Page:Collodi - The Story of a Puppet, translation Murray, 1892.djvu/54

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42
ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO

The sight was doubtless a moving one, but the public in the pit, finding that the play was stopped, became impatient, and began to shout: 'We will have the play—go on with the play!'

It was all breath thrown away. The puppets, instead of continuing the recital, redoubled their noise and outcries, and putting Pinocchio on their shoulders they carried him in triumph before the footlights.

At that moment out came the showman. He was very big, and so ugly that the sight of him was enough to frighten any one. His beard was as black as ink, and so long that it reached from his chin to the ground. I need only say that he trod upon it when he walked. His mouth was as big as an oven, and his eyes were like two lanterns of red glass with lights burning inside them. He carried a large whip made of snakes and foxes' tails twisted together, which he cracked constantly.

At his unexpected appearance there was a profound silence: no one dared to breathe. A fly might have been heard in the stillness. The poor puppets of both sexes trembled like so many leaves.

'Why have you come to raise a disturbance in my theatre?' asked the showman of Pinocchio, in the gruff voice of a hobgoblin suffering from a severe cold in the head.