In This Issue:
ADVENTURE STORY: HELD FAST FOR ENGLAND
ADVENTURE STORY: STAR ACTION
Decision-Making: The "Anti-Supposed To" Manifesto
by Janice Campbell
I’ve recently heard a lot of questions around the idea of “supposed to.”
• What am I supposed to wear?
• Are there supposed to be lines between every paragraph?
• Are we supposed to wash the dishes in the left or right side of the sink?
• Are we supposed to write on both sides of the page?
• What is my student supposed to do with her literature assignments?
• Are we supposed to use cursive?
• Are you supposed to send flowers?
Enough, already! Sometimes you’re just supposed to do what needs to be done in the very best way you can. This is very important when teaching children. Too many “supposed to’s” and they lose the initiative to learn and to try new things because they imagine there’s only one right way to do anything. What a mental prison!
Learning to make good decisions is a lot like learning to walk. Babies do a lot of creeping, crawling, and falling before they are walking well. If you tried to keep them safe by never letting them out of the crib, you’d end up with a disabled adult. If you never allow your children the freedom to make small decisions and fall when necessary, they may be safe, but they’ll be crippled.
There are times in life when you must follow basic rules (only number 2 pencils for the SAT; no scary stuff on airplanes; file your taxes on time). There are other times when there is room for personal decisions that factor in ability, convenience, efficiency, budget, and many other variables. To limit choices to “that’s the way it’s always been done,” or “you do it this way because it’s the way I like to do it,” is to cripple an individual’s ability to think clearly and make choices that are best for the circumstances. Children need the opportunity to practice thinking through small questions such as those above, so that they will have experience in examining options and making wise choices when more important decisions arise.
Institutional schools have an assembly line approach that makes for a lot of “supposed to’s” that are unncessary in the real world. If you attended an institutional school, beware that you don’t pass along those crippling limitations to your children. Instead, encourage them to learn and grow, acknowledging that while they’ll occasionally make mistakes, it’s okay. They are more likely to remember lessons learned from decisions they’ve made, than they are to learn anything from “because I said so.”
Remember the old saying that “practice makes perfect”? You and your children won’t always make perfect decisions, no matter how much practice you have, but I promise that practicing on the small decisions will help you make better decisions when the big questions arise.
It’s time to let go of the artificial or opinion-based “supposed to’s” and to help your children begin the practice of thinking clearly and making thoughtful decisions. Start with small things (it’s a small matter if the decision will be irrelevant in less than a year), then allow increasing decision-making freedom based on the wisdom of decisions already made. As you watch your grown children confidently make beneficial decisions, you’ll be glad you got off the “supposed to” express!
Janice Campbell homeschooled her four sons from preschool into college. She is the author of Transcripts Made Easy, Get a Jump Start on College, and Evaluate Writing the Easy Way, as well as the Excellence in Literature curriculum for grades 8-12. Be sure to visit her website, www.Everyday-Education.com, to get a free writing evaluation rubric and sign up for her free, twice-monthly e-zine.
Congratulations to Austin who has finished Lesson 8! Great Work. Only 4 more lesson and you are done!
Well done Matt for finishing Lesson 3 so quickly.
Great work Corey for finishing Lesson 5. You are making excellent progress.
We trust we will see you here next month.
Yours in life building,
HELD FAST FOR ENGLAND
Glenn and Diane Davis
Learn To Read Prince George and the World
By G.A. Henty
Cutting Out A Prize [part 2]
The capture of the polacre had not been effected so silently. Bob had allowed the boatswain, who accompanied him, to mount the ladder first; but the man at the top of the gangway had a lantern and, as its light fell upon the sailor's face, he uttered an exclamation of surprise; which called the attention of those on deck and, as the sailors swarmed up the ladder, shouts of alarm were raised. But the Spaniards could not withstand the rush of the English, who beat them to the deck before they had time to seize their arms.
The noise, however, alarmed the watch below; who were just pouring up from the hatchway when they were attacked by the sailors with drawn cutlasses, and were speedily beaten below, and the hatches secured over them. Bob had posted himself, with two of the men, at the cabin door; and as the officers rushed out, on hearing the noise, they were knocked down and secured. As soon as this was effected, Bob looked round over the side.
"Hurrah!" he said, "the barque is under way already. Get the sails on her, lads, and cut the cable."
While this was being done Bob mounted the poop, placed one of the sailors at the helm, and then turned his eyes towards the battery, astern. He heard shouts, and had no doubt that the sound of the scuffle had been heard. Then lights appeared in several of the casements and, just as the sails were sheeted home, and the polacre began to move through the water, a rocket whizzed up from the battery, and burst overhead. By its light Bob saw the Antelope and the Spanish barque, two or three hundred yards ahead; with their crews getting up all sail, rapidly.
A minute later, twelve heavy guns flashed out astern, one after another. They were pointed too high, and the shot flew overhead, one or two passing through the sails. The boatswain's voice was heard, shouting:
"Never mind the shot, lads! Look alive! Now then, up with those topgallant sails! The quicker you get them up, the quicker we shall be out of range!"
Another battery, higher up, now opened fire; but the shot did not come near them. Then rocket after rocket was sent up, and the battery astern again fired. One of the shot cut away the main-topsail yard; another struck the deck abreast of the foremast, and then tore through the bulwarks; but the polacre was now making good way. They felt the wind more, as they got farther from the shore; and had decreased their distance from the craft ahead.
The boatswain now joined Bob upon the poop.
"We have got everything set that will draw, now," he said. "She is walking along well. Another ten minutes and we shall be safe, if they don't knock away a spar.
"She is a fast craft, Mr. Repton. She is overhauling the other two, hand over hand."
"We had better bear away a bit, boatswain. The captain said we were to scatter as much as we could, so as to divide their fire."
"All right, sir!" and the boatswain gave the orders to the helmsman, and slightly altered the trim of the sails.
"I suppose we can do nothing with that broken yard, boatswain?"
"No, sir; and it don't matter much, going pretty nearly before the wind, as we are. The sails on the foremast draw all the better, so it don't make much difference.
"Look out, below!" he shouted, as there was a crash above; and the mizzenmast was cut in sunder, by a shot that struck it just above the topsail blocks; and the upper part came toppling down, striking the bulwark and falling overboard.
"Lay aft, lads, and out knives!" the boatswain shouted. "Cut away the wreck!
"It is lucky it wasn't two feet lower," he said to Bob, "or it would have brought the topsail down; and that would have been a serious loss, now the main-topsail is of no use."
He sprang to assist the men, when a round shot struck him, and almost carried off his head. Bob caught at the knife that fell from his hand, and set to work with the men.
"That is it, lads, cut away!" he shouted. "We sha'n't have many more of them on board. We are a good mile away, now."
Just as the work of getting rid of the wreck was accomplished, one of the men said, as a rocket burst overhead:
"There are two of their gunboats coming out of the harbour, sir."
"We had better close with the others, then," Bob said. "The brig will engage them, when they come up. We shall be well beyond reach of the batteries, before they do.
"Now, lads, see what guns she carries. Break open the magazine, and get powder and ball up. We must lend the captain a hand, if we can."
The polacre mounted eight guns, all 14 pounders; and in a few minutes these were loaded. The batteries continued to fire; but their shooting was no longer accurate and, in another ten minutes, ceased altogether. The craft had now closed to within hailing distance of the brig.
"Hallo, the polacre!" Captain Lockett shouted. "What damages?"
"The boatswain is killed, sir," Bob shouted back, "and we have lost two spars but, in spite of that, I think we are sailing as fast as you."
"What guns have you got?"
"Eight fourteen-pounders, sir. We are loaded and ready."
"Keep a little ahead of me," the captain shouted. "I am going to shorten sail a bit. We have got to fight those gunboats."
As he spoke, a heavy gun boomed out from the bow of one of the gunboats, and the shot went skipping between the two vessels. Directly after, the other gunboat fired, and the shot struck the quarter of the brig. Then there was a creaking of blocks as the sheets were hauled upon and, as the yards swung round, she came up into the wind, and a broadside was fired at the two gunboats. Then the helm was put down, and she payed off before the wind again.
The gunboats ceased rowing, for a minute. The discharge had staggered them, for they had not given the brig credit for carrying such heavy metal.
Then they began to row again. The swivel gun of the brig kept up a steady fire on them. Two of the guns of the polacre had been, by this time, shifted to the stern; and these opened fire, while the first mate's crew on board the barque were also at work. A fortunate shot smashed many of the oars of one of the gunboats and, while she stopped rowing in disorder, the brig was again rounded to and opened a steady fire, with her broadside guns, upon them.
As the gunboats were now little more than a quarter of a mile away, the effect of the brig's fire, aided by that of the two prizes, was very severe and, in a short time, the Spaniards put round and rowed towards the shore; while a hearty cheer broke from the brig, and her prizes.
There had been no more casualties on board the polacre, the fire of the gunboats having been directed entirely upon the brig; as the Spaniards knew that, if they could but destroy or capture her, they would be able to recover the prizes. The polacre was soon brought close alongside of the brig.
"Have you suffered much, Captain Lockett?"
"I am sorry to say we have had six men killed, and five wounded. We have got a dozen shot in our stern. They were evidently trying to damage the rudder but, beyond knocking the cabin fittings to pieces, there is no more harm done than the carpenter can repair, in a few hours' work.
"You have not been hit again, have you?"
"No, sir; none of their shots came near."
"Well, examine the papers, and have a talk with the officers you made prisoners, and then come on board to report. I shall want you to go on board the barque with me, and see what she is laden with."
Bob went below. The two Spanish mates were unbound.
"I am sorry, senors," Bob said, "that we were obliged to treat you rather roughly; but you see, we were in a hurry, and there was no time for explanations. I shall be obliged if you will show me which is the captain's cabin, and hand me over the ship's papers and manifesto. What is her name?"
"Where are you from? And what do you carry?"
"We are from Cadiz, and are laden principally with wine. We were bound for Barcelona.
"You took us in nicely, senor. Who could have dreamt that you were English, when that frigate chased you under the guns of the battery?"
"She thought we were Spanish, as you did," Bob said.
By this time the other Spaniard had brought the papers out of the captain's cabin. Bob ran his eye down over the bill of lading, and was well satisfied with the result. She contained a very large consignment of wine.
"I am going on board the brig," he said, as he put the papers together. "I must ask you to give me your parole not to leave the cabin, until I return. I do not know whether my captain wishes you to remain here, or will transfer you to his own craft."
"Well, Master Bob, what is your prize?" the captain asked.
"It is a valuable one, sir. The polacre herself is, as I see by her papers, only two years old, and seems a fine craft. She is laden with wine, from Cadiz, to Barcelona."
"Capital, Bob; we are in luck, indeed! How many prisoners have you got?"
"The crew is put down at eighteen, sir; and there are the two mates."
"You had better send them on board here, presently. Where are they now?"
"They are in the cabin, captain. They gave me their promise not to leave it, till I return; but I put a man on sentry, outside, so as to make sure of them."
"Well, perhaps you had better go back again now; and we will shape our course for Gibraltar, at once. All this firing would have attracted the attention of any Spanish war vessel there might be about. We must leave the barque's manifesto till the morning.
"As you have lost the boatswain, I will send one of my best hands back with you, to act as your first mate. He must get that topsail yard of yours repaired, at once. It does not matter about the mizzenmast, but the yard is of importance. We may meet with Spanish cruisers, outside the Rock, and may have to show our heels."
"Yes, I shall be glad of a good man, captain. You see, I know nothing about it, and don't like giving any orders. It was all very well getting on board, and knocking down the crew; but when it comes to sailing her, it is perfectly ridiculous my giving orders, when the men know that I don't know anything about it."
"The men know you have plenty of pluck, Bob; and they know that it was entirely due to your swimming off to that Spanish ship that we escaped being captured, before; and they will obey you willingly, as far as you can give them orders. Still, of course, you do want somebody with you, to give orders as to the setting and taking in of the sails."
As soon as the last gun had been fired, the three vessels had been laid head to wind but, when Bob's boat reached the side of the polacre, they were again put on their course and headed southwest, keeping within a short distance of each other.
Bob's new first mate, an old sailor named Brown, at once set the crew to work to get up a fresh spar, in place of the broken yard. The men all worked with a will. They were in high spirits at the captures they had made; and the news which Brown gave them, that the polacre was laden with wine, assured to each of them a substantial sum in prize money.
Before morning the yard was in its place and the sail set and, except for the shortened mizzen, and a ragged hole through the bulwark, forward, the polacre showed no signs of the engagement of the evening before. Two or three men were slung over the stern of the brig; plugs had been driven through the shot holes and, over these, patches of canvas were nailed, and painted black.
Nothing, however, could be done with the sails, which were completely riddled with holes. The crew were set to work to shift some of the worst; cutting them away from the yards, and getting up spare sails from below. Bob had put a man on the lookout, to give him notice if any signal was made to him from the brig; which was a quarter of a mile ahead of him, the polacre's topgallant sails having been lowered after the main-topsail had been hoisted, as it was found that, with all sail set, she sailed considerably faster than the brig.
Presently the man came aft, and reported that the captain was waving his hat from the taffrail.
"We had better get up the main-topgallant sail, Brown, and run up to her," Bob said.
The sail was soon hoisted and, in a quarter of an hour, they were alongside the brig.
"That craft sails like a witch," Captain Lockett said, as they came abreast of him.
"Yes, sir, she seems very fast."
"It is a pity she is rigged as she is," the captain said. "It is an outlandish fashion. If she were barque rigged, I should be tempted to shift on board her.
"We will leave the barque alone, at present, Mr. Repton. Our curiosity must keep a bit. I don't want to lose any of this breeze. We will keep right on, as long as it lasts. If it drops, we will overhaul her."
The barque was the slowest craft of the three, and Joe Lockett had every stitch of canvas set, to enable him to keep up with the others. At noon, a large craft was seen, coming off from the land. Bob examined her with the telescope, and then handed the glass to Brown.
"She is a frigate," the sailor said. "It's the same that blazed away at us, yesterday. It's the Brilliant, I think."
"You are sure she is the same that chased us, yesterday?"
Captain Lockett was evidently of the same opinion, as no change was made in the course he was steering.
"We may as well speak the captain again," Bob said, and the polacre closed again with the brig.
"Brown says that is the same frigate that fired at us, yesterday, Captain Lockett," Bob said, when they were within hailing distance.
"Yes, there is no doubt about that. I don't want to lose time, or I would stand out and try our speed with her."
"Because I am afraid she will want to take some of our hands. Those frigates are always short of hands. Still, she may not, as we have got twelve men already away in a prize, and ten in each of these craft."
"I don't think you need be uneasy, sir. I know the captain of the Brilliant, and all the officers. If you like, I will keep the polacre on that side, so that they will come up to us first; and will go on board, and speak to the captain. I don't think, then, he would interfere with us."
"Very well, Mr. Repton; we will arrange it so."
The polacre had now taken its place to leeward of the other two vessels, and they held on in that order until the frigate was within half a mile; when she fired a gun across their bows, as signal for them to heave to. The brig was now flying the British colours; her prizes the British colours, with the Spanish underneath them. At the order to heave to, they were all thrown up into the wind.
The frigate reduced her sail as she came up and, as she neared the polacre, the order was shouted:
"Send a boat alongside!"
The boat was already prepared for lowering. Four seamen got into her, and rowed Bob alongside the frigate. The first person he encountered, as he stepped on to the deck, was Jim Sankey; who stared at him in astonishment.
"Hullo, Bob! What in the world are you doing here?"
"I am in command of that polacre, Mr. Sankey," Bob replied.
"Eh--what?" Jim stammered, in astonishment; when the captain's voice from the quarterdeck came sharply down:
"Now, Mr. Sankey, what are you waiting for? Bring that gentleman here."
Jim led the way up to the poop.
"Good morning, Captain Langton."
"Why, it's Repton!" the captain exclaimed, in surprise. "Why, where do you spring from, and what craft are these?"
"I am in command, at present, sir, of the polacre; which, with the barque, is a prize of the brig the Antelope, privateer."
"But what are you doing on board, Repton? And how is it that you are in command?"
"Well, sir, I was out on a cruise in the Antelope. The second mate was sent, with a prize crew, back to Gibraltar, in a craft we picked up off Malaga. We cut out the other two prizes from under the guns of Cartagena. The first mate was in command of the party that captured the barque and, as there was no one else to send, the captain put me in command of the party that captured the polacre."
"But how on earth did you manage it?" the captain asked. "I see the brig has been cut up a good deal, about the sails and rigging. You don't mean to say that she sailed right into Cartagena? Why, they would have blown her out of the water!"
"We didn't go in, sir. We anchored outside the port. We were not suspected, because one of His Majesty's frigates fired at us, as we were going in; and the consequence was the Dons never suspected that we were anything but a Spanish trader."
"Why, you don't mean to say," the captain exclaimed, "that this was the brig, flying Spanish colours, which we chased in under the guns of Cartagena, yesterday?"
"It is, sir," Bob said, smiling. "You did us a very good turn, although your intentions were not friendly. We were under Spanish colours, when you made us out; and it struck us that running the gauntlet of your fire, for a little while, would be an excellent introduction for us to the Spaniards.
"So it proved. We brought up close to those other two vessels, and I had a talk with the captain of one of them. The two captains both went ashore, after dark; so we put twenty men into a boat, and rowed in to the mouth of the port; waited there for a bit, and then rowed straight out to the ships. They thought, of course, it was their own officers returning; so we took them by surprise, and captured them pretty easily.
"Unfortunately there was some noise made, and they took the alarm on shore. However, we were under way before the batteries opened. It was rather unpleasant, for a bit, but we got safely out. Two gunboats came out after us; but the brig beat them off, and we helped as well as we could. The brig had five men killed, we had one, and there are several wounded."
"Well, it was a very dashing affair," the captain said; "very creditable, indeed. I hope you will get a share of the prize money."
"I only count as a hand," Bob said, laughing; "and I am sure that is as much as I deserve.
"But here comes the captain, sir. He will tell you more about it."
Captain Lockett now came on board; and Bob, seeing that he was not farther required, went off with Jim down to the cockpit. The captain had a long talk with Captain Lockett. When the latter had related, in full, the circumstances of his capture of his two prizes, he said:
"There is a Spanish ship of war, sir, somewhere off Alicante, at present. She is got up as a merchantman, and took us in thoroughly; and we should probably have been caught, if it had not been for Mr. Repton," and he then related how Bob had swum on board, and discovered the supposed merchantman to be a ship of war.
"Thank you, Captain Lockett. I will go in and have a look after her. It is fortunate that you told me for, if I had seen her lying at anchor, under the land, I might have sent some boats in to cut her out; and might, as you nearly did, have caught a tartar.
"He is an uncommonly sharp young fellow, that Repton. I offered him a midshipman's berth here, when I first came out, but he refused it. By what you say, he must be a good officer lost to the service."
"He would have made a good officer, sir; he has his wits about him so thoroughly. It was his doing, our keeping the Spanish flag flying when you came upon us. I had ordered the colours to be run down, when he suggested our keeping them up, and running boldly in to Cartagena."
"I suppose you can't spare us a few hands, Captain Lockett?"
"Well, sir, I shall be very short, as it is. You see, I have a score away in a prize, I have had six killed, and some of the wounded won't be fit for work, for some time; and I mean to take these two prizes back with me, to England. They are both valuable, and I should not get anything like a fair price for them, at Gibraltar. I don't want to run the risk of their being picked up by privateers, on the way back, so I shall convoy them; and I certainly sha'n't have a man too many to fight my guns, when I have put crews on board them."
"No, I suppose not," the captain said. "Well, I must do without them, then.
"Now, as I suppose you want to be on your way, I will not detain you any longer."
Bob was sent for.
"Captain Lockett has been telling me that you were the means of preventing his getting into a nasty scrape, with that Spanish man-of-war, Mr. Repton. I consider there is great credit due to you. It is a pity you didn't come on to my quarterdeck."
"I should not have got the chances then, sir," Bob said.
"Well, no, I don't know that you would, lad; there is something in that.
"Well, goodbye. I shall write and tell the admiral all about it. I know he will be glad to hear of your doings."
A few minutes later, the privateer and her prizes were on their way towards Gibraltar; while the frigate was standing inshore again, to search for the Spanish ship of war.
Next Week: A Rich Prize
Peter and Janet in
By Glenn Davis
Encounter With The 'Things'
Janet was struggling to keep afloat. From time-to-time her gun belt which was dragging her midsection down threw her off-balance. She knew the smartest thing to do would be to discard it, but she felt a sense of security with it.
It was about forty-five minutes after her Flyer had sunk when a steady splashing sound reached her ears. She listened carefully. It was definitely coming toward her. For some reason a picture of a monstrous fish lept into her mind, although the sound had to be on the surface. For the first time since her crash she felt afraid. Her right hand slipped down and pulled out the gun, which was unaffected by water.
Using her left hand she slowly turned her body around. Then standing up in the water she brought her gun to bare in the direction of the sound. Her eyes watered with joy as she saw its source. It was Peter. He was in an inflatable raft rowing toward her.
Janet holstered the gun, making sure the safety snap was done up. With the tears still gleaming in her eyes she began swimming in his direction. Before long her fingers touched the rubbery sides of the raft. She couldn't remember anything having felt so good.
Peter pulled the oars in and helped her onboard.
"Next time tell me what you're doing." panted Janet, sitting down, "I almost blew you out of the water." Peter didn't answer as he slid the oars back into the water and turned the raft around.
"Where did you get this thing anyway?"
"I found it rolled up in the cabin."
"There's a cabin on the island?"
Peter nodded, his mind somewhere else.
"Is there anyone on the island?"
"I don't know, I didn't have time to search it."
"Why are we headed back to the island? We know Captain Caspian's not there."
Peter ignored the comment and asked, "Did you see who shot at you?"
Janet had momentarily forgotten about that, "No. U.R.'s?"
Slowly shaking his head from side to side Peter said, "I think it was the 'things' Command... I mean Smith, mentioned."
"What did they look like?"
"They were about as tall as Cosmic but covered with a grayish, short, coarse hair. Big nose... looked almost exactly like a wolf standing on its hind legs."
A chill ran down Janet's spine, "You mean their... their werewolves?"
"That's what they looked like."
"All the stories I've ever read had them as cruel, merciless beings, of course, I also thought they were just make believe."
Peter nodded... "and we are in an entirely different part of the universe. They might be friendly here."
"They shot at me!"
"You can see why I don't want to head for shore right now. It'll be dark in a couple of hours, then we can make our way back."
Janet shuttered. Neither of them liked the idea of walking around a dark forest with werewolves lurking about, but there didn't seem to be much choice. Just the thought of it made them edgy.
When they got back to the small island Peter and Janet spent a half hour throughly searching it. There was no one on the island and nothing on it except trees, the cabin, and a boat dock at the far end.
Knowing it could be a long time before they had something good to eat again, Janet prepared a meal from the cabin supplies. She didn't know for sure what some of the stuff was but she did her best. The cabin owners must have had different taste buds or had a secret way of cooking because it was meal that Peter and Janet needed a lot of water with.
For the past hour it had been growing steadily darker. Now it was pitch black outside. Peter and Janet were just chocking down the last of their meal when they heard something. It was something faint, yet familiar. As it grew closer they recognized it.
"Motorboats!" said Janet.
"They must be coming for us. We've got to get out of here."
Janet drew her gun as they stepped out into the chilly night air. Peter wished his gun hadn't sunk with the Flyer. An almost overwhelming fear came upon them as every tree and bush seemed to be alive with some sinister purpose and, worst of all, the thoughts of werewolves danced in their minds.
Peter gripped Janet's hand, "El is right here with us."
"I believe in Him too, but it sure didn't feel like it when I first met Him."
"I didn't feel anything when I first me Him. It wasn't until later... but what's important now is we don't trust our feelings. We know the facts. He is here."
The fear began to subside a little at the very thought of El.
"What are we going to do?" asked Janet. The motorboats were really close now.
As much as Peter hated it he knew there was only one thing that made sense. "We'll hide in the bushes by the dock and see what we're up against."
Starting down the path to the dock they kept a close eye on the woods. From the sounds of it, the motorboats were just skirting the far end of the island. They crept behind a bush about 10 meters from the foot of the dock.
Soon six spotlights came into sight. Before long all six boats were docked. Each boat had a small cabin for the pilot. There were two creatures in each boat. As they jumped from their boats onto the dock Peter and Janet got a better look at them. They fit the frightening description of werewolves to the last detail.
Ten of the werewolves began making their way up the path in the direction of the cabin. The other two stood at attention at the end of the dock.
"We're going to need one of those boats to escape." whispered Peter.
"We could use that raft." Janet whispered back.
"They'd know we took it and come after us. No way we could outrun them in that."
"What bothers me is why all six came into the dock. If they had left one out it would have prevented us from doing what we are about to do."
"Are you complaining?"
The ten werewolves had now melted into the darkness. Janet aimed on the farthest remaining werewolf. Seconds later her stun blot knocked him out. The other werewolf let out a war-cry when he saw his companion fall and fired a shot in their general direction. Quickly Janet squeezed off three shots. The first one caught him in the stomach, the second on the right shoulder, and the third sailed over his head.
Without wasting any time Peter and Janet sprinted for the closest boat. Peter vaulted over the side and ran to the controls.
"This is almost like our boat back home." he said after a moments examination, "I'll have it running in no time."
"You'd better!" declared Janet, "or we're in big trouble!"
Peter glanced up. Janet had shone their spotlight up the path and had picked up the werewolves running down the slight hill toward them. Already shots were being fired. Sweat broke out of Peter's forehead as he worked to get the engines started.
Janet kneeled in the back of the boat. Leaning out beside the cabin she rested her arms on the side rail and began returning fire. As shots began to come their way the werewolves rolled to the ground, blending into the night.
Suddenly the engines roared to life. Janet shot the rope which held them to the dock. As fast as possible Peter back the boat up. When they were in open water, Peter whipped the boat around, almost throwing Janet overboard.
"Warn me before you do that." snapped Janet in fright.
"I'm sorry, I'm just trying to get us out of here alive."
As they rounded the point of the island they found more boats laying in wait.
"I thought they should have backup." muttered Janet.
"We're going to have to make a run for it!" yelled Peter.
The boat jumped forward, throwing Janet to the floor, as Peter gave it all he could. He set a general course for the shuttle. Their spotlight was focused on the glimmering water in front of them.
Janet recovered. Looking behind them she was their pursuers had spread into three rows, five boars wide. Once again she knelt and aimed. At first she tried shooting in to the cabins. But this didn't seem to stop them, instead they gained. Then she decided to try a different tactic. She lowered her aim to the hull of the oncoming boats. Unfortunately they seemed well protected and her blasts were deflected away.
Janet tried comforting herself with the thought that the werewolves couldn't sink their boat either, but it didn't help much. Then she noticed with growing horror that two boats had pulled ahead of the others. They were lining up to overtake them, one on each side!
"I can't hold them." she yelled to Peter, "Get ready to hit the floor. They're going to bombard us with fire."
As soon as the first bullets played across the deck Peter and Janet dived to the floor. All hope disappeared as the werewolves kept up a steady stream of fire to cover the two boars slipping along side. They caught a glimpse of the cabins pulling beside them, then a werewolf lept on each side of their boat.
The werewolves grabbed onto the cabin's side with one hand to steady themselves. With the other hand they aimed menacing guns at the helpless forms of Peter and Janet!
Don't miss next week's episode: Friend or Foe?
New! Comments Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.