Sky Island

Page 57

More guards were yelling now, running along the foot of the wall to keep the fugitive in sight, and people began to pour out of the houses and join in the chase.

Poor Ghip realized that if he kept on the wall, he would merely circle the city and finally be caught. If he leaped down into the City, he would be seized at once. Just then he came opposite the camp of the Pinkies and decided to trust himself to the mercies of his Earth friends rather than be made a prisoner by his own people, who would obey the commands of their detested but greatly feared Boolooroo. So suddenly he gave a mighty leap and came down into the field outside the city. Again he fell in a heap and rolled over and over, for it was a high wall and the jump a dangerous one; but finally he recovered and got upon his feet, delighted to find he had broken none of his bones.

Some of the Blueskins had by now opened a gate, and out rushed a crowd to capture the fugitive; but Ghip-Ghisizzle made straight for the camp of the Pinkies, and his pursuers did not dare follow him far in that direction. They soon gave up the chase and returned to the City, while the runaway Majordomo was captured by Captain Coralie and marched away to the tent of Rosalie the Witch, a prisoner of the Pinkies.

THE GIRL AND THE BOOLOOROO

CHAPTER 23

Trot watched from the window the escape of Ghip-Ghisizzle but did not know, of course, who it was. Then, after the City had quieted down again, she lay upon the bed without undressing and was sound asleep in a minute.

The blue dawn was just breaking when she opened her eyes with a start of fear that she might have overslept, but soon she found that no one else in the palace was yet astir. Even the guards had gone to sleep by this time and were adding their snores to the snores of the other inhabitants of the Royal Palace. So the little girl got up and, finding a ewer of water and a basin upon the dresser, washed herself carefully and then looked in a big mirror to see how her hair was. To her astonishment, there was no reflection at all; the mirror was blank so far as Trot was concerned. She laughed a little at that, remembering she wore the ring of Rosalie the Witch, which rendered her invisible. Then she slipped quietly out of the room and found it was already light enough in the corridors for her to see all objects distinctly.

After hesitating a moment which way to turn, she decided to visit the Snubnosed Princesses and passed through the big reception room to the sleeping room of Indigo. There this Princess, the crossest and most disagreeable of all the disagreeable six, was curled up in bed and slumbering cozily. The little blue dog came trotting out of Indigo's boudoir and crowed like a rooster, for although he could not see Trot, his keen little nose scented her presence. Thinking it time the Princess awoke, Trot leaned over and gave her snub nose a good tweak, and at once Indigo sprang out of her bed and rushed into the chamber of Cobalt, which adjoined her own. Thinking it was this sister who had slyly attacked her, Indigo rushed at the sleeping Cobalt and slapped her face.

At once there was war. The other four Princesses, hearing the screams and cries of rage, came running into Cobalt's room, and as fast as they appeared, Trot threw pillows at them, so that presently all six were indulging in a free-for-all battle and snarling like tigers. The blue lamb came trotting into the room, and Trot leaned over and patted the pretty little animal, but as she did so, she became visible for an instant, each pat destroying the charm of the ring while the girl was in contact with a living creature. These flashes permitted some of the Princesses to see her, and at once they rushed toward her with furious cries. But the girl realized what had happened, and leaving the lamb, she stepped back into a corner and her frenzied enemies failed to find her. It was a little dangerous, though, remaining in a room where six girls were feeling all around for her, so she went away and left them to their vain search while she renewed her hunt for Cap'n Bill.

Sky Island Page 58

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