SOMETHING WICKEDLY WEIRD IS HERE
The only thing worse than pirates are undead pirates.
He might have survived the first two books, but Stanley Buggles has hardly found a quiet life in his home of Cramdon Rock. Now there are two more dead pirates out to find Stanely, and this time there's an army with them. They want the precious key to the Silver Casket. Stanley doesn't know what's inside the Silver Casket, but he and his friends will do everything in their power to not find out.
About the Author
CHRIS MOULD has won the Nottingham Children's Book Award and the Sheffield. He is married with two children and lives in Yorkshire, England.
Winner of the Nottingham Children’s Book Award, CHRIS MOULD began studying art at the age of sixteen. He currently has over twenty books in print between the U.S. and the U.K., where he lives. His books include The Wooden Mile and The Icy Hand.
Read an Excerpt
1The Calm before the StormCrampton Rock was still and silent. Early morning light spilled over the horizon onto the harbor. A flock of gulls hitched a ride on the gentle sea breeze, and if you had taken a good look and thought that this place was tranquil and serene, you are easily fooled. Despite the crisp blue sky and golden sands, all hell was about to break loose.
Somewhere far away, a chill wind blew over an old buccaneers’ graveyard overlooking the coastline. A handful of crooked tombstones spilled across a grassy knoll.The turf rippled and beneath it something clawed its way upward.Pop!The first of many hands poked its way through the wormy black soil.Then another. And another, until the festering remains of every grave were shifting silently.Soon the ragged shapes of men rose above ground, each before his own stone. The men were blackened with clay and soil and were bearing the weapons and wearing the rotted robes that revealed their trade.“Summon the Devil’s Horse,” croaked the first one. “She is the best ship for the job.”“Aye, aye sir. So be it” The man carried a bullhorn over his shoulder on a length of rope. He raised it and blew his call. It sailed on the breeze and resounded across the water.In a short while, the filthy ship would appear, and they would set sail.
Gulls rested on the crowstepped roof of Candlestick Hall. Outside was the soothing view of Crampton Rock harbor, but an argument boiled deep inside its walls.Mrs. Carelli, the housekeeper, had tracked down the new lord of the manor, young Stanley Buggles. He was in serious trouble and she was hot on his heels.“I cannot believe the scrapes and situations you have got me into since you inherited this old place, Stanley. We just go from one terrible mess to another. I don’t know what your Great Uncle Bart would have thought. He worked hard to shake off his pirate’s reputation and live a normal life, and now it’s all gone to pot. What will the ladies in the village think?”“But—” began Stanley.“We don’t never have a moment’s peace, and every time I turn my back you’ve gotten us more nonsense.”“But Mrs. Carelli, I—” Stanley tried.“This little ol’ fishing community lived in peace on this island before you turned up, Stanley. I’m too old for all this baloney.”“Can I just say something? … I—”“No, you can’t. Your precious little Ibis has given us more headaches than it’s worth. All that trouble for a silver trinket.”“It is not a trinket.” Stanley’s voice was raised now. “It has great power! If you ever hold it in your hands you will feel it, just like I did.”“Stanley, listen. It’s not that I don’t believe you, it’s just a little hard to take in,” said Mrs. Carelli, holding the boy by his upper arms and staring deep into his eyes. “I want you to explain it to me again. Now, take it slowly.”Stanley paused to collect his thoughts.“When I first came to Candlestick Hall I found the Ibis nestled in the belly of the preserved pike in his glass case on the wall. The Ibis looked beautiful as I held her in my hands. There was no way I could have known, but in touching her I caused a tremor. It sent a shock wave that raised an army of long-dead sea rogues and villains.”“Okay, let’s say that’s exactly what happened. What went wrong, Stanley? Where is the Ibis now?” said Mrs. Carelli.“She sits in the belly of the pike, who now swims in the lake out on the moor. The dear old pike knew the Ibis should not touch the water and that if she did, all the long-forgotten spirits of the evil pirate world would awaken. There is a name for it. It is what they call the Quickening.“You see, Daisy and I were trying to hide the pike from the first batch of rogues and so I had strapped the pike across my back. But as we walked across the moor I slipped and the pike ended up in the water. And now we sit in wait for the grim and the gruesome.”“Stanley, it all sounds more than ridiculous, you must admit,” insisted Mrs. Carelli.“I know it does, but the pike has never lied to me or warned me of anything that didn’t happen.”“What on earth do you mean, lied to you?”“Mrs. Carelli, the pike speaks. In a strange tongue but nonetheless, he very definitely speaks!” Stanley persisted.“Well, that’s the daftest load of old hogwash I ever did hear. A talking pike! He never said anything to me, and I dusted him down a million times. The sooner you get ghostly pirates out o’ your head, the better. I said you wasn’t well and I know I’m right. You need a good night’s sleep, lad. And before you get any ideas, young man, I think your precious little Ibis is better off left where it is for now. Out o’ sight and away from here.”Stanley turned up his nose at the thought. He was determined to retrieve the pike and the Ibis as soon as possible.There was a knock on the window. The top of a face appeared, and a hand waved at them.“That looks like Daisy from the lighthouse, Stanley,” sighed Mrs. Carelli. “Come in, poppet,” she shouted through the glass. “Door’s open.”Daisy’s fresh-faced entrance brought light into the room and just naturally eased the argument.“I brought fish from Uncle Lionel,” Daisy announced.Stanley lifted the cloth from Daisy’s basket, and as he did, a live fish jumped into the air and slapped him on the face.“Ouch!”“Ha! Saves me doing it,” said Mrs. Carelli as she wandered off into the kitchen.
One of the grim and gray shipmates pulled out a map. He pinned one corner of it to a wooden table with a nasty-looking blade that was hanging out of his shabby sleeve, and rolled out the rest with a grubby hand.Another man stood behind him, peering over his shoulder at the greens and blues of the map. Taking a long knife from his inside pocket, he dropped it on a small olive-colored shape in the southwesterly corner. It stuck in firmly, the blade swaying from side to side.“That’s where we wants to be, sir.”“Fanking you kindly,” came a sneering reply. “Best get goin’, then. Hoist the mainsail, you dirty, stinkin’ old sea dogs.”
While Stanley lay sleeping in his bed that night, the creaking wooden shape of a rotting ship moved stealthily through the night. Its ragged black sails flapped violently in the wind, and a band of grisly shipmates drank to their own good fortunes down below.Soon there would be more. From far and wide they had begun to assemble; some came in groups, some alone. All heading for the same remote corner of the earth.Text and illustrations © 2007 Chris Mould. First published by Hodder Children’s Books, a division of Hachette Children’s Books, an Hachette Livre UK company.
Table of Contents
1 - The Calm before the Storm,
2 - Beyond the Bronze Warrior,
3 - Out from the Tomb,
4 - In Search of the Ibis,
5 - The Legend of Angel Cuzco,
6 - The Timber Trail,
7 - The Glass Ball,
8 - The Black Swarm,
9 - The Evil Within,
10 - Scarecrow Point,
11 - The Missing Link,
12 - The Coming of the Angel,
13 - The North Bay Battle,
14 - The Pirate Wolves,
15 - Unlocked,
16 - Beyond the Candlelight,