THE TALE OF MR. BUSYBODY
" Tell him we will," said Twiddle, and he was just going to shut the door when Pipkin, turning to go, caught sight of Busybody at the bottom of the hill. Busybody had seen Pipkin going up the hill and was following him as fast as he could. Pipkin was frightened. He turned to Twiddle.
"PLEASE let me come in and go out by the back way! " he begged. " That's a robber there, coming up the hill. He wants my money and these magic shoes. I'm afraid of him."
Twiddle opened the door wide without a word and Pipkin rushed through, went to the back door, opened it and skipped off down the other side of the hill, pleased to have given Busybody the slip.
Busybody walked quickly up the hill, panting, and knocked at the door of the cottage. Twiddle opened it and scowled at him. " Is there a fellow called Pipkin here? " asked Busybody. " Nobody bellows here," said Twiddle, who couldn't hear properly what Busybody said. " Hie, Twaddle, come and help."
Before Busybody knew what was happening another frowning dwarf appeared and the two of them caught hold of him roughly.
"HE'S A THIEF! " said Twiddle to Twaddle. "INTO THE NETTLES WITH HIM! "
Then, to Busybody's great astonishment and fright the two of them swung him forward, threw him up into the air, and crash! He landed on hands and knees in a thick bed of nettles that were growing by the side of
Ooh! How they stung! Busybody gave a howl and crawled out, being stung by fresh nettles all the time. His face, his knees and his hands were badly stung, and big tears came to his eyes.
" How horrible people are to-day, to be sure," said poor Busybody. " I shall go home. I shan't bother about following that robber of a Pipkin any more. Old Man Jog-About can lose his shoes and all his money too, for all I care! "
So he went sadly down the hill and began to make his way home—and to his great