The BFG - Page 35
‘What’s that you’ve got in there?’ the Head of the Army demanded to know.
‘Curiosity is killing the rat,’ the BFG said, and he turned away from the silly man.
When he was sure that all his precious dreams had been safely loaded on to the jeeps, the BFG said, ‘Now we is driving back to the bellypoppers and picking up the frightsome giants.’
The jeeps drove back to the helicopters. The fifty thousand dreams were carried carefully, jar by jar, on to the helicopters. The soldiers climbed back on board, but the BFG and Sophie stayed on the ground. Then they all returned to where the nine giants were lying.
It was a fine sight to see them, these great air machines hovering over the trussed-up giants. It was an even finer sight to see the giants being woken up by the terrific thundering of the engines overhead, and the finest sight of all was to observe those nine hideous brutes squirming and twisting about on the ground like a mass of mighty snakes as they tried to free themselves from their ropes and chains.
‘I is flushbunkled!’ roared the Fleshlumpeater.
‘I is splitzwiggled!’ yelled the Childchewer.
‘I is swogswalloped!’ bellowed the Bonecruncher.
‘I is goosegruggled!’ howled the Manhugger.
‘I is gunzleswiped!’ shouted the Meatdripper.
‘I is fluckgungled!’ screamed the Maidmasher.
‘I is slopgroggled!’ squawked the Gizzardgulper.
‘I is crodsquinkled!’ yowled the Bloodbottler.
‘I is bopmuggered!’ screeched the Butcher Boy.
The nine giant-carrying helicopters each chose a separate giant and hovered directly over him. Very strong steel hawsers with hooks on the ends of them were lowered from the front and rear of each helicopter. The BFG quickly secured the hooks to the giants’ chains, one hook near the legs and the other near the arms. Then very slowly, the giants were winched up into the air, parallel with the ground.
The giants roared and bellowed, but there was nothing they could do.
The BFG, with Sophie once more resting comfortably in his ear, set off at a gallop for England. The helicopters all banked around and followed after him.
It was an amazing spectacle, those nine helicopters winging through the sky, each with a trussed-up fifty-foot-long giant slung underneath it. The giants themselves must have found it an interesting experience. They never stopped bellowing, but their howls were drowned by the noise of the engines.
When it began to get dark, the helicopters switched on powerful searchlights and trained them on to the galloping giant so as to keep him in sight. They flew right through the night and arrived in England just as dawn was breaking.
While the giants were being captured, a tremendous bustle and hustle was going on back home in England. Every earth-digger and mechanical contrivance in the country had been mobilized to dig the colossal hole in which the nine giants were to be permanently imprisoned.
Ten thousand men and ten thousand machines worked ceaselessly through the night under powerful arc-lights, and the massive task was completed only just in time.
The hole itself was about twice the size of a football field and five hundred feet deep. The walls were perpendicular and engineers had calculated that there was no way a giant could escape once he was put in. Even if all nine giants were to stand on each other’s shoulders, the topmost giant would still be some fifty feet from the top of the hole.
The nine giant-carrying helicopters hovered over the massive pit. The giants, one by one, were lowered to the floor. But they were still trussed up and now came the tricky business of releasing them from their bonds. Nobody wanted to go down and do this because the moment a giant was freed, he would be sure to turn on the wretched person who had freed him and gobble him up.
As usual, the BFG had the answer. ‘I has told you before,’ he said, ‘giants is never eating giants, so I is going down and I shall untie them myself before you can say rack jobinson.’
With thousands of fascinated spectators, including the Queen, peering down into the pit, the BFG was lowered on a rope. One by one, he released the giants. They stood up, stretched their stiffened limbs and started leaping about in fury.
‘Why is they putting us down here in this grobsludging hole?’ they shouted at the BFG.
‘Because you is guzzling human beans,’ the BFG answered. ‘I is always warning you not to do it and you is never taking the titchiest bit of notice.’
‘In that case,’ the Fleshlumpeater bellowed, ‘I think we is guzzling you instead!’
The BFG grabbed the dangling rope and was hoisted out of the pit just in time.
The great bulging sack he had brought back with him from Giant Country lay at the top of the pit.
‘What’s in there?’ the Queen asked him.
The BFG put an arm into the sack and pulled out a gigantic black and white striped object the size of a man.
‘Snozzcumbers!’ he cried. ‘This is the repulsant snozzcumber, Majester, and that is all we is going to give these disgustive giants from now on!’
‘May I taste it?’ the Queen asked.
‘Don’t, Majester, don’t!’ cried the BFG. ‘It is tasting of trogfilth and pigsquibble!’ With that he tossed the snozzcumber down to the giants below. ‘There’s your supper!’ he shouted. ‘Have a munch on that!’ He fished out more snozzcumbers from the sack and threw them down. The giants below howled and cursed. The BFG laughed. ‘It serves them right left and centre!’ he said.
‘What will we feed them on when the snozzcumbers are all used up?’ the Queen asked him.
‘They is never being used up, Majester,’ the BFG answered, smiling. ‘I is also bringing in this sack a whole bungle of snozzcumber plants which I is giving, with your permission, to the royal gardener to put in the soil. Then we is having an everlasting supply of this repulsant food to feed these thirstbloody giants on.’
‘What a clever fellow you are,’ the Queen said. ‘You are not very well educated but you are really nobody’s fool, I can see that.’
Every country in the world that had in the past been visited by the foul man-eating giants sent telegrams of congratulations and thanks to the BFG and to Sophie. Kings and Presidents and Prime Ministers and Rulers of every kind showered the enormous giant and the little girl with compliments and thank-yous, as well as all sorts of medals and presents.
The Ruler of India sent the BFG a magnificent elephant, the very thing he had been wishing for all his life.
The King of Arabia sent them a camel each.
The Lama of Tibet sent them a llama each.
Wellington sent them one hundred pairs of wellies each.
Panama sent them beautiful hats.
The King of Sweden sent them a barrelful of sweet and sour pork.
Jersey sent them pullovers.
There was no end to the gratitude of the world.
The Queen herself gave orders that a special house with tremendous high ceilings and enormous doors should immediately be built in Windsor Great Park, next to her own castle, for the BFG to live in. And a pretty little cottage was put up next door for Sophie. The BFG’s house was to have a special dream-storing room with hundreds of shelves in it where he could put his beloved bottles. What is more, he was given the title of The Royal Dream-Blower. He was allowed to go galloping off to any place in England on any night of the year to blow his splendid phizzwizards in through the windows to sleeping children. And letters poured into his house by the million from children begging him to pay them a visit.