“We may just have the start of a strategy!” Mr. Naidoo exclaims as the team troops happily back to the edge of the field.

We shout and push each other and Henry starts singing “We are the champions,” in a high-pitched opera voice that makes us all laugh hysterically.

Khaya punches me on the arm with a grin. 

“You’re not as slow as I thought,” he says.

“And you’re not as stupid as you look,” I reply, returning his grin.

Mr. Naidoo shakes his head. 

“I don’t care how you boys do it, but as long as you play well together, I’m happy.”¬†

I’m about to reply when I spot Nails and Shorty in the stands. Nails starts clapping and whistling when he sees me looking at them.

“Nathi, who are those guys?” Mr. Naidoo asks, arching his eyebrow at the dreadlocked, gold-toothed stranger and his short sidekick.

“That’s…” I start, trying to figure out exactly what Nails is to me.

 

“That’s my family,” I say finally, remembering what my father had said about Nails in the letter.¬†

Mr. Naidoo looks dubious but nods and walks back to the changeroom, leaving me to walk over and speak to my godfather. 

“Damn good game Nathi!” Nails exclaims. “You were brilliant out there!”¬†

“Thanks,” I smile.

“Did you read the letter?” Shorty asks eagerly.

I nod. 

“Yes, my father told me to treat you like family.” 

Nails smiles and walks onto the field, opening his arms. 

“Give your godfather a hug, Nathi.”

I walk over to him and Nails pulls me into an embrace. He stinks of cigarette smoke and alcohol and I have to hold my breath as the man grips me in a bear hug. 

Eventually he releases me, but keeps his hand on my shoulder, and I can feel his sharp claws digging into my skin. 

“Have you thought about where Silver’s treasure could be?” Nails asks.

I frown and shake my head. I stayed awake thinking about this last night, but I haven’t got a clue.

 

“I could ask the Professor though,” I venture, “he might know. He and my father were friends.”

“No, no,” says Nails quickly, “don’t ask the Professor. In fact I think it’s better that the Professor doesn’t know that we’re here.”

“Yes,” Shorty says, “much better.”

“But why not?” 

Nails shakes his head. “I always thought the Professor was a bad influence on Silver.”

 ¬†

I laugh out loud. “A bad influence? That’s crazy!”

Nails digs his claws deeper into my shoulder.

“Don’t tell the Professor, Nathi.” he says seriously. “Your father asked me to be your godfather because I know what’s good for you.”

I begin to feel very uneasy. Nails and Shorty are after something. But what could it be?

WHAT DO YOU THINK: What do Nails and Shorty really want from Nathi?