The Secret of the Sphinx preview

book preview of The Secret of the Sphinx by Tim Trewatha




Many thousands of years ago,
during the first days of the never-ending war, the manuscript of the Sphinx was
In its pages is the key to the wars end. Now, the future of the universe hangs
in the balance as the war rages on.
The manuscript must be found!
Mr. Smith, a talking cat and intergalactic adventurer, has been giving the task
of finding the manuscript before it falls into the wrong hands. But to find it,
he and his human friend, Miranda Puddle, must travel beyond the Earth and face
many unknown dangers.
From the deserts of Egypt to the strange world of Za, join Miranda and Mr. Smith
on their exciting quest to find the manuscript of the Sphinx.
The entire universe is depending on them!


In Store Price: $AU22.95 

Online Price:   $AU21.95

920699 25 2

Format: Paperback

Number of pages:

Children’s Fiction




Author: Tim

Imprint: Zeus

Publisher: Zeus Publications

Date Published: March 2003

Language: English



Tim Trewartha is a 27-year-old Melbourne writer who has just completed an
Associate Diploma in Social Sciences and Communication. He was co-editor of the
fifth issue of the literary journal, Swyntax, in which he had published a poem
and a short story.

Over the years Tim has contributed
reviews, articles and fiction to various science fiction magazines. In 1995, his
one act play, “Still Life” was performed as part of that years “Between
the Lines” season.

people thought it was quite good.

He is currently working on his second novel and planning his next great move.

(Part Sample)


that long ago, in a town quite similar to the one I’m sure you live in, there
was a girl who went by the most peculiar name of Miranda Puddle.

lived with her parents at 14 Pleasant Street, and there could have hardly been a
more inappropriate name for such a street. Indeed, if you were planning on
taking a bus tour somewhere pleasant, Pleasant Street would not be high on your
list. The houses were painted a sickly pink or a watery yellow, and most of the
people who lived in these houses preferred concrete to flowers. Some of
Miranda’s stranger neighbours painted their concrete green pretending it was
grass. They even watered it when winter turned to summer.

was a very quiet place to live, or so Miranda thought, as no children played
happily on the streets or in driveways. As far as she knew, Miranda was the only
child living on Pleasant Street. This didn’t really bother her that much as
Miranda was always happier playing by herself. She could not think of anything
worse than spending time outside school with her classmates.

was uncommonly tall for her age, so much that strangers would often stop and
wonder at her height. She was often mistaken for someone much older, and was
always being asked if she was looking forward to finishing school. Usually
Miranda would just stare at these people as if they were idiots. The truth was
Miranda still had a good five years until she completed school, and she hated
being reminded about it. Miranda loathed school. She spent most of her days
wagging or thinking about wagging.

Physical Education teacher, Ms. Gibbs, had tried in vain to sign up Miranda for
the school’s junior girls’ basketball team, as she thought Miranda would be
an asset to the terribly undersized squad. But Miranda had no interest in
basketball or any other sports. She told Ms. Gibbs (who usually never took no
for an answer) that she couldn’t possibly play basketball because one of her
legs was made of wood and that it was hard enough for her to walk on it, let
alone play basketball. This of course, was a lie. Another lie she often told to
get out of schoolwork was that the work was against her religion. However,
Miranda was not a religious person and neither were her family, and her teachers
knew it. It would seem that Miranda was somewhat of a problem child, but she
wasn’t. She was quiet, well mannered and extremely clever. The problem was
that she found schoolwork quite dull. One day in Mrs. Prendergast’s maths
class, Miranda was caught staring out the window when she should have been
studying for a test.

Puddle,” cried Mrs. Prendergast. “Do you find the blue sky and sunshine more
interesting then Pythagoras’ Theorem, and discovering the best way to find the
circumference of a semi-circle?”

blinked at her teacher.

course I do, Mrs. Prendergast. But don’t worry, I already know all about
Pythagoras’ Theorem.”

Prendergast frowned at Miranda.

she said unpleasantly, smirking at the rest of the class. “Well, can you prove
to me that you know Pythagoras’ Theorem?”

blinked shyly, and said, “I do believe the example you’ve given on the board
is incorrect. Your calculations are wrong. I know it’s not much, but I think
getting things right is very important, don’t you?”

was always very polite to her teachers, especially when she corrected them. Of
course, Mrs. Prendergast found it all very infuriating, but not as much as Mr.
Joy, Miranda’s English teacher. He had only recently set an assignment on “A
Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, and Miranda didn’t think much of his
choice of reading texts. So she didn’t hand in her assignment.

Joy said sarcastically to the class, “It seems that Miranda Puddle has not
handed in an assignment again. I suppose she doesn’t consider one of the
founding fathers of the modern novel worth looking at in these modern times.”

Joy could be very sarcastic at times.

not that, Sir!” protested Miranda “It’s just that I know Dickens like the
back of my hand, so I wouldn’t particularly find it a challenge. I would much
prefer to look at Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy, both of whom I’m sure you would
agree, capture the struggle of humanity more succinctly then Dickens does. I’m
happy to do an assignment on them if you’d like.”

Joy sighed and rolled his eyes, while a collective groan rose from her

am sorry, Miranda. The assignment is on Dickens, and I expect to see your
project on my desk next week. Now stop drawing pictures of fire-breathing
dragons and get back to work!”

Miranda was quite bright, and could have almost been a genius, if it hadn’t
been for the fact that she was never given a chance. The work she bothered to
hand in was of such a poor standard that the teachers considered her a half-wit,
which was untrue and unfair. She was definitely smarter then Mrs. Prendergast,
and Mr. Joy who was in reality a woodwork teacher and who had probably never
read Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy in his life.

preferred to spend her time daydreaming and thinking of strange places and
people and making adventures for them. This led to all sorts of trouble, because
the students and teachers at St. Mary’s Secondary College, did not like
dreamers, or people who made up adventures.

I mention that Miranda didn’t have any friends? Well, she didn’t. And this
made her life miserable. Most of the other students ignored her, and the
crueller girls would often call her the Invisible Girl because she was never in
class. And there wasn’t a day that went by when she wasn’t a target for the
school bully, Ignatius Karbunkle and his flunkies. If this wasn’t bad enough,
Miranda’s home life was just as horrific. In many ways it was even worse than

on Pleasant Street knew the Puddle family was a little strange. They didn’t
celebrate Easter or Christmas. Such was their disinterest in public holidays of
any kind, that Miranda found out about them at school, and when she admitted
that she never celebrated Christmas and Easter, she was bullied and had her head
flushed in the toilet. Miranda came home that night and asked her father why
they never celebrated public holidays. Mr. Puddle, who was a very short man and
who was not at all impressed with the size of his daughter, sat Miranda down at
the kitchen table.

why on earth do you want to know this?” he asked, upset that she had
interrupted his weekly ritual of reading the Trading
(the only newspaper he read), cover to cover.

everyone at school says they get presents and chocolates and it’s fun. And
then they called me weird, and then they hid my bag up a tree.”

father chuckled at this (he often laughed at the misfortune of others) and
peered over the rims of his reading glasses.

my dear, it is not you who is strange or weird. I’m afraid your classmates and
their parents are nothing but a bunch of suckers. Christmas is a grand scam
perpetuated by cynical and calculating business men, who just want to get richer
and fatter.” He sighed. “I bet your friends don’t even know what the true
meaning of Christmas is. You ask them tomorrow and see who the fools are. Now
hurry up and go and iron my underwear.”

father was always talking like this, and even though she didn’t really
understand him, Miranda thought he was the cleverest person in the world. Now
that she was much taller than he would ever be, she was not so sure.

Puddle (whose first name was Xavier, but who liked to be called Bob) worked as a
shift leader at the local plastic bag factory. He was in charge of making sure
there were no holes in the bags that shouldn’t already be there. He hated his
work with a passion, so much so that when Miranda was younger, he would make up
stories about what he actually did. While growing up, Miranda had believed at
different stages that he was a marine biologist, a theatre owner, a naval
officer, a holy relics door-to-door salesman, and a medical student who dropped
out of medical school because he wanted to wear green jackets instead of white.
It was not until she went on a school excursion to the plastics factory that she
discovered what he really did (St. Mary’s always took their students to dull
places for excursions). She was suitably embarrassed as her classmates threw
paper balls at her father, and teased him as he stood at the end of a line
staring into space, his mouth half ajar. Miranda never told her father about
that day, she only spoke to her parents when she had to.





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