When Terenced knocked down the structure that housed the milk bottle game, Bartle, being the spooked Springer spaniel that he was, was so shaken that he sprung for the nearest hiding place.
“If your looking for your dog,” said an ice cream vendor, “he just made a leap into that hot- air balloon. The one that’s about to lift off.”
Terence ran and grabbed at the basket as it lifted off and made its way toward the clouds.
“Hey!” cried a voice. “Where’d you come from?”
Terence sat breathless in a corner of the basket, holding Bartle in his arms.
“Sorry, mister,” said Terence. “I just came to get my dog back. You can let us down any time.”
“I’m not quite sure I can,” said the man. “You see, it ain’t exactly my balloon. I’m just along for the ride. The man it belongs to asked me to watch it while he went to the toilet. ‘And don’t touch anything!’ he tells me. Well, me being me, I went and touched something, and before I know it this things breathing fire and lifting off the ground. And I ain’t quite sure how to get it back down.”
“Oh, great!” said Terence.
Terence then peered over the side of the basket and saw a mad dog of a man shaking his fists in their direction. He also saw his mom and uncle waving up at them and smiling, like it was the most natural thing in the world for him and his dog to be heading up into outer space in a hot-air balloon.
“Can’t you make this thing go anywhere but up?” said Terence.
“I wouldn’t know where to start,” said the man.
“How about you touch that thing you weren’t supposed to be touching, only this time do it the opposite way?”
“Sounds reasonable to me,” said the man.
He then reached down and turned a massive series of valves, and before you know it the balloon had stopped climbing up and was now heading off into the sunset.
Veronica and Uncle Phil stood there and watched as the balloon made its way westward.
“How long you expect they’ll be up there?” said Veronica.
“I don’t know, sis,” said Uncle Phil. “Not long, I suppose.”
“If I had a gun, I’d shoot it down!” cried the man who had shook his fists at the disappearing balloon. “I’d shoot it right out of the darn sky!”
“Shoot what down?” said Uncle Phil.
“That balloon with the kid in it!” said the man.
“You mean Terence?” said Veronica.
“I don’t know his name!” said the man. “I just know he went and stole my balloon!”