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TREASUR6 9' Detective and the treasure map

"Michaela, how would you like to decide where we vacation this
year?" asked her dad.

"Really?!" asked Michaela.

"Really." Dad replied.

"Then, I want to go to the Caribbean Sea." Michaela declared.

"Why the Caribbean Sea." asked her dad.

"Because that's where the pirate treasure is." replied Michaela.

So, for the next several weeks, Michaela and her grandfather
studied books and maps and the internet to decide which island
in the Caribbean Sea would be the best for treasure hunting.

At dinner one night, her dad asked, "Well, Michaela, have you
decided which island we're going to vacation on?"

"Puerto Rico." exclaimed Michaela with a smile.

"Why Puerto Rico?" asked her dad.

"Well, first of all, the name Puerto Rico means RICH SEAPORT or
RICH HARBOR in Spanish." explained Michaela, "That's because a
lot of gold and jewels were shipped out of Puerto Rico. So, even
if we can't find any buried treasure on the Island, we might be
able to find some old sunken sailing ships with gold and jewels
near the island. And second, we think we found a house on the
island that used to be owned by a famous pirate."

Michaela's mom and dad smiled at each other. Dad said,
"Excellent choice! There are some excellent hotels there. So,
while you and your grandfather go off treasure hunting, Mom and
I will lounge around the hotel swimming pool, sipping drinks
with little unbrella's in them."

When they got to the island, Mom and Dad went out to the
swimming pool to relax, while Michaela and Papa went into town
to see the island natives.

"Do you know anything about a sea captain named Jedidiah Adams?"
asked Papa. (Jedidiah Adams was the real name of a pirate who
became known as blue beard)

"Yes," replied the native pointing to the top of a hill a few
miles away, "That was his house up there. But the house is not
in very good shape. Noone has lived there since I've been
alive."

So, Papa and Michaela drove to the house on the hill. 

"The native was right." exclaimed Papa as they stopped the car
in front of the house, "This house is in terrible shape. Every
window in the house is broken. Looks like the kids in the
neighborhood were using the windows for target practice."

"Let's go in!" exclaimed Michaela.

"Not so fast!" replied Papa, "Let's do a walk-around first."

So, they circled the house trying to notice anything that made
the house unusual or peculiar.

"See anything?" asked Papa.

"Yes," replied Michaela, the world's greatest detective, as she
pointed to some scratches in the door frame, "Both the front
door and the back door have this word scratch into the wood."

Papa squinted at the word, "I can't quite make out what it
says. MID... MIDDLE? Is that it, MIDDLE?"

"Yes," replied Michaela, "It's easier to read on the front
door."

"What do you think it means?" asked Papa.

"I think it's a clue to the hidden treasure." replied Michaela.

"Middle what?" asked Papa.

"We'll find out." replied Michaela, "Let's see, in order to have
something in the middle. There has to be at least three of
something, right?"

"Yes!" replied Papa, "In fact, where ever we see three of
anything, we ought to investigate the one in the middle. Right?"

"Three OR five OR seven OR ANY odd number." replied Michaela.

"Good thinking!" said Papa, Let's look around the yard for an
ODD number of something, then we'll do the same thing inside the
house."

"There!" exclaimed Michaela pointing a three large rocks
along the path between the back door of the house and the out
house.

Papa rolled the middle rock over. There under the rock was what
looked like the tooth of a large animal. But when Michaela
picked it up, "It's not a tooth, Papa. What is it?" she asked.

"It's a piece of ivory." replied Papa.

"What is ivory?" asked Michaela.

"It's probably from the tusk of an elephant." Papa explained,
"But it's been cut and carved into a small cylinder. In the
days before plastic, this is what people used to make things
that wouldn't rust. This piece of ivory has probably been under
this rock for at least two hundred years, but it's still as
white as when it was on the elephant."

Papa turned over the over two large rocks just to be sure, but
there was nothing under them.

"There!" exclaimed Michaela pointing the steps up to the back
door.

"I don't see anything," replied Papa.

"An odd number of stairs going up to the back door!" exclaimed
Michaela, "Where there's an odd number of anything, there's a
middle one."

"By golly!" replied Papa, "I think you could be right!"

He went to the car and brought back the jack handle, then he
pried off the riser board in front of the middle stair.

"It looks like a dead animal!" exclaimed Michaela.

"No," explained Papa, "It only looks like a dead animal because
it's a piece of animal skin. It's a piece of leather."

He reach in under the middle stair and pulled out the rolled up
leather. When he unrolled the leather, there was another ivory
cylinder.

"It's not the same size." said Michaela as she held the first
cylinder beside the new one, "It's the same thickness, but this
one is shorter."

Then they went around the front of the house to find more clues.
Again, the stairway leading up to the front door had an odd
number of stairs. Papa used the jack handle to pry off the
middle riser board again. And again there was another ivory
cylinder wrapped in another piece of leather. This cylinder was
longer that the other two, but the same thickness.

That was the last of the odd numbered clues they could find
outside, so they went into the house.

"The doors!" exclaimed Michaela, pointing to the three doors
leading out of the living room. One door led to the kitchen, the
other two doors led to the two bedrooms.

"What about the doors?" asked Papa.

"There's an odd number of doors!" exclaimed Michaela, "That's a
clue."

So, the went through the door leading to one of the bedrooms.

"I don't see any odd numbers in here." said Papa.

"Keep looking." said Michaela, "This is the middle room, There
has to be a clue in here!"

So, they spent another five minutes looking for another odd
number of something.

"There it is!" exclaimed Michaela pointing down.

"I don't see anything." replied Papa.

"The floor boards!" exclaimed Michaela, "There's eleven floor
boards!"

"Eleven is an odd number!" exclaimed Papa as he started prying
up the middle floor board with his jack handle.

Under the floor board were two more ivory cylinders. Now they
had five cylinders, but no two cylinders were the same length.

Next, they searched the kitchen for clues.

"Five cupboards!" exclaimed Michaela as she opened the middle
cupboard. But it was empty.

"That's odd. There's no clue in here." said Papa.

"Maybe the clue is in the wall BEHIND the cupboard." replied
Michaela.

But in order to get to the wall behind the cupboard, Papa had to
pry off all five cupboards. But when he did, he found a hole in
the wall. When he reached in, he pulled out another piece of
ivory. But this piece was not like the others. They were short
cylinders. This piece was over a foot long. It had five holes
drilled almost all the way through and close together on one
end.

"What do you make of this?" asked Papa.

"Five holds. Five ivory cylinders." said Michaela, "Maybe the
little cylinders fit into the holes."

So, they tried the cylinders in the holes and 

"They fit perfectly!" exclaimed Papa, "But what does this thing
do?"

"There's got to be more clues." said Michaela as she left the
kitchen and when to the other bedroom.

Again, the only odd number of things in this bedroom was the odd
number of floor boards. This time there were thirteen boards.
Papa pried up the middle board with the jack handle. And there
under the middle floor board was a very large treasure chest.

"Bring it up here!" exclaimed Michaela.

"Can't!" replied Papa, "It's too big. The planks under the floor
are in the way. We would have to remove the whole house to bring
it out. of there. I think this house was built on top of the
treasure chest so noone would be able to get at it."

"What are we going to do?" asked Michaela.

"I don't know." replied Papa as he paced the floor thinking.

Michaela smiled, "Maybe we can open it down there and bring
up the gold and jewels one piece at a time."

Papa asked, "Open it? With what?"

Michaela smiled and held out the ivory gadget they had just
assembled. "With this."

"You think that thing is the key to the treasure chest?" asked
Papa.

"Try it!" exclaimed Michaela.

So, while Michaela held the flash light, Papa reached the gadget
down into the hole. He inserted it into a hole in the side of
the treasure chest.

"It fits!" he exclaimed.

"See if it turns" exclaimed Michaela.

Sure enough, the key turned, and the lock clicked!

Papa lifted the lid of the treasure chest. And there in the
light of the flashlight were millions of dollars worth of gold
and jewels.

Papa and Michaela, the world's greatest detective struck it rich
again!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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