'Thank you! All the same, some compassion is due to me, for as you see I have no more wood with which to finish roasting my mutton, and to tell you the truth, under the circumstances you would have been of great use to me! However, I have had pity on you, so I must have patience. Instead of you I will burn under the spit one of the puppets belonging to my company. Ho there, gendarmes!'
At this call two wooden gendarmes immediately appeared. They were very long and very thin, and had on cocked hats, and held unsheathed swords in their hands.
The showman said to them in a hoarse voice:
'Take Harlequin, bind him securely, and then throw him on the fire to burn. I am determined that my mutton shall be well roasted.'
Only imagine that poor Harlequin! His terror was so great that his legs bent under him, and he fell with his face on the ground.
At this agonising sight Pinocchio, weeping bitterly, threw himself at the showman's feet, and bathing his long beard with his tears he began to say in a supplicating voice:
'Have pity, Sir Fire-eater! . . .'
'Here there are no sirs,' the showman answered severely.
'Have pity, Sir Knight! . . .'
'Here there are no knights!'