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 footwear are held jointly with…you guessed it, duct tape. He can’t get away the bullying.

Pablo’s success alterations after he unearths a $20 gold coin whereas swimming together 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 through 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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How a long way is it? ” Pia requested, lighting fixtures my face. “I’m uncertain. ” “How lengthy will you be long past? ” “I don’t understand that both, Pia. ” after which, dim and far away, a muffled shriek floated down the large tunnel to the place we stood. The scream striking stubbornly within the air, all of us grew to become and peered into the darkish shadows we had hiked via seconds prior. The shriek appeared to pass on eternally, and underneath my wool blouse goosebumps dimpled my palms, then my legs. In a couple of seconds the spine-chilling scream fell away to not anything. It needed to be one of many Blood brothers, yet why used to be he screaming? “What used to be that, Pablo? ” Pia requested in a smooth voice. “Don’t know,” I stated. “A human scream,” Monroe stated. “The Blood brothers? ” Kiki guessed. “Uh-huh, maybe,” Monroe stated. “You don’t appear too worried,” I acknowledged, my mild on Monroe. “I’ll fear whilst the time is true. ” Pia appeared again over her shoulder, her headlamp fading into the murk of darkness. “Like Monroe stated, Pia,” I acknowledged, “find somewhere to take a seat and relaxation, and we’ll come back—” “No, by no means mind,” Pia interrupted, brushing at her eyes. “I’ll cross. ” “Huh? ” “I’ll pass. ” “Make up your mind,” I challenged. “Are you going with us or now not? ” “I’ll cross. ” “Pia, there's no such factor as ghosts,” Kiki acknowledged. She didn’t sound that convincing. “Are you yes? ” Pia requested, lighting fixtures Kiki’s face. Kiki nodded. “Uh-huh, lovely yes. ” “I’ll move. ” all people begun jogging back. Pia looped an arm round mine. Monroe used to be nonetheless top whilst the tunnel made a pointy 90-degree flip to definitely the right and flowed right into a small cavern. Monroe rounded the nook, then leaped again and compelled his again opposed to the wall. “Stop! ” he whispered. “What …? ” I requested, nearly gagging at the be aware. Monroe positioned his finger to his lips and shook his head. He mouthed the phrases “Don’t speak. ” Pia and Kiki got here jointly in a nervous include. “I observed … something,” Monroe whispered. “Some … factor? ” I requested, my middle banging in my chest. “Some … one,” Monroe acknowledged quietly. “But I can’t ensure. not more than a glimpse. ” Clinging to Kiki, Pia gasped. “Some … one? ” I pressed, alarm bells ringing in my head. Monroe grew to become off his headlamp and eased to the nook of the tunnel. He poked his head round the nook, after which withdrew it. Pia choked again a sob. My knees transforming into vulnerable, I positioned one hand flat opposed to the wall for help. each horror motion picture I’d ever visible used to be enjoying out inside of my head. A Nightmare on Elm highway used to be the 1st that got here to brain. “Is this one other of your methods, Monroe? ” Kiki whispered, her voice quivering. “No. ” Monroe’s face was once clouded, and that i may perhaps inform from the tone in his voice that it wasn’t a trick. Monroe caught his head round the nook a moment time, flashed on his headlamp for an fast, then jumped again back. He set free an enormous sigh. “What? ” I croaked, a softball-sized lump in my throat. In a typical voice, Monroe acknowledged, “It’s a portray I observed. ” “A portray? ” I requested, many of the panic draining from my head. “Yeah. ” Monroe stepped round the nook and walked into the cavern. every person carefully.

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