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DescriptionBrad and Glen have had quite a day. Transported back in time to 1854, they landed on a steamboat moving down the Mississippi River. When they left, they had the 1854 $3.00 gold coin Brad had "borrowed" from his dad's strongbox. Problem is, they made it back to their own time, but the gold coin didn't.
Desperate to get it back, they decide to try another time travel trip. However, instead of going back to the same steamboat, they end up on a square-rigged sailing ship in the 1850s. The ship is attempting sail around Cape Horn to the California gold fields. They meet a Cuban teen, who's a member of the crew, and he shows them where to find the gold coins are kept. They recover the $3 gold piece.
Brad and Glen discover that all is not well on board. The captain and the first mate are at odds, and the ship is hove-to in heavy seas, awaiting a chance to tack around the Horn. It's past midnight. Under a full moon, the ship is about to smash against the rocks.
Will the captain or the first mate be able to save them from certain death? At this point, Brad and Glen doubt they'll ever get home alive, with or without the coin.
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Excerpt:"I can…hardly breathe," Brad Casemont said as he struggled free of the dark tunnel.
"Yeah, me too," Glen said, wiggling his long body out just behind him. Gasping, the two cousins stood up and leaned against the big limestone rock.
"Not enough air inside that cave," Brad said. He sucked in a long smell of summer woods.
"I'm thinking it's some kind of odorless gas that made us pass out," Glen said. "You know, like there is in mines sometimes."
Brad thought a moment. "If it's gas, it wasn't strong enough to kill us. Just gave us a nightmare–or a vision. You think?" He knew Glen probably wondered the same thing.
Glen rubbed a hand across his face. He left a smear of dirt on his forehead. "Well, did you dream we were aboard a steamboat on the Mississippi River?"
Brad nodded. He had a sinking feeling in his stomach.
"And a storm hit us when we were out sounding the depth. Then the steamer ran over our boat in the dark?"
"Yeah," Brad said. "And you saved one of the crew from drowning?"
"Got him just as he was going down for the last time."
"And the name of the steamboat was..." Brad paused, waiting.
"The Chanticleer!" They both said the name at the same time.
"Oh, no!" Brad groaned. "Then it wasn't a dream or vision. Nobody has the same dream at the same time. It's impossible. We were really someplace in the past together."
Glen looked at his watch. "Can't be. I went into that cave at 8:45 in the morning. Now, it's only 9:45."
"The same day?"
Glen consulted the date on his watch. "Yeah."
"Well, whatever happened, we have to get that coin back."
"You got any matches? We need to go inside and search that cave, because the coin ain't on me."
Brad shoved a hand into the side pocket of his damp jeans. "I carry a few matches in a little waterproof plastic tube. We can make a torch of some kind. It'll use up more of the oxygen in there."
"Then ride your bike home and get a flashlight."
"I'm not going home until we find that coin."
They stood looking at each other.
"Last I saw of it," Glen said, "the steamboat captain was holding it in his hand. We were going to give him three one-dollar bills for it when we woke up this morning."
"But we woke up in the cave, instead."
They were silent, wondering what to do next.
"We have to go back to that steamboat and get it," Brad said. "Or I'm in the biggest trouble of my life."
"How we going to do that?"
"Go back in there and breathe that gas or whatever it is and see if it takes us back."
"That's pretty scary," Glen said.
"You've never been scared of anything." Brad saw that his cousin was nervous. He probably hated to admit he feared something he couldn't understand.
"What if we wind up someplace else?"
"We'll never know till we try." Brad was desperate. "I gotta find that half-million dollar gold piece."
Glen took a deep breath. "Okay. As long as we're in this together."
"Let's go." Brad dropped to all fours and began crawling back into the tunnel.
Two minutes later, they both stood in the large inner room. Brad brought out his matches. He struck them, one by one. They spent the several seconds of good light searching the floor. No coin.
"That thing doesn't look as scary in the light." Brad pointed to the human skull he'd picked up and dropped earlier.
Cape Horn FuryBy: Tim Champlin