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TREASUR5 9' Detective and the treasure map

When Michaela's family were vacationing in Florida, Michaela and
her grandfather  went to a flea market, a place where people
sell the junk from their attics and garages. Michaela looked at
the toys while Papa looked through the books.

"Michaela, come here! I think I found something!" exclaimed
Papa.

"What is it, Papa?" she asked.

"This old book has a name written inside the cover. Look." he
replied.

Michaela pointed,"It says Jedidiah Adams. Who's that? Is he
famous?"

Papa replied, "That's the real name of a pirate known as Blue
Beard."

Michaela said, "I didn't know that pirates owned books."

Papa replied, "Neither did I. I wonder if this is the same guy."

Michaela asked, "What kind of book is it? Is it a book about
boats or sailing?"

"That's the funny part," replied Papa, "This book is about dress
making."

Michaela replied, "Doesn't sound like a pirate's book to me."

Papa agreed, "To me either. It's not the kind of book any man
would buy, let alone write his name in."

Michaela replied, "Maybe that's why he bought the book."

"Why?" asked Papa.

Michaela replied, "Well, maybe blue beard buried some treasure
somewhere and he wanted to hide the map to the treasure in a
book. Wouldn't he want a book that would be easy to find?"

"Oh, I get it!" exclaimed Papa, "The book would be easy to
remember if it was a book a man wouldn't buy!"

"Sure." said Michaela. "Are there any treasure maps hidden in
that book?"

Papa turned the book over and shook it. Nothing fell out. Then
he paged through the book and found nothing but pictures of
dresses and sewing diagrams.

"Nope." he replied, "No maps, no pictures, nothing you wouldn't
find in a book about dressmaking."

Michaela suggested, "Let's buy the book anyway. Maybe there's
some clues in it somewhere."

So, Papa bought the book and they brought it back to the hotel.
While they all ate lunch in the restaurant, Michaela paged
through the book carefully, looking for anything out of the
ordinary.

"Found something!" exclaimed Michaela.

"What is it?" they all asked.

"Here on page ten," replied Michaela, "There's some pen marks
all over the page. Pen marks. I'll bet these are clues about a
treasure."

"I don't see any marks." replied Mom.

"Me neither." replied Dad.

Michaela pointed and explained, "They're not easy to see. He put
the marks right over the letters, so they look like part of the
letters. See? There's about twenty letters on this page with
marks."

Michaela spent the rest of the afternoon working on the clues in
the book.

First, she wrote down all the letters that had marks on them:

ICPIJCVRVVCVIIPFFFVCT

But that didn't make any sense.

Then she decided that the marks were meant to change the letters
to other letters. For instance, there was a straight line in pen
across the top of the printed letter "I" which made it look like
a "T". The printed letter "C" had a line in pen down the right
side of it, which made it look like an "O". So, Michaela copied
down all the letters as they looked with the marks.

TORTUGVBVYOVKTREEEVST

But this didn't make sense either, because all the printed V's
on the page had lines in pen across in the middle that didn't
make real letters.

Papa pointed at them and suggested, "Maybe those V's with
crosses in the middle are upside down A's."

"That's it!" exclaimed Michaela.

She recopied the letters:

TORTUGABAYOAKTREEEAST

"Now I can see some words!" she exclaimed as she separated the
words:

TORTUGA BAY OAK TREE EAST

"Does that mean anything?" she asked.

Papa looked on a map of Florida but couldn't find "Tortuga Bay".

"But "TORTUGA" in spanish means "TURTLE"." he suggested as he
pointed to the map, "Yes. Here it is! Turtle Bay!"

"Can we go there, Papa?! Please!" Michaela exclaimed.

"It's too late tonight. But we'll drive up to Turtle Bay in the
morning." replied Papa.

"Goodie!" exclaimed Michaela, "More treasure!"

The next day, Papa and Michaela took the book and drove to
Turtle Bay. When they arrived, Michaela reread the clues:

TORTUGA BAY OAK TREE EAST

"There's an oak tree! Just like it said!" exclaimed Michaela as
she pointed out the window to a huge tree near the entrance to
the bay. It was twice as tall as any other tree in the area.

They got out of the car and walked over to the tree. Then,
because the last word in the clue was "EAST", they stood on the
east side of the tree and looked for a pile of rocks or a stick
marking the buried treasure. But they didn't find any markers.

Michaela pointed back at the tree saying, "Maybe the word "EAST"
means that the marker is on the east side of the tree itself."

"Good idea," replied Papa, "Let's have a look."

But they found no scrapings or markings on the tree. The only
thing they found that was unusual was a hole half way up the
tree trunk.

"What's that?" asked Michaela.

Papa replied, "It looks like the place where a branch broke off
the tree, then the wood rotted a way, leaving a hole."

"You think maybe Blue Beard the pirate hid the treasure in that
hole?" asked Michaela.

"Let's have a look!" replied Papa.

He lifted Michaela up and stood her on his shoulders so she
could look into the hole.

"See anything?" he asked.

"Nothing. Just a bunch of leaves and twigs." replied Michaela.

Papa replied, "Well, if Blue Beard hid something in there a
hundred and fifty years ago, maybe a lot of birds and squirrels
built their nests on top of it. Pull out the leaves and twigs.
See what's underneath."

Michaela spent the next five minutes pulling out leaves and
twigs. Finally, she shouted, "Found something!"

"What is it?" asked Papa.

"It looks like a bottle but it's not made of glass." replied
Michaela. "Feels like it's empty."

"Let's have a look." said papa as he lowered Michaela to the
ground.

Michaela pulled the cork out of the top of the bottle and looked
inside.

"Anything in there?" asked Papa.

"Looks like a piece of paper has been rolled up and dropped in."
replied Michaela, "You think it's a treasure map?"

When Michaela tipped the bottle over and shook it, the roll of
paper fell out. When they unrolled the paper, Michaela pointed
and exclaimed, "It is! It is a treasure map! X marks the spot!"

Papa held the road map next to the hand-drawn treasure map and
said, "Look."

Michaela replied, "The treasure map is the same as the road map.
That's a map of Turtle Bay."

They both studied the maps for a moment, then Papa asked, "So,
where is the treasure hidden?"

Michaela pointed to the other side of the bay and replied, "Next
to that big rock over there."

They drove to the other side of the bay and parked next to the
big rock.

"Where next?" asked Papa.

Michaela examined the treasure map and replied, "According to
the treasure map, the big "X" is east of the rock."

"How far east?" asked Papa.

"It doesn't say." replied Michaela.

Papa suggested, "Well, if we don't know where to dig, we could
be digging all day. Are there any clues?"

They examined the big rock for messages or signs, but they
didn't find anything.

"How about the book?" asked Michaela.

"What about the book?" asked Papa.

"Maybe there's a clue in the book." replied Michaela.

Papa said, "There were no marks in the book other than the marks
on page ten. And we've already seen all the letters that were
marked."

"What about this?" asked Michaela pointing to the page number.

Papa paused for a moment, then replied, "You mean the number
ten?"

Michaela replied, "Yes. Maybe Blue Beard put the clues on page
ten for a reason. Maybe the location is ten of something."

"That's it!" replied Papa. "Ten paces!"

"What does that mean?" asked Michaela.

"In the old days before they invented tape measures, they
measured things by "paces". A pace is the distance of one step
when you're walking."

Papa stood with his back the the big rock, then walked slowly
toward the east counting his steps as he went, "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10."

Michaela brought the shovel from the car and Papa dug a hole.
After about ten minutes of digging, the shovel hit something
with a thud.

"Got something!" said Papa excitedly.

When they dug around it and uncovered it, they found a treasure
chest with a lock. Papa broke the lock with the shovel, then he
pointed to the treasure chest, "Well, punkin," he said, "You
were the one who figured out the code in the book and you were
the one who figured out where to dig. You open it."

When Michaela opened the treasure chest, she found thousands of
gold coins.

When Michaela and Papa had the experts look at the coins, they
were told that the treasure was worth over a million dollars!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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