The Bare Bum Gang and the Valley of Doom

The Bare Bum Gang and the Valley of Doom by Anthony McGowan

Book: The Bare Bum Gang and the Valley of Doom by Anthony McGowan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anthony McGowan
Chapter One
    The path through the Valley of Doom was
narrow, and the dark, humid jungle closed
in all around us. Sweat poured down my
face, stinging my eyes. Exotic birds screeched
in the trees, and I could hear the sound of
giant, blood-sucking leeches squirming their
way towards us through the undergrowth.
    We were deep in enemy territory, so we
had to keep absolute radio silence, and if
anyone burped or farted they had to do it
really, really, really quietly.
    The mission had been planned with the
utmost care and attention. We were equipped
with the latest hi-tech gear. I had my best
binoculars, a magnifying glass, a bow and
arrow, one of the walkie-talkies, and a
cheese sandwich. The Moan (Phillip) had
his cowboy pistols (with caps, so they made
a good loud bang), a spear, the lemonade
bottle filled with Special Mixture Number
Seven, and a sausage roll. Noah, our Gang
Doctor, didn't believe in weapons so he
carried the funnel, a banana and six little
cartons of orange juice.

    Jennifer, the Moan's sister, was also
unarmed, but that was because she was
lethal in Ninja-style hand-to-hand combat
and all she needed was her tracksuit. And
her hands. Hand-to-hand combat is hard if
you haven't got any hands – say if they were
eaten by piranha fish while you dangled
them over the side of your boat on the
Amazon river.
    Jennifer had the balloons in her bum bag.
She hadn't brought any food supplies, but
I said she could have half of my cheese
sandwich, because I'm so nice.
    Jamie, our Gang General, was wearing
his camouflaged commando trousers, which
looked really cool. He'd also blackened his
face with burnt cork. You do that so the
enemy can't see you at night. The trouble
was it was half past ten in the morning,
so he looked a bit silly, although none of
us had the heart to tell him. As well as his
black face and combat trousers, Jamie had
the other walkie-talkie.
    The walkie-talkies would have been
brilliant for a secret mission like this, except
that the batteries had run out. The Moan
said that meant they were about as useful as
a chocolate teapot, but then I pointed out
that a chocolate teapot was actually very
useful indeed because you could eat it. In
fact it was miles better than a real teapot,
because we don't even like tea.
    I suppose I'd better explain the balloons
and the funnel and the Special Mixture
Number Seven. But to explain that I'll have
to explain why we were on the mission in
the first place.

Chapter Two
    Jennifer, who is a girl and therefore has a
very acute sense of smell, was the first to
notice it.
    'Poooooooooooh!' she screamed, one
evening when we met up in the den after
school. 'Smell that, Ludo!'
    'What?' I asked.
    'It smells of wee in here. Absolutely
    And it did. We all agreed. Our den smelled
of wee.
    'I think I'm sitting on a wet patch,' said
Noah, on the verge of tears. We'd all got
used to Noah being on the brink of tears.
He wasn't a complete cry-baby, just a bit
of a wuss.
    'Let's get out of here,' I said.
    So, Noah, me, Jenny, Jamie and The
Moan crawled out into the fresh air.
    But fresh air wasn't the only thing waiting
for us outside. There was a boy there too.
A boy none of us recognized. He had hair
so blond it almost looked white, and his
eyebrows and eyelashes were the same weird
pale colour.

    'Hello,' he said, in a weedy, friendly
    'Hi,' we all said together, because we're
not one of those gangs that attack on sight
like a pack of rabid wolves.
    'I saw who did it,' the new boy said.
    I stepped forward. I was Gang Leader so
I was in charge of important discussions.
    'Did what?'
    'Messed with your den.'
    'You mean weed in it?'
    'Yes. It was that big boy, the one called
Docherty – something like that.'
    'Docherty? You mean Dockery?'
    'That's it. I've only just moved here so I
don't know everyone's name yet. But not
just him – his friends were there too.'
Of course.
    The Dockery Gang.
    The Dockery Gang were the

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