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The Tale of Timothy Turtle by Arthur Scott Bailey, XIX. Careful Mr. Frog

Somebody had knocked. And with a wide smile upon his face Mr. Ferdinand Frog, the tailor, went to his door and peeped out.

One look was enough. He shut the door again with great haste and barred it. And he held one hand over his heart, as if he had just received a terrible fright.

"Let me in!" somebody called. The tailor knew that it was Timothy Turtle's voice, for he had seen that crusty old person standing upon his doorstep.

"Go away!" Mr. Frog replied. "I'm not here."

He was an odd chap—this Ferdinand Frog. One never could tell what he was going to do—or say.

"Yes, you are!" Timothy Turtle insisted. "I saw you only a moment ago."

The tailor then peered out of the window at his caller.

"There you are now!" Timothy shouted, as he caught sight of Mr. Frog. "I say, let me in!"

"I can't," Mr. Frog answered. "I'm sick a-bed."

"Nonsense!" Timothy cried.

"Well, I expect I'll be ill if you don't go away," the tailor answered. "I'm having a nervous chill this very moment."

He was afraid of Timothy Turtle. And it was no wonder. For Timothy had tried, more than once to make a meal of the nimble Mr. Frog.

"I haven't come here to hurt you," Timothy Turtle explained, trying to smile at the face in the window. "I want you to make me a new coat—a big one that will cover my back all over."

To his great disappointment Mr. Frog shook his head with great force.

"I'm not interested," he announced.

"Do you mean"—Timothy Turtle faltered—"do you mean that you won't make a coat for me?"

"Exactly!"

"Why?" Timothy pressed him.

"Too busy!" was Mr. Frog's answer.

"Who is?"

"You are!" said Mr. Frog. "Ever since I've known you, you've been trying to catch me and my friends."

"Why—er—I was only joking," Timothy Turtle told him. "You mustn't mind my playful ways. Just make me a coat and I'll do something handsome for you."

It was now the tailor's turn to ask questions.

"What"—he inquired—"what will you do?"

"I couldn't just say at this moment," Timothy replied.

"Why not?"

"Oh, I'd want to think a while," said Timothy Turtle.

"Very well!" was the tailor's answer. "I've no objection, though it's something I never do myself."

"I wish you'd come outside a moment, since you don't want me inside your shop," Timothy remarked. "I'd like to whisper to you."

"I'm deaf," Mr. Frog informed him. "I couldn't hear a single word, even if you were to shout your head off."

"You can hear what I'm saying now well enough," Timothy pointed out.

"I read the lips," said Mr. Frog with a snicker.

That speech made Timothy Turtle start.

"Then if you can read my lips, no doubt you can read what's on my back," he said.

"That's easy," the tailor observed. "Your shell's on your back, of course."

Timothy Turtle glanced up with a look of scorn.

"Don't be silly!" he snapped. "I mean, can you read what's carved on my shell?"

"Certainly!" Mr. Frog replied. And he began to mutter, as if to himself, "J. G.—that means just grumpy, of course——"

Timothy Turtle interrupted him quickly.

"I don't care to hear any more," he screamed. And turning away, he waddled towards the water.

"That Ferdinand Frog has no manners," he spluttered. "I only wish he wasn't quite so spry." And Mr. Turtle looked very fierce as he snapped his jaws together.



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Somebody had knocked. And with a wide smile upon his face Mr. Ferdinand Frog, the tailor, went to his door and peeped out.

One look was enough. He shut the door again with great haste and barred it. And he held one hand over his heart, as if he had just received a terrible fright.

"Let me in!" somebody called. The tailor knew that it was Timothy Turtle's voice, for he had seen that crusty old person standing upon his doorstep.

"Go away!" Mr. Frog replied. "I'm not here."

He was an odd chap—this Ferdinand Frog. One never could tell what he was going to do—or say.

"Yes, you are!" Timothy Turtle insisted. "I saw you only a moment ago."

The tailor then peered out of the window at his caller.

"There you are now!" Timothy shouted, as he caught sight of Mr. Frog. "I say, let me in!"

"I can't," Mr. Frog answered. "I'm sick a-bed."

"Nonsense!" Timothy cried.

"Well, I expect I'll be ill if you don't go away," the tailor answered. "I'm having a nervous chill this very moment."

He was afraid of Timothy Turtle. And it was no wonder. For Timothy had tried, more than once to make a meal of the nimble Mr. Frog.

"I haven't come here to hurt you," Timothy Turtle explained, trying to smile at the face in the window. "I want you to make me a new coat—a big one that will cover my back all over."

To his great disappointment Mr. Frog shook his head with great force.

"I'm not interested," he announced.

"Do you mean"—Timothy Turtle faltered—"do you mean that you won't make a coat for me?"

"Exactly!"

"Why?" Timothy pressed him.

"Too busy!" was Mr. Frog's answer.

"Who is?"

"You are!" said Mr. Frog. "Ever since I've known you, you've been trying to catch me and my friends."

"Why—er—I was only joking," Timothy Turtle told him. "You mustn't mind my playful ways. Just make me a coat and I'll do something handsome for you."

It was now the tailor's turn to ask questions.

"What"—he inquired—"what will you do?"

"I couldn't just say at this moment," Timothy replied.

"Why not?"

"Oh, I'd want to think a while," said Timothy Turtle.

"Very well!" was the tailor's answer. "I've no objection, though it's something I never do myself."

"I wish you'd come outside a moment, since you don't want me inside your shop," Timothy remarked. "I'd like to whisper to you."

"I'm deaf," Mr. Frog informed him. "I couldn't hear a single word, even if you were to shout your head off."

"You can hear what I'm saying now well enough," Timothy pointed out.

"I read the lips," said Mr. Frog with a snicker.

That speech made Timothy Turtle start.

"Then if you can read my lips, no doubt you can read what's on my back," he said.

"That's easy," the tailor observed. "Your shell's on your back, of course."

Timothy Turtle glanced up with a look of scorn.

"Don't be silly!" he snapped. "I mean, can you read what's carved on my shell?"

"Certainly!" Mr. Frog replied. And he began to mutter, as if to himself, "J. G.—that means just grumpy, of course——"

Timothy Turtle interrupted him quickly.

"I don't care to hear any more," he screamed. And turning away, he waddled towards the water.

"That Ferdinand Frog has no manners," he spluttered. "I only wish he wasn't quite so spry." And Mr. Turtle looked very fierce as he snapped his jaws together.


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