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Authors: The Folk of the Faraway Tree

Enid Blyton (3 page)

 

III

CONNIE MEETS A FEW PEOPLE

 

"I don

t want to see any more of the horrid people
who live in this tree," wept poor Connie. But
Jo
took her firmly by the elbow and pushed
her up a broad bough to where a yellow door stood
o
pen in the tree.

In the doorway stood the prettiest little elf it
was possible to see. She had hair that stood out
round her head like a golden mist, as fine as silk.
She held out her hand to Connie.

"Poor child! Did you get caught in Dame
Washalot

s water! She has been washing such a
lot to
day, and the water has been coming down
all day long! Let me dry you."

Connie couldn

t help liking this pretty little
elf. How dainty she
was in her shining frock, and
what tiny feet and hands she had!

Silky drew her into her tidy little house. She
took a towel from a peg and began to dry Connie.
The others told her who she was.

"Yes, I know," said Silky. "We

re going up to
Moon-Face

s house to tea. He said he would ask
Mister Watzisname too, but I don

t expect he

ll
come, because I heard him snoring in his deck-chair as usual a little while ago.”

"Mister Who?" asked Connie.

"Mister Watzisname," said Silky. "He doesn

t
know his name nor does anyone else, so we call
him Watzisname. W
e

ve tried and tried to find out
what his name is, but I don

t expect we shall ever
kn
ow now. Unless the Land of Know-
A
l
l comes—
then we might go up there and find out. You can
find out anything in the Land of Know-All."

"Oh!" said
Jo
, thinking of a whole lot of things
he would dearly l
ove to know. "
We

ll go there if
it comes."

There suddenly came a curious noise down the
tree—
a noise of clanking and jingling, crashing
and banging. C
onnie looked alarmed. Whatever
would happen next? It sounded as if a hundred
saucepans, a few dozen ke
ttles, and some odds
and ends of dishes and pans were all falling
down the tree together!

Then a voice came f
loating down the tree, and
the children grinned.

 

"Two books for a book-worm,

Two butts for a goat,

Two winks for a winkle

Who can

t sing a note!"

 

"What a very silly
song!" said Connie.

"Yes, isn

t it?" said
Jo
. "It

s the kind the old
Saucepan Man always sings. It

s
his
'
Two
'
s
ong.
Every line but the last begins with the word
'
Two
'
.
Anyone
can make up a song like that."

"Well, I

m sure I don

t want to," said Connie,
thinking that everyone in the Faraway Tree must
be a little bit mad. "W
ho

s the Saucepan Man?
And what

s that awful crashing noise?"

"Only his saucepans and kettles and things,"
said Bessie. "He carries them round with him.
He

s a darling. Once we saw him without his
saucepans and things round him, and we didn

t
know him. He looked funny

quite different."

A most extraordinary person now came into
Silky

s
tiny house, almost getting stuck in the
door. He was covered from head to foot with
saucepans, kettles and pans, which were tied
round him with string. They jangled and crashed
together, so everyone always knew when the
Saucepan Man was coming.

Connie stared at him in the greatest surprise.
His hat was a very big saucepan, so big that it
hid most of his face. Connie could see a wide grin,
but that was about all.

"Who

s this funny creature?" said Connie, in a
loud and rather rude voice.

Now the Saucepan Man was deaf, and he didn

t
usually hear what was said

but this time he did,
and he didn

t like it. He tilted back his saucepan
hat and stared at Connie.

"Who

s this dirty little girl?" he said, in a voice
just as loud as Connie

s. Connie went red. She
glared at the Saucepan Man.

"This is Connie," said
Jo
. He turned to Connie.
"This is Saucepan, a great friend of ours," he
said. "We

ve had lots of adventures together."

"Why is she so dirty?" asked Saucepan, looking
at Connie

s ink-stained dress and dirty face. "Is
she always like that? Why don

t you clean her?"

Connie was furious. She was always so clean
and dainty and well-dressed
—how dare this horrid
clanking little man talk about her like that!

"Go away!" she said, angrily.

"Yes, it

s a very nice day," said the Saucepan
Man,
politely, going suddenly deaf.

"Don

t stay here and STARE!" shouted Connie.

"I certainly should wash your hair," said the
Saucepan Man at once. "It

s full of soap-suds."

"I
said,
'
Don

t STARE!
'
" cried Connie.

"Mind that stair?" said the Saucepan Man,
looking round. "Can

t see any. Didn

t know there
were any stairs in the Faraway Tree."

Connie stared at him in rage. "Is he mad?"
she said to
Jo
.

Jo
and the others were laughing at this queer
conversation.
Jo
shook his head. "No, Saucepan
isn

t mad. He

s just deaf. His saucepans make
such a clanking all the time that the noise gets
into his ears, and he can

t hear properly. So he
keeps making mistakes."

"That

s
right," said the Saucepan Man, entering
into the conversation suddenly. "Cakes. Plenty of
them. Waiting for us at Moon-Face

s."

"I said
'
Mis
-
takes
'
," said
Jo
. "Not cakes."

"But Moon-Face

s cakes aren

t mistakes,"
s
aid Saucepan, earnestly.

Jo
gave it up. "We

d better go up to Moon-Face

s," he said. "It

s past four o

clock."

"I hope that awful Saucepan Man isn

t coming
with us," said Connie. For a wonder Saucepan
heard what she said. He looked angry.

"I hope this nasty little girl isn

t coming with
us," he said, in his turn, and glared at Connie.

"Now, now, now," said Silky, and patted the
Saucepan Man on one of his kettles. "Don

t get
cross. It only makes things worse."

"Purse? Have you lost it?" said the Saucepan
Man, anxiously.

"I said
'
worse
'
not
'
purse
'
," said Silky. "Come
on! Let

s go. Connie

s dry now, but I can

t get
the ink-stains out of her dress."

They all began to climb the tree again, the
Saucepan Man making a frightful noise. He began
to sing his silly song.

 

"Two bangs for a pop-gun,

Two . . ."

 

"Be quiet!" said Silky. "You

ll wake Mister
Watzisname. He

s fast asleep. He went to bed
very late last night, so he

ll be tired. We won

t
wake him. We shall be a dreadful squash inside
Moon-Face

s house anyhow. Steal past his chair
quietly. Saucepan, try not to make your kettles
clan
g together."

"Yes, lovely weather," agreed Saucepan
,
mishearing again. They all stole past. Saucepan
made a few clatters, but they didn

t disturb
Watzisname, who snored loudly and peacefully
in his deck-chair on the broad bough of the tree
outside his house. His mouth was wide open.

"I wonder people don

t pop things in his mouth
if he leaves it open like that," whispered Connie.

"People do," said
Jo
. "
Moon-Face
put some
acorns in once. He was awfully angry. He really
was. It

s a wonder he doesn

t get soaked with
Dame Washalot

s water, but he doesn

t seem to.
He always puts his chair well under that big
branch."

They went on up the tree. In the distance they
saw Dame Washalot, hanging out some clothes on
boughs. "They blow away if she doesn

t get
someone to sit on them," said Silky to Connie.
"So she pays the baby squirrels to sit patiently on
each b
it of washing she does till it

s dry and she
can take it in and iron it."

They saw the line of baby squirrels in the
distance. They looked sweet. Connie wanted to
go nearer, but
Jo
said no, they really must go on;
Moon-Face would be tired of waiting for them.

At last they came almost to the top of the tree.
Connie was amazed when she looked down. The
Faraway Tree rose higher than any other tree in
the Enchanted Wood. Far below them waved the
tops of other trees. Truly the Faraway Tree was
amazing.

"Here we are, at Moon-Face

s," said
Jo
, and he
banged on the door. It fl
ew open and Moon-Face
looked out, his big round face one large smile.

"I thought you were never coming!" he said.
"You
are
late
!"

"We

ve brought this dirty little girl," said
Saucepan, and he pushed Connie forward.

Moon-Face
looked at her.

"She does look a bit dirty," he said, and smiled
broadly. "I suppose she got into trouble with the
Angry Pix
ie—and got some of Dame Washalot

s
Wat
er on her too!
Never mind! Come along in and
we

ll hav
e a good tea. I

ve got some Hot-
Cold
Goodies
!"

"Whatever are they?" said Connie, and even
the others hadn

t heard of them.

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