Freddy Rides Again

Freddy Rides Again by Walter R. Brooks Read Free Book Online

Book: Freddy Rides Again by Walter R. Brooks Read Free Book Online
Authors: Walter R. Brooks
open, and then he backed off into the bub, bub—I mean bushes.”
    â€œVery funny,” said Freddy. “And if he’d swallowed you, I guess you’re the one that would have died laughing.”
    â€œShucks, I can jump faster than any old rattler can strike,” Theodore said. “And that’s all bub, bub—I mean boloney about snakes hypnotizing you so you can’t move. Any old snake tries to hypnotize me, I’ll hypnotize him right back.”
    Before Freddy could say anything, a little hissing voice came from somewhere in the bushes. “All right, frog—let’s see you do it. Look at me!”
    They all looked. Cy reared and snorted, and Freddy backed slowly away from the bush under which they now saw the rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike. But Theodore just stared at the snake, and even moved a step or two towards him.
    â€œHey, hold it, Theodore!” Freddy said, and he cocked his pistol. “Beat it, snake, or I’ll blow you apart.”
    â€œBeat it, snake, or I’ll blow you apart. ”
    But the rattler, without removing his eyes from the frog, said in his sharp whisper: “You wouldn’t kid me, would you, pig? I know there are no bullets in that gun.”
    Freddy stopped quickly and scooped up a handful of gravel which he poured down the pistol barrel. “Maybe this won’t kill you,” he said, pointing the gun again, “but I bet it will sting some.”
    â€œTake it easy, take it easy!” the snake protested. “Point that thing the other way. I wasn’t going to swallow your friend. I just wanted to prove to him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Matter of fact, we can’t hypnotize anybody. They just get so scared they can’t move.” His forked tongue flickered out mockingly. “Go on, frog, hop it. I’ll call another day when you’re not busy.” And he uncoiled and started to glide away.
    â€œJust a minute,” said Freddy. “Are you planning to stay in this neighborhood?”
    The front part of the snake turned around, and he flickered his tongue at Freddy. “Suppose I am—you want to make something of it, pig?”
    â€œI’ll make a snake’s funeral of it, if you want to stay around here,” Freddy said.
    â€œMy, my; such big talk!” the rattler sneered. “Unhealthy talk, too. Keep your eyes open, pig, when you walk through the long grass, or when you climb a stone wall. I’ll be waiting there for you.” He lowered his head and slid off through the undergrowth.
    â€œYou ought to have plugged him, Freddy,” said Cy. “Mostly rattlers aren’t so bad; they don’t bother you unless you bother them first. And they always rattle a warning before they strike. But this is a bad hombre—he’ll be laying for you.”
    â€œI don’t think so,” Freddy said. “He was just trying to scare me. But we’ve got to get rid of him. We’ve never had rattlers in this part of the country, and we don’t want any. Guess I’ll consult Old Whibley.”
    Theodore, who had taken a standing leap into the water when the snake had turned away, now crawled out on the bank again. “Yeah,” he said, “b-but how you going to do it? Look, Freddy—that gug-gug—I mean guy, he’s got me scared. Can I come down and stay at the farm? Just until you get rid of the snake?”
    â€œSure. Only there isn’t any water for you to sit in; you won’t be very comfortable,” Freddy said.
    Cy said: “There’s the watering trough in Hank’s stable.”
    â€œThat’s right,” said Freddy. “Only you want to be careful—Hank shuts his eyes when he drinks—he might swallow you.”
    â€œYou warn Hank to be careful,” said Theodore. “He’ll be d-darned uncomfortable if he swallows me.” He leaped straight from the ground up

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