Tut tut, p.1
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       Tut, Tut, p.1

           Jon Scieszka
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Tut, Tut

  Table of Contents

  Title Page


  Copyright Page















  “We’re rich! We’ve finally hit pay dirt with that freaky Book. Real treasure.”

  “You junior Egyptologists seem to have forgotten,” lectured Sam, “that the authorities usually punished grave robbers by chopping off their hands.”

  Fred went back to the statues. “Oh come on, you chicken. They won’t miss a few gold pieces.”

  I looked at Sam, sitting on his hands. I looked at Fred, digging in a dead person’s treasure. “Are you both nuts? Fred, get away from that stuff. Sam, get on your feet. We are going to find The Book, find my sister and her cat, and get out of here before—”

  A loud crash echoed in the hallway outside. More lights flickered. An angry voice yelled.

  “My hands,” squeaked Sam, folding them under his armpits.

  “Yikes,” said Fred.

  The sound of the voice grew louder.

  “They’re headed this way,” I whispered. “Hide.”


  #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


  #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

  #23: Me Oh Maya

  #14: Da Wild, Da Crazy, Da Vinci

  With special thanks to Catharine Roehrig, Associate Curator, Egyptian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  For the fifth grade Egyptologists of

  The Berkeley Carroll School


  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,

  a division of Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996

  Published by Puffin Books, 1998

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

  Text copyright © Jon Scieszka, 1996 Illustrations copyright © Lane Smith, 1996

  All rights reserved


  eISBN : 978-1-101-07821-1

  1. Time travel—Fiction. [1. Egypt—Civilization—To 332 B.C.—Fiction.

  2 Adventure and adventurers—Fiction. 3. Humorous stories.] I. Smith, Lane, ill.

  II. Title. III. Series: Scieszka, Jon. Time warp trio.

  PZ7.S41267Tu 1996 [Fic]—DC21 96-195514 AC

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

  Set in Sabon

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

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



  I opened the door to my room and saw a terrible scene. A giant woman stood in King Tut’s tomb. An even bigger cat crouched just behind it.

  “Anna!” I yelled. “What are you doing?”

  Sam and Fred pushed into the room behind me.

  “She’s wrecking our ancient Egypt projects,” said Fred. He tossed an extra figure out of his diorama. “Ms. B. would kill me if she found G. I. Joe in my ‘Making of a Mummy.’”

  Sam picked up another action figure. “I’m sure she’d love Spiderman in my Book of the Dead scroll and Barbie in Joe’s ‘King Tut’s Tomb.’”

  “That is not Barbie. It’s the goddess Isis,” said Anna.

  “I didn’t know Isis wore high heels,” I said. “And would you please get that stupid cat away from the tomb. She’s licking the burial chamber.”

  Anna took the cat and her doll and settled them both in her lap.

  “Cleo is not a stupid cat and she wasn’t licking your stupid burial chamber. She was helping Isis stop the evil grave robbers from breaking into the Queen Pharaoh’s tomb.”

  “You are such a pain,” I said. “And that shows how much you know about ancient Egypt. Only kings were Pharaohs. They never had women Pharaohs.”

  I wiped the cat slobber off my model of King Tut’s tomb.

  “Oh yes, they did,” said Anna.

  “Oh no, they didn‘t,” I said, doing my most annoying imitation of Anna’s voice.

  “Well, who is this then?” said Anna. She opened one of the books on my desk and pointed to a picture.

  Sam adjusted his glasses and leaned over to take a closer look. “Now that’s the goddess Isis. You can tell because she has that thing that looks like a chair on her head. And there’s that same throne shape in the hieroglyph next to her. That’s her cartouche signature thing.”

  “Pharaohs are usually depicted wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt and/or the red crown of Lower Egypt,” said Fred in his fake teacher voice. He flipped up the bill of his baseball cap. “Only the most awesome Pharaohs wore the Blue Jay crown of Toronto.”

  “But I saw a picture of a woman wearing the two Pharaoh crowns,” said Anna.

  “I’ll bet you your week’s allowance you didn‘t,” I said.

  “I’ll bet you I did,” said Anna, putting Cleo down and looking through the pile of Egypt books.

  “And you have to clean the kitty litter for my week, too,” I added.

  Sam drew a few more teeth on the figure of the Devourer in the Weighing of the Heart scene in his scroll, then stood back to admire all three projects.

  “Congratulations Trio,” said Sam. “Here we have three excellent projects on ancient Egypt, finished one whole day before they are due, and nobody even mentioned using a certain Book to help us with our research.”

  Fred turned his Blue Jays cap inside out and balanced it upside down on his head. “We must be getting smart.”

  “I wouldn’t go that far,” said Sam.

  “I’m still time-lagged from our last adventure,” I said. “Plus, I promised I wouldn’t use The Book again until I’ve figured out every tip and rule in there.”

  “Aha!” yelled Anna. “Here it is.”

  Cleo jumped on the desk and rubbed her cheek on the book Anna held.

  “I found it. A picture of a lady wearing both crowns.” Anna held up a thin blue book with twisting silver de

  A faint green mist began to form on the sugar-cube steps of King Tut’s tomb.

  “No!” screamed Fred, Sam, and I in unison. Fred and I dove for The Book. Sam dove for the door. We met in mid-jump and ended up in a pile on the floor.

  “Yes it is,” said Anna. She scratched Cleo’s head and studied the picture in The Book. “See there’s the white crown—”

  “I don’t want to be a mummy,” moaned Sam in the gathering green cloud.

  “—and there’s the red crown.”

  A flower of dense green fog bloomed and covered Book, sister, and cat.

  “Here we go again,” said Fred.

  Then the fog swallowed us, and we were gone.


  Now before things get out of hand (and you know they will as soon as we land), I’d like to take a minute to explain a few things.

  First of all—I had no idea what I was getting into when my uncle Joe gave me The Book for my birthday. It turns out that this is no ordinary book. This thing is a time machine. Every time we open it, it takes us to a different time. Which sounds like great fun. But there is one little problem. The only way to get back to our time is to find The Book in the other time. And whenever we time travel, The Book has a nasty habit of disappearing.

  We’ve gotten in trouble looking for The Book in King Arthur’s court, on Blackbeard’s pirate ship, in a stone-age cave, and in places you don’t even want to know about.

  So you would think by now we would have figured out how to use The Book without losing it. Well ... we haven’t. And if you’ve got any bright ideas of what we should do—keep them to yourself.

  Sorry if I sound a little cranky. But this disappearing Book thing is starting to get on my nerves. I swore to Sam and Fred that I would figure out The Book before it took us on any more time travels. Then my wonderful sister had to go and get us in the same mess again. I may just have to ask my mom about The Book straight out. She gave it to Uncle Joe, and I have a sneaking feeling she knows more than she’s telling.

  If you’ve read any of the Time Warp Trio’s other adventures, you know as well as I do what’s coming next. We’re bound to land in some kind of trouble. Except this time I have the added worry of keeping track of a little sister and her cat, too. Great.

  Wish me luck and turn the page. I’ll bet you your allowance and a week of kitty-litter cleaning that we end up in King Tut’s tomb ... or someplace worse.


  For all of the times we’ve time warped, I’ve never gotten used to it. It’s like dreaming you’re falling, floating in the ocean, and spinning in one of those awful teacup rides at the carnival all at once. You get large. You get small. You get curved. Then you are you again.

  When the Time Warp teacup ride finally stopped, Fred, Sam, and I found ourselves in the same heap we had been in 1996. But the dusty stone floor and the strange light weren’t anything like my room in 1996.

  Fred adjusted his Blue Jays cap and jumped to his feet. “Check this out. Statues, paintings, hieroglyphics. We must be back in King Tut’s tomb.”

  “Surprise, surprise,” said Sam, still sitting in the middle of the floor. “And let me guess—The Book is nowhere in sight.”

  I looked around the small stone room. A group of statues and things stood jumbled in the corner near Fred. There was no Book, and no little sister Anna or her cat Cleo.

  “Don’t panic,” I said. “This time we’ll make a plan. The Book is usually nearby. So we find Anna, find The Book, and warp back out of here before we get in any trouble.”

  “Great plan, fearless leader,” said Sam. “Only I’m not moving from this spot, because I would like to keep my hands.”

  Fred came over with a gold cobra crown wrapped around his hat. “We’re rich! We’ve finally hit pay dirt with that freaky Book. Real treasure.”

  “What do you mean—you want to keep your hands?” I asked Sam.

  “You junior Egyptologists seem to have forgotten,” lectured Sam, “that the authorities usually punished grave robbers by chopping off their hands. So I’m staying right here. No one is going to call me a grave robber.”

  Fred went back to the statues. “Oh come on, you chicken. They won’t miss a few gold pieces.”

  I looked at Sam, sitting on his hands. I looked at Fred, digging in a dead person’s treasure. “Are you both nuts? Fred, get away from that stuff. Sam, get on your feet. We are going to find The Book, find my sister and her cat, and get out of here before—”

  A loud crash echoed in the hallway outside. More lights flickered. An angry voice yelled.

  “My hands,” squeaked Sam, folding them under his armpits.

  “Yikes,” said Fred, trying to yank the cobra off his cap.

  The sound of the voice grew louder.

  “They’re headed this way,” I whispered. “Hide.”

  We ran in circles looking for something, anything, to hide behind. The three of us saw the statues in the corner and all had the same idea. We jumped behind the statues and froze into a pose, just as bright torchlight flooded the room.

  A pudgy, bald man in a white robe and sandals held the torch and a whippy stick that he swished around in the air at two taller guys dragging a big painted trunk.

  “You idiots. I can’t believe I ever offered you a place in eternal life. Your mother must have been a blind hippo and your father a three-legged donkey. If anything is broken in there I‘ll—”

  At this the nasty little guy started slashing his whip around like he was battling a whole army.

  “Yes, your grace,” said the one in a white skirt.

  “Thank you, your grace,” said the other.

  “Bring the rest into the next room. And if you break one tiny amulet or shawabti, I’ll make sure the gods keep you paddling a barge in the flaming lakes of Duat forever. Now go!”

  The two guys hustled off and left their leader standing over the treasure. I had no idea who this guy was, but the strange look in his eye made me think he was up to no good. Then he started talking to himself like evil guys in movies always do, and I knew he was up to no good.

  “My plan works to perfection. As soon as the Pharaoh’s temple is completed, my temple will be completed. These secret rooms and treasures will give me power greater than any Pharaoh in the next life. All will remember and revere my name—the great priest Hatsnat.”

  Fred shot me a look. If he was thinking what I was thinking, we could have sworn the guy had said his name was Hot Snot. I had just convinced myself it couldn’t be, when he started up again.

  “Great Hatsnat. Most Awesome Hatsnat. The Wonder of All, Hatsnat.” The little bald guy paced around the room, trying out his different names. Fred, Sam, and I bit our lips, trying not to burst out laughing.

  He walked to the doorway and turned for one last look at his treasure. We were almost safe. Then he said, “The Grand, Glorious Most Awesome Wonder of All ... Hatsnat.”

  That did it. Fred snorted out a laugh.

  Hatsnat jumped three feet into the air.

  Sam and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. We fell on the floor laughing. We had just barely managed to stop howling, when Hatsnat held his torch toward us. “Thieves. How dare you defile the temple of Hatsnat.”

  Have you ever been someplace where you’re not supposed to laugh, but you just can’t help it? That’s exactly where we were.

  “Hot Snot?” I laughed.

  “Cold Boogers,” laughed Fred.

  “Not robbers,” laughed Sam.

  We laughed so hard we could hardly breathe.

  Hatsnat did not look amused. In fact, he looked mad enough to kill.


  Once we stopped laughing, it finally sunk in that we were in serious trouble. Hatsnat lined us up against the wall, twitching his whip.

  “Thieves. Vermin. Crocodile dung. Where do you robbers come from in these strange garments and sandals? Answer!”

  Sam was the first to recover and jump into quick-talking action. “Rob
bers? No sir. We’re not robbers. We come from ... umm ... another land. But we are not robbers.” Sam shoved his hands deep in his pockets. “Not us. No way.”

  Hatsnat slashed his whip through the air. “Then how did you get into this secret room?”

  “Would you believe magic?” said Fred.

  Hatsnat leaned back, suddenly looking a teeny bit afraid. “Magic? You are followers of Isis? You have powers beyond this life?”

  “Yeah, kind of,” said Fred. Then he suddenly pushed me forward. “Joe here is actually the most powerful magician in our land.”

  “Thanks, Fred,” I said and punched him in the arm as hard as I could.

  Hatsnat tapped the end of his whip on his chin. “Magicians, you say? Hmmm. Then conjure me jewels, elephant tusks, a live baboon.”

  I couldn’t believe I was on the spot again. For a guy who’s not even an official card-carrying magician, I sure get an awful lot of work. I wracked my brain for a good trick.

  “Jewels and monkeys? That’s baby stuff. I can perform wonders you’ve never dreamed of,” I said, stalling for time. “But first I need a few things. Do you have a thin blue book? About this big? With silver designs on the front and back? It’s kind of a book of how things work in our land.”

  “Instructions for the afterlife?” said Hatsnat. He took a small package wrapped in linen from the trunk and handed it to me.

  I couldn’t believe we had found The Book this easily. Finally our luck was changing.

  “Great,” I said. “Now stand back.” I unwrapped the linen and took out ... a scroll of drawings and hieroglyphics. Our luck was definitely changing. Changing for the worse.

  Sam groaned. “That’s a book for the afterlife all right. It’s a Book of the Dead. Which is exactly what we’re going to be if you don’t show the nice man some magic, Joe.”

  “Thank you so much for your assistance, Magician Sam,” I said. Then I saw a small scrap of papyrus about the size of a dollar bill, and I remembered a classic trick. “Allow me to show you that we magicians are faster than any man,” I said to Hatsnat. I held the papyrus piece in my left hand, between the open thumb and finger of my right hand.

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