A STORY OF STOPS.
Author of '"Kitten's Goblins"
With Fourteen whole-page Illustrations
By the Authoress.
The Leadenhall Prefs, 50, Leadenhall Street, E.C.
Simpkin, SMarshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd:
N7ew York Scribner & Welford, 743 & 745, 'Broadway.
THE LEADENHALL PRESS,
50, LEADENHALL STREET, LONDON, B.C.
Wiffiam Daf3ief (macRte^t.
How MOLLY FELL INTO THE POWER OF THE GANKS I
THE GOBLINS OF THE INK-BOTTLE GIVE THEIR ADVICE 10
THE GOBLIN BILLIARD PLAYERS 19
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 28
THE TWINS MEET GLITTERING THE FISHER 39
GLITTERINO'S HOME AND THE ASTRACHAN COAT 48
A HERD OF CLUMPERS 54
THE LEAF-GOBLIN AND SOME FRIENDS OF HIS 61
THE ROPE-GOBLINS AID THE TWINS TO ESCAPE 70
BATTLE AND MURDER AND THE POOH-GOBLINS 79
THE TWINS MEET A VERY SHADY GOBLIN 89
THE GOBLINS OF NIGHT AND MORNING 97
LAND'S END, AND WHAT GREW THERE 8
THE FATE OF THE GANKS 120
A Story of Stops.
How MOLLY FELL INTO THE POWER OF THE GANKS.
' would have been a difficult thing a short time
ago to find two prettier, nicer little girls than Molly
and Angel, the twins I am going to tell you about;
and it would have been still more difficult to find
two so exactly alike, not only in appearance, but in
voice, character, and tastes.
But this was before Molly had fallen into the
clutches of the two wicked old Ganks, for after that
happened people began to notice a change in her.
It was so gradual at first as to be almost impercep-
tible, but still it was there, and in a few weeks there
was no doubt about it. Such an unpleasant change
it was too.
cA Story of Szops.
There was no fear now of Molly and Angel
being mistaken for each other, and before long one
would not even have taken them for sisters; this
was really odd, for at one time it was quite impos-
sible for strangers to tell them apart-their own
Mother used to get confused sometimes, But now
Molly had become quite plain, her face was thin
and drawn, her skin sallow, and her under-lip
protruded far beyond the other. All the lovely
lights and shades had gone out of her hair, her
hands also had altered and were now like the claws
of a bird.
All this would not have mattered so much if it
had been the only change, but it was not, for her
character had altered too, and from a really very nice
little girl, with no more than the common faults of
childhood, she had become as bitter and cynical as
an old woman who has been soured by continually
meeting through life with disappointments and
What Molly had lost in childishness she had
certainly gained in knowledge, and she quite aston-
ished people by her cleverness. Her governess
found she could teach her nothing that she did not
know before, and poor Angel was left far behind,
struggling with the same difficulties that so short a
time ago they had struggled with together. Her
mother would gladly have dispensed with all this
precocious cleverness, and was constantly wishing
How fMolly fell into the power of the Ganks. 3
to have her pretty little ignorant Molly back, instead
of this horrid cynical Molly with her bitter remarks
and unnatural ideas.
Well, now I must tell you how it was that she
first became acquainted with these dreadful old
hags, the Ganks, who were the cause of this sad
change in her.
One day she had been punished by her gover-
ness for some trivial fault-and perhaps a little
unjustly-at any rate she felt very much injured;
Angel, of course, sympathized with her, and this I
am afraid had the effect of making her really naughty,
and by tea time she was in such a bad humour that
her governess sent her up-stairs to recover herself.
Instead of going to her own room, however, Molly
went right up to the top of the house, to an empty
attic, where she and Angel often used to play on
Pushing open the door she was surprised to
find the usually empty room inhabited by two horrid
old women who were crouching over a small fire,
by the light of which Molly saw that they were
very much alike and extremely old, with shrivelled
yellow skins. A few long teeth appeared from their
large mouths, the lower lips of which came out and
hung down over their chins, giving them a singularly
forbidding expression. Their eyes were covered
by large black goggles, and their plain straight gar-
ments were made of rough blue serge.
cA Story of Stops.
They were so utterly hideous that Molly nearly
ran away, but curiosity at last overcoming fear, she
ventured a few steps into the room-not feeling
very pleased to find it so occupied-and boldly
asked them who they were.
The elder of the two looked round and an-
swered with a kind of snort of derision, We are
the Ganks !"
Molly, never having heard of these ladies before,
was not much the wiser.
The second Gank now turned round and said,
"My poor child, how very badly you have been
How do you know that ?" enquired Molly.
Because you have come to us," answered the
first Gank, with a harsh discordant laugh ; Come
and sit down, you poor little ill-used thing, and tell
us all about it."
Molly, rather pleased at finding such unexpected
sympathy, obeyed at once, by drawing a chair up to
the fire between them, and was soon in the middle
of relating what had occurred ; and so sorry were
the Ganks for her that I am afraid she exaggerated
her woes a good deal.
When she had finished her new friends in their
turn began to grumble, and to point out to her a
great many things about the way she was treated
that she had never even thought of before, and
hardly liked to believe now.
How e~Molly fell into the power of the Ganks. 5
You can never expect to be appreciated as
you deserve," snorted the eldest.
"That you can't," put in the second.
"And," grunted the first again, "the whole
world is full of ingratitude and selfishness, as I have
found it to my cost."
"And if you have not found it so already, you
will before you are much older," chimed in the
"Why, already you see how you are treated by
your governess, who blames you so unjustly. All
your childhood will be as much a night-mare to
look back on as mine is."
"And mine too," the second Gank added hastily.
"It won't be any better when you are older
either," continued the first.
No !" snapped the second, "it will be worse
Molly listened rather horrified to the two grat-
ing voices of the Ganks, feeling very sorry she had
said anything to them about her troubles. She
could not help thinking that they were saying what
was untrue, and as soon as she could she stole off,
apparently unobserved by them, as they were still
busily engaged in grumbling.
She did not say a word about her adventure to
anyone, not even to Angel, though why she kept it
from her she hardly knew herself. She did all she
could to banish the thoughts of the Ganks, and what
cA Story of Stops.
they had said, from her mind, but in vain; and in a few
days she found herself again mounting the stairs, as
if drawn by some irresistible influence in the direc-
tion of the attic.
She trembled as she opened the door, and gave
a sigh of relief on finding the room empty. Walking
to the window she stood for some time admiring
the wintry landscape before her.
"How pretty it is," she said, half aloud, "those
clouds are lovely."
A harsh grating laugh, which sounded strangely
familiar, made her turn hastily round; and there,
sitting over the fire, in very mnch the same attitude
in which she had first seen them, she perceived the
hideous forms of the Ganks.
"I wonder how long you will see beauty in
leafless trees and a cloudy sky," sneered the eldest.
"Why always of course," Molly answered;
"though," she added, "it really is prettier in the
summer when the leaves are on the trees."
Both the Ganks laughed.
And the flowers too," continued Molly, half
to herself, "how pretty they are in the summer."
"Pretty oh, lovely !" grunted the second
Gank, "and they last so long too, don't they ?-it
seems quite worth their while growing at all to fade
in a day or two, doesn't it ? "
"Flowers indeed," remarked the eldest, I
have no patience with them, cumbering the earth as
How c'Molly fell into the power of the Ganks. 7
they do." Molly did not agree with this idea at all,
and the horrid old thing went on : You will soon
discover that there is no real beauty in anything-
everything is a snare and a delusion."
Once more drawing a chair up to the fire-place,
between the two old hags, Molly attempted to make
them think less bitterly of things. But all in vain,
and instead of being able to convince them, they by
degrees began to convince her.
Whatever she ventured to admire or like was
rapidly picked to pieces and abused by the Ganks,
till she began to think there could have never been
any beauty in it at all. She had but to mention a
flower, or a tree, or a person, that she had been
in the habit of thinking beautiful or nice, and
in a minute blemishes were pointed out and faults
shown her that unaided she would never have
Nowhere could there have been seen a greater
and stranger contrast than Molly sitting between
her curious companions ; and it was a sad sight to
see this pretty innocent child listening to the bitter
remarks of the two old creatures-taking in every
word-at first astonished and amused, then gradually
becoming horrified, and bit by bit believing that their
dreadful view of life must be the right one.
That evening she went away with a feeling of
discontent in her heart, a feeling she had never
cA Story of Stops.
The next afternoon saw her there again, learn-
ing more of evil, and getting more and more under
the Ganks' bad influence; departing once more with
a heavy heart, only to return day by day, drawn
almost against her will into their presence, longing
to shake off the web of fascination in which they
had entangled her, but unable to do so.
By and bye, too, the contrast between them
was not nearly so great, for, sad to relate, poor Molly
was growing like them. Her under-lip hung down
just as their's did, and her face grew as yellow and
shrivelled; her voice also became harsh and loud,
and really one would have imagined that now there
were three Ganks instead of two.
Not only did she grow like them in face but in
disposition as well : no longer did she enjoy things
as she used to : her life had become a burden to
her, and she could feel no love or admiration for a
She certainly knew a great deal more than
before, but what of that ? It did not make her any
happier; for in many cases her ignorance had been
bliss, and knowledge had only opened her eyes to
sorrow and darkness, the existence of which she had
scarcely ever dreamt of before. She saw everything
now through a black cloud, instead of through the
rose-coloured light that a little time ago had given
such beauty and brightness to her whole life. It
seemed just as if she had put on the goggles of the
Hoze7 Molly fell into the power of the Ganks. 9
Ganks, for there is no doubt that those were what
made everything appear so ugly and gloomy to them.
In fact this is what did happen before long, for
Molly came down one morning wearing a pair, de-
claring that she must do so as her eyes were rather
weak. Do what they would, her parents could not
persuade her to take them off, the truth being that
she could not do so, for the Ganks' influence over
her was too strong for anyone else's entreaties or
commands to have any effect.
Molly never told anyone about her new com-
panions, and so nobody could understand why she
was so changed; and day by day they had to resign
themselves to see her growing older and odder,
without having the means of stopping it. It was no
use anyone talking to her about it, and remonstrating
with her, for she always took them aback by some
sharp answer; and it would have been absurd
punishing her, for she was not naughty, only un-
childlike and disagreeable.
Angel felt this change more than anybody, and
it was natural that she should do so. To see the
sister who had been almost her second self, now
far beyond her in every way, ever ready to sneer at
their old amusements, and to say something sharp
and unkind about everything and everybody they
had both once cared about, made her very sad.
Poor Molly !
THE GOBLINS OF THE INK-BOTTLE GIVE THEIR ADVICE.
,e afternoon about the time when Molly took
to wearing goggles, Angel was sitting in the school-
room hard at work-or rather she ought to have
been hard at work at a French exercise, which had
to be done for the next day. But somehow or
other she really could not get her attention fixed on
her work; her thoughts would go wandering off in
every direction to all sorts of things ; and I don't
believe she had written a word for at least five
minutes, and was leaning back in her chair, heartily
wishing that there were no such things as French
exercises, when she was surprised in the middle of
a yawn by seeing such a funny little creature coming
out of the ink-bottle. Standing still on the top for
a second he looked all round him with an air of
great enjoyment, and then sprang lightly down on
The Goblins of the Ink-bottle give their advice. 11
to the table. He was almost immediately followed
by another, and yet another, till there were about a
dozen of them running one behind the other along
the lines of Angel's copy book.
Looking closer she observed that they were
actually writing with their feet-which were shaped
like nibs-as they ran. Their hands were like their
feet, and their bodies she noticed were little glass
ink-bottles, some containing black ink and some red;
they had pen-wiper skirts, and wings like quill pens.
Their faces were all much alike, and very intelligent.
"Oh, you dear little things !" Angel exclaimed,
At this the quaint little band stopped and looked
at her with their great bright eyes.
Then one of them wrote something with his
nibbed feet, which she bending over read, We
have done your exercise for you."
How awfully kind of you !" she said, examin-
ing her book and finding that they really had done
it, and so beautifully too. Much better than she
could ever have written it, or her governess either,
for the matter of that.
We are the Goblins of the Ink-bottle, and as we
were passing over your book we were only too glad
to be able to help you-it was no trouble to us."
Before Angel could say another word they
were all scampering across the table as fast as they
could go, leaving little lines of red and black writing
cA Story of Stops.
behind them. In another moment they would have
disappeared over the edge, when Angel stopped
them by calling out, "Please don't go yet, you
clever little things, I have hardly had time to look
at you properly, and it is so dull for me now that
Molly has altered so."
"e Molly / that's the Ganks' girl, isn't it?"
wrote the smallest of the Goblins.
Angel looked very much puzzled, and said,
"The Ganks' girl? No she is my twin sister."
"It is all the same," wrote the little creature,
"she is in the power of the two old Ganks. -\(o
wonder you find her changed."
Angel read this last remark with a good deal
of surprise, and then asked, "What can I do to get
her out of their power? Will she always remain
like she is now ? "
"That depends a good deal; of course she can't
get better while she is under their bad influence.
Then as to getting her away from them, I don't see
how you will manage it; but zf you take my advice
you will do it as soon as possible," was the answer.
But can nothing be done-tell me ?" eagerly
The twelve little Ink-Goblins hesitated, and
moving away a little appeared to be holding a con-
sultation ; for they were standing close together,
their little nibs writing as fast as they could write.
In a few minutes they seemed to have come to a
The Goblins of the Ink-bottle give their advice. 13
decision; and running towards her they all began
writing something at once. One indeed was so
eager that he pulled out one of his quill wings and
used that as well as his feet.
Angel got very much confused, and remarked,
If you all write at once how ever can I read what
you write? Already you have crossed the lines
over and over again.
Let me tell you," hastily wrote one.
5Vo / let me," scribbled another.
NVo, I shall! I am the eldest," scrawled
Angel noticed that in their hurry they were
not writing nearly as neatly as before, and had made
no end of blots and mistakes.
"Well," she said, "you need not all be in such
a hurry-there is heaps of time you know. I wish
one of you would write what you want to say clearly,
so that I can read it."
After another scuffle, the one that had called
himself the eldest, and who was the same that had
been making use of his quill wing, now carefully
replaced it on his shoulder, and wrote really very
nicely, You must break her goggles."
But how ?" she demanded.
You will find the means of doing so at
After reading this, Angel asked how she was to
cA Story of Stops.
"That is easy enough," was the reply, "we are
all going that way ourselves now, and all you have
to do is to follow in our foot-steps."
"If you are going there hadn't I better go
with you ?"
Co you can't do that, we go too fast; you
would never keep up with us, and I expect we shall
be back again before you are half way."
Angel, looking rather disappointed, said, "Per-
haps I shall meet you then on your way back."
The Goblins all shook their heads, and she
asked, Will it take me long? "
Yes, a good time," wrote one, "there are so
many stops on the road-and, by the way, you
must be careful to mind them all, or you will go
the wrong way altogether; but you can't miss them
very well, as we always mark them very carefully.
On arriving at one you willfind that the road will
hardly be visible at all, and if you attempt to go on
you will probably take a wrong turning-"
The little creature came to a sudden pause in
his writing, seeing that his brothers were all running
off towards the ink-stand, and was on the point of
following them when Angel exclaimed, "Stop; you
haven't told me all I want to know-how long shall
I have to wait at the stops ? "
"Till you can see your road quite plainly
again ; at the commas you will only have to wait
The Goblins of the Ink-bottle give their advice. 15
for a minute or so, there will be hardly time for
you to rest even but at the full-stops you will have
over an hour-they will generally come at the end
of a paragraph, and there is no reason then to pre-
vent you amusing yourself as you like while you
are waiting. 'But be careful to go on directly the
time is up, or you will probably delay so long that
you will never arrive at Land's End at all."
But how about the other stops--the semi-
colons, and the others, you know? "
A faint smile trembled on the lips of the little
Goblin at this question, and he. answered, We
will not be too hard on you, but will leave them
out; you will have delays enough as it is. I am
afraid you will be bothered a good bit by the fNote
of Interrogation, but you can get rid of him by not
answering his questions; he is an inquisitive
fellow-but now I must be of," and he broke off
writing hastily, and, with a polite bow to Angel,
once more turned towards the ink-bottle, into which
his companions had already disappeared.
"You did not say which way I must start," she
The Goblin stamped one of his nibbed feet
angrily, and wrote in very large letters, which she
supposed was intended to represent a loud voice,
Told you to FOLLOW us, therefore you must start
the same way we do."
What, through the ink-bottle ?"
cA Story of Stops.
Yes-the ink won't hurtyou," he wrote, seeing
the blank look on her face.
He then ran up the ink-stand and vanished into
it, leaving Angel wondering if it was possible for
her really to start that way.
There is nothing like trying," and so thinking
she climbed on to the table, which seemed to have
grown suddenly very big-as also had the ink-stand.
Though she did not know it, she it was really who
had grown small, and she was now just about the
same size as the Ink-Goblins; but not being aware
of this, she was delighted when she found it was
quite possible to start the way she had been told.
Once on the top of the ink-bottle, she lost no
time in getting into it, hardly daring to think of
what her appearance might be afterwards.
"I shall be like the boys in my German story
book," she thought, "who were dipped right into
the ink for laughing at a poor black man, and came
out a great deal blacker than he was."
Angel was pleasantly surprised when she had
cautiously descended to find herself on the top of a
staircase, with not a vestige of ink anywhere about,
that is with the exception of a lot of little inky
footprints, which plainly showed her the way the
little people had gone, and she at once followed
their example by running down quickly. But on
arriving at the bottom she was stopped by a large
comma, which effectually hid the road from view.
The Goblins of the Ink-bottle give their advice. 17
While she stood hesitating about what she was
to do someone brushed hastily past her, and judge of
her astonishment when she saw that it was Molly.
"Why, Molly!" she exclaimed, "where are
you going ?"
You wouldn't be any the wiser if I told you,"
answered Molly in a superior kind of voice. "May
I enquire where you are going to, Angel ?"
"I am going to Land's End to find the means
of destroying your black goggles."
"Are you? Then I will accompany you,"
said Molly, rather to Angel's surprise, who at the
same time felt very glad, for she was sure it would
be dreadfully lonely going such a long way by
herself; and though Molly was by no means such a
pleasant companion as 'she would have been a few
months ago, still she was better than nobody, and
thinking this Angel said, Very well-but let's
come on, I can see the way quite plainly again."
So saying the twins started off, still following
the footprints of the Ink-Goblins; but hardly had
they gone a dozen yards when a full-stop brought
them to a stand-still by obscuring their path.
"How tiresome! just as we were getting on so
fast," said Angel in a vexed tone.
Molly wished to go on in spite of it, but this
Angel refused to do, so she contented herself by
grumbling dreadfully, and wishing that she had
18 cA Story of Stops.
Angel paid no heed to Molly's complaints, for
just then a sound like the click of billiard balls
caught her attention, and she was trying to discover
where it came from.
Oh, Molly !" she exclaimed, catching sight of
a door opening out of the little hall in which they
stood, "I believe there is a game of billiards going
on in there-let's come and see who is playing."
Opening the door very gently, they peeped in,
and then entered, very much interested by what
THE GOBLIN BILLIARD PLAYERS.
e IY~e certainly was a game of billiards going
on, but unlike any game of billiards the twins had
ever seen before, the players being two curious
little men, one riding on a rest and the other flying
about the room, not on a cue, but in a kind of way
supported by one. The former was dressed in
yellow, and was employed at the time when Molly
and Angel entered in marking for his opponent, who
wore a kind of loose smoking suit of red, and who
was making great preparations for a shot.
Not noticing that there were any strangers
looking on, he darted at full speed at .one ball,
which he missed completely, hitting the red instead,
but without being in the least put out he turned
triumphantly round saying, Did you see that
cannon Kumbercue ? Mark me two."
Kumbercue obeyed by taking of two instead
of putting it on, and coolly adding four to his own
score; and then instead of waiting for his adversary
cA Story of Stops.
to finish playing, he sailed down the room-still on
his rest, which appeared to do duty as a cue-with
such velocity that, missing the ball he aimed at, he
fell head-long into one of the pockets, his cue-or
rather his rest-flying to the other end of the
Poor little fellow, he poked his head out of
the top, looking rather surprised and very discon-
solate, while the other player seized the opportunity
of increasing his score-not by play, but by marking
himself just double what he had already made.
The shrill voice of Kumbercue saying, "I think
instead of cheating, Chalkerie, you might just give
me my jigger," made him dart away from the mark-
ing-board rather guiltily, not however to attend to
this request, but to go on playing in the coolest
way imaginable, missing every time, and marking
himself something for every stroke.
"Wait till I get out of this," screamed Kumber-
cue from the pocket, shaking his little fist, and per-
fectly livid with rage.
"Yes, wait till you do," remarked Chalkerie
dryly, at the same time taking aim at the poor little
thing's head, which was just visible above the top of
Fortunately for Kumbercue, his adversary did
not often succeed in hitting the object he aimed at,
and had he done so this time there would probably
have been an end of the little man ; but, as usual,
The Goblin rBilliard 'Players.
the ball did not go anywhere near the mark; and
seeing this Kumbercue said spitefully, "If you want
to hit me I should advise you to direct your shot
towards the other pocket, then perhaps you will be
Chalkerie had no opportunity of profiting by
this advice, as Angel at that moment came to the
rescue by picking up the rest and handing it to its
owner, who, losing no time, mounted it with great
quickness, his anger vanishing at once. He rode
straight up to Chalkerie, who was looking on rather
disappointed, and said, "Do you know, Chalkerie,
there are some strangers here. Shall we ask them
to have a game ?"
"All right," was the reply, "how shall we play ?"
One of them is a Gank I think, so Iwon't play
with her," said Kumbercue.
Neither will I," said Chalkerie.
All this was said in tones perfectly audible to
the twins, and Molly did not look the least pleased
at hearing those slighting allusions to herself;
though if she had thought about it, she could not
have expected much much else. She was so like a
Gank, both in face and character, that it was no
wonder she was mistaken for one.
I will tell you what," suggested Kumbercue,
"they shall play together against us. Get your
cues," he shouted, "you will find a broom-handle in
that corner that will do for one of you, and there is
cA Story of Stops.
a toasting-fork by the fire-place that will do for the
"We can't play a bit though," said Angel, "and
besides we are not tall enough."
This was true, for the children were no bigger
than Kumbercue and Chalkerie, who could not
have reached the top of the table either if they had
not been mounted on cues.
"That is rather a drawback," remarked Chalkerie
thoughtfully, "but I know what we will do-I will
play when your turn comes and Kumbercue shall
play for the Gank."
"Yes, that will do," put in Kumbercue, "and
you can mark for us."
"Very well," said Angel, at the same time
thinking, It is hardly worth while being asked to
play, as we shall still only be lookers on."
Now here goes," said Chalkerie in his shrill
voice, with a preliminary flourish round the table,
"the Goblin billiard players against the Ganks--
why you haven't got your cues," he said, suddenly
"No, what is the use of getting them as you
are going to play for us ?" said Angel.
Kumbercue and Chalkerie both looked very
indignant, and the former exclaimed, That won't
do at all, you must not cheat like that, it isn't fair."
"I am not cheating," Angel cried sharply, but
at the same time, seeing that the little men looked
The Goblin 'Billiard 'Players.
very much put out, fetching the afore-mentioned
broom-stick and toasting-fork; and after all it was
just as well that she did, for without something in
her hand she could not have reached the marking-
board, which was fixed high up on the wall.
She did not find marking such an easy task as
she thought it would be, for whenever the little
Goblins played for themselves they shouted out to
her to mark it up-even when they missed, which
was nearly every time. Then when they played for
Molly and herself, they yelled, "A miss-one to us,"
which made it rather confusing.
"I can't say you are much of a player," re-
marked Kumbercue to Molly, in rather a disparag-
ing voice, as he darted past, "I made sure you
would have played better than this, else I should
not have invited you to join our game."
"What do you mean ?" said Molly sulkily, "I
am not playing, you are playing for me."
"Not playing! Why Chalkerie, the Gank says
she is not playing-what can she mean ?"
"Trying to cheat I suppose," said Chalkerie,
as he made a frantic dash at a ball. Oh you
duffer !" he exclaimed to Angel as he missed it, I
think you might have managed to hit that."
Well really !" saidAngel in rather an injured
tone, I probably should have hit it if I had been
playing instead of you."
CA Story of Stops.
"But, stupid, you were playing then," said
Chalkerie fiercely, it was your turn, so you must
"It may have been my turn, but you know you
were playing for me, as you arranged to do at the
beginning of the game."
This reasoning seemed to be rather beyond
the comprehension of Chalkerie, but he said at last,
after a few minutes consideration, "You acknow-
ledge it was your turn ?"
"Yes," said Angel.
"Then that settles it," he said cheerfully, "as
it was your turn, it was your stroke, therefore it was
you who played it badly."
"She had nothing more to say after this, but
comforted herself by thinking, "After all they play
just as badly for themselves as for us, and the only
difference is that they will insist upon it that they
have made something each time, and I have to
How are we getting on? asked Kumbercue,
darting up to the marking-board. "Do you mean
to say that you have not made anything ? I couldn't
have believed it. Dear me, Chalkerie, we must be
much better players than we imagine-we are
winning with the greatest of ease."
Angel now tried what marking a little on her
own account would do, but she soon found it did
not answer, for the two little players came flying
The Goblin 'Billiard 'Players.
up in great haste, and Kumbercue said, looking very
much shocked, "You don't seem to be aware that
cheating is not allowed here ; it is hardly necessary
to add such a dreadful fault to your feeble play."
After this she gave in, and marked whatever
they told her. She found plenty to amuse her in
watching the game, and she felt that if only Molly
would not look on with that horrid cynical expres-
sion of hers, she would have enjoyed it immensely.
By and bye Kumbercue and Chalkerie became
more and more excited, and their play began to get
very violent. They appeared to have altogether
given up playing for the twins, and did not even
now take it in turns to play, but made frantic dashes
at the same ball, their aim becoming more erratic
every moment. Sometimes they not only missed
the ball, but the table too-the ends of their cues
going right through the pictures on the walls, which
the children now noticed were completely perforated
with holes-showing that it was their custom to get
very wild towards the end of the game.
But this was nothing to what came after; their
excitement rose to such a pitch that they began to
shout at the top of their voices, exclaiming at
Round and round they whizzed, till Molly and
Angel began to get quite giddy. They seemed to
be darting about in every direction, now into the
wall, then sending their cues right through a large
cd Story of Stops.
looking-glass, which was smashed into atoms, the
bits of glass flying all over the room. The next
instant one would direct his aim, as it seemed, right
at his opponent, who however, long before he had
finished the stroke, would be darting at full speed
to the other end of the table.
But just then, when it was really getting alarm-
ing, the game was brought to a sudden termination.
With shrill yells, the two little players precipitated
themselves, from opposite ends of the room, at one
ball-which I need hardly say they missed-with
such tremendous force that they were unable to
stop themselves, and avoiding one another by a
hair's breadth, Kumbercue disappeared through a
large plate-glass window, and Chalkerie went bang
through the wall, leaving a little round hole in it.
This sudden disappearance was rather startling,
and the twins looked doubtfully at each other,
wondering if they had better wait to see if the
Goblin players would return, or continue their
walk. They finally decided to do the latter, and on
quitting the billiard-room they found their road
marked out most clearly before them, so that they
had evidently come at the right moment; and
Angel, remembering the warning of the little Ink-
people, lost no time in starting, Molly following her
They now found themselves out of doors; it
was a lovely day, and the road looked most inviting,
The Goblin 'Billiard 'Players.
golden daffodils, blue bells and violets were growing
in the hedges, and trees shaded their path. It was
winter when they left home, so they were rather
surprised at the sudden change from ice and snow
to warm sunshine, and from withered leaves and
bare branches to beautiful sweet-scented flowers.
The Ink-Goblins' inky footprints were plainly
marked all the way, so there was no possibility of
their missing the road ; besides, if they were at all
doubtful, they had only to stop and read the direc-
tions that the thoughtful little people had written
After a mile or two of lovely green woods and
flowery banks-where they were only delayed by a
few commas-they came to another paragraph, a
very dull bit, that Angel would gladly have skipped
altogether ; but this was not to be done, for though
here and there she saw the most inviting little paths
turning off the road, the inky footprints went on
straight past them, showing that the Ink-Goblins
had gone on without a moment's hesitation, and
Angel felt that she must do the same.
Molly of course did not notice much difference,
as she could see no more beauty in the pretty woods
they had just passed than she did in the flat unin-
teresting country they were now walking over.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
'"a-l-n so tired," grumbled Molly, "I can't
think Angel what pleasure you can find-oh dear!"
she broke off hastily as a voice above her head asked
suddenly, "I say, where are you going?"
The twins looked up very much startled, and
their alarm was not lessened at what they saw.
An extraordinary being was hovering just above
them, with arms stretched downwards towards them;
the hands were shaped like notes of interrogation,
as also were the wings and tail, and another waved
from the top of the head.
Close behind him flew an odd little green and
white creature, whose body was rather the shape of
a wasp's with a long sting, and whose face wore a
most self-satisfied expression.
"I say, tell me where you are going?" repeated
the voice which belonged to the first of the two
Questions and c/nswers.
Angel and Molly were too frightened to answer,
but were a little taken aback when the small green
and white companion replied quickly, "Oh, they
are going to market;" and they both exclaimed
together, "Don't tell such stories, we are not going
"What did you say so for then ?" demanded
the other sharply, at the same time giving an angry
bite to the ear of his unfortunate little informant.
I had to say something," was the reply, "and
that did pretty well, I think."
By this time they had both flown down to the
ground, and were standing, or rather crawling, one
on each side of the twins, who were now recovering
their courage, and Angel ventured to say, "Who
are you ?"
The green and white creature immediately
replied, "The Note of Interrogation."
"I did not ask you," said Angel impatiently,
"you should speak when you are spoken to."
"Well, I know that, but you asked a question
and I had to reply to it," said he, with an offended air.
"Why ?" snorted Molly, crossly.
Because I am the Answer, stupid."
"What?" exclaimed both the children at once.
I tell you I am the Answer; the Note of
Interrogation can do nothing but ask questions, and
I have to fly about with him continually to answer
those questions-and difficult enough I find it too-
Ae Story of Stops.
my ideas are so limited," explained the little thing
in a low voice.
"What are you talking about?" demanded the
Note of Interrogation, inquisitively.
Nothing that concerns you," replied the An-
swer, pertly; for which pertness he received another
sharp bite on his ear.
"You see," he said, turning to the twins, and
dropping his voice-apparently not having noticed
the bite-" my answers always have a sting about
them that old Query does not quite appreciate-I
call him old Query," he added in parenthesis, "for
short, I have not time to give him his full title each
time I mention him."
"What are you saying now?" enquired the
Note of Interrogation.
This time the Answer was not ready, and looked
rather helplessly towards Molly and Angel for an
inspiration, but not getting one he contented himself
by remaining silent.
"Do you hear me?" screamed the Note of
"No," shouted the Answer, at the same time
trying to shelter himself behind Molly.
"Where did they come from ?" was the next
Down the chimney," said the Answer, with-
out pausing to think.
"We didn't," remonstrated Molly, "how can
you tell such stories."
Questions and cAnswers.
The Answer looked at her very entreatingly,
and whispered, "Never mind, let it pass this time-
think of my poor ear."
"Who are they?" then asked the Note of
"They are the two Ganks," replied the Answer,
a smile of satisfaction passing over his face at this
Angel naturally felt very angry at this, and said,
"We are not anything of the kind."
Hush !" whispered the Answer, one of you
is a Gank, so it comes to the same thing; and I
entreat you to think of my poor ear."
"Let's come on," said Molly, not much liking
the turn the conversation had taken, don't talk to
these inquisitive people any more."
"I say," demanded the Note of Interrogation,
taking no notice of Molly's not very civil speech,
"who did you meet on your way ?"
Angel hesitated, and the Answer put in hurried-
ly, The dancing bear and the coal-heaver."
The children felt it was useless to contradict
this extraordinary statement, and the Note of Inter-
rogation then asked, "Where were they going?"
He looked straight at Angel this time, who, feeling
she must say something, answered vaguely, Into
"Saved this time," murmured the Answer,
Ce Story of Stops.
"What did they go into the duck-pond for?"
went on the insatiable questioner.
Angel had nothing to say this time, but the
Answer shouted, They were going to bathe."
"Why were they going to bathe ? "
Oh !" said the Answer, looking wildly round
for another idea, "to get the dust off-the coal-dust
I mean," he added as an after thought, and then
he remarked softly, Saved again, only by a fluke
"But," said the Note of Interrogation, with a
thoughtful frown, "why did the bear want to get
the coal-dust off?"
"Why because, because-oh! do say some-
thing," entreated the Answer of the twins.
"Because he was going out to dinner," said
Angel, who was rapidly becoming as anxious to
be able to answer the numerous questions as the
Answer himself, feeling that if she did not her poor
ear might suffer too.
"What genius! I am saved once more," ejacu-
lated the Answer, skipping about with delight.
The children, feeling that these rapid questions
were getting very embarrassing, now moved slowly
on. But they were not to escape so easily, for
hardly had they started when they discovered that
the Note of Interrogation and the Answer were
Questions and cAnswers.
"Why did you leave us?" enquired the former
softly into Angel's ear, as he flew alongside of her.
"Oh!" answered she, "because we are in a
hurry to get to Land's End."
"Are you going to Land's End?" asked he in a
tone of surprise ; and then making a rapid dart in
the direction of the Answer's long green ear, he
said, "Why did you tell me they were going to
"Because," replied the Answer, "they told me
so," and he looked for approbation towards Molly
and Angel, which however he did not get, for
naturally they did not care about his saving himself
at their expense.
"Why did you tell the Answer so ?" went on
the Note of Interrogation.
We didn't," Angel said, recklessly.
The Note of Interrogation then demanded,
quite heedlessly, "Why didn't you then ?" and the
Answer muttered, My poor ear had a very narrow
escape that time, and no mistake."
"Why do you wear goggles?" was the next
Molly, taking no notice of this, walked sulkily
on, which was foolish of her, as of course the ever-
ready Answer said, "Oh! she is a Gank, that is why."
Now are you really? questioned the Note
of Interrogation, with deep interest in his tone;
Now what are Ganks chiefly noted for ? "
cA Story of Stops.
Molly, who though secretly fascinated by the
Ganks, always felt ashamed of owning that she had
anything to do with them, was becoming more
furious every moment, and said angrily, I am no
such thing-I am a little girl."
The Note of Interrogation, looking very much
disappointed, asked, "Aren't you really now?" and
then to the Answer, "What did you mean by saying
she was one ?"
Because she is," insisted the Answer.
"Then what are Ganks chiefly noted for?"
once more enquired the Note of Interrogation, with
a sigh of satisfaction.
"Oh! I can tell you that," the Answer exclaimed
eagerly, "they hate everybody and admire nothing."
The Note of Interrogation turned quite white
at this, and said in a tremulous voice, Does she
hate me then, and doesn't she admire me ? "
"Yes," replied the wicked little Answer, com-
placently, "she hates the very sight of you, and
thinks you are a fright."
The Note of Interrogation was so offended
that he actually did not ask another question for at
least five minutes, and when he did it was to say,
"Is there no cure for it ?"
"None," briefly responded the irrepressible
Answer; and Angel exclaimed, It is not true, she
is not a Gank, and she doesn't hate you-do you
Questions and ?Answers.
I am not a Gank, but I do hate him," was the
Luckily for his feelings the Note of Interroga-
tion did not hear the last part of Molly's remark, as
he was engaged in chasing the Answer, who was
flying as if for his life.
The twins-who had been walking on all this
time-stopped and watched the really exciting scene.
Faster and faster flew the little Answer, darting
backwards and forwards over their heads, exclaiming
in broken tones, Oh my poor little ear and
faster and faster flew the infuriated Note of Inter-
rogation, demanding how he dared tell such lies.
By degrees the children could see that the
chase was drawing to an end, as the pursuer was
gaining quickly upon the pursued, and in another
minute or two had seized the long green ear in his
teeth, and was biting it savagely; the poor little
Answer entreating for mercy on the score that his
ideas were so limited.
Having punished him to his heart's content, the
Note of Interrogation let him go, and they flew
back together towards the children, the Answer
looking very much crest-fallen, and with one ear
much shorter than the other.
He remarked as he came up, "There was too
much sting in my reply that time I fear. Old
Query does not care about being told the plain un-
cA Story of Stops.
Angel exclaimed at this, Why, you mean he
doesn't like being told stories-that is why he was
"Oh no !" said the Answer, "if I had told him
that the Gank thought him beautiful he would not
have found any fault with me, and that really would
have been a story-for you know he is really very
ugly," he added, confidentially.
Angel made no response to this, as she was
thinking it was time the talkative pair left them.
This however they seemed to have no intention of
doing. In vain she told them that Molly and she
were in a hurry, for the Note of Interrogation went
on questioning them more than ever, and the
Answer became more and more clever at finding
replies for him.
Just then she remembered that her little friends
of the ink-bottle told her the way to get rid of the
Note of Interrogation was not to answer him, so
she said to Molly, "Don't answer them any more,
then perhaps they will go."
This arrangement did not seem to please either
the Note of Interrogation or the Answer, and they
did all in their power to make the twins speak ; the
Answer perhaps suffered the most from their silence,
as he had to supply all the answers himself now.
It was no good looking to them for help, and it was
no good asking them to think of his poor ear, for
they trudged on without taking any notice ; and so
Questions and CAnswers.
the little thing began to try what he could do by
making them angry, and when the Note of Interro-
gation asked any question referring to them, he said
the most remarkable things about them, all per-
"Why don't they speak?" demanded the Note
of Interrogation, for about the third time.
"They are dumb," answered the wicked little
How did they get dumb so suddenly?"
It was brought on by greediness," was the
How was that ?"
Oh because they were eating some toffee-
much more than was good for them you know-and
their teeth have got stuck together with it."
"Do you know where they live?" now en-
quired the Note of Interrogation, looking properly
impressed at the dreadful fate that had so suddenly
"Yes," said the Answer, "in a mad-house."
How did they get out then?"
They have escaped."
But are they really mad ?"
"Yes, raving," replied the Answer, "quite
dangerous, in fact."
The Note of Interrogation, looking rather
alarmed, asked, Hadn't we better leave them ?"
C4 Story of Stops.
"No, it is not necessary, they can't hurt us
very well, they would not dare."
"Wouldn't they-why not?"
Because they are a pair of cowards."
It was no use; Angel and Molly refrained from
contradicting any of these statements, and the An-
swer finding all his efforts were vain, said, "We
will leave you now."
Looks of relief passed over the faces of the
twins, but the Note of Interrogation did not at all
like this idea, and asked, "Must we really go ?"
"Yes," said the Answer, firmly, "I must-you
need not unless you like." In a lower tone he
murmured, Perhaps he will stay, and my poor ear
will be safe for a time."
The Note of Interrogation did not avail him-
self of this permission however, but turned slowly
round asking, Shall we see them again ?"
Oh yes," said the Answer, "very soon I
hope;" with this threat he also turned round and
flew off after his companion.
What a relief !" said Angel.
"It is your own fault," grunted Molly, "for
coming this way; what else can you expect ?"
"Well," replied Angel, cheerfully, "I didn't
really mind it-it was rather fun, and they amused
me at first-only they stayed so long."
THE TWINS MEET GLITTERING THE FISHER.
_y7 this time the twins had been walking across
the same dull paragraph ; and nearly as far as they
could see it looked dull and uninteresting; but
there was no doubt that it was the right way, as the
inky footprints most clearly showed them.
But by and bye they came to another para-
graph, and one that Angel would far rather have
left out, and was even more anxious to skip than
she had been the stupid one they had just left be-
It had been fine and bright up till then, but
now the sky became clouded, and it began to drizzle;
though that was not what gave Angel such a funny
lump in her throat, just as if she was going to cry.
What was it then?
CA Story of Stops.
Only a few things they passed by the way;
nothing much. A child's grave, newly made, with
a wreath of snowdrops beginning to wither upon it.
A lark imprisoned in a tiny cage, beating itself to
pieces against the bars in its frantic efforts for free-
dom. A girl standing by a gate, with an expression
of hopeless grief upon her face-which seemed to
tell of a sorrow too deep for tears-straining her
eyes to catch the last glimpse of a man's retreating
figure, one who perhaps she had just spoken to for
the last time. A beggar, with starvation written in
his sunken cheeks and haggard eyes, sitting by
the way-side sharing his last crust with his dog.
Nothing much. Only a few of the things that may
be seen every day, and passed by without a thought
or a tear.
How can you be so foolish, Angel," said Molly,
scornfully, noticing her tearful eyes, "to cry at such
little things as these; why, what will you do when
you find what very much worse troubles there are
in life. I always tell you there is no real happiness
anywhere, and it is no use trying to pretend there is.
If you would only listen to me you would never
expect anything else, and then you would not feel
as you do, when you find that it is true what I say.
If everyone minded such silly little everyday
sorrows as these, there would never be anything else
but weeping all over the world. It does not pay to
be tender hearted."
The Twins meet Glitterino the Fisher. 41
You see how well Molly had profited by the
Angel did not answer, and at that moment they
began another paragraph which she liked much
The sun came out again brightly, lighting up
the pretty scenery, for the flat plains had now given
place to hills and mountains, fierce and bold in the
foreground, and dying away into a soft mist in the
The children were not sorry just here to come
upon a full-stop, as they were both tired after their
long walk; and they sat down on a large flat stone
beside a pretty little stream, which was running
merrily over numberless rocks, and mischievously
splashing the heather and ferns-which decked the
high over-hanging banks-with silvery drops of spray.
"Ah ah I have got you !" said a little soft
husky voice, quite close to them; and at the same
moment a most brilliantly dressed personage rode
into view, his steed being a fishing-rod, on which he
was riding or rather flying above the stream.
Never had Angel seen anyone with quite such a
fat rosy face, or anyone that looked so fresh and clean.
Probably this did not strike Molly, as no doubt she
could see plenty of specks about him, with the aid
of her black goggles.
He was evidently rather a sporting character, as
his knickerbocker suit and large tie plainly showed.
cA Story of Stops.
The variety of colours in which he had managed to
adorn his small person was truly wonderful, for his
wings were green, his tie red, his waistcoat blue, his
suit speckled, his stockings brown, and his boots
yellow, the whole effect being most startling.
His exclamation evidently referred to a large
fish that was struggling at the end of his line, and
which he was now playing with the greatest skill.
How he managed it, sitting on his rod, it is hard to
say; but very soon he landed his prize most success-
fully on the bank, where it lay flapping while he
dismounted from. his rod, and after having found a
comfortable seat-a little way from where the twins
were sitting-he prepared to unhook it, talking to
himself as he did so, in his fat husky voice.
Ah ah my friend, I have caught you My
pretty clothes were too much for your weak mind-
you rose at them well. A fair day's sport I call it;"
and holding up the fish he looked at it admiringly.
"Very nice very nice !" he said, after studying it
attentively, "I think I must have my next suit the
same colour; the effect of your silver scales in the
sun is beautiful-I have no doubt it would be be-
coming to my style of beauty. Hullo who are
you ?" he exclaimed, suddenly perceiving Molly
and Angel ; at the same time putting his hand up
to one or two stiff red hairs that grew on his head,
and trying to smooth them down. Looking very
much flustered, he next felt to see if his tie was
The Twins meet Glitterino the Fisher. 43
straight, and finding it was, he became a little more
composed and said, "I didn't expect visitors or I
would have put on my other clothes-but perhaps
you will excuse me ?"
Angel hastened to assure him that none could
be nicer than the ones he had on.
He seemed very much pleased at this assurance,
and said, trying to look modest, "And you really
think this suit becoming; yet I should have liked
you to have seen me in my orange and blue. I
know the colour is rather trying, and you may think
it bold of me ever to wear it, but then you know, I
have been told that I can wear anything."
He was so evidently fishing for compliments
that Angel did not feel much inclined to gratify him,
and answered, "I can't possibly tell if it suits you,
as I have never seen you in it."
It is very kind of you not to tell me outright
that you think me plain; and yet I dare scarcely to
hope otherwise," and he looked at the twins slyly
out of the corner of his eye.
Molly took no notice, but Angel kindly said,
"I really don't know why you should be afraid of
being thought plain."
The little man looked more than satisfied at
this speech, and smiled, and blushed, at the same
time trying to catch a glimpse of himself in the
c4 Story of Stops.
"You don't ask who I am," went on the soft
husky voice, so of course you know already ;" he
looked at Molly, who said, No !" very rudely.
No that surprises me, I had the vanity to
imagine that everyone had heard of Glitterino the
Fisher, but now I observe that you are one of the
Ganks, which may account for your ignorance of
Have you had a good day's sport?" Angel
hastily put in, wishing to change the conversation,
as she saw Molly's long lower lip beginning to
tremble, a sure sign of anger with her.
"Pretty good, pretty good, considering I have
been fishing since sunrise."
How many have you caught?" enquired
Angel, with some curiosity.
"Three, and a fish, which makes four," an-
swered Glitterino, with great pride.
"Three three what?"
"Compliments of course."
"Compliments; why, do you mean to say those
are what you fish for ?"
"Yes; I am a fisherman and fish for whatever
I can catch. I must honestly say I prefer the com-
pliments to anything else. You know, sometimes I
get more than three-why yesterday when I had a
pale green suit on, lined with pink, I caught so
many I could hardly carry them home. To-day I
only got one from a bramble till I met you, and you
The Twins meet Glitterino the Fisher. 45
were good enough to pay me two more; and so
with the fish you saw me land-which makes four
in all-I have not done so badly."
"But I don't understand," said Angel, puzzled,
"how the fish makes the fourth, for surely you do
not count that as a compliment."
Of course I do; I consider the fish paid me
a great compliment by letting me catch it-why it
willingly gave its life for a nearer view of me-and
if that isn't a compliment I don't know what is."
And how did the bramble pay you one ? "
He caught me as I was passing, and so much
was he attracted by my appearance that I had the
greatest difficulty in freeing myself from him."
At that moment Glitterino stopped, and hastily
smoothed his tie, and stroked his hair, looking most
self-conscious. The twins could not understand
the reason of this, till he exclaimed excitedly,
"Did you see, did you see, how that spider stared
at me as it passed? I wonder what it thought of me."
"I suppose it was admiring you," said Angel,
a little sarcastically.
"Do you really think so ?" he asked, more
huskily than ever. What a pity it was I hadn't
my crimson and silver costume on, and the green
boots with the tassels. Anyhow that was another
compliment, which makes four-and five counting
cA Story of Stops.
Angel nearly laughed outright, and even Molly
looked faintly amused and asked, "What do you
fish with? "
Do you ask me what I fish with ?" said Glit-
terino, in a tone of the deepest astonishment.
"Can't you guess ?"
Angel ventured to suggest, "Worms."
"Worms !-of course, though you are only
trying to tease me, for you know perfectly well that
lam the bait."
"You !" exclaimed the children, together.
"Yes, I am the bait that attracts the fish, they
want no other, they have-Oh! here is a dragon-fly
coming-I wonder if he will see me-no, he didn't;
what a pity He didn't once glance in my direc-
tion-if I had only had on my white and purple, he
must have noticed me-dear me, what a pity !"
"I am afraid," laughed Angel, "he was too
much taken up with his own charms."
I have no doubt; agreed Glitterino, "how
conceited some people are. Now, would you advise
me to get a coat like the dragon-fly's-do you think
it would be becoming? I am afraid though that
you think that it would not suit me as well as it
Oh I don't know," said Angel, I am sure
you would look very nice in it."
"Another compliment! that is five to-day-
and six counting the fish." Then you really advise
The Twins meet Glitterino the Fisher. 47
me to get a coat like the dragon-fly's-well I cer-
tainly shall." Glitterino the Fisher here got up,
observing, "I am going home; will you come and
see my house ?"
Angel said, Yes," and the trio started off.
I will not ride this time, as you are walking,"
he said politely, taking up his rod in one hand and
his fish in the other. Can you fish I wonder?"
"No," said Angel, at least not the way you do."
"Ah I see you have observed my method is
rather different from most peoples. You would
hardly believe it perhaps, but someone said to me
yesterday, that I had a peculiarly graceful way of
reeling up my line-of course it may have been a
mistake, and you will hardly agree about it I fear?"
Glitterino looked again out of the corner of his eye
to see if a compliment was forthcoming; he was
doomed to disappointment however as neither of
the twins answered, their attention being taken up
in scrambling over the rough and stony ground.
GLITTERING'S HOME AND THE ASTRACHAN COAT.
@ this they all walked on in silence for
some little while, and Glitterino was the first to
speak, "Do you advise me," he began, "to wear my
mauve costume to-morrow; it is heavily trimmed
with yellow, and though it is quiet, I don't think it
is unbecoming-or do you think the black and gold
would be better ? "
I should wait and see what kind of day it is
before you make up your mind," replied Angel,
hardly knowing what to say. "Why, is this where
you live ?"
"Yes," answered Glitterino, who had come to
a sudden stop by the side of a stream, in the middle
of which was a heap of rocks piled together. How
do you like it ?"
It looks very nice," she said, a little uncer-
tainly, how do you get to it?"
"Across these stepping stones-take care, they
are rather slippery," said he, leading the way, hop-
Glitterino's Home and the edstrachan Coat. 49
ping lightly from one to another, and then vanishing
through an opening between two rocks.
The children followed more slowly, and were
not sorry to find themselves safely inside this curious
kind of house, and they both looked round with
They were in a small room formed out of the
rocks. The stream ran right through it, only instead
of rushing wildly along as it did outside, it was quite
calm and clear. It took up most of the floor, and
there was only a ledge of rock all round, just big
enough to walk about on. It seemed rather an airy
residence altogether, as the many chinks between
the stones were not filled up at all; and there was
a great gap in the roof, forming a large sky-light,
but without glass over it. Hanging all round the
walls were costumes of every colour imaginable,
and these appeared to be the only furniture-for
there were no chairs or tables, unless a few large
stones might be called such. In the middle of the
floor-that is to say the stream-was a high piece
of rock sticking right up.
While they were looking about, Molly and
Angel did not notice that their little host had
quietly disappeared through a small crevice at one
side. But he returned in a few moments remarking,
I was just changing my clothes-the others were
a little splashed and muddy; and the children
perceived that he now wore a flaring suit of orange
CA/ Story of Stops.
and scarlet, with pink boots, and a white tie and
"Do you dislike it?" he enquired, as they made
"It is very pretty I think," said Angel, "but-"
"That is all right then," he interrupted. "Let
me see, that is six to-day, and seven counting the
fish-or was it eight? There was the bramble, one;
four from you, which makes five; one from the
spider, which makes six; the fish seven, and the
"Oh, no !" snorted Molly, the dragon-fly did
not look at you."
"No, more he did," said Glitterino, looking
crest-fallen, I had forgotten."
By this time he had taken a seat on the top of the
rock that stuck right up in the middle of the stream.
"What do you sit so far off for?" demanded
Angel, "it doesn't look a very comfortable seat."
"Yes it is though," was the answer, "I sit here
so that I can look down into the water."
"What for-to look for fish?" she enquired.
Oh, no ; it is my looking-glass you see. I have
no doubt you have noticed how smooth and clear
the water is just here ; nothing could be better for
the purpose; I have arranged the sky-light just
above it so that I get plenty of light on it."
Now I see why you have built your house
over the stream ; I was wondering, thinking that it
must be rather damp."
Glitterino's Home and the cAstrachan Coat. 51
"No, it isn't really," said Glitterino. How
do you like my clothes ?"
"Well," said Angel, laughing, "you have got
enough. I should think you can never find time to
wear them all."
Oh yes, I do-you see I change them very
often-sometimes twenty times a day; but I have
more than these in another room; I shall have to
enlarge my house soon to contain them all-how
do you like it, by the way-do you think it well
"I think," she answered, "it must be very nice
in hot weather, but in the winter it must be dread-
"Not at all," said Glitterino, huskily, I have
special coats for winter, made of furs. One is very
nice, trimmed with Astrachan-would you like to
Don't bother about getting it," replied she,
"It won't be the least trouble," and the little
fisher once more vanished, returning in a minute
or two attired in an entirely new suit and carrying
his Astrachan coat.
Why, you have changed again !" cried Angel.
Yes, I caught my other suit in a piece of rock
-or rather a piece of rock caught my suit-and
tore it; another compliment you will observe-
number seven, and eight counting the fish-and so
cA Story of Stops.
I had to change; what do you think of this?"
And he drew himself up to display it to the utmost
I think it is the prettiest I have seen yet," said
Angel, privately wondering why he did not always
wear something as quiet.
Glitterino beamed, and remarked, "That is the
eighth, and the ninth counting the fish, and the best
I have yet received; and this is my winter coat,
how do you like it? Oh dear oh dear he cried
as it slipped out of his hand into the water, and
without a moment's hesitation he jumped in after it,
much to the twin's alarm, as it looked so dreadfully
deep just there.
He dived right down underneath, and after
some time he just poked his head up, his face wear-
ing an expression of rage, and spluttering in his
attempts to speak.
Have you found it ?" asked Angel, eagerly.
Yes, I saw it, but would you believe it, a great
brute of a trout has taken it and put it on, and ab-
solutely refuses to give it up, saying it will be good
for his rheumatism-did you ever hear such a thing ?"
Angel felt very much inclined to scream with
laughter at the idea of a trout in a coat trimmed
with Astrachan, but she controlled herself and said,
" I am so sorry; but never mind you have plenty
more. Don't you think you had better come out of
the water-you will catch cold."
Glitterino's Home and the cAstrachan Coat. 53
How can I when you two are standing staring
at me ? I suppose you want to see how draggled I
shall look when I come out-but you shan't, for as
long as you remain there I shall remain here," said
Glitterino, crossly; his loss had evidently ruffled
his usually good temper.
The twins could not mistake this broad hint,
and they said Good bye," taking a last look at
their host-or rather his head-as that was the only
thing visible above the water.
Seeing they were going, Glitterino recovered
his temper a little, and called out after them, Do
you think my present position a graceful one-don't
you think the water makes a becoming background."
Most becoming !" laughed Angel.
"Nine to-day-ten counting the fish," they
heard him gasp as they passed through the two rocks
that formed the door-way to his quaint abode.
I wonder if he will get his coat back," said
Molly, giving a kind of grunt, said, "It is to be
hoped not ; anything so vain as himself and ugly as
his clothes I never saw."
Oh, Molly how can you say that. I think
he looked so nice and neat that I almost forgot his
vanity. Is this our way I wonder-we seem to have
come a good bit off the road?"
"Yes, this is it," said Molly," I think this path
will lead us straight on to it again."
A HERD OF CLUMPERS
P- they had been walking for twenty
minutes, in what they imagined to be the right
direction, towards the road they had left when they
accompanied Glitterino to his house, the twins
came to the conclusion that it was not the right
way-and just as a board nailed to a tree caught
their eyes with, "Trespassers will be devoured,"
printed upon it-they made up their minds to turn
back; Molly, as usual, grumbling, and Angel feel-
rather cross at the delay.
All of a sudden, as it seemed, a most alarming
looking monster stood in their path a little way
off-and now came thundering towards them. He
moved on his hands instead of his feet, and his arms
were of an unusual length. His legs appeared to be
quite useless, being very short and limp, just as if
there were no bones in them, and his large carpet
cA Herd of Clumpers.
slippers dangled in the air feebly. Besides all this,
he had a nose, or rather four or five noses, three
being attached to the, end of one, and the other
growing on his forehead.
The' children both turned pale; being much
too frightened to run away, and now stood trembling
The dreadful creature stopped in front of them,
glaring at them for several seconds without speaking,
and then in the tiniest squeak imaginable demanded,
"What are you doing here ? "
That this tiny voice came from anyone with
such a ferocious appearance it was difficult to be-
lieve, and the twins could hardly take in that it
was the monster that had spoken.
"What are you doing here?" he squeaked again.
"We have taken a wrong turning," said Angel,
timidly, "and were just going back when we met
No excuses I don't believe a word you say-
you have come to rob me. Where are you going?"
"To Land's End," answered Angel, we have
not come to rob you; we never thought of such a
"To Land's End-oh! I know; you are the
Ganks' girl," he said, turning to Molly, "I have just
received orders from the two Ganks to detain you
at all risks-in fact they said I could do what I
liked with you."
,4 Story of Stops.
Molly exclaimed, "The Ganks have nothing to
do with me ; I am not a Ganks' girl."
The frightful creature laughed heartily at this,
and then asked Angel who she was.
I am her twin sister," she replied.
Oh, well, I will keep you both. Ha! ha!
my little dears, you did not expect to meet with
such a person as a Clumper-but wait a bit, and I
will give you another little surprise," and he called
out something in a high squeaky voice, and in a
moment they found themselves surrounded on all
sides by a herd of Clumpers. Where they had
sprung from the twins could not think, but there
were at least fifty or sixty of the hideous goblins
leaping round them on their long arms, their limp
legs waving in the breeze.
"That was my little surprise," laughed the
first Clumper, "what do you think of it? A
Clumper is a very clever thing, and there is none
cleverer than Snapandtearum, whom I will present
to you in the person of my humble self," and he
gave his feetless slippers a frantic kick of enjoyment.
Angel privately thought that his name suited
him well, while Molly was vainly wondering where
it could have been derived from.
"What shall we do with them ? enquired one
of the monsters.
Snapandtearum turned sharply round, squeak-
ing, "That will be my pleasant duty to decide."
CA Herd of Clumpers.
"No such thing," whined the whole herd, who
were now sitting in a ring round the children, their
long arms all entangled in each other. "Why
should you be the one to arrange everything ?"
Snapandtearum, leaping about frantically at
this question, answered, First because I found
them, and secondly because I say so."
The Clumpers were all silent after this, and
looked at each other, shaking their heads angrily.
Now you shall hear what I intend to do. I
have the consent of the Ganks to employ their pupil
as I like, and as they did not mention the companion
I shall do the same with her-that is to fatten them
and eat them," said Snapandtearum.
"What, both of them yourself?" squeaked the
Clumpers in a chorus.
"Yes, both of them," replied he, with great
You might let us have a little bite you know,"
Snapandtearum looked thoughtful, and then
said, On second thoughts you shall have the Ganks'
girl to divide amongst you, as she is sure to disagree
The Clumpers did not show the pleasure that
one would have expected at this generous offer, and
one remarked crossly, "I would rather have one
bite of the other than the whole of the Gank."
cA Story of Stops.
She will want such a lot of fattening too,"
grumbled another, "and I don't believe there is
enough sugar in the whole country to make her
That is nothing to me," said Snapandtearum,
selfishly, I shall not require to fatten mine nearly
so much, or to sweeten her at all-that is judging
by her looks."
"Where are you going to store them ?" asked
a young Clumper, In the dungeons ?"
"Of course not," snarled Snapandtearum,
"they would never get fat there-they must have
plenty of fresh air, as well as food, therefore I shall
put them up a tree."
"Not ours too ?" demanded the whole herd,
"Certainly, I am not going to let my little
dear pine away for the want of a companion," he
squeaked, leaping about again.
As the other Clumpers made no more sugges-
tions, Snapandtearum ordered his prisoners to move
on. They obeyed meekly, both terribly alarmed
by this time, their new owner leaping by the side,
and the rest of the herd closely following, com-
plaining loudly of his selfishness.
They had a longish walk before they arrived
in front of a large tree, with widely spreading
branches and thick foliage, where he halted.
cA Herd of Clumpers.
Up with them," he ordered; and one of the
Clumpers obeyed by sitting down-his legs being
too limp to stand on-and first taking hold of Angel
in his long arms and placing her on a branch, and
then lifting Molly up in the same manner.
The twins were used to climbing trees, so they
would not have minded this much if there had been
any way of getting down ; but there were no
branches anywhere near the ground, and being so
much smaller than they used to be, the distance
appeared to them very great.
How do you feel now, my dears ?" laughed
Snapandtearum, "You will both remain there till
you are fat, and so you had better make haste about
it if you want to leave your prison."
But we don't want to leave it to be eaten by
you," called down Angel, "so you may be sure we
shall not hurry ourselves."
"Ha ha ha those are idle threats, you will
soon get tired of being up there, especially with
such an agreeable companion as the Ganks' girl;
well, I am off!-I will send you some food," and
he went leaping away, followed by the whole herd
of Clumpers, who were soon hidden from view by
the clouds of dust they kicked up.
Now, Angel, I suppose you are satisfied,"
snorted Molly, a nice fix you have got me into."
"I don't know about that, Molly, you offered
to come with me, so it is no more my fault than
cA Story of Stops.
yours; and if you remember it was you who sug-
gested that we should come this way."
"We shall catch our deaths of cold, that is
one thing," grunted Molly.
I don't think we shall, it is quite warm now,
and this tree is so thick that we shan't get wet
even if it rains; and just think how much worse it
would have been in the dungeons," said Angel,
Molly only snorted.
THE LEAF-GOBLIN AND SOME FRIENDS OF HIS.
]rf then what the twins took to be a large
leaf fluttered down from one of the top branches
on to the one where they were sitting, and rather
surprised them by say, in a rustling voice, Hullo !
how did you get up here?" and they now perceived
it to be an amusing little man, dressed in green,
with a leaf-shaped face. The features, being formed
by the veins of the leaf, were a little faint and in-
distinct, that is to say with the exception of the
eyes, which were large and keen. His hands and
feet were also formed like leaves, and in one of the
former he carried a kind of sceptre.
"The Clumpers put us up here to fatten,"
Angel explained, trying to hide her astonishment.
"The Clumpers !" whistled the little thing,
"that is a bad look out for you; I would not get
into their hands for something. It is like their
cheek too, putting you up here-I shall have to
cA Story of Stops.
"Why?" demanded Angel.
"Why?" he echoed, "because I will not have
my premises turned into their larder. The other
day I found they had actually stowed a basket of eels
up here-to fatten too, I suppose-but I paid them
out for that though," he finished triumphantly.
What did you do ?" she asked, eagerly.
I and my subjects ate them ourselves," he
answered, smiling at the remembrance. "Snapand-
tearum came the next day to fetch them, and you
never saw such a fuss as he made when he could
not find them, but he never guessed who had taken
them. The amusing part was, that they never
belonged to him at all, but to another Clumper
called Scratchumandbiteum, who came up just as
Snapandtearum was looking for them, and naturally
imagined that he was the thief; and in spite of his
assurances to the contrary, gave him such a talking
to that old Snapandtearum had to apologise and
promise not to do it again; he also had to supply
him with another basket full, which I can tell you
went very much to his heart."
Angel laughed merrily at this story, and then
said, "This tree belongs to you I suppose?"
"Yes, of course it does ; I am the Leaf-Goblin,
"I don't see any of your subjects," she said.
"Oh! they are all hard at work-you can hear
The Leaf- Goblin and some Frzends of his. 63
Angel listened, and discovered that what she
had been taking for the rustling of the leaves, were
"What is their work?" Molly condescended
to ask at length.
"Turning over new leaves," responded Frillo-
"Well, you must know that though they are
all very well meaning they have a great many faults,
and I try to cure them by making them turn over
new leaves; but though they spend most of the
day in doing so, they never seem to come upon a
good one, and when night arrives and I review
them I find them as bad as ever; the consequence
being that they have to spend the next day in the
same manner. They will have to go on doing it till
I see that they really have turned over a new leaf
that is quite without a spot upon it. If they don't
take care Autumn will be here before they have
succeeded, and their chance will be gone for ever.
They have just begun now, but our lives are short
and merry, and only last from Spring to Autumn."
Then I suppose it is Spring here now," said
Angel, it is very odd though, because it was Win-
ter when we left home."
You must have come from the North Pole
then, I can't account for it in any other way,"
cA Story of Stops.
No, we didn't-but tell me, don't you ever
turn over a new leaf ?" questioned she.
I I should think not, I don't require to do
so-I have no faults," he answered a little sharply,
but I should think the sooner the Gank you have
with you begins the better."
"She is not a Gank-she is my twin sister,"
said Angel, impatiently; she was getting tired of
having to explain this to everyone they met.
"I beg your pardon, I am sure, for my mistake,"
apologized the Leaf-Goblin, looking slightly con-
fused, "but is it possible that she is not one, the
likeness is striking."
I hope I don't intrude," said a voice at that
moment ; and the twins looking round, slightly
startled, saw a very curious person walking down
one of the branches. He had a long insect-like
body, with four wings attached, and a very dis-
Frillogreen seemed annoyed at this intrusion,
and did not answer, and the new comer continued,
"Strangers, I perceive, introduce me, Frillogreen."
Rather unwillingly he did so, saying, This is
Gossipee," and in a lower voice, "the greatest busy-
Gossipee bowed and then seated himself by the
side of the Leaf-Goblin, remarking, "Have you
heard the news ? and he looked at them all to see
if they were excited.
The Leaf- Goblzn and some Friends of his. 65
Frillogreen did not appear in the least inter-
ested, probably being used to Gossipee's ways, but
Angel, feeling rather curious, said, "No what is it?"
Then you really haven't heard it, and I shall
be the first to tell you; well! well!" and in a
whisper, "Whiskers has disappeared, and there is
every reason to believe that he has been crushed to
death by a Clumper! What do you think of that?"
and he paused with a sigh of satisfaction.
"I don't believe it," rustled the Leaf-Goblin.
Who is Whiskers ?" asked Molly.
He is a goblin that lives in my neighbour-
hood ; I always told him he would come to a bad
Is it really true ?" she said, a fellow-feeling
for a victim of the Clumpers prompting the question.
"Yes, there is no doubt about it," responded
Gossipee, "in fact I saw him running for his life
myself, with three Clumpers at his heels. I also
heard him shriek for help."
Frillogreen still looked incredulous, and said,
"Why didn't you go to the rescue ? "
Gossipee took no notice of this question, and
went on as if he had not heard it, "There is a
rumour that his body has been found and is being
carried to my house."
"Whose body ?" asked a fresh voice, as a tiny
little brown creature, with pale pink wings and large
red eyes, flew down beside Gossipee, who looked
CA Story of Stops.
very much discomposed, while Frillogreen laughed
in his little rustling way, saying, "Your body to be
sure--at least, so Gossipee says."
"My body ?"
"Yes, Whiskers; he says you are being carried
to his house now, after having been crushed to
death by three Clumpers, who he saw chasing you.
Hearing your dying groans, he rushed off here in
his usual manner with the news."
Whiskers laughed too ; and Gossipee, looking
still more discomposed, rose, saying he must go as
he was going to call on the Brown Spider. He
then crept off up the trunk of the tree, only stopping
at a cleft between two branches to say in an audible
voice, "Are you in, Hornet? I have no time to
stop to-day as I am going to tea with the Brown
Spider, but as I was passing I thought I would just
look in to tell you such a piece of news."
Here he paused, and the Hornet buzzed some-
thing that the twins and the two goblins could not
Frillogreen has the two Ganks staying with
him, both as ugly and cross as ever," and after
delivering himself of this wonderful intelligence,
Gossipee continued his journey up the tree, and was
soon out of sight.
A sudden exclamation from Frillogreen, calling
their attention to the arrival of a Clumper, prevented
The Leaf- Goblin and some Friends of his. 67
Molly and Angel from saying anything in contra-
diction of this false statement.
Sure enough, just at the foot of the tree, stood,
or rather leapt, Snapandtearum, with two fat ducks
tied to his waving legs.
The Leaf-Goblin and his friend Whiskers had
disappeared behind a leaf at the first sign of his
approach, and were peering timidly over the top;
though they were so small that if they had not
taken this precaution, they would without doubt
have escaped notice.
Here is your dinner," squeaked the Clumper,
tossing the ducks up into one of the branches. "It
is all ready cooked, so mind you eat it. There is
no need to give the Ganks' girl any, as I shall not
have the pleasure of tasting her-not that she will
be much loss," then without another word Snapand-
Hardly had he done so when two other
Clumpers arrived, one with a side of bacon on his
back and the other with a huge barrel of sugar.
"Here you are, Gank," one of them called out,
as they placed the provisions in the tree, "you are
to eat every atom yourself, and take care that your
companion does not rob you of any. We don't
want to help Snapandtearum in fattening her. Mind
you take plenty of sugar." With this advice they,
too, departed, and Frillogreen and Whiskers ven-
tured out from their hiding place.
68 cA Story of Stops.
"I am very glad they have brought us some-
thing to eat," said Angel, for though I don't want
to get fat, I am awfully hungry; I should think you
must be too, Molly ?"
Starving !" grumbled Molly.
So am I," said Frillogreen, eagerly.
"I have not tasted food for an hour," mur-
In that case you had better share the ducks
with us," said Angel, good-naturedly, "it will be a
kind of pic-nic."
The curious quartette enjoyed their meal im-
mensely, and they came to the conclusion that if
the Clumpers were nothing else, they were very
Dear me !" remarked the Leaf-Goblin, re-
flectively, "if this occurs often I shall not object to
their using my tree as their larder-though I fear,"
he added, with a sigh, I shall not get the chance
of a bite off either of you."
"I should hope not," Angel cried, indignantly.
I wonder how they will do you, I should like
to see their receipt," continued Frillogreen, "I sup-
pose they will roast you-or do you think they will
fry you ?"
The twins did not quite relish this style of
conversation, and Molly said, Roast us indeed, of
course not, or fry us either--do you think I would
submit to it ?"
The Leaf- Goblin and some Friends of his. 69
The Leaf-Goblin looked surprised, and said,
"Well, perhaps not; and yet I don't think you
would be nice boiled; now what do you say to
being pulled and grilled ?"
"I wish you would not talk like that," entreated
Angel, nearly crying; "don't you think there is any
way for us to escape before the Clumpers have a
chance of cooking us ? "
He thought for a little and then shook his head.
"Yes there is," said Whiskers, suddenly, "there
are the Rope-Goblins. To be sure they are not
very amiable, but then they hate the Clumpers, and
would do anything to spite them."
That is true," rustled Frillogreen.
"I will go and ask them," Whiskers said, and
off he flew.
THE ROPE-GOBLINS AID THE TWINS TO ESCAPE.
"-0 (O you think they really will help us ?" en-
quired Angel, of Frillogreen, as Whiskers departed.
"There is no knowing," was the answer. "What
will you do with the bacon and the sugar? I sup-
pose you will hardly take it with you ? "
Angel laughed, saying, "I should think you had
better keep it. What do you think Molly-it
belongs to you ?"
"I don't want it," she replied, ungraciously.
"That is all right then," said the Leaf-Goblin,
quickly, I love sugar."
"Where do the Rope-Goblins live ?" asked
"In the belfry," was the answer, "it is not very
far off-why, here they are Whiskers must have
The children looked eagerly in the direction
where Frillogreen was pointing, and saw on the
next tree two ugly little forms, with the largest ears
The q~ope- Goblins aid the Twins to escape. 71
that ever were seen, following Whiskers who was
flying lightly in front of them. They were not
flying however, but were walking on a long rope,
which they threw very cleverly from one branch to
another. Whether they were walking along it, or up
it, seemed to make no difference to them, clinging on
securely as they did, with hands and feet and noses-
these latter were very much hooked at the ends, so
answered the purpose well.
In another minute or two they arrived on the
branch where the twins were sitting, and there halted.
"Where are they? Where are they?" de-
manded one. "We have no pity for them, but
anything to spite the Clumpers. Ah Frillogreen,
wasting your time as usual I see, I wonder when
you are going to turn over a new leaf."
The Leaf-Goblin, looking very much displeased,
pointed to Molly and Angel, and said, These are
the two young ladies that require your aid to escape
"Why, I declare if one of them is not a Gank,"
cried one of the Rope-Goblins.
No, I'm not," snorted Molly.
"Aren't you, indeed?" he laughed, harshly;
"I never said you were; I said one of you were,
but if the cap fits, pray wear it."
"What cap?" asked Molly, crossly.
"The Ganks' cap of course," replied the Rope-
Goblin, yelling with laughter this time.
c4 Story of Stops.
Molly put her hand up to her head rather
doubtfully, being by no means sure that there might
not be a cap like the Ganks' there, and she was
greatly relieved to find this was not the case.
Come along, we can't be wasting our time,"
said the first Rope-Goblin, who was called Ringo,
"if you want to escape you must do so now at once."
How ?" asked Angel.
Catch hold of this rope and let yourself down
like this," he answered, running down lightly him-
self to show the way, gracefully holding his little
striped skirt in both hands to prevent himself from
tripping. She prepared to do the same, after saying
good-bye to Frillogreen and Whiskers-both who
were half buried already in the barrel of sugar-
by cautiously taking hold of the rope, which she
slid down, arriving safely at the bottom, where she
was soon joined by Molly and and the other Rope-
Goblin, Dingo by name.
"This way," said Ringo. "Hallo there is
Snapandtearum coming this way, we shall have to
make a run for it, before he sees us."
The children were awfully frightened, and
hastened after the Rope-Goblins, but not before
Snapandtearum had caught sight of them, and with
a squeak of dismay had turned in pursuit.
He was rather impeded in his leaping by a huge
sack of potatoes that he had been bringing for
Angel's benefit, and that even now he would not
The Rtope-Goblins aid the Twins to escape. 73
put down, knowing that another Clumper was fol-
lowing in his footsteps-or more correctly speaking,
hand-steps, and would of course make off with it if
he left it for a moment.
It was lucky for Molly and Angel that this was
the case, for otherwise they would have had no
chance; even as it was they had to exert themselves
to the utmost of their power.
A few minutes' hard running brought them to
the foot of a tower that had evidently once been a
part of a church, which had now fallen into ruins, and
was overgrown with ivy and roses.
In the belfry of this tower dwelt the Rope-
Goblins, who with great speed ran up their ropes,
clinging on by their noses.
You will have to go up the steps," shouted
Ringo, "you are much too cumbersome for the
ropes ; make haste for you haven't a minute to lose."
The twins darted through the narrow door-way
pointed out to them, and which formed the entrance
to the steps leading to the belfry, and arrived at the
top a few seconds after their conductors.
Snapandtearum came to the foot of the tower
almost directly after, but was unable to squeeze
through the narrow doorway on account of the sack
of potatoes that he was clinging to like grim death.
Even now he would not leave it, but sat down just
outside, hugging it in his long arms, awaiting his
~_ ~__~ ~_~____
eA Story of Stops.
What a noise there was in the belfry : all the
bells were pealing loudly; this was caused by
dozens of goblins running up and down the ropes.
One thick one was stretched right across from one
side to the other, to which six or seven bells were
attached; and this was the place were Ringo and
Dingo took up their position, causing the bells on it
to ring noisily. At this, all the other goblins slid
down the ropes like lightning, their bells stopping
at the same instant.
For the first time they observed Molly and
Angel, and great was their excitement over them.
Prisoners prisoners !" they shouted as loud
as they could, dancing round them and clapping
"No we are not," screamed Molly, trying to
make herself heard above the din.
"Yes you are!" contradicted Dingo, "you are
our prisoners, and if I wasn't afraid of the Clumpers
forcing their way up here, and if I hadn't a particular
dislike to the sight of a Gank I should never let
Snapandtearum's voice from below here broke
in, saying, "I shall be up by-and-bye, when I can
leave my potatoes in safety, but that greedy Catch-
umandkeepum is skulking about somewhere, and
would steal them before I could look round if I
took my eye off them for a second."
The Roope- Goblins aid the Twins to escape. 75
Show your ugly head up here if you dare,"
screamed Ringo, "and I will tie you up in the
Pooh!" squeaked Snapandtearum, "you have
got my prisoners, and I shall come after them-you
had much better come down," he added, looking
entreatingly towards Angel, "you can't think how
delicious these potatoes are. Scratchumandbiteum
grew them for his own eating, but I was too sharp
for him, and carried them off, thinking they were
just what I wanted to fatten you with."
Angel shook her head, and Ringo and Dingo
ordered the Rope-Goblins back to their work, and
immediately all the bells were going again, the
children being nearly deafened by the sound.
A sudden stop was put to this, however, by a
scream of alarm from Molly, at the sight of Snap-
andtearum advancing up the steps at railway speed.
Either the sight of the twins had been too much
for his feelings, and had induced him to abandon his
usual prudence, or else he fondly imagined that
Catchumandkeepum had given up the idea of secur-
ing the potatoes, for now he had carefully placed
the sack down outside the doorway and was already
half way up.
The Rope-Goblins were no less alarmed than
the twins, and they stopped ringing the bells and
crowded to the top of the steps.
cA Story of Stops.
I do not know what the result would have been
if he had gained the belfry, but just as he had reached
his goal a slight noise behind him made him turn his
head, and he saw Catchumandkeepum stealing off
with his sack. Giving a shrill shriek of rage, he
bounded down backwards-there was not sufficient
room for him to turn-and gave chase.
"Come along, now is our chance !" exclaimed
Angel ; and without staying to say a word to the
Rope-Goblins, they rushed down the steps and fled
for their lives.
Presently they paused to take breath, finding
they were not pursued, and looking round they saw
a most terrific combat going on between the two
Clumpers a few yards off. The potato sack-the
cause of the dispute-they used as a weapon, and
kept flinging it backwards and forwards at each
other. It was a curious sight to see them, as they
were sitting down, fighting with their long arms.
The battle very likely would have ended fatally
for one of them if Snapandtearum had not once
thrown the sack by accident right away to some
distance, where it was seized upon by a third
Clumper who had arrived upon the scene, and who
now made off with the prize.
This effectually put a stop to the fight, as they
both sprang to their hands and leapt off after the
thief, whom they soon caught and flew at with great
fury. He was also saved, however, by another
The 'Rope- Goblins aid the Twins to escape. 77
Clumper running off with the bone of contention;
whereupon all three started up and were after him
in a moment. They had some difficulty in catching
him, as he ran like the wind, but this only added to
their rage, and they began beating him with the
sack, which they tore from him when they at length
came up with him. His screams for help brought
a fifth Clumper up, who, on the pretence of helping
his unfortunate comrade, walked off in his turn
with the sack. This kind of thing went on till
there were about fifty-nine of the herd leaping
after the only one that remained. He had a
better chance of escaping than any of the others
had had, in spite of his solitary position, as there
was such a noise going on, and such a dust, that
he was able to get a good start before it was
observed that he had secured the prize; but it was
only a short-lived triumph after all, for just when
he thought he was a safe enough distance from the
scene of strife to enjoy a meal off the potatoes,
he was seen by Catchumandkeepum, who lost
no time in informing the others, who all crept
quietly up behind him, and then fell upon him in a
body. Angel thought it was all over with him, but
she was mistaken, for just as the sack was taken
from him it gave way and all the contents rolled on
With a shriek of delight the whole herd flung
themselves upon the ground, just like a lot of
Cd Story of Stops.
children scrambling for sweets, each seizing as many
of the potatoes as he could get.
Molly and Angel, thinking it would be wiser to
waste no more time, started once more in search of
The bells in the tower were still ringing, but
the sounds became fainter and fainter, and soon
It was some time before they found the path
they had left, but after taking many wrong turnings,
and having to retrace their steps over and over
again, they at last arrived by the little stream where
they had met with Glitterino, and here they saw
their way stretching before them.
To be sure, the inky footprints were less clear
than they had been, but still they were there, and
the twins had no difficulty in following them.
BATTLE AND MURDER AND THE POOH-GOBLINS.
iL7 r. comma, Molly; I rather wish it
was a full-stop instead," said Angel, as at that mo-
ment they paused in front of one. "Why, how
very large the Ink-Goblins' writing is here-I must
read what they have put," and she did so aloud for
Beware of 'Battle and eMlurder, who is
raging about over the next three paragraphs. He
has never been this way before, and had we known
it when we started we should not have advised you
to come at all."
"We better make haste Angel, look we can go
on now," and so saying the twins hurried along,
overpowered by a feeling of horror that they could
not account for. The Ink-Goblins' warning may
have had something to do with this; or it may have
been the dreary country that now stretched before
them; or it may have been a little of both, but
cA Story of Stops.
whatever it was it gave wings to their feet, and they
sped along more swiftly every moment, their one
idea being to get away from the desolation around
them. This feeling was presently a hundred times
intensified by an awful sight that met their gaze, and
they could only look helplessly at each other, and
wait its dread approach.
They had been frightened enough when they
first saw Snapandtearum, and had then been unable
to move; but this time they were more than fright-
ened, they simply shivered with terror and their
teeth chattered. They would have rather en-
countered a thousand Snapandtearums than this
one Battle and Murder; for he it was rushing
wildly along, like some fearful whirlwind, laying
waste the ground over which he raged.
Not a single flower escaped his fury, but was
unmercifully hacked down, its beautiful head left to
roll in the dust, and its stalk to stand up stiff and
bare ; no bird, no insect was spared that came any-
where near him. All fell victims to his cruel battle-
axe that he held aloft ready to strike.
On, on, he came, his blood-red wings gleaming
in the sunlight. Nearer, and nearer !
Poor children how could they escape, stand-
ing as they were in the very middle of his path ?
He noticed them now, and with a horrible yell
of hate, quickened his pace. Only a few yards lay
between them ; another minute and their heads too
'Battle and eMIurder and the 'Pook- Goblins. 8 I
would lie in the dust like the blossoms that he had
struck down in his deadly course.
They closed their eyes to shut out the sight of
the fearful being, expecting instant death, from
which there seemed no escape.
"Pooh pooh pooh pooh !"
What does it mean; this curious sound and this
sudden pause on the part of Battle and Murder ?
Angel and Molly ventured to open their eyes,
their terror almost immediately giving place to
astonishment at the sight of a number of harmless
little creatures who were standing in a row between
Battle and Murder and themselves. Harmless
certainly to look at, with their egg-shaped bodies,
gentle eyes and pouting mouths, but evidently not
harmless in the sight of Battle and Murder, who
had come to a dead stop in front of them, and had
actually for the moment lowered his murderous
weapon. Not for long though, for raising it again
he dashed at them, exclaiming angrily, Out of my
path, villains !"
The twins, who had in the meantime recovered
from their terror a little, began to tremble again
"Out of my path, do you hear?" and down
came the battle-axe with such force that it must
have squashed flat whichever it had happened to
touch, but they all stepped calmly back, saying,
c/ Story of Stops.
Everyone knows what an irritating effect the
word "pooh" has on an angry person, and Battle
and Murder was no exception to this rule, for he
simply danced with rage, making frantic dashes first
at one and then at another of the bold little Pooh-
Goblins (for that is who they were). He never
managed to hit them in spite of this, for either his
anger blinded him, or else they were too quick for
him and got out of his way, remaining perfectly
calm and collected the whole time, and never saying
anything but pooh "
He presently, finding fury was of no avail,
cooled down and tried to cajole them to let him pass.
If you will," he said, insinuatingly, "I will
not molest you."
"Pooh pooh pooh pooh !" was the only
reply he received, and they never even made an
attempt to move on one side.
After the failure of this offer of peace, a most
furious battle raged between Battle and Murder
and the little army of Pooh-Goblins, the former
springing about in all directions in his vain efforts
to slay them.
Angel could not help admiring their courage
and calmness ; they never lost their tempers, or
retaliated in any way except by saying, "Pooh!
pooh !" and the worse his rage became the cooler
they appeared, their pooh, pooh's going off like
little puffs of smoke, which seemed almost to blind
'Batle and e7fulrder and the Pook- Gob6ins. 83
Battle and Murder, and render him perfectly ob-
livious to the fact that they were driving him back
step by step.
"Pooh! pooh! pooh! pooh! pooh! pooh!"
they went, and another yard was gained.
The twins followed the egg-like army, feeling
a great sense of security in doing so, yet at the
same time very anxious to know what would be the
end of this quaint battle.
"Pooh! pooh! pooh! pooh!" and back he
went another yard or two.
"Leave off, I implore you," he gasped, at last,
to one of them who seemed to be a sort of leader.
Pooh pooh !" was the answer, and the little
army advanced another yard.
"Leave off, and I will spare the Gank that you
seem to have taken under your protection."
I will spare the other one too if you leave off."
I will kill you all unless you stop."
"I will lay waste your lands."
I will imprison you and torture you to death."
I will trample you under foot."
cA Story of Stops.
I will never cease persecuting you if you don't
stop this instant," and Battle and Murder made an-
other dash at the brave little creatures.
Pooh !" and he was still driven back.
I will never kill another bird."
"I will leave the flowers and shrubs untouched."
I will never molest another insect if you will
Pooh !" and still he was driven back.
I'll give up all my evil ways."
I will leave the country for ever."
I will give you all my possessions."
"I will-oh !" and with a shriek of dismay he
fell backwards over a precipice, towards which the
Pooh-Goblins had step by step been driving him.
He disappeared from view in a perfect cloud of
What happened to him the children never
knew, but they hoped-which seemed more than
likely-that he was dashed to pieces by his fall.
"Pooh! pooh! pooh! pooh!" the goblins
said, triumphantly; and they then turned round
and faced Molly and Angel.