28 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
palm-trees, and, fixing their eyes upon us, ground their teeth and made horrible grimaces, screaming at us all the time. Fritz prepared to shoot at them instantly. He threw his burdens on the ground, and it was with difficulty I could prevent him from firing.
'Ah, father, why did not you let me fire? Monkeys are such malicious, mischievous animals ! Look how they are grinning at us !'
I laughed at this and told him to stand aside, for an idea had come into my head, and I meant to put it to the test.
Accordingly I began to throw some stones at the monkeys, and though I could not throw them half high enough, they answered the purpose, for, with their usual mimicry, the monkeys furiously tore off all the cocoa-nuts within their reach and hurled them down upon us, so that it was with difficulty we avoided being hit by them. In a short time all the ground around us was covered with cocoa-nuts.
Fritz laughed heartily at the success of the stratagem, and as the shower of cocoa-nuts began to subside, we gathered them up, and having first enjoyed the milk through the three small holes, where we found it easy to insert the point of