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Title: In Cloudland
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055054/00001
 Material Information
Title: In Cloudland
Physical Description: 96, 8 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Musgrave, H
Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Publisher: Blackie & Son
Place of Publication: London ;
Glasgow ;
Edinburgh ;
Dublin
Publication Date: [1887?]
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Students -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Birds -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary places -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Dreams -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1887   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1887   ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1887   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1887
Genre: Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Ireland -- Dublin
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Mrs. Musgrave ; illustrated.
General Note: Date of publication from prize inscription.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055054
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002234722
notis - ALH5158
oclc - 68181738

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    Frontispiece
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    Title Page
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    Advertising
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    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
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IN CLOUDLAND.




BY

MRS. MUSGRAVE,
Author of "A Little Hero;" "Riverside Sketches;" &c.



ILLUSTRATED.

















LONDON:
BLACKIE & SON, LIMITED, 49 OLD BAILEY, E.C.
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND DUBLIN.
















IN CLOUDLAND.


OU are always in de clouds, Noel,"
said Mademoiselle one day.
"I wish I was," answered the
little boy, rubbing his curly head; and taking
up his pen with a sigh he went on with his
French exercise.
Noel did not approve of lessons at all, in
which he was like a great many other little
boys. History and geography were well
enough, quite interesting at times, but
writing, arithmetic, Latin, and French were
very tiresome parts of education.
Also he liked story-books, and playing at
robbers and soldiers and mountain chiefs.
At lesson times he used to be drawing little
pictures or staring out of the window all






6 IN CLOUDLAND.
the time tha~iiMademoiselle was explaining
French verbs. I am really afraid he was a
very troublesome and sometimes a very
rude pupil. Fortunately his governess was
a very patient person, though she never could
understand why Noel liked watching the
swallows building their nests or the bees
storing their honey or the moon peeping
through the clouds. These were all very un-
interesting things to her. And what vexed
Mademoiselle most was that Noel was such
a very bad example to his little sister
Bundles, who was two years younger. Nora
was her real name, but everyone except
Mademoiselle and Susan the nurse-maid called
her Bundles. She was a funny fat little
girl, always crying or laughing. The name
Bundles had been given to her when she was
a baby. She was not seven years old yet,
and Noel was nearly nine.
I think Bundles would have been a very
good little girl if Noel had not been so fond
of telling his strange tales out of school
hours and filling her mind with wonderful







IN CLOUDLAND. 7
ideas that had nothing at all to do with
lessons or good behaviour.
Now as Noel could never get Mademoiselle
or any grown-up person to listen to his
adventures, he came to me one day and asked
me to write them all down. I am a very
nice old person, who always listen to little
boys' and girls' stories, which are often much
better than grown-up peoples', and so I have
written down for other children all that
happened to Noel and Bundles when they
went to Cloudland. I am sure many of you
will like to hear.

"I'm going to Cloudland to night,
Bundles. Would you like to come too?"
said Noel one evening as he watched the
hands of the clock go round.
"Is it far off?" asked Bundles. "It might
be cold and wet, and Mademoiselle keeps her
mackintosh in the big wardrobe. She would
be sure to hear me if I was to take it
out."
"Take an umbrella out of the stand in the






8 IN CLOUDLAND.
hall and borrow Susan's galoshes," said Noel.
"Girls are always afraid of being wet. I'm
only going to put a sack over my shoulders
like the gardeners do. I daresay it will be
damp up there. You're sure to get a cold.
Let's take some cough lozenges, and a foot-
bath as well."
Bundles remembered that Noel always
gave her the heaviest things to carry when
they went for a picnic.
"But how are we going?" she said. "We
can't carry a foot-bath all that way."
Noel rubbed his curly head in an anxious
way.
Oh! I begged the Lark to show me the
way. But he's a disagreeable fellow, and he
said he never stopped in Cloudland. And
he said I couldn't sing, so it was no use
trying to soar with him. I think he's stuck-
up because he sings so well. Then I went
into the barn and asked the old Owl. He
was very polite and obliging, and said he
was sorry he didn't go so far as Cloudland,
though he got very near on some cloudy







IN CLOUDLAND. 9
nights when the clouds come down low. So
I said I would go part of the way on his
back, and perhaps when they saw us up there
they might let down a ladder and we could
climb up."
Bundles put down her doll which she was
undressing for bed and began to cry.
"Oh! I'm dreffully afraid," she said.
"Suppose we was to fall off of their ladder
and I was to lose Susan's galoshes. I
haven't got enough pocket-money to pay for
them. I don't think I'll come to-night, Noel.
You go and see what it's like and I'll come
another time."
Noel did not like the idea of travelling by
himself, but he was not going to let Bundles
know this. It might seem that he was a
coward.
"I sha'n't go no other time; and I shall
know all about it, and walk over the rain-
bow, and see how the snow is made, and the
box where the thunder is kept, and you will
be a little stupid who knows nothing all your
life. My! girls are silly to be afraid!







10 IN CLOUDLAND.
Good-bye. I'm going to get my sack out of
the apple-loft."
"Oh, Noel! come back! do come back!"
cried Bundles as he ran away. But he took
no notice. When he was gone she began to
think of the rainbow and the hail and sleet
which she knew came from the clouds. She
thought she would like to know what was
inside those lovely gold and red and purple
and green and yellow patches that used to
stay behind the sun some evenings.
Noel was so clever, too! He always knew
how to nianage things. He would be sure
to get inside them. And perhaps he would
never tell her anything about them! They
might even be fairy palaces. And in the
dark black clouds which the thunder came
from there must be giants and ogres. She
would like to see an ogre.
But Noel had better take papa's sword.
It didn't cut much, but it would be sure to
frighten the giants up there.
By and by Noel came back with his sack.
"I thought I'd give you another chance,







IN CLOUDLAND. 11
Bundles. You can go if you like. The Owl
won't mind two. I've been and asked him."
Bundles had now quite made up her mind
to go to Cloudland. It would be dreadful if
he got lost up there by himself.
"I'm ready," she said. "I'll tie on the
galoshes with a piece of tape. They're
rather big, you know."
"Oh, but it isn't time yet. We must go
to bed first so that nobody knows. The Owl
is going to hoot at my window when he's
ready. Mind you don't go to sleep, Bundles,
or you'll be left behind."
Bundles promised faithfully not to close
one eye.
"It's like the night before going to the
pantomime," she said. "I never sleep a
wink for thinking about it all."
And so Bundles said Good-night" to
Mademoiselle, and Susan undressed her and
tucked her up in her little white bed. To
her dismay her frock was carried off to be
mended. So when the Owl came and hooted
at her window she had no time to get her







12 IN CLOUDLAND.
Sunday dress out of the wardrobe. Besides,
it buttoned at the back, and Noel never
would fasten her frocks.
The umbrella out of the stand and Susan's
galoshes were hidden under the bed, so
Bundles did not take long to find them.
She tried to dress herself, but the Owl kept
hooting and gave her no time. She was
afraid he would not wait if she was too long.
So all in a hurry she snatched up her old
red dressing-gown and tied the galoshes
over her bare feet. When she opened the
window it seemed very cold outside. But
she had no time to go back for her fur cape
or her hat.
What a time you have kept us waiting!"
said Noel impatiently. "Girls do take long
to dress! Why, I declare you aren't
dressed!"
Noel was seated on the Owl's back, and
stretched out a hand to pull the little sister
up. "Here, do be quick, Bundles! Sit
behind me and hold fast. I've got the foot-
bath in front."
/ ,







IN CLOUDLAND. 13
Then the Owl spread his soft wings noise-
lessly, and away they went.
As soon as they were flying through the
air Bundles wished herself safe back in her
little bed. The wings seemed to move about
a good deal, though they made no noise at
all, and it was very cold.
Oh, I shall fall! I shall fall!" she cried.
Noel stretched out a hand to hold her,
forgetting all about the foot-bath. It fell to
the ground on the paved stones of the stable-
yard, making a terrible clatter. In the mor-
ning the grooms wondered how it had got
there.
"Oh, the foot-bath and the tin of mus-
tard! They're both gone. You musn't catch
cold, Bundles. It's all your fault. You're
such a coward. Oh, please, Mr. Owl, don't
mind her. You promised to fly as high as
you could to-night if I showed you where
the field-mouse's nest was. And I did. I
hope you're a bird of honour, and won't break
your word. It isn't fair at all if you don't
take us near the clouds."







14 IN CLOUDLAND.
"But you're very heavy, both of you,"
puffed the Owl; "and the umbrella keeps
sticking into my wings."
"Open it quick and hold it up, Bundles,"
said Noel, seizing the umbrella before she had
time to obey him.
But we sha'n't see where we are going,"
she said, keeping her eyes fixed on the
Moon, which seemed to be laughing at their
difficulties. "We might knock up against a
cloud, you know."
But Noel was now holding it up, and the
owl seemed to get along better.
Perhaps they won't let me into Cloud-
land, Noel. I've only got on a dressing-
gown. Is it a kingdom?"
"Of course it is," said Noel, who knew
nothing about it.
"Then there must be a king."
"Kingdoms have queens sometimes "
"Then it's a Queendom," said Bundles
positively.. "I don't mind if it's a queen
so much; but I should not like a king to see
I had no stockings on."







IN CLOUDLAND. 15
But Noel was quite indifferent to the
matter of dress. He had on his everyday
serge suit, and looked quite tidy.
Oh! they'll never look at you, Bundles.
You can creep in behind me."
All this time they were mounting higher
and higher. Now it is a very unusual thing
for an owl to fly high, and this one was
getting very tired. But he had promised
to do his best, and the thought of the little
field-mouse he was going to have for supper
so delighted him that he felt bound to be
grateful.
As they got further up they met two or
three old friends they remembered in the.
nursery some years ago. There was the
Cow just starting to jump over the moon,
and the Old Woman tossed up in a basket to
sweep the cobwebs out of the sky.
Which is the way to Cloudland ?" shouted
Bundles as they hurried past.
The Old Woman answered in a very cross
way:
"Oh, you silly children, you'd better go







16 IN CLOUDLAND.
back home. You'll get terrible coughs and
colds up there. If you stay there moss will
grow on your hair, and green mould all over
your clothes. I once knocked at the door
on my way up and I've had the rheumatics
ever since. It's time they stopped tossing
me up in the basket."
Bundles felt very sorry for the Old Woman,
who really looked much too old for this sort
of thing.
"I wish I'd brought the mackintosh," she
said. "I shall perhaps get the rheumatism too."
By this time the Owl was quite exhausted,
and declared he would go no further.
"Just wait a bit, Mr. Owl," said Noel.
"I'll fire at that little cloud over there-it
isn't far off-and perhaps they'll take it as a
signal of distress and let down a ladder." So
Noel brought his pea-shooter out of his
pocket and popped away at a small white
cloud. There was a sound as if he had hit
a drum. Then in a moment down came a
quick shower of rain-such great big rain-
drops they were!
(491)







IN CLOUDLAND. 17
"You must have made some big holes,
Noel," said Bundles, feeling the heavy drops
on her umbrella.
"Be quick, children!" said the Owl; "this
is the Silver Ladder. Catch hold of the rain-
drops and climb up or you'll be too late."
Now, Noel was always ready for something
new, being a very adventurous character; but
Bundles could not really believe it was
possible to climb up a rain-drop.
"I can't," she said, beginning to cry. "I
shall fall down, I know I shall, and we're
such a long way from home. Oh! Mr. Owl,
take me back to my own bed, please."
But the Owl was by this time quite tired,
and determined to get rid of both children.
"No, I really can't," he said. "You've
spoilt all the best feathers in my back
already. I declare I'm not fit to be seen in
an ivy bush."
Noel was up in the cloud by this time,
and now looked over the edge.
"Be quick, Bundles! It's quite easy if
you shut your eyes, and it's quite lovely up
(491) B







18 IN CLOUDLAND.
here. Such a view of the moon!" His
teeth were chattering with the cold, but he
did his best to encourage the little sister,
being anxious to have a companion in this
unknown country.
Then Bundles gave a jump, caught hold
of a rain-drop, and shut her eyes. In a
moment she was drawn up to the cloud, and,
looking down when she opened her eyes, saw
the Owl flying away much faster than he had
come up.
We've got to stay now anyhow," she said,
beginning to laugh.
"It's rather slippery," said Noel, moving
away from the edge. "Let's go in the
middle, so as we don't fall off. This seems
to be a very tiny cloud, Bundles. When
we float near to a big one we must jump off."
"It isn't easy to jump in galoshes that are
tied on with tape," grumbled Bundles. "I
daresay I shall be like Humpty Dumpty, and
if I fall I shall never be put together again.
Don't you think I'd be worse than a geo-
graphy puzzle to make the pieces fit. How







IN CLOUDLAND. 19
wet it is, Noel! Oh, why didn't I take
Mademoiselle's mackintosh?"
At every step they took they went splash,
splash into a little pool, and over their heads
there was a continual sound of dripping.
"The moss will soon grow on us here," said
Noel in a discontented way. "We must get
away quick."
"And there isn't much to see after all,"
said Bundles, holding her umbrella tightly
over her head.
"It's worse than being in Scotland or in a
London fog," answered Noel crossly. He was
a little discouraged at this moment, for he
was beginning to feel rather wet in spite of
the sack over his shoulders.
Perhaps when the moon comes out from
behind that big cloud it will be better," he
said, trying to be cheerful.
You know, Bundles, Mother always says
every cloud has a silver lining."
Bundles went splash into a much bigger
pool, and the water came into her galoshes.
It was very cold to her bare feet.







20 IN CLOUDLAND.
I sha'n't believe that any more," she said
angrily. "We must be quite in the lining
now, and it's all a dirty drab colour."
Just at this moment they reached the
other side of the cloud and looked over. They
saw sailing not far off a most beautiful white
cloud, with big snow mountains heaped one
on another like great piles of cotton wool,
only it was all shining and white, gleaming
like silver. The children clapped their hands
and forgot how cold they were. It was far
far better than any transformation scene at
any pantomime they had ever seen.
"Oh, do let us get over there," said Bundles,
forgetting all about the troublesome galoshes,
and shutting up the umbrella in a great
hurry. Look what a nice big place it is, all
clean and bright and comfortable, not like
this nasty little cloud, which seems to want
to empty itself altogether. We shall have to
get away soon, Noel, for I do declare it's get-
ting smaller and smaller every minute."
All the time Bundles was talking the little
cloud was being drawn nearer to the large






IN CLOUDLAND. 21
one, till at last it was so close they nearly
touched. Then all at once the children found
themselves turning head over heels on to the
big cloud, which had sucked up the last drop
from the little one. It was wonderful, and
Bundles burst out laughing.
"Oh, what a funny funny way of drying
up! Why, the little cloud has all gone to
nothing, Noel. I don't see it anywhere."
Noel got up and rubbed his head.
It didn't really hurt at all, for clouds are
very soft; but boys always rub their heads
when they fall down, or they ought to.
"Aren't you very pleased, Bundles, I
brought you up here? You'd be wasting all
the night with your eyes shut in bed if I
hadn't made you come. There's nothing to
be frightened of, is there? I'm glad I didn't
bring the sword. Look at the moon! It
doesn't look the same from up here. It's
much more shiny. And don't the stars keep
snuffing themselves? I suppose they would
go out if they didn't. It's only the small
stars that do it. They're like tallow candles,







22 IN CLOUDLAND.
I suppose. Shall we go on, Bundles? Oh,
yes, you can keep the umbrella shut. This
seems a dry sort of cloud. Why, we're going
right across the moon. There, Bundles, just
look what a guy you look in the red dressing-
gown. It's a fine big looking-glass."
Bundles began to cry again when Noel
was so unkind. She had quite forgotten how
odd it was to be travelling about in the sky,
with only a red dressing-gown and a pair of
galoshes.
But as they went on the little girl forgot
all about her appearance. There was a great
deal to look at, and everything was quite
different to anything she had ever seen at
home.
They were walking along a shining road
quite clean and dry. It seemed rather like
frozen snow, and led right up to the high
hills which were in front of them. There
was no shade at all, for the moon seemed to
be everywhere. As they went along they
noticed there were no flowers or trees or any-
thing green, no gardens or houses, but only







IN CLOUDLAND. 23
great plains and white mountains like enor-
mous puff-balls.
"There can't be anything underneath them,
Noel," said Bundles, staring at them.
No, of course there isn't. It's all vapour
here," replied Noel grandly.
"But aren't you afraid to go on? Why,
we must be walking on nothing."
Noel only marched on a little quicker.
Oh, what sillies girls are! They're always
afraid. When I grow up I shall be a meteor-
ologist."
Noel pronounced this long word very
slowly.
"What's a meaty-meaty? What did you
call it?"
But Noel was not going to try and pro-
nounce anything so difficult a second time.
"Oh, you couldn't understand if I was to
explain," he said in a patronizing way, and
Bundles was so accustomed to be told this
that she did not feel offended.
Presently they came up to a big eagle
sitting on a telegraph pole. For, of course,







24 IN CLOUDLAND.
there was plenty of electricity about in Cloud-
land. Noel was very glad that he would be
able to tell Mademoiselle that the whole place
was full of it. The eagle had all his feathers
round his neck sticking out like a frill, and
his head tucked comfortably under his wing.
But as the children approached he heard
them talking, and looked up in great surprise.
"What, children in Cloudland? How did
you get here? he said in a.patronizing way.
"We came on the Owl's back," said Noel.
"He's a good sort of fellow, though people
do say he's stupid."
Bundles thought the Eagle's eyes so fierce
that she opened her umbrella again so as not
to see them.
Oh! don't you tell me that," said the
Eagle scornfully. "I've not much opinion
of the Owl. He can't see more than a bat
can, and he'd never have the pluck to fly so
high."
"He did, though," said Bundles courage-
ously from under the umbrella; "and he
said I spoilt all his best feathers."







IN CLOUDLAND. 25
Then Noel began to explain.
"But the clouds were very low to-night,
Mr. Eagle, and he only brought us half-way,
then we climbed up a shower of rain. I never
heard of anyone doing that before; did you?
I don't think much of those wire-walkers
now."
The Eagle stretched his wings, as he was
not able to yawn; then he cast another
piercing glance at Bundles, who was peeping
from under the umbrella.
"Have you seen the Cloud Queen?"
"No. Is there a queen? Where does she
live? Please tell us about her. We don't
know anything. There's nobody to ask in
this country, not any sort of policeman or
even a crossing-sweeper."
I think you'd far better go home again,"
replied the Eagle. "I'll take you down in
the morning."
Oh, no! said Noel with great determina-
tion. "Now we've got here, we will see all
we can. I'm going to be an explorer."
"Why, Noel," said Bundles, "you said






26 IN CLOUDLAND.
just now you were going to be a meaty-
meaty something."
"Oh!" said Noel disdainfully, "I can be
more than one thing at once; girls can't."
The Eagle opened his eyes wider and said:
"The Queen won't like it. You are tres-
passers.
"Then she should put up a notice-board,"
said Noel.
"But nobody ever comes," said the Eagle.
"This is Terra Incognita."
"What's that?" said Bundles. "Is it like
terra cotta?"
"Dear me! how ignorant children are!
Why, it's the foreign for something. It
isn't Terra Firma, you know."
"I learn Latin," said Noel; "but I haven't
got to Terra Incognita. I'll ask Mademoi-
selle."
"It's all wind and rain, I expect," said
Bundles.
Why did you come here, little boy?" said
the Eagle. "You don't look like a poet.
Perhaps you build castles in Spain?"







IN CLOUDLAND. 27
"Oh, no; I don't like poetry at all, not
what Mademoiselle makes us learn. And I
don't know much about Spain, except there's
bull-fights, and they must be jolly. But
Madrid is on the Guadalquivir, if you want
to know. That's the capital."
Bundles nudged Noel and remarked in a
loud whisper-
You mean the Manzanares, Noel."
"Oh, it's all the same," replied Noel.
"Eagles don't go to Spain, I expect. He
won't know."
"And why do you come here, Mr. Eagle ?"
said Noel, inclined to be cheeky.
"Oh, I just went up to have a look at
the spots on the sun yesterday afternoon.
I'm a great astronomer, you know. It got
dai-k as I was coming home, and I lost my
way between the cloud mountains. The
Queen always allows me to rest in her king-
dom. You see, I live above the haunts of
men and don't carry the gossip from here."
Noel thought the Eagle was rather too,
patronizing.







28 IN CLOUDLAND.
We learn natural history with Mademoi-
selle," he said. "Eagles are carnivorous
birds and bloodthirsty. Did you never eat
a lamb or a rabbit? Have you ever been to
see your relations in the Zoo? They aren't
much to be proud of."
The Eagle lifted one talon, and Bundles
shook in her galoshes.
"Oh, please, Mr. Eagle," she said in a
trembling voice, "Noel doesn't mean to be
rude, I'm sure, and we are really and truly
much obliged to you for offering to take us
home. I should like to go, only Noel is
frowning at me. He never even lets me
say what I like. He says boys always know
best. Perhaps it is because they wear
trousers."
At this moment a little blue Hare ran past.
"Oh! what's that?" said Noel. "Why,
it's something alive here besides us. Hi! hi!
Mr. Hare, you just stop a minute and you
can show us the way to the Queen's Throne-
room."
The little Hare was of course very much







IN CLOUDLAND. 29
alarmed when he saw the Eagle; but this
great bird took no notice of him, and pre-
tended to be looking at the moon.
"I-I got caught up at the top of a
mountain to-night in this cloud. I don't
like it at all. I wish I could get back. Can
nobody tell me the way? I'm quite a
stranger here, little boy. I don't know
where the Queen lives."
Then the Eagle looked down from the
moon and remarked:
"You needn't be afraid of me, Mr. Hare.
People are not expected to eat anything in
the clouds. I see quite well that you're a
fine fat little fellow, but-but it isn't allowed
up here. Now, please, all of you, go away
quickly and allow me to finish my sleep.
My wings quite ache with soaring. I wish
any of you knew what it was to fly for hours
and hours straight up, staring at the sun all
the time. Go straight up the hill and you'll
come to the Queen's Throne by and by.
Perhaps she won't be there now. She's
often out at night sailing about the sky on







30 IN CLOUDLAND.
one of the soft little clouds. The scenery,
you know, is really very fine when you get
nearer to the moon."
The Hare was only too glad to be dis-
missed, and ran off at such a rate that the
children could not keep up with him. Hav-
ing come to a nice piece of road which was
perfectly smooth, Bundles took off her ga-
loshes and hung them round her neck. At
last they spied the Hare, who was waiting
for them under a little white hillock.
"Why, are ye going to see the Queen? Is
it a petition ?" he said.
Oh, just to find out about things here-
if there are any laws, or soldiers, and a par-
liament. I mean to tell her majesty we
didn't come here by mistake. I made up
my mind long since."
Well, I don't pretend I didn't," said the
Hare. I don't care for travelling out of my
own country, and I don't think much of this
place. Why,they haven't even got a language."
"They understand us, and the Eagle talks
Latin," said Bundles.







IN CLOUDLAND. 31
"But there isn't any they," objected the
Hare. "I haven't seen a bird, a beast, or a
man yet, and I'm going to ask the Queen
how to get back at once. I've left a wife
and family at the top of my mountain. The
cloud caught me up so quickly that I hadn't
time to say good-bye. There doesn't seem
much to eat in this Cloudland. I say, little
girl, aren't you hungry? "
Then Bundles began to cry. She had been
too much excited to eat her supper of bread
and milk, and now after all her fatigues she
felt she would very much like a slice of cake
or a piece of bread and jam.
You are a greedy. You should be like
a camel, Bundles," said Noel in an angry way,
" Great explorers always have to go without
food. There, don't cry any more. You won't
mind having been hungry when we go back
and you write a book. If you're a famous
character who has been to Cloudland, and
your picture is put in all the papers, you
won't remember the hardships."
The children were now walking slowly up







32 IN CLOUDLAND.
a hill with the Hare running beside them.
Of course he did not understand the conver-
sation about fame. Writing books does, I
daresay, not seem anything very clever to
animals. Perhaps they are right.
It's going to be daylight soon," said Noel.
"We must get to another cloud before the
sun rises. The mountains are so big here
we sha'n't see anything."
"What's to become of me," said the Hare,
"if you go away? I shall never get down
to the world again if you don't help me."
"There's no independence about hares,"
said Noel in a disdainful way. "What would
you have done if we hadn't met you?"
"It's no use talking 'ifs.' Sensible people
never do," retorted the Hare.
By this time they had all climbed a long
way up the hill which led to the Queen's
Throne. Now a steep ladder of fine silver
chains, that were frosted like the window
panes on a winter's morning, stood in front
of them.
"We must go up this ladder, I suppose,"







IN CLOUDLAND. 33
said Noel. "There doesn't seem any other
road up this precipice."
"But I can't climb," said the Hare, pulling
a long face.
"Then I suppose I'll have to carry you,"
said Bundles. "I'll wrap you quite tight in
my dressing-gown. It's very soft, you know."
"But red is so ugly," objected the Hare,
who liked to make difficulties. "It hurts
my eyes. I'm not accustomed to gaudy
colours."
"Never mind him, Bundles," said Noel;
"he isn't worth the trouble. He's ungrate-
ful."
Then the Hare began to screech loudly.
"Oh, come along!" said Bundles, picking
him up in haste. "You can shut your eyes,
and the dressing-gown is very soft, I tell
you.
Noel was already half-way up the ladder,
and Bundles could only climb very slowly in
the galoshes, which she had put on again,
and carrying a Hare that wouldn't keep still.
At the top of the ladder there was a high
(491) 0







34 IN CLOUDLAND.
wall, which looked like the whitest snow you
can imagine. It seemed to be made of
endless yards of cloud stuff packed tightly
together, and was so thick that it was im-
possible to see through it. But there was a
narrow opening in the wall, not wide enough
to be called a gate, and in this opening stood
a tall figure, like a sentinel on the watch.
The children saw that this figure was all
clothed in silver armour and wore a crown
of stars and a fine veil of mist over its face.
Noel made a bow as well as he could
standing on a ladder, and Bundles nearly
dropped the little Hare as she gazed in ad-
miration at the majestic figure of this giant.
"Who are you, my children, who venture
into Cloudland? Where do you come from,
you feeble mortals?"
The great sentinel spoke in a loud voice
as clear as sunshine. Noel plucked up cour-
age to answer.
"Please, sir, we are Noel and Bundles. I
am Noel, she is Bundles. Nora is her real
name; but she is so fat we call her Bundles







IN CLOUDLAND. 35
at home. The Hare doesn't belong to us.
We picked him up out of charity. He
couldn't climb the ladder and he was afraid
to be left. Hares are timid things, you know.
We are explorers. We are looking for a new
country. We mean to write a book and to
have our pictures in the illustrated papers."
It seemed to Bundles that the giant guard-
ing the wall was smiling. His voice sounded
like it when he spoke again.
But no one will believe you if you write
about Cloudland, my children. Down in
your world clouds are not approved of. No
one will want to hear of them. Grown-up
people and little boys and girls are always
longing for sunshine. And yet if it was a
world that knew no clouds there would be
nothing good in it."
Noel began to get rather impatient. "Oh,
I know," he interrupted rudely; "we should
all be burnt up and there would be a famine."
"Noel is going to be a meaty-meaty-
olly something. He knows all about it, sir!"
"Don't interrupt me, Bundles. Mademoi-







36 IN CLOUDLAND.
selle always says you break the thread of
things. So you do."
"But, Noel, I didn't see any thread, and
I wanted to tell this gentleman how clever
you are."
Then Bundles began to cry again.
But Noel wanted to see the Cloud Queen,
and here was the door-keeper making him
stand at the top of the ladder.
I want to see your Queen," he said in a
bold way.
The gentle giant seemed all at once to
grow taller and taller, and his crown of stars
gradually disappeared in a light mist which
came falling down from above.
"That is not the way to ask a favour, little
boy. People who are exploring are always
expected to be polite to the natives. You
see they run into a good many unknown
dangers."
Here Bundles ceased to cry and pushed
herself forwards.
"Boys don't know how to be polite. You
must please excuse him."







IN CLOUDLAND. 37
The little girl was very much afraid that
something dreadful would happen if the
door-keeper was offended. Perhaps he would
push them down the ladder, or swallow them
up in mist, or drop them into a snow-drift.
"But can't we come in?" said Noel in a
more civil way. "I want to ask the Cloud
Queen to give us a seat on a Sunrise Cloud.
The Eagle says it's the finest sight in the
world."
"Ah!" said the big sentinel, "that is a
great favour to ask. Very few mortals have
ever been allowed to sail near the Sun God.
Yes, children, you may come in, but I do not
promise you will see the Queen. She may
not be willing to grant you an audience."
Then the great shining figure stood on one
side of the opening in the wall, and Noel
passed in first with Bundles following. When
they looked round a minute later the wall
had closed up and the giant had disappeared.
"It looks like as if we were prisoners,"
said Bundles. We'll never get out. Oh!
I wish I had gone home with the Eagle."







38 IN CLOUDLAND.
Looking straight in front of them the
children found themselves close to a beautiful
Castle all shining in a wonderful white and
silvery light.
"Oh, oh! this is splendid. It must be the
Silver Lining," said Bundles, nearly dropping
the little blue Hare as she clapped her hands
in delight. "Noel, did you ever see any-
thing so lovely? And there are no ogres at
all."
Wait a bit," said Noel. "Perhaps they
are inside the Castle."
But the great doors of the Queen's Palace
stood wide open and there was no-one about
to forbid them to enter. Not a living
creature protected this Silver Castle. The
great entrance gates were flung back and the
same wonderful pale light shone upon them.
They were frosted like the leaves of trees,
and studded with big nails which looked like
large dewdrops.
When the children stepped inside they saw
a row of giant spiders, which looked very
old and wrinkled. They seemed to be wait-







IN CLOUDLAND. 39
ing, though some of them had fallen asleep
at their post, and their big hairy legs were
all tucked underneath them. They were
bigger and older than any spiders the children
had ever seen. Most of them had quite gray
hair on their legs.
What are you here for?" said Noel to the
oldest-looking of all, who stood nearest the
door.
Oh, we are the Queen's messengers," said
this Spider. We carry the secret despatches
to the Winds, which she can't trust Elec-
tricity with. He is such a very uncertain
fellow."
"Oh," said Noel, thinking he must be a
slow sort of messenger.
"You don't seem surprised to see us, Mr.
Spider. Everyone else was that we met."
The Spider lifted one hairy leg and
scratched his head, which was getting bald.
Oh, no! Electricity told us you had
come with the Owl. But nothing ever sur-
prises me. I'm too old."
"But how do you get along quick enough







40 IN CLOUDLAND.
to be the Queen's messenger?" said Noel with
curiosity.
"That's very easy, little boy. We spin a
long thread and drop to the nearest cloud,
and order it the way her majesty de-
sires."
"And how do you get back?" said Noel,
anxious to learn.
"Oh, we climb up the rain-drops like you
did."
"How did you know we did?" asked
Bundles.
"Spiders know everything, little girl."
"Then do tell me why Miss Muffet was
frightened away."
The Spider quickly turned his back on the
little girl and pretended not to hear.
"People in the Clouds seem to know
everything. Perhaps if I was to stay here
lessons would be easier," remarked Noel with
a sigh.
"I'm not a people, but I know everything,"
repeated the Spider.
"Then do tell me why Miss Muf-"







IN CLOUDLAND. 41
"Little girls shouldn't make personal re-
marks," said the Spider angrily.
"Can we go in?" said Noel, turning to
another Spider who looked more amiable.
"Oh, certainly!" he said. "You'll find
the Queen resting on her Throne. I daresay
she will be very much surprised to see you."
"Does no one ever come up here, then?"
asked Noel, delighted to be the first in the field.
Oh, there have been a few Dreamers.
But they never got as far as the Lining."
"Then this is the Lining?"
Why, can't you see?" said the Old Spider,
joining in. "Why, you never saw such silver
anywhere else, I'm sure."
Then the children marched through the
big hall without any alarm. It was quite
clear there were no dangers to be feared here.
The floor was polished brighter than the
spoons and tea-pots at home. It was all per-
fectly smooth, without a single scratch on
it. They could see their own faces reflected
in it as they marched along.
As for the little Hare he was terribly







42 IN CLOUDLAND.
frightened at the bright and shining appear-
ance of everything about him. For of course
he knew nothing about spoons and tea-pots.
All the white glistening surface in which he
could see himself was a novelty he did not
admire.
"I never did like the moonlight," he-said
in a complaining way, "and this is much
worse. I'll never go so high up the mountain
again. I wouldn't run the same risk again
for anything. These Clouds are terrible
places to get to."
"I don't agree with you," said Noel. It's
not like any other place I've ever been to,
and there's a great deal of empty space.
What a pity they can't send some of the
heaps of poor people up here! They're always
talking about emigration in the papers."
"But they'd starve," said Bundles. "There's
nothing to eat."
Noel did not condescend to answer this
practical remark.
By this time they had come to a big arch-
way. It was bigger than the entrance to a







IN CLOUDLAND. 43
cathedral, and the pillars clustered were
whiter than the finest marble ever cut.
'"I suppose we must go through," said
Bundles, looking at the veil of softly falling
mist that hung over the archway. "I hope
it isn't raining inside. My umbrella will be
quite worn out if we stay here long. I'm
always putting it up in a hurry "
But Noel was not listening. He had
boldly marched through the misty veil and
was lost to view There was nothing left
for Bundles to do but to follow But she
first of all set the Hare on his legs.
"I think you can walk quite well now,
Mr. Hare. The Queen wouldn't like to see
you being carried."
The Hare, keeping close to the little girl's
heels, hopped after her through the archway.
They found themselves in a large round
chamber as high as St. Paul's Cathedral, but
without any roof to it. There was no mist
falling here, and when the .children lifted
their faces up to the sky they were almost
blinded by the dazzling silver light.







44 IN CLOUDLAND.
Upon a lofty throne in the centre of this
hall there sat a beautiful giantess dressed in
pure white. Her train was made of some-
thing softer than cotton wool or snow or
swansdown, and made great puffs upon the
floor where it fell behind her. Dewdrops
brighter than any diamonds shone on her
head and round her neck, which waswhiter
than ivory. Every hair on her head was a
thread of fine silver, finer than the finest
spun glass. She was altogether lovely, and
when she smiled her gentle face was lighted
up with a beautiful expression. She was
bending down from her lofty throne to speak
to Noel, who knelt on one knee before her,
when Bundles first saw her. The little girl
ran along the silver floor very quickly to
hear what she was going to say. But there
was no necessity to do this, for when she
spoke her voice rang through the hall like a
trumpet.
"Mortal children, what seek you here?"
Noel could not help trembling a little,
though the Queen smiled upon him.







IN CLOUDLAND. 45
"Oh, please, great Queen, I am fond of
travelling. Mademoiselle-that is our French
governess-told me I was always in the
Clouds. So I persuaded Bundles to come.
She doesn't like it. She's afraid of getting
cold, and we dropped the foot-bath. She
doesn't care about being called an explorer.
I told-her if we were lost we should have a
monument in Westminster Abbey. But she
doesn't care even about that."
The Queen smiled so beautifully that
Bundles wished she would go on smiling
always.
My dear little boy, your ambition is not
a very high one if to have a monument in
Westminster Abbey is the end of it. Come,
tell me now what you wish me to do for you
in Cloudland. You are both brave to have
come so high, and it is only fair to expect
that I shall help you."
Then Noel explained that he should like
to see a thunder-storm, and that he was par-
ticularly anxious to look on at a sunrise, and
to know how far the rainbow stretched.







46 IN CLOUDLAND.
"Anything else?" said the Queen. "You
won't see me again. I'm off to Greenland
to-night."
"Oh, lots more!" said Noel, with his
courage coming back to him.
"Then I'd better send the Chief Spider
round Cloudland with you. He understands
how to manage everything, because he's been
here so long."
"How long?" said Noel.
"Oh, ages and ages!" said the Queen.
Then her majesty invited Bundles to
walk up the steps of her throne. The little
girl felt very much ashamed of her old red
dressing-gown when she approached the gra-
cious sovereign. Of course it was not at all
the sort of thing to come to a court in.
Bundles much regretted she had not on her
white frock and best sash.
"Mother says I'm a pretty little girl,
though I am fat," she said. I'm very sorry,
Queen, that I don't look nice to-night; but
I hadn't really time. The Owl wouldn't wait.
You see, the galoshes belong to Susan: she's







IN CLOUDLAND. 47
the nurse-maid. And they don't fit. I've
got silk stockings and nice shoes at home.
Perhaps you'll come and see me some day
when I'm dressed for a party."
The Queen looked grave and shook her
head in a sad way.
"My little girl, I should not be at all
welcome. It would never do for clouds to
come and darken your party."
Oh! but you're not like an Ugly Cloud.
You live in the Lining. You are the good
and pretty part of the cloud."
The beautiful Queen placed one hand on
the little girl's head, and Bundles always
remembered afterwards what she said, because
her words were so grave and sweet.
"My child, I am not always bright and
beautiful to the sight of mortals. Sometimes
I appear to them in a dress all dark and
gloomy, and they do not like me because I
make them sad. In storms and hurricanes
my train is dull and black, sometimes so
dark that even the stars and moon cannot
shine through, nay, the Sun God himself is






48 IN CLOUDLAND.
hidden. It is in the dawn or at sunset that
I am more beautiful to mortals than at any
other time. To little children at the break
of day the Clouds are fairy palaces-rosy,
happy, gay; to the old, when the daylight
is sinking, they see beyond the Clouds, and
know that there is rest inside the golden
gates of Heaven."
The tears came into the little girl's eyes,
but she did not know why,
"Oh, what a lot one does learn up here!"
said Noel with a deep sigh. "I shall never
be able to remember it all. What a pity I
didn't bring a note-book!"
Then the Hare crept timidly up to the
Queen's feet and sat up on his hind-legs
without speaking a word.
"Please, Queen, I think the Hare has a
petition," said Noel, who knew something
about English history and the rights of the
people, as indeed it was only proper he
should at his age.
Speak, little Hare," said the Queen; "I
will listen to your suit."







IN CLOUDLAND. 49
"It isn't a suit; it's a petition, your
majesty," corrected Noel.
"If it please your majesty," began the
Hare; then casting an eye on one side he
saw his old enemy the Eagle descending
from the sky towards the Queen's Throne. At
this sight his cowardly little heart began to
beat so much that he could not continue his
speech. He felt quite sure the Eagle had
changed his mind, and had come to make a
dinner off him.
Noel at once began to explain the reason
of the Hare's alarm.
"Can't you see, Queen, he's afraid of the
Eagle?"
The Queen turned her eyes upwards with
an angry glance.
"No one need fear in my domiiiions. I
allow no bloodshed in the Clouds."
Then the Hare advanced another step and
began to speak again, though his voice
trembled a good deal.
"Please, gracious Sovereign, I was caught
up in a very sudden way by a cloud on the
(491) D







50 IN CLOUDLAND.
top of a mountain last evening, and I've left
a sorrowing wife and two children to mourn
my fate. I should like to go back to the
world as soon as possible."
The Queen turned her face up to the great
circle of light which came through the top
of the hall, and appeared to consider for a
space.
"Well, it isn't eas, and I'm not sure it
can be managed all at once. You must be
passed back on the little clouds to your
mountains, if possible. Only the little clouds
have a tiresome way of emptying themselves
into the big ones. Besides, at present the
north wind is coming straight away from
your mountains, and the Winds are mightier
rulers than I am. We will consult the Eagle.
You won't mind, little Hare?"
The Hare did not dare to say he would
mind, but he certainly did not feel at all safe
in the presence of his old foe, who, he well
knew, was very fond of tender young hares,
rabbits, and other harmless animals for his
breakfast and dinner.







IN CLOUDLAND. 51
The Eagle quickly obeyed the summons
from the Queen and alighted on the back of
the throne.
He began at once to apologize for having
followed the children.
Why, you said you were going to have
forty winks before the sun got up," said Noel
boldly.
The king of birds did not like being
addressed in this familiar way, and answered
sulkily:
How could I get any rest with you tire-
some children chattering all the way up the
ladder, and the Hare screeching in that
noisy way? Perhaps you don't know that
sounds are very distinct in this rarefied
atmosphere."
"That's a funny word. What is rarefied?"
said Bundles, turning her chubby face to
Noel.
Now, I can't have any learning up here,"
said the Queen sternly. "I hate science. It
destroys poetry. I shall always care for the
poets. Oh! they have said fine things about







52 IN CLOUDLAND.
the Clouds. There was a man called Shelley
-ah! you are too young yet;" and the
Queen sighed heavily.
"I shall be happy to take the Hare back
to his mountain, your majesty. You know
I am always pleased to oblige you," said the
Eagle.
The Hare stood up on his hind-legs and
folded his two front ones together in silent
appeal. When he was able to speak at last
he stammered out:
"I'd sooner wait and go back with the
children. I'm not at all in a hurry, I assure
you.
"Why, I thought you said you wanted to
get back at once," answered the Queen. "I've
no patience with people who change their
minds." And the Queen turned her back
upon him.
Bundles, seeing what a fright the Hare was
in, picked him up and wrapped him round
once more in her dressing-gown. He felt
much safer under her protection.
He's really getting fond of me," she said







IN CLOUDLAND. 53
with pride. "Perhaps I'll take him home
and let him live in the field at the back of
our house. There are no eagles in Surrey,
and I daresay his wife has got married again."
"Please, Queen, isn't the audience over?
Can't we be moving on ?" said Noel. "There's
such lots to see, and we haven't got very
much time."
The Queen was not at all angry at this
impatience, and said gently:
"Very well, little boy, the audience is
over. I will send for the Chief Spider, and
he will show you the way out of the Silver
Lining. It will soon be sunrise, and that is
certainly a sight you ought not to miss. No
entertainment down in your world is equal
to it. I see it's going to be a bright morning,
and there will be something special in the
way of lighting up. Good-bye, my children.
I'm glad to have seen you. I thought there
were no more little children in the world
nowadays. I don't suppose you'll ever get
to Cloudland again, so if there is anything
you want to see while you're up here I'll do







54 IN CLOUDLAND.
my best to oblige you. Just send a shoot-
ing-star to let me know. There's always
plenty of them waiting about glad to run a
message. And oh, I say, if you come across
any balloons just send me word at once.
I don't approve of these aeronauts taking
observations in my dominions. I hate science.
I must really ask the Winds to keep such tres-
passers at a distance. People down below
will be dictating to me like they do to
Electricity, poor fellow! They've made quite
a servant of him down in your little world,
I hear. It's really too bad. Good-bye.
Good-bye."
Then a fine veil of mist descended from
above, and the Lining seemed to fade away
suddenly, leaving the children in a dense fog,
out of which they thought they would never
find their way. It was fog to right and fog
to left and a great wall of fog in front.
"Perhaps the Chief Spider won't come,"
said Bundles, preparing to cry.
"Oh, here he is!" answered Noel. "I say,
old fellow, can't you hurry a bit? The sun-







IN CLOUDLAND. 55
rise won't wait for you, and we must see
it."
The Chief Spider had come through the
wall of mist, and seemed quite at home in
the damp.
"Teach your grandmother!" he said in an
angry way. We'll be there in lots of time.
I've never missed a sunrise since the day it
stood still, and then, of course, I was out of
my reckoning. That's a good while since.
Can you tell me, little boy, how long ago
that was?"
"Oh, you mean Joshua's time, do you?"
said Noel, with great astonishment. "You
can't really be so old as that. Why, it is
nearly forty centuries ago."
Oh, don't try and count, Noel," said
Bundles. "It frightens me to think how
old the Spider must be."
"Are you hungry, little girl?" said the
Spider suddenly. At these words Bundles
began to feel very hungry. Perhaps there
was something to eat in Cloudland after
all.







56 IN CLOUDLAND.
"Have you got anything to eat up here?"
she said anxiously.
"There's flies, and locusts, and frogs some-
times," said the Spider; "and sometimes fish
get into the Clouds, I'm sure I can't tell
how."
"Why, you seem to have all the plagues
of Egypt ready!" said Noel rudely.
"Of course we have," replied the Spider
calmly, "they came from here."
"You don't seem to grow clover or grass.
There's no agriculture," said the Hare in a
peevish way. It's as bad as winter time
on my mountain."
"Oh, bother your mountain!" said Noel,
" we're tired of hearing about it."
"But there's plenty of good water to
drink," said the Spider with great pride.
"We know that," said Noel. "We won't
be teetotallers when we go home. We're
tired of hearing and seeing water."
"The Queen said I was to supply all your
wants," said the Spider in a tone of disap-
proval. It's really very tiresome at my age







IN CLOUDLAND. 57
to be obliged to run about for a pair of
children."
Bundles thought it was best to accept this
offer at once.
"I want a piece of bread and butter," she
said, looking round with some curiosity,
anxious to know where it could possibly
come from.
The Spider crawled through the fog and
disappeared. Presently two slices of bread
and butter dropped at the children's feet.
They did not think of asking where it came
from, but ate it up hastily.
"It's like manna in the wilderness," re-
marked Noel.
"Do you think it is real?" said Bundles.
"Do you think anything is real here? Per-
haps it's fancy bread and butter after all."
Noel of course did not condescend to
answer such a silly remark.
The poor little Hare was the only one of
the party not provided for, but Bundles very
kindly broke up some of her bread and
offered it to him. It was not the kind of







58 IN CLOUDLAND.
food he was accustomed to, but he managed
to make a very good meal of it.
"Now, let's go on," said Noel, shaking the
last crumb off his coat.
"Can you get down a cobweb?" said the
Spider, who had returned.
"I don't know. I'll try. It can't be so
difficult as climbing up rain-drops," replied
Noel.
Then the Chief Spider suddenly disap-
peared, and Bundles and Noel stretched their
necks through the fog to see where he had
gone. By this time it was getting a little
clearer, and they saw that they were now
quite at the edge of the cloud. A fine white
thread was hanging to show the road the
Spider had taken.
"What's become of the Queen and the
Lining?" said Bundles.
"How can I tell? It's a queer country.
But let's follow the Spider or we shall lose
him."
They could both see some distance below
them a little rosy cloud, which hardly







IN CLOUDLAND. 59
seemed to move at all. It was evidently
waiting for them to come down to it.
"You go first, Bundles, because you're the
lightest. If it breaks I sha'n't come," said
Noel.
Then Bundles was hurried off before she
had time to think if it was a dangerous
descent. It was certainly very wonderful
and very pleasant slipping down so quickly,
and arriving on a soft pink cloud like straw-
berry ice, all trimmed round with gold edg-
ings.
"Oh, how lovely!" said Bundles, looking
about her and seeing a number of other little
clouds, pale yellow and salmon colour, prim-
rose and copper, like a bright coal-scuttle.
They were floating very, very softly, and
seemed to join hands every now and then
only to part once more and to change colour
with every movement.
Then Noel arrived from above without
breaking the Spider's thread, and the children
shouted for joy at the wonderful sight they
saw.







60 IN CLOUDLAND.
It seemed as if the whole sky was breath-
ing quickly and trembling with delight as
the day approached. Every moment a deli-
cious warmth and brighter sparkle spread
itself around. A balmy breath like new-
mown hay scented the air. From the earth
below there came a wonderful sound of birds'
voices, all singing in a chorus more beautiful
than any other music. It was a glorious
song of praise and thanksgiving.
"This is the dawn," said the Old Spider.
The Clouds sailed a little higher, spreading
themselves out like a long line of worship-
pers.
"The sun is coming. They all bow before
him. See how he has kissed that cloud!"
The children could hardly speak for won-
der and amazement. It was a marvellous
sight, more beautiful than any dreams. As
the Spider spoke they saw a dazzling ray of
light shoot up from the horizon and cover
the cloud nearest to the earth with a golden
glory. The great bursts of happy music
came like waves of sound louder and louder.







IN CLOUDLAND. 61
"Listen to the birds. How glad they are!"
whispered Noel. I will get up every morn-
ing at home to see the sun rise," he added.
But we sha'n't be so near, and it won't
be half so nice," said Bundles sadly.
The great vault of sky above the children's
heads was now a delicate rose colour right
up to the centre.
The bright little jewels of small stars seemed
gradually to twinkle away, and the large
planets hastened into a great cave of space
where no eye could follow. Everything
seemed to fade or humble itself before the
sun as it approached. The morning wind
blew lightly over the mountain tops, carry-
ing light wreaths of mist across the stern
granite crags and rocky summits, as if to hide
their ugliness.
Noel sighed again and again for happiness.
"This is more beautiful than any poetry.
Oh, I can never write it all down! Do try
and remember, Bundles, what it looks like."
Meanwhile the Hare, who, of course, had
no perception of beauty, was wishing that







62 IN CLOUDLAND.
the little cloud they were resting on would
drop lower. But instead of falling, to embrace
the mountain tops, it gradually mounted
higher, losing its bright pink hue and becom-
ing golden.
"Why don't we go down?" said the Hare
in a fretful way. It really isn't fair. No
one considers me on this cloud!"
Can't you see, you little stupid thing,
that the breath of morning is carrying us
up?" said Noel. He had a very poor opinion
of the Hare since he had found out that he
could only see on each side of him, and that
nothing in front was visible to him.
"I'm really afraid you're very ignorant,
Mr. Hare," continued Noel in a pitying
way.
"Let us blush for him," said Bundles, try-
ing to be kind. You know our Mademoiselle
always says she blushes for us when we don't
know things. It doesn't hurt you, Mr. Hare,
when people blush for you. Do you mind
if I do it? I get a little red, you know,
and-"







IN CLOUDLAND. 63
"I'm sick of seeing red, little girl. This
old dressing-"
But at this moment the Sun suddenly
burst upon the world, and all the sky was
bathed in golden light. It seemed as though
a great heart had been set throbbing in a
moment. The glitter so dazzled the Hare's
eyes that he was glad to hide himself once
more in the much-despised dressing-gown.
"Oh, Mr. Chief Spider, do you see this
every day?" said Noel, clapping his hands in
delight.
"Oh, yes, it's quite an everyday matter.
I assure you I don't think much of all this
shining. To be sure the Sun is always try-
ing to surprise Cloudland with new lights;
but I'm such an old stager up here, I know
most of his tricks."
Oh!" said Noel, then he doesn't always
come up in this way?"
"Jupiter andVenus! No! Spring, summer,
autumn, and winter he's different. Sometimes
he comes pale and watery, or with a sickly
smile; sometimes surrounded by a party of







64 IN CLOUDLAND.
dark clouds, which are the enemies of light.
He likes to show how he can burst their
bonds asunder, and sport with the ogres and
evil spirits which haunt them."
"Are there really ogres up here'?" said
Bundles in alarm. Do you know, I've never
seen an ogre."
"And I don't suppose you will see them
up here, little girl. But, stars! and planets!
you can hear them swearing and fighting
pretty well when there's a thunder-storm in
the air. They do go it then, to be sure!"
All this time the Sun was mounting higher,
and his beams at last struck the little cloud
on which the children were seated. They
felt a most delicious warmth as the bright-
ness crept over them.
"Did you see Heaven's Gate?" Bundles
asked anxiously. "I did watch so, but I'm
sure the gates did not open."
"No, I don't think they did," answered
Noel. "There wasn't time; the Sun came
up so quickly. But we will wait till sunset;
there will be another chance then."







IN CLOUDLAND. 65
At this moment a sound of music caught
the children's ears. It came in a gush, like
a little waterfall at first. Then higher, higher,
clearer, clearer, the bursts of happy music
seemed to rise.
"It is the lark," explained the Spider;
"he is always in good time."
The singing, so joyous, so shrill, pierced
the air with melody. Never had the children
heard such a hymn or chant. They could
not see the blithe songster which welcomed
the morning, but all the cloud seemed full of
a crystal stream of singing. Bright drops of
music, as from a shower of rain, seemed to
fall against the cloud.
"How glad he seems to be!" said Noel in
a hushed way.
"Fancy, we were up before the lark,
Noel! That will be something to tell papa
which will surprise him," remarked Bundles
with great satisfaction, for Mademoiselle
always gave her bad marks for being late in
the morning.
And so the day went on, and the Sun
(491) E







66 IN CLOUDLAND.
climbed higher, while the children spent their
happy hours in a balmy atmosphere, with
larks coming and going all day long, back-
wards and forwards, like messengers from the
earth below.
How far do they go?" said Noel, follow-
ing the flight of one till it disappeared in
the immense vault of blue space overhead.
"Nobody knows. The lark sings in an
unknown tongue," replied the Chief Spider,
shaking his bald old head gravely while he
tried to stare upwards out of his big goggle
eyes. "Some people think they learn their
music from the angels."
"Have you ever heard an angel, Mr.
Spider? said Mr. Bundles.
The Old Spider turned his eyes on the little
girl, and she thought he winked away a tear.
"Yes, my dear. I heard one once on a
dark night-a bitter cold night it was-when
a poor little dead baby was being carried up
to heaven. The little baby had been treated
very cruelly down in that old world of yours.
You've got plenty of monsters there worse







IN CLOUDLAND. 67
than ogres, I can tell you. The angel was
singing for very gladness to carry the little
baby away. I shall never forget it."
Was it beautiful'?" said Noel softly.
The Old Spider shook his head solemnly.
"Little boy, nothing you have ever heard
was equal to it. I only remember once be-
fore listening to anything more wonderful."
"When was that? Do tell us," said
Bundles. We promise to write it down
for other boys and girls to know about it."
For a few minutes the Chief Spider was
silent, and then he said gravely:
"It is more than eighteen hundred years
ago, children, but yet I have never forgotten
that night. There was a great Star appeared
suddenly in the East, and none of the other
stars knew anything about it. Though the
Clouds move up and down the heavens con-
tinually, and mark the course of the planets,
and the rising and setting of each orb, they,
too, had never seen this wonderful star
before. And while we all marvelled at this
beautiful light, which appeared so dazzling







68 IN CLOUDLAND.
and bright that all the others seemed pale
beside it, a burst of music came above, and
the whole sky was suddenly full of a shining
host, singing 'Glory in the highest, peace,
good-will towards men!' Then I knew that
something great and wonderful had happened
on your earth to bring the angels out of
heaven to proclaim it."
I know-I know what it was," said Noel
quickly. "It was the first Christmas-day.
It is my birthday too, and that is why I am
called Noel. And did you really, Mr. Chief
Spider, hear the herald angels singing. It
was 'Glory to the new-born King!' they
said too. We have it in our hymn-books."
The children began to feel quite friendly
towards their guide, and Bundles was really
glad to find the grumpy Old Spider was not
hard-hearted altogether. Certainly he was a
little bit selfish, and did not like being put
out of the way to oblige them; but still he
had been sorry for the little dead baby that
had been treated cruelly. Bundles was quite
sure he winked away a tear, and that his







IN CLOUDLAND. 69
voice was much more husky when he spoke
about it.
The pretty little gray and white Cloud the
children were sailing about on was very
fleecy and soft. They were perfectly happy,
and spent most of the day asking questions
of the Old Spider. He seemed to become
more friendly and amiable as the sun grew
hotter.
"Perhaps he's got the rheumatism from
living in a damp climate," Bundles whispered
to Noel. That makes people very cross
sometimes."
Certainly the Old Spider ought to have
become very wise, for he had had a great
deal of experience during forty centuries of
life.
"I expect you know something about the
weather," remarked Noel.
The Spider gave a very knowing wink as
he replied:
"I rather think I do, little boy. I'm
better than any barometer you've got down
below; and as for your meteorological fellows







70 IN CLOUDLAND.
and their silly storm-signals, I've no respect
for them. How we do laugh up here about
their prophecies!"
Noel got rather angry at this contemptu-
ous remark.
"I really don't see, Mr. Spider, why you
should despise all the clever people in our
world. You haven't got any science up
here, and your Queen told me herself that
mankind had made a slave of her servant
Electricity."
The Spider laughed long and loud.
"A fig for your science and systems!
You'll never measure every drop of water in
the Clouds, or guide them the way you'd
like them to go. As to that poor fellow
Electricity, he's such a restless creature-
here, there, and everywhere-it's easy enough
to get hold of him and harness him in earth,
air, or water. But take care you don't play
too much with fire. Depend upon it, you'll
be taking liberties with him some day, and
there'll be a general blow-up."
"Oh, spiders are so cautious!" said Noel;






IN CLOUDLAND. 71
"and you're so old, of course, you don't like
new discoveries."
The Spider did not mind being twitted
with his age in the least, and only stretched
out one hairy leg, giving a gentle sigh.
"As to that, little boy, there's nothing new
under this sun. I remember, some thirty
centuries ago, in Egypt we-"
Bother Egypt! said Noel in a rude way.
"We don't want to hear about pyramids and
old writing on stones. Tell us about to-
day."
The Spider looked over the edge of the
cloud, and then he scratched his head with
one claw.
"Well, I can tell you this about to-day,
my little boy, which all your Greenwich
clever fine fellows haven't prophesied in this
morning's papers, we're going to have a
smart thunder-storm up here. I shouldn't
wonder if the Cloud Queen has asked them
to get one up to surprise you. I expect
you'll get a fright. It will make your hair
curl nicely, little girl."







72 IN CLOUDLAND.
Bundles put one hand up to her golden
locks.
Oh, I know it isn't nice, Mr. Spider, but
Susan wasn't here to brush it. I have beau-
tiful curls sometimes. Perhaps it's the damp
here makes it all straight."
Noel gave a great shout of delight, clap-
ping his hands.
"It will be jolly to be right close to the
thunder and lightning."
The Spider began to laugh, and shook very
much, though he did not make much noise
about it.
See the ogres gathering their forces
together! he said, pointing down below.
And the children, looking over their Cloud,
saw a long line of black and leaden-looking
clouds chasing each other below. They rose
up quickly and seemed to take their places
like the regiments of an army, till they
spread everywhere, a great dark mass. Then
the air became sultry, with an intense sickly
heat, and not a breath of wind stirred the
Children's Cloud. It hung steadily poised,







IN CLOUDLAND. 73
with the great arch of blue heaven above it
and the masses of heavy clouds beneath it.
At last a low distant growl of thunder
proclaimed that the first blow had been
struck, and that the battle of the clouds had
commenced. It was answered by another,
louder and more distinct, and then there fol-
lowed a flash of lightning.
In all their lives these children had never
seen such a dazzling gleam of fire.
Bundles was terribly alarmed, and began
to cry.
"Please, oh, please, Mr. Spider, do ask
them to stop! We shall be burnt all up, and
they won't know anything about it at home."
But no one could hear the little girl, for
the noise was so great that it swallowed up
all lesser sounds.
You will know some day that in this
world, dear children, all the- big sounds
swallow up your little complaints, that your
griefs and sorrows are very small matters
amongst the many sad things that are always
going on.







74 IN CLOUDLAND.
Bundles was, of course, a very unimportant
atom here. There was no one to know any-
thing about her away from her own home,
out of her own country.
This is how it is with all explorers or tra-
vellers, big or little, I suppose.
The children, who were now watching the
thunder-storm from the Cloud, began after a
time to feel a little less alarmed. They saw
with astonishment one cloud throw itself
against another, and then there was a crash
of thunder louder than the biggest cannon
ever made at Woolwich. Lightning ran about
everywhere like liquid fire between the black
and angry clouds, which kept banging one
another incessantly.
"Won't they burst like paper bags ? I know
they are empty," said Noel in an anxious way.
But it was no use asking questions, for
the Spider could not hear what was said.
Bundles was sitting all in a heap, holding the
little Hare tightly, and covering up her eyes
with her dressing-gown, so that she might
not see the dreadful lightning. But she







IN CLOUDLAND. 75
could not shut the sound of thunder out of
her ears. Those ogres inside the clouds did
keep shouting and swearing most terribly.
Such loud voices they had that it was quite
impossible to distinguish any words. It
seemed as if they never would stop. This
hullabaloo and battle went on for an hour,
seeming to get worse and worse. Noel be-
gan to be alarmed, lest even such a damp
thing as a cloud might catch fire as the rest-
less lightning flew wildly about them. It
made forked branches in every direction as
it went zigzag, and he actually felt sparks
flying out of his hair.
At last the clouds appeared to be a little
out of breath, and there was a pause for a few
seconds.
It's nearly over," remarked the Spider.
" What did you think of it?"
Then it began again. Pop, pop it went,
like little guns now.
"They're pulling the plugs out of the
clouds. I expect that will put out the light-
ning pretty quick."







76 IN CLOUDLAND.
Then the rain went down in torrents, and
very soon all the regiments of black clouds
became smaller, and at last disappeared alto-
gether. What became of the ogres Noel
never asked. Perhaps they were burnt up
by the lightning, and their great bodies
turned into thunderbolts.
"Now the sun will come out again, and
we shall have a rainbow," said the Spider
cheerfully.
And so the Clouds having by degrees
melted away, the sun came out with a broad
smile on his pleasant face. In the midst of
the shining and the last shower of rain-drops
a great bridge spread itself from one side to
the other of the heavens, disappearing under-
neath the earth. No marble was ever so
bright and beautiful as the material which
this rainbow was made of, and the length of
the arch was more wonderful than any ever
built by the cleverest architect in the world.
Jasper, porphyry, malachite, and gold
seemed to shine in this glorious bridge.
"May we walk over?" said Noel, always







IN CLOUDLAND. 77
anxious to be moving on or doing something
new.
No, certainly not," said the Spider, lay-
ing a heavy claw upon him.
"It is a spirit bridge, and it reaches over
the great gulf between heaven and hell.
Great sinners who have repented climb up
that way, and no one may see the face of
those wicked ones till they are washed white
as snow.
Then nobody knows who they are?" said
Noel.
"No, little boy," answered the Spider.
"Nobody outside knows who is called from
above, but they know and understand."
And as the children watched the light
playing upon this perfect glorious bridge, it
seemed to them that they could see shadowy
forms hastening across the arch.
They have very little time," said Bundles.
"Look, the rainbow is fading away!"
The Old Spider looked grave, and he gave
a heavy sigh as it disappeared.
"Yes, my child; they are only a few that







78 IN CLOUDLAND.
come up, and they are so worn and weary
they travel but slowly. It is a long way
from hell to heaven."
Soon the evening shades began to fall,
and the air grew colder. The children saw
that the sun was sinking in the west.
"There will be a fine sunset. There often
is after a storm," announced the Spider.
Shall we touch the hilltops?" asked the
Hare anxiously as he poked his head out of
the dressing-gown.
"The wind is going down. Perhaps we
may."
"You're all very selfish," grumbled the
Hare. "I'm sick of hearing you all talk
about nature, and you never think about me
and all the discomforts I have to put up
with."
No one took any notice of the disagreeable
little Hare. In fact, he was always grum-
bling, so they thought he could not do any-
thing else.
The Sun went quickly down with ragged
torn clouds all about him. It seemed as







IN CLOUDLAND. 79
though the storm giants had frayed and made
tatters of all the big clouds which had floated
like glorious banners in the dawn. They
were rent and jagged in every direction.
"They look as if they never could be
mended!" said Bundles regretfully. "What
a pity after all the trouble of getting made!"
Oh, that will be all right!" said the Spider.
"The winds soon join the bits together, or
else bring their big brooms and sweep up the
sky and make it tidy. You've no idea how
well they can patch and sweep."
Noel drew a long sigh once or twice.
We'll have to go home to-night, Bundles.
I hope it will be beautiful. Perhaps we shall
never come here again."
I expect it will be much as usual," said
the Spider, casting a glance round the sky.
" I wish, my little boy, you could see a sunset
at the North Pole. You'd like that. It's a
curious sight in summer time. It goes down
for a few minutes and comes up in an hour."
Noel opened his mouth and stared at his
guide. The Chief Spider did not seem to







80 IN CLOUDLAND.
mind it at all. He was a very self-possessed
gentleman though he could not calculate.
Have you been at the North Pole? Why
didn't you say so before? Is it really all ice
and seals and white bears?"
Oh, lots of times," said the Spider. "I've
seen the navigators there looking for the
North-west Passage. There's no part of the
world scarcely that clouds don't visit."
Here Bundles interrupted.
"But the books say that Italy and Egypt
have cloudless skies."
"Then the books are wrong," snapped the
Spider, angry at being interrupted. Surely
you don't believe travellers' tales. I tell you
I've been to Italy and Egypt over and over
again, though I don't say that clouds go there
quite so often as to other places."
As the Sun went down it seemed to the
children that their Cloud followed after. At
last it appeared to rest like a bird with folded
wings on the still air.
"See, now, we're changing colour! Why,
it's a transformation, Noel!" said Bundles,







IN CLOUDLAND. 81
clapping her hands, as a golden and crimson
light seemed to penetrate their resting-place.
The Hare peeped out of the dressing-gown
again to see what was going on. He was
delighted to notice that they were not far
off the summit of a mountain.
The rays from the burning crown of the
Sun seemed to be lighting up jewels every-
where, as the great orb of day gathered his
crimson robe about him and prepared to
depart. Suddenly the children saw, spread-
ing before their astonished eyes, a great
glittering expanse of water. It was the sea.
It was very calm, and gave back like a mirror
a crimson and gold reflection to the sky.
The dazzling glow was more than their eyes
could bear to look at. The clouds, which
hung like ragged flags in the sky, seemed to
catch this glow, and were turned and changed
in a moment.
"Look, look, Bundles! Do not take your
eyes off for a single minute."
Then the children held their breath.
Slowly, slowly, with all the grandeur and
( 491) F







82 IN CLOUDLAND.
majesty of a dying king, the Sun went down
till it touched the water's edge.
"I do believe I hear angels singing now!"
said Bundles in a soft whisper, "but I cannot
see them."
"The gates of Heaven are ajar," said the
Old Spider. "At sunset the sea gives up its
dead, and the angels take them home."
The children were quite silent. Two little
tears dropped down upon the Hare.
The Sun went down, down, and the path
of glory on the water faded.
The gates of Heaven closed.
"How busy the angels always are!" said
Bundles with a short sigh.
Then the sky was no longer crimson, but the
colour of daffodils, with long pale green and
soft gray clouds stretching lovingly to each
other across it. Perhaps they were saying
" Good-night."
The children felt their own little cloud
falling lower, lower. Overhead they saw the
stars come out like a swarm of bees. They
could hear sounds from their own world.







IN CLOUDLAND. 83
The bleating of lambs, the chant of a thrush
saying its evening prayers, the sound of a
church-bell.
Still lower they fell, wreathing the moun-
tain tops near the sea with the trailing skirts
of the cloud.
Now's your chance, little Hare. You must
jump. We shall go up again directly, for I've
got orders to take the children home."
The Chief Spider spoke to the Hare in a
very condescending way. He did not at all
approve of the Hare's selfishness and cow-
ardice.
"Don't you think you'd better come home
with me, Mr. Hare? These hills look very
cold and bare, and you may be shot some
day. I'll give you a nice hutch to yourself
like my rabbits."
Bundles, who was an affectionate little girl,
felt really sorry to part with the friend that
she had taken such care of.
"Oh," said the Hare in a very rude and
independent way, "hares don't live in
hutches. We're a free race, we are. Liberty







84 IN CLOUDLAND.
is my motto. Good-bye, little girl. I don't
think much of your old red dressing-gown.
Tell your mama to give you a new one. And
I really don't think it's nice of you to go
about without stockings."
Then he jumped out of her arms and fell
on his feet at the top of the mountain, and
they saw him no more.
"I hope his wife has got married to
another Hare, and that his daughter has run
away with a rabbit. He's really very un-
grateful," said Bundles with a sob.
"That's nothing uncommon. Everybody
is ungrateful; you are, I daresay," said the
Spider.
"You always do say nasty things about
people, Mr. Spider," said Noel. "I'd be
ashamed not to think somebody was nice."
"Oh! I'm a cynic," answered the Spider
with pride. "That's because I've lived so
long. If you'd lived forty centuries perhaps
you'd be a cynic."
"It's like the milk turning sour if you
keep it too long, I suppose," said Bundles.







IN CLOUDLAND. 85
"How fast we're going now!" said Noel,
peeping over the Cloud.
"Yes, the North-west Wind is driving us
along. He's a fine strong fellow if he likes.
You're going home now. This is Wales.
We're going back to Surrey."
Noel began to feel sorry that it was all
over. He thought he would like to give the
Old Spider a present; but, feeling in his
pockets, found nothing but a threepenny-bit,
a piece of string, a pop-gun, and a knife with.
all the blades broken but one.
"I shall often think of Cloudland, Mr.
Chief Spider. I should like to give you a
present. Will any of these things be useful
to you?"
The Spider stared out of his big goggle
eyes at the things which Noel held out to
him. Then he shook his bald old head
gravely.
"I've yards and yards more of string
inside me than I know what to do with. I
can spin cobwebs from here to the moon if I
like. As to the pop-gun, it would only







86 IN CLOUDLAND.
bring more water about. Money is no good
here, and Clouds can't be cut with a knife.
Never mind, little boy, I'll not forget you."
Noel was rather glad the Spider refused
his gifts. They were all articles of value to
him. He crammed them back in his pocket
with a smile.
"Now, aren't you glad, Bundles, that you
did come ?"
The little girl was once more carefully
tying on her galoshes. There was no knowing
what damp places she might have to go
through before reaching home.
"Yes, I am glad," she said; "but if I ever
come again I shall put on my Sunday
frock and wear a hat. The Queen didn't say
I was pretty, like mama's friends always do.
And you know the Hare was very rude about
the dressing-gown. I'll never like a hare
again; and I'll buy a blue dressing-gown out
of my pocket-money. Please, Mr. Spider,
how much longer do you think you'll live?
Aren't you tired of living? "
Oh, I suppose it will go on for ever. It's







IN CLOUDLAND. 87
difficult to die when you've lived so long.
You get out of the way of it, I suppose. I
daresay I've been wound up to last as long
as the world does."
"Then I expect," said Bundles with great
disgust, "that you'll get sourer and sourer.
I'm really very sorry for you. Some day
you'll be all curds."
By this time the night had fallen, and it
was very dark, for the moon did not rise till
late; but the little stars were shining gaily
against the deep arch of sky.
"Look at the Great Bear! He is wagging
his tail," said the Spider, casting his eyes
upwards.
"Bears don't have tails," said Noel promptly.
"They do in the sky," retorted the Spider.
"Don't contradict him, Noel. Perhaps
they do. There are queer things in the
sky-bears with tails, and spiders who can
talk."
"Do you know the Great Bear, Mr. Spider?"
Certainly. He's a particular friend of
mine. He remembers when the world was







88 IN CLOUDLAND.
made. He's getting an old fellow now. He's
had a great deal of experience in comets and
eclipses. He's a clever fellow."
The little Cloud was now shaking vio-
lently from side to side. It was like being
in the last carriage of an express train.
How fast are we going ?" asked both the
children at once.
"I'm not a mathematician. There was
no arithmetic before the flood, when I was
young," said the Spider in a spiteful way.
Poor fellow, he had had no education.
"Were you really alive before the flood?
Why, it is even dreffuler than I thought."
"Of course I was. Why, I was there
when they all went in pairs into the ark.
They left me outside."
Noel burst out laughing.
Then you saw old Noah. Tell me, did
he wear a long coat? And how did you
come up here, Mr. Spider?"
"I took refuge when the flood came."
What a curious history! remarked Noel.
"As Mademoiselle says, 'truth is stranger






IN CLOUDLAND. 89
than fiction.' She says it in French, you
know, Mr. Spider, only I translate for you.
Of course you don't know French?'
The wind swept round the little Cloud
and blew with all its might. Every little
white fleece filled out like a sail and helped
to carry it along.
This is better than driving in papa's
phaeton, better than riding on a fire-engine,
or being on a yacht in a race. My, it is
fine!" Noel shouted and gave loud hurrahs
as they went on, as if trying to cheer the
wind. Faster and faster they seemed to fly,
though they were not very high in the sky
now.
Have you children ever been to Clean-
land ?" asked the Spider suddenly.
SNo," answered Noel with great surprise;
"I never even heard of that country. I'm
sure it's not in my geography book. Where
is it, and what do they do there? "
"Oh, I thought you said you were a
traveller or an explorer," replied the Spider
spitefully.







90 IN CLOUDLAND.
So I am, or I mean to be," said Noel, a
little vexed at the Spider's disbelieving tone;
"but no one in our world ever talks about
such a land. How am I to know about it?
Can you tell me how to get there?"
The Spider shook his head and looked
very blank.
I don't know where it is, little boy; but
I've heard the gulls talking about Cleanland,
and the Lilywhite family of ducks know.
They send dirty children there to be made
clean."
Then we don't want to go," said Bundles,
getting red; "we're not at all dirty. We
have a bath every morning, and use lots of
soap.
That doesn't matter," said Noel, "there
must be something to see there. I want to
go, Mr. Spider."
"Don't bother me, little boy, I can't tell
you any more about it. Ask the gulls."
By this time the Cloud was sailing over a
great city. It spread like a distant fire
beneath them, with a heavy cloak of smoke







IN CLOUDLAND. 91
above it. Noel thought it must be London.
Thousands of lights in long lines, east, west,
north, and south, gas lamps, electric lights,
and the light of fires stretched out for miles.
A great dull roar like the beating of a giant's
pulse reached their ears.
What is that dreadful sound like smoth-
ered crying?" said Bundles.
"It is the heart-throbbing of the people,"
said the Spider, "it never ceases day and
night." Noel gave a long sigh before he
asked:
"Why don't we hear it down in our world
when we are quite near?"
"That I cannot tell, my little boy, but all
longings and wishes and prayers come up to
Cloudland. Some of them pass beyond us
and travel up, up, beyond where the eye can
reach."
Bundles turned her round face up to the
sky, where all the little stars were gleaming
brightly.
"You must get very tired of so many
sighs," said Noel with pity.







92 IN CLOUDLAND.
"Yes, I think we do, for it is the same
thing century after century, and will be the
same as long as your world lasts."
By this time the Cloud was leaving Lon-
don behind, and the sound of beating hearts
and sobbing voices gradually died away.
"You are nearly home," announced the
Spider. "This is Surrey."
But the children leaning over the edge of
the Cloud could see nothing but darkness
below them, a great plain of blackness, with
here and there a twinkling light to show
where some cottage nestled.
"How are we going to get down?" said
Bundles, grasping her umbrella firmly.
"Oh, leave that to me," said the Spider
with confidence; "I'll manage it somehow."
Then in a moment they felt a great bump
as if something had touched the ground.
Then it seemed that they were flying head
over heels for an endless space of time.
Of course they both shut their eyes. When
they opened them again and looked about
them, much to their astonishment it was







IN CLOUDLAND. 93
broad daylight, and Bundles and Noel were
each in their own little beds in adjoining
rooms.
Susan the schoolroom-maid had just
bumped down a big bath, and was pouring
the water into it out of a can.
"Where's the Spider? He will think I
am ungrateful, like the Hare, because I never
said good-bye to him. Oh, Susan, where is
the Spider?"
Susan stopped pouring out the water, and
stared at the young lady in bed with great
astonishment.
"Spiders, Miss Nora! There ain't no
spiders gets here as long as I've got a duster
to hold of. Lawks! if you haven't gone and
slep' in your dressing-gown, miss. And
whatever is them old galoshes of mine on
your bed for ? What tricks children do play,
to be sure! Why, here's the umbrella out of
the hall as your pa lends to visitors! Bless
me if it ain't wet!"
Bundles was quite overcome with surprise.
She rubbed her eyes and sat up! What did







94 IN CLOUDLAND.
it all mean? And how had she got back?
Then she called to Noel in the next room.
He came running in ready dressed in the
everyday serge suit.
"My, Master Noel, but you are early this
morning! Mamselle will be surprised."
"I was lying dressed on my bed, Susan.
I have never been to bed," he said with
dignity. "We went to Cloudland last night,
me and Bundles."
Then Susan burst out laughing.
"Well, to be sure, there'll never be no end
to your fine tales and dreaming! You
ought to write a book about them all. My
gracious! how folks would laugh at your
make-believes!"
"They're not make-believes at all, and
you're only ignorant, Susan. It's always the
ignorant people that won't believe," said
Noel angrily.
But he knew it was hopeless to try and
convince the maid. She was one of the folks
of Workaday Land who could not understand
this language.







IN CLOUDLAND. 95

"But we do mean to write a book, Susan.
Maybe you'll believe then that we have seen
more than you have."
And now I have come to the end of my
story, and I daresay many of the dear
children who read it will have more believing
hearts than poor Susan.
Of course Noel and Bundles took a long
time to put it all together and to remember
all the Cloud Queen and the Spider said,
and how everything looked in that far distant
region. But when it was done they brought
it to me written out in copy-books. They
begged me to correct the spelling, to make it
into a story that children could read, and to
send it to be printed. All this I have done,
and they are very pleased with the result.
When they grow up they both mean to
write story-books for their own children, and
they will try and make them understand
what beautiful and wonderful things there
are in heaven and earth, which very few ever
talk about or even think of. Bundles wishes
me to add that often on a summer morning







96 IN CLOUDLAND.
she lies on her back in the long grass and
looks up to the great expanse of blue sky
where the larks are singing, and wishes that
she could go again to Cloudland. And Noel
has whispered to me that he got up out of
bed one cold night not long ago to look at
the stars, and he really did see the Great
Bear wag its tail.





THE END.








A SELECTION OF
BLACKIE & SON'S

BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
SUITABLE FOR GIFTS. FOR SCHOOL LIBRARIES.
FOR PRIZES.

BLACKIE'S HALF-CROWN SERIES.
Illustrated by eminent Artists. In crown 8vo, cloth elegant.
A Rough Road: Or, How the Boy made a Man of Himself. By
MRs. G. LINN.us BANKS.
The Two Dorothys: A Tale for Girls. By Mrs. HERBERT MARTIN.
Penelope and the Others: A Story of five Country Children. By
AMY WALTON.
Stimson's Reef: A Tale of Adventure. By C. J. HYNE.
Marian and Dorothy: or, The Abbey Grange. By ANNIE E.
ARMSTRONG.
Gladys Anstruther: or, The Young Stepmother. By LOUISA
THOMPSON.
The Secret of the Old House. By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN.
Hal. Hungerford: Or, The Strange Adventures of a Boy Emigrant.
By J. R. HuTCHINSON, B.A.
The Golden Weathercock. By JULIA GODDARD.
The Hermit. Hunter of the Wilds. By DR. GORDON STABLSB.
Miriam's Ambition. By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN.
White Lilac: Or, The Queen of the May. By AMY WALTON.
Little Lady Clare. By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN.
The Saucy May. By HENRY FRITH.
The Brig "Audacious." By ALAN COLE.
Jasper's Conquest. By ELIZABETH J. LYSAGHT.
Sturdy-and Strong: Or, How George Andrews made his Way.
By G. A. HENTY.
Gutta-Pereha Willie: The Working Genius. By GEORGE MAO
DONALD.







2 BLACKIE AND SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

HALF-CROWN SERIES-Continued.


The War of the Axe: Or Adventures in South Africa. By
J. PERCY-GROVES.
The Eversley Secrets. By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN
The Lads of Little Clayton. By R. STEAD.
Ten Boys who lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now. By JANE
ANDEEWS. With 20 Illustrations.
Winnie's Secret: A Story of Faith and Patience, By KATE WOOD.
A Waif of the Sea: Or the Lost Found. By KATE WooD.
Miss Willowburn's Offer. By SARAH DOUDNEY.
A Garland for Girls. By LOUIsA M. ALcoTT.
Hetty Gray: Or Nobody's Bairn. By RosA MULHOLLAND.
Brothers in Arms: A Story of the Crusades. By F. B. HARRISON.
The Ball of Fortune. By CHARLES PEARCE.
Miss Fenwiek's Failures. By EsxE STUART.
Gytha's Message: A Tale of Saxon England. By EMnA LESLIE.
My Mistress the Queen: A 17th Century Tale. By M. A. PAULL.
Jack o' Lanthorn: A Tale of Adventure. By HENRY FRITH.
The Family Failing. By DARLEY DALE.
The Stories of Wasa and Menzikoff: The Deliverer of Sweden,
and the Favourite of Czar Peter.
Stories of the Sea in Former Days.
Tales of Captivity and Exile.
Famous Discoveries by Sea and Land.
Stirring Events of History.
Adventures in Field, Flood, and Forest.




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