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CHAPTER 14 (continued)
After running seven miles or so, Pinocchio was well-nigh exhausted. Seeing himself lost, he climbed up a giant pine tree and sat there to see what he could see. The Assassins tried to climb also, but they slipped and fell.
Far from giving up the chase, this only spurred them on. They gathered a bundle of wood, piled it up at the foot of the pine, and set fire to it. In a twinkling the tree began to sputter and burn like a candle blown by the wind. Pinocchio saw the flames climb higher and higher. Not wishing to end his days as a roasted Marionette, he jumped quickly to the ground and off he went, the Assassins close to him, as before.
Dawn was breaking when, without any warning whatsoever, Pinocchio found his path barred by a deep pool full of water the color of muddy coffee.
What was there to do? With a "One, two, three!" he jumped clear across it. The Assassins jumped also, but not having measured their distance well--splash!!!-- they fell right into the middle of the pool. Pinocchio who heard the splash and felt it, too, cried out, laughing, but never stopping in his race:
"A pleasant bath to you, signori!"
He thought they must surely be drowned and turned his head to see. But there were the two somber figures still following him, though their black sacks were drenched and dripping with water.
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