Ch 32.6 — Eli gripped Old Bob’s hand and started towards the thick forest.
“Not that way,” said Old Bob. “Stay on the path.”
Eli’s heart pounded. What? Stay on the path? To Eli’s surprise, Old Bob began to run, slowly at first, and then faster and faster until Eli could hardly keep up.
Eli looked over his shoulder and almost screamed. The bandersnatches were right behind them.
Hand in hand, Old Bob and Eli raced down the long pathway of grass, with Felix bounding beside them. The trees around them shook. The air was full of rumbling. A strange brown cloud darkened the sky, and Eli tasted dirt in the air. The earth trembled beneath their feet. The rumbling increased until Eli could hardly hear anything else. The air became dark. Trees crashed behind them.
“Stay on the path,” Old Bob yelled. They kept running.
Closer and closer the bandersnatches came. Eli felt their hot breath on the back of his neck. “They’re gaining,” Eli screamed.
“Dinner,” boomed one of the bandersnatches.
“Catch it,” the other called. “Quick.”
One of the bandersnatches reached out and grabbed at Eli. A claw ripped down the back of his shirt. Eli managed to run just a little bit faster. By now the ground shook so hard they could barely stay on their feet. The thunder was deafening. The air was full of dirt and a weird moaning call.
At last Eli realized what the grassy area was: last season’s migration path for the raths. “This is the end of us,” he thought.
And then, just as he was sure he couldn’t run another step and they were going to die, Old Bob yelled, “Now!”