About the Book:
The Shark they Hunted had a Map inside . . .
Miles the Mutineer is trying to stay out of trouble and when a gang of convicts track a shark to his door, he can’t help shying away . . . until the shark proves to be hiding a map to the largest treasure in the South Seas. Taking a bag of sea-darts and a shark-whistle, Miles joins an old pirate buddy in the hunt for treasure through a network of shipwrecks, where the key to survival may be joining their enemies. But will joining the shark-hunters mean encountering greater dangers than cut-throat convicts? Will it mean fighting the giant sea beast that guards the treasure?
Targeted Age Group: 9-14
My eyes widened and I gasped. The same tattoo had been flashed at me weeks ago by a man who had been so thin and pale that I had imagined he had been a corpse.
“So you’ve seen Carcass Jack,” chuckled the Man with the Harpoon, smiling at the frightened expression on my face. “Half-dead men are sure to make you shiver like that! What did the dying, old sea-creature say?”
I hesitated, struggling with how to begin. This man called Carcass Jack had talked so wildly that I had thought he was crazy.
The Man with the Harpoon leaned in closer and indicated the prices at the front desk as if we were discussing his accommodation.
“A man living at the bottom of the sea often becomes a little dead and a little mad also,” he whispered knowingly and raised his eyebrows. “Now go ahead and indulge Wild Bill from the sea . . . ” He indicated himself with a stiff forefinger. “What did Carcass Jack say?”
“He rambled about a shark that lived under the sunken docks of the old fishery,” I said after a bit of hesitation. “One with scar on his face.”
“A scarface . . . ” coughed the Man with the Harpoon thoughtfully. “By the old fishery.”
The man’s wide, gleaming eyes peered out the window. The dark and half-submerged building that had once accommodated fish-harvesters caught his fixed gaze. His leathery hands tapped his face. The leathery face grinned and he looked furtively around the room, before letting out a wild laugh as if I had told him a hilarious joke. He slapped me on the back.
“Thank you for that kind word about the accommodation,” he said loud enough for most in the room to hear.
The man returned to the bar where he played sea darts and gambled for cheese and mushrooms. A contest was held to see who could hold their breath the longest and the outlandish man won. He drew a deep breath long after his last opponent gave up. Then he began talking so quickly that it seemed he had tanks of oxygen stored in his lungs.
He turned and grinned at me from the corner of his eye.
The other men remarked about going fishing with the man later and everyone seemed cheered by his arrival.
As he made to leave, he passed a flier on the help-wanted bulletin that drew his attention. Then his face formed into a giant grin and he came over to my table.
“You’re an awful mutinous man, mister hotel-person,” he said, dropping a silver dollar on the table. “Mute and mutated I might say . . . ” He threw me a meaningful glance as he whispered these allusions to my name. “And I consider meeting you an awful fine milestone in me life.”
His bearded face formed into a villainous grin as he scribbled something on a napkin and stalked out the door, where I followed his figure with my eyes. He walked toward the bay. I looked for a boat in which he may have come, but there was nothing. And the wind at my hotel continued to blow . . .