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|Rinkitink In Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Deserted Island
|Page 3 of 5||
"Easily enough. I kept my mouth shut and stayed away from the rascals," said the goat. "I knew that the soldiers would not care for a skinny old beast like me, for to the eye of a stranger I seem good for nothing. Had they known I could talk, and that my head contained more wisdom than a hundred of their own noddles, I might not have escaped so easily."
"Perhaps you are right," said the boy.
"I suppose they got the old man?" carelessly remarked Bilbil.
"What old man?"
"Oh, no! His Majesty is at the bottom of the well," said Inga, "and I don't know how to get him out again."
"Then let him stay there," suggested the goat.
"That would be cruel. I am sure, Bilbil, that you are fond of the good King, your master, and do not mean what you say. Together, let us find some way to save poor King Rinkitink. He is a very jolly companion, and has a heart exceedingly kind and gentle."
"Oh, well; the old boy isn't so bad, taken altogether," admitted Bilbil, speaking in a more friendly tone. "But his bad jokes and fat laughter tire me dreadfully, at times."
Prince Inga now ran back to the well, the goat following more leisurely.
"Here's Bilbil!" shouted the boy to the King. "The enemy didn't get him, it seems."
"That's lucky for the enemy," said Rinkitink. "But it's lucky for me, too, for perhaps the beast can assist me out of this hole. If you can let a rope down the well, I am sure that you and Bilbil, pulling together, will be able to drag me to the earth's surface."
"Be patient and we will make the attempt," replied Inga encouragingly, and he ran to search. the ruins for a rope. Presently he found one that had been used by the warriors in toppling over the towers, which in their haste they had neglected to remove, and with some difficulty he untied the knots and carried the rope to the mouth of the well.
Bilbil had lain down to sleep and the refrain of a merry song came in muffled tones from the well, proving that Rinkitink was making a patient endeavor to amuse himself.
"I've found a rope!" Inga called down to him; and then the boy proceeded to make a loop in one end of the rope, for the King to put his arms through, and the other end he placed over the drum of the windlass. He now aroused Bilbil and fastened the rope firmly around the goat's shoulders.
"Are you ready?" asked the boy, leaning over the well.
"I am," replied the King.
"And I am not," growled the goat, "for I have not yet had my nap out. Old Rinki will be safe enough in the well until I've slept an hour or two longer."
"But it is damp in the well," protested the boy, "and King Rinkitink may catch the rheumatism, so that he will have to ride upon your back wherever he goes."
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|Rinkitink In Oz
L. Frank Baum
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