Wednesday, 26 September 2012

"Help from a Man Named John"

Welcome to week seven of "Red Shores and Pirate Anchors"! I'm really happy to have so many awesome readers from ABC Life Literacy enjoying this reading program. Whether you've been reading this yourself or sharing it with your children, everyone enjoys a great Pirate story! In this chapters Lillian and Jude will be running amok in Historic Charlottetown and happen upon one of Canada's earliest historic figures!

Keep reading to find out who the 'man named John' just happens to be!

Chapter Seven

"Help from a Man Named John"

Every crew member on board the Blackbird was frenzied, there was a good chance that hitting the beach had damaged their ship. But Lillian and Jude, who were hiding under the Captain’s bed couldn’t have been happier. With a treasure map to follow there was no doubt now that they could beat Captain DeNoir and his crew to the pirate gold. The only problem that remained to be solved was how they could escape the ship without being found. Dimitri had discovered that his map had been stolen and was actively turning the cabin upside down in search for his precious papers. He looked so funny that Lilly would have giggled if Jude hadn’t kept shushing her. The Captain’s tantrum was to be short lived though as a crew member came to inform him that his two captives had escaped the brig. "How could they have escaped, they’re only children!" Captain Dimitri bellowed, pushing past the crewman to go and find the prisoners himself. Once the two had disappeared from the door way Lillian pulled Jude out from under the bed with her. "Here’s our chance to escape while they search for us." She said quickly, dragging a hesitant Jude along. "Wait…that doesn’t make sense, how can we escape while they’re looking for us?" He whimpered to Lilly as the two hid behind a barrel on the deck. "Some of the best plans just don’t make any sense at all." Lillian whispered back to him, before ducking out from hiding. "In that case I’ve got a good feeling about this plan…" Jude said nervously while the two approached the railing of the ship.

It was a lucky thing that no one thought the two would be out on deck because the two friends weren’t even noticed as they leapt off the vessel. Rolling into the sand, laughing on her way down, Lilly felt right at home as she squirmed around on the grainy beach. It was Jude’s turn to keep her mind on their plan and he pulled Lilly to her feet. "C’mon, let’s go." He coaxed her. While the two prepared to leave, a voice called to them from the water. "Nokomis!" Lilly cried, dashing to meet the half-way woman as she swam around in the shallow waters. "You did this, didn’t you?" Lilly asked. "I did indeed, but not without a little bit of help." She said, yet before she could introduce her helper, both Jude and Lillian were splashed with water from a shining blue fish tail. "it was me!" Meryl called as she poked her head above the water and waved at Jude. "But how?" Both children asked in astonishment. "I used my power over storms and sang to the water so it would create waves to bring you here." Nokomis explained. "And I called on my sea creature friends to come and steer the ship. The whales, fish and sea turtles! They are so kind to help, no?" Meryl said; greatly pleased by her own resourcefulness. "Yes! Yes, you’re all so kind!" Lilly ran into the water and gave each of the sea women tight hugs. Nokomis looked at her in a motherly way before gently nudging her back to the beach. "Go on little one, we cannot stay talking like this for long. You must go and find the treasure before the Captain catches you." She instructed the two. Jude was too shy to hug the mermaids so he just bobbed his head humbly in thanks. As the two were sent off by their mermaid friends they could hear Captain DeNoir yelling at his crew to leave the ship. They were going to go after the treasure too, map or no map.

The children ran as fast as they could, neither had ever been to Charlottetown before but Lillian pulled out their map and guided the path with expert ability. The Blackbird had landed on a beach a couple of miles off from the town so by the time they reached it, both Lilly and Jude were exhausted. Charlottetown was more impressive than either friend could have imagined. There were tall buildings with beautifully dressed women and dashing men strolling the streets. Candy shops had their doors open with bright sugar treats in the windows that tempted Jude and Lilly. Their prize wasn’t candy though; it was the Province House that decorated Charlottetown’s center. It stood tall. A massive place constructed from stone, its wooden doors were sealed shut tight. That wouldn’t stop Lillian though, she rushed to the entrance and tried to pry open the doors. Grunting and fussing she struggled against the handles until Jude gently pulled her away. "It’s locked Lilly, there’s no use…" Jude told her. The Province House felt like a giant of stone above them and Lilly wouldn’t accept Jude’s simple defeat with such an important challenge in front of them. "There’s got to be another way in…" She told her friend, looking around carefully. There, hanging from the windows were long banners striped with red, white and blue. They hung down in long strands at the end which gave Lilly a brilliant idea. "We’ll use those!" She proclaimed, running to the banner and grabbing it. "But how could we?" Jude asked nervously as Lilly started to climb up the banner like a squirrel. Lillian didn’t say anything until she reached one of the windows, waving Jude to follow her example. "Come on, it’s really easy. We’ll slip in through this window and find the treasure."

She told him as Jude cautiously approached the banner, he wasn’t excited to try such a dangerous feat but with Lilly to cheer him on it seemed much easier to be brave. With a minor struggle, Jude made it up so that he was crouching on the windowsill beside Lilly, the two peeking in at what was happening in Province House. There were men standing up from around a huge table, each one was dressed fancily and had a stern look on his face. "They look funny." Lilly laughed as each one filed out of the grand room. "Here’s our chance!" She said, moving to push the window open. "It’s locked…" Jude sighed, accepting another defeat in their bold plan. Lilly wasn’t so stumped though; in fact she seemed excited and started to knock on the window. There was a single man left in room, he was walking around reading a book but when Lilly started knocking he put it down right away and went to the window with a fright. Sliding it open, he leaned his head out. "My name is Lillian Webbe!" Lilly said, grabbing the man’s hand and shaking it. "This is Jude McLean, he’s kind of shy, don’t mind it though." She said brightly, pushing her way into the room and tugging Jude along with her. "My name is Sir John Alexander Macdonald…." The man told Lillian in shock. "But good heavens children, what are you doing on a window ledge? Don’t you know you could get hurt?" He asked, ushering them farther into the room. Lillian nodded quite sensibly at this. "Indeed, we could! That’s precisely why you saved us." Lilly replied as Jude watched her performance in confusion. "But you see, we wouldn’t have done such a thing if it wasn’t important and so that’s why we did it. We’re looking for treasure!" Lilly pulled out her map and started to study it. "You’ll help us, won’t you Sir John A.?" She asked him with big innocent eyes. "I suppose…" He said, imaging that this must be some elaborate child’s game. "But what did you just call me?" He asked. "Sir John A. Catchy, isn’t it?" Lilly said happily, showing Jude something on the map. "Yes, it does sound kind of impressive." He admitted, leaning over the map to look at it.

"That’s a remarkable map, did you make it?" Sir John asked in amazement. "No, the pirates made it." Jude said, finally getting up the courage to speak. "Yes and we need to find the treasure and save Jude’s farm." Lilly explained, starting to follow along the instructions of the map. "We’re here, so we need to take twenty paces to the east." She said while counting out large steps for their group. Just as they were about to make the nineteenth step there came a crashing sound from the main level of Province House. It was followed by the sound of men hollering, yelling and throwing things around in search for treasure. "They’re here!" Lilly yelped, clutching the map close to her chest. "Be careful with those things! We’re here to find gold, not pillage the place!" The voice of Captain DeNoir yelled to his crew. Sir John was just as shocked as the children when he looked over the banister to see a motley crew of men who were preparing to ascend the stairs. Turning to Lilly and Jude he moved them along into the Library. "Hurry children, we had better find your treasure swiftly." He said nervously, knowing now that whatever this was, it wasn’t a children’s game.

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