James And The Giant Peach

written by Sona

James' parents died and he was adopted by his gruesome aunts. How does he escape?

Last Updated






Chapter Twenty

Chapter 20
‘There is something that I believe we might try,’ James Henry Trotter said slowly. ‘I‘m not saying it’ll work…’
‘Tell us!’ cried the Earthworm. ‘Tell us quick!’
‘We’ll try anything you say!’ said the Centipede. ‘But hurry, hurry, hurry!’
‘Be quiet and let the boy speak!’ said the Ladybird. ‘Go on, James.’
They all moved a little closer to him. There was a longish pause.
‘Go on!’ they cried frantically. ‘Go on!’
And all the time while they were waiting they could hear the sharks threshing around in the water below them. It was enough to make anyone frantic.
‘Come on, James,’ the Ladybird said, coaxing him.
I… I… I‘m afraid it’s no good after all,’ James murmured, shaking his head. ‘I‘m terribly sorry. I forgot. We don’t have any string. We’d need hundreds of yards of string to make this work.’
‘What sort of string?’ asked the Old-Green-Grasshopper sharply.
‘Any sort, just so long as it’s strong.’
‘But my dear boy, that’s exactly what we do have! We‘ve got all you want!’
‘How? Where?’
‘The Silkworm!’ cried the Old-Green-Grasshopper. ‘Didn’t you ever notice the Silkworm? She’s still downstairs! She never moves! She just lies there sleeping all day long, but we can easily wake her up and make her spin!’
‘And what about me, may I ask?’ said Miss Spider. ‘I can spin just as well as any Silkworm. What’s more, I can spin patterns.’
‘Can you make enough between you?’ asked James.
‘As much as you want.’
‘And quickly?’
‘Of course! Of course!’
‘And would it be strong?’
‘The strongest there is! It’s as thick as your finger! But why? What are you going to do?’
‘I‘m going to lift this peach clear out of the water!’ James announced firmly.
‘You’re mad!’ cried the Earthworm.
‘It’s our only chance.’
‘The boy’s crazy.’
‘He’s joking.’
‘Go on, James,’ the Ladybird said gently. ‘How are you going to do it?’
‘Skyhooks, I suppose,’ jeered the Centipede.
‘Seagulls,’ James answered calmly. ‘The place is full of them. Look up there!’

They all looked up and saw a great mass of seagulls wheeling round and round in the sky.
‘I‘m going to take a long silk string,’ James went on, ‘and I‘m going to loop one end of it round a seagull’s neck. And then I‘m going to tie the other end to the stem of the peach.’ He pointed to the peach stem, which was standing up like a short thick mast in the middle of the deck.
‘Then I‘m going to get another seagull and do the same thing again, then another and another –’
‘Ridiculous!’ they shouted.
And the Old-Green-Grasshopper said, ‘How can a few seagulls lift an enormous thing like this up into the air, and all of us as well? It would take hundreds… thousands…’
‘There is no shortage of seagulls,’ James answered. ‘Look for yourself. We’ll probably need four hundred, five hundred, six hundred… maybe even a thousand… I don’t know… I shall simply go on hooking them up to the stem until we have enough to lift us. They’ll be bound to lift us in the end. It’s like balloons. You give someone enough balloons to hold, I mean really enough, then up he goes. And a seagull has far more lifting power than a balloon. If only we have the time to do it. If only we are not sunk first by those awful sharks…’
‘You’re absolutely off your head!’ said the Earthworm.
‘How on earth do you propose to get a loop of string round a seagull’s neck? I suppose you’re going to fly up there yourself and catch it!’
‘The boy’s dotty!’ said the Centipede.
‘Let him finish,’ said the Ladybird. ‘Go on, James. How would you do it?’
‘With bait.’
‘Bait! What sort of bait?’
‘With a worm, of course. Seagulls love worms, didn’t you know that? And luckily for us, we have here the biggest, fattest, pinkest, juiciest Earthworm in the world.’
‘You can stop right there!’ the Earthworm said sharply. ‘That’s quite enough!’
‘Go on,’ the others said, beginning to grow interested. ‘Go on!’
‘The seagulls have already spotted him,’ James continued. ‘That’s why there are so many of them circling round. But they daren’t come down to get him while all the rest of us are standing here. So this is what –’
‘Stop!’ cried the Earthworm. ‘Stop, stop, stop! I won’t have it! I refuse! I – I – I – I –’
‘Be quiet!’ said the Centipede. ‘Mind your own business!’
‘I like that!’
‘My dear Earthworm, you’re going to be eaten anyway, so what difference does it make whether it’s sharks or seagulls?’
‘I won’t do it!’
‘Why don’t we hear what the plan is first?’ said the Old-Green-Grasshopper.
‘I don’t give a hoot what the plan is!’ cried the Earthworm. ‘I am not going to be pecked to death by a bunch of seagulls!’
‘You will be a martyr,’ said the Centipede. ‘I shall respect you for the rest of my life.’
‘So will I,’ said Miss Spider. ‘And your name will be in all the newspapers. Earthworm gives life to save friends…’
‘But he won’t have to give his life,’ James told them. ‘Now listen to me. This is what we’ll do…’
Hogwarts is Here © 2023
HogwartsIsHere.com was made for fans, by fans, and is not endorsed or supported directly or indirectly with Warner Bros. Entertainment, JK Rowling, Wizarding World Digital, or any of the official Harry Potter trademark/right holders.
Powered by minervaa