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 Six

Chapter 26
The Centipede, who had begun dancing wildly round the deck during this song, had suddenly gone too close to the downward curving edge of the peach, and for three awful seconds he had stood teetering on the brink, swinging his legs frantically in circles in an effort to stop himself from falling over backward into space. But before anyone could reach him – down he went! He gave a shriek of terror as he fell, and the others, rushing to the side and peering over, saw his poor long body tumbling over and over through the air, getting smaller and smaller until it was out of sight.
‘Silkworm!’ yelled James. ‘Quick! Start spinning!’
The Silkworm sighed, for she was still very tired from spinning all that silk for the seagulls, but she did as she was told.
‘I‘m going down after him!’ cried James, grabbing the silk string as it started coming out of the Silkworm and tying the end of it around his waist. ‘The rest of you hold on to Silkworm so I don’t pull her over with me, and later on, if you feel three tugs on the string, start hauling me up again!’
He jumped, and he went tumbling down after the Centipede, down, down, down towards the sea below, and you can imagine how quickly the Silkworm had to spin to keep up with the speed of his fall.
‘We’ll never see either of them again!’ cried the Ladybird. ‘Oh, dear! Oh dear! Just when we were all so happy, too!’
Miss Spider, the Glow-worm, and the Ladybird all began to cry. So did the Earthworm. ‘I don’t care a bit about the Centipede,’ the Earthworm sobbed. ‘But I really did love that little boy.’
Very softly, the Old-Green-Grasshopper started to play the Funeral March on his violin, and by the time he had finished, everyone, including himself, was in a flood of tears.
Suddenly, there came three sharp tugs on the rope. ‘Pull!’ shouted the Old-Green-Grasshopper. ‘Everyone get behind me and pull!’

There was about a mile of string to be hauled in, but they all worked like mad, and in the end, over the side of the peach, there appeared a dripping-wet James with a dripping-wet Centipede clinging to him tightly with all forty-two of his legs.
‘He saved me!’ gasped the Centipede. ‘He swam around in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean until he found me!’
‘My dear boy,’ the Old-Green-Grasshopper said, patting James on the back. ‘I do congratulate you.’
‘My boots!’ cried the Centipede. ‘Just look at my precious boots! They are ruined by the water!’
‘Be quiet!’ the Earthworm said. ‘You are lucky to be alive.’
‘Are we still going up and up?’ asked James.
‘We certainly are,’ answered the Old-Green-Grasshopper. ‘And it’s beginning to get dark.’
‘I know. It’ll soon be night.’
‘Why don’t we all go down below and keep warm until tomorrow morning?’ Miss Spider suggested.
‘No,’ the Old-Green-Grasshopper said. ‘I think that would be very unwise. It will be safer if we all stay up here through the night and keep watch. Then, if anything happens, we shall anyway be ready for it.’
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