The not so jolly roger, p.1
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       The Not-So-Jolly Roger, p.1
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           Jon Scieszka
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The Not-So-Jolly Roger


  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Dedication

  ONE

  TWO

  THREE

  FOUR

  FIVE

  SIX

  SEVEN

  EIGHT

  NINE

  TEN - Historical Afterword

  YO, HO, HO AND THE TIME WARP TRIO!

  A drop of sweat rolled off my nose and fell down toward the singing pirate. It landed right on his hat. I closed my eyes and held my breath.

  He stood up, looked all around, and said, “Just us three, lads. Guard our secret well. Har, har, har.” And then he turned to go.

  That’s when the fly decided to land on Fred’s nose.

  Fred wrinkled his nose, blinked, and shook his head.

  The fly flew.

  Fred’s Mets cap slid right off his head, spinning down, down, down, until it landed with an awful plop right at the toe of the pirate’s big, black boot.

  He froze. He looked at the hat. Then he looked slowly up, up, up the trunk of my tree. Our eyes met and my heart went as numb as my foot. The black pirate growled, “Arrrrrrrgh,” and grinned a crazy smile. I swear I saw his eyes flashing red.

  Then he pulled out two pistols, aimed, and fired.

  THE TIME WARP TRIO®

  #1: Knights of the Kitchen Table

  #2: The Not-So-Jolly Roger

  #3: The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy

  #4: Your Mother Was a Neanderthal

  #5:2095

  #6: Tut, Tut

  #7: Summer Reading Is Killing Me!

  #8: It’s All Greek to Me

  #9: See You Later, Gladiator

  #10: Sam Samurai

  #11: Hey Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge?

  #12: Viking It and Liking It

  #13: Me Oh Maya

  #14: Da Wild, Da Crazy, Da Vinci

  Special thanks to the Brooklyn Public Library

  PUFFIN BOOKS

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England

  Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,

  Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

  Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre,

  Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310,

  New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank,

  Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Registered Offices: Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England

  First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin,

  a division of Penguin Books USA Inc., 1991

  Published by Puffin Books, 1993

  This edition published by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2006

  Text copyright © Jon Scieszka, 1991

  Illustrations copyright © Lane Smith, 1991

  All rights reserved

  THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE PREVIOUS PUFFIN BOOKS EDITION AS FOLLOWS:

  Scieszka, Jon.

  The Not-so-jolly Roger / by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Lane Smith.

  p. cm.—(The Time warp trio)

  Summary: Once again, three friends are sent back in time by a magic book

  and they find themselves prisoners of the evil pirate Blackbeard.

  eISBN : 978-1-101-07767-2

  [1. Time travel—Fiction. 2. Blackbeard, d. 1718—Fiction. 3. Pirates—Fiction.

  4. Humorous stories.] I. Smith, Lane, ill. II. Title. III. Series.

  IV Series: Scieszka, Jon. Time warp trio.

  PZ7.S41267No 1993 [Fic]—dc20 92-44485 CIP AC

  The Time Warp Trio ® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any

  responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

  http://us.penguingroup.com

  For Jake

  ONE

  I thought you said you read The Book,” said Sam.

  I looked over at Sam and Fred swaying in the tops of the two coconut trees next to mine. We were thirty feet above the ground. I grabbed my tree tighter. “I did,” I said weakly. I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see just how far up we were.

  “Well, what happened this time, Mr. Magic?” asked Fred. “We didn’t even open The Book! We were just goofing around in your room. Now we’re making like monkeys in the tops of some trees on a deserted island.”

  “Maybe it was something you said,” said Sam.

  Waves crashed on the beach. I smelled the salt air. I opened one eye to look at Sam and Fred. Sam’s glasses hung from one ear. Fred’s Mets cap was twisted backward. They did kind of look like monkeys hugging coconuts. If I hadn’t been so scared, I would have laughed.

  “I said I read The Book. I didn’t say I understood it.” “Oh, great,” said Sam, trying to hang on to his coconut and fix his glasses at the same time. “So you’re telling us you don’t know where we are?” I looked out at the long stretch of blue ocean. The hot sun hung high in the blue sky. I tried to guess what time it might be. “Where we are? I don’t even know when we are.”

  “Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!” screamed Sam.

  A red and blue parrot flew by and screeched back.

  “We’re lost,” moaned Sam. “Shipwrecked. Castaways. Robinson Crusoes in time and space. We have no idea where or when we are. Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!”

  “Get a grip,” said Fred. “I wished for buried treasure. The Book sent us here.” Fred started to climb down his tree. “It doesn’t take Einstein to figure it out. Somewhere around here there’s buried treasure.”

  “We are going to die,” said Sam. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Because where there’s buried treasure, there’s pirates. We are dead meat. Shark food.”

  “Well, look at the bright side,” said Fred. “If you’re dead, you won’t have to go to school Monday.”

  Sam gave his glasses a push. “Ha. Ha. Ha. You’re so funny, I forgot to laugh.”

  Fred started to slide down the tree trunk. “What’s the big deal? We find the treasure, dig it up, Joe says the hocus-pocus stuff, and we go back home millionaires.”

  “Well ...” I said.

  “What’s this ‘well?’ ” said Sam. “I don’t like the sound of this ‘well.’ ”

  “Well, The Book says there are a lot of ways to travel in time,” I said. “But the only way to get back to our time is to find the person who has The Book in this time.”

  “But what about the All-Purpose Time Warper Spell?” said Fred.

  I shook my head. “It only works going backward. We have to find The Book to get home.”

  Sam knocked his head on the nearest coconut. “Oh, fine. That’s just fine. I mean, that should be easy. Thanks to lame-brain treasure hunter here, there aren’t that many people to ask for The Book. Let’s see... we could ask this coconut. We could ask that sea gull. We could ask the ocean. We could ask the ... oh, no.”

  “What’s an ono?” I asked.

  Sam pointed out to the ocean.

  We could just see the front of a sailing ship appearing from around the edge of the island.

  “
Hey, it looks like a ship,” said Fred.

  “Three guesses what kind of ship, Einstein,” said Sam. “And the first two don’t count.”

  We clutched our trees and watched the front of the ship turn into what looked like a huge wooden ocean liner. Except this ocean liner had cannons. And it was flying a flag from its mast—a black flag with a white skull. “Oh, no,” said Fred.

  He went back up the tree. Fast.

  TWO

  While the pirates drop anchor and load their rowboat, maybe I should back up and explain how we three guys happened to find ourselves up in the coconut trees and in big trouble two hundred and seventy-five years before our time. It was just a week after the last time we travelled through time. And that was more than a thousand years before this time, which is a later time if you’re just reading this for the first time in your own time, which ... oh, forget it. Let me start one more time.

  Last week (my time), I got a birthday present from my uncle Joe. Uncle Joe is a magician. He gave me a book. It had strange silver writing on the front that said The Book. When Fred opened The Book, it transported my two best friends (Fred and Sam) and me to King Arthur’s time. We met a bunch of knights, a dragon, a giant, and stuff like that. But you can read about that some other time.

  To get back to this time, the week after we got back to our time, Fred and Sam came over to my house to check out The Book again.

  “I’ve been thinking about this time travel stuff,” said Fred. “And I think we should go somewhere worth our while.” Fred sat on my bed, still wearing his baseball uniform, tossing his baseball up and catching it. “Kids in those magic books I’ve read are always so dumb. They always wish for exciting adventures or some garbage like that. And they never take anything useful with them—like a machine gun or a jet. I say we wish for a pile of money and come back millionaires.”

  Sam looked up from his comic book. “No way. It will never work. If you had ever made it to the end of any of those magic books, you would know that magic is very tricky. Like Joe’s uncle said, ‘be careful what you wish for. You might get it.’ We could wish for a pile of money, end up in a bank, and get shot by Jesse James.”

  I sat at my desk, trying to perfect my disappearing quarter trick. “Sam’s right. It’s not like faking people out with coin tricks. Let’s just be a little more careful this time and figure out exactly what we’re going to wish for.”

  I looked at the midnight-blue book on my desk.

  “Magic can backfire on you even when you’re trying to do good,” said Sam. “And it will definitely mess you up if you are greedy.”

  “So, Mr. Know-It-All, what do you want to wish for?” asked Fred, pulling his baseball cap down over his eyes.

  “I think we should go visit some famous historical figure and see what they were really like.”

  Fred threw his ball up to the ceiling and caught it. “Go visit some famous historical figure? Get out of here! You should be in one of those other lame magic books with all the other stiffs. Who wants to go visit famous dead guys?”

  Sam pushed his glasses up. “I do.”

  “Get a life,” said Fred. “So we go visit George Washington. We come back. What do we got? Nothing. But, we go visit buried treasure. We come back. What do we got? Millions!”

  “Oh, that’s brilliant, Sherlock. This is the same kind of bright idea that almost got us executed last time. Did you ever stop to think who buries treasure? Pirates, that’s who. And do you know what pirates usually have? Pistols and cutlasses, that’s what. And do you know what they do with those pistols and cutlasses? Shoot and stab people who are trying to steal their treasure, that’s what.”

  “Come on,” said Fred. “I took care of the Black Knight, didn’t I? What’s a few pirates? Joe, you got any pictures of buried treasure in that book?”

  I stuck the quarter in my pocket and picked up The Book. “No.”

  “So there,” said Sam.

  Fred cocked his arm to throw his baseball at Sam.

  “But there is this spell called the All Purpose Time Warper:

  Hickory dickory dock.

  Mouse, turn back the clock.

  The clock won’t strike.

  To go where we like—”

  “Buried treasure,” yelled Fred.

  “No, you jerk,” yelled Sam.

  Fred threw his baseball. Sam ducked. Wisps of pale green mist began to swirl in my bedroom.

  “But wait,” I said, “the spell only works—”

  Fred’s baseball slowed and then froze in midair, only inches away from my desk lamp.

  The Book seemed to melt right out of my hand.

  The green mist swirled faster and higher; covering book, ball, bedroom, and all.

  THREE

  Oh, no is right,” said Sam.

  We looked around the island for somewhere to hide. The choices were pretty slim: our three trees, or one big black rock.

  We climbed higher into our trees, and did our best to look like coconuts. We couldn’t see anything, but we could hear the splash of oars and bits of some truly awful singing.

  What do you do with a drunken pirate?

  What do you do with a drunken pirate?

  What do you do with a drunken pirate

  Ear-ly in the morning?

  The small rowboat landed as I peeked through the leaves. Two guys unloaded a chest. One was tall. The other was short. Both wore ragged pants and striped shirts. They were the ugliest and nastiest-looking guys I’ve ever seen ... until I saw the third guy behind them. He was twice as big and twice as nasty-looking.

  He was the one with the awful singing voice, and boy, did he have a face to match. Black hair stuck out everywhere. His black eyebrows and moustache bristled out front. Long black strands fell down his back. And a monstrous black beard, with four pigtails, braided and tied with ribbons on the ends, fell down his chest. To top it all off—the whole mess was smoking!

  But the worst part about this guy was not his crazy hair or black outfit. The worst part was that he was equipped, just as Sam had predicted, with four pistols and one wicked-looking cutlass.

  “Bad luck,” whispered Sam. “I’ll bet anything that’s Blackbeard ... and not the Walt Disney version.”

  “Who’s Blackbeard?” Fred whispered from his tree.

  “His real name was Edward Teach,” said Sam. “Some people say he was the craziest and meanest pirate of all time.”

  “Oh,” said Fred.

  The two ragged guys staggered up the beach lugging the chest between them. The giant black pirate counted off paces behind them.

  “Eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one. Halt!”

  They stopped right under our trees.

  “Dig here, lads. We bury our treasure, and we three be the only ones what know about it, eh?

  Who says I don’t treat me prisoners well? Have another tot o’ rum.”

  The big guy pulled a bottle out of one of the deep pockets in his long coat. He took a swig, and passed it around.

  The two prisoners drank, then started digging.

  The pirate leaned against my tree. The top of his three-cornered hat was right below me. Something in his hair was fizzing and smoking, and it smelled terrible. I wiggled my nose as quietly as I could, and tried not to think about sneezing.

  The pirate jabbed the sand with his cutlass. Then he started in with that singing again.

  Come all you bold rascals what follow the sea,

  To me way, hay, blow the man down,

  Haul in yer sails and now listen to me,

  And give me some time to ya de dee dee ...

  “Just us three, eh, laddies? Not a soul around.”

  Sam and Fred looked at me and bugged their eyes out.

  The hot sun beat down. Flies buzzed around. The prisoners drank and dug. The bearded pirate kept singing—horribly. My foot, wedged behind a coconut, went to sleep. My arms felt like they were going next. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the two guys finished digging. The p
irate slid his cutlass back in his belt.

  “Yar, mates. That would be perfect. Now lower her in there slowly, slowly ...”

  While the two prisoners were lowering the chest, the pirate pulled out two pistols and shot them both.

  The bodies and chest fell to the bottom of the hole with an ugly thud. The crazy pirate laughed and started croaking another song as he kicked sand in the grave.

  Sixteen men on a dead man’s chest,

  Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum.

  Drink and the Devil will do the rest.

  Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum.

  A drop of sweat rolled off my nose and fell down toward the singing pirate. It landed right on his hat. I closed my eyes and held my breath.

  He stood up, looked all around, and said, “Just us three, lads. Guard our secret well. Har, har, har.” And then he turned to go.

  That’s when the fly decided to land on Fred’s nose.

  Fred wrinkled his nose, blinked, and shook his head.

  The fly flew.

  Fred’s Mets cap slid right off his head, spinning down, down, down, until it landed with an awful plop right at the toe of the pirate’s big, black boot.

  He froze. He looked at the hat. Then he looked slowly up, up, up the trunk of my tree. Our eyes met and my heart went as numb as my foot. The black pirate growled, “Arrrrrrrgh,” and grinned a crazy smile. I swear I saw his eyes flashing red.

  Then he pulled out two pistols, aimed, and fired.

  FOUR

  Click, went one pistol.

  Click, went the other.

  “Damnation and hellfire. Forgot to reload. But you won’t be going nowhere, will you now, lad?”

  My brain thought about diving out of the tree. My body refused.

  The pirate tossed the two empty pistols aside and reached for two more.

 
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