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فصل 01

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CHAPTER ONE

Montego High School

Montego Bay is a beautiful tourist town on the east coast of Florida, near Miami Beach. The town was founded in the seventeenth century by the pirates of the Caribbean Sea, who were called “buccaneers”. Montego Bay became their home port, and there are still legends about hidden treasure there.

The new Montego Bay Wax Museum opened recently. It is a big tourist attraction with wax statues of famous explorers, buccaneers, sea captains, slave merchants and criminals.

Our story starts one Friday morning in October at the Martins’ home. Bill and Michelle Martin lived with their parents in a nice old house.

Bill was a tall boy of sixteen, with brown hair and blue eyes.

This was his third year at Montego High School. Science was his favorite subject and he wanted to become a biologist. Basketball was his sport and he was one of the best players on the school team.

His sister Michelle was a pretty girl of fifteen with short red hair and blue eyes. She loved all kinds of modern music and had a big collection of CDs. This was her second year at Montego High, and she was a member of the Journalism Club, which published the monthly school paper.

“Hurry up, Michelle! It’s late!” shouted Bill from the living room.

“I’m coming!” shouted Michelle from the top of the stairs. She ran down and took her backpack. “Bye, Mom! See you this afternoon.”

“Bye, Mom!” said Bill. “There’s basketball practice today. See you at dinner.”

“Enjoy your visit to the new museum!” said their mother. Their father worked at the airport and he was already at work.

Bill and Michelle met their good friend Nick Chan in front of the park. He was a tall Chinese-American of sixteen; he was a member of the basketball team too.

“Hi, guys!” said Nick smiling. “Let’s hope this visit to the new wax museum won’t be boring.”

“I know,” said Bill, “and we have to write a report about it for Mrs Jenkins.”

The students of the second and third year were visiting the new museum that morning. It was part of their local history course with the new history teacher, Mrs Jenkins. The old teacher, Mr O’Neil, disappeared mysteriously before the summer. He was one of the favorite teachers at Montego High, because he was friendly and his classes were interesting.

One day in June Mr O’Nell went out on his boat, the North Star. He sailed east to the Bahamas and into the Bermuda Triangle. No one knew why he was going there. The Coast Guard found his boat a few days later, but he was missing - only his dog was on the boat. They took the North Star back to the Montego Bay Port and left it there.

The Miami police said Peter O’Neil was missing, because his body was never found. They opened a police file and gave it a number: File Number 113: The O’Nell Case. Where was Peter O’Neil? No one knew - it was a mystery.

The local newspaper The Miami Times wrote a lot of articles about the “O’Nell Case.” The last one said: Peter O’Nell, another victim of the Triangle?

July 10 - A month after the disappearance of Peter O’Nell, the police are still trying to solve the case. The 45-year-old history teacher and expert scuba diver disappeared during a boat ride in the waters of the Bermuda Triangle. Police Sergeant Robert Walters says, “People, boats and airplanes often disappear in the Triangle and no one knows why. Could Peter O’Neel be another victim of the Triangle? However, the case is still open. We hope to have an answer one day.”

Bill, Michelle and Nick met their friends and teachers outside the museum. There were a lot of rooms and exhibits with wax statues. There were also models of old Spanish sailing ships and maps of the Caribbean Islands on the walls.

“These statues scare me,” said Michelle. “They look like real people.”

“You’re right,” said Juanita, one of Michelle’s friends. “Those glass eyes give me the creeps.”

“Look at that one,” said Nick laughing. “He looks like Mr Branson, our math teacher. Look at the small beard and the green eyes.”

“Ugh, Mr Branson and his math tests…,” said Bill.

“Hey, look at this slave merchant with the red bandana and the black patch over his eye,” said Michelle. “He’s got a strange tattoo on his arm. I didn’t know there were tattoos in those days.”

When they left the museum they saw a beagle outside the entrance. He wanted to get into the museum.

“I guess he can’t read the sign,” said Bill, pointing to the “Dogs not allowed” sign. His friends laughed as they walked to school.

After a long hour of history, it was time for lunch. The school cafeteria was always a noisy, fun place for the students. It was the best time of the day to meet with friends and chat.

Michelle always had lunch with her best friends Juanita and Susan. They usually talked about clothes and boys.

“Michelle, look, there’s Matt!” whispered Susan.

“And he’s wearing a cool blue sweater,” whispered Juanita.

Matt Andersen was the handsome captain of the football team. He was seventeen and Michelle liked him.

She looked at him but he didn’t see her, so she started eating her lunch.

“Let’s talk about something else, girls!” she said, eating her sandwich.

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