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Be |gap! al OF
ENGRAVED AND PRINTED BY EDMUND EVANS
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,
NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, CARING CROSS, W.C.;
43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.
BRIGHTON: 135, NORTH STREET.
NEW YORK: E. & J B. YOUNG & CO.
'THE Court of King Pepito was usually held in
the nursery. It was a domain quite large enough
for so small a person to reign over, though
already he had great ambitions of spreading his
conquests farther. Once already the fat legs had
got as far as the top of the stairs, and King
So The Royal Progress of King Pepito.
Pepito had turned round to begin descending
backwards ; but nurse seeing him, caught him
with a shake that was half love, half punishment.
And Pepito took all the love, and never per-
ceived the punishment, but laughed in nurse's
face, and awaited another opportunity for setting
out on his' travels. He had plenty of subjects
up there. The stout tabby cat who endured
most things, and the canary that sang when
Pepito took any notice of him. The rocking-
horse was a faithful steed who carried his
master gallantly; and the woolly dog submitted
to being dragged about in any position, though
some of them must have been degrading, even
to the feelings of a woolly dog. Moreover, the
Pomeranian puppy had torn its head off,
ruining its beauty for ever. But Pepito loved
The wooden soldiers represented all the army
of King Pepito's realm, while the chief part of
the inhabitants were the animals from the Ark.
The Royal Progress of King Pepito. 13
They were often taken into Pepito's bath a
proceeding which must have horrified them, under
the impression that a second deluge was coming,
while the Ark stood high and dry on the Ararat
of the nursery table.
Then there was Kitty, faithful Kitty, who
always followed Pepito into mischief, sat with him
under the bed, and in the cupboard, or any other
dangerous situation into which Pepito's investi-
gating spirit might lead him.
Pepito had other courtiers known only to
himself. There were moments when, ceasing
playing, he would lift up his head, and with his
blue eyes fixed on vacancy, would see something
unseen by others, and hear voices audible to no
one else. Perhaps it was the fairies who had so
much to tell the little master as he sat upon the
It was they who suggested him once more
attempting that dangerous journey downstairs,
when nurse was away in the kitchen. She had
14 The Royal Progress of King Pepito,
left Pepito and the Pomeranian puppy together.
The puppy was chawing up one of the animals
from Noah's Ark, Pepito hugging the woolly dog.
Suddenly he heard those voices inaudible to
every one else.- For a moment he listened, then
rose to follow. them. Why he stopped an instant
to take a wooden soldier no one will know.
Perhaps he thought the officer might defend him,
perhaps that he was going to spend a lifetime in
Fairyland, and that kings ought not to travel
without royal guards.
And the puppy came too.
As far as the top of the stairs the journey
was easy enough, then difficulties arose. Pepito
had to sit down and carefully turn round. He
could only spare one hand to help himself with,
the other clasped the soldier and the string of
the woolly dog. So with difficulty he let himself
down from step to step, the puppy running up
and down all the while, hindering rather than
helping his master, and the woolly dog bumped
The Royal Progress of King Pepito. 17
all the way to the bottom. It must have been
a painful journey for him.
How delightfully easy it was afterwards on
the level ground! Kitty was sleeping in' the
hall, but the unusual sound of her little master's
voice awoke her, and she followed him into the
sunshine. Possibly the sight of the woolly dog
dragging behind him attracted her-she was fond
of careering after that much-enduring animal, as
Pepito pulled him round the nursery table..
The roses on either side of the steps nodded
'good-afternoon" to Pepito as he passed into
the sunny garden. On the lawn the flowers
were gleaming many colours in the beds. A
butterfly flitting over them looked as though one
of the blossoms had been detached from its
stalk and given power of motion.
Pepito ran after it, but his activity did not
equal the butterfly's. He fell down, and whilst
occupied in the business of picking himself up
again, Kitty raced forward after the cause of the
18 The Royal Progress of King Pepito.
disaster. A bound, a pat with those sharp.paws,
and there upon the grass lay a poor victim to
royal caprice, and he, the monarch, heeds not at
all that this innocent Becket should have perished
to give him pleasure.
Over the grass they go, King Pepito, the
puppy, and Kitty following the woolly dog.
King Pepito gathered flowers with fine dis-
regard for rank. Now a geranium, then a bright
marigold, a rose that happens to be in reach,
some daisies, buttercups which peep through the
paling out of the hay-grass. At present His
Majesty's taste is gaudy, a poppy or glowing
Eschschol/zia is of more value in his eyes than
all the orchids ever grown, with their tender
Downhill ran the paths, and downhill trotted
King Pepito. At the foot of the hill the hay
was cut in the meadow, and with the puppy in
front to herald his coming, Pepito arrived amongst
The Royal Progress of King Pepito. 23
He had' been out but a little while, yet
already his Court was more than doubled. The
women threw down their rakes to pick him up,
kiss him, and "bless his little heart." The men
came over the long furrows to look at the little
master. The gardeners left the hay to gather
strawberries for him from the kitchen garden;
and they all took it for granted that nurse was
coming, so they only made a house of hay for
him under the spreading boughs of the elm-tree.
His Majesty was not unwilling to rest. The
puppy was hot and panting, and King Pepito
condescendingly fanned him with the cabbage
leaf in which the strawberries had been. Pepito
ate the juicy fruit, and the puppy finished up all
the green husks, so that the hay house was quite
tidy when they left it.
For they left it without giving any notice of
their departure; for where those fairy voices led,
King Pepito was forced to follow.
He was not quite sure whether the green
24 7T e Royal Progress of King Pepito.
caterpillar was riot a fairy. She came down from
the elm-tree in such a dangerous fashion, hanging
to an almost invisible silk line, swaying to and
fro under the breeze, and apparently not the
least bit frightened. When she alighted on the
hay at Pepito's side, he was rather alarmed,
snatched the wooden soldier from beside her, for
she was thinking of walking across him, and
This piece of the journey filled the woolly
dog with burrs. He was quite a pitiable sight
when he reached the stream that ran through
That stream was a joyful discovery to King
Pepito. For several minutes he stood gazing at
it, too delighted to move. This was quite the
most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his little
life. Sparkling under the sunshine the stream
rippled on, unaware of all the pleasure bestowed
by its beauty. Over the pebbles it babbled, aid
then lay 'still in a tiny pool, then rippled on
The Royal .Progress of King Pepito.
again, every wavelet tipped gold with the sun-
shine. Along the banks the bitter-sweet, and
blue vetch festooned the wild roses, whose broad
white blossoms were spread wide to catch every
ray of sun. Here and there the meadow-sweet
was in flower, and where the haymakers' cruel
scythe had not come all the ground was sprinkled
with red sorrel flowers and white moon-daisies.
Then a water-wagtail came down to the
stones, and ran along them, wagging her tail up
and down, giving cunning looks at Pepito until
she saw Kitty, who frightened her, and she flew
Pepito would rather have liked to follow her,
or to have gone with the swifts, that wheeling
round and round chased each other and uttered
their wild cries. Then a great stately gull passed
overhead with wings brdad enough to have
carried King Pepito, at least so the child thought,
and for a moment was seized with a great wild
longing to go with him up into the blue sky.
26 The Royal Progress of King Pepito.
Fortunately Pepito was not long occupied
with things beyond his ken. The booming of a
bumble-bee over a hard-head flower was enough
to bring his thoughts from soaring away with the
sea-gulls. Then splash, splash, a frog hopped
across the stream and sat on a stone, his back
glistening, and his bright yellow eyes looking
towards the child.
Come and see where I live," he seemed
to say, and Pepito, nothing loth, accepted the
invitation. Unfortunately he did not manage his
progress from stone to stone as well as froggie,
and fell into. the water.
Rather a startling experience this, but Pepito
had been wetter when he upset the nursery jug
over himself. He scrambled up the other side
of the bank, gave one rueful look backwards for
the frog, who had totally disappeared, and then
trotted on amongst the moon-daisies.
The path grows hilly, Pepito is following the
upward course of the stream, The puppy prefers
The Royal Progress of King PePito.. 29
walking in the water. Faithful Kitty has deserted
her little master, crossing the brook was too
severe a test for her loyalty. Upwards, ever
upwards. What does Pepito see and hear that
he so sturdily trots ,on, never pausing, never
looking behind him, till the bushes close in on
either side, the bracken fern rises over his head,
and King Pepito has vanished into the realm of
SSurely if Fairyland ever were found it would
be some such place as this. Cool and green,
with grassy banks sloping down to the stream-
side, which bubbles and chatters over stones,
green with waterweeds.
The hawthorns are old and gnarled, the ash-.
trees young and slender, rising up to the sun-
shine, and hazel bushes complete the under
growth. There has been a crop of blue-bells
and primroses, which must have covered the
ground; now a pale purple orchid rises here and
there, rather mysterious-looking under the trees.
30 The Royal Progress of King Pepito.
Pepito has smelt something sweet, it comes from
a pale greeny-white flower, and eagerly he gathers
it in his chubby hand.
Ah, those butterfly orchids, how they lead
one on! From flower to flower, from bush to
bush, Pepito goes; he throws away the garden
blossoms, and fills his hands with these sweet
Then with that sudden impulse which governs
the habits of King Pepito, he sat down and
gazed into the greenness, as though seeing the
fairies swinging on the leaves.
See, there is a little commotion in the earth
close by, a miniature earthquake, that stirs the
ferns and mosses. Then out peeps a black head
and queer little feet, and a mole makes its way
out of the ground. It has no intention of add-
ing itself to the courtiers of King Pepito, but
busily grubs in the soft earth close by until it
has again quite vanished. The puppy has looked
on eagerly. If that queer thing had chosen to
SThe Royal Progress of King Pepito. 33
attack Pepito, it would have flown at him, but
under the circumstances, puppy is glad it has
gone quietly away.
King Pepito sits very still, the wooden soldier
falls from his hand into the stream. The puppy
employs his time in picking the burrs from his
fur, the woolly dog lies in a heap, 'a hopeless
object, very wet, very muddy, and all over green
burrs, which, poor fellow, he can't pick out for
A rabbit peeped through the fern, but King
Pepito was too still to frighten him, and so the
little fellow stayed there nibbling at the fern
whilst the sun travelled farther and farther round
the, hill, and began sinking down behind the
It was not so peaceful at home as in the
goyle where Pepito was sleeping. Nurse had
gone upstairs and found His Majesty fled away,
and spent a good deal of time in calling for him
all over the house, searching in all sorts of likely
34 The Royal Progress of King Pepilto.
and unlikely places, whilst King Pepito trotted
down the garden path and made friends with the
And they, when all distracted, the servants
ran down to inquire of them, were so certain-
that he was resting in the hay castle, that it was
a double shock to find he had disappeared from
thence also. And nurse began crying and talk-
ing of gipsies, while the housemaid wondered if
he could possibly be Pixie-led. And though the
girl got well laughed at for her pains, it must be
said that she was the wisest of them all. For
who had been Pepito's guides in his wanderings
if not the Pixies ? There were pink clouds in
the sky when Pepito's mother came driving home
to meet a weeping nurse and hear, in answer to
her inquiries, that King Pepito was lost.
Half laughing, half crying, she ran back
to the hall, where stood Pepito's father and
his godfather, whom they all unexpectedly had
brought home with them.
The Royal Progress of King Pepito. 37
"King Pepito is lost !" she cried. Come
and help us to find him."
Down to the hay fields; there was no difficulty
in tracing him so far. But beyond that it seemed
a wilderness in which to look for a little boy.
The hay was all cut and carried ; the daisies and
the sorrel were gone, only a dreary desert of
stubble remained, with all the beauty vanished
that it had worn during the afternoon.
But even as she looked his mother saw Kitty
coming running and .stumbling over the rough
ground. .Kitty had completely lost her way, and
was very glad to see friends again.
"He has been here," the mother said, coming
to the stream, bank, where the traces of his fall
were marked on the wet earth.
And Pepito's godfather followed her, laughing
at her sagacity. His father had gone searching
in another direction.
He will never find the child," she said.
And up the hill she went till she reached the
38 The Royal Progress of King Pepito.
golden broombush that barred the palace gate of
"Can the little fellow possibly have come so
far ?" his godfather asked.
"Look-there," she said, in reply, pointing to
a red stick in the stream.
He fished it out. It was the wooden soldier,
rather the worse for his bath and the rolling over
rock and stone that he had undergone in being
washed down the stream.
Within the goyle it was dark and still. The
air was full of the scent of butterfly orchids.
The godfather sniffed and remarked upon it.
He was a botanist, and almost fancied that
he had seen Bartsia viscosa in the marshy field
outside. Thinking of that he stumbled over
the uneven ground, and did not see what was
to be seen till Pepito's mother drew his attention
A chubby little figure in a soiled white frock,
with socks slipped over the shoes, and torn
The Royal Progress of King Pepito
embroidery. One hand was full of butterfly
orchids, the other clasped that long-suffering
woolly dog. And scattered at his mother's feet
was strewn a bunch of garden flowers.
A glow-worm, creeping through the moss at
King Pepito's head, seemed intended by the
fairies as a candle for His Majesty. The puppy,
awakened by steps and voices, came wriggling
towards' them, making no noise, so as not to
awaken King Pepito.
"Are you going to leave him here all night?"
asked the godfather, smiling at the mother as she
stood watching the scene.
"The darling Fancy his coming all this
long way!" was all she said.
Then she picked him up, and Pepito, opening
his blue eyes, recognized who- it was covering
him with kisses.
"We've come here, mammy, me and puppy
and Kitty and all," he murmured.
It was a mistake about Kitty, .but King
42 The Royal Progress of King Pepito.
Pepito fondly imagined that all his subjects were
He had a sort of royal procession back to
the house, borne in his godfather's arms, with
the rest of his Court humbly following him.
And when he entered he was carried into the
dining-room, there to eat strawberries and cream
in triumph, because every one was too pleased
to be angry with him.
For some time the centre of admiration,
by-and-by people left off noticing King Pepito;
then the little head drooped and the long lashes
sunk over the rosy cheeks, and King Pepito
nodded like a poppy, till his mother seeing him,
carried him off to bed.
When she returned the godfather began
talking about him.
"There is a proverb," he said, I don't
know where it comes from, but it sounds
Eastern: 'Where the King is there is the
Court; where the Master sits there is the head
The Royal Progress of King Pepito.
of the table.' Do you notice its application to
King Pepito ?"
You must forgive us for making King
Pepito our lord and master just at present," she
But the next day she went up to the goyle,
early in the morning when the dew was yet on
the leaves, and sitting there, she watched the
sunshine flickering through the branches and
resting on King Pepito's scattered bunch of
And she thought of godfather's proverb, won-
dering where little King Pepito would lead his
Court in after life, and whether he would still be
so gentle and loving as to retain his empire and
mastery over all hearts. Then the proverb began
to take in her mind a sacred meaning, and she
thought of the King who rules over the whole
earth, Whose Court is in the heart of every one
that loves Him, of the Master who presides over
48 The Royal Progress of King Pepito.
every table. Was not this beautiful green dell
His Court, and had not His angels led little
King Pepito here to worship Him ?
The mother's' thoughts were wandering very
far, farther than Pepito had in fancy followed the
sea-gull. But they were checked by voices and
footsteps breaking the spell of the silence.
Pepito's father and godfather came disturbing her
solitude. They had been looking for her.
Here she is!" the godfather said, "indulging
in day dreams at the Court of King Baby."
.With Thirteen llulStrations by .GORtON BRtW'NE. tllt;
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With Seventeen Illustrations by the late RAN DOLPH CALDEC.OTT.
mall 4to, Ornamental Paper Boards, -..
a Horai ad Her Boo.
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S-.ENG'-A''W ith.. IRTJtee BY IlUND EVA N 'RACQthel:a t e R.j-NI-f LH _. T "