'Of course,' the BFG said.

'And about giants eating people?'

'Swiggles of them,' the BFG said.

'And about little girls like me?'

'Those is commonest of all,' the BFG said. 'I has bottles and bottles of dreams about little girls.'

'And you could mix them all up just as I want you to?' Sophie asked, getting more and more excited.

'Of course,' the BFG said. 'But how is this helping us? I think you is barking up the wrong dog.'

'Now hold on,' Sophie said. 'Listen carefully. I want you to mix a dream which you will blow into the Queen of England's bedroom when she is asleep. And this is how it will go.'

'Now hang on a mintick,' the BFG said. 'How is I possibly going to get near enough to the Queen of England's bedroom to blow in my dream? You is talking dumbsilly.'

'I'll tell you that later,' Sophie said. 'For the moment please listen carefully. Here is the dream I want you to mix. Are you paying attention?'

'Very close,' the BFG said.

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'I want the Queen to dream that nine disgusting giants, each one about fifty feet tall, are galloping to England in the night. She must dream their names as well. What are their names again?'

'Fleshlumpeater,' the BFG said. 'Manhugger. Bonecruncher. Childchewer. Meatdripper. Gizzardgulper. Maidmasher. Bloodbottler. And the Butcher Boy.'

'Let her dream all those names,' Sophie said. 'And let her dream that they will be creeping into England in the depths of the witching hour and snatching little boys and girls from their beds. Let her dream that they will be reaching into the bedroom windows and pulling the little boys and girls out of their beds and then ...' Sophie paused. 'Do they eat them on the spot or do they carry them away first?' she asked.

'They is usually just popping them straight into their mouths like popcorn,' the BFG said.

'Put that in the dream,' Sophie said. 'And then ... then the dream must say that when their tummies are full, they will go galloping back to Giant Country where no one can find them.'

'Is that all?' the BFG said.

'Certainly not,' Sophie said. 'You must then explain to the Queen in her dream that there is a Big Friendly Giant who can tell her where all those beasts are living, so that she can send her soldiers and her armies to capture them once and for all. And now let her dream one last and very important thing. Let her dream that there is a little girl called Sophie sitting on her window-sill who will tell her where the Big Friendly Giant is hiding.'

'Where is he hiding?' asked the BFG.

'We'll come to that later,' Sophie said. 'So the Queen dreams her dream, right?'

'Right,' the BFG said.

'Then she wakes up and the first thing she thinks is oh what a horrid dream. I'm so glad it was only a dream. And then she looks up from her pillow and what does she see?'

'What does she see?' the BFG asked.

'She sees a little girl called Sophie sitting on her window-sill, right there in real life before her very eyes.'

'How is you going to be sitting on the Queen's window-sill, may I beg?' the BFG said.

'You are going to put me there,' Sophie said. 'And that's the lovely part about it. If someone dreams that there is a little girl sitting on her window-sill and then she wakes up and sees that the little girl really is sitting there, that is a dream come true, is it not?'

'I is beginning to see where you is driving to,' the BFG said. 'If the Queen is knowing that part of her dream is true, then perhaps she is believing the rest of it is true as well.'

'That's about it,' Sophie said. 'But I shall have to convince her of that myself.'

'You said you is wanting the dream to say there is a Big Friendly Giant who is also going to talk to the Queen?'

'Absolutely,' Sophie said. 'You must. You are the only one who can tell her where to find the other giants.'

'How is I meeting the Queen?' asked the BFG. 'I is not wanting to be shooted at by her soldiers.'

'The soldiers are only in the front of the Palace,' Sophie said. 'At the back there is a huge garden and there are no soldiers in there at all. There is a very high wall with spikes on it around the garden to stop people climbing in. But you could simply walk over that.'

'How is you knowing all this about the Queen's Palace?' the BFG asked.

'Last year I was in a different orphanage,' Sophie said. 'It was in London and we used to go for walks all around there.'

'Is you helping me to find this Palace?' the BFG asked. 'I has never dared to go hide and sneaking around London in my life.'

'I'll show you the way,' Sophie said confidently.

'I is frightened of London,' the BFG said.

'Don't be,' Sophie said. 'It's full of tiny dark streets and there are very few people about in the witching hour.'

The BFG picked Sophie up between one finger and a thumb and placed her gently in the palm of the other hand. 'Is the Queen's Palace very big?' he asked.

'Huge,' Sophie said.

'Then how is we finding the right bedroom?'

'That's up to you,' Sophie said. 'You're supposed to be an expert at that sort of thing.'

'And you is absolutely sure the Queen will not put me in a zoo with all the cattypiddlers?'

'Of course she won't,' Sophie said. 'You'll be a hero. And you'll never have to eat snozzcumbers again.'

Sophie saw the BFG's eyes widen. He licked his lips.

'You mean it?' he said. 'You really mean it? No more disgustive snozzcumbers?'

'You couldn't get one if you wanted to,' Sophie said. 'Humans don't grow them.'

That did it. The BFG got to his feet. 'When is you wanting me to mix this special dream?' he asked.

'Now,' Sophie said. 'At once.'

'When is we going to see the Queen?' he said.

'Tonight,' Sophie said. 'As soon as you've mixed the dream.'

'Tonight?' the BFG cried. 'Why such a flushbunking flurry?'

'If we can't save tonight's children, we can anyway save tomorrow's,' Sophie said. 'What is more, I'm getting famished. I haven't had a thing to eat for twenty-four hours.'

'Then we had better get crackling,' the BFG said, moving back towards the cave.

Sophie kissed him on the tip of his thumb. 'I knew you'd do it!' she said. 'Come on! Let's hurry!'

That did it. The BFG got to his feet. 'When is you wanting me to mix this special dream?' he asked.

'Now,' Sophie said. 'At once.'

'When is we going to see the Queen?' he said.

'Tonight,' Sophie said. 'As soon as you've mixed the dream.'

'Tonight?' the BFG cried. 'Why such a flushbunking flurry?'

'If we can't save tonight's children, we can anyway save tomorrow's,' Sophie said. 'What is more, I'm getting famished. I haven't had a thing to eat for twenty-four hours.'

'Then we had better get crackling,' the BFG said, moving back towards the cave.

Sophie kissed him on the tip of his thumb. 'I knew you'd do it!' she said. 'Come on! Let's hurry!'