Gadgets the great escape, p.31
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       Gadgets: The Great Escape, p.31

           David Hancock

  Blade had heard Zack and Jake whooping and hollering long before he saw them appear on the lawn by the island of bushes. Now he put his fingers to his lips to warn the rest of the gadgets to remain in hiding and be as quiet as possible. But Toaster’s fate was sealed. As soon as he went out on to the lawn the brothers spotted him.

  ‘Look what’s that?’ said Jake pointing.

  ‘Well it’s not a crocodile,’ replied Zack. ‘It’s, it’s… crikey it looks like the toaster we used to have in the kitchen. What on earth is it doing down here?’

  ‘Maybe the robbers dropped it making their getaway,’ suggested Jake.

  ‘Well let’s have a look if they dropped anything else white hunter.’ And with that he gave Toaster a bash with his crocodile hunting stick just for good measure. The two brothers circled the island of bushes while the gadgets all held their breath praying the children wouldn’t enter. It seemed like an eternity.

  Then Zack said: ‘Nah there’s nothing more here. Let’s go over there to that hollow tree. Maybe we’ll find more treasure hidden in there.’

  ‘But I thought we were crocodile hunters,’ said a perplexed Jake.

  ‘We used to be, silly. But now we are looking for pirate treasure. Bring that booty with you,’ he said indicating the damaged Toaster.

  ‘Aye aye sir,’ And off they went to explore one of the big trees with it’s hollow trunk.

  As soon as the children were half way to the tree and not looking back the gadgets breathed a sigh of relief.

  Good-hearted Carl The Mighty piped up: ‘I know this might seem strange in light of everything that has happened but does anyone think we should go and try and rescue Toaster?’

  There was incredulity on the faces of the other gadgets and then as one they all said: ‘No!’

  ‘OK,’ replied Carl, ‘Only asking. And then turning to the juice extractor he asked: ‘Jenny, just out of interest what made you suspect Toaster of trying to poison us?’

  ‘Well for start, I’ve never trusted him, never at all. And so I have always kept an eye on him. When the slices of Chocolate Chip Banana Bread were handed out everyone was so hungry that after ‘fortune’ was said they naturally went to eat them. Everyone, that is, except Toaster. I noticed he made no move to put the bread in his slots and instead scurried away from the rest of us. That was when I suspected something was wrong. As we know now, he was throwing his food away. If only I had acted quicker maybe I could have saved Ricky and Neville from becoming ill.’

  ‘Don’t fret about that,’ Dr. Sympatico reassured Jenny. ‘If you hadn’t acted, and we had eaten the lot then we could all very well have died. As it is Ricky and Neville will get over it.’

  ‘Yes, Jenny, thanks for saving my life,’ said the rice maker, before dashing behind an oleander bush to be sick.

  With all the chocolate chip banana bread having been thrown away the gadgets were starving but Blade decided it wasn’t safe for them to stay any longer in the island of bushes and they should make their way over another huge expanse of lawn to the relative safety of the Magic Forest.

  ‘I know it is going to be a punishing trip but we will soon be safe, trust me.’ he said giving them one final pep talk before they went on their way.

  ‘And don’t worry I’ll make something nice for supper,’ said Jane Dough. ‘Some of us don’t need to eat that much anyway,’ she added, patting Deep Fat in a loving way and giving him a big smile. ‘Going on a diet might be a good idea.’

  Once more they set off in formation but instead of being happy and smiling they were tired and hungry. Even Marvin and Harry, usually the most polite, were being grumpy.

  ‘They are not a happy bunch,’ said Lee-Mailer to Blade. ‘I don’t know if this is a good idea to make a run for the forest right now. They are not at their most alert.’

  ‘In which case we will have to be. Get Warren to stand look-out at the back with The General and Simon the vacuum sealer can take over from Deep Fat on the right hand flank. I know this is not ideal, you are right Lee-Mailer but we must get to the Forest before dark or risk leaving ourselves totally exposed. Now let’s get on with it.’

  ‘Oh they’ve sent me you have they?’ said The General when Warren strolled up, hands in his pockets.

  ‘Yeah mate they have,’

  It’s not mate, it’s Sir. Now take your hands out of your pockets and look lively. What a miserable excuse for a soldier.’

  ‘Excuse me Sir,’ said Warren emphasising the word to sound sarcastic. ‘It may have past your notice but I am not a soldier, I am a warming plate.’

  ‘And no talking back to a superior officer either. Understand.’

  Warren just shrugged.

  ‘Understand,’ The General shouted.

  ‘Yes sir.’ Anything for a quiet life, thought Warren.

  Fiona, with little Eddie by her side, was walking with Forque and supporting Ricky, who was recovering well from his holly berry poisoning, but she was complaining about how exhausting everything was getting. ‘My fondue stands are really killing me,’ she complained.

  Benzo was trying to practice the English that Warren had been teaching him on anyone who was passing. ‘Awright are ya?’ he said to Crock Pot with a smile. Crock Pot looked at him with disbelief as if the Russian glass blender had suddenly become demented.

  Neville the sandwich maker hadn’t eaten as much of the banana bread as Ricky and was starting to feel much better after being sick following his stomach pains. Sam the salad shooter was trying to chat up Valda the ice queen.

  They were trudging along slowly when the incident happened.

  It was Simon the vacuum sealer that noticed something first. He was on the right flank, eyes peeled, when he saw something in the distance coming towards them. Using Marty he immediately signalled Lee-Mailer and Blade, and also alerted The General. Whatever it was, it was getting nearer and travelling fairly fast. Then all of a sudden it stopped 20 or 30 yards away, as if it had just become aware of the gadget train.

  ‘What is it,’ Lee-Mailer asked Blade.

  ‘I don’t know, pass me The General’s field glasses.’ Blade peered through the glasses before putting them down slowly. ‘It is approaching again but at a much slower pace.’



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