Zoobreak

Zoobreak by Gordon Korman Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Zoobreak by Gordon Korman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gordon Korman
don’t! Not him! No way!”

12
    D arren Vader wore his Grinch smile — a diabolical grin that stretched from ear to ear. “Really? The Man With The Plan needs me to be part of one of his world-famous operations? What an honor!”
    It was Monday, after lunch. Griffin, Ben, and Savannah had followed Darren out of the cafeteria and cornered him at his locker.
    Griffin scowled. He had never been a Darren fan and did not relish the idea of involving him in the zoobreak. “You won’t be
part
of the operation, just transportation. Like bank robbers need a wheelman to drive the getaway car. Only instead of driving, you’ll be sailing.”
    “A sail man,” Ben added.
    The smile faded. “You’re some piece of work, Bing. You’re asking for my help, but I’m not good enough to be there when you boost Drysdale’s monkey.”
    “That’s better for you,” Griffin argued. “Less involved means less trouble if we get caught.”
    “Right,” the big boy said sarcastically. “All I have to do is sneak out in the middle of the night, steal my dad’s boat, and sail you to Rutherford Point so you can break into private property and kidnap a zoo animal.”
    “Hey,” piped up Savannah, “Cleo is rightfully mine.”
    “That’s your opinion, not the cops’. So don’t talk to me about being less involved. I’d be involved enough to ask this question —” Darren leaned against the wall, stroking at chin whiskers that were not there. “What’s in it for me?”
    “We’re helping Savannah,” Griffin explained.
    “That’s what’s in it for Drysdale. What’s in it for
me
? I’ll give you a hint —
ka-ching!

    “You mean money?” Ben asked in amazement. “There’s no money.”
    “Sorry, guys. It’ll never work.” Darren glanced at the hall clock. “Recess time,already? I think I hear a soccer ball calling my name —” He took a step toward the double doors.
    “I’ll pay you!” Savannah blurted suddenly.
    Darren froze, his Grinch smile reblooming. “Now we’re talking. Okay, let’s see — a half-day sailboat rental with an experienced captain —”
    “Experienced at ripping people off,” Ben put in resentfully.
    “— plus danger pay — three hundred bucks!”
    “Aw, come on!” Griffin exploded. “What kid can get his hands on that kind of money?”
    Savannah didn’t even blink. This might have been a game to Darren, but she took Cleopatra’s future very seriously. “I don’t have that much. But I’ll give you my allowance for the next three months.”
    Darren’s eyes narrowed. “Six.”
    “Done.”
    Griffin pulled a folded piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to Darren. It was a detailed map of the north shore of Long Island, with Cedarville’s marina and the Rutherford Point Preserve highlighted. “Commit this route to memory. We don’t want to end up in Bermuda.”
    Savannah pressed her lips together in an expression of hopeful determination. “When are we doing it, Griffin?
All Aboard Animals
moves on at the end of this week.”
    Griffin held his arms wide, drawing them into his confidence. “Wednesday, after midnight,” he announced in a low voice. “Everything will be ready by then.”
    Wednesday.
    Two days away.
    When Melissa opened the door of the Dukakis house, Griffin and Ben both checked the number on the door to make sure they’d come to the right address. Her curtain of hair was neatly parted and pinned back, revealing a face that was not all that familiar because it appeared so seldom.
    “I made guacamole,” she greeted, showing them inside.
    “Oh, great,” said Griffin, a little perplexed. “Uh — why?”
    The question seemed to stump her, so she wheeled out a serving cart with the dip and a basket of chips the size of an eagle’s nest.
    “You might be hungry?” she suggested finally.
    They stood in the front hall, snacking awkwardly.
    “This is good,” Ben offered lamely. “Spicy.”
    “I don’t have a lot of people over,” Melissa

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