Authors: Frances Watts
BY FRANCES WATTS
illustrated by David Francis
PHILADELPHIA Â· LONDON
For Mum, who always let me stay up
late to finish one more chapter
Text copyright Â© 2013 by Frances Watts
Illustrations copyright Â© 2013 by David Francis
All rights reserved under the Pan-American and
International Copyright Conventions
First published in Australia by
Australia Pty Limited, 2011
First published in the United States by
Running Press Book Publishers, 2013
This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without written permission from the publisher.
Books published by Running Press are available at special discounts for bulk purchases in the United States by corporations, institutions, and other organizations. For more information, please contact the Special Markets Department at the Perseus Books Group, 2300 Chestnut Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or call (800) 810-4145, ext. 5000, or e-mail
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012955521
E-book ISBN 978-0-7624-4838-8
Digit on the right indicates the number of this printing
Cover design by Frances J. Soo Ping Chow
Interior design by Frances J. Soo Ping Chow, based on
the original layout by Ingrid Kwong
Typography: Fairfield, HT Gelateria, Lady Rene, and Perpetua
This edition published by Running Press Kids
An Imprint of Running Press Book Publishers
A Member of the Perseus Books Group
2300 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103â4371
Visit us on the web!
he mozzarella was in an icy crevasse,” said Uncle Ebenezer with a shiver, to demonstrate how cold the crevasse had been. The movement made his big belly wobble and his long shadow shimmied on the road stretching up between two high ridges of rock.
“An icy crevasse?” said Tibby Rose, who was beside him. “The mozzarella was in an icy crevasse? But why? How did it get there?”
Alistair, walking behind them with Aunt Beezer, had to laugh at his friend's perplexed tone. He and his brother and sister were used to their uncle's stories, but then the triplets had been living with their uncle and aunt for years, while Tibby had only just met Ebenezer and Beezer.
Uncle Ebenezer didn't seem inclined to answer Tibby Rose's questions. (They were the kind of questions Alistair himself used to ask once upon a time, but his uncle had never answered him either.) “I saw at once that
the only way to reach the cheese was to abseil down. Fortunately, I had a length of rope with me, so I looped it around a tree.”
Tibby Rose nodded approvingly. “A firm anchor is crucial,” she agreed. Tibby was an expert in survival skills. She had been named after Charlotte Tibbyâa great explorerâand had read all her namesake's books. (Her mother had added the name Rose because of Tibby's pink-tinted ginger fur.)
“I have an instinct for these things,” Uncle Ebenezer admitted modestly, stroking his mustache. “I left my brother Rebus at the top of the crevasseâthat's Alex, Alice, and Alistair's father”âhe reminded Tibbyâ“and began my descent.” He shivered again at the memory. “The deeper I went, the darker it grew. The crevasse was so narrow in places that my back brushed the wall behind me, and my feet were so cold where they touched the ice that they burned. I knew that if I stopped moving I would probably freeze to death, and the crevasse would become my icy tomb.”
Even though it was summer, Alistair pulled his scarf tight around his neck as he imagined being surrounded by sheer walls of ice.
Ebenezer paused in his storytelling, and for a moment the only sound was the rustle of leaves in the trees lining their way, and the soft pad of their feet upon the road. Even Alice and Alex, walking behind Alistair, had stopped their customary bickering to listen.