Cap'n Bill and Trot rode very comfortably in the sunbonnet. The motion wa_uite steady, for they weighed so little that the Ork flew without effort. Ye_hey were both somewhat nervous about their future fate and could not hel_ishing they were safe on land and their natural size again.
"You're terr'ble small, Trot," remarked Cap'n Bill, looking at his companion.
"Same to you, Cap'n," she said with a laugh; "but as long as we have th_urple berries we needn't worry about our size."
"In a circus," mused the old man, "we'd be curiosities. But in a sunbonnet —
high up in the air — sailin' over a big, unknown ocean — they ain't no word i_ny booktionary to describe us."
"Why, we're midgets, that's all," said the little girl. The Ork flew silentl_or a long time. The slight swaying of the sunbonnet made Cap'n Bill drowsy,
and he began to doze. Trot, however, was wide awake, and after enduring th_onotonous journey as long as she was able she called out:
"Don't you see land anywhere, Mr. Ork?"
"Not yet," he answered. "This is a big ocean and I've no idea in whic_irection the nearest land to that island lies; but if I keep flying in _traight line I'm sure to reach some place some time."
That seemed reasonable, so the little people in the sunbonnet remained a_atient as possible; that is, Cap'n Bill dozed and Trot tried to remember he_eography lessons so she could figure out what land they were likely to arriv_t.
For hours and hours the Ork flew steadily, keeping to the straight line an_earching with his eyes the horizon of the ocean for land. Cap'n Bill was fas_sleep and snoring and Trot had laid her head on his shoulder to rest it whe_uddenly the Ork exclaimed:
"There! I've caught a glimpse of land, at last."
At this announcement they roused themselves. Cap'n Bill stood up and tried t_eek over the edge of the sunbonnet.
"What does it look like?" he inquired.
"Looks like another island," said the Ork; "but I can judge it better in _inute or two."
"I don't care much for islands, since we visited that other one," declare_rot.
Soon the Ork made another announcement.
"It is surely an island, and a little one, too," said he. "But I won't stop,
because I see a much bigger land straight ahead of it."
"That's right," approved Cap'n Bill. "The bigger the land, the better it wil_uit us."
"It's almost a continent," continued the Ork after a brief silence, durin_hich he did not decrease the speed of his flight. "I wonder if it can b_rkland, the place I have been seeking so long?"
"I hope not," whispered Trot to Cap'n Bill — so softly that the Ork could no_ear her — "for I shouldn't like to be in a country where only Orks live. Thi_ne Ork isn't a bad companion, but a lot of him wouldn't be much fun."
After a few more minutes of flying the Ork called out in a sad voice:
"No! this is not my country. It's a place I have never seen before, although _ave wandered far and wide. It seems to be all mountains and deserts and gree_alleys and queer cities and lakes and rivers —mixed up in a very puzzlin_ay."
"Most countries are like that," commented Cap'n Bill. "Are you going to land?"
"Pretty soon," was the reply. "There is a mountain peak just ahead of me. Wha_o you say to our landing on that?"
"All right," agreed the sailor-man, for both he and Trot were getting tired o_iding in the sunbonnet and longed to set foot on solid ground again.
So in a few minutes the Ork slowed down his speed and then came to a stop s_asily that they were scarcely jarred at all. Then the creature squatted dow_ntil the sunbonnet rested on the ground, and began trying to unfasten wit_ts claws the knotted strings.
This proved a very clumsy task, because the strings were tied at the back o_he Ork's neck, just where his claws would not easily reach. After muc_umbling he said:
"I'm afraid I can't let you out, and there is no one near to help me."
This was at first discouraging, but after a little thought Cap'n Bill said:
"If you don't mind, Trot, I can cut a slit in your sunbonnet with my knife."
"Do," she replied. "The slit won't matter, 'cause I can sew it up agai_fterward, when I am big."
So Cap'n Bill got out his knife, which was just as small, in proportion, as h_as, and after considerable trouble managed to cut a long slit in th_unbonnet. First he squeezed through the opening himself and then helped Tro_o get out.
When they stood on firm ground again their first act was to begin eating th_ark purple berries which they had brought with them. Two of these Trot ha_uarded carefully during the long journey, by holding them in her lap, fo_heir safety meant much to the tiny people.
"I'm not very hungry," said the little girl as she handed a berry to Cap'_ill, "but hunger doesn't count, in this case. It's like taking medicine t_ake you well, so we must manage to eat 'em, somehow or other."
But the berries proved quite pleasant to taste and as Cap'n Bill and Tro_ibbled at their edges their forms began to grow in size — slowly bu_teadily. The bigger they grew the easier it was for them to eat the berries,
which of course became smaller to them, and by the time the fruit was eate_ur friends had regained their natural size.
The little girl was greatly relieved when she found herself as large as sh_ad ever been, and Cap'n Bill shared her satisfaction; for, although they ha_een the effect of the berries on the Ork, they had not been sure the magi_ruit would have the same effect on human beings, or that the magic would wor_n any other country than that in which the berries grew.
"What shall we do with the other four berries?" asked Trot, as she picked u_er sunbonnet, marveling that she had ever been small. enough to ride in it.
"They're no good to us now, are they, Cap'n?"
"I'm not sure as to that," he replied. "If they were eaten by one who ha_ever eaten the lavender berries, they might have no effect at all; but then,
contrarywise, they might. One of 'em has got badly jammed, so I'll throw i_way, but the other three I b'lieve I'll carry with me. They're magic things,
you know, and may come handy to us some time."
He now searched in his big pockets and drew out a small wooden box with _liding cover. The sailor had kept an assortment of nails, of various sizes,
in this box, but those he now dumped loosely into his pocket and in the bo_laced the three sound purple berries.
When this important matter was attended to they found time to look about the_nd see what sort of place the Ork had landed them in.