It's all-out war with the Knightleigh family, and Edgar and Ellen are rapidly losing ground. But then everyone's attention is diverted by the ghostly hand of fortune: Augustus Nod has launched a treasure hunt from beyond the grave! The race is on, and the twins must solve the riddles and discover Nod's lost golden limbs before the Knightleighs bury the past and the diabolical duo with it!
About the Author
Rick Carton has been drawing longer than he's been walking. In his Chicago studio he has a cherished collection of every pencil ever worn down to a nub during his lengthy artistic career. He has never formally studed art; instead, the art community has diligently studied him. They are yet to release their findings.
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By Charles Ogden
AladdinCopyright © 2007 Charles Ogden
All right reserved.
1. Woe and Despair
"Nod's bods!" cried Edgar, throwing down his shovel. "We can't dig all this ourselves. We'll never reach the balm spring!"
His twin sister, Ellen, who had long since tossed her shovel aside, was clawing the dirt with her bare hands.
"We must...keep digging...or Pet...dies."
Edgar turned to look at the one-eyed hairball sitting on a nearby pile of rock. A hazy film coated its yellow eye, and its hair, though greasy and tangled as ever, now showed strands of gray. A poisonous bite from Ellen's carnivorous plant, Morella, and the subsequent destruction of the remaining balm (the mysterious, earthy goop Pet needed to survive) had left the creature hovering near death. The only cure lay in finding the source of the balm, which was beneath layers and layers of dirt.
"Sorry, Pet," said Edgar, plopping down beside the ailing creature. "This is all our fault."
Ellen glanced back at her brother. "We can't quit," she muttered. "We never quit."
But in the faint light of the lantern, Ellen could see the torn fingernails, scrapes, and blisters that told of their vain effort so far: Despite hours of digging, the twins had managed only a six-foot deep hole. Before the cave-in, the tunnel had dropped at least thirty feet.
"Bite your tongue, Sister." Edgar sighed. "No quitting. Just betterplanning."
"Yes!" Edgar sat up a little. "Time to take advantage of our strategic strengths."
Ellen faced her brother and crossed her arms. "Shall we recap our strategic strengths, Brother? Hmm. Let's see. First, we plotted to collapse the Knightlorian Hotel and ended up securing its eternal purple existence."
"A minor setback."
"Then, we blew up Augustus Nod's laboratory and burned his journal to ashes."
"Words, words, words."
"And if memory serves," Ellen remarked, pointing to the mountain of dirt, "I caused this little cave-in."
"Now, Ellen, the ground was already unstable when you stomped your foot."
"And then when that crazy circus blew into town," Ellen continued, leaning into her sibling, "you got us suckered out of our own house!"
"It was a lousy sham," growled Edgar.
"Oh! Let's don't forget that we betrayed Heimertz and Dahlia and they've been imprisoned in a gorilla cage for life!"
The ever-smiling Ronan Heimertz, the former caretaker of the twins' house and grounds, had lived in a shed in the backyard. For years he had been the only person the twins feared, and they were relieved when his circus family had carted him and his girlfriend away on charges of attempted murder. Edgar and Ellen had discovered too late that Heimertz was innocent -- the one person protecting both them and Pet.
At the mention of their loyal groundskeeper, Pet slipped off its perch and slunk dolefully toward the twins.
"We've spent years scheming against that vile Stephanie Knightleigh and her crooked family...and in the end, they're going to get the last laugh!"
Edgar stood up and took a deep breath. "So we regroup. We go back up to our house -- "
"Their house, Edgar," Ellen interrupted. "The Knightleighs own it, remember? And by this time tomorrow, Eugenia Smithy and her crew will be swinging a wrecking ball at it. That's where our strengths have gotten us." Ellen plopped down on a pile of earth and scowled. Pet snuggled against her, and Ellen reached down to stroke its thinning hair. She winced as a few strands fell away but didn't say anything.
Edgar stared for a long moment at the rubble. Then he narrowed his eyes and cracked his knuckles.
"Don't say it, Brother. Don't you dare..."
"I have a plan, Sister."
"I knew you were going to say that."
Copyright © 2006 by Star Farm Productions, LLC
Excerpted from Nod's Limbs by Charles Ogden Copyright © 2007 by Charles Ogden. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. Woe and Despair
2. Hugs and Kisses
3. The Waxworks Beckons
4. Disquiet on the Set
5. Glide and Seek
6. The Reading of the Will
7. The First Clue
8. Lost and Founder
10. Demolition Day
11. Down by the River
12. The Wisdom of the Pirates
13. Tooth by Tooth
14. Unsportsman-like Conduct
15. Homophones Are Where the Heart Is
16. Feed a Fever
17. Sounds Like Victory
18. Sparring on the Spire
19. Face the Maestro
21. A Bad Day for Mr. Frimmel
22. The Mayor Victorious
23. Thar's a Fair Wind A-Blowing
24. The Root of the Problem
25. The Blackest Hour
26. In the Blink of an Eye
28. Keep Your Enemies Close
29. The Lockbox
30. Back to the Dart Board
31. Stephanie Says So
32. Ye Olde Switcheroo
34. The Hobo and the Pirate
35. Shall We Gather at the River?
36. My Kingdom for a Clue
37. Setting Sail
38. An Ancient Double-Cross
40. Greatest Show Unearthed
41. Say Good Knightleigh
42. Remains of the Dead
43. Burying the Truth
44. A Touching Farewell
45. Return to Sender
46. Everyone Still Loves a Parade
47. Up and Crumbling
48. Pet's Cemetery
49. The Awakening
50. You Can't Go Home Again
51. The Final Riddle
52. Out on the Limbs