Shook and glistened like a cat's fur in the dark. "Unhook!" it murmured.
"No wax for any one to-day." "You lazy thieves! Hang up at once and
produce our wax," said the bees below. "Impossible! The sweat's gone. To
make your wax we must have stillness, warmth, and food. Unhook! Unhook!"
They broke up as they murmured, and disappeared among the other bees,
from whom, of course, they were undistinguishable. "Seems as if we'd
have to chew scrap-wax for these pillars, after all," said a worker.
"Not by a whole comb," cried the young bee who had broken the cluster.
"Listen here! I've studied the question more than twenty minutes. It's
as simple as falling off a daisy. You've heard of Cheshire, Root and
Langstroth?" They had not, but they shouted "Good old Langstroth!" just
the same. "Those three know all that there is to be known about making
hives. One or t'other of 'em must have made ours, and if they've made
it, they're bound to look after it. Ours is a 'Guaranteed Patent Hive.'
You can see it on the label behind." "Good old guarantee! Hurrah for the
label behind!" roared the bees. "Well, such being the case, I say that
when we find they've betrayed us, we can exact from them a terrible
vengeance." "Good old vengeance! Good old Root! 'Nuff said! Chuck it!"
The crowd cheered and broke away as Melissa dived through. "D'you know
where Langstroth, Root and Cheshire, live if you happen to want em? she
asked of the proud panting orator. "Gum me if I know they ever lived at
all! But aren't they beautiful names to buzz about? Did you see how it
worked up the sisterhood?" "Yes; but it didn't defend the Gate," she
replied. "Ah, perhaps that's true, but think how delicate my position
is, sister. I've a magnificent appetite, and I don't like working. It's
bad for the mind. My instinct tells me that I c