[Illustration with caption: “Yes,” said he in a low voice, “I am Mr. Quack.”]
“Are you Mr. Quack?” he asked eagerly.
The beautiful head disappeared like a flash. Sammy waited a minute or two, before he repeated his question, adding: “You needn’t be afraid. There isn’t anybody here but me, and I’m your friend. I just want to know if you are Mr. Quack because I’ve been looking for you for Mrs. Quack. Are you?”
Slowly, looking this way and that way with fear and suspicion in his eyes, a handsome Duck came out from under the pile of brush. “Yes,” said he in a low voice, “I am Mr. Quack. Where is Mrs. Quack?”
“Safe and sound over on the Big River,” replied Sammy joyfully. “Oh, I’m so glad I’ve found you!”
SAMMY JAY SENDS MRS. QUACK TO THE SWAMP
When Sammy Jay left Mr. Quack in the swamp over by the bank of the Big River, he flew straight back to the Smiling Pool. At first he thought of flying out over the Big River and screaming the news to Mrs. Quack, who, you know, was swimming about out there. But he knew that if he did, she would very likely fly right over where Mr. Quack was, and that wouldn’t do at all. No, indeed, that wouldn’t do at all. One of the hunters would be sure to see her. So Sammy wisely flew back to the Smiling Pool to wait until Mrs. Quack should come back there for the night.
Of course he told Peter Rabbit all about Mr. Quack, and Peter was so delighted at the thought that Mr. Quack was alive that he capered about in quite the craziest way. “Does Mrs. Quack know yet?” asked Peter.
Sammy shook his head. “I’m going to tell her when she comes back here to-night,” he explained. “I was afraid if I told her before then she would fly straight to him and perhaps get them both in trouble.”
“Quite right, Sammy! Quite right!” Peter exclaimed. “I wouldn’t have thought of that. My, won’t she be happy when you do tell her! I wonder what she’ll say and what she’ll do. I’m going to stay right here so as to see her when she hears the good news. Here comes your cousin, Blacky the Crow. Does he know yet?”
“No,” replied Sammy, “but I’m going to tell him as soon as he gets here.” They watched Blacky draw nearer and nearer, and as soon as he was within hearing Sammy shouted the news. “Caw, caw, caw,” replied Blacky, hurrying a little faster.
As soon as he reached the Big Hickory-tree, Sammy told the whole story over again, and Blacky was quite as glad as the others. While they waited for Mrs. Quack he told how he had hunted and hunted along the farther bank of the Big River and how he had seen the hunters with their terrible guns hiding and had warned Mrs. Quack just where each one was.