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فصل 05

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CHAPTER FIVE

A Secret Closet

“This is super!” said Michelle. “We discovered a secret room!”

“You mean a secret closet,” said Nick, moving his flashlight around. “It’s very small.”

There were two big maps and some newspaper articles on the walls and a diary on an old chair.

“This is cool!” said Bill. “I don’t think the police know about this place.”

“And it’s probably full of clues,” said Nick.

The maps on the wall showed the Bermuda Triangle - the sea between Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda. There were red pen marks on the maps.

“Mr O’Nell was probably trying to find a particular spot in the Bermuda Triangle,” said Nick.

“Hmm… listen to this headline from The Miami Times,” said Michelle. “Ship with Precious Cargo Disappears in the Bermuda Triangle”

“Let’s see,” said Bill holding up his flashlight. The three of them started reading the newspaper article on the wall…

A small ship, The Pelikan, disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle last week. It was transporting ancient Roman and Greek artifacts, bought in Europe by an important American museum. The artifacts are worth millions of dollars, and they are now probably sitting on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

“I think I understand,” said Bill. “Mr O’Nell was probably looking for the ship in the Bermuda Triangle. That’s why these two maps are marked in the same place.”

“And that’s why he went out in his boat with his diving equipment every weekend,” added Michelle.

“But why was he looking for them?” asked Nick.

“That’s a good question,” said Bill. “I’m sure a lot of dishonest art dealers want to find those artifacts and sell them on the black market… it’s a big business! They’re worth millions of dollars. But Mr O’Neil wasn’t dishonest. I’m sure he was looking for them for another reason.”

Michelle started looking through the diary on the chair.

“Hey, look!” she said. “On June 7 Mr O’Neil wrote this note in his diary: ‘Call Professor Ortega at Florida Historical Museum’. That’s the day before he disappeared.”

She paused for a moment and said, “Perhaps Mr O’Nell was working for the Florida Historical Museum and that’s why he was looking for the ship.”

“That’s a good explanation; he was an expert scuba diver,” said Bill. “Is there anything else in that diary?”

Michelle looked through the pages.

“On May 31 he wrote, ‘Blackbeard still following me at sea.’ Who’s Blackbeard?”

“Well, he was a pirate, centuries ago. I don’t think it’s him,” said Nick.

“But Blackbeard could be the name of a boat - the boat that was following him. Perhaps the people on that boat were looking for the artifacts too. Let’s go to the port and see if the Blackbeard is there,” said Bill.

“Alright,” said Nick, “but let’s go now - it’s late.”

“And it’s getting very hot in this closet!” said Michelle.

Suddenly there was a loud noise upstairs.

“What’s that?” cried Michelle.

“We’re not alone here,” said Nick. “Someone or something is in the house!” They stood still for a minute.

“Well, Michelle,” whispered Nick, “you’re the ghost expert - whose ghost is upstairs?”

“Oh, stop it!” whispered Michelle, who wanted to get out of there.

They got out of the secret closet and quickly pushed the wardrobe against the wall. They went upstairs silently and climbed out of the small kitchen window, followed by Rover. When they were outside the house they heard another loud noise and ran away.

“That math test was impossible!” said Nick, walking out of Mr Branson’s class angrily.

“I think he makes math hard for us,” said Bill. “I couldn’t finish the last two problems.”

“Me neither,” said Nick. “I studied until late last night, but it didn’t help. Even Maria Lopez, who’s a math genius, didn’t finish the last problem!”

“Hey, let’s think about the big game against South Miami High tonight,” said Bill. “They’re a strong team.”

“And so are we!” said Nick.

That evening the Montego High gym was crowded and noisy. The colors of the two schools were everywhere - orange and purple for Montego and black and red for South Miami. It was an important basketball game and the local TV station was there to film it. Michelle sat with Juanita and Susan.

Mike Andersen and his friends from the football team were sitting behind them and this made Michelle nervous. “I’m happy I wore my new sweater with the school colors,” she thought. “I hope Mike notices it.”

It was an exciting game and everyone was cheering for their team. Montego High finally won and entered the Florida finals.

Someone touched Michelle’s shoulder. She turned around and saw Mike.

“Hi, Michelle,” said Mike. “Your brother played a great game!”

“Oh, thanks, Mike, I’ll tell him,” said Michelle, who was happy because Mike talked to her.

On the way home after the game Bill, Michelle and their friends walked by the wax museum. They saw Rover sitting at the entrance. He was whimpering.

“I wonder what Rover’s doing in front of the museum at this time?” asked Michelle.

“There’s something about the place that attracts him,” said Bill. “But what? Remember the day when he tried to come into the museum with our class?”

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