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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 67 pages of information about Happy Jack.

“I hope, I do hope, that nothing has happened to him,” mumbled Happy Jack, as he pretended to hunt for buried nuts while he waited for Tommy Tit to come back, and by “him” he meant Farmer Brown’s boy.

CHAPTER XVII

TOMMY TIT BRINGS NEWS

No one knows too much, but many know too little.

Happy Jack.

Happy Jack very plainly was not happy.  His name was the only happy thing about him.  He fussed about on the edge of the Green Forest.  He just couldn’t keep still.  When he thought anybody was looking, he pretended to hunt for some of the nuts he had buried in the fall, and dug holes down through the snow.  But as soon as he thought that no one was watching, he would scamper up a tree where he could look over to Farmer Brown’s house and look and look.  It was very clear that Happy Jack was watching for some one and that he was anxious, very anxious, indeed.

It was getting late in the afternoon, and soon the Black Shadows would begin to creep out from the Purple Hills, behind which jolly, round, red Mr. Sun would go to bed.  It would be bedtime for Happy Jack then, for you know he goes to bed very early, just as soon as it begins to get dark.  The later it got, the more anxious and uneasy Happy Jack grew.  He had just made up his mind that in a few minutes he would have to give up and go to bed when there was a flit of tiny wings, and Tommy Tit the Chickadee dropped into the tree beside him.

“Did you find out anything?” asked Happy Jack eagerly, before Tommy had a chance to say a word.

[Illustration:  “DID YOU FIND OUT ANYTHING?” ASKED HAPPY JACK EAGERLY.]

Tommy nodded.  “He’s there!” he panted, for he was quite out of breath from hurrying so.

“Where?” Happy Jack fairly shouted the question.

“Over there in the house,” replied Tommy Tit.

“Then he hasn’t gone away!  It’s just as I said, he hasn’t gone away!” cried Happy Jack, and he was so relieved that he jumped up and down and as a result nearly tumbled out of the tree.

“No,” replied Tommy, “he hasn’t gone away, but I think there is something the matter with him.”

Happy Jack grew very sober.  “What makes you think so?” he demanded.

“If you’ll give me time to get my breath, I’ll tell you all about it,” retorted Tommy Tit.

“All right, only please hurry,” replied Happy Jack, and tried to look patient even if he wasn’t.

Tommy Tit smoothed out some rumpled feathers and was most provokingly slow about it.  “When I left here,” he began at last, “I flew straight up to Farmer Brown’s house, as I said I would.  I flew all around it, but all I saw was that horrid Black Pussy on the back doorsteps, and she looked at me so hungrily that she made me dreadfully uncomfortable.  I don’t see what Farmer Brown keeps her about for, anyway.”

“Never mind her; go on!” interrupted Happy Jack.

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