The Great Galloon and the Pirate Queen (18 page)

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Refloating the Galloon, though still a mighty undertaking, had been a lot easier with so many flying companions and contraptions to assist. Claude heaved from below, the Seagles pulled at the mainb'loon, and the various planes and copters helped keep her steady, provide extra lift, and a hundred other useful things. The Brunt had been suffering from mild hypothermia after the battle-that-never-was, but once they had flown him back onboard and he had regained his little room, he was feeling fine and stoking furnaces again in no time.

A few days after the refloating, once Claude had said his goodbyes and retaken his place at the prow, and the Galloon was heading downriver towards the open sea, Stanley and Rasmussen were sitting on some coils of rope on the maindeck, watching the sun either go down or come up. With them were a fierce-looking girl in a peach-coloured ball dress, and a small boy who appeared to have a pair of scaly wings sprouting from his back. Sidney and Ragnarsson, who had been such a help from inside the Sumbaroon. Stanley and Rasmussen had been showing them around the Galloon, teaching them the real rules of backgammon, and generally making them welcome.

‘You'll like it here,' said Stanley. ‘It's very quiet – not a lot going on, if you know what I mean. But we're sure that something's gonna kick off soon, aren't we, Rasmussen?'

‘Oh yeah,' said Rasmussen. ‘It's high time there was an adventure of some sort round here.'

‘Oh no,' said Ragnarsson. ‘We don't like adventure, do we, Sidney Dragonback?'

‘Nope,' said Sidney, munching a teacake. ‘Anything for a quiet life, that's our motto.'

Stanley and Rasmussen exchanged awkward looks, and moved slightly further away from the newcomers.

‘Captain Anstruther and Ms Huntley getting married, eh? Tsk,' said Rasmussen.

‘I know! Where did
that
come from?' said Stanley. They both rolled their eyes at the capriciousness of grown-ups.

‘So – do you think we'll ever get this adventure we've been waiting for?' asked Rasmussen.

‘You know what?' said Stanley. ‘I'm not sure. Perhaps it's okay for us to live a quiet life for a little while.'

‘B­O­O­O­O­O­O­R­R­R­R­R­R­I­I­I­I­N­N­N­N­G­G­G­G­G­G!!!!!' said Rasmussen.

‘Ha!' said Stanley. ‘Nearly had you though, didn't I? I hear there's a room near the prow that's got a magic cupboard in it – you go in as you and come out as a cupcake!'

‘Mmmmmm,' said Rasmussen. ‘I love cupcakes. Let's go and check it out.'

‘Okay!' said Stanley.

‘Tomorrow,' they said together.

In the crow's nest, Tim turned to Margery.

‘What a palaver, eh?' he said.

‘Blimey,' said Margery. ‘A talking crow!'

First published in 2015 by Hot Key Books

Northburgh House, 10 Northburgh Street, London EC1V 0AT

Text copyright © Tom Banks 2015

Illustrations copyright © John Kelly 2015

The moral rights of the author and illustrator have been asserted.

All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-8481-2451-6

Hot Key Books is part of the Bonnier Publishing Group
www.bonnierpublishing.com

BOOK: The Great Galloon and the Pirate Queen
10.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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