Authors: Marilyn Helmer
Tags: #JUV051000, #JUV001020, #JUV013070
“Grandpa, you need a name too,” said Charlotte.
Grandpa thought for a moment. “I'll be Hawk,” he said.
Charlotte took the lead. “Shark and Hawk, follow Captain Patch Eye. We're off to find pirate treasure.”
Jacob glared at Charlotte's back. Sometimes Charlotte was the bossiest sister in the world.
Beyond the beach, windblown trees grew among the rocks and grasses. The beach was scattered with bits of flotsam and jetsam that had been caught between the stones and sand. The breeze carried a fishy, seaweedy smell.
Jacob picked up a broken toy boat. He tossed an old shoe out of the way.
“Look out for jellyfish,” Grandpa warned. He sat down on a large rock and took out his sketchbook. Grandpa liked drawing even more than he liked treasure hunting.
Charlotte picked her way across the rocks and stones. Something caught her eye. She picked it up. “I found a sand dollar,” she shouted. Grandpa and Jacob came over to look.
In Charlotte's hand lay a flat shell, round and white as snow. In the middle, five oval lines spread out like flower petals.
“I'll bet I can find one too,” said Jacob. “I'll bet I can find a whole bunch of sand dollars.”
He hurried ahead of Charlotte, searching the sand. All he saw were plain old clam and crab shells. Wait. A sand dollar! Jacob snatched it up, then quickly tossed it aside. The sand dollar was broken.
He glanced over his shoulder to see where Charlotte was. She saw him and gave a thumbs-up. “I found four more. Two big ones and two little ones.”
Grandpa put his sketchbook into his backpack. “Ahoy, mateys. Let's walk on up the beach and see what other treasures we can find.”
Charlotte caught up with Jacob and showed him her sand dollars.
Jacob examined them. “Can I have one?”
Charlotte chewed her bottom lip. “Ma-a-a-y-be,” she said, dragging out the word.
Jacob kicked the sand. Charlotte's “maybe” usually meant “no.” She was being mean. She didn't want to share.
Fine, Jacob told himself. Wait until I have something she wants. Then we'll see who can be mean.
“Ahoy, cove ahead,” Charlotte shouted.
“You don't have to shout,” said Jacob. “We're right beside you.”
He spotted an old fallen tree lying in the sand. It was narrow at one end and split partway down the middle. It reminded Jacob of the hull of an abandoned fishing boat he had seen near the dock.
Jacob ran and jumped onto the narrow end. “Avast, mateys. This is a pirate ship.” He caught Charlotte's eye with a fierce look. “And it's under my command.”
Charlotte shook her head. “I'm the pirate captain,” she said, “so I'm in command.”
Jacob jumped down. “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” he said. It was their favorite way of settling arguments.
“Two out of three,” said Charlotte.
Jacob won. “From now on, call me
Shark,” he said with a triumphant grin.
Charlotte gave in. You couldn't argue with Rock, Paper, Scissors.
She stared at the log. Jacob was right. It did look like a pirate ship. A shipwrecked pirate ship. “Grandpa, does this cove have a name?” she asked.
Grandpa shook his head. “Not that I know of.”
“Let's call it Shipwreck Cove,” said Charlotte. Jack Mawdy's words flew into her head. Treasureâ¦storiesâ¦
Ideas whirled through her mind, spinning themselves into a story. “On a dark night long ago, there was a terrible storm,” Charlotte began. “Lightning flashed. Thunder roared. Waves rolled in, as high as mountains. Rain pelted down.” Charlotte borrowed some of Jack's storytelling words. “The pirates' shipâ¦” She paused, searching for a name.
Jacob jumped in. “
The Treasure Hunter
.” Charlotte wasn't going to have all the storytelling glory.
“Good one, Jacob,” said Charlotte.
was wrecked in this cove. Captain Shark, Patch Eye and Hawk were stranded on Pirate Island.”
“What happened next?” asked Jacob.
“Let's find out,” said Charlotte.
Jacob picked up a flat stone. He drew back his arm and spun the stone toward the ocean. The stone skipped once, twice, three times before it sank. “Bet you can't beat three skips,” he said to Charlotte.
Charlotte never said no to a challenge. She searched until she spotted a black stone, smooth and flatâthe best kind for skipping.
As she reached for it, another stone caught her eye. It was small and pale gray. It looked like an ordinary stone, but there was something unusual about it.
Charlotte picked it up. “There's a hole in this stone. I can see right through it.”
“Let me have a look,” said Jacob.
Charlotte handed him the stone. Jacob held it up to his eye. He had never seen a stone with a hole through it before. Why did Charlotte have to find all the best things?
“Let Grandpa see,” said Charlotte.
Jacob passed the stone to Grandpa.
Grandpa examined it. He pointed to the little circles that went all the way through the hole. “It's a fossil,” he said. “From an insect or a snail that lived long ago.”
“No-o-o,” said Charlotte. She reached for the stone and held it up to her eye again. “It's a spyglass. Patch Eye's spyglass.”
“Only pirate captains have spyglasses,” said Jacob. “I'll bet Patch Eye stole it from Captain Shark.”
“Yes,” Charlotte said excitedly. “That's exactly what happened. One night, when Captain Shark was asleep, Patch Eye stole the spyglass. She buried it in the sand to keep it safe. But when she came back for it the next day â”
“She couldn't find where she had buried it,” Jacob said.
“Years passed,” continued Charlotte. “Waves washed the sand away. Then Patch Eye found the spyglass again.”
Jacob held out his hand. “But it belongs to Captain Shark.”
Charlotte closed her hand. “It belongs to Patch Eye now.”
“Rock, Paper, Scissors,” said Jacob.
Charlotte shook her head. She wasn't about to lose again.
“Can I borrow it?” Jacob asked.
Charlotte thought for a moment. “Ma-a-a-y-be.”
Jacob stomped off. As usual, “maybe” really meant “no.” He had to find a way to even things up.
Jacob stopped to examine a rock. It was covered with tiny white circles that looked like buttons. Barnacles, Jacob said to himself. But barnacles weren't treasure. He walked on by.
Grandpa sat down on a log to do more sketching. Jacob looked ahead. Farther up the beach, Charlotte was kneeling in the sand. She was looking at something. Jacob caught up with her. “What did you find?”
Charlotte shrugged. “More clam shells.” She tossed them aside.
Jacob kneeled beside her. “Ouch!” Something jabbed his knee. He pulled a slim piece of wood from the sand.
Charlotte glanced at it. “It's just an old piece of driftwood.”
Jacob stared at the driftwood. “Maybe not.” The end he was holding was rounded, like a handle. The other end was thin and smooth. He ran his fingers along the smooth edge. “It feels like a knife blade.”
Charlotte reached for it. As she turned it over, the sun caught the smooth edge, turning it a dull silver. “You're right, Jacob. It does look like a knife.”
“Not a plain old knife,” said Jacob. Charlotte wasn't the only storyteller in the family. “It's a pirate's cutlass. It belonged to Captain Shark. He stuck it in the sand to warn other pirates to stay away.”
Charlotte stood up. “But Captain Shark let Patch Eye borrow it,” she said. She stuck it into her belt.
“No way.” Jacob scrambled to his feet. “You wouldn't let me borrow the spyglass. The cutlass is mine. Give it back.” He made a grab for it.
Charlotte stepped back. Stuck in her belt, Jacob's driftwood almost looked like a real cutlass. She wanted to keep it, at least for a while. “Deal,” she said. “I'll give you two of my sand dollars if you let me borrow the cutlass.”
Jacob wanted those sand dollars. And he wanted to keep the cutlass. This way he could do both.
He looked Charlotte straight in the eye. “You'll give the cutlass back, right? And I get to keep the sand dollars. Promise? For sure, for certain?”
“Promise. For sure, for certain,” Charlotte said solemnly. She got two sand dollars from her backpack and handed them to Jacob. They were the two small ones.
“No way.” Jacob shook his head. “I get to choose.”
Charlotte took out the other three. Jacob chose two big ones. He put them carefully into his backpack. “Don't forget,” he told Charlotte. “I'm only lending you the cutlass. You have to give it back to me.”
“I promise. For sure, for certain,” said Charlotte.
Jacob was satisfied. He pulled the brim of his ballcap lower on his forehead. Charlotte never broke a for sure, for certain promise. Now he had two sand dollars and a cutlass.
This time Jacob took the lead.
“Heave ho and
away we go, treasure hunting, treasure hunting,”
. “Heave ho and away we go to look for more
Charlotte grabbed Jacob's arm. “See those big rocks over there? One of them looks like a face. A fierce face.”
Jacob glanced at the rocks. The tallest one was rough and craggy. It did look like a face. Sort of.
“Let's have a closer look,” said Charlotte.
Jacob pulled away. “I'm going down by the water.”
Charlotte shrugged and headed for the rocks.
Jacob walked along the shore, poking through the pebbles and shells swept in by the tide. One caught his eye. He picked it up. It wasn't a pebble. It was a piece of glass, polished by the waves.