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TREASUR8 9' Detective and the treasure map

Michaela and her family had such great success at treasure
hunting in Southern Florida that they decided to vacation in
Florida again. Encouraged by last year's success at flea
markets, Michaela and her grandfather went straight to the local
flea market after checking into the hotel.

"Papa, come look!" whispered Michaela excitedly.

"What did you find?" asked her grandfather as he came up behind
Michaela.

"See that telescope?" asked Michaela as she pointed to a man
polishing an old brass telescope.

"Yes. What about it?" asked Papa.

"It looks just like the one we found when we dived on that
sunken ship." smile Michaela, "And you remember what we found
inside of that one!"

Papa smiled and nodded at Michaela, remembering that the
brass telescope they found on a sunken ship had a rolled-up
map stuffed inside of it.

So, Papa leaned in toward the man who was polishing the
telescope, "How much do you want for that telescope?"

"Twenty bucks if you wait til I finish polishing it." Replied
the man, "Ten bucks if you polish it yourself."

"We'll take it as is." said Papa as he handed the man a ten
dollar bill.

As soon as they turned away from the table, Michaela exclaimed,
"Pull it apart and see what's inside!"

Papa pulled the tubes apart and looked inside.

"Nothing in either tube." said Papa.

Michaela thought for a moment, then said, "It's half covered
with that blue-green tarnish. Let's take it back to the hotel
and clean it off. Maybe there's a map or a message scratched
into the metal."

Since the telescope was made of brass, they stopped at the store
on the way back to the hotel and bought some brass polish. When
they got back to the hotel, they pulled the telescope apart
again and each of them polished one of the pieces.

"Anything on your half?" asked Michaela.

Papa smiled and pointed at the end of the tube saying, "Look
here."

Sure enough, scratched into the metal near the eye piece of the
telescope was the name "Jedidiah Adams".

Michaela smiled and exclaimed, "That's the name of Blue Beard
the pirate!"

Papa asked, "Are there any names on your end of the telescope?"

"No," replied Michaela as she resumed scrubbing the blue-green
tarnish with the brass polished, "There's something scratched
into the metal, but it's not letters or anything I recognize."

When she finished polishing the tube, she handed it to Papa and
asked, "Does this look like anything to you? Or does it look
like maybe Blue Beard scratched his telescope by accident?"

Papa examined the telescope for a long time, then replied, "It's
hard to tell because this tube is round and you can't see it all
at once. But I think this might be the outline of an island."

So, Papa and Michaela compared the shape on the tube to the
shapes on the map of some small islands called Florida Keys. But
the shapes didn't match the shape on the tube. So, they compared
the tube to pictures of the Virgin Islands near Florida. Still
no match.

Papa said, "There are lots of Islands farther away from here. Do
you think we should find maps of them?"

Michaela held the tube in front of her face and turned it, first
slowly, then faster. Then she rolled it between her hands.

"Aha!" she exclaimed.

"Did you find something else?!" exclaimed Papa.

"No." replied Michaela, "Just a different way of looking at it."

"What do you mean?" asked Papa.

Michaela thought for a moment, then replied, "What if this is a
map, but it's a mirror image of the real thing?"

"A mirror image?" asked Papa.

"Yes," replied Michaela, "That way noone would recognize the
shape of the island."

"It's worth looking at!" exclaimed Papa.

"Did you bring the shoe polish?" asked Michaela.

"Shoe polish?" asked Papa while digging through his suitcase,
"Why do you want shoe polish?"

"I'll show you." replied Michaela.

(Can you guess what Michaela will do with the shoe polish?)

Michaela smeared the shoe polish evenly all over the tube from
the telescope. Then she rolled the tube over a blank sheet of
paper. The shoe polish that had collected on the scratches in
the brass, rubbed off onto the paper as lines. Michaela now had
a mirror image of what looked like an island on a sheet of
paper.

Papa compared the mirror image on the paper with the shapes of
the maps.

"It's a match!" exclaimed Papa, "It's one of the Florida Keys!"

Michaela inspected the shoe-polish-picture with her magnifying
glass for several seconds, then handed the glass to Papa and
pointed at the picture.

"Look here, near the bottom." she said, "At first, I thought
this mark here was just a glob of shoe polish, what do you
think?"

Papa looked at the small mark on the paper through the
magnifying glass. Then he picked up the brass tube and inspected
the same area.

"It's not just a blob." said Papa, "It's a small cross. It's on
the brass too. Do you think Blue Beard the pirate intended to
scratch an X for X marks the spot?"

"I don't think so." replied Michaela, "He made one line a lot
longer than the other. And it's at a different angle. I think
it's a cross. I think this cross points to a church or some
place with a cross on it."

Fortunately, most of the Florida Keys are connected by bridges
to the mainland of florida. So, Papa and Michaela drove over to
the Florida Keys. When they arrived at the island on the
map, they drove to the part of the island where the cross was.

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela, "It's a cemetery. There's a cross
over the main gate!"

The cemetery was old. It looked like noone had mowed the grass
in months.

"There's weeds everywhere!" said Michaela.

"That's a good thing!" said Papa as he pulled the shovel out of
the car's trunk, "Noone will care if we dig things up. Where do
we start?"

Michaela thought for a moment as she examined the shoe polish
picture, then said, "Let's start with all the crosses."

Fortunately, there were only two metal crosses in the entire
cemetery. One of them was over the main gate, the other was a
brass cross on a gravestone. The brass cross had turned the same
tarnished color as the telescope.

"That's the one!" exclaimed Michaela.

Sure enough, the name on the head stone was "Jedidiah Adams".

"Do you think he's buried there, Papa?" asked Michaela.

"No." replied Papa, "We saw Jedidiah Adams' skeleton in the
sunken ship, remember? I think Jedidiah Adams himself put up a
head stone to mark his buried treasure."

"In that case, I'll bet he didn't bury his treasure in a casket
like the dead people." suggested Michaela, "I'll bet he buried
the treasure right under the headstone."

So, Papa pushed the head stone over with his foot, then began
digging under it. And there was a "clank" on the second
shovelful.

"Found something!" exclaimed Papa.

When he dug it up, it was a small stone box. Inside was a
surprise.

"It's just a shiny black stone!" exclaimed Michaela, "I thought
sure it would be gold or something."

Papa asked, "Why would Blue Beard the pirate bury a shiny black
stone?"

Michaela replied, "Maybe it's a clue to help us find the real
treasure."

Papa nodded, "Yes. Yes, of course! He always made it difficult
to find his buried treasure! So, where do we look?"

Michaela thought for a moment, then suggested, "Let's look at
the other headstones for a name like BLACK or SHINEY or STONE."

Sure enough, after about a minute or two of walking up and down
the rows of headstones, Papa pointed and shouted, "Found
something!"

Michaela came running, then she read the name on the head stone:
"LODESTONE. What kind of name is that?"

"It's not a person's name." replied Papa, "It's the name of a
special kind of rock."

Papa pulled the shiney black stone from his pocket and held it
toward Michaela saying, "I think this is a LODESTONE."

"Is it expensive?" asked Michaela.

"No." replied Papa, "But it is a special kind of stone."

Papa held the shiny black stone next to the blade of his shovel.
Then, suddenly, the stone flew through the air and attached
itself to the shovel.

"It's magnetic!" said Michaela, "That means the treasure has to
be under that head stone!"

So, Papa pushed the headstone over with his foot, then began
digging. Again, on the second shovelful of dirt they heard a
"clank". He dug around the treasure chest and pulled it out of
the hole.

"There's no lock!" exclaimed Papa as he tried to pry open the
lid of the chest with the blade of his shovel, "But I can't open
it."

Sure enough, the lid of the treasure chest seemed to be glued
shut.

Michaela thought for a moment then suggested, "Try the magnet!"

Sure enough, when Papa held the lodestone next to the treasure
chest near where the lock would normally be, they heard a
click, the lid released and Papa could lift the lid. There were
thousands of gold coins!

Michaela, the world's greatest detective and her faithful
assistant Papa found yet another treasure!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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