This chapter is only two and one half pages long. And if you think my writing is awesome, you're in for a letdown at any moment.
The next morning, the whole party was up and about bright and early. They were making final preparations several days early so that they would be able to leave quietly when the time came. David was a prominent member of the town’s society, and his sudden disappearance would be sure to startle members of the highest circles. Thus, the quiet disappearance.
In the course of these preparations, Matt and Mark were allowed to venture into the town to place orders for various articles that David wanted to have on board his ship upon embarkation. Having done what had been asked, they were on their way back to David’s house when they heard a boy selling newspapers at the corner shouting “Britain declares war! 50,000 pounds offered for Tony Mellino, alive or dead! Britain declares war!”
The Sponslers stared at each other for a moment, exclaiming “Britain’s declared war? A price on the head of a Mellino? They need to know this!” With that, the boys raced down the block, got themselves a paper, and turned to run back to David’s house, singing “Adventure on the ocean! What do we care for war?”
With a final cry of what do we care for war?” they burst into the central room of David’s house. Their noise caused David to look up from what he was doing and ask them “Where have you been? Did you get the things?”
“Well, yes we did, Sir, and you’ll probably want to speed up your preparations after reading this.” Mark replied, as he passed the paper to Dameon. Looking over his brother’s shoulder, David exclaimed “Anchors away! This does change things! Gabe, go round up that other driver quick! We need to get out of town! Tony, stop what you’re doing, because you’re under arrest! Just kidding!”
Dameon cut in to David’s excitement to tell the boys “You two get up there and help them sort through those things. We need to work fast. Stand at attention when I speak, Midshipmen! If I catch you messing with anything, your father’s memory won’t keep you out of the brig!” Pointing them to the ladder, he turned back, muttering inaudibly.
Released by Dameon, the twins climbed the ladder quickly, and noticing Luke at the far end of the room, called out “Hey, Luke! Have you found out what is was that your father brought home from your Uncle’s shop a few days ago?”
“Yes, I have, actually.” Luke answered “Check it out! Be careful, because he doesn’t know that I’ve uncovered it yet!”
Mark caught the package Luke tossed to him, which was the same one he had seen David bring out of Tony’s shop, and unrolled it, remarking quietly “Great! It’s a pirate flag!” and rolled up in it’s package again. Signaling Matt to stand it front of him, he slid it down the back of his brother’s shirt, where it lay flat and would pass unnoticed. At an impatient cry from Dameon, who appeared to have lost his temper after hearing about the declaration of war, the boys got busy, and only twenty minute later, the upper room was clear. When they returned to ground level, Luke told Dameon “All clear up there, Sir, are we cleared to go below?”
“Go below? What would you mean by that at this time?”
“Leave. Is everything else arranged?”
“Yes. We’re just waiting for the cabs to show up.”
Two hours later, Dameon and his son John, David and his son Luke, Tony and his son Michael, the Sponsler twins, and Gabriel and his son, who were driving, were rattling along on the road out of their hometown.
After a long silence, John turned to Luke and remarked “I imagine that I”ll find it exciting to sail on a warship, won’t you?”
Luke answered “Oh no, don’t mention it! It’s making me sick already!”
As the others were speaking, Matt had looked out of the window and nearly screamed when he saw the empty road behind them. Putting his head out the window to speak to Gabriel, he called “You’ll have to go on without us, sir! We’ve got to recover our things!”
“What is going on?” Gabriel shouted back.
“No time to explain!” David called back “We’ll catch up with you later!” In the next moment, everyone riding inside had jumped off the coach and begun running back toward their starting point, chasing after the false aide, Franz Turphiol