Pinocchio returns to the Fairy's houseand she promises him that, on the morrow,he will cease to be a Marionette and become a boy.
A wonderful party of coffee-and-milk to celebratethe great eventMindful of what the Fisherman had said, Pinocchio knewthat all hope of being saved had gone. He closed his eyesand waited for the final moment.
Suddenly, a large Dog, attracted by the odor of theboiling oil, came running into the cave.
"Get out!" cried the Fisherman threateningly and stillholding onto the Marionette, who was all covered with flour.
But the poor Dog was very hungry, and whining andwagging his tail, he tried to say:
"Give me a bite of the fish and I'll go in peace.""Get out, I say!" repeated the Fisherman.
And he drew back his foot to give the Dog a kick.
Then the Dog, who, being really hungry, would takeno refusal, turned in a rage toward the Fisherman andbared his terrible fangs. And at that moment, a pitifullittle voice was heard saying: "Save me, Alidoro; if youdon't, I fry!"The Dog immediately recognized Pinocchio's voice.
Great was his surprise to find that the voice came fromthe little flour-covered bundle that the Fisherman heldin his hand.
Then what did he do? With one great leap, he graspedthat bundle in his mouth and, holding it lightly betweenhis teeth, ran through the door and disappeared like a flash!
The Fisherman, angry at seeing his meal snatched fromunder his nose, ran after the Dog, but a bad fit of coughingmade him stop and turn back.
Meanwhile, Alidoro, as soon as he had found the roadwhich led to the village, stopped and dropped Pinocchiosoftly to the ground.
"How much I do thank you!" said the Marionette.
"It is not necessary," answered the Dog. "You saved me once,and what is given is always returned. We are in this worldto help one another.""But how did you get in that cave?""I was lying here on the sand more dead than alive,when an appetizing odor of fried fish came to me. Thatodor tickled my hunger and I followed it. Oh, if I hadcome a moment later!""Don't speak about it," wailed Pinocchio, stilltrembling with fright. "Don't say a word. If you had comea moment later, I would be fried, eaten, and digested bythis time. Brrrrrr! I shiver at the mere thought of it."Alidoro laughingly held out his paw to the Marionette,who shook it heartily, feeling that now he and the Dogwere good friends. Then they bid each other good-byand the Dog went home.
Pinocchio, left alone, walked toward a little hut nearby, where an old man sat at the door sunning himself,and asked:
"Tell me, good man, have you heard anything of apoor boy with a wounded head, whose name was Eugene?""The boy was brought to this hut and now--""Now he is dead?" Pinocchio interrupted sorrowfully.
"No, he is now alive and he has already returned home.""Really? Really?" cried the Marionette, jumpingaround with joy. "Then the wound was not serious?""But it might have been--and even mortal," answeredthe old man, "for a heavy book was thrown at his head.""And who threw it?""A schoolmate of his, a certain Pinocchio.""And who is this Pinocchio?" asked the Marionette,feigning ignorance.