IN THE HEART OF THE WOOD
that to help them up the children could not possibly get out of the tree. Whatever were they to do?
The men slithered down the tree and jumped to the ground. The children heard them going through the wood. Sally was very frightened.
" Oh Benny—can't we get out? Have we got to stay here till midnight? What will Mother say? "
" Cheer up. We'll have to stay," said Benny. " Curl up on the sacks, Sally, I'll look after you. I expect they'll set us free at midnight! "
The two children settled down on the sacks inside the tree. It was very dark now. Benny felt worried. He had always been taught to look after his sister, and he didn't know how to put things right. How could they escape from the hollow tree when their rope was gone? It was quite impossible.
The children sat there in silence. Benny switched his torch on at times, just to cheer them up. He didn't like to leave it on all the time in case the battery wore out. He put his arm round Sally.
" Never mind, Sal," he said. " It's an adventure, you know! "
"Well, I don't like it," said Sally. " Oh, Benny, I hope those men really mil come back. Suppose they left us here for ever? "
" Silly! " said Benny. " Of course they wouldn't." But all the same he felt very anxious too.
Suddenly there was a rustling sound outside the tree. Sally clutched at Benny's hand in fright. Whatever was it now? A robber creeping back? A rat? Oh dear!
There came a curious snuffling sound and then a little whine. Sally gave a cry of joy.
" Scamp! It's old Scamp! Dear old dog, he's come back to find us! "
" Woof," said Scamp, cautiously, and stuck his head through the hole at the bottom of the tree. He couldn't get any further. He blinked up at them.
" Scamp, can't you rescue us? " said Benny. " No, I don't see how you can. Look at that place on his head, Sally—that must have been where the robber's stone hit him."
" Poor old boy," said Sally.
Suddenly Benny gave a cry and made Sally jump. " Sally! Sally, J know what we can do! We can write a note, and tie it to Scamp's collar, and send him home with it! Can't we? "