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Chapter 14

Throwing Stones

Major Monkey never stopped running until he had gone so far that the voices of the picnickers reached him only faintly.

Old Mr. Crow, who had followed him closely, began to think that the Major was frightened. But he knew he must be mistaken when Major Monkey came to a halt and said: "Now we can talk without disturbing anybody."

So Mr. Crow repeated that in his opinion the Major had insulted him.

"You've just the same as said that I'm a poor soldier!" he declared.

Major Monkey told him that it was not so.

"It's the generals that I can't trust," he explained. "But you are different. You're the cook, you remember. In the midst of a fight, you wouldn't be expected to cook."

"Then my part would be to do nothing at all?" Mr. Crow inquired.

"Exactly!" Major Monkey cried. "And I've no doubt that you'd be a great success."

Old Mr. Crow always liked praise. And of course the Major's remark pleased him. It made him all the more eager, too, to see the army attack Johnnie Green and his friends.

"Let's go back," said Mr. Crow, "and drive those boys out of the picnic grove!"

But Major Monkey shook his head.

"I don't want to lose my army," he said. "And besides we haven't any guns."

"You can throw stones, can't you?" Mr. Crow asked him.

"Oh, yes!" said the Major.

"Well, then--if I were you I'd get some stones down by the brook and go straight back to the grove and hurl them at the enemy."

He said so much more that at last Major Monkey yielded. And a little later he crept back through the tree-tops with all the stones he could carry.

Hidden high above the heads of the picnic party, Major Monkey gave several short whistles. "The attack!" he whispered to old Mr. Crow, who had returned with him to see the fun.

"Hullo!" Johnnie Green shouted, stopping short in the midst of a game of leapfrog. "Who's up there?" And he peered into the greenery above.

Nobody seemed to know the answer to his question. Certainly there was nobody missing from the picnic party.

"I wonder if it's Red Head!" said Johnnie. "You remember he said he couldn't come because he had work to-day. But he must have sneaked over here ahead of us and climbed a tree."

The words were scarcely out of Johnnie Green's mouth when a small stone plunged down from the trees and struck one of his great toes. Being barefooted, Johnnie Green let out a yell.

"Ouch!" he cried. "It's Red Head! There's no doubt about it."

If anybody else had any doubts, they faded quickly when a small shower of stones descended.

"Stop that!" the boys began to shout. "Come down!" And they threatened Red Head with terrible punishments.

Of course, Major Monkey was delighted. He knew that his army of generals could see--and hear--everything. And after he had thrown his last stone he felt so bold that he slipped down upon a lower limb, which gave him a better view of the picnic ground.

One of the boys caught a glimpse of a queer figure above him. And with a shriek he turned and fled.

His companions looked at him in wonder. And Johnnie Green couldn't imagine what had happened, when his staring eyes beheld the Major hanging from a bough over his head.

"It's a monkey!" Johnnie Green gasped. "Where in the world could he have come from?"

Arthur Scott Bailey

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