'It's lovely!' she cried.

'Just wait,' said the BFG, flapping his ears.

Sophie could feel the bubbles travel ing lower and lower down her tummy, and then suddenly, inevitably … the explosion came. The trumpets sounded and she too made the wal s of the cavern ring with the sound of music and thunder.

'Bravo!' shouted the BFG, waving the bottle. 'You is very good for a beginner! Let's have some more!'

Journey to Dream Country

After the mad frobscottle party was over, Sophie settled herself again on top of the enormous table.

'You is feeling better now?' asked the Big Friendly Giant.

'Much better, thank you,' Sophie said.

'Whenever I is feeling a bit scrotty,' the BFG said, 'a few gollops of frobscottle is always making me hopscotchy again.'

'I must say it's quite an experience,' Sophie said.

'It's a razztwizzler,' the BFG said. 'It's gloriumptious.' He turned away and strode across the cave and picked up his dream-catching net. 'I is galloping off now,' he said, 'to catch some more whoppsy-whiffling dreams for my collection. I is doing this every day without missing. Is you wishing to come with me?'

'Not me, thank you very much!' Sophie said. 'Not with those other giants lurking outside!'

'I is snuggling you very cosy into the pocket of my waistcoat,' the BFG said. 'Then no one is seeing you.'

Before Sophie could protest, he had picked her up off the table and popped her into the waistcoat pocket. There was plenty of room in there. 'Is you wishing for a little hole to peep out from?' he asked her.

'There's one here already,' she said. She had found a small hole in the pocket, and when she put one eye close to it, she could see out very well indeed. She watched the BFG as he bent down and filled his suitcase with empty glass jars. He closed the lid, picked up the suitcase in one hand, took the pole with the net on the end in the other hand, and marched towards the entrance of the cave.

As soon as he was outside, the BFG set off across the great hot yellow wasteland where the blue rocks lay and the dead trees stood and where all the other giants were skulking about.

Sophie, squatting low on her heels in the pocket of the leather waistcoat, had one eye glued to the little hole. She saw the group of enormous giants about three hundred yards ahead.

'Hold your breaths!' the BFG whispered down to her. 'Cross your figglers! Here we go! We is going right past all these other giants! Is you seeing that whopping great one, the one nearest to us?'

'I see him,' Sophie whispered back, quivering.

'That is the horriblest of them all. And the biggest of them all. He is called the Fleshlumpeating Giant.'

'I don't want to hear about him,' Sophie said.

'He is fifty-four feet high,' the BFG said softly as he jogged along. 'And he is swolloping human beans like they is sugar-lumps, two or three at a time.'

'You're making me nervous,' Sophie said.

'I is nervous myself,' the BFG whispered. 'I always gets as jumpsy as a joghopper when the Fleshlumpeating Giant is around.'

'Keep away from him,' Sophie pleaded.

'Not possible,' the BFG answered. 'He is galloping easily two times as quicksy as me.'

'Shall we turn back?' Sophie said.

'Turning back is worse,' the BFG said. 'If they is seeing me running away, they is all giving chase and

throwing rocks.'

'They would never eat you though would they?' Sophie asked.

'Giants is never guzzling other giants,' the BFG said. 'They is fighting and squarreling a lot with each

other, but never guzzling. Human beans is more tasty to them.'

The giants had already spotted the BFG and all heads were turned, watching him as he jogged forward.

He was aiming to pass well to the right of the group.

Through her little peep-hole, Sophie saw the Fleshlumpeating Giant moving over to intercept them. He didn't hurry. He just loped over casually to a point where the BFG would have to pass. The others loped after him. Sophie counted nine of them altogether and she recognized the Bloodbottler in the middle of them. They were bored. They had nothing to do until nightfall. There was an air of menace about them as they loped slowly across the plain with long lolloping strides, heading for the BFG.

'Here comes the runty one!' boomed the Fleshlumpeater. 'Ho-ho there, runty one! Where is you splatchwinkling away to in such a hefty hurry?' He shot out an enormous arm and grabbed the BFG by the hair. The BFG didn't struggle. He simply stopped and stood quite still and said, 'Be so kind as to be letting go of my hair, Fleshlumpeater.'

The Fleshlumpeater released him and stepped back a pace. The other giants stood around, waiting for the fun to start.

'Now then, you little grobsquiffler!' boomed the Fleshlumpeater. 'We is all of us wanting to know where you is galloping off to every day in the daytime. Nobody ought to be galloping off to anywhere until it is getting dark. The human beans could easily be spotting you and starting a giant hunt and we is not wanting that to happen, is we not?'

'We is not!' shouted the other giants. 'Go back to your cave, runty one!'

'I is not galloping to any human bean country,' the BFG said. 'I is going to other places.

'I is thinking,' said the Fleshlumpeater, 'that you is catching human beans and keeping them as pets!'

'Right you is!' cried the Bioodbottler. 'Just now I is hearing him chittering away to one of them in his cave!'

'You is welcome to go and search my cave from frack to bunt,' the BFG answered. 'You can go looking into every crook and nanny. There is no human beans or stringy beans or runner beans or jelly beans or any other beans in there.'

Sophie crouched still as a mouse inside the BFG's pocket. She hardly dared breathe. She was terrified she might sneeze. The slightest sound or movement would give her away. Through the tiny peep-hole she watched the giants clustering around the poor BFG. How revolting they were! All of them had piggy little eyes and enormous mouths with thick sausage lips. When the Fleshlumpeater was speaking, she got a glimpse of his tongue. It was jet black, like a slab of black steak. Every one of them was more than twice as tall as the BFG.

Suddenly, the Fleshlumpeater shot out two enormous hands and grabbled the BFG around the waist. He tossed him high in the air and shouted, 'Catch him, Manhugger!'

The Manhugger caught him. The other giants spread out quickly in a large circle, each giant about twenty yards from his neighbour, preparing for the game they were going to play. Now the Manhugger threw the BFG high and far, shouting 'Catch him, Bonecruncher!'

The Bonecruncher ran forward and caught the tumbling BFG and immediately swung him up again. 'Catch him,Childchewer!' he shouted.

And so it went on. The giants were playing ball with the BFG, vying with each other to see who could throw him the highest. Sophie dug her nails into the sides of the pocket, trying to prevent herself from tumbling out when she was upside down. She felt as though she were in a barrel going over the Niagara Falls. And all the time there was the fearful danger that one of the giants would fail to catch the BFG and he would go crashing to the ground.



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