Previous Story Synopsis: Felix is on a time-traveling field trip in ancient Guatemala when he meets a Mayan girl named Ixchel. Ixchel accidentally pushes Felix’s Emergency Evacuation button, but instead of going back to Felix’s school, they find themselves in Morocco in 1911. They escape from Berber warriors and travel to 15th century Indonesia. After an unfortunate stop in Antarctica, they reach Quebec in 1998. They only have the battery power to jump through time once more so Felix is determined not to use it. However, when they are almost hit by a car, the armband evacuates them automatically. They find themselves somewhere warm and, for the moment, safe.
Read the full chapters here:
- Bumbles in Time #1: The Mayan Girl
- Bumbles in Time #2: The Berber Danger
- Bumbles in Time #3: The Malacca Meander
- Bumbles in Time #4: The Quebec Catastrophe
Bumbles in Time: The Hawai’i Conspiracy
Felix lay in the tall grass for a moment with his eyes closed. The armband did not have enough power left for them to use the Emergency Evacuation button again, but for the moment, he was just happy that they were warm. He glanced at the status button on the armband. It was green again, so they were no longer in danger of changing the future.
“Where are we?” Ixchel asked. Felix sat up and looked at the armband.
“We’re in Hawai’i,” Felix said. “In the year 1893. That’s a good time, actually. It’s not in the Red Zone where everyone knows about time travel, but there are still good transportation systems.” He searched for field trips in the area. “Look! There is a field trip only 3 kilometers from here in two days. We can go there and just wait for them.”
“I’m starving,” Ixchel said. Felix realized that he was hungry too. When was the last time they had eaten? Probably the raw fish they had eaten on the Orang Laut boat four hundred years before. He had no idea how much time had passed for them, but probably many hours.
From the map in the armband, Felix could see that the city of Honolulu was just in front of them, down by the coast. They set out walking. They came to a dirt road and walked down between sugarcane fields.
“This reminds me a lot of home,” Ixchel said. “Are you sure that we are not near Ixkun?”
“Just 7000 km away,” Felix said. “But closer than we were in Malacca.”
They reached the city and walked past large buildings of white stone and smaller wooden buildings. People looked at them oddly, but no one said anything. Felix was not sure where they could find food and even if they did, how they could pay for it.
“Look, a truck!” Ixchel said. “And one of those animals the Berbers were riding.”
A horse-drawn wagon was stopped in the middle of the street ahead of them. A man in a police uniform was arguing with the driver, who was standing by the horse’s head.
“A horse,” Felix said. “Maybe we should come back later though.” The driver was shouting and cursing at the policeman and looked like he was going to hit him. Ixchel did not pay attention. She ran forward to look closer at the horse, who was waiting patiently.
Ixchel approached the horse and reached up to touch its neck. The man on the wagon noticed her.
“Hey, girl!” he shouted in English. “Don’t you dare touch that animal.” Ixchel ignored him and started petting the horse. The man pulled a pistol out of his belt and pointed it at Ixchel.
Felix gasped. He knew what a gun was, but Ixchel had never seen one up close and would just ignore the man’s threats. She could get hurt.
“Ixchel, watch out!” Felix shouted and ran towards her. The man saw Felix running towards him. He hit Ixchel on the head with the end of the gun. Felix ran at the man, not sure what he was going to do, but the man just pushed him to the ground. Ixchel got up holding her head and kicked the man in the knee. He yelled and grabbed his knee, falling down. The policeman grabbed the gun away and then handcuffed him.
“You knocked him down!” Felix said in amazement.
“Of course,” Ixchel said, still holding her head and wincing. “He hit me first. What was I supposed to do?”
“Are you hurt?” the policeman demanded to Ixchel. Felix looked at the armband. He was speaking Hawaiian but the armband automatically spoke out the translation in Mayan.
“Not badly,” Ixchel said. “You should kill this man. He’s clearly not a good person.” Felix heard the translation in his ear, but of course, the policeman did not understand.
“I’m sorry, sir,” Felix said in English. “She is not Hawaiian and does not speak your language. We are just visiting here and we are looking for food to eat.”
“Of course,” the policeman said in English. “It was foolish of you to get near, but I am glad you did. Come with me. I need to get this to the palace, so you can come with me. You can call me Leialoha.”
There was a big crowd now. Several men helped Leialoha pull the wagon driver to the side of the road and handcuff him to a wooden post. Then Leialoha helped Ixchel and Felix up to the wagon bench.
“Look, Felix,” Ixchel said, looking back at the wagon. “It’s full of the same weapons as that man had. We should take a few for protection.” Felix looked back. The wagon was full of guns: hundreds of them big and small, plus boxes of ammunition. This was not an ordinary wagon. He looked at the armband and gasped when he saw that the status light was glowing red. Whatever they had just done, it was in serious danger of changing history in a big way.
After a few minutes, they reached a two-story stone building with many windows and a large garden in front.
“This is ‘Iolani Palace,” Leialoha said. Guards ran out towards the wagon. Leialoha talked to them quickly, and one of them drove the wagon away.
“We need to get inside quickly,” Leialoha said to them. “There are enemies across the street in that building.” He pointed to another large stone building across the road. Felix and Ixchel followed two guards and the policeman into the front door and then into a long throne room. A woman in a beautiful dress was just coming into the room from the other end. She sat down on the throne.
“This is Queen Liliʻuokalani,” Leialoha whispered. He went forward and bowed and Felix and Ixchel followed him.
In Hawaiian, the policeman introduced himself to the queen. “Your Majesty,” he said. “I stopped a man named John Good who was bringing a load of weapons to the Committee of Safety. These children were there and helped me.”
Feeling very uncomfortable, Felix bowed. “Hello, your majesty,” he said. “My name is Felix and this is Ixchel. She is not Hawaiian. We just arrived here and were looking for food.”
The queen looked at them closely. “You are here alone? Where are your parents? And where did you come from?”
“We came from Canada,” Felix said, skipping the question about their parents since he had no idea how to answer it. “Ixchel is from Guatemala and I am from . . . Brazil.” No one would know Piratini if he said that. He looked at the armband status light. It was still bright red. He might as well not hide anything. It couldn’t get any redder.
“Thank you for your help in this dangerous time,” the queen said. “Let my staff look after your needs and give you food before you go on your way.”
Felix and Ixchel were brought upstairs and servants tried to lead them into separate rooms.
“Wait, can’t we go together?” Felix asked. “She doesn’t speak any language you speak.”
“You want to bathe together?” one of the women said.
Ixchel heard the translation and laughed. “I don’t want you to be embarrassed,” she said to Felix and patted him on the head. “I’ll see you after the bath.”
It felt good to take off his clothes and sink into the hot water of the bath. He had gone swimming in the Strait of Malacca only a few days ago, but that had just made his skin crusty with salt. Now all the dirt and sweat of his adventures was washed away. When he got out, he put on the armband immediate and found that the servants had put out clothes for him. His old clothes were gone. These new clothes had long sleeves so it made it harder to use the armband, although it did make it easier to hide, too.
There was a knock on the door and Ixchel came in. She laughed when she saw him. “Your clothes!” she cried. “Still, they look better than your old ones. I love this new dress.” She was wearing a long pink dress and had a flower in her hair.
Other servants came and brought them to a small dining room where they were served many types of fruit and vegetables and meat.
“Don’t eat too much,” Ixchel warned, “or you might get sick next time we jump.”
“We can’t jump anymore, remember?” Felix said. “The battery is almost dead.”
“Oh.” She looked thoughtful, then grinned. “Perfect. We can eat as much as we want. And if we are going to be stuck, this is a good place to be stuck.”
As they were finishing eating, a man with a large mustache and small beard came into the room.
“I hope you are feeling better,” the man said. “My name is Charles Wilson, the Marshal of Hawaii. I wanted to come and meet the two children that have become famous in the last few hours.”
“What do you mean?” Felix asked.
“There are many things happening in the city right now,” Mr. Wilson said. “There is a conspiracy by a group of people who want to get rid of Queen Lili’uokalani. They call themselves the Committee of Safety. They were the ones who were bringing the guns here to take over the palace.”
“They don’t sound very safe,” Ixchel commented after she had heard the translation.
“Well,” Mr. Wilson said. “I don’t know where you came from, but after your run-in with Mr. Good, the wagon driver, there is a rumor going around the city that he attacked a Hawaiian girl and an American boy. People are outraged and for the moment, the conspiracy has been stopped. Still, I heard that you have just arrived here. What’s the name of the ship that you came on?”
Felix did not know how to reply. He was about to just admit everything when Ixchel said, “The name of the ship is the Orang Laut. Tell him that.” Too surprised to object, Felix translated what she had said.
“The Orang Laut?” Mr. Wilson frowned. “I heard that you arrived from Canada? And you came alone?”
“She’s eighteen,” Felix said.
“I see. Well, I need to go, but I wanted to at least meet you to say thank you.” Mr. Wilson shook their hands and left.
“That was good thinking,” Felix said.
“Thanks,” Ixchel said with a grin. “I need to get an armband too. I’m tired of you being the only one able to understand what I say.”
“The field trip should be here tomorrow, I think,” Felix said. “Let me see how close from there we are now.” He looked at the armband, then looked again.
“No!” he cried. “No, no, no!”
“What’s wrong?” Ixchel asked.
“The field trips, they’re both gone, like they never existed.” He showed her the red light. “When we helped stop that wagon, we changed history. We might be stuck here forever now.”
To be concluded next week in The End of the Bumble