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Captured on the High Seas
By Marianne Hering, NANCY I. SANDERS, DAVID HOHN
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2014 Focus on the Family
All rights reserved.
Beth felt as if she were in a giant rocking chair. She couldn't stop moving back and forth. A spray of icy water splashed on her face. She was confused.
Beth looked around for Patrick. The Imagination Station hadn't returned them to Whit's End as usual.
Patrick spoke from where he was sitting beside Beth. He pointed above them and said, "That's an American flag from the Revolutionary War."
Beth blinked her eyes and tried to see in the darkness. The moon was shining. It cast a faint glow of silver light. Where are we? she wondered.
She and Patrick had just been in Concord. They had warned the American colonists that the British were coming. Now she was on the deck of a sailing ship. Tall masts towered over her.
She saw dark figures moving around above. Sailors were probably working the sails.
Everything was quiet. It was creepy.
Beth now studied the flag high above them. On the front was a snake against a yellow background. Across the bottom were the words "Don't Tread on Me."
Beth realized she was holding Patrick's hand. She let go and stood up. "Why didn't we go back to Whit's End?" she asked.
She thought about the answer to her own question.
The windshield cracked, Beth thought. Maybe the Imagination Station had been damaged.
Patrick stood up beside her. "We must have landed somewhere in the middle of the war," he said.
"Then why is it so quiet?" Beth asked. She could see a little bit better in the darkness now. Her eyes were adjusting to the moonlight. She saw a tall shadow move in the darkness behind Patrick. The figure put something against Patrick's back.
"Who goes there?" a low voice asked.
There was the dull sound of metal clicking. "Don't shoot!" Patrick said. He raised both hands in the air.
Beth stepped toward the shadow. It was a young man with a pistol.
"We're here to help," Beth said in a kind voice.
A look of surprise flashed across the young man's face.
"A girl?" he asked.
Beth stepped closer. She could see the young man more clearly now. A black hat with a wide brim sat on his head. He wore a striped shirt and a handkerchief around his neck.
Beth guessed that he was one of the sailors. He looked about fifteen years old.
The young man lowered the pistol. "What are you doing here?" he asked quietly.
"I wish I knew the answer," Patrick said, arms still high in the air.
"This is no time to jest," the teen said. "All hands are supposed to be below deck. Those standing watch are allowed on deck. And sailors hoisting the sails may climb aloft." He glanced around as if making sure no one had seen them. "Get below. Now."
Patrick lowered his hands.
Beth wasn't sure which direction to go. She didn't move.
The sailor jerked his head toward the right. Beth hurried in that direction.
Patrick followed her.
The sailor came close behind.
The ship rocked back and forth. Beth reached out to grab the mast to steady herself. She saw a square hole in the floor. A ladder led into the darkness below.
Beth looked down at her clothes. She was still wearing the red dress from their last adventure.
Beth gathered her long skirts and turned around. She climbed backward down the ladder to the deck below.
Beth saw more sailors in the shadowy darkness. And cannons, too.
The sailor led them down another ladder to the next deck. He pulled aside a curtain. Then he pointed to a cramped space with a small bunk. "Next time be sure to obey the captain," he said.
"We didn't hear the captain give his orders," Beth said.
"The captain said no talking," the sailor said. "No lanterns. And no moving around below decks."
"But why?" Beth asked.
"What's going on?" Patrick asked.
The sailor's eyebrows arched upward. "Why don't you know?" he asked. "We're sneaking past a British warship. We'll be blasted to pieces if the enemy hears us."
The sailor turned to leave. He looked back over his shoulder. "Stay here," he said. "I'll be back when my watch is over."
And then he was gone.
Excerpted from Captured on the High Seas by Marianne Hering, NANCY I. SANDERS, DAVID HOHN. Copyright © 2014 Focus on the Family. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
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