Sorry to trick you. If any of you read the latest author's note—it was a ploy to get you all to stay hanging, wondering what happened, for a bigger surprise! But the exciting conclusion is up! (Did anyone read the author's note that appeared as Chapter 10? ) Well, here it is! The CONCLUSION!
Before anyone could respond, a whole team of fish was whisking everything away. Raising a big, meaty claw, Mr. Krabs prepared to do battle, but Squidward barred his path.
"Stop!" the octopus growled. "Violence will get you in trouble!"
"But!" Mr. Krabs gasped. "They are getting away!"
"Let's follow them!" whispered the yellow sponge.
"Like that won't be suspicious?"
Just then, Mermaid Man and Barnacle boy sped up in their Invisible Boat-mobile. They had it off Invisible mode, but both Spongebob and Krabs had an idea. They begged the superheroes to let them ride in the car, and zoom after the apparent thieves. The two old guys agreed. They switched the car into invisibility mode, which made the passengers invisible to all eyes except each others'.
Expert driver despite his age, Mermaid Man sped into Hyper-Drive mode until they caught up with the fleeing vehicle. Silencing the motor, they followed at a safe speed. They drove on and on through the city and finally out of the city, then to a faded, large old shack. The suspicious fishes' car parked and they all piled out with the heirlooms.
As soon as the fish were in the shack, Squidward slipped out of the boat-mobile. Creeping amongst some bushes, he listened carefully. A smooth, attractive voice was saying some awful words.
"Now that we tricked that cheapskate, we can sell these heirlooms. Nobody has seen them outside of Bikini Bottom, I know that! But to be safe, and to get lots of money, we'll go to the Antique Bazaar in Anchor Hollow!"
There was a tinkling and a clang. Another fish guffawed, "We'll make a pretty fortune! And just look at this stained-glass window!"
"When are we plannin' on going?" said a coarse voice.
"Well, doofus, the bazaar starts on the eighth! It lasts two days. We'll go on the eighth, when customers are really flowin' in!"
Gasping, Squidward hurried back to the invisible boat-mobile.
"We need to tell our story to the police and set up a trap!" cried Squidward, when they were at the Krusty Krab once more, "but how will we set it up? They're gone!"
"Let's ask Pearly!" said Mr. Krabs instantly. "She's always reading them Jancy Trew mystery books!"
Squidward groaned, but Spongebob remained optimistic. They got into Mr. Krabs' boat-mobile and sped off towards the crustacean's anchor house. Pulling up, they heard muffled—but noticeable—music. Going inside the house, it was horribly loud, and coming from, of course, Pearl's room.
Pearl was singing along to the song, and even Squidward had to admit she had an amazing voice. Her normal voice was screechy and coarse, but this voice…wow! Spongebob grinned as he listened to his boss' daughter sing.
What reason do you need
To take the next st-e-ep?
Because I am indeed
All the re-eea-son
"Pearl, girl! I hate to interrupt but I need your help!" cried Mr. Krabs, bursting into the room.
"Daddy!" Pearl screamed, flinging a shirt at him. "Barnacles! Thank Neptune I wasn't getting dressed! Why are Lameward and Sponge-Rube here?"
"Pearly dear, be good!" begged her father. "Something awful just happened!"
"What, did the price of salt packets go up three cents again?" the whale rolled her eyes.
"No! These thieves came and claimed to be officials who could take away antiques—saying they belonged to all of Bikini Bottom! We didn't decide they were phony until they got away, but we followed them and found their hideout! What should we do?"
"How about call the police?" Pearl rolled her eyes again.
Mr. Krabs gritted his teeth. "We were going to; we want to set up a trap!"
"Ohh…" Pearl gasped, "I see! Well, I've got an idea..." And she gave them her plan.
Mr. Krabs picked up the phone and dialed 677, the undersea equivalent of 911.
"Hello, police? I have a crime to report! And I want to set up a trap!"
Mr. Krabs put some miscellaneous old junk back in the stables and announced the 'Grand Re-Opening' of the museum. They posted huge signs everywhere, including by the thieves' hideout. Nobody was interested anymore, though. They had been told the antiques had been stolen. Nobody had heard the fake official's lie, so nobody had thought Mr. Krabs was a thief. Still, nobody wanted to go. They thought all the interesting stuff had been stolen.
The mean fish didn't know that, though, and they went to the museum again, not knowing the suspicions against them. Mistaking the junk, such as fishhooks and things fallen from boats) for treasure, they repeated their bogus story. The police were pretending to be museum visitors. When they heard the false story, they sprang and grabbed the thieves. Spongebob cheered. "YAHOO!"
Patrick was there, too. He cried, "Yahoo!" also. Then he saw Shelley Regenerator and her friends walking back from lunch at a restaurant called the Sea Bistro. While the thieves were apprehended, Patrick rushed up to Shelley.
Oh, no! Not HIM! Shelley thought.
"Shelley!" Patrick cried. "Would you like to…to…uh, go over to my rock and uh…uh…have…lunch?"
A green-and-white fish poked Shelley and whispered, "C'mon, Shell, he's cute. He might not be so bad! Look at him, he's so innocent!"
"Well…Shelley said, "I…"
"We are a group called the Sea Scammers!" confessed a burly fish, seeing as he and his 'friends' were caught in the act. "We all were sick of stupid jobs. Being scammers, we could do anything we wanted and not answer to no one! I still don't think 'scamming' is a bad word! If people are so stupid it's their fault!"
"Yeah, well, cheating people is still wrong. It's their property, their money" one policeman answered grimly. "You'll still appear in court, though there's not much hope for you!"
"I'm going to confess, and so are my lead men," the burly fish announced. "That might make our prison term easier!"
"We the jury find Henry Hugger, Nothsa Rehctuk, Van Camp, Gorton Stick, and all their accomplices guilty!" announced one of the jury members. "They are found guilty of scamming and thieving the good citizens of Bikini Bottom!"
"The top men confessed and there was enough evidence to condemn everyone else" said another member of the jury. "Also, we charge Groupy Fishka with damage to another's property—he was driving the truck of Mr. Eugene Krabs' stolen goods when he made a foolish driving mistake and crashed into some coral—everything was wrecked!"
"No, no no!" Mr. Krabs wailed. "Not my priceless stuff!"
Then the jury member who'd made the first announcement proclaimed, "Therefore, the group—which is surprisingly wealthy—is ordered to pay $16,000 in legal fees and restitution to Eugene Krabs!"
Mr. Krabs started to sweat. He jumped out of his seat and danced.
"Who cares about all my crap! I'm rich, I'm rich! All the stupid money I had to pay for lawsuits and seahorses and paint is back! Plus extra! Yahoo, yahoo, yahoo! I'm going to splurge and get myself a frozen dinner, instead of economy-priced beans!"
Everyone in the courtroom stared at Mr. Krabs and groaned, then laughed.
The top men in the scamming ring, who'd been in the courtroom, were led off to jail to be in cells in a row with all the other scammers.
Everyone went to the Krusty Krab to celebrate. Spongebob treated Sandy to a Mega Meal and he bought himself some cheesy coral bits, a Double Krabby Patty, and a large cup of his favorite soda, Ocean Dew. Squidward was just happy to be back to normal and not be doing every odd and end resulting from the fiasco.
"To the Krusty Krab!" yelled Spongebob, and everyone clunked their Styrofoam cups together.
"Yeah, to the Krusty Krab!" cried Patrick, a minute late. Everyone laughed. All was well, for now.
"By the way, Pat," asked Sandy, "Did that lovely girl starfish accept your invitation to lunch?"
Patrick looked at Sandy. "Who wants to know?" he asked stupidly, trying to sound smart and tough.
"Me" the squirrel replied in a who-do-you-think voice.
"She…" Patrick began…
A cliffie! What's going on between Patrick and Shelley? Will they start dating—or was Pat rejected right away? Find out in the next exciting and funny installment of the Spongebob Sagas--#2: Patrick's Girl? Note the question mark:)
COMING IN 2007!
Thanks for all your reviews, and sorry I couldn't make it longer! Special thanks to ActionGal07 for her support (and great SB fics!)