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The Adventures of the Wishing-Chair, Page 2

Enid Blyton

  “Who’s talking in there?” boomed the giant’s enormous voice, and the children heard the bolts being undone and the key turned to unlock the door!

  “Quick, quick, Chinky!” shouted Peter, and he dragged the amazed pixie to the magic chair. They all three sat in it, huddled together, and Peter shouted “Take us home!”

  The door flew open and the giant rushed in just as the chair sailed out of the window. He ran to the window and made a grab at the chair. His big hand knocked against a leg, and the chair shook violently. Chinky nearly fell off, but Peter grabbed him and pulled him back safely. Then they sailed high up into the air, far out of reach of the angry giant!

  “We’ve escaped!” shouted Peter. “What an adventure! Cheer up, Chinky! We’ll take you home with us! You shall live with us, if you like. We have a fine playroom at the end of our garden. You can live there and no one will know. What fun we’ll have with you and the wishing-chair!”

  “You are very kind to me,” said Chinky gratefully. “I shall love to live with you. I can take you on many, many adventures!”

  “Hurrah!” shouted the two children. “Look, Chinky, we’re going down to our garden.”

  Soon they were safely in the garden, and the chair flew in at the open door of the playroom. Its wings disappeared, and it settled itself down with a long sigh, as if to say, “Home again!”

  “You can make a nice bed of the cushions from the sofa,” said Mollie to the pixie. “And I’ll give you a rug from the hall-chest to cover yourself with. We must go now, because it is past our tea-time. We’ll come and see you again tomorrow. Good luck!”

  The Grabbit Gnomes

  IT was such fun to have a real live pixie to play with! Mollie and Peter went to their playroom every day and talked with Chinky, whom they had so cleverly rescued from the giant’s castle. He refused to have anything to eat, because he said he knew the fairies in the garden, and they would bring him anything he needed.

  “Chinky, will you do something for us?” asked Mollie. “You know, we can’t be with the magic chair always to watch when it grows wings, but if you could watch it for us, and come and tell us when you see it has wings, then we could rush to our playroom and go on another adventure. It would be lovely if you’d do that.”

  “Of course,” said Chinky, who was a most obliging, merry little fellow. “I’ll never take my eyes off the chair!”

  Well, will you believe it, that very night, just as Chinky was going off to sleep, and the playroom was in darkness, he felt a strange little wind blowing from somewhere. It was the chair waving its wings about! Chinky was up in a trice, and ran out of the playroom to the house. He knew which the children’s room was, and he climbed up the old pear tree and knocked on the window.

  It wasn’t long before Mollie and Peter, each in warm dressing-gowns, were running down to the playroom. They lighted a candle and saw the chair’s red wings once more.

  “Come on!” cried Peter, jumping into the chair. “Where are we off to this time, I wonder?”

  Mollie jumped in too, and Chinky squeezed himself beside them. The chair was indeed very full.

  It flew out of the door and up into the air. The moon was up, and the world seemed almost as light as day. The chair flew to the south, and then went downwards into a strange little wood that shone blue and green.

  “Hallo, hallo! we’re going to visit the Grabbit Gnomes,” said the pixie. “I don’t like that! They grab everything they can, especially things that don’t belong to them! We must be careful they don’t grab our wishing-chair!”

  The chair came to rest in a small clearing, near to some queer toadstool houses. The doors were in the great thick stalks, and the windows were in the top part. No one was about.

  “Oh, do let’s explore this strange village!” cried Mollie, in delight. “I do want to!”

  “Well, hurry up, then,” said Chinky nervously. “If the Grabbit Gnomes see us here, they will soon be trying to grab this, that, and the other.”

  The two children ran off to the toadstool houses and looked at them. They really were lovely. How Mollie wished she had one at home in the garden! It would be so lovely to have one to live in.

  “Whatever is Chinky doing?” said Peter, turning round to look.

  “He’s got a rope or something,” said Mollie, in surprise. “Oh, don’t let’s bother about him, Peter. Do look here! There are six little toadstools all laid ready for breakfast! Fancy! They use them for tables as well as for houses!”

  Suddenly there was a loud shout from a nearby toadstool house.

  “Robbers! Burglars!”

  Someone was leaning out of the window of a big toadstool house, pointing to the children. In a trice all the Grabbit Gnomes woke up, and came pouring out of their houses. “Robbers! What are you doing here? Robbers!”

  “No, they’re not,” said Chinky the pixie, pushing his way through the crowd of excited gnomes. “They are only children adventuring here.”

  “How did you come?” asked a gnome at once.

  “We came in our wishing-chair,” said Mollie, and then she wished she hadn’t answered. For the Grabbit Gnomes gave a yell of delight and rushed off to where their chair was standing in the moonlight.

  “We’ve always wanted one, we’ve always wanted one!” they shouted. “Come on! Let’s take it safely to our cave where we hide our treasures!”

  “But it’s ours!” cried Peter indignantly. “Besides, how shall we get back home if you take our chair?”

  But the gnomes didn’t pay any attention to him. They raced off to the chair, and soon there wasn’t a tiny piece of the chair to be seen, for, to Peter’s dismay, all the little gnomes piled themselves into it, and sat there—on the seat, the back, the arms, everywhere!

  “Go to our treasure-cave!” they shouted. The chair flapped its red wings and rose up. The gnomes gave a yell of triumphant delight.

  “We’re off! Goodbye!”

  “Oooh! Look!” said Mollie suddenly. “There’s something hanging down from the chair. What is it?”

  “It’s a rope!” said Peter. “Oh, Chinky, you clever old thing! You’ve tied it to the leg of the chair, and the other end is tied to that tree-trunk over there. The chair can’t fly away!”

  “No,” said Chinky, with a grin. “It can’t! I know those Grabbit Gnomes! I may not know what three times seven are, but I do know what robbers these gnomes are! Well, they won’t find it easy to get away!”

  The chair rose up high until the rope was so tightly stretched that it could go no farther. Then the chair came to a stop. There it hovered in the air, flapping its wings, but not moving one scrap. The gnomes shouted at it and yelled, but it was no good. It couldn’t go any farther.

  “Well, the gnomes are safe for a bit,” said Chinky, grinning. “Now what about exploring this village properly, children?

  So the two spent half an hour peeping into the quaint toadstool houses, and Chinky gave them gnome-cake and gnome-lemonade, which were perfectly delicious.

  All this time the gnomes were sitting up in the wishing-chair, high above the trees, shaking their fists at the children, and yelling all kinds of threats. They were certainly well caught, for they could go neither up nor down.

  “Now, we’d better go home,” said Chinky suddenly, pointing to the east. “Look!—it will soon be dawn. Now listen to me. I am going to pull that chair down to earth again with your help. We will pull it down quickly, and it will land on the ground with such a bump that all the gnomes will be thrown off. Whilst they are picking themselves up, we will jump into the chair, and off we’ll go.”

  “Good idea!” grinned Peter. So he and Mollie and Chinky went to the rope and pulled hard, hand over hand. The chair came down from the air rapidly, and when it reached the ground, it gave such a bump that every single gnome was thrown off.

  “Oooooh!” they cried. “You wait, you wicked children!”

  But they didn’t wait. Instead, the three of them jumped into the chair, and Peter
called out, “Take us home, please!”

  Before the Grabbit Gnomes could take hold of the chair, it had risen up into the air. But the gnomes pulled at the rope, and down came the chair again.

  “Quick! Cut the rope!” shouted Peter to Chinky. Poor Chinky! He was feeling in every one of his many pockets for his knife, and he couldn’t find it. The gnomes pulled hard at the rope, and the chair went down still farther.

  And then Chinky found the knife! He leaned over the chair-arm, slashed at the rope and cut it. At once the chair bounded up into the air, free!

  “Home, home!” sang Peter, delighted. “I say! Talk about adventures! Every one seems more exciting than the last! Wherever shall we go next?”

  The Ho-Ho Wizard

  ONE day when Peter and Mollie ran down to see Chinky the pixie in their playroom, they found him reading a letter and groaning loudly.

  “What’s the matter, Chinky?” said the children, in surprise.

  “Oh, I’ve had a letter from my cousin, Gobo,” said Chinky. “Gobo says that my village is very unhappy because a wizard has come to live there, called Ho-Ho. He is a horrid fellow, and walks about saying, ‘Ho, ho!’ all the time, catching the little pixies to help him in his magic, and putting all kinds of spells on anyone that goes against him. I feel very unhappy.”

  “Oh, Chinky, we’re so sorry!” said the children at once. “Can’t we help?”

  “I don’t think so,” said Chinky sadly. “But I would very much like to go off in the wishing-chair to my village, next time it grows wings, if you don’t mind.”

  “Of course!” said the children. Then Mollie cried out in delight, and pointed to the magic chair. “Look! It’s growing wings now! How lovely! It must have heard what we said.”

  “We’ll all go,” said Peter, feeling excited to think that yet another adventure had begun.

  “Oh, no,” said Chinky at once. “I’d better go alone. This wizard is a horrid one. He might quite well catch you two, as you are clever children, and then think how dreadful I would feel!”

  “I don’t care!” said Peter. “We’re coming!”

  He and Mollie went to the chair and sat firmly down in it. Chinky went to it and sat down too, squeezing in between the two. “You are such nice children!” he said happily.

  The chair creaked, and before it could fly off, the pixie cried out loudly, “Go to the village of Apple-pie!”

  It flew slowly out of the door, flapping its rose-red wings. The children were used to flying off in the magic chair now, but they were just as excited as ever. The village of Apple-pie! How magic it sounded!

  It didn’t take them very long to get there. The chair put them down in the middle of the village street, and was at once surrounded by an excited crowd of pixies, who shook hands with Chinky and asked him a hundred questions.

  He talked at the top of his voice, explained who the children were, and why he had come. Then suddenly there was a great silence, and every one turned pale. The Ho-ho Wizard was coming down the street!

  He was a little fellow, with a long flowing cloak that swirled out as he walked and showed its bright golden lining. On his head he wore a round tight cap set with silver bells that tinkled loudly. He wore three pairs of glasses on his long nose, and a beard that hung in three pieces down to his waist. He really was a queer-looking fellow.

  “Ho, ho!” he said, as he came near the pixies. “What have we here? Visitors? And, bless us all, this is a wishing-chair, as sure as dogs have tails! Well, well, well!”

  Nobody said anything at all. The wizard prodded the chair with a long stick and then turned to the children.

  “Ho, ho!” he said, blinking at them through his pairs of glasses. “Ho, ho! So you have a magic chair. Pray come to have a cup of cocoa with me this morning, and I will buy your chair from you.”

  “But we don’t want to sell it,” began Peter at once. The wizard turned round on him, and from his eyes there came what looked like real sparks. He was very angry.

  “How dare you refuse me anything!” he cried. “I will turn you into a―”

  “We will come in half an hour,” stammered Chinky, pushing Peter behind him. “This boy did not understand how important you are, Sir Wizard.”

  “Brrrrrnrr!” said the wizard, and stalked off, his cloak flying out behind him.

  “Now what are we to do?” said Peter, in dismay. “Can’t we get into the chair and fly off, Chinky. Do let’s!”

  “No, no, don’t!” cried all the pixies at once. “If you do, Ho-ho will punish the whole village, and that will be terrible. Stay here and help us.”

  “Come to my cousin Gobo’s cottage and let us think,” said Chinky. So the two children went with him and Gobo, who was really very like Chinky, to a little crooked cottage at the end of the village. It was beautifully clean and neat, and the children sat down to eat coco-nut cakes and drink lemonade. Every one was rather quiet. Then Peter’s eyes began to twinkle, and he leaned over to Gobo.

  “I say, Gobo, have you by any chance got a spell to put people to sleep?” he asked.

  “Of course!” said Gobo, puzzled. “Why?”

  “Well, I have a fine plan,” said Peter. “What about putting old Ho-ho to sleep?”

  “What’s the use of that?” said Chinky and Gobo.

  “Well—when he’s asleep, we’ll pop him into the magic chair, take him off somewhere and leave him, and then go back home ourselves!” said Peter. “That would get rid of him for you, wouldn’t it?”

  “My goodness! That’s an idea!” cried Chinky, jumping up from his seat in excitement. “Gobo! If only we could do it! Listen! Where’s the sleepy-spell?”

  “Here,” said Gobo, opening a drawer and taking out a tiny yellow thing like a mustard seed.

  “Well, Peter has a bag of chocolates,” said Chinky, “and he could put the sleepy spell into one of them and give it to Ho-ho.”

  “But how do we know he’d take the right chocolate?” asked Mollie.

  “We’ll empty out all of them except one,” answered Chinky, “and that one Peter shall carry in the bag in his hand, and he must carry it as though it was something very precious indeed, and Ho-ho is sure to ask him what it is, and if Peter says it is a very special chocolate that he is not going to part with, or something like that, the old wizard is sure to be greedy enough to take it from him and eat it. Then he will fall asleep, and we’ll take him off in the chair to old Dame Tap-Tap, who will be so pleased to have him! He once tried to turn her into a ladybird, so I don’t think she will let him go in a hurry!”

  “Good idea!” cried every one, and Gobo danced round the room so excitedly that he fell over the coal scuttle and sent the fire-irons clanking to the floor. That made them all laugh, and they felt so excited that they could hardly empty out Peter’s bag of chocolates on the table and choose one for the sleepy spell.

  They chose a chocolate with a violet on top because it looked so grand. Peter made a little hole in it and popped in the spell. Then he left the rest of the chocolates with Gobo, who said he would enjoy them very much, put the violet one into the bag, and went off to get the wishing-chair with the others.

  It was still standing in the market-place, its red wings hanging down, for it was tired. Chinky and Peter thought they might as well carry it to Ho-ho’s cottage, which was only in the next street, so off they went, taking it on their shoulders.

  Ho-ho was waiting for them, his wily face watching from a window. He opened the door, and they all went in with the chair.

  “I see you have brought me the chair,” said Ho-ho. “Very sensible of you! Now sit down and have a cup of cocoa.”

  He poured out some very thin cocoa for them, made without any milk, and looked at them all sharply. He at once saw that Peter was holding something very carefully in his hand, which he did not even put down when he was drinking his cocoa.

  “What have you got in your hand?” he asked.

  “Something I want to keep!” said Peter at once.

>   “Show me,” said the wizard eagerly.

  “No,” said Peter.

  “Show me!” ordered the wizard angrily.

  Peter pretended to be frightened, and at once put the paper bag on the table, he wizard took it and opened it. He took out the chocolate.

  “Ho, ho! The finest chocolate I ever saw!” he said, and licked it to see what it tasted like.

  “Don’t eat it, oh, don’t eat it!” cried Peter at once, pretending to be most upset. “It’s mine!”

  “Well, now it’s mine!” said the wizard, and he popped it into his mouth and chewed it up. And no sooner had he swallowed it than his head began to nod, his eyes closed, and he snored like twenty pigs grunting!

  “The spell has worked, the spell has worked!” cried Peter, jumping about in excitement.

  “Now, Peter, there’s no time to jump and yell,” said Chinky hurriedly. “The spell may stop at any time, and we don’t want to wake up the wizard till we’ve got him to Dame Tap - Tap’s. Help me to put him into the chair.”

  Between them they dumped the sleeping wizard into the chair. Then Mollie sat on one arm, Peter sat on the other, and Chinky sat right on the top of the back. “To Dame Tap-tap!” he cried. At once the wishing-chair flapped its idle wings, flew out of the door, and up into the air, cheered by all the pixies in the village. What a thrill that was!

  In about five minutes the chair flew downwards again to a small cottage set right on the top of a windy hill. It was Dame Tap-tap’s home. The chair flew down to her front door, outside which there was a wooden bench. The three of them pulled the snoring wizard out of the chair and put him on the bench.

  Then Chinky took hold of the knocker and banged it hard, four times. “rat-tat-tat-tat!”

  He yelled at the top of his voice :

  “Dame Tap-tap! Here’s a present for you!”