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Authors: Ted Bell

The Time Pirate

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·
THE
·
TIME
PIRATE

 

 

 

 

ALSO BY TED BELL

Nick of Time: An Adventure Through Time
Tsar
Spy
Pirate
Assassin
Hawke

·
THE
·
TIME
PIRATE

A NICK McIVER
TIME ADVENTURE

Ted Bell

ST. MARTIN'S GRIFFIN
NEW YORK

 

 

 

 

This one is for Byrdie, Brownie, and Benji, three kids who exemplify all that's best about the heroic children who inhabit these pages.

 

 

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.

 

THE TIME PIRATE
. Copyright © 2010 by Ted Bell. All rights reserved. Printed in March 2010 in the United States of America by R. R. Donnelly & Sons Company, Harrisonburg, Virginia. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

 

www.stmartins.com

 

Illustrations by Russ Kramer

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

 

Bell, Ted.

The time pirate: a Nick McIver time adventure / Ted Bell.—1st ed.

    p. cm.

ISBN 978-0-312-57810-7

1. Boys—Channel Islands—Fiction. 2. World War, 1939–1945—Channel Islands—Fiction. 3. Pirates—Fiction. 4. Kidnapping—Fiction. 5. Rescues—Fiction. 6. Time travel—Fiction. 7. Jamaica—Fiction. 8. Caribbean Area—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3602.E6455T56 2010

813'.6—dc22

2009040015

 

First Edition: April 2010

 

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prologue:
ANCIENT HISTORY

BOOK ONE: INVASION

1. PENNYWHISTLE PARK

2. THE WHIRL-O-DROME

3. SECRETS OF THE BLACK FOREST

4. THE CAMEL IN THE BARN

5. THE SPY IN THE SKY

6. CONTACT!

7. THE LONGEST SERMON EVER

8. CAPTAIN MCIVER'S AEROPLANE

9. STORM CLOUDS OVER PORT ROYAL

10. THE BARONESS AND THE BOMBERS

11. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

12. HOME ON A WING AND A PRAYER

13. DEATH FROM ABOVE

14. “WE'LL FIGHT TO THE END, WON'T WE, GUNNER?”

15. TREES WITH WHEELS!

16. ONE GOOD HAND AND ONE GOLD HOOK

17. BLOOD, TOIL, TEARS, AND SWEAT

18. CODE NAME: BLITZ

19. NICK EVENS THE SCORE

20. UP WAS AIR, DOWN WAS DEATH

21. THE DREADFUL KIDNAPPING OF KATE

22. SANCTUARY AT FORDWYCH MANOR

23. THE NARROWEST ESCAPE

24. THE KOMMANDANT AND THE SPY

25. 18 DEGREES NORTH, 76 DEGREES WEST

26. LORD HAWKE'S TROJAN HORSE

27. THE BRETHREN OF BLOOD

28. “GODSPEED, NICK,” HAWKE SAID

29. BLOODTHIRSTY CUTTHROATS GIVE CHASE

30. “WELCOME TO THE BLACK CROW, GENTS”

31 “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!”

32. NICK MCIVER, TRAITOR?

33. “IF THEY SEE YOU, THEY'LL SHOOT YOU!”

BOOK TWO: INDEPENDENCE

34. A HEAVY HEART EN ROUTE TO MOUNT VERNON

35. THE INDIAN IN THE FOG

36. MARTHA WASHINGTON'S NEW BOARDER

37. “DON'T EVER BETRAY MY TRUST, NICHOLAS!”

38. “THE GENERAL IS HOME AT LAST!”

39. AN UNEASY MEETING WITH WASHINGTON AND LAFAYETTE

40. THE MARQUIS AND THE MIDNIGHT RENDEZVOUS

41. ALL ABOARD THE FLAGSHIP VILLE DE PARIS

42. “HOIST THE JOLLY ROGER!”

43. THE GREATEST PIRATE ARMADA EVER

44. “YOU'RE IN A PICKLE, CAPTAIN BLOOD!”

45. TAKING THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY

46. SNAKE EYE STEPS FROM THE SHADOWS

47. AS BOMBS BURST OVERHEAD

48. ON THE LONG ROAD TO YORKTOWN

49. WHISTLING BRITISH CANNONBALLS

50. THIS IS A HERO, NICK THOUGHT

51. CORNWALLIS HAS SEEN ENOUGH

52. “THIS WAS THEIR FINEST HOUR!”

EPILOGUE:
HOME AT LAST!

Illustrations by Russ Kramer

Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers, which they dare not
dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

—
WINSTON CHURCHILL

PROLOGUE

ANCIENT HISTORY

· Greybeard Island, 1880 ·

1

T
he godforsaken isle took its name from the thick pea-soupy fogs that persistently haunted the place.

It was aptly named Greybeard Island. Dangerous terrain and weather fueled my misery trekking across the island's rocky headland. Tired and bone cold, serious doubts about this adventure crept round the edges of the noggin: one truly nasty fall and my frozen carcass wouldn't be found till next morning.

The low-hanging sun, once a comfort, was now merely a hazy yellow wafer sliding toward the sea.

Still, I was determined to reach the old Greybeard Inn before nightfall. I am by trade a naval historian, and I'd learned that Mr. Hornby, the inn's proprietor, had a bewitching tale to tell.

Martyn Hornby was a rare bird, one of a small number of Royal Navy veterans of the Napoleonic Wars remaining
alive, the sole living survivor of the crew of the famous H.M.S.
Merlin
, under the command of Captain Nicholas McIver.

McIver's small 48-gun English man-o'-war fought a courageous and pivotal naval battle against a massive French 74-gun frigate back in 1805. When I say
pivotal
, I do not speak lightly. I mean I believed that
Merlin
's victory had changed the course of history.

And no other historian, to my knowledge, had ever heard tell of it!

Seventy-five years ago now, in the summer of '05, a huge French frigate,
Mystère
, was lurking off this very coast. She sailed under the infamous Captain William Blood, an Englishman and a traitor of the first order. Old Bill was a rogue who had betrayed our greatest hero, Admiral Lord Nelson, for a very large sum of capital offered by the French. Captain Blood's formidable services were now at the disposal of Napoleon and his Imperial French Navy. And it was only the purest of luck that put that villain at last in British gun sights.

Distracted by such thoughts, I slipped then, and nearly lost my footing on a sharply angled escarpment, at the bottom lip of which I spied a cliff, one that dropped some four hundred feet to the sea! Well, I clung to a vertical outcropping of glistening rock and paused trembling on the edge of the precipice. Once my heart slowed to a reasonable hammering, I pressed on.

Historians, I was rapidly learning, need an adventurous streak. Tracking down far-flung witnesses to history is neither for the faint of heart nor weak of limb. Far better were I one of those stout-hearted, broad-shouldered chappies one reads about in penny novels. The lads off felling trees in the trackless Yukon, scaling Alps, or shouting “Sail hot” from atop a wildly pitching masthead. Such were my musings when a
sudden thunderclap boomed behind me and lightning strikes danced on the far horizon, revealing a fork in the road. I chose the more treacherous seaward route, for I had no choice.

There was precious little width to be had on this path, and in some spots it was little more than a shaley rock-cut ledge about ten inches or a foot wide. Far below, I heard the crash of waves on jagged rocks. Dicey, to put it mildly.

The sheer face of the vertical rock wall to my right seemed to bulge, animated, as if it wished to push my body out into space. A trick of mind? I inched along, trying to ignore the rising bile of panic and the agitated sea waiting to embrace me. Not once but thrice, I considered turning back. Only to realize I had passed the point of no return.

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