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What Kids Say About Carole Marsh Mysteries . . . “I love the real locations! Reading the books always makes me want to go and visit them all on our next family vacation. My Mom says maybe, but I can’t wait!” “One day, I want to be a real kid in one of Ms. Marsh’s mystery books. I think it would be fun, and I think I am a real character anyway. I filled out the application and sent it in and am keeping my fingers crossed!” “History was not my favorite subject till I starting reading Carole Marsh Mysteries. Ms. Marsh really brings history to life. Also, she leaves room for the scary and fun.” “I think Christina is so smart and brave. She is lucky to be in the mystery books because she gets to go to a lot of places. I always wonder just how much of the book is true and what is made up. Trying to figure that out is fun!” “Grant is cool and funny! He makes me laugh a lot!!” “I like that there are boys and girls in the story of different ages. Some mysteries I outgrow, but I can always find a favorite character to identify with in these books.” “They are scary, but not too scary. They are funny. I learn a lot. There is always food which makes me hungry. I feel like I am there.”


What Parents and Teachers Say About Carole Marsh Mysteries . . . “I think kids love these books because they have such a wealth of detail. I know I learn a lot reading them! It’s an engaging way to look at the history of any place or event. I always say I’m only going to read one chapter to the kids, but that never happens—it’s always two or three, at least!” —Librarian “Reading the mystery and going on the field trip—Scavenger Hunt in hand—was the most fun our class ever had! It really brought the place and its history to life. They loved the real kids characters and all the humor. I loved seeing them learn that reading is an experience to enjoy!” —4th grade teacher “Carole Marsh is really on to something with these unique mysteries. They are so clever; kids want to read them all. The Teacher’s Guides are chock full of activities, recipes, and additional fascinating information. My kids thought I was an expert on the subject—and with this tool, I felt like it!” —3rd grade teacher “My students loved writing their own Real Kids/Real Places mystery book! Ms. Marsh’s reproducible guidelines are a real jewel. They learned about copyright and more & ended up with their own book they were so proud of!” —Reading/Writing Teacher “The kids seem very realistic—my children seemed to relate to the characters. Also, it is educational by expanding their knowledge about the famous places in the books.” “They are what children like: mysteries and adventures with children they can relate to.” “Encourages reading for pleasure.” “This series is great. It can be used for reluctant readers, and as a history supplement.”


by Carole Marsh


Copyright ©2016 Carole Marsh/Gallopade International Current Edition August 2016 All rights reserved. Manufactured in Peachtree City, GA Ebook edition Copyright ©2016 Carole Marsh Mysteries™ and its skull colophon are the property of Carole Marsh and Gallopade International. Published by Gallopade International/Carole Marsh Books. Printed in the United States of America. Senior Editor: Janice Baker Assistant Editor: Susan Walworth Cover Design: John Hanson Content Design and Illustrations: Randolyn Friedlander Cover Photo Credits: Front: Amy N. Harris/Bigstock.com; iclipart.com Back: pablopicasso/Bigstock.com; quinet/CC BY 2.0; bhofack22/Bigstock.com Gallopade International is introducing SAT words that kids need to know in each new book we publish. The SAT words are bold in the story. Look for this special logo beside each word in the glossary. Happy Learning! Gallopade is proud to be a member and supporter of these educational organizations and associations: American Booksellers Association American Library Association International Reading Association National Association for Gifted Children The National School Supply and Equipment Association The National Council for the Social Studies Museum Store Association Association of Partners for Public Lands Association of Booksellers for Children Association for the Study of African American Life and History National Alliance of Black School Educators This book is a complete work of fiction. All events are fictionalized, and although the names of real people are used, their characterization in this book is fiction. All attractions, product names, or other works mentioned in this book are trademarks of their respective owners and the names and images used in this book are strictly for editorial purposes; no commercial claims to their use is claimed by the author or publisher. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.


Years Ago . . . As a mother and an author, one of the fondest periods of my life was when I decided to write mystery books for children. At this time (1979), kids were pretty much glued to the TV, something parents and teachers complained about the way they do about web surfing and video games today. I decided to set each mystery in a real place—a place kids could go and visit for themselves after reading the book. And I also used real children as characters. Usually a couple of my own children served as characters, and I had no trouble recruiting kids from the book’s location to also be characters. Also, I wanted all the kids—boys and girls of all ages—to participate in solving the mystery. And, I wanted kids to learn something as they read—something about the history of the location. And, I wanted the stories to be funny. That formula of real+scary+smart+fun served me well. I love getting letters from teachers and parents who say they read the book with their class or child, then visited the historic site and saw all the places in the mystery for themselves. What’s so great about that? What’s great is that you and your children have an experience that bonds you together forever—something you shared; something you all cared about at the time; and something that crossed all age levels: a good story, a good scare, and a good laugh!

Carole Marsh


Hey, kids! As you see—here we are ready to embark on another of our exciting Carole Marsh Mystery adventures! You know, in “real life,” I keep very close tabs on Christina, Grant, and their friends when we travel. However, in the mystery books, they always seem to slip away from Papa and me so that they can try to solve the mystery on their own! I hope you will go to www.carolemarshmysteryclub.com and apply to be a character in a future mystery book! Well, the Mystery Girl is all tuned up and ready for “take-off!” Gotta go...Papa says so! Wonder what I’ve forgotten this time? Happy “Armchair Travel” Reading, Mimi


About the Characters Christina: Mysterious things really do happen to her! Hobbies: soccer, Girl Scouts, anything crafty, hanging out with Mimi, and going on new adventures Grant: Always manages to fall off boats, back into cactuses, and find strange clues—even in real life! Hobbies: camping, baseball, computer games, math, and hanging out with Papa Mimi is Carole Marsh, children’s book author and creator of Carole Marsh Mysteries, Around the World in 80 Mysteries, Three Amigos Mysteries, Baby’s First Mysteries, and many others. Papa is Bob Longmeyer, the author’s real-life husband, who really does wear a tuxedo, cowboy boots and hat, fly an airplane, captain a boat, speak in a booming voice, and laugh a lot! Travel around the world with Christina and Grant as they visit famous places in 80 countries, and experience the mysterious happenings that always seem to follow them!


Books in This Series #1 The Mystery at Big Ben • (London, England) #2 The Mystery at the Eiffel Tower • (Paris, France) #3 The Mystery at the Roman Colosseum • (Rome, Italy) #4 The Mystery of the Ancient Pyramid • (Cairo, Egypt) #5 The Mystery on the Great Wall of China • (Beijing, China) #6 The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef • (Australia) #7 The Mystery at Mt. Fuji • (Tokyo, Japan) #8 The Mystery in the Amazon Rainforest • (South America) #9 The Mystery at Dracula’s Castle • (Transylvania, Romania) #10 The Curse of the Acropolis • (Athens, Greece) #11 The Mystery at the Crystal Castle • (Bavaria, Germany) #12 The Mystery in Icy Antarctica #13 The Rip-Roaring Mystery on the African Safari • (South Africa) #14 The Breathtaking Mystery on Mount Everest • (The Top of the World) #15 The Mystery of the Onion Domes • (Russia) #16 The Mystery at the Maya Ruins • (Mexico) #17 The Mystery of the Northern Lights • (Canada) #18 The Mystery at the Taj Mahal • (India) #19 The Mystery at Machu Picchu • (Peru)


Table of Contents

... Page# Prelude...................................................................... 1 1. Sneezes and Bean Juice............................................ 3 2. Flying Saucers or Hats?............................................ 9 3. Threat or Warning?................................................. 15 4. The Mystery’s in the Bag!...................................... 21 5. Cocoa in Cusco........................................................ 25 6. Too Many Angles.................................................... 31 7. Many Angles, No Angels......................................... 39 8. A Golden Clue......................................................... 45 9. Race to the Mountain............................................. 51 10. In Hot Water........................................................... 59 11. Spitting Blur of Fur................................................. 63 12. Llama Lore.............................................................. 73 13. Picking Potatoes, Sharing Secrets.......................... 83 14. Aqueduct or Aqueduck............................................ 89 15. Puffy Ankle, Broken Dream................................... 93 16. Wonder of the World............................................... 97 17. Toenail Tracks...................................................... 103 18. Condor Conundrum.............................................. 107 19. Mummies and Spit Bullets.................................... 111 20. Incan Royalty?....................................................... 121 About the Author.................................................. 125 Talk About It!........................................................ 126 Bring It to Life!..................................................... 128 Machu Picchu Trivia............................................. 130 Glossary................................................................ 132


Peru

Peru Machu Picchu


Prelude Dalila picked her way along the steep, rocky trail to the home her ancestors had occupied alongside the mighty Incans. Each step scraped the rugged stones, delivering hollow echoes off the mountainside. The occasional air plant sent its spidery leaves crawling into the twilight to tickle her nose, causing her to jump, afraid that something or someone had grabbed her. She stopped to look over a cliff at the twinkling lights of the tiny town far below. That was home. But somehow, this mountaintop felt like home too. When she reached a wide patch of soft grass, Dalila decided to bed down for the night. But before she could drift off to sleep, she smelled churros, her favorite treat, and she heard the voices. They sounded angry‌

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The Mystery at Machu Picchu

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1 Sneezes and Bean Juice “What’s the name of this place you want to go to?” Grant asked his sister Christina as she stared out the window of the bumping, swaying tour bus. They were on the last leg of a 600-mile trip from Lima, Peru, to the city of Cusco. During the long ride with Grant and their grandparents Mimi and Papa, Christina had watched the landscape change from desert terrain with massive sand dunes to grasslands dotted with deer-like animals called vicuñas. Now, the road twisted like a snake through the stunning Andes Mountains in the late afternoon light. The mountains’ gray, craggy peaks wore 3


The Mystery at Machu Picchu

snow like old ladies in crocheted night caps. Swaths of green vegetation spread around their ancient shoulders like warm shawls. “Did you hear me?” Grant asked. Christina sighed. Her shoulders, arms, and neck went limp as her long brown hair cascaded over the guidebook on her lap. Slowly, she looked at Grant with narrowed blue eyes and said, “I have a headache, and I…am…not…saying…it…again!” “Not saying what?” Grant asked. “MACHU PICCHU!” she angrily yelled in his ear. “Gesundheit!” Grant said, his blond curls bouncing like springs as he fell back in his seat laughing. “That wasn’t funny the first time you said it,” Christina said, squeezing her head between her palms. “It’s even less funny the tenth time!” “Sure it is! You know ‘Machu Picchu’ rhymes with ACHOOOOOOO!” he said, spraying Christina’s face with a fine mist of spit. “Really?” Christina replied, disgusted. She wiped her face with the bottom of her shirt. “I already had a shower this morning, thank you.”

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Sneezes and Bean Juice

“So did I,” Grant remarked matter-of-factly. “A bean juice shower.” He made a burping sound and stuck out his tongue. “I think I swallowed some. It tasted awful.” “What on earth are you talking about?” Christina asked. “What other kind of shower would you take in a place called ‘Lima bean’?” Grant asked. Christina rolled her eyes and shook her head. “The capital of Peru is not pronounced that way, Grant. The ‘i’ is pronounced like a long ‘e.’ Leeeeeema,” she said, exaggerating the “e.” “And didn’t you notice that your shower water wasn’t green?” Christina loved her little brother. But his corny jokes were getting on her nerves. This was her first trip to South America and she wouldn’t let him spoil it! Christina was excited when her grandparents invited them to travel to Peru during summer vacation. Her grandmother Mimi was a famous author of children’s mystery books. She had a book about Peru in mind and wanted to experience the country’s sights, sounds, and smells before she started writing. 5


The Mystery at Machu Picchu

Christina remembered the conversation: “You’re chasing an excuse for a vacation like a hound dog chasing a three-legged rabbit,” Papa said in his deep, folksy cowboy voice. Mimi raked her sparkly red reading glasses through her blond hair as she pushed them to the top of her head. She winked at Papa, knowing she would get exactly what she wanted. “Hope you’re hungry for some rabbit stew when I catch that rabbit!” Grant’s reaction was less enthusiastic. “Sounds kind of boring,” he said. “If you’ve seen one America, haven’t you seen them all?” “Does he really have to go?” Christina whined. “You know he won’t appreciate the history and culture of Peru!” Christina’s class had just learned about the mighty Inca empire, which had flourished before the Spanish came to South America. She was eager to learn more, especially about one particular place. “Can we visit Machu Picchu?” she asked excitedly. “Hmmm,” Mimi hummed. “Machu Picchu is probably the most mysterious place in Peru. Sounds like the perfect setting for a mystery!” 6


Sneezes and Bean Juice

“You mean mystery book,” Papa corrected. “A made-up story. You know these kids can sniff out a mystery better than a bee can sniff out a flower. And one day I’m afraid they’re gonna get stung.” “Nothing to worry about, Papa,” Christina said, smiling innocently. “The only mystery we have to solve is why Machu Picchu was abandoned centuries ago. No one knows for sure. But some people believe space aliens built it, and that there were human sacrifices there.” “Now you’re talking,” Grant said, his eyes growing as large as a waking owl. “This might be worth giving up part of my summer vacation. Space aliens and human sacrifices? I’m in!” Suddenly, Christina felt the bus accelerate, then swerve. The motion jarred her from reminiscing and smooshed her face against the window. Tires screeched and Christina saw nothing below but a straight drop down the side of a rocky cliff!

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The Mystery at Machu Picchu

8


2 Flying Saucers or Hats? “AAAIIIIEEEEEE!” Grant shrieked. His fingers dug into his sister’s arm. Abruptly, the bus jerked to the opposite side of the road. It scraped the mountainside and sent a shower of sparks dancing like a flock of fireflies. Brakes squealed, passengers screamed, and the driver worked frantically to stop the bus. Every head lurched forward, then back. Finally, the bus was still. “Sorry,” the driver announced with a thick Peruvian accent. He mopped his forehead with a blue handkerchief. “All is well now.”

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The Mystery at Machu Picchu

The commotion had wakened Mimi and Papa, napping in their seats behind Christina and Grant. Befuddled, Mimi, her signature red lipstick smeared in a clown-like frown, asked the children, “Everyone OK?” “Whewwwwwww!” Christina said, letting out the breath she’d been holding. She could still see the imprint of Grant’s fingers in her arm. She rubbed them away and then massaged her temples. “I’m fine, Mimi,” she answered. “My headache is worse, though.” “Christina, I’m afraid you have altitude sickness,” Papa said. He rummaged through Mimi’s red purse and pulled out a bottle. “This should help until you acclimate,” he said, shaking two pills into Christina’s hand. “What does acclimate mean?” Grant asked. “We’re almost 11,000 feet above sea level here in the Andes Mountains,” Papa explained. “That’s about 10,000 feet higher than where we live in the United States. There’s much less oxygen in the air at this altitude and our bodies have to work harder to get that oxygen. But gradually, our bodies will ‘acclimate,’ or get used to it.”

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Flying Saucers or Hats?

“So that’s what’s different about South America,” Grant said. “It’s higher than North America!” “That’s not how it works, Grant,” Papa corrected. “It depends on where you are on the continent. But remember, the Andes Mountains are the world’s highest mountain range outside of Asia.” “Wow!” Grant said. “No wonder I feel kinda sick to my stomach.” He threw Christina a mischievous look and whispered, “I thought it was the bean juice.” “Altitude sickness affects everyone differently,” Mimi explained. “Luckily, Machu Picchu is lower than Cusco, so we’ll be fine when we get there.” “Machu what?” Grant asked. “Don’t tell him!” Christina begged. “Picchu,” Mimi replied, innocently. “Bless you!” Grant said. Mimi chuckled as the bus sputtered back onto the highway. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Mimi,” Christina said with a weak smile. 11


The Mystery at Machu Picchu

Grant leaned over Christina and craned his neck to see what had caused the bus to swerve. “Hey, people with pizzas on their heads are shooing sheep!” “What?!” Christina exclaimed. She looked out to see two young girls herding a flock of sheep along a narrow path beside the road. “Those aren’t pizzas, Grant,” Christina said. “They’re traditional hats. Aren’t the bright colors beautiful?” She twisted in her seat to face Mimi and Papa. “I read that you can tell which community people are from by the type of hat they wear. That probably comes from the time of the Incan empire. The common people weren’t allowed to travel, and each time a new area was conquered, they were assigned a certain type of clothing. If they were caught outside their area they would be in big trouble, or possibly killed.” “Well, I still think they look like pizzas, or…flying saucers!” Grant exclaimed. “Maybe their ancestors saw the aliens that built Machu Picchu leave in flying saucers and made hats that looked like them!”

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Flying Saucers or Hats?

“I’ll never understand how your mind works,” Christina said. Soon, Christina’s ears began to pop. “Do you have any more of that gum you’ve been smacking?” she asked Grant. She had remembered that Papa always told them to chew gum when changing altitude to make their ears feel better. “I always have a supply,” he said, fishing a stick out of his pocket. Mimi tapped Christina on the shoulder. “We’re descending into the valley,” she said. “We’re almost there!” A man in the seat in front of them began frantically gathering his things. He pulled on a colorful knitted hat with a tassel of red and green threads at the top. Grant covered his mouth, pointed, and snickered. “Where does that hat say he’s from?” he whispered. “The circus?”

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The Mystery at Machu Picchu

Christina elbowed her brother. “That’s the most famous type of hat in Peru,” she explained, keeping her voice low. “It’s called a chullo—choo, like a choo-choo train, and yo, like a yo-yo—chullo.” During the trip, Christina had noticed the man glancing nervously over his shoulder toward the back of the bus. Once, she had turned to see what he found so interesting, or by the look on his face, disturbing. But she saw nothing unusual. WHOOOOSH! Finally, the bus slowed and the brakes let out a sigh of relief that their hard work was over. The man in the chullo yanked a bag from the overhead compartment. The kids noticed a tattoo on his coppery brown wrist—a chubby cross with stairstep sides. “We survived!” Grant said. “Safe and sound!” The man paused at Grant’s remark and said, “No estés tan seguro!” He then dropped a bag in Grant’s lap and scurried for the door.

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3 Threat or Warning? “Now that was weird!” Grant said, examining the woven square bag covered with strange symbols. “Why did he give me this bag, and what did he say?” “I’m not sure,” Christina said, as puzzled as Grant. “My Spanish is not that good. Maybe he was annoyed with your corny jokes.” “I’ll show Mimi and Papa,” Grant said as he stood up. But Christina pushed him back into his seat and looked back at their grandparents busily gathering their belongings. She lowered her voice to a whisper. “You know how they feel about us getting involved in mysteries. Something like

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The Mystery at Machu Picchu

this could ruin their trip, and I won’t let that happen!” “Well, maybe I can catch him to give it back,” Grant said, tucking the bag in his backpack. Outside, Grant and Christina carefully surveyed the bus passengers to find the mysterious man. People wearing chullos were everywhere! Grant spotted someone wearing a chullo with a red and green tassel and tapped the person on the shoulder, thinking it was the bag’s owner. But a woman with a mouthful of big teeth turned and grinned at him. “Sorry,” Grant said, turning redder than the setting sun. “I thought you were someone else.” “I don’t see him anywhere,” Christina said. “It’s like he vanished into thin air!” “Like a ghost!” Grant agreed. “Maybe we should give it to the bus driver,” Christina suggested. But she had barely gotten the words out of her mouth before they heard the bus pull away. “Oh well,” Grant said. “Guess I’m the new owner of a Peruvian murse!” “Murse?” Christina asked.

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Threat or Warning?

“A man purse,” Grant said, snickering and wrapping his arms tightly around his body. “Brrrrrr! Why is it so cold? It’s summer!” “No, it’s not, Grant,” Christina corrected. “It’s winter.” “Nooooo…” Grant insisted. “It’s June, remember?” “Yesssss…” Christina said, mocking him. “Peru is below the equator. When it’s summer in North America, which is above the equator, it’s winter below the equator. But we’re close to the equator here so it’s fairly mild during the day, even in winter. It gets cold at night, though.” “Interesting,” Grant said. “Another difference between North America and South America. Guess I need one of those funny looking hats to keep warm.” “Hurry!” the kids heard Papa yell across the crowd. He was motioning them to a taxi. The taxi driver drove wildly through the streets of Cusco, ignoring many of the traffic signs. Mimi was thrilled as they passed historic buildings in the ancient city. “This was the capital

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The Mystery at Machu Picchu

of the Incan empire,” she said. “It was actually laid out in the shape of a puma.” “Isn’t a puma like a mountain lion?” Christina asked. “Yes,” Mimi answered. “The Inca worshipped them because they were strong and fearless. The last great Inca king, Huayna Capac, wanted the people to be strong and fearless too. He also wanted his kingdom to have good, wide roads so the people could trade cloth and jewelry.” “W-w-w-wish he had m-m-made them-m-m smoooother,” Grant said, as the car rattled over the cobblestone streets. “Th-th-this isn’t helping m-m-my stomach.” Christina, who had finished a full year of Spanish in school, was thumbing through her English/Spanish dictionary. “D-d-don’t be s-s-so sure,” her voice vibrated. “I know how my stomach feels,” Grant said, relieved that the taxi had stopped in front of the hotel. “No,” Christina said, “I mean the man on the bus. When you said, ‘We survived safe and sound,’ he said in Spanish, ‘Don’t be so sure.’ ”

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Threat or Warning?

Grant looked worried. “If he knew what I said, then he must understand English,” he observed. “Why didn’t he speak in English?” “I don’t know,” Christina said. “Spanish is the official language of Peru. Of course, before the Spanish conquistadors came here looking for gold, the Inca spoke the Quechua language. Many people here still do.” “Thanks for the history lesson on Peruvian language,” Grant said sarcastically. “But are you sure that’s what he said? It sounds like a threat.” “Or a warning,” Christina said, staring directly into Grant’s blue eyes.

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The Mystery at Machu Picchu  

Christina and Grant get the chance of a lifetime to visit Peru and the incredible Incan ruins at Machu Picchu. They meet two Peruvian kids l...

The Mystery at Machu Picchu  

Christina and Grant get the chance of a lifetime to visit Peru and the incredible Incan ruins at Machu Picchu. They meet two Peruvian kids l...

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