Great book if you’re looking for an easy read with stacks of suspense and adventure.
Chapter One ~ The Lorry
“Let’s have another look at that clue,” said Lance. He and Joel paused under a newly lit street-light, a mile or so from where the youth club treasure hunt had started. Joel handed the clue to Lance, who read it for what seemed like the hundredth time, hoping that more words would somehow mysteriously appear to guide him. “’Take the 007 turning’,” sighed Lance. “That’s all it says.” His fair hair gleamed in the orange glow of the street-light as he looked round for inspiration.
“I wish we knew this part of town better,” muttered Joel. Lance nodded in agreement. They were on the edge of the industrial estate, where warehouses and workshops took over from the rows of terraced houses. It all looked very grey and concrete, quiet now, although it was busy during the day.
The boys hesitated in the growing dusk. They had known each other for as long as they could remember, because their mums had been friends since before they had been born. They were about the same height, both tall for their twelve years, but different in appearance; Lance was slim and fair, Joel was more solidly built with dark hair that started to curl if he left it too long between haircuts.
“The 007 turning,” repeated Joel slowly, then shook his head. “If it does mean James Bond, I can’t see why. He’d never come to this boring place!”
Lance nodded and sighed. “Before this we were doing so well! We must have made a mistake somewhere. Maybe we didn’t go north after the war memorial. Perhaps you were wrong.”
“I was not wrong! We definitely went north!” protested Joel.
Lance was not persuaded. “So why haven’t we seen anyone else from the youth club for the last ten minutes?”
“Maybe everyone else is wrong?” suggested Joel. Lance gave him a friendly punch.
“I don’t think so!” he laughed. “You made a mistake and don’t want to admit it!”
“No way!” laughed Joel, punching him back. “You just don’t want to admit that I’m always right! But we’d better go back to the Club,” he added. “It’s getting dark and we’ve obviously lost the hunt. Someone’s probably eaten the treasure by now.”
“Eaten it?” asked Lance, grinning. “It could be a book – that wouldn’t taste very nice!”
Joel gave him a withering look. “Prizes are always sweets or chocolate for this sort of thing, you know that. As it’s nearly Easter, it might even be an Easter egg!”
“Well what if we just go down as far as that tile shop place,” suggested Lance, indicating a bright red and yellow sign announcing ‘Tills Tiles’ at the end of a row of warehouses a little further on. “007 might be on an advertisement or a phone number on one of the warehouses.”
Joel sighed. “I suppose you might be right.”
“After all, we don’t want Debbie and Ravi beating us to the treasure, do we?”
“No way!” agreed Joel. Debbie was Joel’s sister, a year older than the boys. Ravi was a newer friend, not long moved in to the area, but friend or no friend, this was a competition!
The atmosphere was getting darker and gloomier by the minute as Lance and Joel walked further into the deserted industrial estate. Shadows lengthened. A faint, acrid smell of oily tar hung in the evening air and the boys’ footsteps echoed on the empty, unlit buildings as they looked around for the elusive 007.
“It’s well creepy,” whispered Joel, stopping in front of Tills Tiles.
Lance nodded, shivering slightly, not just with the cool of the evening. “There’s nothing 007 here. Let’s go.”
“Unless he’s hiding in that oasis,” suggested Joel, grinning as he pointed out a group of dusty, tired-looking bushes which clung to life by the pavement in the concrete desert. Lance laughed aloud, his laugh echoing eerily round the buildings. The boys grinned at each other. Joel cupped his hands ready to hoot loudly, then stopped as the stillness was broken by the sound of an engine approaching very fast. A dirty white lorry was tearing up the road towards the boys, like a cat being chased by a dog. It thundered up to the entrance of Tills Tiles and screeched to a halt with a jolt, narrowly missing the boys, who stepped quickly back. With the engine still racing, a small, mean-looking man wearing a filthy boiler suit jumped out of the passenger side of the cab, slammed the door shut and ran to open the warehouse doors. Lance and Joel stared in shock.
Seeing them watching, the driver of the lorry, a thick-set white man with a scruffy beard, wound down his window. “Oi! What are you looking at?” he shouted roughly. The boys turned quickly away, but just as they did, a loud thumping and muffled shouting came from the back of the lorry. But there were no windows! Astonished, Joel and Lance both turned to look. “I said get out of here!” yelled the driver savagely at them, revving up the lorry’s engine. He screeched into the warehouse as soon as the doors were open.
The boys turned and fled. Adding to their fright, a police car sped past them as they ran, lights flashing, its siren bursting through the quiet of the night. Lance and Joel continued to run long after they had left the industrial estate behind. “What do you make of that?” panted Joel eventually, doubling up over a garden wall to get his breath back.
“There’s no way that lorry was doing under the speed limit!” declared Lance, hanging onto a telegraph pole and panting equally as loudly. “Or the police car!”
“Yeah! I’ve never been so scared in my life! And what do you think that thumping and shouting was inside the lorry?” asked Joel.
“Surely there can’t have been anyone in there – they wouldn’t be able to see out!”
“More to the point, how would they be able to breathe?” The boys looked at each other sombrely.
“No wonder whoever it was inside was banging and yelling,” remarked Lance. “I would too, if I was shut in there by those awful men!”
“Me too!” agreed Joel. Suddenly realising the significance of what they had just seen, they stopped in their tracks and stared at each other in amazement. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” asked Joel.
Lance nodded slowly. “That police car was chasing the lorry. Do you think there really were people shut inside?”
Joel shrugged. “It sounded like it,” he admitted. “But that’s not a crime, is it?” And then he saw it. A little further ahead on the other side of the road. BOND ROAD. “Bond Road!” he yelled, grabbing Lance’s arm.
“Our 007 turning!” groaned Lance. “I can’t believe we missed it!”