Chapter 10 – Not at any price
„Faster!“, Kara shouted. „I can almost reach it.“
She was leaning far out of their own motorboat, trying to snatch the other boat, the one in which the thief attempted to flee. Ben and Kara had spend days searching the Amazon for him. They were sure they had to come here to the jungle. They had not only found the rare snake described in the riddle, but had also traced the thief with the stolen compass.
„Be careful!“, Ben shouted when he saw flashing something metallic – a pistol!
Ben quickly steered the boat aside and rammed the other water craft. The stranger lost his balance and the pistol dropped into the depths of the river. Kara, who had ducked away to escape the danger, again stretched out her hand.
„I got it!“, Kara exclaimed and hold fast onto the other boat’s wood. „I can reach it.“ Kara touched the cage on the other boat – the snake in there was shining in mint, auburn and reddish-black. Never had Kara seen such a beautiful animal. She wanted to prevent the foreigner from abducting this wonderful snake at all costs. Next to the cage rested also Ben’s compass. Due to the proximity to the animal it had charged with the new colors. Kara just needed to snatch it.
The stranger had completely focused on navigating, to the extent that initially he didn’t perceive how Kara tried to grasp the cage. When he turned around and saw what she had in mind he ran to the edge of the motorboat. Shortly before he managed to reach Kara Ben veered off.
„What are you doing? I almost had the snake and the compass!“
Now Kara realized what Ben had protected her from. Her adversary had a machete in his hand. Everybody here possessed a machete in order to be able to advance in the jungle. But in the hands of that thief it could cause a lot of damage.
„It’s not worth it,“ Ben explained. „What is important is that we are onto him. Have you been able to see the compass? Did he also have the colors?
„Then everything is fine. I don’t want you to be hurt, and if the compass has, indeed, absorbed the color of this beautiful animal we can as well get it back later.“
Suddenly their boat’s engine broke down. Several thick aquatic plants had wrapped around the propeller, with the effect that the engine had overheated. When Ben and Kara had removed the plants the stranger’s boat had already disappeared in one of the branches of the Amazon. There were so many of them that they couldn’t find the stranger any longer.
„We have lost him, Kara. However, now we know that we will be able to solve the riddle even without the compass. With regard to the next colors we will develop a better plan and we will then get our guidepost back.“
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