For many days they sailed on the ship till they came to land. And men came to unload the vessel, and their crate of oranges was carried up on the dock and placed on a wagon, and they were driven off, not in the least knowing what country they were in, nor where they were going.
And they peered out from the crate, and soon they heard the queerest kind of talk they ever heard, and Kernel Cob, bolder than the others, raised his head above an orange but quickly put it down again.
“I know where we are,” said the Villain who had been thinking. “We are in Japan.”
“How do you know?” asked Sweetclover.
“I was here once with the Showman,” said the Villain, “and I remember the way the people talked.”
And, being pushed onto a wagon, they were driven outside the city.
“We mustn’t go too far,” said Sweetclover, “or we’ll never find Jackie and Peggs’ motheranfather. Let’s get out before it’s too late.”
So they climbed out of their hiding place, and jumped to the ground.
They were not far from a house, and a curious kind of a house it was.
“It looks like the kind of house Jackie used to make with cards,” said Kernel Cob, and so intent were they, that they did not hear the approach of a little girl until she stood beside them, and lifted Sweetclover in her arms.
Of course they did not understand what she said, but it must have been something very beautiful, for her face was all smiles.
And the little Japanese girl lifted up Kernel Cob, and the Villain, too, and carried them off down the road and into the little house.
A very wonderful house it was, and full of toys, mostly Japanese dolls with short, straight hair and beautiful dresses, and talking all at once, in a curious language.
“Oh, dear,” sighed Sweetclover, “shall we never understand anybody in this strange country?”
“Aye, aye sir,” came a voice at her feet, and looking down, much to her surprise she saw an American Sailor doll.
“Bless my heart, mates,” said the sailor, “I’m glad to see you aboard. I’ve been in this port these four months, and I haven’t heard the sound of the American language in all that time. Shiver my timbers if I’m not glad to set eyes on you.”
And they talked it all over, where they’d been and everything, all about the Condor and the savages and the Moon.
“Well, mates,” said Jackie Tar, for that was his name, “you’ve seen a lot but you’ll never do any more travelling, for you’re in a pretty tight hole this time,” and he went on to tell them about the Japanese who lived in the house and owned the store.
“He’s a Toy-maker, he is, and the first thing he’ll do is to rip you up to see how you’re laid together, so he can make more like you.”
“Mercy!” said Sweetclover, and she began to sob.
“If you’re going to begin to cry,” said Kernel Cob, “I’m going to give up,” but the Villain whispered something kindly in Sweetclover’s ear, and she stopped at once, for the Villain had more patience, and knew how to comfort her.