Piled onto the captain’s abandoned raft, Charles and his friends stare down at a door set into the planks. A secret compartment, Charles thinks, but as he cautiously opens the cubby, he is not met by a small compartment for stowing trinkets, rather, an entire basement! To be clear, the basement is a physical impossibility. First of all, it’s far too big to hide under the little boat. Second, as they lean out over the water to peer below the raft, they see nothing beneath them but water, sand, and weeds. Third, the interior of the lower cabin is made of more logs—like a log cabin out in the woods—no way it’s watertight.

In the cabin, they spy Captain Kid, looking up at them as he sprawls in a hammock hung between a pair of bookcases. What’s more, the captain is not alone. In a dark corner of the room, sits the most menacing cowboy. A hat hides his face, his coat is worn and dusty, and the points of his black boots cut hard triangular shapes into the line of sunlight falling at his feet. Also, he’s carrying a rifle.

Here sits the reason the Patch Fairy’s gone missing—she’s been kidnapped: Charles believes this, but he is wrong. The fairy was kidnapped, true, but not by the cowboy. The shadowy stranger folds open his duster to reveal a metal star pinned to his shirt. He is a U. S. Marshal, presumably one of the good guys, and he and the captain are planning a rescue mission.

That is when this cowboy, Marshal Rayban, notices Charles and his friends know nothing of, what he calls, the decks. What are these decks? Charles doesn’t know. Evidently, they’re important to the cowboy because, peering over at Captain Kid, he rumbles, “Are you going to explain it, or should I?”

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