Authors: Enid Blyton
Suddenly the wishing-chair decided to help matters itself. It grew its wings very fast. It flapped them strongly. It rose into the air—and with it it took Peter, who was holding it—and the two little men as well!
The crowd shouted in surprise to see the chair rise up. The two little men were full of fear. They hung on with all their might. Peter climbed up and sat safely in the chair. He had got away from the crowd, at any rate. He wondered what to do with the little men who were hanging on to the chair. He couldn't make them fall—they might be hurt.
The chair rose high up. Peter suddenly cried out in alarm. “Hie, wishing-chair! Don't go home yet! We've left Mollie and Chinky behind! Fly down again, quickly.”
The chair flew down at once. As soon as it was safely on the ground the two little men began to quarrel again about who was to have the chair. Peter got really angry. He pushed them both hard. They fell over.
“I wish you'd stop this,” said Peter. “What's the good of quarrelling about my chair? I’m going to have it, not you. Leave go!”
But they wouldn't. Peter picked up a twig and rapped their hands sharply. They let go at once—and before they could take hold again, what do you think happened? Why, the wishing-chair most obligingly disappeared! Peter blinked in surprise, for he still wasn't used to seeing things disappear so suddenly.
Then he knew what to do. If he picked up the chair and ran off with it, the two little men wouldn't know where it had gone—for they could see neither Peter nor the chair, now! So Peter felt for the chair, and, quick as lightning, snatched it up and ran down the street! The two little men stared all round in astonishment, and then began to slap each other hard.
“Just what they both want!” thought Peter, pleased. He ran on and on and then stopped. He put the chair down just inside a field gate, sat down in it firmly, and tried to think what to do. How in the world could he find Mollie and Peter?
“If I go through the village again, yelling out Mollie and Chinky's names, maybe they'll hear me and come to me,” thought Peter. “They must be very worried, because they don't know where the chair is!”
Back he went to the village, carrying the chair on his shoulder. As he went he shouted loudly, “MOLLIE! CHINKY! MOLLIE! CHINKY!”
Suddenly he heard Mollie's voice, answering. How glad Peter was! It came from the other side of the road. “Peter! I can hear you! I'm still invisible. Where are you?”
“I'm standing by the fruit-shop here!” yelled back Peter. “I've got the chair, too!”
In half a minute he felt Mollie's hands touching him, and then she hugged him and felt for the good old wishing-chair too. “Now we must get Chinky,” said Peter. “What have you been doing all this time, Mollie?”
“Oh, I've been looking for you,” said Mollie. “I went back to the yellow lamp-post but the chair was gone.”
Just then someone they couldn't see bumped into them. He couldn't see them either, for they were still invisible. As soon as the person who bumped into them felt the chair, he gave a yell, and caught hold of it.
Peter snatched at the chair too. He pulled and Mollie helped him. They were not going to lose their precious chair! But the one who was pulling against them was very strong, and suddenly the chair was tugged right away, and they could no longer feel it. They couldn't see it either, of course—it was gone!
“Oh, it's gone, it's gone!” cried Mollie, almost in tears. “Oh, Peter, what shall we do now?”
“Mollie! Peter! Is it you!” cried a voice gladly. “It's me, Chinky! I didn't know I was pulling against
! I just came along the street, bumped into the chair, felt it was ours and grabbed it. When I felt someone pulling hard against me, I jerked till I got it! Hurrah! We're all together again!”
How pleased everyone was! “I've been looking everywhere for you,” said Chinky, climbing on to the back of the chair. “My word—fancy the chair disappearing, too! This is a most uncomfortable sort of place. Come on—let's get away as soon as we can.”
They all got on to the chair. It flapped its wings and rose up suddenly into the air. “Oooh!” said Mollie, “that was quick—it felt like a lift going up!”
“Chinky, how are we going to get ourselves right again?” asked Peter. “We can't go home like this.”
“I can get some of that magic paint we once used at Witch Snippit's spinning house,” said Chinky. “Then we'll paint ourselves back again. That's easy. I'll send one of my friends to get the paint for us.”
The children flew on and on through the air until at last they were over their own garden once more. They flew down—and right through the open door of their playroom at the bottom of the garden. They were just going to shout and jump off—when they saw someone there!
It was their mother. She had come to look for them. The children sat perfectly still on the chair. They knew they were invisible and couldn't be seen. If Mother heard their voices, she would get such a shock, for she wouldn't be able to see them! Chinky sat still too. He had always made the children promise that they would never, never say a word about him to any grown-up.
Mother looked round the playroom. “I wonder where those children are,” she said. Then she walked out, almost, but not quite, bumping into the wishing-chair as she went.
“My goodness! That was a narrow escape!” said Peter, when Mother had gone. He jumped out of the chair. “What a good thing the chair and all of us couldn't be seen today! Mother would have got a fright if she had suddenly seen a chair come flying through the doorway with us in it!”
“She certainly would,” said Chinky, grinning. “So would anyone! Now, I'll just send for that paint.”
He ran out. In a few minutes he was back and said that a friend of his had flown off to Witch Snippit's at once.
“Let's play a game of ludo whilst we're waiting,” he said. “I haven't played since you went away to school. I've forgotten what a lovely feeling it is to throw a six!”
It was rather peculiar to play with people you couldn't see. It was even funnier to see counters moving by themselves, as the children pushed them round the board. They just had time to play one game, when there came a knock at the door.
“The paint!” said Chinky. He opened the door. On the step stood a large tin of Witch Snippit's magic paint. “Good!” said Chinky. “Now, what about brushes?”
“There are some in our paint-boxes,” said Mollie, and she fetched them. “They are very small—it will take us ages to paint ourselves right again!”
They began. They each had a paint-brush and they set to work. Chinky painted the wishing-chair back first. Mollie began to paint herself back. Wherever she ran her brush full of paint a bit of her appeared! It was funny.
Mollie ran her brush over her left hand. At once it appeared. It was nice to see her fingers again!
“You haven't painted that little nail on your fingers,” said Peter. “Look!”
“And you've painted all your face back except your left eyebrow,” laughed Mollie. “You look funny!”
The wishing-chair was soon back again. Then Chinky began to paint himself back. They all had to help each other when they came to bits of themselves that they couldn't reach. They had great fun.
“We're quite done except that Peter hasn't got his feet yet,” said Chinky, and he stepped back to look at him—and do you know, he stepped right on to the tin of paint and upset it. It ran all over the floor and the floor disappeared! The paint always acted both ways—it made things disappear, or it made them come back if they had vanished.
“Chinky! You are clumsy!” cried Mollie, in horror. “We shan't be able to do Peter's feet! Whatever will Mother say?”
Peter caught up a rag and mopped up the spilt paint as fast as he could. He squeezed it from the rag into the tin, and then looked at the little bit there anxiously.
“Do you think there's enough for my feet?” he said. Chinky, who had gone very red, nodded his head, and took up his paint-brush again. Without a word he began to paint in Peter's feet, being very careful not to waste a drop of the precious paint. Mollie was very glad to see that there was enough.
“What about that hole in the floor?” said Peter. “Is there enough paint left to paint it back again?”
“Just!” said Chinky—and there was! My goodness, there wasn't a single drop over.
“Well,” said Mollie, as she heard a bell ring to call them indoors, “we always seem to have narrow escapes and exciting times when we begin going off in the wishing-chair. I did enjoy this adventure, now it's all over and we're safely back again, looking like ourselves!”
“Goodbye,” said Chinky. “See you tomorrow, I hope! It's been lovely to go adventuring again!”