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Excerpt from "Arturo and the Merchants' Fair"

Berke Nergui sat sharpening his dagger. He reached to his belt where his purse was missing. His crew knew the boy had stolen his purse; what they didn’t know, was what had been in the purse when it was stolen. Nergui ran the sharpening stone across the blade. The map. The map that would make him rich beyond his wildest dreams was hidden in that purse.


Nergui turned around to find his second-in-command, Rolf Vider, facing him. “What is it?”

“We're nearing Venice, Chief,” Rolf informed him.

Nergui smiled, “Good.” I will soon have the map back.

He looked around the small trading boat; his crew manned the oars and sails. A vicious looking man steered at the helm. Since the entire caravan had originated from Venice, it only made sense that the boy would return to Venice with the purse.

“Soon, we will find the boy.”

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