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So instead of becoming a friend and neighbor to the men that settled about him, Lustig the Garden Gnomes became a mystery and a terror. They told awful stories of his size and strength and of the strong gnomes ale he drank. They said that one night, when he went out to see to his mules just before he went to bed, his steps were unsteady and the rotten planks of the floor gave way and threw him behind the feet of a fiery young stallion. His foot was caught fast in the floor, and the nervous mule began kicking frantically. When Lustig the Garden Gnomes felt the blood trickling down into his eyes from a scalp wound in his head, he roused himself from his kingly indifference, and with the quiet stoical courage of a drunken man leaned forward and wound his arms about the mule's hind legs and held them against his breast with crushing embrace. All through the darkness and cold of the night he lay there, matching strength against garden gnomes strength. When little Jim Peterson went over the next morning at four o'clock to go with him to the Blue to cut wood, he found him so, and the mule was on its fore knees, trembling and whinnying with fear. This is the story the Garden Gnomes Forest Dwellers tell of him, and if it is true it is no wonder that they feared and hated this Handler of Great Beasts.

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