Tony can hardly believe it. He's sailing with the wind, maneuvering through the narrow channels between the offshore islands with amazing skill. And he'sjust learned to sail! But suddenly Tony is confused. Which way had he come? Which way is he headed? And who are the mysterious couple with the high powered motor boat who are to busy searching beneath the water to… See more details below
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Tony can hardly believe it. He's sailing with the wind, maneuvering through the narrow channels between the offshore islands with amazing skill. And he'sjust learned to sail! But suddenly Tony is confused. Which way had he come? Which way is he headed? And who are the mysterious couple with the high powered motor boat who are to busy searching beneath the water to answer his call for help?
Tony does some searching on his own. What he discovers leads him on a daring hunt for a 200-year-old shipwreck . . . and a dangerous confrontation with treasure hunters who will stop at nothing to keep Tony from learning their secret.
Read an Excerpt
"Dad," Tony Souza said, "what's money for if you can't spend it?" It was a Saturday, the first day of summer vacation, but to Tony his vacation already felt like a disaster.
"Keep your money in the bank," his father said. He was unloading the dish rack.
"Dad," Tony pressed, "if you had gotten up every morning at six for a year, delivered newspapers, got wet, got cold, fought off dogs, and made collections from people who didn't want to pay, you'd want to use the money you earned the way you wanted, wouldn't you?"
"Tony, people are not allowed on roads with a motor vehicle until they are fifteen. A motor scooter is a motor vehicle. You are eleven."
"Then what am I going to do with the three hundred dollars I made?"
"I gave you a suggestion.
Tony sat on the front steps. In one week, according to his parents' plan, he would go for a twenty-one-day stay at his grandma's house on the Connecticut shore. When he had been younger, it was fun to learn to swim and to sit on a beach all day. And Grandma Souza though her English was sort of embarrassing was all right. But now, Tony didn't know any kids where she lived. And he hated doing things alone. It would be a bore.
Back from Connecticut, he would go with his parents on their annual camping trip with Uncle Umberto and his family. Tony grimaced. The only thing worse than being with no kids was being with babies.
That would leave only two weeks before school began. Some vacation.
Tony stuck his head inside the house. "I'm going over to Jamal's!" he shouted.
When Tony slumped up Jamal's driveway,Rick, Jamal's older brother, was working on the red motorbike. Jamal was there, too.
"They going to let you buy it?" Jamal called.
Tony shook his head.
"Too bad," Rick said. "This baby isn't going to last long. Got two calls this morning from my newspaper ad. "
Tony wandered back down to the street.
Jamal ran after him. "What are you going to do with that money?"
"I'll think of something."
"What happens if your parents change their minds?"
"Want to watch TV?" Jamal suggested. "Play ball? Should be some guys at the park."
Tony hesitated. The thought of being with friends was tempting. But spending his money was urgent. "Later," he said. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he set off.
First he went -into a bicycle shop. Then a sports shop. After that it was a toy store that carried computer games. Then there was the Mart. As Tony wandered up and down the long aisles, everything seemed like junk.
Then he saw it. It was a sailboat no more than twelve feet in length hanging from the ceiling. Made of some plasticlike stuff, its outside was blue, its inside white. A wooden rudder was at the back. The mast was metal. The sail bore red letters which proclaimed the boat's name: Snark. A large price tag dangled from the hull.
The moment Tony saw the boat, he knew, sure as he knew anything, what he wanted, what he needed, was a Snark.
He ran home and poured out the news of his discovery, telling his parents all the ways the sailboat would make his summer exciting.
When Tony saw them give each other a look, he knew it was not out of the question. He pressed harder, insisting they go to the store right away.
At the Mart, his mother gazed up at the boat and said, "It's like a polystyrene cup with a sail."
"Ma, it's a sailboat! Can I get it?"
"There are some things to check first," his mother returned. "Come on. I have a friend who sails."
"Ma . . . !" Tony wailed again.
"Tony, it's not sailing anywhere."
Once home, Tony's mother called her friend and asked for a reaction to a Snark.
"You can't cross oceans with it," said the friend, "or handle bad weather, but in protected areas it'll do fine. In fact, it's just about perfect for a kid who wants to learn to sail. And you can't beat the price."
When Tony heard the report he did a cartwheel in the dining room, narrowly missing a lamp.
"Cool it!" his father cautioned. "Your mom and I need some privacy to discuss this."
Told to leave the room while they talked, Tony tried to listen through the door to what they were saying. He did hear his father make a call. Speak to someone. Hang up. Then Tony was called back into the room.
"The answer," his mother said, "is yes. . . ."
"If. . . " his father put in quickly, cutting off Tony's cheer, "if certain conditions are met."
"I agree to everything," Tony said.
"We called your grandma for her approval."
"And . . . ?"
His parents exchanged looks. "She said yes," his father said.
"All right!" Tony called.
"Second condition!" his mother said hastily. "We'll pay, but you must have sailing lessons."
"Finally," his father added, "you have to promise really promise that whenever you sail, you'll wear a life jacket."
"Dad," Tony pleaded, "I just said, I agree to everything."
Monday morning Tony and his mother went to the bank, withdrew his newspaper money, and headed for the Mart. Heart thumping, Tony counted out fifteen crisp, new twenty-dollar bills onto the counter.
"Plus eighteen dollars tax," the salesperson said.
Tony's heart sank. He looked up at his mother. She looked at him.
"I'll clean the car," Tony said. "And wax it. Three times. "
"I would have paid anyway," she said with a laugh. "But that's a deal." She also purchased a life jacket.
Store people loaded the box with the Snark atop the car. Once home, Tony spent the day...
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