"What kind of things?" asked Annika.
"Oh, all kinds," said Pippi. "Lumps of gold, ostrich feathers, dead rats, candy snapcrackers, little tiny screws, and things like that."
Tommy and Annika thought it sounded as if it would be fun and wanted very much to be Thing-Finders too, although Tommy did say he hoped he'd find a lump of gold and not a little tiny screw.
"We shall see what we shall see," said Pippi. "One always finds something. But we've got to hurry up and get going so that other Thing-Finders don't pick up all the lumps of gold around here before we get them."
All three Thing-Finders now set out. They decided that it would be best to begin hunting around the houses in the neighborhood, because Pippi said that although it could perfectly well happen that one might find a little screw deep in the woods, still the very best things were usually found where people were living.
"Though, for that matter," she said, "I've seen it the other way around too. I remember once when I was out hunting for things in the jungles of Borneo. Right in the heart of the forest, where no human being had ever before set foot, what do you suppose I found? Why, a very fine wooden leg! I gave it away later to a one-legged old man, and he said that a wooden leg like that wasn't to be had for love or money."
Tommy and Annika looked at Pippi to see just how a Thing-Finder acted. Pippi ran from one side of the road to the other, shaded her eyes with her hand, and hunted and hunted. Sometimes she crawled about on her hands and knees, stuck her hands in between the pickets of a fence, and then said in a disappointed tone, "Oh, dear! I was sure I saw a lump of gold."
"May we really take everything we find?" asked Annika.
"Yes, everything that is lying on the ground," said Pippi.
Presently they came to an old man lying asleep on the lawn outside his cottage.
"There," said Pippi, "that man is lying on the ground and we have found him. We'll take him!"
Tommy and Annika were utterly horrified.
"No, no, Pippi, we can't take an old gentleman!