Sky Island

Page 10

There are woods and pastures and springs of clear water, and I'm sure we would find it a fine place for a picnic."

"If anything happened on the way," observed Cap'n Bill, "we'd drop in the water."

"Of course," said Trot, "and if anything happened while we were flyin' over the land, we'd drop there. But nothing's goin' to happen, Cap'n. Didn't Button-Bright come safe all the way from Philydelfy?"

"I think I'd like to go to Sky Island," said the boy. "I've always flown above the land so far, and it will be something new to fly over the ocean."

"All right, I'm agree'ble," decided Cap'n Bill. "But afore we starts on such a long journey, s'pose we make a little trial trip along the coast. I want to see if the new seat fits me an' make certain the umbrel will carry all three of us."

"Very well," said Button-Bright. "Where shall we go?"

"Let's go as far as Smuggler's Cove an' then turn 'round an' come back. If all's right an' shipshape, then we can start for the island."

They put the broad double seat on the ground, and then the boy and girl sat in their places and Button-Bright spread open the Magic Umbrella. Cap'n Bill sat in his seat just in front of them, all being upon the ground.

"Don't we look funny?" said Trot with a chuckle of glee. "But hold fast the ropes, Cap'n, an' take care of your wooden leg."

Button-Bright addressed the umbrella, speaking to it very respectfully, for it was a thing to inspire awe. "I want to go as far as Smuggler's Cove and then turn around in the air and come back here," he said. At once the umbrella rose into the air, lifting after it first the seat in which the children sat, and then Cap'n Bill's seat.

"Don't kick your heels, Trot!" cried the sailor in a voice that proved he was excited by his novel experience. "You might bump me in the nose."

"All right," she called back. "I'll be careful."

It was really a wonderful, exhilarating ride, and Cap'n Bill wasn't long making up his mind he liked the sensation. When about fifty feet above the ground the umbrella began moving along the coast toward Smuggler's Cove, which it soon reached. Looking downward, Cap'n Bill suddenly exclaimed, "Why, there' a boat cast loose, an' it's goin' to smash on the rocks. Hold on a minute, Butt'n-Bright, till we can land an' drag it ashore."

"Hold on a minute, Umbrella!" cried the boy. But the Magic Umbrella kept steadily upon its way. It made a circle over the Cove and then started straight back the way it had come. "It's no use, sir," said Button-Bright to the sailor. "If I once tell it to go to a certain place, the umbrella will go there, and nowhere else. I've found that out before this. You simply CAN'T stop it."

"Won't let you change your mind, eh?" replied Cap'n Bill. "Well, that has its advantidges, an' its disadvantiges. If your ol' umbrel hadn't been so obstinate, we could have saved that boat."

"Never mind," said Trot briskly, "here we are safe back again. Wasn't it jus' the--the fascinatingest ride you ever took, Cap'n?"

"It's pretty good fun," admitted Cap'n Bill. "Beats them aeroplanes an' things all holler, 'cause it don't need any regulatin.'"

"If we're going to that island, we may as well start right away," said Button-Bright when they had safely landed.

"All right. I'll tie on the lunch-basket," answered the sailor. He fastened it so it would swing underneath his own seat, and they all took their places again.

"Ready?" asked the boy.

"Let 'er go, my lad."

"I want to go to Sky Island," said Button-Bright to the umbrella, using the name Trot had given him. The umbrella started promptly. It rose higher than before, carrying the three voyagers with it, and then started straight away over the ocean.



They clung tightly to the ropes, but the breeze was with them, so after a few moments, when they became accustomed to the motion, they began to enjoy the ride immensely.

Larger and larger grew the island, and although they were headed directly toward it, the umbrella seemed to rise higher and higher into the air the farther it traveled.

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