The gas has run out on the sand buggy, and the kids have spent their second night in the desert, but setting off the following morning they find the town they’re looking for, Doloptree. As the captain said, Doloptree isn’t much of a town. In fact, it’s hardly more than a truck stop, and a strange truck stop at that: a combo gas station, restaurant, and post office…That’s not especially odd, but, for some reason, all the diesel pumps are stretched out in a line a half a mile long. Also, working in the joint, they find only a kid and two teenagers. The kid, who is a waiter in the restaurant, has had a run in with Castatine, in which he’s agreed to rob a store register in exchange for her casting a spell on him to make him a radar man…whatever that is. But, the trade was no good. After handing over the money, Castatine drugged him, making him fall asleep for the rest of the day. While he was passed out, she called someone on a payphone—no one good, we’re sure—then sabotaged the phone lines. Afterward, she split town on the train.
Speaking of trains, the next one will arrive in town in just a little while to take Captain Kid’s rescue party to their next stop, to Atsuma, the Great City. But whatever they find there, Charles has determined it will be his last stop before turning back for home. And he intends to take his friends with him.
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