The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 10 (January 2, 1939)
The Magic Island — Chapter IX. — Home Again!
The children cried out with fright as they saw the goblins rushing towards them. “Oh, what shall we do! What shall we do!” cried Barbara.
“Use your stick,” panted Michael. The goblins were on them from the front and from the back. They bit, kicked, and screamed. The children did their best with their sticks, and many a goblin lay on the ground winded with a sharp thrust from one of the sticks. Peter was fighting his very hardest, hitting out with his fists. Tiny Toes and Dimples were having a hard time of it, but they, too, were using their tiny fists to good advantage. Of the goblin who had rescued them there was no sign. The goblins seemed to be coming from everywhere. The position was becoming decidedly serious, when there came a shout from round the far corner of the Palace.
“I'm coming!” shouted a deep voice. “I'll save you!”
“Kingi!” gasped Barbara as she poked a goblin in the middle. Kingi, the kiwi came up with a rush, kicking with his powerful legs to right and to left. Behind him ran the sphenodons. And every goblin that fell before Kingi's terrible kick, they tramped over. Kingi was clearing a path for the children. Suddenly he shouted, “Run for it!” Barbara and Michael needed no second bidding. They ran! But poor Peter seemed rooted to the spot. He just stood, his legs refusing to move. At the gate, Barbara noticed Peter's plight. She ran back, as she remembered the penknife in her pocket. A ring of goblins had gathered round Peter. She must break the spell the goblins had placed on Peter. She threw the penknife with all her might into the ring. The goblins scattered and Peter ran smilingly over to her.
“Quick!” cried Barbara. They ran out of the gate, followed by Kingi and the sphenodons. The fight was over, and the goblins lay in all sorts of attitudes on the ground. They were not dead but only badly winded.
They ran through the gloomy woods, Tiny Toes and Dimples leading the way, and the sphenodons bringing up the rear.
“Stop! Stop!” cried a tiny voice. “Wait for me, please!”
There was the goblin who had helped the children, running along as fast as his little legs would go.
“Oh, Kingi!” shouted Michael, “That goblin's our friend!”
“He's my friend, too,” answered Kingi, “for he released the sphenodons and I, when we had been taken prisoners by the goblins outside the Palace gate.” He ran back to the goblin and had placed him on his back before you could snap your fingers.
It was not long before they reached the fairy boat. It was still tied to the tree, where the elves had left it. The children tumbled into the boat.
Kingi stopped short. “Can't we come with you?” he asked.
“I'm afraid not,” answered Tiny Toes. “You're far too big for the boat, and I can't use the Reducing Powder on you.”
“Can we come?” squeaked the spenodons together.
But Tiny Toes shook his head. “The boat won't hold you,” he replied.
“But it will hold me!” cried the goblin, as he jumped into the boat.
“Oh, we can't take you back home,” said Barbara. But her heart softened as a look of dismay appeared on the goblin's tiny face.
“I do so want to come,” he pleaded. “I won't be any trobule.”
“Oh, all right,” said Michael, “but you must be very, very good.”
The goblin nodded his head vigorously.
“So this is good-bye,” said Kingi sadly.
“Oh, dear,” sighed the sphenodons.
“Won't we ever see you again?” asked Kingi.
“Couldn't you build a raft and sail to New Zealand?” suggested Peter.
“What a good idea!” Kingi brightened up. “We'll do that, and I'll bring the sphenodons with me. Hurrah!” He danced madly round in a circle.
“We must be away,” said Tiny Toes. Dimples untied the rope and pulled up the sail. Gradually the boat began to rise. “Hold tight,” said Tiny Toes. “We have a full load, you know.”
“Good-bye. Good-bye,” chorused the children.
“We'll see you soon. Don't let the goblins catch you!” shouted Michael.
“Good-bye! Good-bye!” shouted Kingi and the sphenodons.
Higher and higher the boat rose. The goblin nearly fell overboard as he waved his cap into the air. “Hurrah!” he shouted. “We're off!”
“Oh, look!” exclaimed Barbara as she pointed to the Palace in the distance, “There are numbers of fairies and elves flying away from the Palace!”
“Yes,” replied Tiny Toes, “by throwing that knife into that ring of goblins you not only broke the goblin spell over Peter, but you broke the goblin spell over all the fairies and elves in the Palace. Those canaries you saw in cages were fairies who had been turned page 50 page 51 into canaries by the wicked goblin King. The elves and fairies are all flying back to their home in New Zealand.”
“Oh, I'm so glad!” exclaimed Barbara.
Kingi and the sphenodons had now become dim specks on the island below.
Barbara sank back onto the seat. “We're safe!” she breathed.
“Aren't the kiwi and the lizards nice,” said Peter.
“Lizards!” exclaimed Michael. “You'd better not call them that! They're sphenodons!”
“Ugh!” grunted Peter. “Same thing.”
“What an adventure we've had!” sighed Barbara. “I wonder what Mummie and Daddie will say, when we tell them.”
“I'm glad I'm going home,” said Peter. “It wasn't very nice having to read musty old schoolbooks all day and then having to tell that great fat goblin what I'd learnt. You kids had all the fun.”
“Perhaps it will teach you not to hurt a goblin any more,” said Barbara.
Peter reddened slightly. “I didn't hurt him,” he muttered.
“How did they catch you in the cottage?” asked Michael.
“When I went down the rope, they must have been waiting at the bottom for me, for they grabbed me and I remember nothing more until I woke up in that room in the Palace.”
“There's one thing we don't know,” said Barbara. “Who is Mr. William Wiggins?”
The goblin spoke up. “Mr. William Wiggins? What is he like?”
Barbara described the man.
“Oh, him,” laughed the goblin. “Didn't you know? He is our goblin King, and he is able to change himself into a mortal whenever he likes.”
“Goblin King!” said Barbara and Michael together.
“Where does he get his long shoes from?” asked Barbara.
“Well, you see,” explained the goblin, “when he changes himself into a mortal, all the goblin in him goes down to his shoes, see?”
The children didn't quite see, but they nodded their heads as if they understood.
“I wonder if we will see him again?” asked Barbara.
“You never know,” replied the goblin, “he may want to have his revenge on you.”
“Oh I hope not!” shivered Barbara.
“What's your name?” asked Peter of the goblin.
“Name?” the goblin was puzzled. “I haven't got one.”
“Do you mean to say your Mother and Father forgot to give you a name?” asked Barbara.
“Goblins don't have names.”
“But you must have a name,” said Michael. “I know! How would you like Gobby for a name?”
“Good as any other, I suppose,” replied the goblin indifferently.
“Right!” exclaimed Michael. “I name you Gobby!”
New Zealand ahead!” cried Dimples, from his lookout at the bow of the boat.
It did not take them long to sail down the North Island of New Zealand, until they came to the little township once again. They glided low over the houses and fields.
“Why, look!” cried Michael, “The Crazy Cottage is no longer on the cliff!”
“No,” answered Tiny Toes, “the goblin King has no further use for it now.”
They glided right down over Barbara and Michael's house and up to the children's bedroom window. Dimples tied the boat to the window-sill and they all jumped into the room.
“Oh, it's lovely to see our bedroom again!” exclaimed Barbara.
“You'd better make us our right size again,” said Michael.
Tiny Toes shook the Fairy Growing Powder over their heads, and they were their right size again before you could blink an eye-lid.
“Oh, Tiny Toes and Dimples,” said Barbara, “however can we thank you for what you've done for us.”
“We have only done our duty,” replied Tiny Toes. “We will receive sufficient reward from the kindly smile and the words of our Fairy Queen when she says ‘Well done, my elves. You have carried out my orders as they should be carried out.'”
“But we must see you again,” said Barbara.
“Perhaps,” replied Tiny Toes, “when our Fairy Queen says we may. Now we must go.”
“I can hear someone coming!” exclaimed Peter.
“Please put us in our boat,” said Tiny Toes.
Quickly Barbara and Michael put the elves in their boat. The rope was untied and the fairy boat began to glide away.
“Good-bye! Good-bye!” cried the elves, waving their caps in the air.
“Good-bye!” shouted the children.
The fairy boat slipped away into the sky.
The bedroom door opened and in walked Barbara's and Michael's Mother. She stopped in amazement as she saw the children.
“I thought I heard a noise! Where have you children been?” she cried, as she hurried over to them.
“Oh, Mummie!” exclaimed Barbara joyously, “We've had the most exciting adventure!”
“Exciting adventure!” said their Mother in surprise. “What do you mean?”
“We have been to the Magic Island!” replied Peter.
Their Mother seemed to have just noticed Peter.
“Peter!” she cried. “How did you get here? We thought you were kidnapped! You must sit down immediately and tell me all about this wonderful adventure.”
The children needed no second bidding. They sat down on the edge of Barbara's bed, and Barbara, who seemed to have appointed herself spokeswoman, related their adventure, with many interjections from the two boys.
Their Mother smiled as the story came to an end. “It really is the most amazing adventune I have ever heard!” she exclaimed. “But I think you have let your imagination run riot. You have been reading too many adventure books!”
“Oh, no, Mummie, it's true! We can prove it!” said Barbara. “We have brought Gobby, the goblin back with us!”
“Gobby, the goblin,” laughed their Mother. “Where is he?”
The children looked round the room, but Gobby was nowhere to be seen!
(To be concluded.)