They slept all night and in the morning they walked on.
They were pretty high up in the mountains now, and Sweetclover, who was very tired, began to cry.
“Oh dear, oh dear,” said she, “will nothing ever happen to help us?”
And just then something did happen; something that looked as if it were going to do them a great deal of harm, but which really did them a great deal of good and it was this:
High over their heads, so small that you could scarcely see it, was an eagle. He was flying about in circles that brought him nearer and nearer to where Kernel Cob and Sweetclover were sitting.
Closer and closer he flew, and still they didn’t see him until it was too late.
With a cry of alarm, Sweetclover jumped to her feet but the eagle caught her up in a powerful claw.
Kernel Cob had been slow to see the danger, and by the time he had drawn his sword and was ready for the attack, he, too, had been caught and was struggling in the eagle’s grasp.
You know, of course, that eagles carry things off to their nests, and I suppose this one thought that Kernel Cob and Sweetclover were babies, and would be nice for Mrs. Eagle to play with. So, with the two dolls in his claws, he rose up from the ground with a great swoop.
The sound of a rifle and a bullet ripped through Kernel Cob’s hat and struck the eagle full in the breast. His wings fluttered for a minute, and then with a plunge like a ball of lead he fell to the earth.
“Well, well, well!” said Kernel Cob, as they lay under the eagle, “that was a pretty close shave.”
“I wonder who did it,” said Sweetclover.
“I don’t know,” said Kernel Cob, “but whoever it was did us a very good turn, for if he hadn’t killed the Eagle we’d have been pulled to pieces in his nest, just to see what was inside of us. But come, we must get out of here before the hunter comes to take us, for surely he will want to keep the Eagle.”
“I don’t see how we are to get out of here,” said Sweetclover, “for this Eagle weighs about a thousand pounds. I can’t move, can you?”
And when Kernel Cob attempted to pull himself from under the Eagle he found he couldn’t do it without pulling off his legs, and he was too sensible to think he could get far without them.
By this time the hunter who had shot the Eagle came running up, followed by another.
“It was a mighty foolish thing to do, John. I’ll bet you’ve killed the children,” said the second one.
And they came and lifted the Eagle.
“I thought so,” said the same voice. “Both of ’em dead.”
But the hunter, called John, had stooped and picked up Kernel Cob, and was examining him with a curious smile.
“Why, Margaret,” he said, “they’re dolls.”
And you should have seen Kernel Cob’s face as he turned to Sweetclover and said: