One day, Gideon the Cat and his friends were playing Follow the Leader. As usual, Gideon was the leader. Marie, the Lost Forest Animals, Cody, Edmond, and Alice Liddell were following him around Neverland.
Before long, they came to a stream.
"Let's cross it the fun way!" Gideon suggested.
He grabbed a rope, swung out over the water, and landed on the other side. His friends followed, until only Cody was left.
"Tallyho!" Cody cried, and he leaped for the rope. He missed it and fell into the stream. Splash!
As Edmond helped him out of the water, Cody grumbled, "Why does Gideon always have to be in charge? Just once I'd like to do things my way!"
Cody decided he wanted to show Gideon how brave and clever he was. A little farther down the trail, he had an idea. "Hey," he cried, "I've got it!"
"Got what?" asked Edmond.
Cody said, "You'll see." He took Edmond's paw, and together they slipped off into the forest.
Cody and Edmond disguised themselves as a rhino guard and a wolf guard, hopped in a small boat, and began to row toward a pirate ship in the harbor. But it wasn't just any ship-----it was Prince John's! He and Gideon were sworn enemies.
"Where are we going?" asked Edmond.
"To spy on Prince John!" Cody said excitedly. "We'll take the information back to Gideon."
As the boys reached Prince John's ship, they heard a noise. Ticktock!
"What's that?" asked Edmond. Just then, six glowing yellow eyes poked out of the water. It was Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed. Once, they'd swallowed an alarm clock, and now they always made a ticking sound.
"Be careful!" Cody warned.
Cody and Edmond climbed over the side of the ship carefully. Cody spotted two mops and a bucket. He whispered to his brother, "Pretend you're washing the deck."
A moment later, Sir Hiss came around the corner. "Ahoy, mateys!" he called. "Can't say that I remember you. But whoever you are, you're doing a fine job!"
When Sir Hiss was gone, Cody turned to Edmond and said, "Come on, we've got some spying to do. I'm going to look for Prince John." He found a telescope and climbed up the rigging.
Sir Hiss slithered by again. "Do you see anything?" he asked.
"Uh, a storm, actually!" Cody blurted out.
"I should tell His Majesty," Sir Hiss replied. He hurried off.
Cody turned to Edmond. "This is perfect. He'll lead us right to Prince John!" They followed Sir Hiss at a safe distance and saw him enter a cabin. "Stand watch. I'll be right back," Cody whispered to his brother.
When Cody peered through the porthole of the cabin, he saw Prince John. Unfortunately, the lion also saw him. Unlike Sir Hiss, Prince John could tell that Cody was not a real rhino guard.
"Spies!" thundered Prince John. "Get them, Hiss!"
"We're doomed!" Edmond cried.
"Not necessarily," said Cody.
The snake came scuttling out of the cabin. When he saw the boys, he said, "Oh, it's you!"
"Indeed it is," said Cody. "We've been checking the safety of the prince's quarters, and I must say that we're shocked. Why, spies could look through portholes as easily as I did!"
Sir Hiss led the boys inside. "What's the meaning of this?" Prince John demanded.
The snake stammered, "Th-they said they were checking on your safety, sire. And I must say, they're hard workers. Just today I saw them swabbing the deck and standing lookout."
The lion looked Cody straight in the eye. "Yes," he agreed. "I think they're doing a fine job. After all, with the attack only three days away, security is more important than ever."
"Attack?" said Cody.
Prince John said, "Yes, on Gideon's hideout." He turned to the snake. "Release them, Hiss. We've got work to do."
As soon as the boys were outside, Cody whispered to Edmond, "We have to warn Gideon!" Quickly, they climbed over the side of the ship and began rowing toward shore. Prince John laughed as he watched through his telescope.
"They'll lead us straight to Gideon!" he said. Sir Hiss straightened his hat and looked at Prince John. "Y-you mean, they really were spies?"
"Of course," the lion replied. "They're some of Gideon's little friends. They don't know yet, but now they are working for us!"
A short time later, Cody and Edmond reached the shore. "My plan worked!" Cody cried. "Wait till Gideon hears!"
"Uh-oh," Edmond said. "I hear ticking. Like a clock. Like a clock in a hyena. Like a clock in one of those hyenas that follows Prince John!"
The boys looked at each other. "Prince John?" they said. "Run!" They scrambled up a hill, with Cody leading the way. When Cody reached the top, he called, "This way, Edmond!" But there was no answer....
"Edmond?" Cody said, looking over his back. Prince John was standing at the bottom of the hill. Beside him, two rhino guards had Edmond in their clutches. "Keep going, Cody!" cried Edmond. "Don't stop!"
A few minutes later, Cody burst into Gideon's hideout. "Come quick!" he yelled. Gideon, Alice, and the others gathered around him. Cody told them what had happened to Edmond and that Prince John was planning to attack.
Gideon shook his head. "If Prince John knew where I lived, why would he have followed you? I think it was a trick."
"He knew Edmond and I weren't rhino guards?" asked Cody.
"I'm afraid so," Gideon said.
Cody groaned. "I've made a terrible mess of things. Will you help?"
"Sure. I've got a plan," Gideon replied. "Let's go!"
On the pirate ship, Sir Hiss locked Edmond in a cage, while Prince John tried to find out where the secret entrance to Gideon's hideout was.
Just then, they heard a girl's voice say, "Prince John?" It was Alice. She was standing on the ship's plank. "Watch the boy, Hiss," Prince John said. "I'll be right back!"
As soon as Prince John was gone, Cody looked into the porthole. "Not you again!" Sir Hiss exclaimed and chased after Cody. The Lost Forest Animals hurried inside and set Edmond free from the cage. Then they climbed down into a boat that was waiting below.
When the boys were all safe, Cody opened his umbrella, leaped over the side of the ship, and floated down to join them. Then the Lost Forest Animals cast off and headed for shore.
Meanwhile, on the ship's plank, Prince John reached out to grab Alice. At that instant, a yellow blur streaked through the air and scooped her up. It was Gideon the Cat!
"Blast you, Cat!" Prince John cried. He lunged forward and fell overboard, snagging the plank with his hook. "Hiss!" Prince John cried as Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed circled below.
Later that evening, Gideon and his friends sat in their hideout, talking about the rescue. "When Edmond and I met Prince John, how did he know we weren't rhino guards?" asked Cody. "Rhino guards don't usually carry umbrellas," Gideon said, smiling. Everyone laughed. What an adventure they'd had!