Excerpt from The Lord of the Bags, The Fellowship of the Bag
That night they camped on a small eyot close to the shore. Cueball lay rolled in blankets beside Megan. "I had a funny dream an hour or two before we stopped, Miss Megan," he said. "Or maybe it wasn't a dream. Funny it was anyway."
"Well, what was it?" said Megan, knowing that Cueball would not settle down until he had told his tale, whatever it was. "I haven't seen or thought of anything to make me smile since we left the sandcastles."
"It wasn't funny that way, Miss Megan. It was queer. All wrong, if it wasn't a dream. And you had best hear it. It was like this: I saw a log with eyes!"
"The log's all right," said Megan. "There are many logs in the sea (big). But leave out the eyes!"
"That I won't," said Cueball. "Twas the eyes as made me sit up, so to speak. I saw what I took to be a log floating along in the half-light behind a rock; but I didn't give much heed to it. Then it seemed as if the log was slowly catching us up. And that was peculiar, as you might say. Just then I saw the eyes: two pale sort of points, shiny-like, on a hump at the near end of the log. What's more, it wasn't a log, for it had paddle-feet, like a swan's almost, only they seemed bigger, and kept dipping in and out of the water.
"That's when I sat right up and rubbed my eyes, meaning to give a shout, if it were still there when I had rubbed the drowse out of my head. For the whatever-it-was was coming along fast now and getting closer to us. But whether those two lamps spotted me moving and staring, or whether I came to my senses, I don't know. When I looked again, it wasn't there. Yet I think I caught a glimpse, with the tail of my eye, as the saying is, of something dark shooting under the shadow of the bank. I couldn't see no more eyes, though."
"I said to myself: 'dreaming again, Cueball,' I said; and I said no more just then. But I've been thinking since, and now I'm not so sure. What do you make of it, Miss Megan?"
"I should make nothing of it but a log and the dusk and the sleep in your eyes, Cueball," said Megan, "if this was the first time that those eyes had been seen. But it isn't. I saw them away back before we left the castles. I saw a strange creature with eyes coming up to us while I lay down to rest after building the topmost castle.
"And I remember more too," said Cueball. "I don't like my thoughts, but thinking of one thing and another, I fancy I could put a name on the creature, at a guess. A nasty name. LaPetite, maybe?"
"Yes, that is what I have feared for some time," said Megan. "Ever since the night on the platform. I suppose she was lurking near the beach, and picked up our trail then. The miserable creature must have been hiding behind some rock, watching us start off!"
"That's about it," said Cueball. "And we'd better be a bit more watchful ourselves, or we'll feel some nasty fingers around out necks one of these nights, if we wake up to anything. And that's what I was leading up to. I'll keep watch."
"Alright," said Megan. "But only if you promise to wake me up half-way towards morning, if nothing happens before then."
In the dead hours Megan came out of a deep dark sleep to find Cueball shaking her. "It's a shame to wake you," whispered Cueball, "but that's what you said. There's nothing to tell, or not much. I thought I heard some soft splashing and a sniffling noise, a while back; but you hear a lot of such queer sounds by the sea (big) at night."
He lay down, and Megan sat up, huddled in her blankets, and fought off her sleep. Minutes or hours passed slowly, and nothing happened. Megan was just yielding to the temptation to lie down again when a dark shape, hardly visible, floated close to the shore. A long whitish hand could be dimly seen as it shot out and grabbed a rock; two pale lamplike eyes shone coldly as they peered inside, and then they lifted and gazed up at Megan on the eyot. They were not more than a yard or two away, and Megan heard the soft hiss of intaken breath. She stood up, drawing a knife from her bag, and faced the eyes. Immediately, their light was shut off. There was another hiss and a splash, and the dark log-shape shot away back out to sea into the night. Cueball stirred in his sleep, turned over, and sat up.
"What is it?" he whispered, springing up and coming down to Megan. "Why have you got your knife out?"
"LaPetite," answered Megan. "Or at least, so I guess."
"Ah!" said Cueball. "I'd hoped our journey would eventually beat her, but she is too clever a water-girl. We shall have to try going faster tomorrow. You lie down now, and I will keep watch for what is left of the night. I wish I could lay my hands on the wretch. We might make her useful. Maybe she knows if there are other rivers… but if I cannot, we will have to try and lose her. She is very dangerous. Quite apart from murder by night on her own account, she may, Randall forbid… Steal our bags."