Mystery May
Weird as Blackbeard, Part 3

Weird as Blackbeard, Part 3
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.35

     challenging words:    Aaaarrrggghhh, Aaarrrggghhh, adrenal, banshee, capsule, clank, cutlass, ducked, Eeeeyyoowww, flintlock, hacking, hallelujah, hearted, knowing, lopped, lurched
     content words:    Our MTP

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Weird as Blackbeard, Part 3
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     Quickly, we cleared the sand away. Beneath it was a flat, dark surface. It looked like the top of a heavy chest. "Open it!" Rusty said. "We could run out of time any minute!"
2     Rocky grabbed the lid. There was sand in the hinges. The lid made a loud screeeeech! as we raised it. The only thing we saw inside were a few piles of sand that had trickled in. The chest was empty.
3     "It's gone!" Rocky wailed. Then he got an odd look on his face and grabbed for his side. At the same time, I felt a tingly vibration against my skin. So did the others. Our MTP buzzers were going off. Oh, great! Our matter was about to fall apart. We had to get back to the capsule!
4     We dropped the lid of the chest and trotted back along the trail. "What could have happened to the treasure?" Rocky spoke longingly, as if he'd lost an old friend. I wondered the same thing. According to the timeline of events, the stuff had only been hidden a few hours.
5     We rounded the beach, coming just within sight of the capsule. There we stopped dead. In the moonlight, we could see a man standing in front of the door. He was dark and sneaky-looking. His clothes were rumpled and tattered. He had a pistol in his hand and a long sword in his belt. He was bent over, peering at the MTP. He poked at it with his finger.
6     We dropped behind a ledge of rocks by the trail. "We don't have time for this!" Rusty hissed. At that moment, several things happened at once. My belt sensor went off again, this time with a stronger, more urgent buzz. At the same time, there was a caterwauling behind us, back along the trail. Then a long, eerie screech split the air.
7     "The chest!" Prunella said. At that moment there was a roar of rage from that direction. Then there was a loud boom. A smoky streak of fire lit the night. We heard shouting from a ways off.
8     "The pirates!" Rusty whispered. "They've found out the treasure's gone!" There were more booms behind us. "They're shooting at us!" he said hoarsely.
9     "Flintlock pistol," Prunella said matter-of-factly. "Can't hit anything unless it's point-blank range. Besides, he can't see us in the dark. He's shooting into the air." Hallelujah, I thought. What happens when he does see us?
10     The man at the capsule looked back toward the sounds. As the pistol roared again, he turned and scurried down the beach. He shoved a small boat out and jumped in. The boat, riding heavy and low in the water, glided silently away in the moonlight.
11     The shouts from behind us came closer. Soon, a man charged around the curve of the beach from where we had just come. He spotted the boat and roared after it. He splashed several feet out into the sea.
12     "Y' black hearted cur!" the man shouted. He waved the pistol. "Y' thievin' rat! I'll teach y' to rob Blackbeard." He knelt, working frantically with the pistol. He was about a hundred yards from the capsule.
13     "He's reloading!" Prunella hissed. "It takes a while with a flintlock weapon."
14     "Run!" I said. "It's our only chance!" We jumped up and ran for the MTP. As I flung open the door, the pirate looked up.

Paragraphs 15 to 28:
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