call the authorities," Mr. Mondello ordered. "Ask to speak with
He's the man I spoke with about what's happening around here.
Show him that paper and tell him Dennie's being held captive in a
building on government property."
Mr. Mondello," Phil interrupted.
"Dennie's been given the poison tht makes you appear dead."
call Dora," Dr. Duvalier said.
"I thought this might happen at some point and asked her if
she could bring back the dead."
dead?" Artie asked.
"Dennie's not dead," he said slowly but with a world of
way of the poison," Dr. Duvalier clarified.
But you will need to take Dennie to her."
"Let's go," he said, leading Phil and Artie, whose stint
as a zombie now showed no physical effects save the pale, undernourished
look in his face.
They took the truck as far as they dared, then pulled off the road.
Phil led them to where Chet and Biff were waiting.
Chet cried out in surprise.
Biff ordered, his blue eyes stern.
are you sure you should be here?" Chet asked.
feel fine," Artie replied with a faint smile.
"And I'll feel even better once we get Dennie back."
haven't left," Biff said.
"But the short guy came back almost as soon as you
left," he added to Phil.
Mondello pulled out his gun.
"You boys stay here," he ordered.
"I'm going to go in for a closer look."
He crept up to the house and peered in the window.
Looking in, he was pleasantly shocked to see Dennie sitting at the
face was bruised but he was definitely alive.
Mondello made his way back to the boys and told them Dennie had apparently been
given an antidote in Phil's absence.
"Thank God," uttered Artie in relief, a sentiment echoed
by all present.
were they doing?" Artie asked his dad.
looks like they are getting ready to leave," he admitted.
you recognize anyone in there?" Biff asked.
Mondello shook his head.
"I don't recall having seen any of those men."
don't understand," Artie admitted, shaking his head.
"None of this makes sense."
it kind of does," Phil said.
Mr. Mondello demanded, looking at Phil.
Artie saw two men talking who should have had no contact with each
other," Phil began.
"They were afraid Artie would report the meeting to the
authorities, who, obviously don't know what is going on.
Anyway, they took
Artie out of the picture using the only item they had on them at
that moment, the powder."
it wasn't wither of the men I saw talking who did it," Artie
"It was this short guy."
Bokur," Chet said.
"He is the short dude."
a fraud," Biff snorted.
course he is," Mr. Mondello admitted, his brow wrinkled in thought.
"But he does have everyone fooled."
is definitely no backwoods prophet," Chet said in disgust.
he?" Artie asked.
do you mean,
Son?" Mr. Mondello asked.
he has all the natives believing he is some super magical being,"
"But he is smart enough to know what might pose a danger and
to have some type of physical evidence for what he is doing."
papers," Phil said.
"I don't think we will know what is going on unless we can
get our hands on those papers."
Chet said, looking at Artie a bit peculiarly.
"Shouldn't Dennie be our main concern?"
is," Artie said, as fast as he could.
"They must have revived him to use him as a hostage," he
are leaving something out," Phil observed.
must be someone involved from Jima's plantation that Dennie recognized, or
they wouldn't have taken Dennie in the first place," Artie commented.
they took you," Biff said, confused.
"And you didn't recognize anyone."
acted irrationally," Phil said, picking up on what Artie was trying
"They saw Artie and panicked.
But after Artie was rescued, they realized the jig was about up.
When Dennie turned up, they probably figured Artie must have told
about the meeting he witnessed."
you're saying they think Dennie knows all about what they are doing on
government property," Chet said.
think so," Phil answered.
that's the case, why didn't they just kill him? Or at least, why bother
to revive him?" Chet demanded.
they are planning on using him as a hostage," suggested Phil.
about the other, um, zombies?" Chet asked.
"Where are they?"
"That's a very good question," he said in an unhappy
we rescue Dennie now, we may not find the other victims."
aren't going to let them take Dennie away," Artie declared slowly, his
brown eyes flashing.
course not," Mr. Mondello quickly denied.
He looked around.
"I just wish Inspector Kuutin would hurry up and
have a plan?" Phil asked.
admitted Mr. Mondello, but it is dangerous and I don't want you boys to be
doesn't look like we have a choice," Biff said, looking at the cabin
and seeing the front door open.
it!" growled Mr. Mondello.
He looked at Artie.
"Are you up for this?" he asked.
nodded, his eyes determined as he saw Dennie being pushed through the door,
a gun in his back.
The left side of his face was swollen and bruised and his shirt
had been ripped open in the front.
It looked like someone had pulled him up by the front of his shirt
and beat him.
Artie wanted revenge more than he wanted anything, and not because
of what had happened to himself.
Mondello swallowed painfully before speaking.
"You have to go and let them capture you," he said.
way!" argued Biff.
Phil asked, looking at Mr. Mondello intently.
"What good will that do?"
is in no condition to fight," Mr. Mondello stated, looking at his
youngest son being hustled off into the woods.
"Artie needs to be near enough to Dennie to bring him down when
the fighting starts."
all?" Artie demanded.
all," concurred Mr. Mondello.
"I don't think you are well enough to fight either," he
"I want you both out of this."
"But we had better get moving before we lose them."
about the other victims?" Biff asked.
are going to follow them until they take us where they are going before
we make our move," Mr. Mondello said.
"But the sooner Artie..."
sooner I get captured, the better the chance I'll have to be right beside
Dennie when the fun starts," Artie finished.
"I'll get a bit ahead of them and let myself be caught,"
he added, moving away from his dad and friends.
not realizing what was happening, saw Artie by the trail ahead of them.
He started putting up a fuss, hoping Artie was lucid enough to get
away. One of his captors rounded on Dennie and hit him so hard, he fell
backwards onto the hard ground below, unmoving.
of the other men saw Artie at about the same time as Dennie hit the ground
and aimed his weapon at Artie.
Artie stood up and lifted his arms in the air.
He waited until
the man came and grabbed him by the arm and dragged him down to
he was released, he leaned down and helped Dennie to his feet.
realized Dennie didn't know how he was.
"It's okay, baby bandmate," Artie whispered in his slow
looked at Artie through one eye, the other to messed up to see out of.
Artie wasn't sure, but he would almost swear Dennie smiled. The
boys were hustled through the woods and back onto the Duvalier
Once there, they were taken further back into the woods, away from
the beach and away from the manor.
After a good hour and a half,
they stopped at a long building.
had seen this type of building before in history books.
It was no more than slave's quarters.
The natives of Haiti used to be slaves.
This building was obviously old, but it must have been well built
to have survived the weather all these years.
The two boys were taken inside.
Artie shuddered when he saw the people sitting against the wall,
their eyes staring straight ahead although they saw nothing.
glanced over at Artie and was relieved to see he wasn't freaking out.
He wondered where his dad and friends were.
Had they been able to follow him and Artie?
Although he had no clue as to what the plan was, he was positive
he and Artie had not been abandoned.
came over to the group as they entered the building.
"I'm sorry," he said to Dennie and Artie.
Artie, never having met the man, looked first at him and then at
your bandmates in this too?" Dennie asked thickly.
His mouth swollen.
Milan quickly replied. "They would be ashamed. I just...I just
wanted things to be easier," he said.
"Running a plantation is hard.
If we had more money, we could hire more workers, get more
machinery to help.
None of us would have to work seven days a week eighteen hours a
workers?" Artie asked, looking hard at him.
"Don't you mean make more?"
"They never did any work on our plantation."
saw them," Dennie argued.
Milan corrected him.
"You were at the boundary to government land, not our land,
when you watched them."
are you doing on government land?" Artie demanded.
the guy talking with the Bokur, found something one night while he was
digging a grave," Milan informed them.
a grave on government property?" Artie asked in disbelief.
"I thought your culture had ceremonies to do before one could
be buried properly."
killed a man," Milan admitted.
"A government official.
He buried the man, then felt the Gods would be after him for doing
such an evil and not giving the man a proper burial.
He went back to retrieve the body.
When he did, the body had decomposed.
More so than it should have.
Omar went to the Bokur.
The Bokur then contacted one of the men with the government.
The two people you saw talking the day you became one of the
undead, was Omar and that government official,
The Bokur was watching the meeting and saw you arrive.
He feared you might make trouble and so took your soul."
Artie said, figuring out what was being mined by the zombies.
"You use the
zombies to dig it since they are basically dead already."
the papers the Bokur has?" Artie demanded.
Milan said, thoughtfully.
"Must be the contract with the mercenaries who have agreed to
purchase the uranium."
when do mercenaries have written contracts?" Dennie snorted.
is not America," Milan pointed out.
"We are less strict with whom we do business and our laws are
a bit different than yours."
didn't you just kill me?" Dennie asked.
"I mean, you were using Artie, but not me.
Bokur believed you would make an adequate hostage should our government
find out about the uranium and try to take control of it.
It is, after all, theirs since it is on government property,"
are you going to do with us now?" Artie asked.
are to be used as hostages, as planned," Milan answered.
"The Bokur has eyes everywhere.
He knows you and your father have gotten to close to the
He knows you went to the authorities and has decided to close up
shop and cut our losses."
about these people?" Dennie demanded.
are dying anyway," Milan answererd.
"Unlike your bandmate, they have been exposed to too much for
make me sick," Dennie said, turning away from the young man.
did you get involved?" Artie asked.
"Omar came to me first," he admitted.
"I did not know what he should do and so sent him to the
the Bokur decided to set up shop, I had no choice.
Either I become a partner or I become a zombie."
authorities know what is going on," Artie said.
Nothing is going to help you now."
know," Milan siad, looking down at his feet.
"And now my family will know what I have done.
But I will not shame them more," he added, his eyes
Artie began but soon saw the answer to his unasked question.
Milan pulled a small revolver from his waistband and turned in one
fluid movement aimming
it at the Bokur.
As he pulled the trigger, Artie shoved Dennie to the floor as one
then two then three bullets rang out.
were heard from outside the building and within seconds several armed men
entered the building.
Fenton Mondello and the boys' friends followed close behind.
The entire affair was over in minutes.
The Bokur had been shot by Milan and lay dead.
Milan, lay on the ground near Artie and Dennie, two bullet entry
wounds visible on his chest among the blood which was flowing freely.
lifted Milan's shoulders into his arms.
"I...am sorry," he whispered.
"Please tell my family," he added.
"We will," he whispered as Milan's head fell to one
Mr. Mondello asked, rushing over to them.
he dead?" Chet asked, looking at Milan in disbelief.
He was having a hard time believing it was him.
Anthony or Kreg, but not Milan.
He had seemed the friendliest of the bandmates.
Artie said, lowering Milan back down to the ground.
"Where did they come from?" he asked, indicating the
Kuutin and these men were waiting outside in the undergrowth when we
arrived," Mr. Mondello said.
"They knew of this place and assumed this was were they were
holding their, uh, prisoners."
why didn't they look into this place before?" Biff demanded.
we thought Artie was being held on a private plantation," Mr. Mondello
explained, watching as Artie stood up and helped Dennie to his feet.
"They had no reason to believe Artie or anyone else was being
held here," he added as Artie and Dennie gave each other a hug.
antidote for the drug is in the flask attached to the leather cord around
his back," Dennie said, as one of the Hiatian officials came over to
do not think it will them much good," said the Inspector.
of the radiation poisoning?" Artie asked.
"Your father informed me you were a zombie," he
"This means you have been exposed."
Mr. Mondello said.
"And the sooner we return to the states, the sooner Artie,
and Dennie," he added, taking in the appearance of his youngest son
with a grimace of anguish,
"can get medical treatment."
do have facilities here," the Inspector stated.
know," Mr. Mondello replied.
"But I think my sons would feel much better if they were back
the plane doesn't leave for a few days yet," Phil pointed out.
called a friend of mine in Washington when Artie was found," Mr.
"He has arranged special clearance between the United States
and Haiti for a private flight back to the states.
Jack should be at the airport waiting for us."
go then," Artie said, pulling Dennie with him toward the exit.
"If I never come to Haiti again, it will still be too
The Mondello Boys belong to Simon and Schuster and the Stratemeyer Foundation. The Mondello Boys Fan Fiction authors of the Mondello Detective Agency have just borrowed them for an adventure or two. The authors promise to put the boys back when they are done with them. The authors do claim copyright to the original characters in this story. Please do not borrow original characters without express permission of the authors.