The Lost Treasure of Bodega Bay - Clemen D. B. Gina

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Chapter one

The Story of the Ghost Ship
Kate and Mike Sullivan live in San Francisco with their parents and their pet dog, Lucky. Their home is on Russian Hill and from their house Kate and Mike have a great view of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Their father, Frank Sullivan, is a professor and teaches marine biology at San Francisco University. Their mother, Liz Sullivan, works in a big bookshop in the city center.
Kate is fourteen and her brother Mike is fifteen. Kate goes to Lincoln Middle School and Mike goes to Galileo High School. Kate is a pretty girl with long blonde hair and blue eyes. She likes school, but doesn't like math. She loves dancing and belongs to the Lincoln Dance Club. She is a very good dancer and wants to become a professional dancer one day.
Mike is tall with brown hair and blue eyes. He is in his first year of high school and he always has a lot of homework. He is an excellent swimmer and is a member of the Galileo High School swimming team.
Our story begins on a sunny Monday morning early in June.
«Half past seven!» said Kate, putting on her watch, «time for breakfast.»
«Two more weeks and school is over,» said Mike happily.
«Summer vacation — the best time of the year,» said Kate laughing. Kate was also excited because after the summer she was going to start high school.
«Good morning,» said Mrs Sullivan, who was preparing breakfast. «Kate, remember you have an eye doctor's appointment today after school with Dr Lee. Please don't be late.»
«I know, Mom,» said Kate. «But I don't want to go, I don't want to wear glasses.»
«Kate, you can't study well at school; you need a pair of glasses. If you don't get them, your eyesight will get worse,» said Mr Sullivan, drinking a cup of coffee. «There's nothing wrong with glasses. I wear them. A lot of kids wear them.»
«Susan Garcia in my class just got glasses,» said Mike, «and she looks better with glasses than without them.»
Kate slowly ate her breakfast and said, «OK, OK, I'll wear them to see the board.»
Suddenly there was a knock on the door. It was Julie Bennett, Kate's best friend.
«Hi,» said Julie, a pretty fourteen-year-old girl with short black hair. «I came to pick you up so we can walk to school together.»
«Hi, Julie,» said Kate. «I'm still having breakfast. Just sit down and have some cookies.»
«Hi, Julie,» said Mrs Sullivan, as she turned on the television to watch the weather report and the morning news.
«Another warm sunny day in San Francisco,» said the speaker, «with heavy afternoon fog along the Pacific coast, particularly in the Bodega Bay area...»
«It's always foggy in Bodega Bay,» said Mike. «Do you remember our adventure up there?»
«When did you go to Bodega Bay?» asked Julie, eating a cookie. «It was about eighteen months ago,» said Kate, «and Carlos Gomez came with us. We had quite an adventure.»
«Sounds exciting,» said Julie. «Tell me about it.»
Kate looked at Mike and her parents and they all started laughing.
«Well, Mom and I have to go to work,» said Mr Sullivan. «It's getting late. See you this evening. Bye.»
«OK, let me tell you about it,» said Kate, looking at her watch. «Mom, Dad, Mike, Carlos and I went to the Farallon Islands on Dad's new boat, The Pelican. He was studying the sea birds and the fish in the area. We were all excited about the trip. But the first night I saw the ghost of a boy near my bed. I screamed and was scared, but no one believed me. Then one night Mom and Dad heard a ship's bell and saw a yellow light at sea. They thought someone needed help so they took the lifeboat and left The Pelican. The next morning we couldn't find them and we were worried. We took the boat and went to look for them. In the fog we saw a strange old ship, The Sonora. Later we discovered that it was an old Spanish pirate ship that was lost at sea in 1608.»
«What? A ship that was lost four hundred years ago!» cried Julie, who stopped eating.
«Yes, it was a ghost ship,» said Kate. «We knew Mom and Dad were on that ship because their lifeboat was there. We were scared but we went onto the ship and we had a terrible surprise. The ship's crew were all ghosts — ghosts of sailors and pirates. We were terrified because we saw Mom and Dad sitting in a corner. We went to help them, but then the ghost of Captain Salamanca spoke to us. He was terrible: he killed people and they became part of his crew of ghosts. He said he needed a big crew because he was looking for some lost treasure. He wanted to kill us all. Suddenly Lucky jumped on the table and a big candle fell and a fire started. Ghosts are afraid of fire so they moved away and we helped Mom and Dad get off the ship. Before leaving Mike saw Captain Salamanca's treasure map on the table and took it.»
«What an adventure!» said Julie. «Do you still have the treasure map?
»Mike has it," said Kate, «but he hid it because it's a big secret.»
That afternoon Kate went to the eye doctor with Julie. Dr Lee was a friendly young man. He gave her an eye test and said, «Kate, you need glasses to see things in the distance.»
Julie helped Kate choose her new glasses and she gave them to Dr Lee who said, «Good choice. They'll be ready on Thursday, Kate.»
Chapter two
A Hew Adventure
Friday was a big day for Kate, because she wore her new glasses to school for the first time. When she walked into the classroom everyone turned around and looked at her.
«Wow,» they said. «New glasses,» Kate's heart was beating fast and her hands felt cold. She walked to her desk and sat down.
«Hi Kate,» said Tom, the boy she liked. «New glasses? You look great.»
«Thanks, Tom,» said Kate, turning red with embarrassment. His opinion was very important to her.
«I really like your new glasses,» said her friend Kelly.
Kate suddenly felt happy and was ready for the lesson — a math test.
That evening at the dinner table the Sullivan family was having a noisy conversation because everyone had something to say.
«Well, how was your day at school, Kate?» asked her mother.
«Oh, just great, Mom,» said Kate smiling. «Everyone liked my new glasses — even Tom. And the math test was OK, I think.»
«And how was your day, Mike?» asked his father.
«Exciting,» Mike said. «Guess what? Our science class is going to Muir Woods National Park next week. It's part of a class project on trees, forests and conservation. We're leaving early on Tuesday morning and coming back before dinner time.»
«Muir Woods,» said Mrs Sullivan. «It's one of the most beautiful forests in the world.»
«Sounds like fun,» said Kate.
«Well, this evening I have some exciting news, too,» said Mr Sullivan. Everyone at the table looked at him. He usually didn't have anything exciting to say.
«What is it, Frank?» said Mrs Sullivan who wanted to know the news.
«Next week I'm going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to talk to Professor Simpson,» said Mr Sullivan. «The aquarium is doing an important study on sea life in the Pacific Ocean, particularly on the great white shark. They want me to spend some time at the Farallon Islands and the Point Reyes National Seashore.»
«Another trip to the Farallon Islands,» said his wife, smiling.
«Wow, Dad, do you mean you're going to the Farallon's and Point Reyes on The Pelican?» asked Mike, looking at Kate.
«Yes, that's right,» said Mr Sullivan. «I'll probably stay about a week and moor The Pelican in the harbor at Bodega Bay.»
«When are you going?» asked Kate excitedly.
«At the end of June or the beginning of July,» said Mr Sullivan.
«Can we come along?» cried Kate and Mike.
«Of course,» said Mr Sullivan, laughing.
«What about Lucky?» asked Kate.
Lucky heard his name and started barking.
«Yes, Lucky can come too,» said Mr Sullivan.
«It'll be great fun like last time,» said Mike.
«But without the ghosts,» said Kate, nervously.
«Yes, without the ghosts and the ghost ship,» said Mrs Sullivan, who still remembered that terrible adventure.
«Oh, Dad, can we invite Carlos, like last time?» asked Mike.
Carlos Gomez was Mike's best friend. He was Hispano-American and he spoke Spanish and English perfectly. He was a tall, friendly boy with short black hair and dark eyes and he lived near the Sullivans.
«Why not,» said Mr Sullivan, smiling at his son.
«Thanks Dad,» cried Mike, who started making secret plans.
Kate and Mike helped their parents clean up after dinner. Then they went up to Mike's bedroom. Mike closed the door and Kate put on some music.
«What do you think of the news?» asked Mike.
«I can hardly believe it,» said Kate. «Where did you put Captain Salamanca's old treasure map?»
«It's in a safe place,» said Mike, looking at the big bookshelf on the wall. «Now we can study the map and start looking for the treasure, Dad will be busy with his work and Mom always helps him — we'll be free.»
«This is going to be a great summer,» said Kate.
«Wait until I tell Carlos,» said Mike, picking up his cell phone.
«Yeah,» said Kate, «and he can help us understand the map — the words are written in Spanish.»
Chapter three
The Treasure Map
Mike's science class had a great time at Muir Woods National Park. Miss Williamson, the science teacher, showed them some of the world's oldest and tallest trees. She was everyone's favorite teacher at Galileo High because her classes were always interesting and fun. She started the Galileo Science Club and Mike and Carlos were both members. There were club meetings every Wednesday afternoon after school.
When Mike and Carlos came back from Muir Woods they went to Carlos's house to talk about their summer trip.
«I'm really excited about this trip,» said Carlos. «With the old pirate map we can look for the treasure.»
«And if we're lucky we'll find it,» said Mike.
«It won't be easy,» said Carlos. «Pirates were clever people and their maps had secret messages that are difficult to understand. Do you have the map with you?»
«No, I hid it on the bookshelf in my room,» said Mike. «Only Kate knows where it is.»
«Do your parents know about it?» asked Carlos.
«No, not yet,» said Mike. «My Mom always says, 'Be careful, it's dangerous!»
They laughed and Carlos said, «My parents are the same — everything that's fun is dangerous.»
«But we'll be careful,» said Mike.
«Next time let's meet at your house and we can look at the map,» said Carlos.
«Good idea,» said Mike. «It's all written in Spanish.»
«No problem for me,» said Carlos, laughing.
Friday was the last day of school and everyone talked about their exciting vacation plans. That evening Mr Sullivan told his family more about the trip, and Mike and Kate listened carefully.
«We'll sail next Wednesday from Marina Harbor and go north to Bodega Bay where we'll moor The Pelican. We'll probably stay five or six days. I have to work at Point Reyes National Seashore and the Farallon Islands, and Mom is going to help me. Now will you three be OK? Do you have something to do or will you get bored?»
«Oh, we won't get bored, Dad,» said Kate, thinking about the treasure map.
«Don't worry, Dad,» said Mike, «Kate, Carlos and I can stay on the beach, play in the sea or go for walks in the hills.»
«Alright,» said Mrs Sullivan, «you can stay on the beach but you mustn't swim in the sea. Remember, this is the Pacific Ocean and there are a lot of sharks, and they swim close to the beach. They're very dangerous.»
Mike laughed and said, «We'll be careful, Mom, and we won't go swimming.»
«You're free to do what you want during the day,» said Mr Sullivan, «but we'll meet for dinner on The Pelican every evening at about six. If you have any problems, just call or text Mom or me on our cell phones.»
Kate and Mike went upstairs and phoned Carlos.
«Hi Carlos,» said Mike. «Can you come to my house right now? We can look at the map and start making plans.»
«I'll be there in ten minutes,» said Carlos happily.
Mike took the old treasure map from the bookshelf and put it on his desk. When Carlos arrived the three of them sat around the desk and looked at it carefully.
«Gee, this is exciting,» said Carlos, touching it. «An old pirate map. Look, that's where Bodega Bay is, but it doesn't say that, it just says Baia. That's interesting because today in Spanish 'bay' is 'bahia', but maybe the spelling was different in the 1600s. Looking at this map we can see a town already existed there at that time.»
«It was probably a pirate's town,» said Mike. «There's a big harbor, the perfect place for pirates to hide. This is also very interesting because my book on the history of California says that Bodega Bay wasn't discovered until 1775. Looking at this map people lived in the area long before.»
«Look on the corner of the map,» said Kate. «There's a date, 1608.»
«That's the year of the shipwreck of The Sonora,» said Carlos. «Captain Salamanca probably hid his treasure that year, before the shipwreck in November.»
«What else does it say on his map?» asked Mike. «Hmm, north of the town there's the word cementerio.»
«In Spanish that means 'cemetery',» said Carlos. «It was probably the town cemetery.»
«Near the cemetery there's a place called Hacienda Estrada,» said Mike. «And there's a small river near it called Rio Estrada.»
«Hacienda means a big farm or ranch, and Estrada was probably the name of the family who owned it,» said Carlos.
«Look, there's a drawing of a lighthouse on the coast» said Mike.
«There's a big black 'X' east of the town with the word Agua,» said Kate.
«Agua in Spanish means 'water',» said Carlos. «That was probably where the pirates got their drinking water — a water well.»
«There are some red lines that go south from the town to what is now Doran Beach,» said Mike.
«But where's the treasure?» asked Kate.
«Good question,» said Mike. «The places on the map are probably important clues.»
«We have almost a week to explore them,» said Carlos.
«Why don't we start with the water well?» said Kate, excitedly. «That's a good place to hide a treasure.»
«OK,» said Mike and Carlos.
«That'll be the first place we look,» said Mike.
CHAPTER FOUR
The Treasure Chest
The Pelican left Marina Harbor in San Francisco on a foggy Wednesday morning. Early in the afternoon the Sullivans and Carlos got to the town of Bodega Bay and moored the boat at the small pier.
They had lunch and then Mr Sullivan said, «Your Mom and I have to start working and we're sailing to Point Reyes. We'll be back at the pier at dinner time. Have fun.»
«Thanks,» said the three friends. «See you at dinner.»
They got off The Pelican and watched it sail away.
«Do you have the map?» asked Carlos.
«Yeah, it's in my bag,» said Mike, looking at his watch. «It's half past two; we have about four hours before dinner time.»
«This is exciting,» said Kate, «we can start on our treasure hunt!»
Mike took the map out and said, «Let's start with the water well.» The three friends looked at the map carefully.
«The water well is east of the town,» said Carlos. «The harbor is west of the town and the hills are east — we have to go to the hills. They looked east and saw some brown hills.
»Let's explore them," said Mike, «and see if the water well is still there. We can follow this path.»
They followed the path into the hills and spent the afternoon looking for the water well, but they found nothing. Lucky had a lot of fun running up and down the hills and everyone enjoyed watching him.
«I don't think there's a water well in these hills,» said Kate, who was hot and tired, «and I'm thirsty.»
«There's nothing in these hills,» said Carlos, laughing.
«Hey, guys, it's almost five o'clock,» said Mike. «It's time to go back; dinner is at half past six. On the way back we can stop at the supermarket and buy some cold drinks.»
«Good idea,» said Kate. «We didn't have much luck today.»
«We'll explore the area south of Bodega Bay tomorrow,» said Mike.
«Yeah, there are red lines that go all the way to Doran Beach,» said Carlos. «Red lines probably mean something.»
«I hope so,» said Mike.
Dinner time was fun because Mrs Sullivan cooked a great meal and everyone had something to say about the day. After dinner they all played cards and went to bed early.
The next morning Mrs Sullivan made sandwiches for Kate, Mike and Carlos.
«Dad and I are going to go to Point Reyes again today,» said Mrs Sullivan. «Where are you going?»
«Oh, we're going to take a long walk on the beach,» said Kate.
«Don't forget to put on some sun protection then. See you at dinner,» said Mrs Sullivan. «Have fun.»
Kate, Mike and Carlos started walking south to Doran Beach and Lucky ran ahead of them. It was a beautiful, sunny day and there were a lot of people on the beach enjoying the sun. Behind the long beach there was a tall cliff.
Suddenly Carlos saw a small opening in the cliff.
«Hey, look over there,» he said, «there's a small opening.»
«Let's go inside and look around,» said Mike. Kate, Carlos and Lucky slowly followed him.
«It's a cave,» said Carlos excitedly. «Did you bring a flashlight?»
«Yeah, here it is,» said Mike, turning it on. «Look, there are some stone steps that go down.»
«Perhaps they go to another cave,» said Carlos. «Let's go.»
«Is this where the treasure is, do you think?» asked Kate.
«It's a good hiding place,» said Mike, walking slowly down the stone steps.
«Gee, it's really dark and scary in here,» said Kate.
The three friends walked into another cave and there was some sea water on the ground.
«It's not very dark in here,» said Mike, looking up.
«There's a hole up there — a small opening,» said Carlos. «And I can see the sky.»
«How strange,» said Kate who was a bit nervous.
They looked around the cave but it was empty. Then suddenly Carlos saw something.
«Mike, come here with your flashlight,» cried Carlos. «There's something in the corner over here.»
«Let's see,» said Mike looking in the dark corner with his flashlight. «There's… a big old box.»
«Box?» cried Kate. «It's the treasure chest!»
The three friends were surprised and looked at each other, and Lucky started barking.
«You're right,» cried Mike and Carlos. They looked at the big wooden box; it was very old.
«It's the treasure,» said Kate excitedly.
«But we don't know what's inside,» said Carlos.
«Well, let's open it,» said Mike.
«There's a big lock on it,» said Kate.
«Let's break the old lock,» said Mike.
Mike took a big stone and hit the lock a few times, but it didn't break.
«Here,» said Kate, «try with this stone, it's much bigger.»
But the old lock didn't break.
«Let me try,» said Carlos, hitting the lock again. Suddenly the old lock broke and they were ready to open Captain Salamanca's treasure chest.
CHAPTER FIVE
Well done, Lucky!
«Who's going to open the treasure chest?» asked Carlos, looking at Mike and Kate.
«Mike, you took the old map;» said Kate, «so you can open the treasure chest.»
Mike slowly opened the old chest; suddenly the three friends jumped back and Kate screamed. There was something terrible inside: a skeleton! Lucky started barking loudly.
The skeleton was wearing pirate's clothes and a big black hat. Mike, Kate and Carlos stared at it and didn't know what to say. They were very surprised and scared.
Kate spoke first. «Is this the treasure? It's terrible!»
«Maybe there's something else in the treasure chest,» said Carlos. He slowly moved closer to the chest and looked inside.
«There's nothing inside except the skeleton,» he said sadly.
«Why did someone put the body of a pirate inside the treasure chest and lock it?» asked Mike.
Suddenly Lucky started barking again. The three friends turned around and saw that water was coming down the stone steps.
«What's happening?» asked Kate nervously. «Why is water coming in here?»
«Oh no, the tide!» said Mike. «It's high tide and these caves fill up with sea water. We have to get out of here now!»
«But wait,» said Carlos, «perhaps there's a clue or another map in the skeleton's clothes — in his pockets.»
«Are you going to… touch it?» asked Kate, who was scared.
«I'll just touch his clothes,» said Carlos.
«We have to hurry,» said Mike, «if more water comes in, we'll be in big trouble.»
Carlos started touching the skeleton's clothes. He looked in all the pockets but found nothing. Then he took off the big black hat and looked inside it.
«There's something inside the hat,» cried Carlos. «It's an old piece of paper that says 'Juan Martinez de los Robles'.» He took the old piece of paper and showed it to Kate and Mike.
«Maybe that was his name,» said Kate.
«No, I don't think so,» said Mike. «You don't write your name on a piece of paper and put it in your hat. I think it's a clue.» Carlos quickly put the piece of paper in his pocket.
Lucky started barking loudly again because a lot of water was now coming into the cave, Mike picked him up. The three friends couldn't get out because water was coming down the stone steps, and the cave was quickly filling up with water. They were in big trouble.
«How can we get out of here?» asked Kate, who was now starting to get very scared. «The water is almost up to my knees!»
«There's only one way out,» said Mike, looking at the small hole high above their heads.
«But we can't climb up there,» said Carlos. «It's impossible — we need someone on the outside to throw down a rope.»
«I have an idea,» said Mike. «Kate, if you hold Lucky, Carlos and I can lift you. Then you can push Lucky up to the top. He's small and light, and can get out of the hole.»
Mike looked at Lucky who was in his arms and said, «Listen carefully, Lucky, go and find help.»
Carlos and Mike lifted Kate and Lucky. It wasn't easy, but they were able to get Kate quite high and she pushed Lucky outside.
There were a lot of people on the beach that day, and when Lucky got out of the hole he started barking loudly and running around.
«What's that dog doing?» said a tall young man, who was sitting on the beach with some friends.
«He's very excited,» said his friend. «He's trying to tell us something.»
«Perhaps someone needs help,» said another young man. «Let's follow him and see.»
The four young men followed Lucky to the small hole and looked inside.
«Does anyone need help?» shouted the tall young man.
«Yes, the water in the cave is up to our knees and we can't get out!» shouted Mike. «Can you please help us?»
«It's high tide,» shouted the young man. «Don't worry, we can get you out of there. I've got a rope in my car. Wait a moment and I'll be back.» He ran across the beach to the parking lot, got a long rope from his car and ran back.
«OK, listen,» shouted the young man who was standing over the hole, «I'm going to send this rope down to you. Hold on to it; then my friends and I will pull you up.»
«OK!» shouted Kate, Mike and Carlos.
The four young men pulled Kate up first, then Carlos and then Mike. Lucky jumped into Kate's arms and looked at her.
«Thanks Lucky,» said Kate, smiling at the little black dog. «And thank you,» she said looking at the four young men.
«Yeah,» said Mike, «thanks a lot.»
«You were very kind to help us,» said Carlos. «We were in big trouble down there.»
«You guys are lucky,» said one of the men. «I always keep a rope in my car because my friends and I are mountain climbers.»
«What were you doing in the cave?» asked the tall young man.
«Oh, we were… just looking around,» said Mike and his face became red.
«Well, it's getting late,» said Kate. «We have to go back to Bodega Bay. Thanks again for your help.»
«We were happy to help you,» said the tall young man, «but next time, be careful.»
«OK! We will,» said the three friends.
CHAPTER SIX
The Hacienda Estrada
Mike, Kate and Carlos got back to The Pelican at dinner time.
«Hi,» said Mr Sullivan. «We did a lot of interesting work today at Point Reyes. We saw two great white sharks swimming by. Tomorrow we're going to the Farallon Islands.»
«How was your day?» asked Mrs Sullivan.
«Uh… interesting,» said Mike, looking at his sister and Carlos.
«We explored the beach,» said Carlos.
«Are you guys getting bored?» asked Mr Sullivan.
«Bored?» said Kate smiling. «No, of course not.»
The next morning after breakfast Mr and Mrs Sullivan sailed to the Farallon Islands. It was a foggy morning and the three friends stood on the pier and talked about their scary adventure in the cave. Carlos took out the old piece of paper he found in the skeleton's hat and looked at it.
«Is this a clue? What does it mean?» he asked.
«It's the name of a man — or perhaps it isn't,» said Kate.
«Let's take another look at the map,» said Mike.
«Why don't we go to the tourist office and ask about the Hacienda Estrada?» said Kate. «Perhaps we can get some useful information.»
«OK,» said Carlos. «I'm sure the treasure is here somewhere.»
Margaret Healy worked at the Bodega Bay Tourist Office and knew all about the history of the town.
«The Estrada family was a rich and important family in the 1600s,» said Margaret. «They were the first to build a home and a big farm here: the Hacienda Estrada. The family's only daughter was called Isabella and she married a sea captain called Juan Martinez. Soon after their marriage he was killed during a terrible fight with pirates and his young wife never married again. She was always sad and dressed in black; she rarely left the hacienda.»
«What a sad story,» said Kate.
«Was the captain's last name Robles or de los Robles?» asked Mike.
«No,» answered Margaret, «his last name was Martinez.»
«Where was he buried?» asked Carlos.
«No one knows,» said Margaret.
«What about the old town cemetery?» asked Kate.
«It's about four hundred years old and no one can read the names on the tombstones anymore,» she said. «If you're looking for old Spanish things, go and see the lighthouse at Twin Oaks Point. It's on the cliff.»
The three friends thanked her and left. They decided to follow the treasure map and go to the area northwest of Bodega Bay. They climbed up the green hills and stopped near a stone wall.
«What's this?» asked Mike, looking at the map.
«It looks like part of the old Hacienda Estrada,» said Carlos. «Look there's a small river nearby too — the same river that's on the map.» They looked around and saw another stone wall and some steps. «This looks like a wall of a house, maybe the Hacienda,» said Kate.
«Yeah, but there's almost nothing here,» said Mike. «Let's move on and see if we can find the cemetery.»
They walked to the cliff and a strong wind was blowing. From the top of the cliff they could see the Pacific Ocean.
«What a beautiful place,» said Kate looking at the green-blue sea. «Let's stop here and have lunch. I'm hungry.»
«We are, too,» said Mike and Carlos.
They sat down and had chicken sandwiches and fruit juice.
«Hey, look down there,» said Carlos, eating his sandwich. From the top of the cliff they saw the old cemetery that was on Salamanca's map and the old Spanish lighthouse. After lunch they slowly climbed down and got to the old cemetery.
«There isn't much here,» said Mike, «just a few very old tombstones and lots of grass.»
«Gee, look at this one,» said Kate, «I can't read the name but the date is 1624. This place is probably full of ghosts. Let's go, I'm scared.» Carlos laughed and said, «We'll never find the treasure here.»
«Perhaps there isn't any treasure,» said Kate.
«I'm sure there's a treasure,» said Mike. «Don't forget that Captain Salamanca was looking for it and we have his map.»
«You're right, Mike,» said Carlos, «we have to study the clues carefully. The name Juan Martinez de los Robles means something, but what? We have to find out.»
CHAPTER SEVEN
The Old lighthouse
Let's go and see the old lighthouse at Twin Oaks Point," said Carlos. «Lighthouses are always interesting.»
It was a windy day and they walked along the cliff for almost an hour to get there. There was an old stone lighthouse on the cliff above the sea near two big oak trees.
«This was probably an important lighthouse in Captain Salamanca's days,» said Mike. «Those two big oak trees look very old, too.»
«That's why people called it Twin Oaks Point,» said Kate, laughing.
Carlos suddenly turned around and looked at the two oak trees. «Wait a minute!» he said. «The Spanish word for 'oak' is roble — and the words de los Robles are written next to Juan Martinez's name. That means 'of the oaks'. Perhaps robles isn't part of his last name but a clue.»
«You're right, Carlos,» said Mike, «Robles could be a clue.»
«Perhaps he is buried under the oak trees. There are only two oaks in this area,» said Kate, looking at the two big trees.
The three friends ran to the oak trees and looked around. There was a lot of tall grass under them.
Suddenly Mike said, «Look, under the grass there's a small tombstone — and half of it is underground. Let's try and pull it out!»
They slowly pulled it out and looked at the name on the tombstone.
«It's difficult to read but I think it says: Juan Martinez, 1570-1605.» said Mike.
«It's the name of the sea captain the pirates killed,» said Carlos excitedly. «He was Isabella Estrada's husband. Could Captain Salamanca's treasure be here?»
«What do you mean?» asked Kate. «This is where Juan Martinez is buried.»
«Yes!» cried Carlos. «It's the perfect hiding place.»
«There's only one way to find out,» said Mike. «We have to dig.»
«Aren't you afraid?» asked Kate. «Isn't it bad luck?»
«I just want to dig under the tombstone,» said Mike.
«But we don't have a spade,» said Carlos.
The three friends were silent for a moment.
«You know,» said Kate, «Dad has two spades on the boat. He uses them for his work.»
«That means we have to tell Mom and Dad,» said Mike.
«I think so,» said Kate. «I'm sure they'll help us. They always do. We can tell them at dinner.»
That evening at dinner Kate, Mike and Carlos told Mr and Mrs Sullivan the whole story. They stopped eating and were very surprised; but they were not angry. They decided to help the three friends.
«This is an exciting adventure,» said Mrs Sullivan, «and you guys are very good detectives. We'll help you.»
«If you find the treasure we'll have to call the California Archaeological Society,» said Mr Sullivan, «because the treasure belongs to the State of California. Tomorrow morning we'll go to the old Spanish lighthouse and start digging. Who knows what we'll find!»
By ten o'clock the next morning they were at the old Spanish lighthouse. Mr Sullivan gave Mike and Carlos two spades and they started digging. They dug for a short time and suddenly Carlos's spade hit something hard. He stopped digging and looked at Mike.
«I found something!» cried Carlos.
«Let me help you,» said Mr Sullivan. They pulled a small wooden treasure chest out of the ground; it was heavy.
«Wow!» said Kate and Mrs Sullivan looking at it.
«This is hard to believe,» said Mr Sullivan.
«Can we open it?» asked Mike.
«Yes, of course,» said Mr Sullivan. «Let's see what's inside.»
The lock was broken and Carlos and Mike slowly opened the treasure chest. It was full of gold and silver coins, jewelry, pearls and a king's crown.
«Wow!» they all cried. They couldn't believe their eyes.
«Look at all of these gold and silver coins!» cried Kate.
Everyone stared at the treasure in silence but no one touched it.
«A pirate probably hid this treasure here in the 1600s,» said Carlos. «Another pirate knew about it and planned to come here and dig up the treasure.»
«Yeah,» said Mike, «and someone killed him because he didn't want to tell his secret.»
«But he wrote his secret on a piece of paper and put it in his hat,» said Kate, «and we found it after four hundred years!»
«Why did Captain Salamanca have the treasure map?» asked Carlos.
«That's a mystery,» said Mike, smiling.
«What an exciting story,» said Mrs Sullivan, «Captain Salamanca's treasure map brought you good luck.»
«People don't find treasures every day in California,» said Mr Sullivan. «Now I'm going to call the California Archeological Society in San Francisco. They'll be very surprised and happy.»
«What's going to happen to the treasure?» asked Mike.
«Archaeologists will study the treasure first,» said Mr Sullivan, «and then they'll probably take it to one of the Californian museums. Journalists may want to write about you in the newspaper.»
«Our names in the newspaper,» said Kate happily. «That's exciting!»
«Of course,» said Mrs Sullivan, «your adventure will be in all the papers and maybe on TV.»
«We're proud of you,» said Mr Sullivan, smiling, «and of you too, Lucky.»
Lucky barked happily and ran around the treasure chest. Everyone laughed and Mrs Sullivan said, «Well, you didn't get bored on this vacation.»
«Bored?» the three friends said. «Never!»
— THE END -
Hope you have enjoyed the reading!

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