Mr. Punch's children's book

Material Information

Mr. Punch's children's book
Lucas, E. V ( Edward Verrall ), 1868-1938
Morgan, Olga
Punch Office ( Publisher )
Bradbury, Agnew & Co. ( Manufacturer )
Place of Publication:
London (10 Bouverie St. E.C.)
"Punch" Office
Bradbury, Agnew & Co.
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
[96] p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Children's stories ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1870
Baldwin -- 1870
Children's poetry
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Imprint also notes printer's location in Tonbridge.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
edited by E.V. Lucas ; illustrated by Olga Morgan.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
024256652 ( ALEPH )
23466062 ( OCLC )
AHN7090 ( NOTIS )


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Bradbury Agnew 6 Co LtdPrintersLondon and Tonbridge

Children wherever you may beAt home abroad across the seaFor your delight it is that weHave made this book



0 o 0oc oS jChildren wherever you may beA Merry Christmas Mr PunchWelcom eMatilda Beacon had three brothers aged sevensix and three and two sisters who were twinsand both fiveTh e Story ofSir Franklin and the Little MotherslTore of what 4Amelia used to thinkSiegfried s WishorA Cure for Mother s Headache

Hands across the SeaWhere allyou see begins with CBelinda and Belinda s ClockTh e Tragedy of the CandlesSpring Birthday BabiesSummer Birthday BabiesAutumn Birthday BabiesIWlinter Birthday BabiesSnowball or PeterkinSThe Story of a great PerplexityWhere all you see begins with PGood y e


If Christmas were a countryThe Cook its Queen would beThe Parcel Postman PremierOr other high degreeAnd fairly proud positionsThough far below the CookWould fall to all who wrote and drewTo make a Children s Book


SIR A94 IiNASI THELI L MOTHERS1BY E V LUCAS O MNCE upon a time there was a very rich gentleman named SirFranklin Ingleside who lived all alone in a beautiful house inBerkeley Square He was so rich that he could not possiblyspend more than a little of his money although he gave great sums awayand had horses and carriages and bought old pictures and new booksHe lived very quietly rode a little drove a little called on old friendschiefly old ladies usually dined alone and afterwards read by the fireAlthough the house was large and full of servants all Sir Franklin s

wants were supplied by his own particular man Pembroke Pembrokewas clean shaven very neat spoke quietly and never grew any olderor seemed ever to have been any younger It was impossible to think ofPembroke as a baby or a boy or a person with an ordinary christian namnelike Thomas or even Matthew One could think of him only as a graveman named Pembroke No one ever saw him smile in Berkeley Squarebut a page boy once came home with the news that he had passedMr Pembroke talking to a man in the street at Islington and heard himlaugh out loud But page boys like inventing impossible storiesPembroke lived in a little room communicating by bells with all therooms which Sir Franklin used so that whenever the bell rang Pembrokeknew exactly where his master was Pembroke did not seem to have anylife but his master s and the one thing about which he was alwaysthinking was how to know beforehand exactly what his master wantedPembroke became so clever at this that he would often after being rungfor enter the room carrying the very thing that Sir Franklin was going torequest him to getSir Franklin once asked him how he did it and Pembroke said thathe did not know but part of the secret was explained that very year quiteby chance It was like this In the autumn Sir Franklin and Pembrokealways went to Scotland to another house which Sir Franklin had thereand that year when they were in Scotland the Berkeley Square house wasdone up and all the old pull bells were taken away and new electric oneswere put in instead When Sir Franklin came back again he noticed thatPembroke was not nearly so clever in anticipating needs as he had beenbefore and when he asked him about it Pembroke said My opinionSir is that it s all along of the bells The new bells which you press ringthe same however you press them and startle a body too whereas the oldbells which you used to pull Sir told me what you wanted by the way youpulled them and never startled one at allSo Sir Franklin and Pembroke went to Paris for a week while thenew press bells were taken away and the old pull bells put back again andthen Pembroke became again just as clever as before But that wasof course only part of the secret

i i IIil lII It was at a quarter to nine on the evening of December the I8th 1904that Sir Franklin who was sitting by the fire reading and thinkingsuddenly got up and rang the bellPembroke came in at once and said I m sorry you re troubled inyour mind Sir Perhaps I can be of some assistanceI m afraid not said Sir Franklin But do you know what daythis isWe are nearing the end of December I8th said PembrokeYes said Sir Franklin and what is a week to dayA week to day Sir said Pembroke is Christmas DayAnd what about children who won t get any presents this ChristmasSir Franklin askedAh indeed Sir said PembrokeC

And what about people in trouble Pembroke said Sir FranklinAh indeed Sir said PembrokeAnd that reminds me Pembroke added after a pause that I wasgoing to speak to you about the cook s brother in law Sir a worthy manSir but in difficultiesSir Franklin asked for particularsHe keeps a toy shop Sir in London and he can t make it payHe s tried and tried but there s no money in toys in his neighbourhoodexcept for penny toys on which the margin of profit is I am told Sirvery smallSir Franklin poked the fire and looked into it for a little whileThen It seems to me Pembroke he said that the cook s brother inlaw s difficulties and the little matter of the children can be solved in thesame action Why shouldn t we take over the toy shop and let thechildren into it on Christmas Eve to choose what they willPembroke stroked his chin for a moment and then said The verything SirWhere does the cook s brother in law live Sir Franklin askedPembroke gave the addressThen if you ll call a hansom Pembroke we ll drive there at once

a ll q IIII It does not matter at all about the visit which Sir Franklin Inglesideand Pembroke paid to the cook s brother in law All that need be saidis that the cook s brother in law was quite willing to sell Sir Franklin hisstock in trade and to make the shop over to him and Sir FranklinIngleside rode back to Berkeley Square not only a gentleman who hadhorses and carriages and who bought old pictures and new books butperhaps the first gentleman in Berkeley Square to have a toy shop tooOn the way back he talked to Pembroke about his plansThere s a kind of child Pembroke said Sir Franklin that Iparticularly want to encourage and reward It is clear that we can tgive presents to all and I don t want the greedy ones and the strongestones to be as fortunate as the modest ones and the weak ones So myplan is first of all to make sure that the kind of child that I have in mindis properly looked after and then to give the others what remains Andthe particular children I mean are the little girls who take care of theiryounger brothers and sisters while their parents are busy and who go tothe shops and stalls and do the marketing Whenever I see one I alwaysC 2

say to myself There goes a Little Mother and it is the Little Motherswhom this Christmas we must particularly helpNow what you must do Pembroke during the next few days is tomake a list of the streets in every direction within a quarter of a mile ofthe toy shop and then find out from the school mistresses and thebutchers and the publicans wives and the grocers and the oil shops andthe greengrocers and the more talkative women on the doorsteps whichare the best Little Mothers in the district and what is the size of theirfamilies and get their names and addresses And then we shall knowwhat to doBy this time the cab had reached Berkeley Square again and SirFranklin returned to his books

Bila 11 1110IV The next few days were the busiest and most perplexing that Pembroke ever spent He was in Clerkenwell where the toy shop wassituated from morning till night He bought all kinds of things that hedid not want cheese and celery mutton chops and beer butter andparaffin just to get on terms with the people who would know about theLittle MothersAlthough naturally rather silent and reserved he talked to butchersand bakers and women on doorsteps and school mistresses and even hotpotato men as if they were the best company in the world and bit by bithe made a list of twenty two Little Mothers of first class merit and fiftyone of second class merit and all their childrenHaving got these down in his book Pembroke was going home on the

evening of the 21st very well pleased with himself on the whole but stillfeeling that Sir Franklin would be disappointed not to have the name ofthe best Little Mother of all when an odd thing happened He hadstopped in a doorway not very far from the toy shop to light his pipewhen he heard a shrill voice saying very decidedly Very well thenWilliam Kitchener Beacon if that s your determination you shall stayhere all night and by and by the rats will come out and bite youPembroke stood still and listenedI don t want to go home a childish voice whimpered I want tolook in the shopsCome home you must and shall said the other Here s Lucytired out and Amy crying and John cold to his very marrer and Tommywith a soreel and father ll want his dinner and mother ll think we reall run over by a motor car and come home you must and shallSounds of a scuffle ensued and then a little procession passed thedoorway First came a sturdy little girl of about ten carrying a hugestring basket filled with heavy things and pulling behind her by the otherhand a small and sulky boy whom Pembroke took to be William KitchenerBeacon Then came the others and lastly Tommy limping with thesore heelPembroke stopped the girl with the bag and asked her if she livedfar away and finding that it was close to the toy shop he said he shouldlike to carry the bag and help the family home He was not allowed tocarry the bag but no objection was raised to his lifting Tommy on hisback and they all went home togetherOn the way he discovered that the Little Mother was named MatildaBeacon and that she lived at 28 Pulvercake Buildings S WShe was nine years old an age when most of you are still runningto your nurses to have this and that done for you But Matildain addition to doing everything for herself very quietly and well had alsoto do most things for her mother who went out charing every day exceptSunday and for her brothers and sisters of whom she had five threebrothers aged seven six and three and two sisters who were twins andboth five Matilda got them up and put them to bed picked them up

when they fell and dried their tears separated them when they quarrelled which was very often bought their food and cooked it and gaveit to them and saw that they did not eat too fast and was in short theabsolute mistress of the very tiny flat where the Beacons livedMr Beacon worked on the line at St Pancras and if he was latehome as he very often was Mrs Beacon was always sure that he hadbeen run over by a passing train and cut into several pieces so that inaddition to all her other work Matilda had also to comfort her motherThe next day when he came again to the toy shop district Pembrokewas delighted to find that by general consent Matilda Beacon was considered to be the best Little Mother in Clerkenwell but who do you thinkcame next in public opinion Not Carrie Tompsett although she hadseveral strong backers and not Lou Miller although she had hersupporters too and was really a very good little thing with an enormousfamily on her hands No it was neither of these Indeed it was not aLittle Mother at all so I don t see how you could have guessed It wasa Little Father It was generally agreed by the butchers and bakersand oilmen and hot potato men and publicans and the women on thedoorsteps that the best Little Mother next to Matilda Beacon was ArtieGillam whose mother had died last year and whose father not havingyet married again had in consequence the whole care of four sisters andtwo brothers on his handsAll these things Pembroke reported to his master and Sir Franklinwas so much interested in hearing about Matilda Beacon that he toldPembroke to arrange so that Mrs Beacon might stay at home one dayand let Matilda come to see him So Matilda put on her best hat andcame down from Clerkenwell to Berkeley Square in a dream and a cab

V When the splendid great door was opened by a tall and handsomefootman she clung to Pembroke as if he were her only friend in theworld as indeed he really seemed to be at that moment in that houseShe had never seen anything so grand before and after all it is ratherstriking for a little girl of nine who has all her life been managinga large family in two small rooms in Clerkenwell to be broughtsuddenly into a mansion in Berkeley Square to speak to a gentleman witha title Not that a gentleman with a title is necessarily any moredreadful than a policeman but Matilda knew several policemen quiteintimately and was therefore no longer afraid of them although she stillfound their terribleness useful when her little brothers and sisters werenaughty I ll fetch a policeman to you she used to say and sometimes actually go down stairs a little way to do so and this always hadthe effect of making them good againSir Franklin was sitting in the library with a tea table by his side setfor two and directly Matilda had dared to shake his hand he told Pembroketo bring the teaMatilda could not take her eyes from the shelves of books which ranall round the room She did not quite know whether it might not be a

book shop and Sir Franklin a grand kind of bookseller and she made anote in her mind to ask Mr PembrokeHer thoughts were brought back by Pembroke bringing in a silvertea pot and silver kettle which he placed over a spirit lamp and thenSir Franklin asked her if she took sugarIf she took sugar What a questionShe said Yes please Sir very nicely and Sir Franklin handed herthe basinWould she have bread and butter or cake he asked nextOr cake What a question againShe said she would like cake and she watched very carefully to seehow Sir Franklin ate his and at first did the same but when after twovery small bites he laid it down and did not pick it up again Matilda verysensibly ceased to copy himWhen they had finished tea and had talked about various things thatdid not matter Sir Franklin asked her suddenly How would you like tokeep shop MatildaMatilda gasped What sort of a shop she asked at lastA toy shop said Sir Franklin0 but I couldn t she saidOnly for one day Sir Franklin addedOne day Her eager eyes glistened But what about Tommyand Willy and the twinsYour mother would stay at home that day and look after themThat could easily be arrangedYou see Sir Franklin went on I want to give all the children inyour street and in several other streets near it a Christmas present and itis thought that the best way is to open a toy shop for the purpose But itis necessary that the toy shop keeper should know most of the childrenand should be a capable woman of business and that is why I ask youThe salary will be a sovereign the hours will be from two to eight withan interval for tea and you shall have Mr Pembroke to help youMatilda did not know how to keep still and yet there was the leastshade of disappointment or at least perplexity on her faceD

Is it all right Sir Franklin asked Ye e es said MatildaNothing you want to sayNo o o said Matilda I don t think soAnd yet it was very clear that something troubled her a littleSir Franklin was so puzzled by it that he went out to consult Pembroke Pembroke explained the matter in a momentI ought to have said Sir Franklin remarked at once on returningthat the shopkeeper although a capable business woman may play atbeing a little girl too if she likes and will find a doll and a work basketfor herself and even sweets too just like the othersMatilda s face at once became nothing but smilesYou will want a foreman Sir Franklin then said Yes saidMatilda who would have said yes to anything by this time Well whowill you haveI don t think Tommy would do said Matilda He s too thoughtless And Willy s too smallHow about Frederick said Sir Franklin ringing the bell twiceMatilda sat still and waited wondering who Frederick wasAfter a moment or two the door opened and a very smart boy all overbuttons came in You can take away the tea things said Sir FranklinThat was Frederick said Sir Franklin when the boy had goneOh said MatildaWould he do for foreman Sir Franklin askedMatilda hesitated She would have preferred some one she knew butshe did not like to say soToo buttony suggested Sir FranklinMatilda agreedThen said Sir Franklin is there anyone you knowI think Artie Gillam said MatildaVery well then said Sir Franklin it shall be Artie Gillam Hiswages will be ten shillingsAnd thus everything was settled and Matilda was sent home withFrederick the page boy the happiest and most responsible Little Motherin London with an armful of good things for the family

VI Meanwhile Sir Franklin had been buying quantities of new toysfor every Little Mother a large doll and a work basket and smaller dollsand other toys for the others together with sweets and oranges and allkinds of other things and everything was ready by the day before Christmas Eve and all the tickets distributedThe tickets were Pembroke s idea because one difficulty about openinga free toy shop in a poor district of London for one day only is that eventhe invited children not having had your opportunities of being brought upnicely and learning good manners are apt to push and struggle to get inout of their turn and perhaps even to try to get in twice while therewould be trouble too from the children who did not belong to the districtPembroke knew this and thought a good deal about the way to manage itso that there should be no crowding or difficulty In the end Sir Franklinengaged a large hall to which all the children were to come withtheir tickets and from this hall they were to visit the shop in littlecompanies of ten make their choice of toys and then go straight homeOf course a certain number of other children would gather round theshop but that could not be helped and perhaps at the close of theafternoon when all the others had been looked after they might be let into choose what was left And in this state were the things the nightbefore Christmas EveD 2

0VII Pembroke managed everything so well that the great day went offwithout a hitch At half past two the Little Mothers with their familiesbegan to arrive and they were sent off to the shop in companies of tenor thereabouts two or three families at once A couple of friendlypolicemen kept the crowd away from the shop so that the childrenhad plenty of time and quiet to choose what they wantedAll the Little Mothers as I have said had each a doll and a workbasket but the younger children might make their choice of two thingseach and take two things for any little brother or sister who could notcome Clerkenwell being full of little boys and girls who are notvery wellWhen they were chosen Artie Gillam wrapped them up and off thechildren went to make room for others

Matilda was a splendid shopkeeper She helped the smaller childrento choose things in a way that might be a real lesson to real keepers oftoy shops who always seem tiredNow then Lizzie Hatchett she said you don t want that jackin the box what s the good of a jack in the box to you if your brother sgot one One s plenty in a family Better have this parasol it lastslonger and is much more usefulHere s a nice woolly lamb for Jenny Rogers s baby brother shecried taking away a monkey on a stick He ll only suck the paint offthat and be deathly illHere Tommy Williams don t bother about those ninepins Here sa clockwork mouse I ve been keeping for you And so on Matilda sbright quick eyes were everywhereOnly one or two uninvited children squeezed in with the others One ofthese was a very determined little rascal who actually got in twice Thefirst time he went away not only with toys of his own but with somethingfor a quite imaginary brother with whooping cough This made him sobold that he hurried away and fought another little boy in the next streetand took away his coat and hat The coat was red and the hat had flapsfor the ears so that they made him look quite different Wearing thesehe managed to join on to the next little party coming from the hall Buthe had forgotten one thing and that was that the little boy whom he hadfought was Artie Gillam s cousin Artie at once recognised both him andthe coat told Mr Pembroke about it Mr Pembroke told one of the policemen and he marched into the shop looking exceedingly fierce and seizedthe interloper by the arm and asked him whose coat he had on At thishe began to cry and said he would never do it again But it was too lateThe policeman took hold of his wrist and marched him out of the shopand through all the other children in the street who followed them in aprocession to the home of Artie s cousin and there he had to give backthe coat Then he was allowed to go because Artie s cousin s father wasout and Artie s cousin s mother who was Artie s aunt was not at allthe kind of woman to thrash little boysSo the time went on until all the children in Pembroke s list had got

their toys and the hall was empty and then the many others who had beenwaiting outside were let in one by one until all the toys were goneand the policemen sent the rest awayNow said Pembroke we must shut the shop So Artie Gillamwent outside and put up the shutters and Matilda put on her jacket andhatThen Pembroke took some money out of his pocket to pay themanager and her foreman their salariesHow will you have it he said to MatildaPlease I don t know what you mean Matilda repliedGold or silver Pembroke explainedMatilda had never seen gold yet except in jewellers windows Hermother s wedding ring was silver 0 gold please she gaspedOne sovereign or two halves Pembroke askedTwo halves Matilda saidPembroke gave them to herArtie Gillam on the other hand wanted his ten shillings in as manycoins as he could have and his pocket was quite heavy with itAnd now said Pembroke I suppose you re going home Becareful of your money on the wayOh no said Matilda I m not going home yet I ve got someshopping to doTo morrow s dinner Pembroke suggestedNo said Matilda mysteriously That s all bought Father wona goose in the Goose ClubThen what are you going to buy Pembroke asked for he wishedto take as long and full a story home to Sir Franklin as might beI m going shopping for myself said Matilda I m going to buysome Christmas presentsMay I come with you Pembroke askedOh yes please I want you to I m only going to spend one of thesehalf sovereigns The other I shall put away But I must buy somethingfor mother and something for father and I want to buy something elsetoo for somebody else

So Pembroke and Matilda and Artie having turned out the gas andlocked up the shop which however now contained nothing whatever butpaper and string and straw walked off to the shopsThey first went into a draper s where Matilda looked at some shawlsand bought a nice thick woollen one for her mother and also apair of grey wool mittens for her father These came to five and sixThen they went to an ironmonger s and bought a cover for a plateto keep things warm which Matilda said was for her father s dinnerbecause he was often late while her mother thought he was being cut inpieces This cost ninepenceThen they went to a tobacconist s and bought a pipe with a silverband on it and two ounces of tobacco These came to one and fourpenceand were also for her fatherThen they went to a china shop and bought a hot water bottle for ashilling That said Matilda is for the old woman next door to uswho nursed mother when she was ill She can t sleep at night becauseher feet are so coldAnd now said Pembroke it s my turn and he took the childreninto a greengrocer s shop and bought a shilling s worth of holly andmistletoe for each of them If you like he said I will carry thishome for youMatilda thanked him very heartily but said that she still had one morepresent she must buy and led the way to a little fancy shop kept by anold maidPlease said Matilda I want a kettle holderThe old lady took out a drawer and laid it on the counter It was fullof kettle holders some made in wool work others in patch work Matildalooked at them very carefully one by one and at last chose one in scarletand bright yellow wool work When it was done up in a neat littlepacket and she had paid for it a shilling she handed it to PembrokeThat she said is a present for the gentleman When I had teawith him I noticed that he hadn t got one and of course every family oughtto have a kettle holder I should have liked to make one for him myselfbut there hasn t been time

VIII Sir Franklin Ingleside did not use the kettle holder He hung it on anail by the fire place and whenever he was asked about it or peoplesmiled at its very striking colours he used to say I value that veryhighly that is the profit that I made out of a toy shop which I once keptI 5

More ofwhat Ameliausedto think

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SIEGFRIED had been naughty very naughtyHe had disobeyed Mother and when she scolded him had onlyblinked his eyes angrily without saying he was sorry not evenat bedtime when she sat beside him and let him play with her long chainAnd the worst of it was he had made her ill He knew that beforeNurse told him soWhenever Mother put her hand several times to her foreheadSiegfried understood that she was in painIt is terrible to give Mother a headacheOf course directly after she had shut the door and he could nolonger hear the swish of her dress on the stairs he wanted to flinghis arms round her neck and ask her to forgive himBut Siegfried had missed his chance Mother had gone to a partyYes that was the carriage driving away from the front door Hecould not mistake the sound of those particular wheelsSo there was nothing to do but to lie staring at the shadows onthe ceiling He wondered what made the shadows He was gladG

he had a fire to see them by It is nice to have things to look awhen you are miserableThere was one funny little shadow which attracted him particularlyIt had a big hooked nose and a big humped backPresently it hopped down from the ceiling and sat by his bed justwhere Mother had satGood evening Siegfried it said It did not look like a shadowany more nowWho are you asked Siegfried forgetting in his surprise to sayGood evening tooHis little visitor merely chuckled Siegfried raised himself from thepillow his mouth wide open a puzzled expression in his eyesI seem to know your face he falteredThe Fairy for such he was smiled from ear to earMy name is Punchichito he explainedSiegfried started Are you any relation of our Mr Punch heinquired eagerlyPunchichito made a profound bow raised his eyeballs and clasped hisshrivelled hands humbly upon his chestAlas only a very distant cousin he answered in reverent tonesand with half a sigh I am informed there is a certain resemblancein our features but never having had the good fortune to fieet thistime honoured gentleman I cannot say if it is trueBut why did you come here to nightBecause you are in trouble of course Punchichito replied brightlyIt s my business to cheer up people in distress I am sorry you areunhappy SiegfriedIt s because I ve beenBut Punchichito stuffed his ears with the frills of his sleevesYou needn t tell me I know all about it he saidSiegfried turned his head to the wall How dreadful that even thefairies should know of his naughtinessWell well what s done can t be undone Punchichito remarkedwith wisdom but children can generally make amends you know makeup for being naughty that is he added comfortingly

Siegfried caught gladly at the idea How can they do thathe askedOh there are different ways they have to find that out for themselvesBut where can they find out0 0 00Punchichito drummed his small finger reflectively upon his bony nose0 0 0 0Co 0 0Fairyland s the best place he said after a pauseOh Punchichito Punchichito can t you take me there thenSiegfried implored I don t know the way indeed I don tPunchichito looked hurriedly at his watch There are several otherG20 0 0f0 0 0o0 0 0 0 0 C0 0 o0 0 0 0 0i0 0cr0o i lo Oo l01ciht rme i salfne elciel pnhsbn oe0 0 sth et lc h ad fe apueCPnhcio unhcio a o tk eteete0igre mlrd Idntknc h a ide o00 ciht okdhriel thswth hr r eea te0 0

people waiting to be cheered up he answered but if you are veryquick I think I might manage itSiegfried seized the horn which always hung on his bedpost andslung it round his neck in a triceI m ready he declared bounding on to the floorOutside the nursery window Punchichito s motor cloud stood waitingSiegfried could trace its white shape against the black sky The Fairyskipped on to the box seat and drew the excited boy after himAway skimmed the cloud noiselessly through the darkness It glidedover trees and roofs and twisted in and out of branches and chimney potswithout a single collision Punchichito was a skilled chauffeurWhat length of time the journey occupied it was impossible tocalculate but after a while a rising sun showed them the golden riverwhich runs round FairylandQuick your horn Siegfried to let them know we re comingPunchichito directedThe boy stood up and blew a loud blast and as the cloud slid softlyacross the briar hedge which guarded this world of wonder from unlawfulintruders there sprang from every tree a small green elfPunchichito pulled up sharplyThe Fairy Foresters he announced by way of introduction thenturning to the elves My friends here is an Earth child you knowhis needs do your best for him he commandedThe tiny green creatures sweeping their caps to the ground inspeechless response looked like a sea of grass with a sudden wind in itThe eldest of them who had a white beard which reached his pointedshoes broke the silenceFollow us Earth child he said with brief solemnitySiegfried leapt off the cloud and fell nimbly into the procession thathad already begun to hasten through the sylvan glades of FairylandDelighted with the novelty of his surroundings the very air teemingwith magic each tree the home of a fairy Siegfried for the momentforgot his troubles and pelted Punchichito with the hundred questionsan Earth child would naturally ask

But before Punchichito could finish answering the procession called ahalt in front of a little house built in a large oak The house had onlyone window WISHING HOUSE was written over the doorWhat does that mean Siegfried demanded deeply interestedThat every Earth child who comes to Fairyland is granted a singlewish Punchichito replied promptly

Take your seats for the Earth child s wishing take your seatsplease squeaked at this point the eldest elf At his word all the otherelves threw themselves obediently upon the sward while Punchichitoconducted Siegfried to a moss covered stump in the first row ofspectatorsImmediately the white curtain in the window of Wishing Housebegan to quiver and a picture of toy soldiers gleamed upon it WishNumber One was marked underneath themOh Punchichito Punchichito what splendid soldiers Can I wishfor them Siegfried criedDon t decide in a hurry you may see something you like betteradvised his friend there are always three wishes to choose fromAs a matter of fact the toy soldiers had already disappeared theirplace being filled by a pony the picture of one a lovely thing with ashaggy mane and sweet rough legsSiegfried clapped his hands wildlyOh Punchichito Punchichito you were right quite right Iwant a pony even more than soldiers I ve wanted one for ages andages Do let me choose this wish please do do let me he beggedBut Punchichito still cautioned him to waitEarth children often make mistakes through over haste he assuredhim you might be sorry for it afterwardsHardly had the syllables left his lips before Wish Number Threemoved into the window This time it was a picture of a scent bottlelabelled in large letters Mother s Headache CurePunchichito nudged Siegfried s armDon t forget you wanted to make up for being naughty hewhisperedSiegfried grew hot all over He understood now why Punchichito hadtold him to be patient If he wished for the scent bottle instead of theother things he would have something to take away Mother s headacheThis was his opportunity to make amends as Punchichito hadcalled itBut oh the difficulties of deciding Nor might he delay it seemed

for the eldest elf had just appeared in the doorway to proclaim that therewould be ten minutes only for the Earth child s choiceTake a stroll by the river before you settle Punchichito suggestedThe boy followed his counsel Surely here by the quiet waterwith nothing to distract him the decision would be easyBut to his amazement the whole forest seemed immediately bristlingwith toy soldiers in the most approved uniforms Every glade seemedalive with shaggy ponies which tossed their manes and whinniedconversationally while not a fairy of any kind came to tempt himwith scent bottles for the curing of headachesIt was a perplexing momentIf you might only have two wishes Yet the allowance was onea single wish Punchichito had said and ten minutes pass quicklywhen you don t want them toSiegfried next tried the effect of scampering up and down the river

bank But now the ponies appeared to run races beside him and thetoy soldiers to march at the double to keep pace with himAnd presently was ever Earth child so bewildered between what heought and what he wanted to do presently one of the ponies readysaddled and bridled frolicked up to Siegfried s side and pushed his coolblack muzzle into Siegfried s handDo you like adventures he whispered in pony languageSiegfried nodded his eyes sparklingMount me then Don t you think it s a lovely morningYes butFairyland is perfect to ride in and as for adventuresBefore the coaxer could finish Siegfried s foot was in the stirrup andhe was about to throw his leg across the saddle when something he couldnot tell what tugged at his clothesHe was on the ground again in a triceNo no no I mustn t I know I mustn t he moaned in despairlooking away from the pony s persuasive gaze And yet he addedwistfully as he peeped round hastily once more you re the loveliest ponyI ever saw I want to hug you andAt this point Punchichito s hump stood out against the sky line atthe top of the green slopeWell he called out cheerfully while the pony was lost to sight inthe brushwood of course you ve chosen the scent bottleSiegfried hung his head and said nothing Had Punchichito seenhim trying to mount the pony he wondered uneasilyAll children are not so lucky as to be able to take away the headaches they give their mothers Punchichito continued as he pluckeddaintily at some blades of grassFor one second longer only one second Siegfried still hesitatedbefore he answered stoutly Of course Punchichito of course I shallchoose the scent bottleUpon this the entire world of fairy birds burst into song thetrees waved their great arms joyously the golden ripples uponthe river swelled into waves and as Siegfried returned to the

Wishing House the vast company of elves rose in a body to greethimWell chosen Earth child well chosen they exclaimed in ashrill chorus of approval your name shall be carved upon thisoak for all other Earth children to read Well chosen Earth childwell chosenThe eldest elf now summoned him to his side He held a beautifulI 7cut glass scent bottle tied with blue ribbons in his hand a real scentbottle not merely a picture of oneTake this Earth child he said earnestly the perfume is madefrom the flowers of Fairyland and is better than any Earth doctor smedicines to cure Earth mothers headachesPunchichito then signalled to the other elves who rushed forwardin a mass and carried Siegfried triumphantly on their shoulders back tothe drawbridge where the motor cloud hovered impatientlyThe child s worries were all over by this time His eyes shone like themedicines to cure Earth mothers headachesPunchichito then signalled to the other elves who rushed forwardin a mass and carried Siegfried triumphantly on their shoulders back tothe drawbridge where the motor cloud hovered impatientlyThe child s worries were all over by this time His eyes shone like the

dawn The early breeze blew deliciously in his curls like the tickling offairy feathers No happier person indeed ever stepped on a motor cloudand when a little later he and Punchichito returned to the nursery windowthey hurried on tip toe to Mother s room Strange to say it was still nighton Earth but a ray of moonlight through the blind guided themHow pretty Mother looked under her blue coverlet but oh how tiredtoo Siegfried s conscience pricked him uncomfortablyShe ll soon be better Punchichito prophesied however guessinghis thoughtsThey put the pretty scent bottle close beside her so that she shouldsee it directly she wokeI must be off now the Fairy declared suddenly after he had tuckedthe little boy up again and without waiting for a word of thanks hevanished as swiftly as he had appearedThe next morning Siegfried rushed into his Mother s roomI m so so sorry for being naughty yesterday Mummie darling andplease how is your headache he said in one breathMother opened her drowsy eyesI am glad you are sorry Siegfried she replied gently and myheadache is quite well thank youSiegfried could have danced for pleasureI ve had such a funny dream about your next birthday Motherwent on And what do you think your presents wereSiegfried could not guessA pony and some new soldiers Mother answered mysteriouslyALEXANDRA CHRISTIAN


HANDS ACROSS THE SEAEre Christmas can be every thingThat Christmas ought to beThe fullest kind of joy to bringTo you and also meIn every country of the earthGood folk must work for all they re worthHow many nations toiled to makeThe Dinner who can sayOne does not want one s head to acheToo much on Christmas DayBut think about it as you waitFor Caroline to fill your plateJust take the Pudding Ere it comesOur appetites to sealDark Greeks have had to find the plumsItalians the peelThe flour is from Canadian fieldsWhile Demerara sugar yieldsAgain brave sailors must pursueAnd Kill a mighty whaleIn peril lest he dash in twoTheir vessel with his tallBefore the Christmas tree s small flamesCan shine upon our merry gamesIt is an interesting thoughtThis toiling far and nearIn every land some labour wroughtTo make our Christmas cheerAnd steamers crossing every seaTo bring good things for you and me


At SevenBelinda used to wake upwhen everyone else wasr istill asleep andOwl dW play with herpet toys

Until Eightwhen Nurse dressed her and 0she had to stand quite still orelse she was putstraight back tobed again

At Ninethey had breakfast generallyporridge with a very thinlayer of brown sugar ontop and the Clock lookeddown and wanted somevery badly

At TenNurse took Belinda out for awalk and if she was verygood she was allowed tostop and look in atthe shop windowso MO

At Eleventhey came back and thenBelinda s goverress cameand stayed

Until Onewhen they had lunch inthe nurseryroast mutton and appleO0 Mtart very often1 2

At TwoBelinda went to herdancing lessonand that was funand then1 1 0

At FourMother fetched her fromthere andtook her to paycallso rI

Until FiveWhen she came back andS played in thenurseryO M

Until Sixand that was the time togo down to thedrawing room in a veryclean pinaforeand then0 M

At Sevenshe came up to the nurseryand had her face andhands washed togo down todessertScr

At Eightand she was only allowedto have one French plumthough there were orangesand a lovely pine appleo and chocolates and grapeson the table besides

At NineMother used to tell Belindato say Good Nightnicely and run upto bed

WhichshedidK 2

THE TRAGEDY OF THE CANDLESA TRUE STORYA little Esquimaux once cameTo share an English homeBrought by an Arctic travellerAcross the frozen foamOn Christmas Eve they dressed a treeAs every home should doWith toys and snow and glittering thingsAnd candles red and blueThe room was shut till Christmas DayWhen after dinner timeAll were to dance around the treeThat spectacle sublimeBut ah when Father hurried inThe little wicks to lightIn vain the taper in his handNo candle met his sightHi there he cries what joke is thisThe candles where are theyAnd all who helped to dress the treeStood speechless with dismayThe candles There were forty eightFour dozen Mother saidAnd not a single one is leftA beam of light to shedThen spaKe the little EsquimauxMe sorry what me doneMe very hungry in the nightMe ate them every one





SSNOWBALLSORSfPETERKINSBYS t THOMAS COBBO MTHERE was once a little girl named Nancy Vaile who had a greatfriend named Peterkin a tabby cat with green eyes He was avery ordinary cat and nobody had ever said he was pretty butNancy could not have liked him better however pretty he had beennor could she have liked Tiger much lessTiger was a white terrier who belonged to the Thomsons at thebottom of the road and often ran after Peterkin and tried to bite himNow one morning in September just after Nancy had come back fromher father s country house at Seabourne the cook called her into thekitchenMiss Nancy she cried just come and see what that beautifulcat of yours has done

Going into the kitchen Nancy saw a dish of cutlets on the tableand just outside the window in the back yard Peterkin was picking thebone of one which he had stolenI ll teach you said the cook and seizing a pail of soapywater she flung its contents through the open window half drowningPeterkin who fled over the wall0 cook how could you be so cruel exclaimed Nancy andwhen she came home from her walk and was ready for dinner athalf past one she looked under the tableWhere s Peterkin she asked for he always came to the diningroom at dinner timeI m sure I don t know answered Sarah I don t rememberseeing him all the morningCook tells me Peterkin has been misbehaving himself saidMrs VaileShe threw a pail of water over him cried Nancy and he ranaway and perhaps he will never come back againShe looked out at the window for Peterkin the most of that afternoonbut bedtime came without any sign of himHas Peterkin come home yet was her first question when hernurse brought some hot water the next morningNo Miss Nancy he isn t downstairs was the answer andalthough Nancy looked out for him almost all day bedtime came againwithout her seeing himOn Monday morning she was sitting with Mrs Vaile in the nurseryfeeling very lonely without Peterkin when Sarah entered the roomWhen I was out last night she said I met the Thomsonshousemaid And that horrid dog of theirs has killed our PeterkinO oh cried Nancy drawing down her lip and then sheburied her face in her mother s lap and began to cryAt least continued Sarah it was the policeman who reallykilled Peterkin Tiger ran after him and caught him and bit him socruelly that the policeman struck him over the head with his truncheonto put him out of pain

Is the Thomsons housemaid certain it was our cat askedMrs VaileOh yes m m answered Sarah though she didn t see it but itIMMwas a tabby cat and as Peterkin was wandering about the neighbourhoodwhat other could it have beenWell Nancy said her mother if I were you I shouldn t fret

because it may not have been Peterkin after all and perhaps someday he will come back againBut it was quite useless to tell Nancy not to fret because she feltcertain it must have been Peterkin who was killed and she seemedso unhappy about him during the following week that her fatherpromised that she should have another pet in place of the one she hadlostWhen can I have it asked NancyAs I was walking along Oxford Street this afternoon saidMr Vaile I saw a man with three small woolly dogs for sale Hewore a loose overcoat and had one black dog in each side pocket and awhite one inside his waistcoat If you ask Nurse to get you ready atthree o clock to morrow we will see whether we can buy one of themWhich one demanded NancyWhen you see them you can take your choice was the answerWhen the next afternoon came Nurse put on Nancy s best hat andjacket and then went to the front door and blew a whistle for a hansomNancy always liked riding in a hansom with her father and all theway to Oxford Circus she talked about the man with the three dogshoping he would be there and wondering which dog she should haveI should really like a white dog best she said only he wouldso soon get dirty you seeAfter all answered Mr Vaile he could easily be washedThere s the man cried Nancy as the hansom stopped justbehind an omnibus How funny the dogs look with their heads outof his pocketsWhile Mr Vaile spoke to him Nancy capered about the crowdedpavement with delight and then he took a black woolly dog from onepocket and held it in his left hand and in the right he held the whitedog which was equally woolly and even prettierWhat is his name asked NancySnowball said the manThen please I should like to have Snowball cried Nancyand her father gave the man some money and took the white dog in

exchange Nancy nursed Snowball all the way home and when theyreached the house she ran upstairs to the drawing room to show thenew pet to Mrs VaileShe soon grew very fond of him and tied a piece of blue ribbon roundhis neck with a bell because the cook said she was a heavy woman andknew she should tread upon him as he was always getting in the way

I fancy said Mr Vaile a few afternoons later while Nancy wasteaching Snowball to beg that Peterkin is almost forgottenNancy looked up quickly into his face Oh no she cried Ishall never never never forget poor PeterkinBut asked her mother don t you like a dog better than a catI couldn t like anything better than Peterkin said Nancy thoughI do like Snowball very much indeedShe felt a little disappointed when she saw how fast Snowball wasgrowing until Mr Vaile consoled her by suggesting that when the dogwas bigger still she would be able to take it out for walksAnd so the weeks passed very pleasantly until the afternoon of the15th of December The blinds were drawn down and the wind blewand the snow was falling outside Nancy sitting on the hearthrugwas playing with Snowball when suddenly she looked at Mrs VaileMother she exclaimed did you hear anythingI heard only the wind NancyI thought I thought I heard PeterkinHow could you hear Peterkin if he is deadOf course if I heard him said Nancy he must be quite aliveI m almost certain I did just outside the window on the ledgeVery likely it was the cat from next door answered Mrs VaileThere it is again cried Nancy raising her hand I know itis Peterkin come back to us Won t you let him in motherWell said Mrs Vaile there will be no harm in lookingOh wait a minute pleaded Nancy as her mother approachedthe door It would never do to let him see Snowball Suppose I takeSnowball upstairs firstTaking the dog in her arms she carried him to the nursery whereSarah was darning a pair of stockingsSarah cried Nancy excitedly Peterkin has come backLor Miss Nancy said Sarah what will you say nextHe has answered Nancy because I heard him meow outsidethe windowCats do meow so much alike suggested Sarah

They don t to me said Nancy I should know Peterkin s meowanywhere and I want you to hold Snowball while I shut the doorWhen she reached the hall Mrs Vaile met her at the street doorand on opening it nothing was to be seen but snow A few largeflakes were blown into the hall but there was no sign of PeterkinPoor pussy come along pussy said Mrs Vaile shivering onthe mat and then Nancy heard another meowI knew it was Peterkin she cried as a poor looking leanscarecrow of a tabby cat jumped down from the low wall beside thedoor and stood in the middle of the step meowing dismallyReally said Mrs Vaile if he doesn t come in soon I shallshut the door I can t stand here in the cold much longer And helooks so thin that I am not certain it is our cat after allOh but I know it is answered Nancy and if you go away youwill see that he will come when I call himI 2

Mrs Vaile accordingly walked to the back of the hall while Nancystood on the mat holding out her right hand towards the catPeterkin she said poor old Peterkin come along then andmeowing more loudly than ever the cat ran into the hall through theopen dining room door to the hearthrug where he stood arching hiswet back and rubbing it against Nancy s legs How wretched helooks she exclaimed Isn t he glad to be at home again See howthin he has grownHer eyes were tearful as she looked at him and tried to dry his coatwith the hearth broom but presently she went to fetch a saucer of milkand whilst the cat was lapping this Mr Vaile entered the roomHullo he asked what have you got thereIt is Peterkin come home again answered NancyMr Vaile put on his eye glasses and stooped to examine the catmore closelyWell I shouldn t have recognised him he said he looks so muchthinner than Peterkin What does he think of SnowballNancy hasn t introduced them yet answered Mrs Vaile She isafraid they may be jealous of each otherStill said Nancy if one sleeps in the kitchen and the other inthe nursery perhaps it won t much matterThey will be bound to meet some day said Mr Vaile if theylive in the same houseThey will not live in the same house many days said Mrs VaileI don t mind a cat I don t mind a dog but I will not have bothAnd really she continued I feel a little uncertain whether it isreally Peterkin or not Suppose we ask SarahWhen Sarah came she did not take the trouble to look very long atthe cat because she insisted that Peterkin had been killed by thepoliceman and consequently this must be a different cat altogetherNurse thought so too and it was impossible to consult the cook that daybecause it was her afternoon and evening out but Sarah took the catdownstairs and shut him up in a cupboard so that he should not quarrelwith Snowball who passed the night in the nursery

Nancy before this had never been very fond of the cook but now hertreatment of Peterkin hard though it was made a great differencePeterkin she said of course it s Peterkin I should know himanywhere There isn t such another thieving cat to be found Why hebegan his old tricks again the moment my back was turned this morningand stole a rasher of bacon before breakfastOn hearing this Nancy threw her arms round the cook s waist andinsisted on kissing her For feeling quite certain it was Peterkin who hadcome home again she liked to find someone who agreed with her Shehad lain awake later than usual last night wondering where he had spentthe last few months what strange adventures he had met with andwhether he had often thought of her This morning Nancy had to takegreat care that her pets did not meet because although she was so fondof them both she felt afraid they might not be very fond of each otherthey might even fight and hurt each other seriouslyShe tried to divide herself as fairly as possible between them andwhen Snowball was allowed downstairs the cat was locked in thecupboard although it proved impossible to prevent the dog from hearinghim meow The worst of it was that Nancy was going with her fatherand mother and Sarah to spend Christmas at Seabourne and shedid not like the idea of leaving Peterkin and Snowball in the careof the cook who probably would not take the trouble to keep themapartNancy said Mrs Vaile two evenings later I am very sorry butthese animals of yours are becoming a nuisance Now you may keepwhich you like but I cannot have them bothBut mother I like them both so muchWhich do you like the better asked Mr VaileI think I like them both just exactly the same said NancyWell suggested her mother I must say I prefer SnowballPeterkin if it really is Peterkin is certainly uglier than everStill urged Nancy I couldn t like him less because he isn tso prettyThen you prefer to keep Peterkin

Oh yes please I couldn t part with him I really couldn t Sosoon after he has come home tooVery well said Mr Vaile we must part with SnowballPart with Snowball cried Nancy Oh fatherIf you don t wish to send the dog away answered Mrs Vailewe must find someone to take the catOh mother you couldn tI dare say it will be difficult Mrs Vaile admitted because thepoor animal is so uglyI didn t mean that at all answered Nancy He can t help beingugly Please don t send him awayMy dear little girl said Mrs Vaile one of the two must goand you have to make up your mind between themI can t cried Nancy I can t mother Fancy sending poorPeterkin away directly he has come back Snowball hasn t doneanything either and how lovely he is If you let me keep them bothI ll make them know each other gradually so that they can stay in thesame roomBut I don t wish them to stay in the same room said her motheror even in the same house Before we start to Seabourne on Fridayone of the animals must be given awayNancy went to bed feeling very miserable that night because she knewthat her mother always kept her word and that she must part with thecat or the dog before the day after to morrow None the less afterbreakfast on Thursday morning she tried once more to persuadeMrs Vaile to let her keep Peterkin as well as Snowball but meetingwith no success she quite broke down Burying her face in the cushionof her father s arm chair she began to sob while Mr and Mrs Vaile wentto the window and talked in whispersI wonder he said a few minutes later how you will get alongwithout either of your pets at SeabourneStill murmured Nancy without turning her head I alwayslike going to Seabourne and it wouldn t matter if both Peterkin andSnowball might stay till we come back

Suppose we say you may take one of them with youMay I exclaimed Nancy facing Mr Vaile suddenly with marksof tears on her cheeks How splendid Only she cried the nextinstant which shall I takeWhichever you pleaseWon t the one I take ever come here again mother

Certainly not was the answer It would always live at Seabourne Whenever we go there you will see itStill I shall see ever so much more of the one that stays inLondonWell said Mr Vaile which should you like to see the oftenerPeterkin or SnowballI should miss Snowball dreadfully answered NancyThen suppose we take PeterkinBut think how he would miss me because no one else is reallyfond of himI believe said Mrs Vaile you would rather take SnowballYou see cried Nancy thoughtfully Peterkin is much moreused to travelling and Snowball has never left home since he camehereVery well answered Mr Vaile suppose we give him theopportunity to morrowHow Snowball would love to go into the sea said Nancy Andhow nice it would be to lead him up and down the paradeSo you intend to take the dog after all asked her motherI should like to take him answered Nancy but only think ofleaving him behind and coming here and not finding himWell said Mrs Vaile with a sigh you must make up yourmind to night because the omnibus is ordered to take us to the stationdirectly after breakfastThe cook advised her to take the cat declaring that she should bevery glad to get rid of him but this made Nancy feel more sorry forhim because Snowball was the kind of dog of whom anyone mightgrow fond but with his rival it was differentLook at him said Nancy as she stood by Sarah s side watchingthe cat with his back against the oven how thin he is and fancy howcruel it would be to take him away and not bring him home againLet us go and look at Snowball she added and Sarah accompaniedher to the day nursery where the woolly white dog lay curled upasleep by the fender

Doesn t he look sweet said Nancy And wouldn t it be apity not to see him every dayStill Miss Nancy answered Sarah you can t take them bothand the question is which will you takeWhich shall I SarahI should keep the one I liked best in London Miss NancyYes but which do I like best because I like them both so muchI couldn t like anything better than SnowballThen take Peterkin to Seabourne said Sarah I m sure IshouldBut I couldn t like anything better than Peterkin either SarahI should love to have Snowball at Seabourne but then I shouldn t likenot having him hereDo you know Miss Nancy said Sarah I ve never really believedthat cat is our Peterkin I never have and so I ve told cook again andagain and if Peterkin was killed how could he be Now SarahM

added suppose you left Snowball at Seabourne and then found outI was right after allYou re not cried Nancy indignantly I know he s Peterkin andsee how fond of me he isThat s because you feed him Sarah insisted and I don t supposeyou d be so fond of him if you knew he wasn t PeterkinNo of course not said Nancy but then you see I know he isBedtime came that Thursday evening before Nancy could make upher mind although she knew there would be very little time to spare onFriday morningThe basket is quite ready said Mrs Vaile when Nancy came tobreakfast and as soon as you have finished you must tell me whichanimal is to travel in itThere it lay on Mr Vaile s arm chair a brown hamper with straw inthe bottom and quite large enough to hold either the cat or the dogWe shall take it in the carriage with us Mr Vaile explained andas soon as the train starts we can open it and give its occupant whichever it may be some fresh air Ring the bell Nancy he addedAsk nurse to bring Snowball down said Mrs Vaile when the cookanswered the bellA few moments later nurse entered with Snowball at her heels andthen Mrs Vaile askedWhere is the catCook has just locked him up in the cupboard for stealing a sausageanswered nurseBring him here said Mrs Vaile to Nancy s surprise for the catand the dog had never yet been together in a roomDon t put him down nurse cried Nancy as nurse held the catin her armsNo don t let him go said Mr Vaile although it was becomingrather difficult to hold him as he arched his back and spat at Snowballwho tried to jump up at him barking more fiercely than Nancyhad heard him before If they had both been on the floor no doubtthey would have fought

Oh what a noise said Mrs Vaile Now Nancy she addedhere is Snowball and here is Peterkin One of them has to stay athome and the other has to be put in the basket We are late thismorning and the omnibus will be here in less than twenty minutes so atlast you really must make up your mindHow uncomfortable he will be shut up in there cried NancyThe question is answered her father which of the two has toundergo that discomfortIt would be worse for Peterkin because he is bigger faltered NancyVery well then suppose we leave Peterkin at homeMother exclaimed Nancy looking at the cat sadly I can tThen nurse said Mrs Vaile Peterkin must go in the basketOh no please don t let him cried NancyNow listen to me dear answered Mrs Vaile You are quiteready with the exception of your hat and jacket so you won t take manyminutes Nurse I suppose you are ready to startM 2

I can get ready at the same time as Miss Nancy said nurseVery well continued Mrs Vaile then I shall leave you for tenminutes If you have not decided by that time I shall say which animalis to stay here and which is to go in the basketWhen Mr and Mrs Vaile left the room Nancy put a finger betweenher lips and looked at the cat who was still swearing at Snowballthen she looked at the dog as he careered about the room barking withall his mightOh dear nurse what shall I do she criedShe thought how nice it would be to make Snowball go into the seabut yet how miserable she should feel when she came back to Londonwithout him How could she be cruel enough to forsake Peterkin after allhis recent troubles although it might be that having already spent somemonths away from his mistress he would not feel the separation so deeplyas Snowball from whom she had never been parted No doubt sheought to take the animal she liked the least to Seabourne but then sheliked them both so very much Even if she did like Peterkin just theslightest shade less than Snowball she certainly pitied him moreNot made up your mind yet exclaimed Mrs Vaile re enteringthe room and buttoning her glove in readiness to set outMother said Nancy I I don t know what to doAt all events answered Mr Vaile here is the omnibus andlooking out at the window Nancy saw it stop before the doorRun away and put on your things as quickly as you can urgedMrs Vaile or we shall miss the trainWho will hold Peterkin cried Nancy and Mr Vaile took the catfrom nurse s arms Then Nancy went to the nursery and while nurseput on her hat and jacket she kept asking herself the questionPeterkin or Snowball Peterkin or SnowballNow Miss Nancy said nurse and they went downstairs to see theman who had ridden on the step of the omnibus carrying out the last trunkMr Vaile stood in the dining room holding Peterkin Snowball wastrying to climb up his legs to make a nearer inspection of the cat Thebasket with the straw inside it stood open on the arm chair

No more time to lose exclaimed Mr Vaile so I shall end thematter by putting Peterkin in the basketNancy stood silently looking on while her father put the cat on thetop of the straw He had some difficulty in making Peterkin lie stillMr Vaile was just going to close the lid when Nancy ran forward andrested a hand on his armOh father she murmured do please please take him out againI am certain we shall miss the train said Mrs VaileVery well answered Mr Vaile so that one goes in I don t mindwhich it is Taking his hand off Peterkin the cat at once sprang on tothe floor arching his back and looking as if he meant to fly at SnowballBut the next instant Mr Vaile picked up the dog and he in his turn wasput inside the basket You would not have thought that such a smalldog could have made such a great noise He barked and barked whileMrs Vaile looked at her watch again and the man outside lifted one ofthe trunks on to the roof of the omnibusThen telling Snowball to lie down Mr Vaile shut the lid which hewas just going to fasten by putting the piece of wood through the loopwhen Nancy again seized his armFather she faltered with tears in her eyes do let poorSnowball out again Do let him outMy dear little girl cried Mrs Vaile we shall never reachSeabourne to dayNow said Mr Vaile for the last time which shall we take NancyOh dear exclaimed Mrs Vaile walking hastily towards thewindow that clumsy man will break my trunk all to pieces Do praytell him to be more carefulAs Mr Vaile turned from the basket to go outside to remonstratewith the omnibus man Snowball pushed up the lid and sprang on to thecarpet but Nancy picked him up the next momentThere is no more time to spare said Mrs Vaile following herhusband to the doorstep Now Nancy be quick and put one of thoseanimals in the basketMr Vaile stood in the road directing the man as he arranged the

boxes on the roof of the omnibus and when this had been done here entered the hall Mrs Vaile having already taken her seatWell nurse he shouted are you ready at last As he spokenurse came out of the dining room with Nancy who had the closedbasket in her hand Sarah carefully shut the door and whispered a fewwords to the cook Mr Vaile looked at Nancy s grave faceSo you have actually made up your mind he whispered as theywalked towards the omnibus She drew down her lower lip and hereyes grew so sad that neither her father nor her mother asked any morequestions As Nancy took her seat the man slammed the door and thehorses startedNancy sat very upright with the basket on her knees and Mrs Vailebegan to talk about Christmas and their friends at Seabourne and thegood times they expected to have during the next weekPerhaps she said we may even arrange a small party before wecome home againAnd a Christmas tree cried Nancy beginning to smile againYes I don t see why we shouldn t have a Christmas treeNancy clapped her hands and laughed whilst Mr Vaile leaned forwardfrom the opposite seat looking at the basket and speculating as to whichanimal it contained Whichever it might be there was no sound to beheard for all he could tell it might be Peterkin or it might be SnowballNancy was naming some of the girls and boys whom she should like toinvite and although Mr Vaile felt not a little curious to know whetherthe cat or the dog was in the basket on her knees he thought it wiser forthe present to ask no questionsWhich do you think it was Snowball or Peterkin


The End Too soon our budget endsAnd yet admit before you goIts pages hold a many friendsThat otherwise we might not knowAnd friends although in bookish dressWe ought to welcome none the lessWe ve met Sir FranKlin InglesideAnd watched Matilda Beacon s joyWe know how PembroKe gratifiedWhole streets of children with a toyAnd Punchichito s Kindly waysWe shall not shall we soon eraseBelinda and Belinda s clockAlike were strangers yesterdayBut now if either chose to Knockic We d say Come in without delayWhile Siegfried should he canter byWould see us wave and wave replyAmelia s fancy used to beHers only now we also shareAnd Nancy Vaile s perplexityAbout her pets becomes our careWhich do you think they popped withinThe basket Snow or PeterKinThe End But ere you turn awayAnother story book to findOne little thing there is to sayWhich these your new friends have in mindMay merry Christmas hours befallThey bid me wish you one and all