deep breath so she can explain it all without having to stop for air. “I had the box the treasure was in, but then the big crab thing —”
“Gigacrab,” Annie corrects.
Just once in her life, she’d like people to actually listen to her attempts to educate them. It’s hard to be twice as smart but half as old as everyone else.
“Yeah,” Dunstana says, “That! It attacked us and we started running and I knew I couldn’t carry all the treasure, ‘cause I’d be too slow and then it would’ve eaten me. So, while I was waiting for Uncle Jonas to come get me, I started putting some of the pieces into my pockets. And my boots, too. See?”
She reaches into the pockets of her pants, coat and vest and lays down the orichalcum pieces she stuffed inside. Then she takes off her boots, turns them upside down and shakes them out, the same way someone might try to get a pebble out of their boots.
Only instead of pebbles, what falls out is several more ingots.
She looks up at everyone else. Their faces have changed. They’re less confused now, and more jubilant.
“Captain Kid, you’re a genius!” Kat exclaims.
Dunstana can’t remember her sister ever speaking those words before.
Jonas slowly turns towards Myra. “Well?” he asks her. “You weren’t too eager about sharing before.”
Myra stares at the pile of ingots lying on the beach. Her gaze slowly shifts to Jonas. “You can keep it, Professor Darkstone,” she decides after a long, thoughtful silence.
“Are you sure?”
Myra nods. “Yeah. After all this, I owe you. You helped me find it. And then you saved us from the —” she turns to Annie. “— what’s it called?”
“Gigacrab!” Annie answers happily. “Giga means big. And crab means, well, crab.”
“It’s the least I can do,” Myra continues, turning back to Jonas. “Besides, I know it’ll be in good hands.” She smiles proudly. “And if it’s on display in a museum, then everyone can see that William Newgate was the best pirate in the history of Realmgard.”
“Thanks, Myra,” Jonas says with a nod. “I could always use an assistant again. You know, if you’re not too busy being a pirate.”
“I’ll think about it,” Myra promises.
“There’s one more thing,” Jonas says, reaching into his pocket.
“Professor Darkstone, why are you giving me a napkin?” Myra asks in bemusement.
“Because it’s the mapkin!” Dunstana insists.
“The what?” Myra asks, her bemusement becoming even deeper.
“It’s a napkin with a map on it. Mapkin,” Dunstana explains, rolling her eyes. “It’s really not that hard to understand.”
“It’s how we found out that the treasure was here on Oake Island,” Jonas tells Myra. “He left instructions for someone he called T.”
“I think I know who that is,” Myra declares reaching for William Newgate’s notebook. “He mentioned her a few times in here.”
She starts to flip through the pages of the little book.
“It’s a her?” Dunstana exclaims.
“She was an Elf,” Myra explains. “The T is for Timaea.”
“Well? Who was she?” Jonas asks.
“Tell us! Tell us!” Dunstana urges.
Myra finds her page and holds the notebook open for the others to see. On the page is a drawing of a female Elf embracing a ruggedly handsome man. Both are dressed in pirate clothes and gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes.
The drawing is conspicuously surrounded by many, many tiny hearts. Beneath is a larger heart containing the words W+T 4EVER.
It is, in Kat’s opinion, a sickeningly sweet ode to true and eternal love. So sweet, in fact, that she thinks she can feel herself getting cavities just by looking at it.
“She was his first mate,” Myra explains. “And his girlfriend.”
“Wow. William Newgate was a pretty good artist,” Annie notes. “His crosshatching is excellent.”
“Can we get moving?” Kat urges. “Please?”
Though they didn’t get very much of the orichalcum from the treasure pit, but their pile is still more than Jonas will be able to be carry, so they decide to carry the ingots in Annie’s backpack.
As Dunstana moves to collect the ingots and put them into the backpack, she notices something that makes her gasp in profound surprise and forget all other concerns.
“We have the same socks!” she exclaims gleefully, indicating her own bright pink Princess Moonflower socks, still uncovered from when she dumped out the contents of her boots. Sure enough, Myra’s one shoeless foot is bedecked in bright pink fabric and smiling Princess Moonflower faces.
Myra looks down at her exposed sock, then up at the bemused faces of her new companions.
“What?” she asks upon seeing their incredulity. “Princess Moonflower is a hero.”
“She’s the best!” Dunstana exclaims.
“She is pretty cool,” Annie agrees.
“She’s the pink one, right?” Jonas asks. Sparkly, crime-fighting princesses aren’t really an area of his expertise, though he has vague memories of going to the toy store to buy some kind of princess doll for Annie.
“Let’s go home,” Kat declares. “I need to eat something.”
“And I need to find the rest of my crew,” Myra says.
“Your crew is called the Red Wolves, right?” Dunstana asks.
“Yeah,” Myra answers. “Why?”
“That name doesn’t make sense,” Dunstana bluntly informs her.
“Wolves are fierce, and red is powerful,” Myra explains. “It’s an awesome name.”
“But wolves don’t live in the ocean,” Dunstana notes.
“So?” replies Myra.
“You should at least be an animal that lives in the ocean,” Dunstana continues, as the older pirate begins to glower. “Like sharks, or killer whales, or moray eels. Oh, I know, torpedo fish!”
Myra stares sceptically down at the younger pirate. “Torpedo fish? You really think people would take a crew called the Red Torpedo Fish seriously?”
Dunstana nods with absolute certainty. “Why wouldn’t they? Torpedo fish are really cool. They can shoot electricity!”
“It’s true,” Annie notes.
“Yeah,” Kat offers, wading into the fray, perhaps despite her better judgement. “But your flag is a cat, Captain Kid. Last time I checked, cats don’t live in the ocean, either.”
“It’s completely different,” Dunstana insists. “My banner may have a cat on it, but my crew is called the Porthaven Raiders!”
“When was the last time you raided anything but the kitchen?” Kat asks.
“Just now,” Dunstana counters. “We raided the heck out of that cave.” She casts a smug glance at Myra. “Besides, I’m the one who beat the crab.”
“Red Wolves is still an awesome name,” Myra insists.
As Myra and Dunstana continue to debate the finer points of the proper naming conventions of pirate crews, the group continues down the beach.
Mostly, Myra decides to be outraged by the little pirate’s insolence, and equally outraged by the fact that she finds herself on the path to establishing a ten-year-old as her arch-nemesis in the piratical profession.
William Newgate: daring pirate, hopeless romantic. Who’d have thunk it?
Come back next week for the last chapter of The Treasure of Oake Island. Then come back after that for a preview chapter of my next story, then a special epilogue chapter.