In This Issue:


Why Do We Spell Words The Way We Do?

Ever wonder why we spell words the way we do? Sometimes it seems to make no sense. This month I thought I would do something different and give you a humous example of spelling. I don't know who originally wrote the piece below, but I think you will like it.


The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, ”s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

Now aren't you glad we spell the way we do?


Diane is still recovering from her dental surgery, but should be back to teaching this month.

Congratulations to Cory for finishing both lessons 8 and 9! You are doing great . Only three more lessons to go.

We have re-done our bookstore with the Amazon program. Check it out.

Our parent company, Joshua Club, has begun a new venture: Caleb's Choice DVD Club. This is a great DVD club which focuses on family and teaching DVDs. This is an excellent deal for those who live in Canada, although others are welcome as well.

We trust we will see you here next month.

Yours in life building,
Glenn and Diane Davis
Learn To Read Prince George and the World

Held Fast For England

By G.A. Henty
Chapter 13
Lemons And Oranges [Part 2]

When he thought it must be somewhere about twelve o'clock, he made for the shore. He was sure that, by this time, he must be at least three miles beyond the fort; and as the Spanish camps lay principally near San Roque, at the head of the bay, and there were no tents anywhere by the seashore, he felt sure that he could land, now, without the slightest danger.

Here, then, he waded ashore, stripped, tied his clothes in a bundle, waded a short distance back again, and dropped them in the sea. Then he returned, took up the bag, and carried it up the sandy beach. Opening it, he dressed himself in the complete set of clothes he had brought with him, put on the Spanish shoes and round turned-up hat, placed his money in his pocket; scraped a shallow hole in the sand, put the bag in it and covered it, and then started walking briskly along on the flat ground beyond the sand hills He kept on until he saw the first faint light in the sky; then he sat down among some bushes, until it was light enough for him to distinguish the features of the country.

Inland, the ground rose rapidly into hills--in many places covered with wood--and half an hour's walking took him to one of these. Looking back, he could see the Rock rising, as he judged, from twelve to fourteen miles away. He soon found a place with some thick undergrowth and, entering this, lay down and was soon sound asleep.

When he woke it was already late in the afternoon. He had brought with him, in the bag, some biscuits and hardboiled eggs; and of a portion of these he made a hearty meal. Then he pushed up over the hill until, after an hour's walking, he saw a road before him. This was all he wanted, and he sat down and waited until it became dark. A battalion of infantry passed along as he sat there, marching towards Gibraltar. Two or three long lines of laden carts passed by, in the same direction.

He had consulted a map before starting, and knew that the distance to Malaga was more than twenty leagues; and that the first place of any importance was Estepona, about eight leagues from Gibraltar, and that before the siege a large proportion of the supplies of fruit and vegetables were brought to Gibraltar from this town. Starting as soon as it became dark, he passed through Estepona at about ten o'clock; looked in at a wine shop, and sat down to a pint of wine and some bread; and then continued his journey until, taking it quietly, he was in sight of Marbella.

He slept in a grove of trees until daylight, and then entered the town, which was charmingly situated among orange groves. Going into a fonda--or tavern--he called for breakfast. When he had eaten this, he leisurely strolled down to the port and, taking his seat on a block of stone, on the pier, watched the boats. As, while walking down from the fonda, he had passed several shops with oranges and lemons, it seemed to him that it would in some respects be better for him to get the fruit here, instead of going on to Malaga.

In the first place, the distance to return was but half that from Malaga; and in the second it would probably be easier to get out, from a quiet little port like this, than from a large town like Malaga. The question which puzzled him was how was he to get his oranges on board. Where could he reasonably be going to take them?

Presently, a sailor came up and began to chat with him.

"Are you wanting a boat, senor?"

"I have not made up my mind, yet," he said. "I suppose you are busy here, now?"

"No, the times are dull. Usually we do a good deal of trade with Gibraltar but, at present, that is all stopped. It is hard on us but, when we turn out the English hereticos, I hope we shall have better times than ever. But who can say? They have plenty of money, the English; and are ready to pay good prices for everything."

"But I suppose you take things to our camp?"

The fisherman shook his head.

"They get their supplies direct from Malaga, by sea. There are many carts go through here, of course; but the roads are heavy, and it is cheaper to send things by water. If our camp had been on the seashore, instead of at San Roque, we might have taken fish and fruit to them; but it is a long way across and, of course, in small boats we cannot go round the great Rock, and run the risk of being shot at or taken prisoners.
"No; there is nothing for us to do here, now, but to carry what fish and fruit we do not want at Marbella across to Malaga; and we get poor prices, there, to what we used to get at Gibraltar; and no chance of turning an honest penny by smuggling away a few pounds of tobacco, as we come back. There was as much profit, in that, as there was in the sale of the goods; but one had to be very sharp, for they were always suspicious of boats coming back from there, and used to search us so that you would think one could not bring so much as a cigar on shore. But you know, there are ways of managing things.
"Are you thinking of going across to Malaga, senor?"

"Well, I have a little business there. I want to see how the new wines are selling; and whether it will be better for me to sell mine, now, or to keep them in my cellars for a few months. I am in no hurry. Tomorrow is as good as today. If there had been a boat going across, I might have taken a passage that way, instead of riding."

"I don't know, senor. There was a man asking, an hour ago, if anyone was going. He was wanting to take a few boxes of fruit across, but he did not care about hiring my boat for himself. That, you see, was reasonable enough; but if the senor wished to go, too, it might be managed if you took the boat between you. I would carry you cheaply, if you would be willing to wait for an hour or two; so that I could go round to the other fishermen, and get a few dozen fish from one and a few dozen from another, to sell for them over there. That is the way we manage."

"I could not very well go until the afternoon," Bob said.

"If you do not go until the afternoon, senor, it would be as well not to start until evening. The wind is very light, and we should have to row. If you start in the afternoon, we should get to Malaga at two or three o'clock in the morning, when everyone was asleep; but if you were to start in the evening, we should be in in reasonable time, just as the people were coming into the markets. That would suit us for the sale of our fish, and the man with his fruit. The nights are warm and, with a cloak and an old sail to keep off the night dew, the voyage would be more pleasant than in the heat of the day."

"That would do for me, very well," Bob said. "Nothing could be better. What charge would you make, for taking me across and bringing me back, tomorrow?"

"At what time would you want to return, senor?"

"It would matter little. I should be done with my business by noon, but I should be in no hurry. I could wait until evening, if that would suit you better."

"And we might bring other passengers back, and any cargo we might pick up?"

"Yes, so that you do not fill the boat so full that there would be no room for me to stretch my legs."

"Would the senor think four dollars too much? There will be my brother and myself, and it will be a long row."

"It is dear," Bob said, decidedly; "but I will give you three dollars and, if everything passes to my satisfaction, maybe I will make up the other dollar."

"Agreed, senor. I will see if I can find the man who was here, asking for a boat for his fruit."

"I will come back in an hour, and see," Bob said, getting up and walking leisurely away.

The fisherman was waiting for him.

"I can't find the man, senor, though I have searched all through the town. He must have gone off to his farm again."

"That is bad. How much did you reckon upon making from him?"

"I should have got another three dollars from him."

"Well, I tell you what," Bob said; "I have a good many friends, and people are always pleased with a present from the country. A box of fruit from Marbella is always welcome, for their flavour is considered excellent. It is well to throw a little fish, to catch a big one; and a present is like oil on the wheels of business. How many boxes of fruit will your boat carry? I suppose you could take twenty, and still have room to row?"

"Thirty, sir; that is the boat," and he pointed to one moored against the quay.

She was about twenty feet long, with a mast carrying a good-sized sail.

"Very well, then. I will hire the boat for myself. I will give you six dollars, and another dollar for drink money, if all goes pleasantly. You must be ready to come back, tomorrow evening; or the first thing next morning, if it should suit you to stay till then. You can carry what fish you can get to Malaga, and may take in a return cargo if you can get one. That will be extra profit for yourselves. But you and your brother must agree to carry down the boxes of fruit, and put them on board here. I am not going to pay porters for that.
"At what time will you start?"

"Shall we say six o'clock, senor?"

"That will suit me very well. You can come up with me, now, and bring the fruit down, and put it on board; or I will be down here at five o'clock, and you can go up and get it, then."

The man thought for a moment.

"I would rather do it now, senor, if it makes no difference to you. Then we can have our evening meals at home with our families, and come straight down here, and start."

"Very well; fetch your brother, and we will set about the matter at once; as I have to go out to my farm and make some arrangements, and tell them they may not see me again for three days."

In two or three minutes the fisherman came back, with his brother. Bob went with them to a trader in fruit, and bought twenty boxes of lemons and ten of oranges, and saw them carried down and put on board. Then he handed a dollar to the boatman.

"Get a loaf of white bread, and a nice piece of cooked meat, and a couple of bottles of good wine, and put them on board. We shall be hungry, before morning. I will be here at a few minutes before six."

Highly satisfied with the good fortune that had enabled him to get the fruit on board without the slightest difficulty, Bob returned into the town. It was but eleven o'clock now so--having had but a short sleep the night before, and no prospect of sleep the next night--he walked a mile along the road by the sea, then turned off among the sand hills and slept, till four in the afternoon; after which he returned to Marbella, and partook of a hearty meal.

Having finished this he strolled out, and was not long in discovering a shop where arms were sold. Here he bought a brace of long, heavy pistols, and two smaller ones; with powder and bullets, and also a long knife. They were all made into a parcel together and, on leaving the shop, he bought a small bag. Then he went a short distance out of the town again, carefully loaded the four pistols, and placed them and the knife in the bag.

As he went back, the thought struck him that the voyage might probably last longer than they expected and, buying a basket, he stored it with another piece of meat, three loaves, and two more bottles of wine, and gave it to a boy to carry down to the boat.

It was a few minutes before six when he got there. The two sailors were standing by the boat, and a considerable pile of fish in the bow showed that they had been successful in getting a consignment from the other fishermen of the port. They looked surprised at the second supply of provisions.

"Why, senor, we have got the things you ordered."

"Yes, yes, I do not doubt that; but I have heard, before now, of headwinds springing up, and boats not being able to make their passage, and being blown off land; and I am not fond of fasting. I daresay you won't mind eating, tomorrow, anything that is not consumed by the time we reach port."

"We will undertake that, senor," the man said, laughing, highly satisfied at the liberality of their employer.

"Is there wind enough for the sail?" Bob asked, as he stepped into the stern of the boat.

"It is very light, senor, but I daresay it will help us a bit. We shall get out the oars."

"I will take the helm, if you sail," Bob said. "You can tell me which side to push it. It will be an amusement, and keep me awake."

The sun was just setting, as they started. There was scarcely a breath of wind. The light breeze that had been blowing, during the day, had dropped with the sun; and the evening breeze had not yet sprung up. The two fishermen rowed, and the boat went slowly through the water; for the men knew that they had a long row before them, and were by no means inclined to exert themselves--especially as they hoped that, in a short time, they would get wind enough to take them on their way, without the oars.

Bob chatted with them until it became dark. As soon as he was perfectly sure that the boat could not be seen from the land, he quietly opened his bag, and changed the conversation.

"My men," he said, "I wonder that you are content with earning small wages, here, when you could get a lot of money by making a trip, occasionally, round to Gibraltar with fruit. It would be quite easy; for you could keep well out from the coast till it became dark, and then row in close under the Rock; and keep along round the Point, and into the town, without the least risk of being seen by any of our cruisers. You talked about making money by smuggling in tobacco from there, but that is nothing to what you could get by taking fruit into Gibraltar. These oranges cost a dollar and a half, a box; and they would fetch ten dollars a box, easily, there. Indeed, I think they would fetch twenty dollars a box. Why, that would give a profit, on the thirty boxes, of six or seven hundred dollars. Just think of that!"

"Would they give such a price as that?" the men said, in surprise.

"They would. They are suffering from want of fresh meat, and there is illness among them; and oranges and lemons are the things to cure them. It is all very well for men to suffer, but no one wants women and children to do so; and it would be the act of good Christians to relieve them, besides making as much money, in one little short trip, as you would make in a year's work."

"That is true," the men said, "but we might be sunk by the guns, going there; and we should certainly be hung, when we got back, if they found out where we had been."

"Why should they find out?" Bob asked. "You would put out directly it got dark, and row round close under the Rock, and then make out to sea; and in the morning you would be somewhere off Marbella, but eight or ten miles out, with your fishing nets down; and who is to know that you have been to Gibraltar?"

The men were silent. The prospect certainly seemed a tempting one. Bob allowed them to turn it over in their minds for a few minutes, and then spoke again.

"Now, my men, I will speak to you frankly. It is just this business that I am bent upon, now. I have come out from Gibraltar to do a little trade in fruit. It is sad to see women and children suffering; and there is, as I told you, lots of money to be made out of it. Now, I will make you a fair offer. You put the boat's head round, now, and sail for Gibraltar. If the wind helps us a bit, we shall be off the Rock by daylight. When we get there, I will give you a hundred dollars, apiece."

"It is too much risk," one of the men said, after a long pause.

"There is no risk at all," Bob said, firmly. "You will get in there tomorrow, and you can start again, as soon as it becomes dark; and in the morning you will be able to sail into Marbella, and who is to know that you haven't been across to Malaga, as you intended?
"I tell you what, I will give you another fifty dollars for your fish; or you can sell them there, yourselves--they will fetch you quite that."

The men still hesitated, and spoke together in a low voice.

"Look here, men," Bob said, as he took the two heavy pistols from his bag, "I have come out from the Rock to do this, and I am going to do it. The question is, 'Which do you choose--to earn two hundred and fifty dollars for a couple of days' work, or to be shot and thrown overboard?' This boat is going there, whether you go in her or not. I don't want to hurt you--I would rather pay the two hundred and fifty dollars--but that fruit may save the lives of many women, and little children, and I am bound to do it.
"You can make another trip or not, just as you please. Now, I think you will be very foolish, if you don't agree; for you will make three times as much as I offer you, every thirty boxes of fruit that you can take in there; but the boat has got to go there now, and you have got to take your choice whether you go in her, or not."

"How do we know that you will pay us the money, when we get there?" one of the Spaniards asked.

Bob put his hand into his pocket.

"There," he said. "There are twenty gold pieces, that is, a hundred dollars. That is a proof I mean what I say. Put them into your pockets. You shall have the rest, when you get there. But mind, no nonsense; no attempts at treachery. If I see the smallest sign of that, I will shoot you down without hesitation.
"Now, row, and I'll put her head round."

The men said a few words in an undertone to each other.

"You guarantee that no harm shall come to us at Gibraltar, and that we shall be allowed to leave again?"

"Yes, I promise you that, faithfully.
"Now, you have got to row a good bit harder than you have been rowing, up till now. We must be past Fort Santa Barbara before daylight."

The boat's head was round, by this time, and the men began to row steadily. At present, they hardly knew whether they were satisfied, or not. Two hundred and fifty dollars was, to them, an enormous sum; but the risk was great. It was not that they feared that any suspicion would fall upon them, on their return. They had often smuggled tobacco from Gibraltar, and had no high opinion of the acuteness of the authorities. What really alarmed them was the fear of being sunk, either by the Spanish or British guns. However, they saw that, for the present at any rate, they had no option but to obey the orders of a passenger possessed of such powerful arguments as those he held in his hands.

Next week: A Welcome Cargo


Peter and Janet in
Star Action
By Glenn Davis
copyright 2009
Chapter 19
One Last Hope

The tiny group sat in silence, each wondering what the best thing to do would be. Should they tackle the great odds and try to recover the Lectors or just escape and live out the rest of their lives on another part of the planet? Cosmic let everyone know in no uncertain terms that he was all for do or die.

Several were offering silent prayers to El when suddenly an idea struck Peter, "What about the U.R. Death?"

"What about it?" snapped Cosmic, who was in the middle of laying out his plans for a direct attack.

"It landed, in tact, about ten miles north of the U.R. base, according to Smith."

"But they blew it up," said Janet.

"Smith didn't seem too convinced of that but either it wasn't important or else he didn't have the time to check it out. It could still be out there just waiting for pilots."

"So it's a choice of going for the Lector section or going after a spaceship which may be in ruins," said Captain Caspian slowly.

"I should point out ," said Sam, "That once you are discovered gone form your cell it will be impossible to get back in the compound except as prisoners."

"I say we go for the Lectors," exclaimed Cosmic. "It's our best hope."

Sam responded, "Then it's no hope at all. It is certain death... or worse."

Captain Caspian signalled for silence as she thought. Her tired mind attempted to sort out all the facts on which so many lives depended. At last, she said barely above a whisper, "We''ll go for the Death. Can you get us out of here Sam?"

"I'll do my best, if you promise to take me with you."

"If that's what you want."

Sam went to the cab. Before long they were at the outside gate. From where they were they could hear the conversation between Sam and the guard.

"Where to today, Sam?"

"Have to deliver some supplies to Operation G."

"Just a sec. I'll open the gate."

All at once a siren sounded.

"Prisoner escape." muttered the guard, "I'll have to check those supplies, just routine."

"Sure, no problem. Oh, by the way, I heard we captured an enemy spaceship out there in the woods."

"Yeah. The stupid fools set down three miles this side of Operation G and only half a mile from the road. I don't know how they managed to miss seeing the road but they did. The really funny thing was, it said on the side U.R. Death... now they are dead."

Sam gave a wolfish laugh. The guard started to the back of the transport. Stormer offered his gun to Captain Caspian but she refused. The three guns were ready for action. Sam beat them to it.

As soon as the guard was at the rear corner Sam gunned the engines. The transport lept forward crashing through the fence with ease. Then they went flying down the road at top speed. Soon everyone in the back began to wonder if Sam knew how to drive. First he was on one side of the road and then on the other and back again. Everyone had to grab tightly to prevent being thrown out.

"Thanks to Sam they know where we're going," yelled Cosmic over the whistling wind.

"Thanks to Sam we don't have to spend half our lives looking for it," Captain Caspian shouted back.

It was an exhausting hour later when Sam skidded to a halt. Everyone bailed out. Sam took the lead, as they plunged into the woods. They realized it wouldn't take the werewolves long to get organized and come after them. If they weren't airborne by then...

Before long they were peering from behind a bush at the U.R. Death. It was a two-story, oval shaped spaceship. The door was on the second floor. It had a staircase with two werewolves guarding it. No one else in sight.

"Most of Operation G personnel were probably assigned to look for us," guessed Sam.

"Stormer, Cosmic, stun those two, then we'll make a run for it. We'll soon know if she's in flying shape."

Two beams shot out laying the werewolves unconscious at the foot of the stairs. Cosmic was first, with Stormer coming last. Racing up the stairs, two and three at a time, they all knew that if this didn't work they were goners.

Carefully Cosmic and Sam poked their heads into the spaceship. No one seemed to be around. As soon as they were all in Stormer pressed a button which folded the staircase up underneath the second floor.

Using caution they made thier way to where the control center should have been. When they entered the room, with guns poised to fire, they saw it was only a storage room.

"Well, where did they put their Main Control?" asked Captain Caspian in surprise.

Dr. Kana spoke up, "There was a Security-Lock door at the end of the cells. It could be where they put it."

"It doesn't make any sense," commented Captain Caspian, "But it's worth a try."

They back-tracked until they got to the door. Along the way they noticed gapping holes in the walls and black streaks everywhere. They were definitely heading in the direction the U.R.'s had made their last stand. When they came to the Security-Lock door they found it had been blasted open.

Sure enough, inside was the control center. Everything seemed to be in order, the werewolves had been careful not to damage it too much in their fight. Captain Caspian, Stormer, and Cosmic went over to the controls and studied them. Sam watched with curiosity.

"Even if we get airborne it might not do much good if Smith is still in command. He could blast us before we got to the Courage," muttered Captain Caspian.

Peter took Janet's hand, "They don't need us here. Let's leave them to it."

As they turned around they spotted a map of the spaceship on the back wall. Going over to it, they studied it.

"Look," whispered Janet, not wanting to disturb the others, "The entire bottom of the Death and these shoots up here were for the boulders they rained on us."

"Yeah, and the engines take up a good bit of the second floor. There's only one door to them too."

"Do you think R&R stands for rest and relaxation?" asked Janet pointing to a small room close to the engines.

"We could use some, let's find out."

Even though it was off a hall they han't been down before they had no trouble finding the room. Opening the door they received a shock. Inside six werewolves were lounging around playing various games. Janet gave a small screech and quickly closed the door. She turned to run back to the control but Peter grabbed her.

"No this way."

Without hesitating she followed him down the hall as they raced to the engine room. Four or five energy bolts followed them as they dived through the doorway. The werewolves were evidently using weapons captured from the U.R.'s. Peter closed and locked the door.

Panting, he made his way over to the intercom, "Captain, this is Peter. We have an emergency."

"What is it?"

"There are at least six werewolves on board."

"Where are you?" there was concern in her voice.

"Janet and I are in the engine room. We'll try and hold it to stop them from sabatoging it."

"Good thinking. Cosmic and Sam will come down the other end of the hall and take some pressure off you."

Janet was the only one with a gun so she hid behind a pillar where she could cover the door. Their hearts fell as they saw, a few minutes later, a hole being melted in the center of it. Janet fired a couple of shots but all that did was help it grow faster.

There was a rumbling noise as the engines started up. For a couple of miuntes the hole in the door stopped growing as the werewolves aim was shaken by the Death taking off.

"We're on our way to the Courage!" Peter exclaimed.

"If El doesn't send some help we're going to be dead before we get there!" commented Janet.

Don't miss next month's exciting conclusion!

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