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Blackbeard, probably the most idealized pirate of all time, is inadvertently raised from the dead by the two teenage boys of this story. Either tradition carved out an undeserved reputation for him, or his personality faded over the ages, but this folksy apparition seems to be missing his old swashbuckle. The prologue blends some facts about Blackbeard's last days, protected by the Governor of the Carolinas until his undoing by the Governor of Virginia, with a tale about a tavern built by the pirate and his crew. When the old tavern is to be torn down and replaced by a gas station, J.D. Jones and Hank Obertuffer poke around in the rubble and find an old incantation which they read aloud at a mock seance. The spectral old salt makes his appearance, and rants about town until he gets to repossess the tavern, and thereby avenge his betrayal. Blackbeard emerges as a greasy looking fellow, with an underlay of bluster rather than fire. The boys, who seem too young for their high school classes, have tedious wise-cracking, ungrammatical conversations. The author has included a number of paintings in his widely popular Saturday Evening Post style.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1965
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin