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3. The Ork
The eyes that regarded them, as the creature stood dripping before them, were bright and mild in expression, and the queer addition to their party made no attempt to attack them and seemed quite as surprised by the meeting as they were.
"I wonder," whispered Trot, "what it is."
"Who, me?" exclaimed the creature in a shrill, high-pitched voice. "Why, I'm an Ork."
"Oh!" said the girl. "But what is an Ork?"
"I am," he repeated, a little proudly, as he shook the water from his funny wings; "and if ever an Ork was glad to be out of the water and on dry land again, you can be mighty sure that I'm that especial, individual Ork!"
"Have you been in the water long?" inquired Cap'n Bill, thinking it only polite to show an interest in the strange creature.
"why, this last ducking was about ten minutes, I believe, and that's about nine minutes and sixty seconds too long for comfort," was the reply. "But last night I was in an awful pickle, I assure you. The whirlpool caught me, and --"
"Oh, were you in the whirlpool, too?" asked Trot eagerly
He gave her a glance that was somewhat reproachful.
"I believe I was mentioning the fact, young lady, when your desire to talk interrupted me," said the Ork. "I am not usually careless in my actions, but that whirlpool was so busy yesterday that I thought I'd see what mischief it was up to. So I flew a little too near it and the suction of the air drew me down into the depths of the ocean. Water and I are natural enemies, and it would have conquered me this time had not a bevy of pretty mermaids come to my assistance and dragged me away from the whirling water and far up into a cavern, where they deserted me."
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