Chascot and the Devil's Loup
characters in this book are fictitious and any resemblance to real people
is purely coincidental.
all stood gazing up at the tree. The ginger cat was crouched among the
very topmost branches.
"Puss, puss," Roxie
called again in her best coaxing voice and held out her hands but he never
moved a muscle.
"I expect we shall have
to call the fire brigade," sighed Lady Jane.
"I don't know how the
devil he managed to get into the engine in the first place," muttered
the dumper truck driver with a puzzled frown. "I have never seen a
cat shift like it. When I started up he came out from somewhere near the
fan belt and went up that tree like a rocket. I could have swore I saw
smoke coming from his tail."
"Well it would do if it
went around the fan belt a few times," Lady Jane murmured.
"Anyway it doesn't look
like he is going to come back down like a rocket," said Lady Jane
with a look of resignation on her beautiful aristocratic face. "In
fact it doesn't look like he plans on ever coming down again."
We were standing in front of
Lady Jane's big house where the workmen were digging out a great hollow
which was to form the base of an ornamental lake. While all this muttering
and sighing was going on I was reaching into my pocket.
I remember asking one of Dad's
pilot friends if he had ever made a parachute jump. He told me the only
thing that would get him out of an aeroplane in a parachute would be if
the terror inside was worse than the terror outside. Using the same logic
I surreptitiously fitted a stone into the leather holder made from the
tongue of one of Tom's old boots. I hauled back the elastic of my home
made catapult to its fullest extent, took snap aim, and let fly. By sheer
luck it turned out to be a really good one. The branch just behind the
cat's tail gave a crack as the stone caught it square on. The cat's hair
went straight up on end like he had just taken a thousand
volts. He came down the
tree trunk like the clappers. In fact he came down about twice as fast as
he had gone up which was saying something.
Lady Jane gaped at me in open
mouthed silence as the rest of us watched the cat zig zag into the wood at
I think Lady Jane regards me in some awe. I expect it is admiration for my ability with animals and my powers of lateral thinking.