are you two doing up so early?" Dad asked
as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "Its
summertime, dont you remember? No school."
Dad grinned like hed told the funniest joke
in the world. That was one thing about Dad. He
was not funny. But he thought he was. I was always
getting embarrassed when he tried to tell jokes.
looked right at Michael, like I could control
his mind just by staring. Please dont, I
thought. If he told on me, I was sure I wouldnt
get to ride my bike for a week.
suddenly wished there was a dragon on the roof
of our apartment. Maybe it would eat my brother.
Jacob," Michael said.
was going to tell. I slapped my hand against my
forehead. And hard.
then he said, "It was just Jacob. He couldnt
sleep. So I was sitting up with him."
was shocked. Michael always told on me when he
had the chance. And now he was letting me off
the hook. What a relief! But it also meant he
believed my treasure story. Now I had to figure
out what to tell him when he saw there wasn't
awfully nice of you," Dad said and then looked
couldnt you sleep, Jacob?" he asked.
couldnt stop thinking," I said. "I
just have to find out what that new kid buried,
Dad. Maybe its a secret weapon."
brother," Michael said and he rolled his
how are you ever going to make friends with that
kind of attitude?" Dad said.
shouldnt assume the worst."
Dad want me just to march over to the new kids
house and talk to him? Was he crazy? I could get
kidnapped. I knew a kid back in Plainville who
was kidnapped for a whole hour by an old lady
on our street. Later, he said he was just having
some homemade chocolate chip cookies, but Hali
and I figured that the old lady had brainwashed
talk about this later," Dad said. "Im
late for work." He shuffled into the kitchen.
Michael smirked. "I want to see that Ted
Williams bat," he said, making sure to whisper
Mr. Williams name. "Right after breakfast."
no problem," I said.
if its not there, youre in for it."
problem," I said again. There was no treasure,
of course, and I knew I might still be in trouble.
But I suddenly thought of a plan. I really couldnt
believe how fast I was thinking lately. I couldnt
wait to tell Hali. She had always been the fast
breakfast Michael and I hopped on our bikes and
started down the hill. Michael rode just behind
plan was pretty simple. The new kid had already
dug up the hole. I knew that. But Michael didn't
know it! So I would just pretend that the treasure
had been dug up after I told Michael about it.
It was a good plan and one I'm sure Hali would
have been proud of.
it would be tough to pull off. I wasn't sure I
knew how to be such a good actor. I tried to imagine
what Hali's advice would be.
she'd say. You need to act like you totally believe
what you're saying. If you believe it, Michael
definitely will. Then she'd probably put me in
a head lock until we both started laughing.
jumped down right at the pile of dirt I had found
that morning. Michael hopped down beside me.
stood with my mouth hanging open, like I was too
amazed to speak.
the treasure?" Michael asked.
gone," I whispered and then turned to face
buried it right here," I said. "There
was no one around. Someone must have come and
dug it up."
got down on his hands and knees.
sure no one saw you?"
sure. I dont know now." I pretended
I was too confused to think. I scratched my head
like I was really trying to massage my brain cells.
then I couldve blamed the new kid for stealing
the treasure back. But I thought Id let
Michael figure it out. It would be more convincing
if he thought of it himself.
Michael said. He touched his hand to his chin
again to help him think.
is terrible," I said and pretended to start
crying. Hali used to say that she wanted to be
an actress someday, but I was starting to think
I might be the one who had the talent.
Michael snapped his fingers. "I bet it was
that new kid," he said, like hed just
invented the light bulb. "He probably saw
you come down here this morning."
you think so?" I almost started laughing
out loud. But I knew that would ruin everything.
probably watched you from over there." He
pointed into the woods. "When you left, he
came and dug up the treasure."
guess youre right, Michael," I said.
"Youre so smart." I wiped away
a fake tear. On the inside I was doing cartwheels
because my plan had worked perfectly. Michael
wasnt going to tell on me about this morning.
And he was convinced that the new kid had stolen
the treasure. I really was off the hook. I could
picture Hali rolling on the floor laughing as
I told her all about it. In fact, I decided I
would tell her in August when I visited Plainville.
This was a story that had to be told in person.
then my brother pointed up the hill. His jaw dropped,
practically to the dirt.
him," Michael said. I turned and looked over
my shoulder. Oh no. It was the new kid! And he
was walking right toward us.
better run away," I said. This would ruin
everything. If Michael talked to him, hed
find out there was never any treasure and hed
tell Dad that I went outside without permission.
should get away before he gets us," I said
and hopped on my bike. "He might be dangerous."
Michael didnt budge. Instead, he tightened
his lips. The corners of his eyebrows pulled down.
I knew he was mad when that happened.
way," Michael said. "Im going
to talk to this kid. He cant just steal
it was his in the first place," I yelled.
My palms were getting sweaty again.
I just dug it up and moved it."
was no use. Michael wasnt listening. He
was taking long, angry breaths, and the new kid
was almost down the hill. I was going to get in
trouble, after all. For sure.
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