‘FIRE!’ screamed Lennie leaping out of bed. His head was spinning, his heart hammering fast.
‘Oooooo! Ooooo! Oooooo!…’
The mournful hooting of the foghorn rolled into the cabin. Lennie pricked his ears. ‘…six, seven, eight…’ he counted. There was a short pause, and then the foghorn took up its wailing again:
'Ooooo! Ooooo! Ooooo!’
Lennie clutched his head.
‘Creamy! Wake up! Creamy!’ he shouted.
But no sound came from the corner where Creamy slept. Lennie felt suddenly sick with fear. Paws shaking, he groped for the light switch by his bed.
‘Come on, come on!’ he muttered, banging his paws, feeling round. At last, his paw found the switch.
‘Ah, thank goodness!’ he cried, and punched it hard. There was a faint click, but no light came on.
Lennie’s heart sank. He punched the switch again and again, but nothing happened.
For a moment, he sat still. Then he swung his legs quickly to the floor, spurred on by the sound of the foghorn bursting into the cabin again.
Front paws spread out in front, Lennie crept away from his bed, calling all the while: ‘Creamy, wake up! Creamy!’
But Creamy heard nothing. When Creamy slept, he slept – deaf to the world, deep in his dreams. Just then, he was dreaming his favourite dream: he had been voted Top Dog of the Year. Smiling graciously, nodding right and left, he was about to climb up the steps to claim the Winner's Bone, when a howl rent the air:
It was Lennie; he had walked straight into the edge of a steel wardrobe that stood by Creamy's bed. He thumped it crossly: ‘Wretched thing! Practically took my toe off!’
But he had no time to feel sorry for himself. He had to get Creamy up fast. Gritting his teeth, he limped painfully along.
‘Creamy! Wake up! Come on! Can you hear me, Creamy?’