Excerpt from The Sands of Time by Michael Hoeye, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Sands of Time

A Hermux Tantamoq Adventure

by Michael Hoeye

The Sands of Time
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 288 pages
    Oct 2003, 288 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter 1
Do Drop In

"What a beautiful morning for watchmaking!" thought Hermux Tantamoq as he unlocked the door to his shop. There was something delicious in the air. He wrinkled his nose and sniffed. His whiskers twitched. He took a deep breath.

"Ripe apples," he said. "Now that's a nice smell!"

Before he went inside he took another good sniff. Hermux was a mouse who appreciated a good meal. A nice, plump red apple might be just the thing for lunch. With a thick slice of cheddar cheese. And a crusty piece of bread. What a pleasant thought! He raised the shade and switched on the lights. He put a sign out on the front counter that said,

Back in the workshop, please ring the bell!

Then he went to work.

Hermux got Clenton Yooger's big pocket watch down from the work shelf. All it needed was a good cleaning. He fitted his magnifying loupe to his right eye and opened the heavy gold case. First he removed the winding stem. Then he inserted a tiny pair of tweezers to release the mainspring, which as everyone knows, is the very most ticklish part of watchmaking. That's when someone slapped him on the back.

"Tantamoq!" a shrill voice boomed in his ear.

Clenton Yooger's mainspring sprang from his watch, skittered across the workbench, ricocheted off the tool rack, and disappeared onto the floor.

Say, you're not Tantamoq!

"I am too!" said Hermux.

"Tantamoq is older. He's my age!"

Hermux rubbed his eyes and studied his surprise visitor. It was an old chipmunk. A bit taller than Hermux as you might expect. But so skinny that he couldn't have weighed much more than a mouse. He was wearing a faded, rusty-colored, corduroy jacket with patches on the elbows. And the shoulders. And the lapels. And the cuffs. Some of the patches even had patches.

He looked a little clownish to Hermux. There was something sort of lopsided about his head. Hermux smiled to himself. Then he noticed that the old chipmunk was missing an ear. It was completely gone. Like someone had snipped it off with a pair of scissors. Hermux winced. "Ow!" he thought. "That must have hurt!"

"I am Tantamoq!" Hermux told the old chipmunk. "Hermux Tantamoq." He extended a friendly paw. "You must be looking for my father, Linnix. This was his shop. I took it over when he retired."

"Of course," said the old chipmunk. "Your father. He's the one I want to see! Where can I find him? I want to see him right away."

"I'm sorry, but that's not possible." Hermux stopped. "My father passed away several years ago."

"Linnix!" sighed the old chipmunk. "I didn't know. I'm so sorry." Suddenly he seemed confused and uncertain.

"Well, maybe I can help you," said Hermux.

"I doubt it!" said the old chipmunk. shaking his head violently. "I must be cursed! I need a watchmaker with a solid grasp of history. Not a beginner."

"I'm not a beginner, and I'm very interested in history," argued Hermux. "Just this summer I did a walking history tour of South Glemmon. I visited the very factory where the first twisty watchband was invented. Ask me anything about watches…"

"I need somebody who understands mechanics. Who knows how to put pieces together and figure things out. Someone who's not afraid of complications."

"Well that's me in a nutshell!" said Hermux. "I am certified to repair cuckoo clocks of all sorts. Even the great antiques from Grebbenland. And they are really complicated, I can tell you that for sure!"

"This involves more than clocks and watches, my boy! I need somebody with heart."

Hermux recalled the image of a bold young mouse standing before her gleaming silver airplane. "I have heart," he said simply.

"The point is that I need somebody just like your father."

Copyright Michael Hoeye 2001. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the author or publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hag-Seed
    by Margaret Atwood
    There's a scene in The Tempest that many critics have concluded is indicative of Shakespeare&#...
  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.