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More Wishing-Chair Stories, Page 2

Enid Blyton

  The chair was anxious to fly off. Mollie sat in the seat with Chinky squeezed beside her. The Prince flew near them, holding on occasionally when the chair went very-fast.

  “To the Green Enchanter's Hill!” cried Chinky to the chair. “Go by way of the rainbow, and then over the snowy mountains of Lost Land.”

  The chair flapped steadily up into the air. The sun shone out. Then there came a big cloud, and rain fell. The sun shone through the rain and made a glorious rainbow. At once the chair flew towards it, higher and higher into the air.

  It came to the topmost curve of the glittering rainbow. It balanced itself there—and then, WHOOOOOOooosH! It slid all the way down it! What a slide that was! Mollie held her breath, and Merry's hair flew out behind him!

  They slid down to the bottom of the rainbow, and then the chair flew steadily on towards some high mountains, whose snowy tops stood up through the clouds.

  “There's Lost Land!” cried Chinky, pointing. “If we got lost there, there'd be no finding us again.”

  “Ooh!” said Mollie, shivering. “I hope the chair doesn't go down there.”

  It didn't. It flew on and on. Presently a big mountain-top loomed up in the distance, sticking its green head up through the clouds.

  “The Green Enchanter's Hill!” cried Chinky, in delight. “We haven't taken long! Now, we must be careful. We don't want the Enchanter to know we're here.”

  The chair flew downwards. It came to a beautiful garden. It settled down on the ground in a sheltered corner, where high hedges grew all round. Nobody could possibly see them there.

  “Now, how can we rescue the Princess?” asked Chinky.

  “She and I know a song that our pet canary whistles at home,” whispered the Prince. “If I whistle it, she will answer if she hears it, and then we shall know where she is.”

  He pursed up his lips and began to whistle just like a singing canary. It was wonderful to hear him. “When he had whistled for half a minute, he stopped and listened—and, clear as a bird, there came an answering song, just like the voice of a singing canary!

  “That's Sylfai!” said Prince Merry joyfully. “Come on—let's go towards the whistling. It's over there.”

  He and the others crept round the tall hedge and looked about. Stretching in front of them was a small bluebell wood, and in the midst of it, gathering bluebells, was a dainty little Princess!

  “Sylfai!” cried Merry, and ran to her. She hugged him and then looked around her nervously.

  “The Green Enchanter is somewhere near,” she whispered. “He hardly ever leaves me. How are you going to rescue me, Merry?”

  “We have a magic wishing-chair behind the hedge,” whispered back Merry. “Come along, Sylfai. Come with me, and with Mollie and Chinky. They are my good friends”

  The four hurried out of the wood to the hedge; but when they reached it, they stopped—for they could hear an angry voice shouting loudly “Come here, chair, I tell you! Come here!”

  “It is the Enchanter, who has found your chair!” whispered Sylfai frightened. “Now what shall we do?”

  Mollie and the others peeped through the hedge—and they saw a very strange sight! The Enchanter was trying to catch hold of the chair, and it wouldn't let him! Every time he came near it, the chair spread its red wings and flapped away from him. Then it settled down and waited till the angry Enchanter ran at it again. Once more it spread its wings and dodged away.

  And then suddenly a most dreadful and surprising thing happened! The chair, tired of dodging the Enchanter, suddenly flew straight up into the air, made for the clouds—and disappeared!

  “It's gone without us!” said Merry, in dismay. “Whatever shall we do now?”

  “Quick!” cried Sylfai, in fright. “The Enchanter will come to look for me, and he'll find you three too. Then he'll make you all prisoners, and it will be dreadful!”

  “Where can we hide?” said Mollie, looking round.

  “There's an old hollow tree in the wood,” said Sylfai, and she ran with them to the middle of the wood. She showed them an enormous oak tree, and in a trice the Prince had climbed half-way up, and was pulling Mollie up. They slipped inside the big hollow, and waited for Chinky to join them. He soon came.

  The Prince poked his head out and called to Sylfai: “Can't you join us, Sylfai?”

  “Sh!” said the Princess. “The Enchanter is coming!”

  Sure enough, a loud and angry voice came sounding through the wood.

  “Sylfai! Where are you, Sylfai! Come here at once!”

  “I'll see you when I can!” whispered the Princess. “All right, I'm coming!” she called to the Enchanter, and the three in the tree heard the sound of her feet scampering off.

  They looked at one another.

  “Whatever are we to do?” groaned Chinky. “I don't see how in the world we are to escape now our chair is gone! We are in a fix!”

  Peter's Own Adventure

  PETER lay in bed, wishing very much that he could have gone off in the wishing-chair with the others. He dozed for a little while, and then woke up feeling so much better that he decided to get up. He jumped out of bed and ran to the window to see what sort of afternoon it was.

  And, as he looked out of the window, he saw something that made him stare very hard indeed! He saw something strange flying high up in the sky—not a bird—not an aeroplane—not a balloon! What could it be?

  It came down lower—and then Peter saw that it was the magic wishing-chair!

  “But it's empty!” said Peter to himself, feeling very much afraid. “Where are the others? Oh dear, I do so hope that the Green Enchanter hasn't caught them! However will they escape, if the wishing-chair has come back without them?”

  He dressed quickly, watching the wishing-chair as it came down to earth and flew in at the open door of the playroom at the bottom of the garden. He slipped downstairs and ran to the playroom. The chair was there, making a curious noise as if it were out of breath!

  “Wait a minute, chair, before you make your wings disappear!” cried Peter, flinging himself into the seat. “You must fly back again to Mollie and the others! Do you hear? I don't know where they are—but you must go to them, for they will be in a great fright without you!”

  The chair made a grumbling, groaning sort of noise. It was tired and didn't want to fly any more. But Peter thumped the back of it and commanded it to fly.

  “Do you hear me, chair? Fly back to Mollie!” he ordered.

  The chair flapped its wings more quickly and flew out of the door with a big sigh. It flew steadily upwards, found a rainbow and slid down it, much to Peter's delight. Then it came to the Lost Land, and Peter saw the snowy tops of the mountains sticking up through the clouds, just as the others had done. The chair was very tired as it flew over these mountains, and, to Peter's dismay, it began to fly downwards as if it meant to rest itself on one of the summits.

  “You mustn't do that!” cried Peter. “No one is ever found again if they go to the Lost Land.”

  But the chair took no notice. It flew down to a snowy peak and settled itself there. Almost at once Peter spied some bearded gnomes coming up the mountain towards them, and he knew they were going to catch and keep him and the chair. He jumped off the chair, picked it up, and waved it in the air until it started flapping its wings again. Then the little boy jumped into it, and up they flew once more, leaving the disappointed gnomes behind them.

  “This is my own adventure!” thought Peter. “But it's lonely, having adventures all by myself.”

  At last he saw the green peak of the Enchanter's high hill poking up through the clouds. Down flew the chair to the castle on the top. It came to rest in the very same place where it had rested before—in the sheltered place between high hedges. Peter jumped off and looked round. He thought it would be a good idea to tie the chair up, as Chinky had once done before—then it couldn't fly away without him. So he tied a string from its leg to the hedge, then left it.

  As he was cr
eeping round the hedge he saw a little figure running nearby. It was the Princess Sylfai, though he did not know it. He gave a low whistle, meaning to ask her if she knew where his friends were. She heard him and looked round. When she saw him, she gave a scream, for she did not know who he was.

  “I say! Don't be frightened! Come here!” cried Peter. But she ran away all the faster. So Peter gave chase, thinking that he really must catch her and ask her if she knew where Mollie and the others were. The little fairy raced along, panting, and disappeared into the bluebell wood.

  She ran to the hollow tree where Mollie, Prince Merry, and Chinky the Pixie were hiding, and called for help.

  “There's an enemy after me!” she panted. Prince Merry heard his sister calling for help, and he at once climbed out of the hollow tree and drew his sword. He would kill the enemy!

  Sylfai ran to him, and pointed behind her. “He is coming!” she panted. “Hide behind this tree, Merry and jump out at him as he runs by!”

  So Merry hid behind the tree, waiting, his sword drawn. Peter came up, panting and puffing, wondering where the little fairy had gone.

  “Now I've got you!” shouted Prince Merry in his fiercest voice, as Peter ran by the tree behind which he was hiding. He pounced at the surprised boy with his sword ready to strike—and then stopped in amazement!

  “Peter!” he cried. “I nearly wounded you! How did you get here?”

  “I came in the wishing-chair!” said Peter. “I saw it come home alone, and I was afraid something had happened to you all. So I made it come back again. I saw this little fairy and wanted to ask her where you all were, but she ran away.”

  “This is my sister, Princess Sylfai,” said Merry, “and this, Sylfai, is Peter. Hie, Mollie and Chinky! Come out! Here's Peter—and he's got the wishing-chair!”

  “What's all this NOISE!” an angry voice suddenly shouted. “Sylfai! WHERE ARE YOU?”

  “There's the Green Enchanter!” said Sylfai, in dismay. “What shall we do?”

  “Run for the chair!” cried Peter. “Come on!”

  All five of them ran out of the wood towards the hedge behind which the chair was tied—but will you believe it, when they crept round the hedge, there was the Enchanter sitting in their chair, a wicked grin on his face, waiting for them to come!

  “Peter! Chinky! There's only one thing to do!” whispered Merry desperately. “We'll run at him, tip him off the chair, and, before he knows what is happening, we'll be off into the air. Mollie and Sylfai, keep by us!”

  Then, with a loud whoop, Peter, Chinky, and the Prince hurled themselves at the astonished Enchanter, tipped up the chair, and sent him sprawling on his face! The Prince quickly picked up the Enchanter's cloak and wound it tightly two or three times round the angry man's head, so that he could not speak or see!

  Whilst the Enchanter was trying to unwrap himself, Mollie and Sylfai squeezed into the chair. Chinky sat on one arm, and Peter sat on the other. Merry cut the rope, and cried, “Home, Chair!” It rose up swiftly into the air, with Merry guiding it, flying beside it.

  “We're safe!” cried Merry. “Thank you, Peter, for daring to come on an adventure by yourself!”

  The Old, Old Man

  THE wishing-chair had not grown its wings for a long time. Chinky and the children had become quite tired of waiting for another adventure. Mollie thought perhaps the magic had gone out of it, and it might be just an ordinary chair now. It was most disappointing

  It was a lovely fine day, and Peter wanted to go for a walk. “Come with us, Chinky,” he said. “It’s no use staying in the playroom with the chair. It won’t grow its wings today!”

  So Chinky the pixie squashed his pointed ears under one of Peter’s old caps, put on an old overcoat of Peter’s, and set out with the children. Jane the housemaid saw them going, and she called after them :

  “If you’re going out, I shall give the playroom a good clean out. It hasn’t been done for a long time.”

  “All right!” called back Mollie. “We won’t be home till dinner-time.”

  They had a lovely walk, and ran back to the playroom about dinner-time. It did look clean. Jane was just finishing the dusting. Chinky waited outside, for he did not want to be seen. But suddenly Peter turned pale, and said, “Oh, where’s the chair? Mollie, where’s the chair?”

  “Oh, do you mean that old chair?” said Jane, gathering up her brushes. “An old, old man came for it. He said it had to be mended, or something. He took it away.”

  She went up to the house, leaving the two children staring at each other in dismay. Chinky ran in, and how he stared when he heard the news!

  “I know who the old man must have been!” he cried. “It’s old Bone-Lazy, who lives at the foot of Breezy Hill. He hates walking, so I expect he thought he’d get hold of our wishing-chair if he could. Then he’d be able to go everywhere in it!”

  “How can we get it back?” asked Mollie, almost in tears.

  “I don’t know,” said Chinky. “We’ll have a try anyhow. Come back here after dinner, and we’ll go to his cottage.”

  So after their dinner the two children ran back to their playroom. They found a most astonishing sight. There was no Chinky there—only an old woman, dressed in a black shawl that was drawn right over her head!

  “Who are you?” asked Mollie. Then she gave a cry of surprise—for, when the old woman raised her head, Mollie saw the merry face of Chinky the pixie!

  “This disguise is part of my plan for getting back our magic chair,” explained Chinky. “Now I want you to go with me to Bone-Lazy’s cottage, and I shall pretend to fall down and hurt myself outside. You will run up and help me to my feet—then you will help me to Bone-Lazy’s cottage, knock at the door, and explain that I’m an old lady who needs a drink of water and a rest.”

  “And whilst we’re in the cottage we look round to see if our chair is there!” cried Peter. “What a marvellous plan!”

  They set off. Chinky took them through a little wood they never seemed to have seen before, and, when they came out on the other side of it, they were in country that looked quite different! The flowers were brighter, the trees were full of blossom, and brilliant birds flew here and there!

  “I never knew it was so easy to get to Fairyland!” said Mollie, in surprise.

  “It isn’t!” said Chinky, with a grin, lifting up his black shawl and peeping at the children merrily. “You couldn’t possibly find it unless you had me with you!”

  “Is that Bone-Lazy’s cottage?” asked Mollie, pointing towards a cottage at the foot of a nearby hill.

  Chinky nodded.

  “I’ll go on ahead now,” he said. “Then you must do your part as we have planned. Good luck!”

  He hobbled on in front, looking for all the world like an old woman. When he came just by the cottage, Chinky suddenly gave a dreadful groan, and fell to the ground. At once the children rushed up and pulled the pretended old woman to her feet. From the corner of his eye Peter saw someone looking out of the window of the cottage at them.

  “Quick! Quick!” he cried very loudly to Mollie. “This poor woman has fainted! We must take her into this cottage and ask for a drink of water for her. She must rest!”

  They half-carried Chinky to the cottage door and knocked loudly. An old, old man opened it. He had narrow cunning eyes and the children didn’t like the look of him at all. They explained about the old woman and took her into the cottage. “Could you get a drink of water?” said Mollie.

  The old chap left the room, grumbling. “I shall have to go to the well,” he muttered crossly.

  “Good!” thought Peter. “It will give us time for a look round.”

  But, to their great disappointment, the wishing-chair was not to be seen! The cottage only had one room, so it did not take them long to hunt all round it. Before they had time to say anything the old, old man came back with a jug of water.

  Mollie took it from him—and then she suddenly noticed a very curious thing. A great dra
ught was coming from a big chest-of-drawers standing in a corner. She stared at it in surprise. How could it be making such a wind round her feet? It was only a chest-of-drawers!

  But wait a minute! Was it only a chest-of-drawers? Quick as lightning Mollie upset the jug of water, and then turned to Bone-Lazy in apology. “Oh! I’m so sorry! I’ve upset the water! How very careless of me! I wonder if you’d be good enough to get some more?”

  The old man shouted at her rudely, snatched up the jug, and went down the garden to the well. The others stared at Mollie in surprise.

  “Whatever did you do that for?” said Peter.

  “There’s something queer about that chest-of-drawers,” said Mollie. “There’s a strange wind coming from it. Feel, Chinky! I upset the jug just to get the old man out of the way for a minute.”

  “Stars and moon! He’s changed our chair into a chest!” cried Chinky. “It must have grown wings, but we can’t see them because of Bone-Lazy’s magic! Quick, all of you! Jump into a drawer, and I’ll wish us away!”

  The children pulled open two of the enormous drawers and sat inside. Chinky sat on the top, crying “Home, wishing-chair, home!”

  The chest groaned, and the children heard a flapping noise Just at that moment the old man came into the room again with a jug of water. How he stared! But, before he could do anything, the chest-of-drawers rose up in the air, knocked the water out of his hand, almost pushed him over, and squeezed itself out of the door.

  “You won’t steal our chair again!” shouted cheeky Chinky, and he flung his black shawl neatly over Bone-Lazy’s head.

  The chest rose high into the air, and then a funny thing happened. It began to change back into the chair they all knew so well! Before they could think what to do, the children found themselves sitting safely on the seat, for the drawers all vanished into cushions! Chinky was on the top of the back, singing for joy.

  “That was a marvellous plan of yours!” said Peter.