The Island of Dr. Libris

The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein Read Free Book Online

Book: The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein Read Free Book Online
Authors: Chris Grabenstein
was about to climb into the rowboat, he noticed a bright green bottle bobbing in the water near its stern.
    There was a rolled-up piece of paper tucked inside the corked bottle.
    A message in a bottle?
    Billy wondered if somebody in Dr. Libris’s study was reading a book about shipwrecks.
    He listened for the sounds of thundering hooves coming up the trail behind him.
    There were none.
    The Sheriff of Nottingham wasn’t chasing after him.
    Billy had time to see what was up with the bobbing green bottle.
    He snatched it out of the water, yanked out the cork, and quickly unfurled the message, which looked like a pirate had written it:
    On this island, you shall find great treasure.
    Okay. This was extremely interesting.
    Had Dr. Libris hidden some kind of treasure somewhere on his island?
    If so, did the law of “finders keepers, losers weepers” apply?
    Because if Billy could find the gold or jewels or winning Mega Millions Lotto cards—whatever treasure Dr. Libris had hidden on his island—he could buy himself a new iPhone. He could also pay for some of his father’s silly toys and maybe get his mom a bunch of those blueberry pies she said she liked so much.
    If Billy found the island’s treasure, if the Gillfoyles suddenly had a ton of money, his mom and dad would have nothing to argue about, because they’d be rich!
    Billy climbed into the boat and rowed as hard and as fast as he could back across the lake toward the cabin.
    He thought about books that might help him on his treasure quest. Maybe
Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson or Mark Twain’s
Tom Sawyer.
Billy had read
Tom Sawyer
in school. Tom and his friends were always hunting for treasure.
    He’d figure out a way to deal with the sheriff, but in the meantime, he was going to need a shovel.
    Since you basically row a boat backward, Billy was still facing the island as he struggled with the oars. After what felt like forever, he finally heard the sound of waves slapping against dock pilings.
    “Beware!” someone shouted behind him. “I’m about to somnificate you!”
    Billy twisted around and saw a kid in a polo shirt and baggy cargo shorts. The boy was standing on Dr. Libris’s dock and waving his arms around like a goofy magician.
    “I’m casting a slumber spell! You are sleepy, very sleepy!”
    “I’m playing my Junior Wizard card!”
    “It’s from my Magical Battical deck!”
    The boy showed Billy a crinkled card.
    “Cool,” said Billy. “I think some kids at my school play that game.”
    “Hey, did you row your boat all the way out to the island?”
    “That is so awesome.” The boy stuffed the trading card back into his baggy pants. “I’m not very good at boat rowing. So what’s your name?”
    “Yeah. I knew that. Alyssa told me. I’m not very good at keeping secrets, either.”
    “Are you Alyssa’s brother?”
    “Yep. I’m Walter.”
    “Here, Walter.” Billy tossed up his nylon line. “Tie me off to that post.”
    “Really? You want me to tie up your rowboat?”
    “Yeah. On that piling.”
    “Okay. I’m not very good at knots but I’ll give it a shot.”
    “Thanks,” said Billy as he crawled onto the dock.
    “There we go,” said Walter. He had looped the nylon line around and around the pier post in a tangled jumble that ended in a sloppy shoelace-style bow. “That should hold her. I hope. So, you hungry?”
    Actually, Billy was starving.
    “You ever been to the Red Barn?” asked Walter.
    “No, but I’ve heard about it.”
    “Do you like waffle fries? Because the Red Barn’s are the best.” Walter reached into another cargo shorts pocket and pulled out a bright red asthma inhaler. He took two quick puffs. “So, what’d you see out on the island?”
    Billy wondered how much he should tell Walter. He seemed like a pretty nice guy, but they’d only known each other for maybe two minutes.
    Billy shrugged. “Nothing,

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