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Mystery May
Weird as Blackbeard, Part 2

Mystery May
Mystery May

Weird as Blackbeard, Part 2
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.34

     challenging words:    bloodthirsty, capsule, capsule-flashlights, crowed, paced, pointed, prunella, salvage, sandbar, Sheesh, sniggle, static, swarming, tipping, willowy, strained

Weird as Blackbeard, Part 2
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     Back in the lab, Mr. Sniggle had smiled his quirky little smile. "Oh, no," he said. "That would be too easy. You'll go back, all right. You'll know what it was like to be there then. You'll smell the salt and walk on the sand. You'll even have some time to do field research. But arriving at an exact time and location?" He shook his head, still grinning. "Hardly likely."
2     I was bummed. All this trouble and we didn't get to see the pirates bury the treasure?
3     "No, no," Mr. S. went on. "We're historians, not spies. We dig up clues and piece the past together. Just seeing what happened would take all the fun out of it." I sighed. Seeing where all the loot was buried sounded like fun to me.
4     "Besides, you'll be in a time warp when you're there," Mr. S. said. His eyes shone like a little kid telling a secret. "Transported matter is only stable for a limited time. Many things affect it. Weather, body chemistry, static electricity—it's different every time."
5     "How will we know all that when we're out there?" I asked.
6     "The capsule monitors all those factors. When your time nears," he said, "an alarm will sound in the MTP. Your belt sensor will buzz you. You'll have just enough time to get back to the capsule and take off. As the time gets nearer, you'll feel a more intense buzz."
7     "What happens if we don't get back to the capsule in time?" I asked.
8     Mr. Sniggle was due at his next class. He turned and beamed at me as he headed out the door. "Your matter falls apart like a billion tiny BBs," he said over his shoulder. "You become a pile of molecules left to rot in whatever time period you were in." He grinned with delight as he went out of sight.
9     (Sheesh! I'd thought maybe we'd just have to wait till the next flight, like at the airport. My next thought was how, on the weird scale, Mr. S. was clear off the chart. I couldn't figure why on earth these things tickled him so much.)
10     Back in the lab, we'd gathered a lot of background on Blackbeard. Prunella said that in 1994 an old wreck was found right where Blackbeard's ship is thought to have sunk. The old ship is in the process of being salvaged. They've brought up cannons and a 1709 brass bell. It's a pretty sure bet that the wreck is Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.
11     Now we were here, in the very place. It felt very weird. But so did everything else having to do with Mr. Sniggle.
12     "I don't see any ship," Rocky said.
13     "We're not on the actual sandbar where the ship got stuck," Prunella said. "How'd you like to show up and surprise a bunch of pirates? They'd run you through first and ask questions later. We're on a little island just off the coast. Look over there." She turned and pointed behind us.
14     There, just visible from the shore, was a ship! It was an old sailing ship, a three master. It did seem to be stuck. It rocked up and down in the waves and listed sideways.

Paragraphs 15 to 28:
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