of his own, like the mother of the last baby; that I believed they had all been brought from Bulika when they were so small that they could not now remember it; that the wicked princess there was so afraid of babies, and so determined to destroy them, that their mothers had to carry them away and leave them where she could not find them ; and that now we were going to Bulika, to find their mothers, and deliver them from the bad giantess.
' But I must tell you,' I continued, ' that there is danger before us, for, as you know, we may have to fight hard to take the city.'
' We can fight! we are ready!' cried the boys.
' Yes, you can,' I returned, ' and I know you will: mothers are worth fighting for ! Only mind, you must all keep together.'
' Yes, yes; we'll take care of each other,' they answered. ' Nobody shall touch one of us but his own mother! '
You must mind, every one, to do immediately what your officers tell you ! '
' We will, we will!—Now we're quite ready ! Let us go !'
Another thing you must not forget,' I went on : when you strike, be sure you make it a downright
swingeing blow; when you shoot an arrow, draw it to the head; when you sling a stone, sling it strong and straight.'
' That we will! ' they cried with jubilant, fearless shout.
' Perhaps you will be hurt!
' We don't mind that!—Do we, boys ?'
'Not a bit!'