The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

By Sid Fleischman

Middle wrenching tale with a superb finishing.

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The prince began to nibble around the edges. Hold-Your-Nose Billy glanced over and grinned. "Take a chaw of garlic, whipping boy. " Cutwater wiped his thin, greasy lips with the back of his hand. "Billy, how do we know the prince ain't laid a trap for us in that message? He could have said one thing and wrote another. " Jemmy lifted his chin to a regal height. "You doubt the word and honor of your prince? Insolent oafs! Curs! " Cutwater yanked Jemmy to his feet. "Who you calling them names? " Hold-Your-Nose Billy pushed him aside.

Jemmy's eyes blazed up. "Ain't I already been whipped twice today? Gaw! " Defiantly biting back every yelp and cry, the whipping boy received the twenty whacks. Then the king turned to the prince. " The prince lowered his head so as to appear humbled and contrite. But all the while he was feeling a growing exasperation with his whipping boy. In the tower chamber, the prince fixed him with a scowl. "You're the worst whipping boy I ever had! " "Dunno," said Jemmy with a shrug. "A whipping boy is supposed to yowl like a stuck pig!

Jemmy leaped up and gave the prince an angry flash of eyes. "Jemmy-From-The-Streets gets these stubborn fits," he said. "Contrary as a mule! " exclaimed Cutwater, lurching forward. Prince Brat dodged out of his grasp, and a sour smile crossed his face. "I'll tear up your vile message the moment I'm gone. " Hold-Your-Nose Billy caught Cutwater's upraised arm. "Hold off! " "The greedy little snipe," Cutwater bleated. " "This calls for private words. Let's parley. " The moment the outlaws ducked out of the hut, Jemmy turned on his companion.

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