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Peril in the PalaceBOOK 3
By MARIANNE HERING PAUL McCUSKER
TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.Copyright © 2011 Focus on the Family
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Mongols
On Wednesday, Patrick and Beth were ready to go to China. They were all set to find the golden tablet.
Patrick had on a bright blue tunic with an orange border. The toes of his shoes curled up at the ends.
Beth wore an orange dress. It was made of fine silk. Her shoes were just like Patrick's.
"Those costumes are great," Mr. Whittaker said. "You look just like Mongol children."
"Did you say mongrel?" Beth asked. "That's what my dog is."
Mr. Whittaker smiled. His kind eyes twinkled behind his round glasses.
"No, Beth," Mr. Whittaker said. "I said Mon-gol. The Mongols ruled all of China in the thirteenth century. Today their country is called Mongolia."
"I've heard that word," said Patrick. "There's a Mongolian barbecue on Main Street. That restaurant cooks the best meat in town."
"Well," Mr. Whittaker said, "in Kublai Khan's time, Mongols were the best fighters in town."
"Uh-oh," said Beth.
"Don't be afraid," Patrick said. "I'll protect you."
"How can you protect me?" she asked. "You don't know anything about Kublai Khan. What if he's nasty and mean?"
Patrick looked at Mr. Whittaker. "Is he?" Patrick asked.
"Well, khan means emperor," Mr. Whittaker said. "So he was one of the most powerful—and richest—men in the world at the time."
"Emperors can be nasty and mean," Beth said.
"They can be," Mr. Whittaker said. "But Kublai was also known for his love of art, astronomy, and knowledge. That will work in your favor."
"How?" Beth asked.
Mr. Whittaker said, "I prepared some things for you to take with you."
He walked over to a large closet and rummaged around inside. He came back with three things: a colorful wool bag, a box of very long nails, and a hammer.
"Nails?" Beth said. "Why?"
Mr. Whittaker held up a nail. "Kublai Khan likes new things. He's never seen one of these."
"He hasn't seen a nail?" Beth asked.
Mr. Whittaker put the nail in Beth's hand.
"No," Mr. Whittaker said. "So this should please him."
"If you say so," she said. Beth frowned and then studied the nail. It had a square head and a long shaft. It was almost a spike.
She touched the tip of the nail. "It's sharp," she said.
"Keep the nails in the wool bag until you need them," Mr. Whittaker said. He put the hammer in the bag too, and he handed it to Patrick.
"Whoa!" Patrick said. "This is really heavy." He looked at Mr. Whittaker. "What else is in here?"
"You'll see," Mr. Whittaker said. "There are several gifts inside. Each one is wrapped separately. And each one has a tag on it. Read the tags to figure out when to use them. Give away the first gift when you meet someone with a famous name."
"We're going to meet someone famous?" Beth asked.
"He wasn't famous then," Mr. Whittaker said. "But you'll recognize his name when you hear it."
Beth and Patrick looked at each other. Their eyes lit up with curiosity.
"Shall we start the adventure?" Mr. Whittaker asked. He waved a hand toward the Imagination Station.
Excerpted from Peril in the Palace by MARIANNE HERING PAUL McCUSKER Copyright © 2011 by Focus on the Family. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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