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Skink: No Surrender
Transcript of Skink: No Surrender
- a 14 year-old boy who will do anything to help his cousin
- a one-eyed homeless man who is supposedly dead and was once a governer of Florida
- Richard's cousin, who runs away with someone she met online
- A mysterious criminal/kidnapper
- Richard's sometimes clueless stepfather, a real estate agent who can't sell any houses
- Richard's mom, who worries nonstop about him and Malley
- Richard's dad, who died one night after drinking two beers and crashed into the back of a UPS truck while unwrapping a Snickers bar on a skateboard
- the police officer that Richard stays in touch with, also an old pal of Richard's brothers.
Kyle & Robbie
- Richard's two older brothers, who go to the University of Florida in Gainesville
- Malley's best friend who is very worried about her
Corporal Talbo Chock
- a fallen marine who died in Afghanistan, whose name was stolen by Malley's kidnapper
Aunt Sandy & Uncle Dan
- Malley's parents, who are worried sick about their little girl
Nickel & Dime
- two brothers who don't know it, but they helped Richard find his cousin
- a retired police officer, also an old friend of the governer.
- a turtle egg thief that sells them to fancy restaurants to get money
- he risks his own life to find his cousin
- although he has caused trouble in his life, this time he wants nothing more than to find Malley
- he doesn't rest until Malley's case is closed
- he gives Richard a fake drivers licence after Skink's right foot is smashed
- she runs off with a guy she met online so she wouldn't have to go to Twigg Academy, a private school up in New Hampshire
- a guy in his mid-twenties who tricks young girls into running off with him, steals a fallen Marine's name, and steals cars, boats, license plates, a real trouble maker
The setting of this book is from the south-eastern part of Florida all the way to the Panhandle. However, the Choctawatchee River in the Panhandle is where most of the book takes place.
Malley, Richard's cousin, has gone missing one night. This isn't too out of the ordinary, because she'd run away twice before. But soon Richard finds out that this is not like the other times. He knew that she had met someone online, somebody by the name of Talbo Chock. With the help of Skink, a man that Richard met on the beach unusually one night, they find out that the real Talbo Chock is a fallen Marine that was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan. When they see the Orlando Airport security camera video, instead of getting on a plane to go to the Twigg Academy in New Hampshire, Malley gets into a car with the bogus Talbo Chock.
What helped Richard find Malley was a phone call from T.C.'s phone. Malley was pretending to call her mom, but instead called Richard. Richard asked her to say something about the weather if she was in Florida. She replied by saying it was sunny and clear. In this book, the ivorybill woodpecker is a very important clue because they are supposedly extinct, but Malley said that she had seen one. Only one place in Florida could still have ivorybills, and that one place is the Choctawhatchee River.
Skink: No Surrender
By: Carl Hiaasen
Where Malley and Richard live
Where Malley was found
Because Malley had said she'd seen one, Richard and the governor knew where she was. One thing that they needed to know, however, was whether she was north or south of the bridge. Richard decided to ask Malley to say "sardines" if she was north of it, and "clams" if she was south of it. Malley answered with "clams". Richard now wanted to know how far south of the bridge she was. He told her to tell him without saying "miles", so T.C. wouldn't know what she was talking about. She told him that yesterday she had seen two otters. Richard and Skink then knew that Malley was two miles south of the bridge.
Mr. Tile, Dime, and Nickel find Malley and Richard right after Skink disappears into the woods. Mr. Tile says that even though the governor got shot, as long as he's on the move, he's fine. Richard uses Mr. Tile's phone to call his mom that he was alright. Then Malley called her parents who were just glad she was finally coming home. Mr. Tile drove the kids home and made Richard give back his counterfeit license. After pondering about Malley's mysterious kidnapper, it turns out that a gator had hidden T.C. for leftovers and the body was found by a fisherman. His name was not Talbo Chock, or Tommy Chalmers, as he had claimed. His name was actually Terwin Crossley. The only true facts that he had given to Malley were the initials T.C. Besides kidnapping, his other crimes included armed burglary, forgery, and stalking.
The ivorybill woodpecker
Where Malley was found
The Mysterious Man at the Beach
One night, Richard is out on the beach waiting to meet up with his cousin Malley. He kept calling her cell phone and trying to text her, but she did not answer. In the meantime, Richard trys to look for new turtle nests on the beach. They live near West Palm Beach, so loggerhead turtles are always laying eggs there. When looking around, Richard hears soft breathing behind him. He thinks that it's a mother loggerhead turtle, but he doesn't see any around. He starts to worry if it's a bobcat, or maybe a raccoon. Richard starts to leave, but then turns around and comes back. He wonders if it might be a crab with asthma. When he comes closer to the turtle nest, he notices a striped soda straw sticking out of the sand. Richard leans in closer, and hears the breathing through the hole in the straw. He pinches the straw and pulls it out of the sand. A few seconds later, a man comes howling out of the turtle nest, spitting and cursing all over the place. He had a long, dark beard and a flowered shower cap on his head. His left eye and right eye were also pointing in two different directions. He was wearing a moldy army jacket and camo pants, and he was holding a filthy duffel bag. Richard asked the man why he was in a turtle nest, since it was against the law. The man said that it wasn't a real turtle nest, that he had made it to wait for a crooked man. Richard didn't quite understand, so the man clarified it for him. He said that there is a man named Dodge Olney, who digs up turtle eggs on the beach and sells them for two dollars each. When Dodge Olney digs up this man's faux turtle nest, the two men will have a little chat. The man grinned. Richard was surprised to see the whitest teeth he ever saw. He asked what the man's name was, but the man was hesitant to give it to Richard. Finally the man told him that his name was Clinton Tyree, then walked away. Richard wanted to Google the name, to make sure he wasn't dangerous, and he wasn't. Wikipedia said he was a former governer of Florida, and that he was dead.
One night on the highway, Richard answers a worried phone call from his mother, begging him to come home. He hangs up when he hears a truck honking and the sound of brakes on the road. He runs toward Skink, whose right foot looks very swollen. The governor hands a baby skunk to Richard, who refuses, but then reluctantly agrees. Skink told Richard that the baby skunk was crossing the road with its mother, and then a truck came roaring down the highway. The mom made it to the other side alright, but the baby wasn't quick enough. Skink ran to the road and grabbed the baby. The truck missed the skunk, but ran over the governor's right foot, the one that drives the car.
Now whenever Malley goes on morning runs at the highschool track, someone hides and watches her. Somedays it could be Richard, or Mom, or Trent, somedays it could be Aunt Sandy and Uncle Dan. Malley and Richard heard unexpectedly from Mr. Tile. He told them to check out the newspaper headline:
ANONYMOUS DONOR HONORS FALLEN MARINE
The kids automatically know that it was Skink honoring the real Talbo Chock just from reading the article. Mr. Tile just wanted them to know that the former governor, Clinton Tyree (Skink) was okay.
Now Richard has to learn how to drive on the highway. That's the bad thing. The good thing is he's learning on the highway at night, when there aren't as many cars around. Richard is only fourteen years old, and five feet, one inch tall, so he has to sit on a few books in order to reach the gas pedal. He started off going straight ahead at twenty-five miles per hour, tops. Soon enough, Richard learns how to drive. The next day, when they're driving on the highway, a sedan with a flashing blue light on the dashboard starts cruising along behind them. Richard pulls over and rolls his window down. The Highway Patrol man comes over when Richard says that he doesn't have a license. The officer explained that somebody found it by a bridge in Panama City. Every single thing on the learners permit was correct, except for Richard's birth year, which was off by one year, making him old enough to drive with a legal adult in the passenger seat. When the man left, Richard asked Skink if it was "him", and "him" referred to the governor's old friend, Mr. Jim Tile.