Sky Island

Page 47

"You can't afford to spend your time a-rulin' this tucked-up country, Trot."

"Why not?" asked Trot, who was pleased with her new and important position.

"It'd get pretty tiresome, mate, after you'd had a few quarrels with the Pinkies, for they expec' their Queen to be as poor as poverty an' never have any fun in life."

"You wouldn't like it for long, I'm sure," added Button-Bright seriously.

Trot seemed thoughtful. "No, I don't know's I would," she admitted. "But as long as we stay here, it seems a pretty good thing to be Queen. I guess I'm a little proud of it. I wish mother could see me rulin' the Pinkies, an' Papa Griffith, too. Wouldn't they open their eyes?"

"They would, mate, but they can't see you," said Cap'n Bill. "So the question is, what's to be done?"

"We ought to get home," observed the boy. "Our folks will worry about us, and Earth's the best place to live, after all. If we could only get hold of my Magic Umbrella, we'd be all right."

"The rose is red, the violet's blue, But the umbrel's stolen by the Boolooroo!"

screamed the parrot.

"That's it," said Cap'n Bill. "The Boolooroo's got the umbrel, an' that settles the question."

"Tell me," said Rosalie, "If you had your Magic Umbrella, could you fly home again in safety?"

"Of course we could," replied Button-Bright.

"And would you prefer to go home to remaining here?"

"We would indeed!"

"Then why do you not get the umbrella?"

"How?" asked Trot eagerly.

"You must go into the Blue Country and force the Boolooroo to give up your property."

"Through the Fog Bank?" asked Cap'n Bill doubtfully.

"And let the Boolooroo capture us again?" demanded Button-Bright with a shiver.

"An' have to wait on the Snubnoses instead of bein' a Queen?" said Trot.

"You must remember that conditions have changed, and you are now a powerful Ruler," replied Rosalie. "The Pinkies are really a great nation, and they are pledged to obey your commands. Why not assemble an army, march through the Fog Bank, fight and conquer the Boolooroo and recapture the Magic Umbrella?"

"Hooray!" shouted Cap'n Bill, pounding his wooden leg on the floor. "That's the proper talk! Let's do it, Queen Trot."

"It doesn't seem like a bad idea," added Button-Bright.

"Do you think the Pinkies would fight the Blueskins?" asked Trot.

"Why not?" replied the sailorman. "They have sharp sticks an' know how to use 'em, whereas the Blueskins have only them windin'-up cords with weights on the ends."

"The Blueskins are the biggest people," said the girl.

"But they're cowards, I'm sure," declared the boy.

"Anyhow," the sailor remarked, "that's our only hope of ever gett'n' home again. I'd like to try it, Trot."

"If you decide on this adventure," said Rosalie, "I believe I can be of much assistance to you."

"That'll help," asserted Cap'n Bill.

"And we've one good friend among the Blueskins," said Button-Bright. "I'm sure Ghip-Ghisizzle will side with us, and I've got the Royal Record Book, which proves that the Boolooroo has already reigned his lawful three hundred years."

"Does the book say that?" inquired Trot with interest.

"Yes, I've been reading it."

"Then Sizzle'll be the new Boolooroo," said the girl, "an' p'raps we won't have to fight, after all."

"We'd better go prepared, though," advised Cap'n Bill, "fer that awful ol' Boolooroo won't give up without a struggle. When shall we start?"

Trot hesitated, so they all looked to Rosalie for advice. "Just as soon as we can get the army together and ready," decided the Witch. "That will not take long. Perhaps two or three days."

"Good!" cried Cap'n Bill, and the parrot screamed,

"Here's a lovely how-d'y'-do-- We're going to fight the Boolooroo! We'll get the Six Snubnoses, too, And make 'em all feel mighty blue."

"Either that or the other thing," said Trot. "Anyhow, we're in for it."



Much to the surprise of the Earth people, the Pinkies made no objection whatever to undertaking the adventure.

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