While on the run, the boys are picked up by two notorious highwaymen, Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater, who hatch a scheme to ransom the prince.Jemmy talks them into believing that he is the prince, and sets into motion a plan of escape.
Still believing Jemmy is the prince, and believing it to be a crime worse than murder to beat the prince, they beat Horace instead.
The dancing bear scares the highwaymen away, and everyone arrives at the fair.
Barbara's Notes: This 'rollicking adventure' is better written than most literature at this level.
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The prince misunderstands Jemmy's intentions and betrays him. They come across a girl searching for her lost dancing bear and she directs them to the river where they find a kind man with a wagon full of potatoes.
The boys help the man get his wagon from the mud, and in return, the potato man gives the boys, the girl, and the bear a lift to the fair, but they are soon intercepted by the highwaymen.When they return to the potato man, Horace reveals himself as a prince and suggests that the potato man collect the reward for capturing the whipping boy.When the prince explains the entire escapade to the king, Jemmy is pardoned, and the two boys live in the palace as the best of friends.The spoiled, naive, and inconsiderate Prince Brat learns that his own subjects despise him for his arrogance and legendary temper tantrums, forcing him to confront his own flaws for the first time.By connecting with people from different social statuses than himself, the young nobleman realizes his superiority complex is unfounded and unattractive.When the boys learn that the king has posted a reward for the whipping boy, who has been accused of kidnapping the prince, they go into the sewers where they see the highwaymen.They trick the highwaymen into the most dangerous sewer, where rats attack them, the prince decides that he wants to finally go home.The whipping boy is a common boy that takes the punishment for the royal prince since whipping, spanking, and smacking are not allowed.Before he became the whipping boy, Jemmy was an orphan living in rags in the sewers.Prince Horace can be annoying and craving attention from his father, he frequently misbehaves—to the point he is nicknamed "Prince Brat." Since he is a prince, no one may raise a hand against him.Therefore, his family provides him with a whipping boy, Jemmy, an orphaned boy who will be punished in the prince's stead.