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Authors: Terry Deary

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The Goose Guards

BOOK: The Goose Guards
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Illustrated by Helen Flook

A & C Black • London

First published 2008 by

A & C Black Publishers Ltd

38 Soho Square, London, W1D 3HB

www.acblack.com

Text copyright © 2008 Terry Deary

Illustrations copyright © 2008 Helen Flook

The rights of Terry Deary and Helen Flook to be identified as the author and illustrator of this work have been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

eISBN: 978-1-40813-876-2

A CIP catalogue for this book is available from the British Library.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means–graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval systems–without the prior permission in writing of the publishers.

This book is produced using paper that is made from wood grown in managed, sustainable forests. It is natural, renewable and recyclable. The logging and manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.

Printed and bound in Great Britain by Cox & Wyman Ltd.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

AFTERWORD

ONE

Rome, 387 BC

Rome is built on seven hills, they say. And the greatest hill is the Capitol Hill. And on that hill stand three mighty temples:

The temple of Jupiter–king of the gods.

The temple of Juno–queen of the gods.

And the temple of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom.

Three mighty gods, and their greatest duty was to guard the city of Rome.

And they did … but only just! When I was a boy, I was a young priest at the temple of Juno. It was the most exciting time of my life, I can tell you, but the hardest time, too. We never stopped working.

In the mornings, we had lessons with the head priest, Marius. He liked shouting at me. No, he
loved
shouting at me.

“Brutus!” he sneered, as if I were a beetle that had crawled from inside his bread. “Brutus, tell me the name of the god of
weeding
?”

“Er… er…” I stammered.

The black-haired, brown-eyed girl next to me smirked seeing me suffer. Her name was Fabia and she was slippery sly.

“Insitor,” she whispered from the corner of her mouth.

“Insitor!” I cried out. “Insitor … the god of weeding, sir.”

The face of Marius looked like a thundercloud. He spoke slowly, the way you speak to a baby. “Insitor is the god of
sowing seeds
. The god of weeding is … who? Tell him, Fabia.”

“Please, sir, the god of weeding is Sarritor,” she smiled and showed her pointed, dog teeth.

“Well done, Fabia,” Marius said and the thundercloud lifted. He almost smiled. “As for you, Brutus,” he sighed. “What are we going to do with you?”

“Send him to weed the fields for a day,” Fabia said quickly. “He can spend the whole day praying to Sarritor, and that will help him learn.”

“Splendid idea, Fabia,” the high priest said. “To the fields, Brutus,” he ordered. “To the fields!”

BOOK: The Goose Guards
6.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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