The Wind on the Moon

The Wind on the Moon by Eric Linklater

Book: The Wind on the Moon by Eric Linklater Read Free Book Online
Authors: Eric Linklater
meal, came running to him.
    â€˜You swallowed my key,’ growled Bendigo.
    â€˜No, I didn’t,’ said Sir Bobadil.
    â€˜Then where is it?’
    â€˜How should I know?’
    â€˜It’s in your stomach.’
    â€˜Nothing of the sort! I never eat keys.’
    â€˜You’re a liar. You eat everything you can get.’
    â€˜No, I don’t. I’ve got a very delicate digestion, and you’re a rude old bear!’
    Then they began to quarrel in earnest, and Bendigo chased Sir Bobadil all round the park, but couldn’t catch him, and while they were still arguing the sun came up and it was broad daylight.
    Bendigo suddenly remembered that he had no business to be out of his cage, and without another word he turned and went lumbering home as quickly as he could. But he was too late.
    Mr. Plum had got up early, and was taking a walk round the zoo. Just as Bendigo was approaching his cage from one side, Mr. Plum approached it from the other. Mr. Plum was extremely astonished to see Bendigo, and Bendigo was totally dismayed to see Mr. Plum. So they stood and looked at each other for half a minute without speaking or moving.
    Then Mr. Plum said in a very angry voice, ‘What are you doing out at this time of the morning?’

    And Bendigo hung his head, and Mr. Plum put a rope round his neck and led him off to a dark uncomfortable cage that stood all by itself in the loneliest corner of the zoo.

Chapter Thirteen
    As soon as they woke, Dinah told Dorinda everything that had happened the night before, and Dorinda looked at Bendigo’s key and said, ‘Now we can escape.’
    â€˜Not immediately,’ said Dinah. ‘There’s not much use in escaping before we have found Mrs. Grimble’s bottle. And don’t you think it’s our duty to stay till Mr. Parker has solved the mystery of the missing eggs?’
    â€˜He may take a long time to do that,’ said Dorinda.
    â€˜He’ll take much longer if we’re not here to help him,’ said Dinah. ‘I think the first thing we ought to do\??\—’
    â€˜I know!’ said Dorinda. ‘Let out the Silver Falcon!’
    â€˜Yes,’ said Dinah. ‘Give the Falcon his freedom, and he’ll look for Mrs. Grimble’s bottle while we’re looking for the missing eggs.’
    â€˜He may fly away altogether,’ said Dorinda.
    â€˜I don’t think so. I feel sure that he’s an honourable falcon, and he wouldn’t go away and leave his friend the Puma in captivity.’
    â€˜Suppose we do find Mrs. Grimble’s bottle, and turn ourselves into girls again: how are we going to get the Puma out of the zoo?’
    â€˜I haven’t thought of that yet,’ said Dinah, ‘but we’ll find a way. And now I think I must have a talk with Mr. Parker.’
    Before she could call Mr. Parker, however, Sir Lankester and Mr. Plum came to pay their usual morning visit to the animals, and they stood before Bendigo’s cage talking gravely about his wicked behaviour.
    â€˜You were perfectly right to put him in solitary confinement,’ said Sir Lankester. ‘I should have done the same myself.’
    â€˜I got the shock of my life when I saw him standing there,’ said Mr. Plum. ‘But luckily I had a bit of rope with me, so I put a noose round his neck and led him off to the solitary cage right away. He came quietly, I’m glad to say.’
    Dinah and Dorinda listened to this conversation with great surprise, for they had been sound asleep when Bendigo was discovered by Mr. Plum, and it had never occurred to them that he was anywhere but in his own house. As he was often late in getting up, there was nothing unusual in not seeing him out in his cage. Now again Dinah felt sorry for Bendigo in his misfortune, even though he was a newspaper thief, and possibly worse.
    â€˜I wonder how he got out,’ said Sir Lankester for the seventh time.

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