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shirtsleeves trembling with cold.”

“Poor Father! But after today he'll never suffer again.”

“Why?”

“Because I've become rich.”

“You, rich?” said the fox, and he began to laugh out loud. The cat was laughing also, but tried to hide his mirth by stroking his long whiskers.

“There's nothing to laugh at,” cried Pinocchio angrily. “These, as you know, are five new gold pieces.” And he pulled out the gold pieces that Fire-Eater had given him.

At the cheerful tinkle of the coins, the fox unconsciously held out his paw that was supposed to be crippled, and the cat widely opened his eyes—but closed them again so quickly that Pinocchio didn't notice.

“And may I ask,” inquired the fox, “what you're going to do with all that money?”

“First of all,” answered the puppet, “I want to buy a fine new coat for my father, a coat of gold and silver with diamond buttons. After that, I'll buy a new schoolbook for myself so that I can go to school and study hard.”

“Look at me,” said the fox. “For the silly reason of wanting to study, I've lost a paw.”

“Look at me,” said the cat. “For the same foolish reason, I've lost the sight of both eyes.”

At that moment, a blackbird, perched on the fence along the road, called out sharp and clear, “Pinocchio, don't listen to bad advice. If you do, you'll be sorry!”

Poor little blackbird! If he had only kept his words to himself! In a flash the cat leaped on him and ate him, feathers and all. Then the cat cleaned his whiskers, closed his eyes, and became blind once more.

“Poor blackbird!” said Pinocchio to the cat. “Why did you kill him?”

“I killed him to teach him a lesson. He's too meddlesome. Next time he'll keep his mouth shut.”

Suddenly the fox turned to the puppet and said, “Do you want to double your gold pieces?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you want a hundred, a thousand, two thousand gold pieces for your measly five?”

“Yes, but how?”

“It's very easy. Instead of returning home, come with us.”

“Where?”

“To Dupeland.”

Pinocchio thought awhile and then said firmly, “No, I don't want to go. Home is near, and I'm going where my father's waiting for me. How worried he must be that I haven't returned yet! I've been a bad son, and the cricket was right when he said that a disobedient boy can't be happy. I've learned this the hard way.”

“Well, then,” said the fox, “if you really want to go home, go ahead, but you'll be sorry.”

“You'll be sorry,” repeated the cat.

“Think about it, Pinocchio,” said the fox. “You're turning your back on a windfall! Tomorrow your five gold pieces will become two thousand!”

“Two thousand!” repeated the cat.

“But how can they possibly become so many?” asked

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