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CHAPTER 8. PRANKS AND PLAYS (continued)
Demi then proceeded to kindle up a small blaze, as he had seen the boys do at picnics. When the flame burned well, he ordered the company to march round it three times and then stand in a circle.
"I shall begin, and as fast as my things are burnt, you must bring yours."
With that he solemnly laid on a little paper book full of pictures, pasted in by himself; this was followed by a dilapidated boat, and then one by one the unhappy leaden soldiers marched to death. Not one faltered or hung back, from the splendid red and yellow captain to the small drummer who had lost his legs; all vanished in the flames and mingled in one common pool of melted lead.
"Now, Daisy!" called the high priest of Kitty-mouse, when his rich offerings had been consumed, to the great satisfaction of the children.
"My dear dollies, how can I let them go?" moaned Daisy, hugging the entire dozen with a face full of maternal woe.
"You must," commanded Demi; and with a farewell kiss to each, Daisy laid her blooming dolls upon the coals.
"Let me keep one, the dear blue thing, she is so sweet," besought the poor little mamma, clutching her last in despair.
"More! more!" growled an awful voice, and Demi cried, "that's the Kitty-mouse! she must have every one, quick, or she will scratch us."
In went the precious blue belle, flounces, rosy hat, and all, and nothing but a few black flakes remained of that bright band.
"Stand the houses and trees round, and let them catch themselves; it will be like a real fire then," said Demi, who liked variety even in his "sackerryfices."
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