Robert Urquhart – A Far Flung Adventure

A Far Flung Adventure

By Robert Urquhart

18The sky was azure blue. The reflection of the sun beaming down on the water, made the water sparkle and shine. I was on my holidays in Howth, with my Mom, and sister. We had come up to stay with my Granny and Grandad.

I had always loved coming up to Howth, it had everything that I loved there between the seas, beaches and there were even some caves. But the best thing of all was the lighthouse, on the little island of rock out in the sea. My Granny and Grandad’s house was facing the sea. I always had the same room in the house, the room that had a big window looking out on the sea. When I was little I used to sit there for hours looking out the window, hoping to see pirates coming into shore. But the closest I ever got to seeing pirates were when Granny and Grandad’s neighbour was out in his boat fishing. I was convinced that he was a pirate so I ran downstairs to tell the others. When they figured out it was just the man next door, my Mom told me not to look out that window too long or I might start seeing things!

We  drove up the driveway and parked beside the door. Granny and Grandad welcomed us at the door. Granny had dinner ready on the table. It was one of her specials. Roast chicken, roast veg. and gravy. After dinner I went up to my room to unpack. I ran up the stairs dragging my suitcase behind me. As I entered the room the smell of dust made me sneeze. The room was not as I remembered it. It used to be a beautiful and colourful room that smelled of lavender. But now it was old and dusty and the paint was peeling off the wall. The bed had  only a thin quilt. Then I saw it, the window. The window had been huge the last time I saw it, but now it was just about the size of a computer screen.The difference a few years can make.  I threw my bag onto the bed, and started unpacking. I took out my torch, (in case I woke up in the middle of the night), and my watch. I put them on the bedside locker.The sun was setting. Orange light rose in the sky. After saying ‘good night’ to everybody I jumped into bed. The bed was hard. The matress was lumpy. Any time I rolled around in the bed there would be a huge ‘CREAK’. I had a feeling that this would be a long night.But,  after a while  I started to drift off to sleep.

A blinding light shone  through the window, waking me from my sleep. It filled the room with golden light, and then disappeared again, leaving the room in complete darkness. I had a crick in my neck from the lumpy mattress. I sat upright and turned to see where the light was coming from. It was from the light-house. The light was turning around in circles. Golden light filled the room a second time and then drifted off again. The light was turning in a clockwise direction. Suddenly the light froze and fixed itself on an object out in the sea. It was no more than a dark murky shape on the horizon. I would not have seen it only the light was shining on it. It was moving swiftly through the water. It was without a doubt a ship, and a very large ship at that. As it got closer I could make out figures on the boat. About twenty men. The ship was made of wood, with black sails blowing in the wind. I picked up my torch from the bedside locker. With the gloomy light of my torch I searched for the light switch.

Once I had found it I turned the lights on. The light was blinding after me being asleep. I rubbed some sleep out of my eyes, and went back over to the window. The boat had got closer now and was approaching the shore. I could see the boat more clearly now. The men aboard the ship looked fierce and scary, with bulging muscles and cold eyes. I saw three of the men lift what looked like an anchor and then drop it into the sea. The boat almost immediatly stopped. There were very close to the shore and the water was shallow enough to walk in. The men then one by one jumped over the side of the boat and landed in the water with a splash. The thought of the cold water sent a shiver down my spine. The men then started wading through the water and making their way towards the shore.  They seemed to be trying to make the least amount of noise as possible. Clearly they didn’t want anyone to see them. Then I spotted two men dragging another person behind them. He was in an awful state, with big purple bruises covering his face. He looked about the same age as me. The men roughly pushed him in the direction they were going. He stumbled and fell onto the ground. One of the men gave him a hard kick and said something to him, and then pulled him to his feet. ‘Why would these people want to get here unseen, and why would they be doing that to a boy. Clearly they must be criminals,’ I thought .I was tempted to call the police, but then I thought about how embarrasing it would be if it was a false call. So I decided that I’d sneak out after them and see what they were up to. I threw on some clothes , grabbed my torch, slipped on my shoes and started down the stairs. I’d reached the front door without anyone seeing me. ‘Now for the hard part,’ I thought. As quietly as I could I opened the front door. It made a creak and a squeak but no one noticed, they were still fast asleep. I slipped out into the bitterness of the night.

The men were not far infront of me, maybe about twenty metres. I crept along behind them keeping my body low. A couple of the men were holding shovels. Some of the men took a look behind them, and I would have been spotted if I hadn’t jumped behind a bush. One of the men thought he heard a rustle from behind the bush I was standing behind. My heart thudded in my chest as the man came over to investigate. He had a digustingly long beard and raggedy hair. His face was harsh with no facial expressions. I was sure I was toast as the man got closer. There was nowhere to run. Then from the inside of the bush jumped out a little red squirrel. The man looked embarrased and turned back to join his crew. I breathed a sigh of relief. The men were almost at the edge of the beach. At the end of the beach there was a cliff face. They made there way over to it. One of the men took up his shovel and thudded it into the ground. A circular hole then opened in the ground. First the men dropped shovels and other equipment into the hole and then one by one started dropping themselves into the hole! The little boy got pushed in. After they were all in the hole and I could no longer see them, I crept over.

It was a cave, with stallic tights dangling from the cieling. The ground was sheeted in sand. The men were in a circle in the middle of the cave, most of them were digging a huge hole, but some were just watching. I couldn’t see the boy anywhere. I wondered if I dropped myself down the hole would I get caught?  I possibly would, But then something changed my mind. There was a little tunnel on one side of the cave, the little boy was crouched in it and he was waving at me to come to him. I would be able to jump into the tunnel from here as it was not far away from me. ‘But what if I get caught?’ I thought. But the boy looked so desperate I couldn’t say no. I prepared for the jump. Half of me was sure I would get caught, the other half of me was saying I have to save that boy. Without letting my mind think about what could happen I jumped through the hole I landed on the sand with a small thud that echoed around the cave. Before the men could turn around and see me, I lunged into the tunnel. The all turned to see what had made the thud but when they saw nobody they just got on with their digging again. The little boy smiled at me. “What’s youre name?” he whispered. “Jay,” I replied. “What’s your’s?” “Tom.”  “Could you tell me what’s going on here?” I asked Tom. “Well I’m not really sure. You see, I was kidnapped by these pirates. They were planning on selling me, until they found some really important treasure map and they’ve been following the map ever since. If they get their hands on this treasure they’re planning on doing something really, really bad. They just kick me around and tell me what to do. Anyway they think this is where the treasure is hidden. There was some writing on the map that said, ‘In a cave under a cliff in Dublin,’ well it went something like that. But as soon as they read it they knew exactly where to go.” I peeked out to see what the men were doing, and sure enough they were hoisting a large wooden chest out the ground. “This must be what they were looking for,” said Tom. “I never thought it would be here.”

With great effort they pulled the chest out of the hole. The men looked very excited. Even the bats in the rafters woke from their sleep to see what was going on. The chest looked like a huge wooden crate with a lid. A couple of the men tried to lift the lid off the chest. It must have been heavy, because even the huge muscular men could barely lift it off. They dropped the lid on the ground. It landed with a thud that made the cave shake. I couldn’t see what was inside the crate. They then started to pull something else out of the crate. It was a proper chest with a leather cover. They looked happy at this and were about to open it when an idea hit me.

I made a cackling sound that echoed around the cave. That caught the men’s attention. Tom seemed to know what I was doing and he joined me. “Do not touch my treasure,” Tom boomed. The men scattererd in panic. “Leave this cave now and never return. If you don’t, you and your crew will be cursed for life!” at this the men looked really scared. “I’ll give you to the count of ten to get out of here, or else I’ll come for you, myself.” Some of the men ran for the hole looking very scared. The rest of them looked suspicious and stood their ground. Tom gave me the thumbs up. “Five, four, three. I’m coming now,” I bellowed. Then I remembered my torch. I shone it on the wall made a scary poze. My shadow was on the wall. I made my shadow look like I was coming towards them. “Fools! should have left my treasure where it was!” then I made it look like I was coming towards them faster. With that, the remaining men bolted for the hole and were gone in a flash. Me and Tom couldn’t help laughing. “I wonder what’s in the chest?” said Tom. “Only one way to find out,” I replied and we sprinted over to the chest.

I carefully removed the lid, and a golden ray spewed out. There was everything! Rubies! Emeralds! Diamonds! Golden coins everything you could imagine. Tom gasped. “Wow, were rich!” All of the beautiful colours lit up the room like a rainbow, making the gloomy cavern into an amazing kaleidoscope of colour. “What do you suppose we could do with it?” asked Tom…

Robert Urquhart, 4th Class, Craughwell N.S, Co. Galway

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