In escaping the palace, Trot had been obliged to leave all the pets behind her, but it seemed that the parrot had found some way to get free and follow her. They were all astonished to hear the bird talk—and in poetry, too—but Cap’n Bill told Trot that some parrots he had known had possessed a pretty fair gift of language, and he added that this blue one seemed an unusually bright bird. “As fer po’try,” said he, “that’s as how you look at po’try. Rhymes come from your head, but real po’try from your heart, an’ whether the blue parrot has a heart or not, he’s sure got a head.”
Having decided not to venture into the Arch of Phinis, they again started on, this time across the country straight toward the Fog Bank, which hung like a blue-grey cloud directly across the center of the island. They knew they were being followed by bands of the Blueskins, for they could hear the shouts of their pursuers growing louder and louder every minute, since their long legs covered the ground more quickly than our friends could possibly go. Had the journey been much farther, the fugitives would have been overtaken, but when the leaders of the pursuing Blueskins were only a few yards behind them, they reached the edge of the Fog Bank and without hesitation plunged into its thick mist, which instantly hid them from view.
The Blueskins fell back, horrified at the mad act of the strangers. To them the Fog Bank was the most dreadful thing in existence, and no Blueskin had ever ventured within it even for a moment.
“That’s the end of those short-necked Yellowskins,” said one, shaking his head. “We may as well go back and report the matter to the Boolooroo.”
THROUGH THE FOG BANK
It was rather moist in the Fog Bank. “Seems like a reg’lar drizzle,” said Trot. “I’ll be soaked through in a minute.” She had been given a costume of blue silk in exchange for her own dress, and the silk was so thin that the moisture easily wetted it.
“Never mind,” said Cap’n Bill. “When it’s a case of life ‘n’ death, clo’s don’t count for much. I’m sort o’ drippy myself.”
Cried the parrot, fluttering his feathers to try to keep them from sticking together,
“Floods and gushes fill our path—
This is not my day for a bath!
Shut if off, or fear my wrath.”
“We can’t,” laughed Trot. “We’ll jus’ have to stick it out till we get to the other side.”
“Had we better go to the other side?” asked Button-Bright anxiously.
“Why not?” returned Cap’n Bill. “The other side’s the only safe side for us.”
“We don’t know that, sir,” said the boy. “Ghip-Ghisizzle said it was a terrible country.”
“I don’t believe it,” retorted the sailor stoutly. “Sizzle’s never been there, an’ he knows nothing about it. ‘The Sunset Country’ sounds sort o’ good to me.”