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Gideon the Cutpurse, published in the United States Of America as The Time Travelers, is a 2006 science-fiction novel by Linda Buckley-Archer, and is the first book in the The Gideon Trilogy. This series was also entitled "The Enlightenment Of Peter Schock."
The novel focuses on the adventures of Peter Schock and Kate Dyer in 1763 after being accidentally transported there by an antigravity-machine while chasing Molly, Kate's dog. They awoke in the 1700's to see their antigravity-machine being carted away by a villain known as "the Tar Man." Soon, they meet a gentleman named Gideon Seymour, who helps them adjust to residence, where they stay until they are able to track down the lost antigravity-machine. With the help of Gideon, the Honorable Mrs. Byng, Sir Richard Picard, Parson Ledbury, Sidney, Hannah, and Master Jack , they are able travel to London.
Although Parson Ledbury initially distrusts Gideon, he is eventually won over by Gideon's honor and courage when he saves the group from the evil villain named "Ned Porter" and his partner, John. The group is ambushed by villains known as "the Carrick group" (consisting of Joe Carrick, Will, Stammering John, and Tom), but Gideon, Peter, and Kate scare them off by pretending to be pirates. Gideon eventually tells the story of his association with Lord Luxon and the Tar Man. Gideon explains to Peter that he met with Lord Luxon shortly after his 15th birthday. His parents and some of his siblings had died many years ago leaving only Gideon and his half-brother, Joshua. Forced into a life of servitude in order to stay alive, Gideon finally made up his mind to run away and thus earn enough money to send for Joshua to join him. After he escaped Gideon found himself without any resources and decided to steal for food. When he is caught, his life is spared only by the wealth and influence of Lord Luxon.
While in London, they meet King George III and Queen Charlotte. Lord Luxon and The Tar Man are in London trying to stop the children from going home. To get the antigravity-machine back from the Tar Man, Gideon offers to race him to Tempest House for the antigravity-machine. Parson Ledbury fed the Tar Man's horse certain herbs to make it ill during the race, and the Tar Man attacked Gideon. Gideon won the race, but was forced to forfeit when he learned that Parson Ledbury had cheated although the Tar Man had also cheated. Lord Luxon had him accused of schemes that he did not execute and sent him to Newgate Gaol. While Kate and Peter try to help Gideon, Kate's father appears with Molly. While the children catch up with Dr. Dyer on events in both centuries, Gideon is convicted and sentenced to death by lynching. Kate and Peter save him by pulling an unusual stunt and setting him free.
They encounter the Tar Man once again and as Peter says good-bye to Gideon, The Tar Man runs toward the antigravity machine. The antigravity-machine then leaves for the 21st century and The Tar Man and Peter switch places. Peter is now stuck in 1763 without Kate, and the Tar Man is in the modern world, where Gideon fears he will wreak havoc.