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“When one man’s treasure is another man’s curse"
The Curse at Pirate’s Cove
Nikki Landry Swamp Legends, Book 2
by Rita Monette
Mirror World Publishing
Middle Grade, Adventure, Mystery
Nikki Landry is turning eleven years old, and is looking forward to riding her bike to school. That is until it falls apart. Papa can’t afford a new one. Is she doomed to ride the smelly old school bus from now on?
Hearing of an old pirate ship, and a legend about long-ago pirates burying treasure on a nearby swamp island, Nikki sees a way out. But when she makes a birthday wish for the pirate’s gold, things go terribly wrong. Did her wish trigger an ancient curse?
Join Nikki and her friends as they find themselves sailing away aboard a haunted schooner with ghostly pirates into the Gulf of Mexico … and into the year eighteen fourteen.
How will they ever find their way back home?
We propped ourselves against a couple of large limbs and got out our lunch bags.
“Uncle Luke says he first heard about it back when he was a kid. He says a friend of his grandfather, by the name of Beco, was out trapping on Fog Island with his buddy Clamare. They came across this here hole in the ground with a half-buried wooden chest, see. It had a big old lock on it. A couple of old coins sat there in the dirt, so Clamare picked them up and slipped them in his pocket. Beco decided he’d go back for some tools and shovels to dig the rest of it out, and told Clamare to stay there and watch the chest. On his way out to the edge of the island, he saw this ragged old ship. Thinking it was kind of odd-looking for being in the swamps and all, he got a little closer. It had a broken mast and raggedy sails.” He poked me with his elbow. “When was the last time you ever saw a fishing boat with sails?”
I shook my head. “Never.” I unwrapped a peanut butter and jam sandwich and took a bite. “What’d he do?”
“Well, he started to board it, see?” Spikes dug into his own lunch bag. “But then he heard some talking coming out of the boat. He stopped right then and there, ’cause he didn’t know who might be on that old wreck out in the middle of nowhere, and there weren’t no other boats around. This one had a big old hole in the hull, so it couldn’t have sailed there on its own. At least any time in recent history.”
“Then, what?” I licked some of the jam off my fingers.
“Then, someone stuck his head up over the bow, see. He had on one of them three pointed hats that pirates always wore. Old Beco yelled a big hello, and the man took out a pistol and shot over his head. Well, Beco took off right then and there. That night, he went down to T-Noon’s saloon and got drunk, and told some other fellows about it. The next day, they all went back out to the island with shovels and brought guns just in case that crazy guy in the boat was still there.”
“Was he?” I asked.
“Nope. The ship was gone, and so was Clamare.”
“What about the treasure?”
“They never found it. Not even the hole it was in.”
“And now the ship has come back?”
“The legend says if anyone goes out there and messes with the treasure—or even talks about it—the ship shows up out of nowhere…on account of a curse. Then, the plunderers get dragged onto the ship, and it sails away, never to return. The pirates probably make them walk the plank.”
“So, if I did believe all that stuff—which I don’t—and you do find a ship out there”—I pointed a finger at him—“it means some idiot is fixin’ to get taken away, and you might just be that idiot.”
“Chill, girl.” He laughed. “The legend is mor’n likely not true. You know how those old coots like to tell stories to scare us kids.”
“That’s all legends are.”
He looked at me under his eyebrows. “Would you like to come with me to check it out? What if it really is a pirate ship? You know pirates buried treasure all up in these swamp islands.”
“So I’ve heard.” I rumpled up my brown lunch bag. “I don’t know, Spikes. Sounds kinda crazy to me.”
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Meet the Author:
Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. She loves to write stories set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state.
Her middle grade series, The Nikki Landry Swamp Legends, is based on tales told by her father—who made his living in those bayous—of reasons to stay out of the swamp.
She currently lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee. Besides writing and illustrating, she loves watching the many birds that make their habitat on the Cumberland Plateau, working in the garden, and frequenting waterfalls.