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Chapter 7 The Lace Apron

  • "Now," said the Canary, in a tone more brisk than before, "we may tal_ogether more freely, as Mrs. Yoop cannot hear us. Perhaps we can figure out _ay to escape."
  • "Open!" said Woot the Monkey, still facing the door; but his command had n_ffect and he slowly rejoined the others.
  • "You cannot open any door or window in this enchanted castle unless you ar_earing the Magic Apron," said the Canary.
  • "What Magic Apron do you mean?" asked the Tin Owl, in a curious voice.
  • "The lace one, which the Giantess always wears. I have been her prisoner, i_his cage, for several weeks, and she hangs my cage in her bedroom ever_ight, so that she can keep her eye on me," explained Polychrome the Canary.
  • "Therefore I have discovered that it is the Magic Apron that opens the door_nd windows, and nothing else can move them. when she goes to bed, Mrs. Yoo_angs her apron on the bedpost, and one morning she forgot to put it on whe_he commanded the door to open, and the door would not move. So then she pu_n the lace apron and the door obeyed her. That was how I learned the magi_ower of the apron."
  • "I see — I see!" said the little Brown Bear, wagging his stuffed head. "Then,
  • if we could get the apron from Mrs. Yoop, we could open the doors and escap_rom our prison."
  • "That is true, and it is the plan I was about to suggest," replied Polychrom_he Canary-Bird. "However, I don't believe the Owl could steal the apron, o_ven the Bear, but perhaps the Monkey could hide in her room at night and ge_he apron while she is asleep."
  • "I'll try it!" cried Woot the Monkey. "I'll try it this very night, if I ca_anage to steal into her bedroom."
  • "You mustn't think about it, though," warned the bird, "for she can read you_houghts whenever she cares to do so. And do not forget, before you escape, t_ake me with you. Once I am out of the power of the Giantess, I may discover _ay to save us all."
  • "We won't forget our fairy friend," promised the boy; "but perhaps you ca_ell me how to get into the bedroom."
  • "No," declared Polychrome, "I cannot advise you as to that. You must watch fo_ chance, and slip in when Mrs. Yoop isn't looking."
  • They talked it over for a while longer and then Mrs. Yoop returned. When sh_ntered, the door opened suddenly, at her command, and closed as soon as he_uge form had passed through the doorway. During that day she entered he_edroom several times, on one errand or another, but always she commanded th_oor to close behind her and her prisoners found not the slightest chance t_eave the big hall in which they were confined.
  • The Green Monkey thought it would be wise to make a friend of the big woman,
  • so as to gain her confidence, so he sat on the back of her chair and chattere_o her while she mended her stockings and sewed silver buttons on some golde_hoes that were as big as row-boats. This pleased the Giantess and she woul_ause at times to pat the Monkey's head. The little Brown Bear curled up in _orner and lay still all day. The Owl and the Canary found they could convers_ogether in the bird language, which neither the Giantess nor the Bear nor th_onkey could understand; so at times they twittered away to each other an_assed the long, dreary day quite cheerfully.
  • After dinner Mrs. Yoop took a big fiddle from a big cupboard and played suc_oud and dreadful music that her prisoners were all thankful when at last sh_topped and said she was going to bed.
  • After cautioning the Monkey and Bear and Owl to behave themselves during th_ight, she picked up the cage containing the Canary and, going to the door o_er bedroom, commanded it to open. just then, however, she remembered she ha_eft her fiddle lying upon a table, so she went back for it and put it away i_he cupboard, and while her back was turned the Green Monkey slipped throug_he open door into her bedroom and hid underneath the bed. The Giantess, bein_leepy, did not notice this, and entering her room she made the door clos_ehind her and then hung the bird-cage on a peg by the window. Then she bega_o undress, first taking off the lace apron and laying it over the bedpost,
  • where it was within easy reach of her hand.
  • As soon as Mrs. Yoop was in bed the lights all went out, and Woot the Monke_rouched under the bed and waited patiently until he heard the Giantes_noring. Then he crept out and in the dark felt around until he got hold o_he apron, which he at once tied around his own waist.
  • Next, Woot tried to find the Canary, and there was just enough moonligh_howing through the window to enable him to see where the cage hung; but i_as out of his reach. At first he was tempted to leave Polychrome and escap_ith his other friends, but remembering his promise to the Rainbow's Daughte_oot tried to think how to save her.
  • A chair stood near the window, and this — showing dimly in the moonlight —
  • gave him an idea. By pushing against it with all his might, he found he coul_ove the giant chair a few inches at a time. So he pushed and pushed until th_hair was beneath the bird-cage, and then he sprang noiselessly upon the seat
  • — for his monkey form enabled him to jump higher than he could do as a boy —
  • and from there to the back of the chair, and so managed to reach the cage an_ake it off the peg. Then down he sprang to the floor and made his way to th_oor. "Open!" he commanded, and at once the door obeyed and swung open, Bu_is voice wakened Mrs. Yoop, who gave a wild cry and sprang out of bed wit_ne bound. The Green Monkey dashed through the doorway, carrying the cage wit_im, and before the Giantess could reach the door it slammed shut an_mprisoned her in her own bed-chamber!
  • The noise she made, pounding upon the door, and her yells of anger an_readful threats of vengeance, filled all our friends with terror, and Woo_he Monkey was so excited that in the dark he could not find the outer door o_he hall. But the Tin Owl could see very nicely in the dark, so he guided hi_riends to the right place and when all were grouped before the door Woo_ommanded it to open. The Magic Apron proved as powerful as when it had bee_orn by the Giantess, so a moment later they had rushed through the passag_nd were standing in the fresh night air outside the castle, free to g_herever they willed.