If you missed chapter 1, it’s here.
If you suddenly found that you could fly, what would you do? Would you whoop and holler and zoom around the room? Would you tremble and shake and try to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground? Would you laugh? Would you cry? Would you tell all your friends? Or would you make it your own little secret?
Tommy Major didn’t do any of those things. It was a bit of a shock to discover that he could hover in mid-air. His first thought was something like, “!!!???!!!???!!!” But then his second thought was, “Now I can follow that mysterious creature down the hole and find out what it is and what it was doing here.” And that is exactly what he did.
Just as soon as he disappeared down the dark hole, Flops the puppy pulled his scared little tail out from between his legs and picked up one of those purple rocks from the creature’s bag. He could feel it vibrating in his mouth. First his head, then his body, then his tail got all warm and tingly. He could hear a humming noise that made him howl. And when the noise went away, there he was, floating two feet off the ground. Then he ducked his head and flew straight down that hole after Tommy.
When Tommy and Flops got to the bottom of the deep, deep hole, they found a large cavern. It was not so dark here because there was a tunnel leading out of the cavern and into the bright daylight outside. Tommy could just see the dark creature gliding along that tunnel. He gave a shout and flew straight toward it. The creature could move very fast, but apparently it couldn’t fly, so Tommy and Flops caught up to it just as it was about to reach the outside. Flops flew straight over and landed in front of the opening, blocking the way while Tommy reached down to grab the creature.
But he couldn’t do it. Tommy put his hands around the creature and lifted, but it glooped right through his hands like so much jello. Tommy was even more surprised than he had been when he found out he was flying. Immediately, he dropped to the ground with a thud. Ignoring his jarred legs, he reached out again, and again his hands found nothing really solid to hold on to. The creature was black as a shadow and seemed to have legs that it was walking on, but it was nothing but goo. As soon as it was free from Tommy’s hands, it ran ahead, straight toward Flops. Flops barked warningly, but the creature just smooshed right through Flops’ legs and out of the tunnel. There was nothing Tommy and Flops could do. They stood in the opening and watched the creature disappear down the mountainside.
Tommy knew they should get back to the rest of the family. They would be wondering where he had gone. He whistled for Flops, and the two of them flew back up the tunnel, into the cavern, up the long chute that led them there, and into the tunnel where they had left the bag of purple stones. Between the two of them, they managed to carry the bag back up to the place where the rest of the Major family was working.
You can imagine how Tommy’s parents and sisters felt when they saw him flying toward them! Mr. and Mrs. Major’s eyes got wider and wider and wider, and Pansy’s mouth fell open so far that a little fly buzzed right in, and Baby Rose was so scared that she fell right down on the floor. Tommy landed and told the family the whole story. They carefully examined the rocks as Tommy pulled them from the bag and made a small purple pile on the floor.
Then they each took a rock.
Pansy felt the vibrating and the warm tingle. She was so excited to start flying like her brother. But when the feeling passed, she was still standing on the floor, and no amount of jumping could make her soar into the air. That made her mad. In a fit, she threw the now dull rock to the ground. It hit the ground with such force that it buried itself in the hard rock floor. Everyone stared. Pansy couldn’t fly, but she was now stronger than the strongest man they had ever seen.
Mr. Major held tight to his rock while it grew warmer and warmer in his hand. He felt the tingle pass through him. Then he looked around to see if anything had happened. His family just looked back at him. He seemed the same. Until his hands started to feel a little warm again. He held them up and looked at them. Then he pointed at the wall, and fire shot out of his fingertips, scorching the rock in front of him. Mrs. Major screamed. Pansy and Tommy cheered.
Mrs. Major thought that holding the rock felt very strange. She also thought that it didn’t do anything to her at all. But that was because she couldn’t see that she had turned invisible. Her family watched her disappear, though. They were quite impressed.
Baby Rose didn’t know what to think of that strange glowing feeling because she was only a baby. She did know that she thought it was very, very funny when she could crawl faster than her big brother could run. Mrs. Major may not have thought it was quite as funny, but she had much more on her mind than her worries about a super-fast baby.
They all did. They realized that the mines of Morado held a treasure much more valuable than diamonds. A treasure that was both wonderful and also very dangerous. They were pretty sure that the mysterious black creature that had collected these purple rocks would be coming back to try again. They were pretty sure that it was up to no good. And they were pretty sure that it was now their job to protect these special rocks from anyone who was up to no good.
And so it was that the real adventures of the Major family began.