The Riddle Of The Gnome (Further Tales Adventure, Bk. 5) : Twelve-year-old Tom lives alone on an island in the middle of a river. Nobody dares approach him because the boy is cursed - he brings bad luck to anyone around him. One day an odd little man - a gnome, perhaps - comes to see Tom, ignoring the boy's warnings to keep his distance. The hot-tempered, shifty gnome makes an astounding offer: He'll rid the boy of his hex, if the boy will embark on a mission for him. If Tom agrees will it really mean the end of his lonely existence? With no answers and nothing to lose but bad luck, Tom sets off through the green valleys and peaks of Londria, but he quickly realizes the stakes of this gnome's game are high. And time is scarce. As the chips stack against him in a land riddled with obstacles, Tom wonders if he could be trading his curse for something far worse.