When Guph stumbled over the rocks in approaching the bridge the creature opened its eyes, from which tiny flames shot in all directions, and after looking at the intruder very wickedly the scarlet alligator closed its eyelids again and lay still.
Guph saw there was no room for him to pass the alligator on the narrow bridge, so he called out to it:
"Neither," snapped the alligator, clicking its cruel jaws together.
"I expect he is, seeing he is always at home," replied the alligator.
The alligator turned to look over its shoulder, and at once Guph ran to the bridge and leaped over the sentinel's back before it could turn back again.
"So you did; and perhaps you fooled yourself," retorted the alligator. "Go up the mountain, if you dare, and find out what the First and Foremost will do to you!"
"He passed the scarlet alligator and came here of his own free will and accord."
The owl-man led him back down the mountain path and ordered the scarlet alligator to crawl away and allow the Nome to cross the bridge in safety.
And sometimes a rosy little school-boy climbed into our chair, and sat staring, with wide-open eyes, at the alligator
, the rattlesnake, and the other curiosities of the barber's shop.