Here to return to
OF course Timothy Turtle was glad that Johnnie Green was gone. But he was far from happy, lying helpless on his back on the bank of Black Creek.
He told Mr. Crow that he hoped Johnnie would forget to come back again – a remark which made old Mr. Crow laugh. Being very wise, he saw at once that Timothy Turtle knew next to nothing about boys.
"I should think," Mr. Crow told Timothy, "you'd want Johnnie Green to return."
"Why?" Timothy snapped out his question in an angry tone, as he lay there upside down and stared at old Mr. Crow, who sat in a tree near-by.
"Well," Mr. Crow
answered, "who'll set you on your feet again if he doesn't?"
"Don't you worry about me!" Timothy Turtle sneered. "I'll right myself as soon as there's a freshet. If there's a big enough rain the creek will rise as high as I am now. And nobody could keep me on my back in the water."
Old Mr. Crow actually snickered. "You might have to wait till next spring for a freshet," he said cheerfully. "And what would you eat meanwhile?"
Having had a hearty meal of fish just before leaving the creek, Timothy Turtle hadn't once thought of eating. And naturally Mr. Crow's question troubled him. So he frowned frightfully. And he snapped his hooked jaws together, for he had to take something in his jaws and bite it, if it was no more than the air.
"I suppose" – Mr. Crow remarked – "I suppose you would call that taking the air, eh?" And there was a merry twinkle in his eye.
"Go away!" Timothy
Turtle growled. But his guest declined to leave. "There's likely to be
some fun here," he thought, "and I don't intend to miss it."
If Timothy Turtle was surprised, Mr. Crow certainly was not, when a little later Johnnie Green and another boy whom he called "Red" (on account of his hair) came hurrying up to the spot where Timothy Turtle lay.
Upon the ground they dropped a number of things, such as pieces of rope, an old grain-sack, and an axe.
"Goodness!" said Mr. Crow to himself, as he looked on. "I'm glad I'm not Timothy Turtle. It appears to me that he's going to have a terrible time."
And Timothy himself seemed to think the same. He made savage passes at Johnnie and Red whenever they came near him. But they took good care to keep beyond his reach.
On the whole their captive behaved in a most foolish manner. Instead of drawing his head as far as he could into his shell, he thrust his neck out as far as it would go.
And that was exactly what the boys wanted him to do. Before Timothy Turtle – who was somewhat slow-witted – before he realized what their plan was, Johnnie Green and his friend Red had slipped one noose around his head and another around his body. And after turning their captive right side up they staked him out upon the sand so that he could not move.
"There!" Johnnie Green cried when they had Timothy Turtle where they wanted him. "That's the way the Redskins do with their enemies."
And his friend the red-haired boy danced something that might have been an Indian war dance.
Anyhow, neither old Mr. Crow nor Timothy Turtle had ever seen anything like it.Click the book image to turn to the next Chapter.