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David and the Phoenix
written by "Ormondroyd, Edward, 1925-"
... The light suddenly dawned on David. "Phoenix!" he cried. "I bet we're going to give the Wail to the Scientist!" "Precisely, my boy!" The Phoenix beamed. "Oh, golly golly golly!" David sang as he danced around. "And I'll guarantee it, dearies!" the Banshee cackled. "One hundred per cent satisfaction or your money back!" "Defeat and confusion to the enemy!" the Phoenix shouted, giving the special squawk which was its battle cry.[135] The Banshee received her gold. The Phoenix told David for goodness sake not to drop the box or let the lid pop open, or they would regret it to their dying day. David, hearing the rustle of the Wail as it ravenously attacked the cabbages inside the box, assured the Phoenix that he would be careful. The Banshee said, "Ah, Phoenix, do sell the laddie to me," but her tone was more teasing than serious, and they all laughed. Good-bys were said all round, and David and the Phoenix left. The last thing they heard as they felt their way up the dark passage was the happy cackling of the Banshee and the clang of the cash register. They got back to the hotel before dawn and very carefully crept down the fire escape into the Scientist's room. They put the box on the bedside table, stuck out their tongues at the sleeping Scientist, and crept out again. Then they went home, the Phoenix to the ledge and David to bed, where he fell asleep instantly. The Wail was wildly successful. The Scientist released it from its box at seven o'clock in the morning. People living in the hotel thought the world had come to its end. The rest of the town wondered if it was a riot, or an earthquake, or both with three steam calliopes[136] thrown in for good measure. David, who lived twelve blocks from the hotel, stirred in his sleep and dreamed he was riding a fire engine. Even the Phoenix claimed later that a kind of moan was borne on the breeze all the way up to the ledge. The hotel burst into activity like a kicked...

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