Bonnyboy, who had risen to go to his father's assistance, paused in astonishment in the middle of the floor. He could not comprehend, poor boy, why everything he said provoked such uncontrollable mirth. He surely had no intention of being funny.
So, taken aback a little, he repeated to himself, half wonderingly, with an abrupt pause after each word, "Sit--down--Ola--Klemmerud--sit--down!"
But Ola Klemmerud, instead of sitting down, hit Grim repeatedly about the face and head, and it was evident that the elder man, in spite of his strength, was not a match for him in alertness. This dawned presently upon Bonnyboy's slow comprehension, and his good-natured smile gave way to a flush of excitement. He took two long strides across the floor, pushed his father gently aside, and stood facing his antagonist. He repeated once more his invitation to sit down; to which the latter responded with a slap which made the sparks dance before Bonnyboy's eyes. Now Bonnyboy became really angry. Instead of returning the slap, he seized his enemy with a sudden and mighty grab by both his shoulders, lifted him up as if he were a bag of hay, and put him down on a chair with such force that it broke into splinters under him.
"Will you now sit down?" said Bonnyboy.
Nobody laughed this time, and the bully, not daring to rise, remained seated on the floor among the ruins of the chair. Thereupon, with imperturbable composure, Bonnyboy turned to his father, brushed off his coat with his hands and smoothed his disordered hair. "Now let us go home, father," he said, and taking the old man's arm he walked out of the room. But hardly had he crossed the threshold before the astonished company broke into cheering.
"Good for you, Bonnyboy!" "Well done, Bonnyboy!" "You are a bully boy, Bonnyboy!" they cried after him.
But Bonnyboy strode calmly along, quite unconscious of his triumph, and only happy to have gotten his father out of the room safe and sound. For a good while they walked on in silence. Then, when the effect of the excitement had begun to wear away, Grim stopped in the path, gazed admiringly at his son, and said, "Well, Bonnyboy, you are a queer fellow."
"Oh, yes," answered Bonnyboy, blushing with embarrassment (for though he did not comprehend the remark, he felt the approving gaze); "but then, you know, I asked him to sit down, and he wouldn't."