The Talking Lollipop     /p3

"No, no. That's all right. Go ahead," said the big man.

Billy put his hand in quickly. He felt something round and hard with a stick on it-- something wrapped in waxed paper. He pulled it out. It was a bright red lollipop!

"Well I declare!" cried the big man; and he looked very surprised.

"Isn't it yours?" asked Billy.

Before the man could answer the sugary voice said, I don't want to belong to the big man. I want to belong to the young fella."

Billy was so excited he nearly dropped the lollipop. "Why, it is a talking one!" he cried. "The voice came right from my hand."

"Isn't that strange!" exclaimed the big man. "Aren't you going to eat it?"

"No," replied Billy, "I don't want to eat anything that talks. I want to play with it."

But when he got back to his seat the lollipop wouldn't talk any more, or walk either. It just lay still like an ordinary lollipop. Billy wanted to ask his mother what she thought about it. But she had gone to sleep with her head leaning back against the car seat. He couldn't bear to disturb her, so he walked up and down the aisle again thinking very hard.

"This is a mystery," he said to himself, "and I ought to solve it. I'll play I'm a detective, then maybe I can."

All of a sudden he heard something that made him stop very quickly and listen with all his ears. The young man and the young lady had finished playing cards and were listening to a tiny radio instead. The radio program gave Billy Bright an idea.

He hurried over to where the big man was sitting. The big man looked over the edge of his newspaper as he had before, and asked, "How's the talking lollipop?"

"It won't talk any more, or walk either," said Billy. "Lollipops can't talk or walk. I know they can't."

"But I thought you were talking to it yourself," said the big man.

"I was talking to you," said Billy. "You have two voices, one for yourself and one for the lollipop."

"How did you figure that out?" the big man wanted to know.