It turns out that this chapter was only one and a half pages. The next one will be longer though.
The next morning, Franz Turphoil, who had lain senseless throughout the night, woke early. The first thing he noticed on rising was that his coach was missing from the road. “Those scoundrels!” he shouted at the empty road “They stole my coach! What am I to do now?” This response was prompted by the fact that Turphoil was a slothful worker who made no effort to work unless he was paid a high price. Accordingly, he sat himself down upon the grass to wait until some one drove by.
A short time later, a farmer drove by on his way into the town. Turphoil rose quickly and called “Have pity on a coach driver who’s fallen afoul of thieves!”
Stopping, the carter replied “You don’t look as if you’ve been set upon by thieves. Are you sure you’re in your right mind?”
“Oh yes sir! I am! They tied me up deeper into the forest, and I have only just escaped!” Turphoil’s lies were compounded by the fact that he did not actually remember the truth, having been knocked out so quickly.
Minutes later, he climbed into the back of the cart thinking to himself “Ha! At least I can still get my revenge on those sailors.” He soon drifted off to sleep, lying in a foul-smelling pile of garlic.
Meanwhile, soon-to-be sailors, after having driven all night, were resting by the roadside toasting some of their traveling provisions over a small fire which Dameon had made. Gabriel, who was in the habit of keeping a journal, was taking the opportunity to record the recent events. Finishing, he closed the book and stood up, announcing “We’re about eight hours ahead of schedule. We lost a lot of time during the fight, but driving all night has given us enough leeway to make it to Boston with plenty of time to spare. I’m going to sleep now to be sure that I don’t doze off on the box.”
As he was speaking, Mark looked up from his meat to see that Matt was sitting silently on a large stone several yards away. Swallowing his last bite, Mark rose silently and began creeping up behind his brother, hoping to surprise him. He was completely successful, causing Matt to shout and turn around to look at him.
Having gained Matt’s attention, Mark asked him “What’s on your mind? You’re not still sad about Father, are you? You’re a Sponsler! Learn to put troubles like that behind you, because where we’re going, there’ll be worse thing to worry about. Father wasn’t afraid to die, so you shouldn’t be so miserable that he did, either. Believe me, under the surface, I’m just as depressed as you look. Put a grin on your face and come with me. You need to eat before we leave.”
Nearly six hours later, they were still rattling along in the coach. Raphael was driving, because, astoundingly, Gabriel was still asleep. As the coach jerked over a small bump in the road, he came awake with a start. He was so shocked that he began shouting. “Who-wha-where are you taking me, you villains?”
“Relax” Tony answered “You’re going to the same place as the rest of us. Boston and the open sea.”
Dameon leaned out the window. “Your father’s awake now boy. It would be best to let him drive for a time.”
Stopping the horses, Raphael swung himself inside through the open doorway. When he was seated, he replied “Now I know why the job is hard. I can hardly believe I’m still sitting down after that.”
“You’ll need to get used to it though, because we are driving in shifts after today!” replied Gabriel, who had by this time positioned himself in his accustomed spot. Cracking the whip over the horse’s heads, he continued “We’ve recovered stolen luggage and destroyed a band of thieves hundreds strong! Nothing will stop us after today!”
His words were tested only the following day, when, driving along a perfectly straight path, he spotted a tree trunk in the road ahead. He began to shout “Get your pistols primed! There are more thieves ahead or I’m a fish!” He cracked the whip several more times to speed the horses on. In moments, the coach was approaching the roadblock so fast that the boys believed the wheels would come off.
“Rise and fire!” In the next instant, three gunshots rang out as the coach cleared the barrier with inches to spare.