"Wow! What was it? Peter, did you see it?" asked Tom. Since he went into the box upside-down, he hadn't seen anything.
"I sure did," said Peter. "It looked like a train, but it ran on big, fat tires instead of a track. The engine was pulling six little boxcarts. One was covered; the others were open and loaded with stuff."
"What kind of stuff?"
"Lots of crates and boxes--like the ones we saw this morning. One had a picture of a weird creature with a long tongue...."
"That reminds me," interrupted Colin, "I left the Ouija Board."
"Forget it. We've got to get out of here. The train may be coming back!"
"Yea, after it unloads all that weird stuff. Hurry!"
They ran deeper into the tunnel. Then, out of breath, they collapsed on the rocky floor. "I have a headache," said Colin.
"Me too," said Peter. "The air is terrible in here."
"And the floor's all wet and slippery from the dripping ceiling."
"I still think we should turn back," said Tom. He didn't want to get any closer to Lucidia.
"I can't move," mumbled Peter. "It's too hard to breathe in here."
"Yeah," agreed Colin. "Besides, the train is back there. If they find us, I have a feeling they aren't going to like us--especially since we found their secret storage place."
Tom had been wondering about all the boxes back in the storage place. "Colin, do you think those boxes had something to do with the war?" He stopped to catch his breath.
"What war?" asked Colin.
"The King talked about people from Lucidia invading our land. Could those games and toys be part of the invasion?"
"Yeah. You came from Lucidia," added Peter. "You must know something about it?"
Colin squirmed. "I don't know anything about this tunnel or the toys. All I know is that the Baron told us to move to Troth and get to know the people."
"But why did he send you to the Kingdom? There must be a reason."
"We were supposed to tell you what we believed and share our things with you."
"You mean the games and toys in all those boxes?"
"I guess." Colin sounded defensive. "Anyway, they're all good things. There's nothing bad about them. You saw how the Ouija Board helped us this morning."
"Yea, great help!" moaned Tom. "Look where we are now!"
"I believe you, Colin," said Peter. "Everything looked pretty good to me."
A terrible thought struck Tom. "Where's Sasha?"
"I haven't seen her since that train passed us." Colin looked around.
"She would have been in front of it. Do you think they saw her?" Tom didn't want to think about that happy little dog being hit.
"Hey, I hear something. It's coming back!"
"The train! What should we do?"
"I can't. I'm too dizzy."
"Look for a hole or cave or something."
"There isn't any. We're trapped!"
At the last minute, they tried running, but the train caught up fast. Finally they just squeezed their bodies against the wall. Tom pulled his stomach tight to make himself even smaller. Maybe the train had enough room to pass. And just maybe the driver wouldn't see them.
But he did. The brakes shrieked as the train slid to a stop. A bright lantern focused straight on the boys. Then Tom heard a deep angry voice shout words he couldn't understand.
Two men jumped out of the engine and grabbed the boys. Pressing their way through the narrow passage between the wall and the side of the train, they pulled the boys to the door of the second car, shoved them into the darkness, and locked the door behind them.
Then the train started moving again.
Go to Chapter 15