But by this time Miss Jones was completely exhausted. Summoning all her will power, she staggered a few steps, then dropped to the ground, with the bull not more than four yards behind her.
On it came, its head lowered almost to the ground. Then a huge green and white monster loomed up before the animal, and with a snort of mingled rage and horror the bull stopped short in its tracks. The strange green and white object now lunging at full tilt was far more terrible than the small, red, flame-like object that fled its approach. Rage conquering fear, the bull gave a dreadful roar and made a quick lunge at Madge. She sprang to one side but managed to thrust her umbrella full in the animal’s face. With a rumble of defiance the bull dodged the umbrella and made another lunge at Madge. Its lowered horns never reached her. A rope swung skilfully forward caught the animal by the leg just in time. One swift pull and the bull went down. The owner of the animal had witnessed its charge upon Miss Jones and, rushing across the field, had roped it. The artist who had attracted Miss Jenny Ann’s attention had also come to the rescue, but it was really Madge with her green and white umbrella who had saved their chaperon from the bull’s horns.
Miss Jones, who had raised herself to a sitting position, stared wildly about her, still firmly clutching the red parasol.
The artist sprang to her side and raised her to her feet. “It was this that made the mischief,” he said, touching her parasol. “I shouted to you to drop it.”
“But I didn’t hear you,” defended the teacher faintly. Her two long braids of fair hair had become unfastened and were now hanging down her back, giving her the appearance of a girl. “I heard some one calling to me, or I would never have entered that dreadful field.” Miss Jones eyed the artist reproachfully. “Was it you who shouted my name?”
“Was it I?” repeated the young man in astonishment. “Certainly not. I do not know your name.”
“My name is ‘Jones,’” Miss Jenny Ann faltered weakly. She was still feeling dazed and weak.
“And my name is ‘Brown,’” the artist answered, with an expression of solemn gravity. But the corners of his lips twitched in amusement.
There was a faint chuckle from Madge that went the round of the group and, despite the fact that the chaperon’s narrow escape had been far from ludicrous, the whole party burst into laughter.
“I am sorry,” apologized the artist. “Please forgive me for laughing.”
The farmer had in the meantime led the bull away, and now Eleanor and Lillian came running toward the group to see if Miss Jenny Ann were truly hurt. When they saw the whole party shaking with laughter, the two girls exchanged curious glances. “Luncheon has been waiting half an hour,” Eleanor declared rather crossly. “Do come and eat it. We would not have come after you if we had known that you were having such a good time.”