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'As far as the eye can see, scarlet men are marching . . . A rich and splendid company, but none more so than the drummer boy.'
But a moment later, the sound of Charlie Samson's drum was swallowed in a wild thunder. The glorious scarlet troops had been ambushed. Men were dead and dying all around, and all the beauty was gone. All that was left was himself and his drum, and a few shady nightwalkers - cowards who came crawling from the ditches and knaves who scoured the dead for wealth . . .
'When you take out the heart of gold, you must put something back in its place. Otherwise our princess would die.'
Giorgio, a poor student, sets out on a journey to win the heart of Princess Charlotte of Oberweselberg. On the way an old woman promises he shall have the princess - but for a price. Giorgio must bring her the princess's golden heart. Can he do the wicked deed which will possess for him the fortune he desires?
A Puffin Book - stories that last a lifetime.
Puffin Modern Classics are relaunched under a new logo: A Puffin Book. There are 20 titles to collect in the series, listed below, all with exciting new covers and fun-filled endnotes.
London street urchin Smith is 12 years old, and an experienced pick-pocket. One day on Ludgate Hill, he robbed an old gentleman, and one minute later watched him silently murdered by two men, who chased him for the document he had stolen but could not understand.
Smith artfully dodges the two men and winds up in the odd company of a wealthy blind man, who takes Smith into his home and provides him with an education. But this new comfort is lost when Smith himself is suspected of the very murder he witnessed.
Leon Garfield was a British novelist, born in 1921. He is best known for children's historical novels, though he also wrote for adults. He wrote more than thirty books including Shakespeare's Stories - retellings of Shakespeare's plays for children, and he won many awards including the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal. He died in 1996, aged 74.
Also available in A Puffin Book:
GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM and BACK HOME by Michelle Magorian
CHARLOTTE'S WEB, STUART LITTLE and THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN by E. B. White
THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton
STIG OF THE DUMP by Clive King
ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY by Mildred D. Taylor
A DOG SO SMALL by Philippa Pearce
GOBBOLINO by Ursula Moray Williams
CARRIE'S WAR by Nina Bawden
MRS FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH by Richard C O'Brien
A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle
THE CAY by Theodore Taylor
TARKA THE OTTER by Henry Williamson
WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams
SMITH by Leon Garfield
THE NEVERENDING STORY by Michael Ende
ANNIE by Thomas Meehan
THE FAMILY FROM ONE END STREET by Eve Garnett
'Him what's born on the chime . . . he's the one what'll have communications with the devil.'
At the age of fourteen, 'chime-child' Peter Gannet is apprenticed to a locksmith in Covent Garden. But his desperate longing to escape from the insufferable adults around him and go to sea leads him into some dubious undertakings. Before long, the old ship's carpenter's dire prophecy comes true, for in the locksmith's workroom he meets a phantom with an empty sleeve.
Tense and atmospheric, this is a gripping thriller about ghosts, a wall of hands, envy, dishonesty and finally murder!