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Chapter Five

In which Mark enter the Shakespearean world.

At last, Mark stood in front of the tavern. It was old and weather-beaten. Barely anything remained except the faded sign on the door. It had been painted over and said "Trespassers will be Prosecuted'. Mark swallowed hard. It looked like this was going to be tricky. He went in. Although the room was empty, he could almost picture the days when people had been drinking and partying. He went to the north wall and saw a lot of knotholes. Then he saw three in a straight line.

"This must be it!" He said. He took a deep breath and pushed the third knothole. Nothing happened. He was about to push again when he saw the wall was sliding apart! This looked just like the place he had seen on the computer screen. Mark stood in awe. As he watched, people come into the feasting hall.

He recognized Hamlet and Henry. Richard was coming in a door. He and Henry seemed big rivals. Mustering up all the courage he could, Mark went in and sat down at the table. Then they saw him. A big man with a booming voice said, "Well, young stranger. You're strangely clad, not such as befits a lad at our table, but you must have traveled far. Sit down and have some boar snout. My name is Falstaff!"

"Uh, no thanks," said a startled Mark. "Do you have any chicken?"

"Why, yes. Here." They put a huge platter of chicken in front of him. It probably had three pounds worth on it. Mark started eating it and then realized he had nothing to drink. "Uh, do you, by any chance, have some apple juice?"

They exchanged puzzled glances. "You must mean grape juice or wine," Hamlet spoke up.

"No, apple juice."

"We don't not have such a drink," they said, "you must be from a strange court."

Then he remembered these were people from the sixteen hundreds.

"Oh. This is another time." he said softly, but still Hamlet heard him.

"What was that?"

"Just talking to myself," Mark replied. It's almost sundown. Dad expects me home, he thought. "I think it's time I'd better be going."

When he got home Mark thought, I can't believe what I just found. I'll never tell anybody but the Computer Freak Gang. Otherwise, scientists will start moving into there, like it's Mars or something. That would be the end of my secret world.

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