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Karlsson on the Roof

“It’s my horrid little brother,” said Betty. “I’ll teach him a lesson …”

Eric could not stop laughing.

“Of course she likes you,” he shouted. “And why shouldn’t she? Betty likes all boys, and that’s a fact.”

Then, in the silence that followed, there was a thud and still more laughter.

“Calm, be calm!” whispered Karlsson when the tent collapsed in their wild flight for the door.

Eric was as calm as he could be in the circumstances, although he was still bubbling with laughter, and Karlsson had fallen right across him so that he did not quite know which legs were his own and which were Karlsson’s, and he knew that Betty would catch up with them at any moment.

They scrambled to their feet as fast as they could and rushed toward Eric’s room in wild panic, because Betty was close behind.

“Calm, be calm!” whispered Karlsson, and his fat little legs beat like drumsticks under the blanket as he ran. “The World’s Best Speed Runner, that’s Karlsson-on-the Roof!” he whispered, but he sounded breathless.

Eric was not bad at running either. And they certainly were in a hurry. Only in the nick of time did they reach the safety of Eric’s room. Karlsson hastily turned the key in the lock and stood there, laughing quietly, pleased and satisfied, while Betty hammered at the door.

“You wait, Eric, till I get hold of you!” shouted Betty angrily.

“But I didn’t show myself,” Eric shouted back, and there were giggles behind the door again.

There were two of them giggling, and Betty would probably have noticed it if she had not been so angry.

Chapter 4 - Karlsson Bets

Eric came home from school one day looking angry and with a big lump on his forehead. Mommy was in the kitchen, and she was just as upset about the lump as Eric had hoped she would be.

“Oh, darling Eric, whatever’s happened?” she exclaimed, putting her arms around him.

“Christopher threw a stone at me,” replied Eric crossly. !

“My goodness!” said Mommy. “What a horrid boy! Why didn’t you come and tell me?”

Eric shrugged his shoulders.

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