She lifted it up and carried it over to the window and opened the cover, so that what little moonlight there was fell on the contents of the chest. There were a great many old clothes, which she threw out on the attic floor. There were a telescope, a few books, three pistols, a sword, and a bag of gold pieces.
"Tiddelipom and piddeliday," said Pippi contentedly.
"It's so exciting!" said Tommy.
Pippi gathered everything in the nightshirt, and down they went into the kitchen again. Annika was perfectly satisfied to leave the attic.
"Never let children handle firearms," said Pippi and took a pistol in each hand and prepared to fire. "Otherwise some accident can easily happen," she said, shooting off both pistols at once. "That was a good bang," she announced and looked up in the ceiling. The bullets had made two holes.
"Who knows?" she said hopefully. "Perhaps the bullets have gone right through the ceiling and hit some ghosts in the legs. That will teach them to think twice before they set out to scare any innocent little children again. Because even if there aren't any ghosts, they don't need to go round scaring folks out of their wits, I should think. Would you each like a pistol?" she asked.
Tommy was enchanted, and Annika also very much wanted a pistol, provided it wasn't loaded.
"Now we can organize a robber band if we want to," said Pippi. She held the telescope up to her eyes. "With this I can almost see the fleas in South America, I think," she continued. "And it'll be good to have if we do organize a robber band."
Just then there was a knock at the door. It was Tommy's and Annika's father, who had come to take them home. It was long past their bedtime, he said. Tommy and Annika hurried to say thank you, bid Pippi good-by, and collect all their belongings, the flute, the brooch, and the pistols.
Pippi followed her guests out to the porch and watched them disappear through the garden. They turned around to wave. The light from inside shone on her. There she stood with her stiff red braids, dressed in her father's nightshirt which billowed around her feet.
The Tale of a Youth Who Set Out to Learn what Fear Was
Category: Andrew Lang
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