Page:Collodi - The Story of a Puppet, translation Murray, 1892.djvu/112

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100
ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO

red eyes, and a pointed tail that was smoking like a chimney.

It would be impossible to imagine the puppet's terror. He walked away to a safe distance, and sitting down on a heap of stones waited until the Serpent should have gone about its business and had left the road clear.

He waited an hour; two hours; three hours; but the Serpent was always there, and even from a distance he could see the red light of his fiery eyes and the column of smoke that ascended from the end of his tail.

At last Pinocchio, trying to feel courageous, approached to within a few steps, and said to the Serpent in a little, soft, insinuating voice:

'Excuse me, Sir Serpent, but would you be so good as to move a little to one side, just enough to allow me to pass?'

He might as well have spoken to the wall. Nobody moved.

He began again in the same soft voice:

'You must know, Sir Serpent, that I am on my way home where my father is waiting for me, and it is such a long time since I saw him last! . . . Will you therefore allow me to continue my road?'

He waited for a sign in answer to this request, but there was none: in fact the Serpent, who up to that moment had been