Joel, dressed up for the circus in his monkey suit, took a flying leap and came through the ring so splendidly that everybody hopped up to their feet, and shouted and clapped their hands, Grandma exclaiming, "For the land's sake!" while Phronsie slid out of Mrs. Pepper's lap and gave a squeal of delight.
"Hoh! that's nothing!" declared Joel, and before Ben could say anything he ran and jumped up on the lower limb of the apple tree, and winding his sturdy legs around the trunk, and then springing from one branch to another, there he was, before any one knew it, on the topmost bough!
"O mercy me -- he'll be killed!" screamed Grandma, who saw it first. Mother Pepper turned swiftly. "Joel!" she was going to exclaim. But Joel was swinging and slashing the long rope tail, and having a delightful time up there in the branches, and roaring and screaming so, that Mother Pepper's quiet tones couldn't possibly be heard. Polly's face turned very white. "Oh, Ben, he'll be killed!" she exclaimed. "He won't look at us, and we can't make him hear," for by that time everybody was shouting at him to come down!
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