Get a taste of the Barton Family Adventures
Excerpt from Change in the Wind:
The darkness was barely gray, not yet really changing from black. Why was I even aware of it? It must have been early, just about daybreak when the sunlight is struggling to push out the shadows. Didn’t I just go to bed? All I wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep. Just a little while longer and then I might get up.
Instantly I was awake as I realized we were moving!
When a boat is tied to the dock, it will rock back and forth rhythmically with the waves. The feel of a boat in motion is different.
Everything was silent. The engine wasn’t running. If dad had decided to set off early, he would have started the engines to move out of the waterway. But that didn’t make sense. He wanted us to test handling the boat as crew. He would have wanted us on deck as we cast off.
Why were we moving? Were we drifting? Had we somehow broken loose from the dock during the night?
I thought about that for a minute, but that didn’t make sense either. If we were adrift, there would be no pattern to our movements, but we were definitely moving in one direction. There was purpose in our going forward.
I don’t know what urged me to do so, but I slowly, silently eased out of bed. My bare feet hit the cool floor and I cautiously edged to the door feeling for the handle. It turned easily and I slowly cracked the door open only about an inch.
Through the skylight in the pilothouse, I could make out the mast above outlined against the gray background. There was no sail unfurled. How could we be moving ahead and in one direction with no sail and no engine running?
Something was very wrong here.
I could make out the shadowy form of a human figure behind the wheel. Who is that? I strained to make out some kind of detail. Is that dad? I didn’t think so. Dad is taller, I think.
There was movement to the right. There was the figure of someone moving from the bow past the pilothouse windows and into the cockpit. Now it looked like there were two people I didn’t know aboard.
I closed the door and sat on the edge of my bunk with my mind racing. How could the boat be moving? Who was behind the wheel? What was going on? Where was dad?
I decided to take another look out my door. They were still there in the cockpit. I had to know what was going on and where dad was.
I opened the door just enough so that I could get through and without a sound closed it behind me. I stood motionless for a few seconds to make sure that I was hidden in the darkness of the cabin and couldn’t be seen from the outside. Once I was sure, I crouched as low as I could and began to work my way forward through the salon. My eyes were adjusting to the dark and I could make out some shapes, but I didn’t make a move without first feeling my way.
I didn’t dare lift my head. I didn’t want whoever it was out there to see me. The door slowly swung open and someone came out. It was still too dark to see who it was, but I had to do something.
Excerpt from Voodoo Encounter:
My eyes had adjusted to the darkening surroundings and to the fire. I could see that stretched along the open front of the stable was a cord or rope. Hanging from it by their feet was a row of dead chickens. It shouldn’t have seemed that strange to me because I had seen the same thing in the marketplace right next to the vegetables, but somehow in this eerie lighting it seemed gruesome. The red glow of the fire and the blood on their white feathers simply added to the weirdness of the scene.
I decided not to look that direction any further and instead started to look at the people around the fire. All of them were men, and they were either seated on the ground or squatted in a circle around the fire except for the one. Each had long hair that mostly hid their face while they kept their eyes down. They were bobbing their heads up and down in time with the continuous beating drum. Their chanting was monotonous and had seemed to grow louder and louder.
I couldn’t completely make it out from where I was because the bongo player was in the way, but it looked like they were roasting a pig or something over the fire.
I leaned out just a little from the tree I was behind to try to get a better view of what they were cooking. The timing was such that just when I did, the man who had been dancing came around the edge of the fire and was facing my direction.
I don’t know if he had seen my movement, but he came to a dead stop and ceased his chanting. He had long scraggly hair that seemed to be going in every direction all at once. His dark skin had been painted with white streaks so that it glowed in the strange lighting. His eyes had white circles painted around them, and his face was also streaked giving it a fluorescent appearance. But the part that made my blood stand still was that his eyes were fixed straight toward my position.
I instantly froze. I didn’t know what was going on, but I suddenly realized that I didn’t really want to know or to get any closer.
After what seemed an eternity but was probably only ten or fifteen seconds, he began again to dance in his halting way around the circle of fire.
At this point, the only thought I had was that I wanted to get out of there, but I was afraid to move. What if I had been spotted or they just suspected that someone was there? If I moved again, I might be seen. And now I was starting to wonder if I had stumbled onto some kind of twisted ritual that wasn’t for anyone to see.
My nerves were wound tighter than that endless bongo drum when I suddenly felt a hand wrapped over my mouth and at the same time another around my waist. My heart stopped! A burst of fear gripped me! I just knew that I’d been caught and was now going to be roasted alive.
Excerpt from Treasure Hunt:
It was then we heard voices in the room below us.
“Hurry up, Cox could be back anytime. Look in each of these cases and see if you can spot it.”
Phillip whispered, “Did you close the door when you came up?”
I shook my head instead of saying, “No.”
He grimaced, and then tip-toed over to a vent in the floor that was right next to me. Looking down we could see two men who were looking in each of the cases that contained relics of old Port Royal. They were filled with pottery, old smoking pipes, bottles, and various things from day-to-day life. They seemed to be looking for something specific because they moved quickly from each case scanning the contents as they went.
“It has to be in this building somewhere. They found that old cutlass out at Morgan’s place, and this is where they would examine it.”
I looked up at Phillip realizing they must be talking about the cutlass we were just looking at. He held a finger to his lips to make sure we stayed very quiet.
We couldn’t see them but could hear them continuing to shuffle around the room. “I’ve been looking for his lost treasure for years, and this is one of the best clues yet. I know Cox, but I don’t trust him. There is a rumor that Morgan left a hidden message etched in a silver cutlass. It’s the clue that could lead to finding the treasure. I’m not going to let Cox keep it to himself. I must find that weapon.”
“Boss, here he comes,” said a voice from near the windows. That meant there must be three of them down below.
Right then Ruth shifted her weight and the floor creaked.
Movement below us stopped.
“Did you hear that?” one of the voices below said. “Someone is in the attic. I bet it’s those kids we saw come in here.”
“How do we get up there?”
“Boss,” said the third voice, “we don’t have time. He’s pulling around back now. He will wonder what’s up if he finds us here. We need to go.”
“You’re right. Let’s go, but let’s keep an eye on this place. Maybe we’ll come back tonight.”
We heard them hurry down the stairs, and Phillip rushed down the ladder to get a look out a window.
“That must be them,” he called. “They’re driving away in a black SUV. Turn the lights out and come on down here.”
As Ruth and I scrambled down the ladder, I couldn’t contain myself.
“Did you hear them? They want that cutlass! They think it has a secret message. They’re coming back tonight! What do we do? We have to do something!”
” We read this book as a family and we all thoroughly enjoyed it!!”Heather - Amazon Review
Franco was the last in line and just before he got in, he stopped and stood by his open door looking down the block in front of us first, and then behind us.
“Oh no,” he said with a gasp and jumped in slamming the door.
“What does that mean?” I blurted out.
“It mean we have trouble,” he said starting the car and slamming it into gear.
“What kind of trouble?” Ruth wanted to know.
“Policia. They have car sitting back watching. I think he see us and now he coming.”
We all turned and looked out the back window. Sure enough, there was a police car pulling out of a spot about a block behind us and coming in our direction.
Franco pressed the gas pedal to the floor. The rear tires spun and squealed as we sped away. Any race car driver would have been proud of that burnout and the way he went from a complete stop to full speed ahead in an instant.
Barely slowing down, Franco turned left down a side street and then almost immediately right down another. We could hear the sound of a siren as the police car behind us was sounding the alarm.
I looked out the back as we came to another corner and could see we were still being followed. They had us in sight and were gaining. Now they were only about a half a block behind us.
On the passenger side, I saw an officer put his head and arm out of the window.
“Everybody down!” I shouted. “He has a gun!”