It was not in the least difficult to believe that this ghastly brute ate men, women and children every night.

The Bloodbottler, still holding the BFG by the arm, was examining the rows and rows of bottles. 'You and your pibbling bottles!' he shouted. 'What is you putting in them?'

'Nothing that would interest you,' the BFG answered. 'You is only interested in guzzling human beans.'

'And you is dotty as a dogswoggler!' cried the Bloodbottler.

Soon the Bloodbottler would be coming back, Sophie told herself, and he was bound to search the table-top. But she couldn't possibly jump off the table. It was twelve feet high. She'd break a leg. The snozzcumber, although it was as thick as a perambulator, was not going to hide her if the Bloodbottler picked it up. She examined the chewed-off end. It had large seeds in the middle, each one as big as a melon. They were embedded in soft slimy stuff. Taking care to stay out of sight, Sophie reached forward and scooped away half a dozen of these seeds. This left a hole in the middle of the snozzcumber large enough for her to crouch in so long as she rolled herself up into a ball. She crawled into it. It was a wet and slimy hiding-place, but what did that matter if it was going to save her from being eaten.

The Bloodbottler and the BFG were coming back towards the table now. The BFG was nearly fainting with fear. Any moment, he was telling himself, Sophie would be discovered and eaten.

Suddenly, the Bloodbottler grabbed the half-eaten snozzcumber. The BFG stared at the bare table. Sophie, where is you? he thought desperately. You cannot possibly be jumpelling off that high table, so where is you hiding, Sophie?

'So this is the filthing rotsome glubbage you is eating!' boomed the Bloodbottler, holding up the partly eaten snozzcumber. 'You must be cockles to be guzzling such rubbsquash!'

For a moment, the Bloodbottler seemed to have forgotten about his search for Sophie. The BFG decided to lead him further off the track. 'That is the scrumdiddlyumptious snozzcumber,' he said. 'I is guzzling it gleefully every night and day. Is you never trying a snozzcumber, Bloodbottler?'

'Human beans is juicier,' the Bloodbottler said.

'You is talking rommytot,' the BFG said, growing braver by the second. He was thinking that if only he could get the Bloodbottler to take one bite of the repulsive vegetable, the sheer foulness of its flavour would send him bellowing out of the cave. 'I is happy to let you sample it,' the BFG went on. 'But please, when you see how truly glumptious it is, do not be guzzling the whole thing. Leave me a little snitchet for my supper.'

The Bloodbottler stared suspiciously with small piggy eyes at the snozzcumber.

Sophie, crouching inside the chewed-off end, began to tremble all over.

'You is not switchfiddling me, is you?' said the Bloodbottler.

'Never!' cried the BFG passionately. 'Take a bite and I am positive you will be shouting out oh how scrumdiddlyumptious this wonderveg is!'

The BFG could see the greedy Bloodbottler's mouth beginning to water more than ever at the prospect of extra food. 'Vegitibbles is very good for you,' he went on. 'It is not healthsome always to be eating meaty things.'

'Just this once,' the Bloodbottler said, 'I is going to taste these rotsome eats of yours. But I is warning you that if it is filthsome, I is smashing it over your sludgy little head!'

He picked up the snozzcumber.

He began raising it on its long journey to his mouth, some fifty feet up in the air.

Sophie wanted to scream Don't! But that would have been an even more certain death. Crouching among the slimy seeds, she felt herself being lifted up and up and up.

Suddenly, there was a crunch as the Bloodbottler bit a huge hunk off the end. Sophie saw his yellow teeth clamping together, a few inches from her head. Then there was utter darkness. She was in his mouth. She caught a whiff of his evil-smelling breath. It stank of bad meat. She waited for the teeth to go crunch once more. She prayed that she would be killed quickly.

'Eeeeeowtch!' roared the Bloodbottler. 'Ughbwelch! Ieeeech!' And then he spat.

All of the great lumps of snozzcumber that were in his mouth, as well as Sophie herself, went shooting out across the cave.

If Sophie had struck the stony wall of the cave, she would most certainly have been killed. Instead, she hit the soft folds of the BFG's black cloak hanging against the wall. She dropped to the ground, half-stunned. She crawled under the hem of the cloak and there she crouched.

'You little swinebuggler!' roared the Bloodbottler. 'You little pigswiller!' He rushed at the BFG and smashed what was left of the snozzcumber over his head. Fragments of the filthy vegetable splashed all over the cave.

'You is not loving it?' the BFG asked innocently, rubbing his head.

'Loving it!' yelled the Bloodbottler. 'That is the most disgusterous taste that is ever touching my teeth!

You must be buggies to be swalloping slutch like that! Every night you could be galloping off happy as a hamburger and gobbling juicy human beans!'

'Eating human beans is wrong and evil,' the BFG said.

'It is guzzly and glumptious!' shouted the Bloodbottler. 'And tonight I is galloping off to Chile to swobble a few human Chile beans. Is you wishing to know why I is choosing Chile?'

'I is not wishing to know anything,' the BFG said, very dignified.

'I is choosing Chile,' the Bloodbottler said, 'because I is fed up with the taste of Esquimos. It is important I has plenty of cold eats in this scuddling hot weather, and the next coldest thing to an Esquimo is a Chile bean. Human beans from Chile is very chilly.'

'Horrible,' the BFG said. 'You ought to be ashamed.'

'Other giants is all saying they is wanting to gallop off to England tonight to guzzle school-chiddlers,' the Bloodbottler said. 'I is very fond indeed of English school-chiddlers. They has a nice inky-booky flavour. Perhaps I will change my mind and go to England with them.'

'You is disgusting,' the BFG said.

'And you is an insult to the giant peoples!' shouted the Bloodbottler. 'You is not fit to be a giant! You is a squinky little squiddler! You is a pibbling little pitsqueak! You is a ... cream puffnut!'

With that, the horrible Bloodbottling Giant strode out of the cave. The BFG ran to the cave entrance and quickly rolled the stone back into place.

'Sophie,' he whispered. 'Sophie, where is you, Sophie?'

Sophie emerged from under the hem of the black cloak. 'I'm here,' she said.

The BFG picked her up and held her tenderly in the palm of his hand. 'Oh, I is so happy to be finding you all in one lump!' he said.

'I was in his mouth,' Sophie said.

'You was what!' cried the BFG.

Sophie told him what had happened.

'And there I was telling him to eat the filthsome snozzcumber and you was all the time inside it!' the BFG cried.



----