Waldo stopped to reload the grappling hook and catch his breath, and wondered why the tarantula wasn’t attacking him. “Probably because I’m the only one chasing it,” he thought, and fired again.
Finally, after zipping up, down, and across half of Marjoram, the poisonous flying tarantula perched atop the peak of one of the spires and just sat there. It almost appeared to be taking a moment to appreciate the misery and confusion.
Waldo snuck up along the highest catwalk, which wrapped around the top of the spire like a vine, trying quietly and cautiously to approach the tarantula. Keeping his eyes glued on the spider, he removed the hook from the end of his grappling hook’s chain. This he replaced with the butterfly net, then cranked and wound up the machine as tight as it would go. “If my aim is true,” he thought to himself, “I’ll snag it and just reel it back in like a fish!”
He steadied himself and took careful aim. “Escape this, you devil!” he whispered.
“Halt!” barked a voice.
The flying tarantula took to the air and buzzed away, out of sight.
“No!” cried Waldo. He spun around, and found himself face to face with a troop of stern-looking city guards. They loomed over him in severe black fezzes and long cloaks, brandishing threatening muskets and even more threatening mustaches. “What did you do that for?” he said.
“You are under arrest,” growled the captain of the guard, “for suspicious connection with the mass paralyzings which occur even this very moment as we speak. Surrender your weapon!” He wrenched the grappling hook from Waldo’s hands, then bound his wrists in chains and padlocked them.
“What…? But—no! I’m trying to catch the tarantula!” sputtered Waldo. “You can’t just—you have to let me catch it. My family’s been poisoned too!”
“Tell it to the Magistrate,” snarled the captain. Waldo kicked and screamed and shouted for help, but the city guards dragged him away.
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