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Jane Badger Books

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Treasure on the Moor (paperback)

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Treasure on the Moor (paperback)


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Is there really treasure on the moor?

Summer isn’t turning out quite as Frances planned. Her horse, Orlando, has colic. and then all her time is taken up with improving the riding of the vets’ children.

‘You can’t refuse to pass on the information that other horsy people have handed down to you,’ her mother says, and Frances reluctantly agrees.

Then Frances and her friends are persuaded to help out a family who are convinced there’s treasure somewhere on the moor.

Perhaps there is. But it won’t be where they expect.

Not illustrated

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Paperbacks are printed specially for you and sent out from our printer. They are on a 72-hour turnaround from order to being sent out. Actual delivery dates will vary depending on the shipping method you choose.

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We were in the yard and I was telling Sukey that she must slap Joey if he made rude bullying faces at her, when heard shouts of ‘Angy’ and two sinister-looking figures in black plastic suits appeared.

‘Oh there you are. You might have come down to the landing stage,’ complained one of the black figures indignantly. ‘You’re becoming impossible, Angy, you knew very well we were coming to fetch you at high tide.’

‘You don’t realise what it’s like running round the countryside looking for you in wet suits, I feel as if I was being boiled in a bag,’ added the second figure.

‘These are my brothers, Ian, and Rob,’ said Angela, ignoring their reproaches.

They didn’t look like her. They were both fairly tall and slim with curly brown hair and grey eyes; Rob, who was obviously the younger, had the friendlier face.

‘Have you been snorkelling?’ asked Toby.

‘No, Scuba, Aqualung diving,’ Rob explained.

‘Trying to,’ said Ian, still indignant. ‘With our little sister being so obstructive, one of us has to man the dinghy and we can only dive in turn. And diving alone is against all the rules; if something happened to one of us it would be all your fault, Angy.’

‘Why should I sit all day in a boring boat?’ demanded Angela aggressively. ‘You like crawling about searching the treasure ship, but I have to do all the boring things, and it’s not fair when I want to ride.’

‘Treasure ship?’ asked Toby with interest. Ian scowled. ‘She can’t even keep her mouth shut.’ He turned on Angela. ‘I told you that we didn’t want it all over the place.’

‘These are my friends,’ said Angela with dignity. ‘And they are horsy, not greedy divers all trying to grab treasure away from the Unicorn first.’

Ian groaned. ‘You must learn to keep things quiet. There’s been far too much publicity already. The papers have got hold of the Revels and now they’re dredging up every bit of Redbridge’s history. They even called the firework ship last night after her. All the diving groups in the country will be down here by next weekend.’

‘The Unicorn,’ said Felix thoughtfully. ‘She’s mentioned in one of the old books Mrs Hathaway loaned me. The Kennys had collected a lot of gold and jewellery and they were trying to send it to the King in France—the exiled Charles II.’

‘Right,’ said Ian, looking at Felix with sudden respect. ‘And when they learned that someone had grassed, told Cromwell’s lot, and that a Man o’ War from the Parliamentary Navy was waiting for them at the mouth of the estuary, the crew scuttled her,’ added Rob. ‘They weren’t going to let Cromwell’s lot get the gold.’

‘I wouldn’t mind manning the dinghy for you,’ offered Toby. ‘I belong to the sailing club at school. I can row and I know a bit about outboards.’

Ian looked at him critically. Toby isn’t like Felix, he’s wide-shouldered, dark-haired, with a broad, confident, sometimes complacent face.

‘Great,’ said Ian, ‘so long as you can keep your mouth shut. Can you come now? We’ve been diving in pea soup all week, because of the soil in the water coming down from the hills, but now the rain’s stopped, it’s beginning to clear.’

‘Yes, of course.’ Toby dismounted.

‘What about Crackers?’ asked Felix.

‘You could lead him home for me and I’ll hitch. Or perhaps we could turn him out here?’

The Ashworths looked at Crackers, large, black, twirling restlessly; they became silent and pale.

‘Supposing we leave Patchy here and I ride Crackers home,’ I suggested.

‘Oh yes,’ Angela sounded delighted. ‘Then I can catch and groom him tomorrow; it’ll be just like having a pony of my own.’

Felix looked at Sukey. ‘Will your parents mind?’

‘No,’ she shook her head. ‘We’ve plenty of grass and they like us having people to ride with.’

‘Well, don’t go and drown yourself,’ Felix told Toby, ‘Mummy will blame me.’

‘Never fear,’ shouted Rob cheerfully, ‘we’ll look after him.’

Once again we set off across North Moor, but this time we decided on a wild gallop up the green slope of Penkevil. Crackers is fun to ride and though he’s not very fast—he can’t keep up with Orlando or Felix’s tall, grey Mermaid—his tough, bone-shaking gallop gives a great impression of speed. I enjoyed myself and it was lovely not to have to worry about the Ashworths.

Page length: 134

Original publication date: 1982

Who's in the book?

Humans: Frances and Louisa Burnett, Sukey and Chris Ashworth, Felix, Toby and Huw Hamilton, Angela, Rob and Ian Fletcher, Mick and Heather Jackson,

Equines: Orlando, Redwing, Mermaid, Crackers, Minstrel, Patchy, Joey and Bingo

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