Sky Island

Page 13

If the blue man astonished the travelers, they were no less surprised by his surroundings, for look where they might, everything they beheld was of the same blue color as the sky above. They seemed to have landed in a large garden, surrounded by a high wall of blue stone. The trees were all blue, the grass was blue, the flowers were blue, and even the pebbles in the paths were blue. There were many handsomely carved benches and seats of blue wood scattered about the garden, and near them stood a fountain made of blue marble, which shot lovely sprays of blue water into the blue air.

But the angry inhabitants of this blue place would not permit them to look around them in peace, for as soon as Cap'n Bill rolled off his toes, he began dancing around in an excited way and saying very disrespectful things of his visitors. "You brutes! You apes! You miserable, white-skinned creatures! How dare you come into my garden and knock me on the head with that awful basket and then fall on my toes and cause me pain and suffering? How dare you, I say? Don't you know you will be punished for your impudence? Don't you know the Boolooroo of the Blues will have revenge? I can have you patched for this insult, and I will--just as sure as I'm the Royal Boolooroo of Sky Island!"

"Oh, is this Sky Island, then?" asked Trot.

"Of course it's Sky Island. What else could it be? And I'm its Ruler, its King, its sole Royal Potentate and Dictator. Behold in the Personage you have injured the Mighty Quitey Righty Boolooroo of the Blues!" Here he strutted around in a very pompous manner and wagged his little head contemptuously at them.

"Glad to meet you, sir," said Cap'n Bill. "I allus had a likin' for kings, bein' as they're summat unusual. Please 'scuse me for a-sittin' on your royal toes, not knowin' as your toes were there."

"I won't excuse you!" roared the Boolooroo. "But I'll punish you. You may depend upon that."

"Seems to me," said Trot, "you're actin' rather imperlite to strangers. If anyone comes to our country to visit us, we always treat 'em decent."

"YOUR country!" exclaimed the Boolooroo, looking at them more carefully and seeming interested in their appearance. "Where in the Sky did you come from, then, and where is your country located?"

"We live on the Earth when we're at home," replied the girl.

"The Earth? Nonsense! I've heard of the Earth, my child, but it isn't inhabited. No one can live there because it's just a round, cold, barren ball of mud and water," declared the Blueskin.

"Oh, you're wrong about that," said Button-Bright.

"You surely are," added Cap'n Bill.

"Why, we live there ourselves," cried Trot.

"I don't believe it. I believe you are living in Sky Island, where you have no right to be, with your horrid white skins. And you've intruded into the private garden of the palace of the Greatly Stately Irately Boolooroo, which is a criminal offense. And you've bumped my head with your basket and smashed my toes with your boards and bodies, which is a crime unparalleled in all the history of Sky Island! Aren't you sorry for yourselves?"

"I'm sorry for you," replied Trot, "'cause you don't seem to know the proper way to treat visitors. But we won't stay long. We'll go home pretty soon."

"Not until you have been punished!" exclaimed the Boolooroo sternly. "You are my prisoners."

"Beg parding, your Majesty," said Cap'n Bill, "but you're takin' a good deal for granted. We've tried to be friendly and peaceable, an' we've 'poligized for hurtin' you, but if that don't satisfy you, you'll have to make the most of it. You may be the Boolooroo of the Blues, but you ain't even a tin whistle to us, an' you can't skeer us for half a minute. I'm an ol' man, myself, but if you don't behave, I'll spank you like I would a baby, an' it won't be any trouble at all to do it, thank'e. As a matter o' fact, we've captured your whole bloomin' blue island, but we don't like the place very much, and I guess we'll give it back. It gives us the blues, don't it, Trot? So as soon as we eat a bite of lunch from our basket, we'll sail away again."

"Sail away? How?" asked the Boolooroo.

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