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ADVENTURES OF CAROL IN BUSHLAND (Text)

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E. B. Bayliss Print
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ADVENTURES OF CAROL IN BUSHLAND
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					 ADVENTURES OF CAROL IN BUSHLAND 
				 
				 
					 MRS. ALICE CLUCAS 
				 
				 
					 13 Pier Street, Perth, Western Australia 
					 E. B. Bayliss Print 
					 1935 
				 
			 
		 
		 
			 
				 "ADVENTURES OF CAROL IN BUSHLAND"  
				 
					 
					 "ADVENTURES OF CAROL IN BUSHLAND"  
					 
					 
					 
					 
					 The Adventures of Carol  IN Bushland 
					 BY  MRS. ALICE CLUCAS  
					 E. B. Bayliss Print, Publishers  13 Pier St., Perth,
						Western Australia.  
					 
					 
						 AUTHOR  
					 
					 
						 " Beyond the Hills "  
					 
					 
						 (Copyright)  
					 
					  Registered at the General Post Office
							 for transmission by post . as a  newspaper .  
					 
						 Printed by E. B. Bayliss Print, 13  Pier Street,
							Perth, Western Australia  1935  
					 
				 
				 
					 
					 CONTENTS  
					 CHAPTER  
					 PAGE  
					 
						 I MEG AND PIE 5  
						 II GREEN GRAVELS 9  
						 III CAROL GROWS DOWN 13  
						 IV ON BOARD THE AIRSHIP 18  
						 V FALLING STARS 27  
						 VI KING FISHER & SIR RAINBOW KNIGHT 32  
						 VII THE BRIDAL PROCESSION 43  
						 VIII A JOURNEY ON TADDY'S CREEK 48  
						 IX WILLY WAGTAIL BRINGS NEWS 55  
						 X THE WILLOW FAMILY 68  
						 XI THE CAPTURE OF KEITH 76  
						 XII MARDO WAGTAIL, AIR RACE WINNER 90  
						 XIII NAN MARTIN 99  
						 XIV PETER PUMPKIN TELLS A STORY 114  
						 XV JENNY CRICKET & MARY DUMPLING 128  
						 XVI PRINCE TURK & PYE MELON 135  
					 
					 
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER I  
					 MEG AND PYE  
					 CAROL was almost asleep when she heard a gentle tapping on the
						window pane; but she was so drowsy that she did not heed it, and was soon
						asleep. The persistent tap, tap, tapping continued until at last she sat up
						in bed sleepily rubbing her eyes. Turning to wards the window she saw a star
						gleaming like a bright jewel in the sky, and as she looked at it she thought
						the rhyme "Twinkle, twinkle, little star ..." after all
						was not so silly as it sounded when repeated in a sing-song daytime voice.
						Then other stars came twinkling radiantly, looking ever so happy. These were
						followed by smaller and paler ones looking as though they were rather
						anxious and breathless about being late. Carol was wondering if the pale one
						peep ing between the boughs of the wattle tree had had to come a very long
						way, when a whisper disturbed her thoughts.  
					 
					 " Hello, Carol." Quickly she slid out of bed
						and ran lightly to the window. She was now quite wide awake.  
					 Before leaving the room after kissing her small daughter Good
						night," Mrs. Cressy had drawn aside the pretty pink and grey chintz
						curtains, leaving a wide open space above the window sill. On this sill Mrs.
						Maggie now was hopping about somewhat impatiently.  
					 "You do sleep soundly! I've been ever so long trying to
						awaken you," was her greeting.  
					 "Oh! It's Mrs. Maggie. I was just wonder ing how far
						that little star over there had come."  
					 "Dear me," broke in Mrs. Maggie,
						"Stars, indeed! It's the moon you should be concerned about. I've
						been hurrying to get here hours before Mikang, but everything seemed to keep
						me back. First the children all had to be fed; then the grub tin became
						empty before the last two children had any, and I had to go out and hunt for
						some more grubs. When I got back, the children were making such a noise;
						they were playing 'Bird in a corner/ and I just couldn't remember which two
						hadn't been fed—whether they were Meg and Pye or Bilo and
						Minyidang, and while I was trying to think it out, Pye pushed Meg so hard
						that she fell out of the nest."  
					 "Was Meg badly hurt?" asked Carol sym
						pathetically,  
					 "Hurt! No, of course she wasn't. Her father, who was
						just returning from work at the   Twig and Feather factory, was
						climbing up Hill Avenue, and caught her in mid-air as she fell. She came in
						laughing and chattering as though it were great fun to fall out of a nest.
						Well! Well! Here we are wasting precious time. I see you haven't opened the
						parcel yet." Mrs. Maggie peered curiously round the curtain to the
						dressing table when an attractive parcel was lying.  
					 "Do come in and sit down," urged Carol. Mrs.
						Maggie hopped into the room and perched on the footrail of the bed.  
					 "This will do nicely. Don't make a noise or you will
						wake your mother, and she will shoo me away, and send you back to
						bed," said she softly, and perched on the footrail of the bed, as
						Carol was about to draw a chair forward.  
					 Taking up the parcel, Carol gently shook and squeezed it.
						"What I can't understand is why people, when they receive a parcel,
						always turn it around and around, and over and over, trying to guess the
						contents or from whom it has come, just trying to find out from the outside
						what is inside, instead of cutting the string."  
					 Carol laughed gently, remembering her friend's warning about
						making a noise, and tak ing her scissors from her workbasket she cut the
						rainbow ribbon, and unwrapped the bark paper.  
					 "Oh, isn't it lovely," she cried gleefully when
						she saw a dainty little green basket fashioned of plaited zamia reeds and
						lined inside with green velvet moss. Holding her head sideways, Mrs. Maggie
						gave a hum of approval.  
					 
					 "It's a beautiful basket. No, look! It's a casket. There
						must be something very choice or valuable in it to be so well protected
						against breakage!" she exclaimed, as she pecked out a layer of
						moss.  
					 Carol saw a small white object. It was a tiny aeroplane.  
					 "A toy aeroplane," she exclaimed, "
						It's ever so much nicer than those shown in the window of Miss Gugumit's
						shop." But Mrs. Maggie was too busy examining the little treasure
						to think of the wares in the village shop. "It's an exact model of
						the one used by Prince Sturt Pea. You haven't told me yet what your mother
						thought of your visit to Golden Land."  
					 Carol hung her head for a moment as she replied:  
					 "Mother and Keith said it was only a dream, and that
						there really isn't any such place as Bushingham Palace."  
					 Mrs. Maggie chuckled so much that she al most overbalanced off
						the bedrail, and regaining her position, replied seriously:  
					 "I dare say they think so, but that is because no one
						has ever taken them there. You would be surprised, Carol, if you knew that
						some people don't even want to know about mountains, rivers and strange
						countries. I've even heard some people coming home from your school say that
						it is a lot of silly nonsense having to learn about these things. They call
						it some funny name. I've forgotten what study it is called."  
					 "Geography," replied Carol, feeling very
						guilty.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER II  
					 GREEN GRAVELS  
					 ONLY that afternoon Betty Bennett and Carol, on their way home
						from school, had been grumbling about being kept in to learn some lessons in
						Geography; and evi dently Mrs. Maggie had heard them. Instantly she resolved
						in future to learn all she could of Geography.  
					 Carol's thoughts were interrupted as her friend said excitedly:
						"See, there's a letter lying in the bottom of the basket."  
					 All smiles again, Carol picked up the tiny letter. The envelope
						looked like an autumn leaf, but was only the size of a postage stamp. As she
						opened it there was the same rustling and crackling noise as is heard when
						one ruffles or walks upon the autumn leaves. The fragrant notepaper was of
						the same colour and quality, and as she unfolded it a small wistful sighing
						voice whispered:  
					 
					 "You see we are not too old or too ugly to be of use. We
						are carriers of special royal mes sages." And Carol gently
						whispered: "I think you are very beautiful. I often carry home
						leaves like you and Mother and I use them as bookmarkers."  
					 The notepaper rustled proudly.  
					 The message was written in gold, and the words of an old rhyme
						came to her; and they had sung it at recess during that afternoon.  
					 Perhaps some of our little readers do not remember all the words
						of Green Gravels, so we will repeat them.  
					 
						 
							 Green Gravels, Green Gravels,  
							 The grass is so green,  
							 The fairest young lady that ever was seen.  
							 We'll wash her in milk  
							 And we'll dress her in silk,  
							 And write down her name  
							 With a gold pen and ink. 
						 
					 
					 Now Mrs. Maggie's curiosity made her say somewhat jerkily:
						"Well, what does the letter say?"  
					 "Oh," said Carol, her thoughts returning to her
						present surroundings, " It's a letter and an invitation as well.
						I'll read it aloud. It is from Queen Leschenaultia. 'The Queen of
						the Bush- flowers commands the presence of Miss Carol Cressy at Bushingham
						Palace. Miss Cressy has been selected as one of the bridesmaids at the
						ceremony of the marriage of their daughter,   Princess Natalie to
						Prince Sturt Pea. The mar riage ceremony will be celebrated at Nature's
						Cathedral at Mikang, and the service will be performed by His Grace the
						Archbishop of Banksia, assisted by Bishop Praying Mantis, and Canon Beetle
						Black. The royal party and atten dants will leave Bushingham Palace, Binang.
						You are requested to be at the Palace before Bina, Yyi. 'Isn't it a
						strange letter, Mrs. Maggie? And it doesn't say when the wedding is to
						be." ' 
					 "The times are all given, Carol; don't you remember that
						Binang means tomorrow, Bina means dawn, Mikang means moonlight or moon-
						rise, and Yyi is to-day?"  
					 "Of course, I remember it all now. And it means that the
						wedding will be tomorrow night, and that I should have been there by dawn to
						day. Oh, dear! whatever shall I do?"  
					 "It's all right, don't get flustered. Bushland is always
						one day ahead of us as time goes. So that to-day here is tomorrow
						there."  
					 "To-day is tomorrow, that doesn't sound like
						sense," argued Carol.  
					 "Well, but it might not to you, but it is, all the
						same."  
					 However, Carol was much too excited to want to indulge in any
						argument at the present time.  
					 "I never thought the song would really come true for
						me," and as Mrs. Maggie looked at her   inquiringly, she
						added: "See, my name is written in gold—so it must have
						been a gold pen and ink. And they are going to dress me in butter cup silk.
						Oh, but—" Here her face became clouded. "I don't
						want to be washed in milk. It would be silly to put on a new frock after
						washing in milk. I would feel so sticky."  
					 "Never mind, Carol; never meet troubles half way. There
						is no mention of milk in the letter," said Mrs. Maggie.  
					 "Neither there is. I'm getting all mixed be tween the
						rhyme and the letter," laughed Carol happily.  
					 At that moment a shadow fell across the room, and a voice from
						out of the darkness said:  
					 "Is this Green Timbers? And does Miss Carol Cressy live
						here?"  
					 Instantly they both turned to the window, and Mrs. Maggie
						exclaimed: "Goodness! If it isn't the General." And tuning
						to Carol, she said: "You remember, General Nido. He was promoted to
						the rank of general after the defeat of the Calosangs."  
					 After Mrs. Maggie had introduced them to each other, she turned
						to Carol and gave her three small packets which she had taken from under her
						left wing.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER III  
					 CAROL GROWS DOWN  
					 THESE are the growsmall seeds, Carol. Fol low the directions
						carefully and all will be well. But remember, never go any where without
						these packets; they are absolutely necessary, and you may not be able to get
						any more once you leave Green Timbers. So be very careful of them."
						Then turning to General Nido, she said: "General, are you the
						escort sent by Their Majesties?"  
					 "Yes, Madame," said the General, making a
						polite bow."  
					 "I am sorry that I shall not be able to accom pany you,
						Carol, on this journey; home affairs prevent it. Meg and Pye, the twins, are
						both going up next week for their musical examina tions, so I must stay and
						see that they practise their notes correctly. Meg is sitting for the
						Chirping exam., and Pye for the third grade carolling exam., and they are
						apt to scamp their practice unless I am there. Our four-o'clocks don't keep
						as good time now as when they were new. Some of the hands are
						missing."  
					 
					 Carol wasn't much interested in such every day things as music
						exams., and practice, and clocks; at the present time all her thoughts were
						on going to Bushingham Palace.  
					 "But, how shall we be able to go?" she asked,
						looking first at Mrs. Maggie and then at General Nido, who was a very dapper
						little person, many, many times smaller than Mrs. Maggie. In fact, he almost
						reminded her of a large mosquito. His voice seemed very familiar to her; as
						familiar as the scraping sound made by the branches of the almond tree
						swaying in the night breeze against her window. But she could not remem ber
						where she had hear his voice.  
					 "Did you receive an airship from Bushing- ham, Miss
						Cressy?" he asked in a singing kind of a voice.  
					 "Yes, a toy one. It is here." And she lifted it
						from the bed on which Mrs. Maggie had dropped it when she had turned to see
						what had caused the shadow at the window. Carol now placed it on the table.  
					 "Pardon me, Miss Cressy, but this is a won derful
						machine." The General's light voice was almost indignant at the
						idea of this machine being called a toy.  
					 "Oh, yes," quickly interjected Carol, not
						wishing to appear ungrateful; "I think it's the cutest and sweetest
						little 'plane I've ever seen."  
					 "Cutest, sweetest," fumed the General.
						"Miss Cressy, this airship was made for the Archbishop  
						of Banksia; and no one with the exception of the Banksia family and the
						pilot and crew had ever ridden in it." He continued impressively:
						"Two days ago the Archbishop learnt that Prin cess Natalie wished
						you to act as a bridesmaid at her wedding, but had no means of getting you
						there in time. So this airship being the swiftest one in Bushland, he sent
						it with his compliments to the Princess Natalie, begging her to make use of
						it for your journey to Bushingham Palace. You are indeed greatly
						honoured."  
					 "Indeed, General Nido," said Carol gently,
						"I am deeply sensible of the great honour be stowed on
						me." She hoped that this was the courteous reply, for hadn't Mrs.
						Marston, the wife of Mr. Marston, a statesman, replied thus when Mr. Brown
						had presented her with a written scroll, and Betty Bennett had presented her
						with a bouquet of flowers. This must have been correct, for General Nido
						smiled kindly as he said:  
					 "Will you please make your preparations for departure
						immediately, Miss Cressy, while I buzz up the pilot and crew and instruct
						them to be prepared to take off as soon as you are ready."  
					 With a stiff salute, which included Mrs. Maggie as well as Carol,
						he left the room the same way as he had entered. Carol stood look ing at the
						little airship pondering. It was no bigger than her hand.  
					 "How can I go in that?" she said, turning to
						Mrs. Maggie.  
					 
					 "Don't you remember the grow-small seeds I gave
						you?"  
					 "Yes."  
					 "Well, now listen carefully. Since I won't be with you,
						you will have to rely on your memory. You do memory tests at school, don't
						you? I was listening outside the school-house the other day. But never mind
						that now. This packet marked 1 contains black seeds, and they are the ones
						that make you tiniest of all. The packet marked 2 contains grey seeds. These
						are only to be used if you are in great danger. They will give you any form
						or colour you wish."  
					 "Oh, I know the word. I heard Robert telling Keith. It's
						K-a-m-e-l-e-u-n. I think that's the way it is spelt. Anyway, that's the word
						I mean," interrupted Carol excitedly.  
					 "Yes, yes! But it s spelt C-h-a-m-e-l-e-o-n. I know,
						because it is a bush word and belongs to the people of Bushland, and means
						that when a lizard-like reptile is in danger, it has the power of changing
						its colour. Now you have side tracked me again. The third packet is, if any
						thing, more precious than the others. Its seeds are white, and one of them
						will restore you to your usual self." For a fraction of a second
						Carol hesitated before opening the first packet and taking out one of the
						black seeds. Then shutting her eyes tightly, she swallowed the seed at a
						gulp. On opening her eyes again, she was amazed to see the moon smiling and
						chuckling at the window, which was growing so big that the surrounding walls
						shrank back, and soon the   window occupied the whole of that
						side of the room from the ceiling to the floor. Carol looked at it in
						amazement, and stepped back quickly as though afraid she might fall down,
						down, down to the ground so far below.  
					 "Where am I? What a great big room," she said
						aloud. And was surprised that her voice was no louder than a sigh. Looking
						around, she saw reflected in a wardrobe, one that surely must have been
						meant for giants, the tiniest figure of a girl, and a large bird, which she
						recognised as Mrs. Maggie, standing on one foot, looking critically at the
						tiny figure. So the tiny figure was really a reflection of herself.  
					 As she saw how small she looked after the black seed, for the
						moment she was afraid. She was so small and might so easily get lost. How
						ever, her fear vanished when Mrs. Maggie re minded her of the tiny bag she
						was holding in her hand. She clutched it more tightly to her, for it
						contained the most precious, to her, of all the seeds, the grow-big seeds.  
					 "Come, Carol, the airship is ready to take
						off."  
					 Mrs. Maggie spread her wings and Carol climbed onto her back, and
						was carried safely to the airship, where General Nido was waiting for her.
					 
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER IV  
					 ON BOARD THE AIRSHIP  
					 THE General escorted Carol and Mrs. Maggie up the gangway into
						the airship, and ex plained that there would be a slight delay since the
						pilot was awaiting the return of Humpy Snail, who had been sent to the Euca
						and Lyptus Service Station for some oil. He sug gested that Mrs. Maggie
						would perhaps like to look over the ship.  
					 Though she was in somewhat of a hurry to get home to her family,
						the invitation was far too tempting for her to refuse.  
					 There were four decks beneath them, all waiting to be explored.
						Instead of these being connected by staircases, there were two lifts, which
						the General informed them, had been made by a clever young inventor, Gorry
						Trap door Spider. "Not Trapdoor Spider of the wicked Calosang
						Gang?" asked Mrs. Maggie and Carrol together, breathlessly.  
					 "No, no. Gorry is no relation to those Trap door
						Spiders. He is a cousin of Miss Garden   Spider of Thorn Hedge,
						one of the cleverest spinners in the kingdom. Mrs. Banksia gave her the
						order for the new summer curtains for the music and dining saloons of this
						ship. They are most delicately wrought. Shall we go and see them
						first?"  
					 Eagerly they both assented. So, turning to wards a lift, the
						General stood aside for the ladies to enter. Carol stepped in quickly, but
						Mrs. Maggie hung back and peered nervously into the lift.  
					 "It looks too much like a cage for my liking,"
						she muttered; but after a lot of coaxing, she yielded and allowed herself to
						be drawn inside, partly to please Carol, but urged on by her curi osity. Now
						it was no new sensation for Carol to ride in lifts, because she had often
						ridden in them when her mother and she had visited the big shops in Sydney
						and Melbourne, so she was able to reassure her companion. Presently they
						stopped with a sudden jerk at the first deck, and Mrs. Maggie scrambled out
						ahead of the others.  
					 "Quirchaip," she shrieked, then added in quiet
						explanation: "It made me feel all queer inside; I haven't felt like
						that since I was a nest ling learning to fly, and fell from a high bough to
						the ground." Nevertheless, this did not stop her enjoyment as they
						walked around the music and dining saloons, and she frequently exclaimed
						over the comfort and beauty of these. They covered the whole of the first
						deck; along both sides were a great number of tiny windows, or as they were
						called, " portholes." Each one of these was furnished with
						a pair of quaint wooden   shutters, which could be closed during
						stormy or unpleasant weather. Near each porthole was a comfy padded bunjong
						conveniently placed so that one could enjoy the view thoroughly. Garden
						Spider, who was at the far end of the lounge, had just hung the last curtain
						in place. For a moment Mrs. Maggie looked coldly at her, for she still
						remembered the day when Garden had enticed Meg to leave her music practice
						and come down to play hop-scotch. And when Meg had discovered that their own
						ladder had been removed, it was Garden who had quickly placed one of her own
						for Meg to come down. How ever, Garden, who was some years older than Meg,
						had now grown up a very industrious and clever young woman, so Mrs. Maggie
						forgave her and exclaimed over the dainty silken lace curtains.  
					 "You have made a new pattern of the wheel and ring
						variety. It is very beautiful, my dear, and the finest stitches I have ever
						seen," she said, gently touching the frail grey silk lace. Garden
						looked up quickly and flushed at the warm praise.  
					 "If you wish to see all over the ship, we had better get
						on to the next deck without delay." The General presently reminded
						them as they stood examining the delicate handwork.  
					 On the second and third decks were bed rooms or staterooms and
						several bathrooms. Two of the bathrooms interested Carol greatly. These, she
						was told by the General, belonged to the twins, William and Willoughby
						Banksia. The windows or portholes instead of being placed  
						fairly high in the wall, like the one in the bath room at Green Timbers,
						were squat in shape and reached down to the floor. The baths were sunk in
						the floor in line with the windows, and looked just like tiny swimming
						pools. The General ex plained that the children, who were very fond of
						swimming in the river adjoining the palace, missed it greatly when
						travelling in hot weather, so their father had commanded Mr. Spider Gray,
						the best architect in Banksia Bush, to draw up plans for special play
						bathrooms.  
					 So the play bathrooms were built, and Wil liam and Willoughby
						were able to imagine them selves swimming in the river. Besides this, they
						could splash about as much as they liked without any danger of flooding the
						floor, since the over flowing water ran out of the portholes. But there was
						one thing that Mr. Spider Gray had overlooked, and that was not discovered
						until Boisy Wind, a mischievous lad, had, with the aid of a long thread
						taken from Garden Spider's web basket, trickled the water on to the cook's
						stove and put out the fire. Of course, Boisy was sent home for being so
						troublesome, and it was many a day before he was a welcome visitor. The cook
						had grumbled because the breakfast and dinner were so badly cooked, for the
						fire was very sullen because its enemy the water had been allowed to creep
						into the fireside and make everything very wet. So that afternoon Mrs.
						Banksia, accompanied by one of her maids, Daisy Dandelion, paid a visit to
						Mr. Blackboy's trunk and blind factory, and ordered some blinds and fittings
						to be made and sent to the airship.  
					 The General leaned out of the open window and pressed a button
						beneath the windowledge.  "Now come down to the next
						deck and you will see how the blinds keep the water out of the galley
						below," said he.  
					 Carol was delighted with the galley, and said it was the nicest
						and cosiest kitchen she had ever seen. The blinds, which were of cream
						canvas, had a design of eyelet holes neatly worked over the surface.  
					 "It was here that little Willoughby loved to come on wet
						days, when the cold winds whistled drearily and sobbed mournfully in the
						saloons, and make ginger-bread men and doughboys," continued the
						General.  
					 Yes, Carol could well imagine the little girl on cold wet days
						wanting to be in such a cheer ful and bright galley, amid the gleaming pans
						that shone like mother of pearl and the pretty blue and white bowls and
						platters, and to make ginger-bread men and doughboys at the well scrubbed
						white table which faced a fire of danc ing green and blue flames, where a
						big black kettle sat humming and singing to itself, until the flames
						becoming too hot and playful, it grumpily boiled and bubbled, and shook and
						bounced its lid until the cook had to leave bis cuit-making to draw it to
						one side.  
					 Carol came out of her day-dreaming and heard the General say:  
					 "And these are the blinds that are set rolling from the
						deck above."  
					 Said Mrs. Maggie, fingering the material, "I shall order
						some for my home, since someone,   perhaps it was Boisy Wind, has
						been throwing leaves and twigs in through our skylight." And she
						made a note of the firm that had supplied the goods.  
					 (If any of our readers would like to see what this
						canvas looks like when they next pass a blackboy tree, they will find some
						tightly rolled around the trunk.)  
					 Mrs. Maggie was putting her notebook in her left wing pocket,
						when a tumult arose outside the ship, where many people were waiting to see
						its departure. Instantly Carol and Mrs. Maggie, accompanied by the General,
						made their way to the top of the ship again.  
					  "They're a long time making a start," they
						heard Mrs. Brown Rabbit grumble, for she was feeling very warm indeed in her
						new fur coat, standing so long in the hot sun.  
					 "Now, I don't mind the sun," answered her
						friend, Mrs. Bandicoot. " But I do wish they would provide seats
						here, for I get so tired stand ing for so long." Presently above
						their com plaining and the numerous murmuring voices, Willie Wagtail, a
						cheeky little urchin, who was swinging on the bough of a tree, cried out:
						"Here he comes."  
					 "Willie! get down out of that tree; you will tear your
						Sunday suit," said his mother anxious ly. But her voice was lost in
						the din, as several bystanders called out: "Who's coming,
						Willie?"  
					 "Humpy Snail. He's been to Eucas and Lyptus' Service
						Station for oil for the airship, for they ain't had enough."  
					 
					 "Willie!" chided his mother reproachfully,
						" Whatever would your teacher say if she heard you speaking like
						that? I declare you are a naughty boy, and next time I come out I'll leave
						you ..." But a stir in the crowd diverted Mrs. Wagtail's attention
						from her unruly offspring, and her threat remained unfinished.  
					 The crowd parted to give passage to Humpy Snail, who came pushing
						his way through it wearily dragging a can of oil. As he slowly crawled up
						the gangway, the pilot leaned over the side of the ship and bawled out:
						" Where in the name of grass-seeds have you been so long?"  
					 "I nearly ran the whole way there, but since I had to
						wait for them to go over to the factory for the oil, I slipped off my armour
						to cool down a bit. Well, they were so long coming back, that when they did
						come I was in such a hurry to get back that I forgot to put on my armour,
						and I was nearly half way back before I remembered it. So I nearly ran again
						all the way back. An when I got there I found that the people had sent it to
						Sergeant Bulldog Ant. So I had to go over to his place; and he asked me all
						sorts of questions before he would let me have it again," explained
						Humpy slowly and disgustedly.  
					 "All you think of is yourself. I this; I that; I
						something else. Why in the name of grass- seeds didn't you come back without
						it? The idea of going back all that way! You slowcoach," thundered
						the angry pilot.  
					 "Without my armour! Disgrace my family!"
						retorted Humpy, rearing his head stiffly.  
					 
					 "Get on with your work at once," com manded the
						pilot severely.  
					 "I'll never nearly run again, if this is all the thanks
						I get," mumbled Humpy to himself as he stowed the can of oil away.
						"And it is quite as important to me to have my armour on as it is
						for a tramping giant to have his swag and billycan on his back when he goes
						on the tramp."  
					 With the whirring of the engine, Mrs. Maggie gave Carol a hasty
						peck of a kiss, and with a hop, skip and jump, was soon on the landing stage
						below. Carol, standing at an open port hole, was now aware and greatly
						surprised and delighted that many of her bush friends had come to see her
						off. As they saw her they cheered loudly, and some of them brought gifts and
						handed them to her through the porthole. Mrs. Parrakeet gave her a beautiful
						flame quill to wear in her beret. Mrs. Cricket presented her with a bouquet
						of red and white gumflowers, Miss Amelie Bee a box of her own make of honey
						sweets, Mrs. Rabbit a pair of ear muffs, Mrs. Wagtail a scarf of lambswool,
						while Mrs. Maggie's children, Meg and Pye, gave her a pretty red and white
						necklace, which they had made of hip and haw berries. This necklace had
						taken a long time to make, but it was a labour of love, for they dearly
						loved Carol.  
					 As the ship rose slowly in the air a tumult of voices floated
						after her from the crowd on the stage; and above them all Carol could hear
						Mrs. Maggie's joyous cry of "Quirchaip, quairchaip,
						quairchaip." How happy and rollicking it sounded. So different to
						when Mrs. Maggie was   excited or alarmed like the time when the
						lift had jerked suddenly and the cry had sounded shrill and sharp. And
						again, as they rose higher and higher, the happy and joyous call followed
						her. Now the crowds way down below looked no bigger than pins' heads, and
						Green Timbers and its thousands of acres seemed no larger than a doll's
						house on a grass tennis court. A lump rose in her throat as Green Timbers,
						small as it had appeared, now faded out of sight, and a wave of homesickness
						swept over Carol. How ever, she soon dried her eyes and sensibly began to
						take an interest in the voyage.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER V.  
					 FALLING STARS  
					 FLYING was altogether much more exciting than Carol had ever
						imagined. To fly over villages and valleys dotted with farmhouses and cattle
						that greatly resembled Noah's arks and their painted and stiff-legged
						animals was more delightful since all appeared so real.  
					 It was like looking through a giant's kaleido scope; at every
						turn there was a new picture. Now they were racing Mistress River, and the
						silvery sheen of her dress could be seen between the sombre tree sentinels
						in their sombre green uniforms, who lined her banks and guarded her passage.
						She moved swiftly and gracefully and carried her frolicsome and chuckling
						young waterfalls. She was a great traveller and called all the countryside
						her home. All the bush people loved her dearly and each night she gave
						refreshments to all thirsty and tired travellers, most of whom had come long
						distances to hear her music. She was a very clever musician and composed
						many songs. But no one knew whither she journeyed. The young trees
						whisperingly   asked her whither she was going, but she kept her
						secret closely; only flashing them a sunny smile, she calmly went on her way
						humming and trilling. Only Old Tall Tree, who was nearly three hundred years
						old, guessed that she was travelling away to the ocean, to place her young
						waterfalls at the Preparatory Surf Spray School. She hoped in time, if they
						learned their lessons well, that they would go on to the Rollers and
						Breakers School. She sang proudly to herself as she thought of them grown
						big and strong, leaping and thundering over the rocks and rac ing up the
						sandy beaches. What a glorious and free life lay ahead of her little
						waterfalls if they studied well.  
					 Some days she and her friends, the trees and the birds, would be
						silent. This happened only when Grey Clouds stood between them and His
						Majesty the Sun. Carol had been so interested in listening to the tale and
						in watching the race that she was startled when the wireless operator, Mr.
						Grasshopper, approached them.  
					 "A wireless message, sir." The General opened
						the radiogram and read aloud: "Make all possible speed, for at the
						first falling star the ceremony of robing the Princess in her bridal attire
						will commence. At the second falling star all the bridesmaids are to
						assemble at Rainbow Fountain in the courtyard of Bushingham Pal ace. The
						third falling star will announce the arrival of Prince Evening Star, who is
						bringing a gift from Starland."  
					 "There is the first signal now," cried Carol,
						as a bright star shot downwards.  
					 
					 "Don't get flustered," urged the General.
						"Those lights are from Bushingham Palace; and down there, just in
						front, is our landing stage, and there are our pilot lighters, Joe and Wally
						Glowworm."  
					 Next a gentle rocking motion and the plane touched the ground,
						where many people were waiting to give them a hearty welcome. Amongst them
						was Lucy Shivery Grass, swaying in her excitement at meeting with her friend
						again.  
					 "This way, please, ladies," said Joe Glow worm,
						as he conducted them along the path to the palace gates.  
					 "Your dress is all ready and waiting for you. Garden
						Spider sent a wireless message to Miss Green Leaf to let her know that you
						were on your way. She is the court dressmaker. Your dress is lovely. It is
						of buttercup silk embroid ered with lambs' wool flowers."  
					 Carol felt like one moving in a dream. And, yes, she was washed
						in milk, thistledown milk, and then she was dressed by three cowslip mai
						dens. She forgot all she had said about milk making one sticky. Then they
						powdered her with sunflower powder; and every time she opened her mouth to
						object to this, the powder made her sneeze.  
					 However, thanks to the cowslip maidens, she was soon ready; but
						only just in time. Taking her hand, Lucy hurried her out into the court yard
						to the raindrop fountain. She had barely   arranged her train
						when a silvery note made them look towards the steps leading down from the
						boudoir of the Princess. At the gorgeous sight Carol held her breath in
						admiration. First came two pages, the little Blue Wrens, with silver bugles,
						walking backwards in front of the Princess and her father, King
						Leschenaultia, who for once was not the most important personage, though he
						looked splendid with his crown of Barup diamonds and seed pearls upon his
						head. The Princess saw Carol and smilingly signalled to her. Carol, feeling
						rather shy, walked around the fountain to Princess Natalie, who gave her a
						loving welcome. Just imagine Carol's surprise when she learned that she had
						been chosen to act as first bridesmaid.  
					 Though the bride looked very sweet and beautiful, she was wearing
						a hat instead of a bridal veil. This rather surprised Carol, and Princess
						Natalie, seeing Carol looking at her plumed hat, explained that brides of
						the House of Leschenaultia always wore large picture hats to match their
						blue silk dresses. And their shoes and stockings were of a bright green, the
						shoes of green leather, which came from the Macro- Carpo factory, and the
						green silk of the stock ings from the Cocoon Spinners, two little spinsters
						who lived at Silkworm Lodge.  
					 "Well, you don't look much like brides usually do, but I
						think you look lovelier than any bride I've ever seen," said Carol
						honestly, and added to herself softly, "I don't believe any one
						could look more beautiful."  
					 "You are to be my first bridesmaid, Carol,"
						said the Princess.  
					 
					 "Me!" said Carol, quite forgetful of her les
						sons in grammar. "Oh! What will I have to do? I've never taken part
						in a wedding before."  
					 At that moment a bright light dazzled them. Two stars were coming
						swiftly towards them. The brighter and bigger one was followed closely by a
						slender pale one. The first was Prince Evening Star, and the slender one his
						valet. After the elaborate ceremony of greet ings was over the valet star
						passed a small ebony casket to the Prince, who, bowing elegantly to the
						lovely bride, presented it to her, saying as the lid flew open:
						"With best wishes from all our kingdom for the happiness of both
						you and Prince Sturt Pea."  
					 On a bed of black velvet lay a beautiful Barup diamond brooch.  
					 "Oh! This is a very perfect and beautiful ornament,
						Prince Evening Star. Will you be so gracious as to convey our gratitude to
						Starland for this precious gift and the equally precious and kind wishes you
						have conveyed to us. '" And with a slightly trembling hand
						she passed the ornament to Carol. "I wish this to adorn my bridal
						dress, and since you are my first brides maid it is your duty to pin it
						on."  
					 Carol blushed and felt even more nervous than when she had
						recited "Three Little Dogs" at school's break-up concert.
						She did not know where it should be worn; but the Princess, understanding
						her bewilderment, raised her chin ever so slightly, and Carol immediately
						fastened the brooch in the silken frill encircling the neck of the dress. A
						murmur of delight arose from the bridesmaids as they saw the splendid Barup
						diamond sparkling so radiantly.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER VI.  
					 KING FISHER & SIR RAINBOW KNIGHT  
					 A KNIGHT in courtier's attire coming to wards them caused the
						bridesmaids to pause in their exclamations. As he ap proached the Princess,
						Carol returned to her former place beside Lucy and whispered: "Is
						that Prince Sturt Pea?"  
					 "No! Indeed!" said Lucy, shaking her head
						emphatically. "That is Sir Rain Bow Bird, a famous traveller and
						explorer, who recently was given the Order of Royal Voyages."  
					 "What does that mean?" asked Carol.  
					 "It means that he is responsible for the wel fare of the
						Royal Family when they journey abroad. Ssh! he is about to speak."  
					 Carol looked at Sir Rain Bow Bird, and doubted whether any of the
						knights of Queen Elizabeth's court, who were noted for their rich and
						exquisite attire, could have looked more ele gant than this knight. His
						satin coat with its trimmings of crimson and its wide beautiful collar
						embroidered in silk in all colours of the   rainbow was truly
						magnificent. Now a rainbow may seem a strange design to embroider on one's
						apparel, but it is not so in this case, for the de vice of a rainbow takes a
						very important place in Sir Rain Bow's coat of arms. There is quite a pretty
						story about the first Rain Bow Bird knight. And this is the story as it was
						told by father to son, down to the present knight.  
					 A long time ago an ancestor of Sir Rain Bow Bird was knighted for
						a brave deed. King Fisher had a ward, a young maiden named Gilly, of whom he
						was very fond, indeed had she been his own daughter he could not have loved
						her more; and she in turn loved her guardian as greatly. King Fisher had
						only one child of his own, a son, Burra, and Gilly was an orphan. As time
						passed King Fisher and Gilly were as happy together as though they were
						really father and daughter.  
					 She was a dainty little maid and as good as she was dainty. When
						she was old enough to attend court functions, the Court dressmakers were
						ordered to supply her with a goodly supply of gay and lovely clothes
						suitable for the many grand occasions she would be required to attend. At
						first the young girl was delighted with the brilliant balls and functions,
						until one day, when she was walking in the woods with the maids of honour,
						among whom were the gay and lovely Dandelions, she saw a small, shabby but
						cheerful person staggering along carrying a heavy load. She asked the small
						person where she was going and what was her name, and had she no one to help
						her.  
					 
					 "My name, Your Ladyship, is Anty Black, and I am
						carrying this food to many of our people, for they are very hungry, and are
						too weak to go and gather it for themselves."  
					 That evening King Fisher, seeing his little ward so quiet and
						serious, asked what ailed her. After hearing of her adventure with Anty
						Black, he sent for his staff of Serve Ants and sent them under the escort of
						Sergeant Ant laden with grain and sweets and honey for Anty Black's hungry
						people. Furthermore, he granted them all permission to come and gather food
						in his parklands when they required it. So now, instead of one small person
						going stealthily into the forest, from that day to this one may see many
						processions of the now happy and busy Ants gathering food all summer. They
						work so diligently that a great quantity of food is gar nered. This is
						stored in their granaries so that when the cold wintry days come they will
						have plenty. Needless to say, the Ants were grateful to Gilly.  
					 Now Gilly had discovered that there was something better to do
						than only amusing her self, changing into beautiful frocks each day, and
						being waited upon by her ladies. So as often as it was possible for her to
						be excused from the court she would quietly steal away in a simple habit of
						brown cloth with hood of black satin, and hie away to the forest and visit
						her many humble but now happy friends, who loved her for her extreme
						goodness. Lovingly they called her the Little Brown Nun.  
					 But, there was one person who was jealous of Gilly's fame, and
						this was that bad and wicked   Mrs. Tiger Snake. Now, one day, it
						was on the same day that Rain Bow Bird was knighted, and so made the first
						page of his family history, Gilly was going along the forest path, when the
						wicked Mrs. Tiger Snake came up to her and said: "Your guardian's
						son, Burra, tripped over his fishing rod and fell down the well at the back
						of my house." Gilly hurried with her towards Mrs. Snake's house.
						Now, as they were hurrying along, Mr. Bow Bird was walking in the opposite
						direction. He wondered greatly that the Little Brown Nun should be in the
						company of Mrs. Tiger Snake. He knew perfectly well that Mrs. Tiger Snake
						was no friend of Gilly's. But when he tried to warn Gilly, this old enemy of
						his, Mrs. Snake, hissed at him. He realised that he could not get near
						enough to rescue Gilly with out help, and so determined to get her away from
						the dangerous person. So he hopped with all his speed, across to Bob Goanna,
						the only person Mrs. Tiger Snake feared. As he reached the Goanna's gateway,
						he saw Bob lying full length on his garden wall.  
					 "This is indeed most fortunate," murmured Mr.
						Bow Bird, who had been wondering what he would do if Bob were away from
						home.  
					 "Bob!" he called, and as his friend still lay
						on the wall he called louder and then louder. "Wast ing no more
						time, he ran along the wall and found that Bob was sound asleep. He shook
						him, none too gently. Bob opened his eyes, prepared to resent his friend's
						hearty way of waking him.  
					 "Now, listen, Bob. I'm afraid that the Brown Nun's in
						danger. I saw Mrs. Tiger Snake taking her to her house."  
					 
					 Instantly Bob was not only wide awake but was climbing down the
						wall and speeding down the road, muttering as he ran: "That old
						serpent; I wouldn't trust her with a broken eggshell."  
					 As they ran across the road, a dreadful sight met their eyes.
						There was Mrs. Tiger Snake pushing and dragging the now terrified Gilly to
						wards a dungeon beneath her gateway. Madly they rushed forward just in time
						to see their be loved Brown Nun pushed down the dungeon, and the key turn in
						the grated door. As her ter rified screams reached them, the two rescuers
						sprang at Mrs. Tiger Snake. But Bob said, "Leave this wicked old
						serpent to me." So hastily Mr. Bow Bird sprang to the dungeon.
						Suddenly it became so dark that he could not see a yard in front of hm.
						"I can't find the key," he called. Then he heard a voice
						beside him. He looked around and saw a person clad in a dazzling sil ver
						armour; it was so bright that the darkness round about was broken.  
					 "I am Twinkle Star's brother. She was look ing down here
						and told me she saw some people in distress. So I quickly shot down; and now
						what can I do to help you?"  
					 "If you will just stand near this dungeon I shall be
						able to find the key by the light of your armour," answered Mr. Bow
						Bird.  
					 In a moment he had found the key where the wicked Mrs. Tiger
						Snake had dropped it and soon had the iron door unlocked.  
					 He had just succeeded in swinging the heavy door open when Race
						Horse Lizard, who had   seen his cousin, Bob, hurrying down the
						road with Bow Bird, came along to see what it was all about.  
					 "Hasten to Riverslea Castle and bring help
						immediately," said Bow Bird as he let himself down by the slippery
						step ladder. He had to go slowly for he dared not risk a fall; for if he
						should fall, then he could not rescue Gilly. It seemed ages before he
						reached the bottom step, but it was only a matter of a couple of minutes.  
					 He gave a cry of dismay as he saw Gilly lying with outspread arms
						and closed eyes.  
					 Tenderly he gathered her into his arms. The silver-clad knight
						continued to stand at the mouth of the dungeon, and when Bow Bird with his
						precious burden reached the top he con ducted them to a bed of couch grass.
						Gently Bow Bird placed her on the couch bed and moistened her lips with dew
						nectar from a flask that Race Horse Lizard had thoughtfully placed near.
						Soon Gilly opened her eyes and smiled gratefully at her friends Then a
						whining noise overhead caused them to look up. It was the Royal Aeroplane.
						In the meanwhile Bob Goanna had overcome his old enemy. Gilly and her
						rescuers were taken to Riverslea Castle in the plane and Race Horse Lizard
						was ordered to take Mrs. Tiger Snake prisoner and confine her in the Round
						Tower, where she was to remain at the King's pleasure.  
					 After Gilly had been handed over to her alarmed maids of honour,
						to be cared for, King Fisher invited the rescuers to dine with him.   They both looked down at their soiled hands and disarranged
						garments. "Never mind about your clothes. We shall be able to fix
						you up with new ones." Tit Willow, a page, was sent to summon the
						court tailors and two valets, When these people entered they bowed low
						before the King, who told them that two baths were required im mediately and
						also two new suits of clothes for the visitors.  
					 If the valets and the tailor felt any surprise at the disorderly
						appearance of the King's visi tors, they wisely refrained from showing.
						"Yes, sire. It shall be done," they murmured, and bowing
						low they walked backwards from the room.  
					 A few minutes before dinner time, two im maculately dressed men
						entered the greenery. Mrs. March Fly, peering through the leafy win dows,
						was amazed at the sight. "Well—if that isn't old Bob.
						Umph! And pretty uncomfort able he looks all dressed up in those
						clothes," she buzzed loudly, "though Bow Bird looks all
						right."  
					 A Colonel of the Red and Green Paws came up to her.
						"Don't you know it is on pain of death that you loiter
						here?" he said curtly. Mrs. March Fly did not wait to satisfy her
						curiosity any further, but flew away to safety.  
					 After dinner the King told his visitors that it was his intention
						to knight them on account of their bravery and the successful rescue of his
						beloved Gilly, who had been returned to him un harmed at Bina. The next day
						all the subjects of the King were commanded to assemble at his palace.  
					 
					 Now, though Mr. Bow Bird was a subject of King Fisher, Bob Goanna
						owed his allegiance to the House of Goanna and Lizard. The Kng in a speech
						to his subjects told them that as a token of gratitude for the brave rescue
						of his beloved ward, he was about to bestow on the two rescu ers the honour
						and rank of knight, and that this title would forever descend from father to
						eldest son.  
					 Then taking up his Big Blue Feather, King Fisher touched Mr. Bow
						Bird, who was kneeling at the royal footstool, lightly with the flat of the
						blade, saying, "Rise, Sir Rain Bow Bird." So overcome was
						Mr. Bow Bird by this honour, that he remained kneeling before his monarch
						and said, "I solemnly promise that I and my heirs shall always
						render their best service and loyalty to your Majesty, and should I or any
						of my des cendants ever fail to keep this promise may we be stripped of the
						rank and title of knighthood."  
					 All this happened many many years ago and there have been a great
						many knights descended from the first Sir Rain Bow knight. So you see that
						is why the rainbow, which is an emblem of promise, has so important a place
						in their coat of arms. And their motto is "Only as we keep our
						promises, can our honour survive." Needless to say, the Rain Bow
						Bird knights have all been very proud of their coat of arms. And Carol
						thought, "It is no wonder, for it is a beautful symbol."
						And she remembered what Canon Livingstone had told them, when the rainbow
						arch appeared in the sky it was a sign of the promise of love, from the
						great Creator towards all his creatures both great and small.  
					 
					 Suddenly Carol came back from her dream ing and asked,
						"But what of Mr. Goanna? What title did he receive?"  
					 When the court chamberlain called his name there was no response.
						The courtiers and those whose duty is was to see that everything went
						smoothly at these royal functions looked high and low for Bob Goanna. Then
						Silas Mouse, cousin of Field Mouse, said that he saw Bob slip away through
						the crowds and climb on to Race Horse Lizard's back, and with him slip out
						into the forest. No one liked to be first to tell the King. Such behaviour
						had never before been heard of at the Royal Palace. In a short time a stir
						was heard, and Bob between two courtiers was being led up to the throne.  
					 Bob said he was very sorry and that he had got nervous and had
						just wanted to get away from the fuss.  
					 "You see, King Fisher, Pm not a subject of yours, so I
						didn't think it would matter or that I would be missed among the crowd
						that's here. I would die if I had to live in a palace."  
					 The simple surroundings of his home and the sunny roads were more
						natural to him. The silence that followed rather worried him. "It
						seems that I incurred your Majesty's displeas ure." Then suddenly
						he smiled as an idea came to him.  
					 "There's one thing that I greatly crave, sire; it means
						more to me than a knighthood."  
					 
					 "Speak, and let us learn of this wondrous re
						quest," commanded the King Fisher.  
					 "If I may have your permission to enter the chicken
						yards whenever I need an egg for break fast."  
					 The court gasped at this unusual and absurd request. They were
						astounded. After a mo ment's consideration the King gave his consent, and
						ordered one of his Ministers to write and read a manifesto which read as
						follows:—"Mr. Bob Goanna has obtained our royal
						permission to visit any chicken yard in our kingdom, and to remove thence
						whatever eggs he may wish. Any person attempting to prevent his entrance
						will incur our deep displeasure and may be punished accordingly."  
					 And to this day the family of Goanna likes new laid eggs for
						breakfast. But that law only applied to the kingdom of King Fisher, and that
						is why all wise birds build their nests high in the trees. For as Mrs. Mo
						Poke said, "You never know when he'll mistake a bird's egg for a
						chicken's. So it's best to leave nothing to chance."  
					 Sometimes the cooks of the houses the Go- annas visit get
						terribly angry when there are not enough eggs to go around for breakfast for
						the family.  
					 ""Whatever are we waiting so long
						for?" im patiently interrupted Myrtle Wild as she and Clematis came
						over and stood beside Lucy and Carol. "The King and Sir Rain Bow
						Bird have   been talking for ever so long; we shall be very late
						at the cathedral. The Queen and the Prin cess, and all the guests will have
						arrived there long ago."  
					 "Ladies," said the King. The whisperings
						suddenly ceased so that you could hear a leaf fall. "Sir Rain Bow
						Bird tells me that the Royal barges are now awaiting our pleasure."  
					 A murmur of glad surprise greeted this an nouncement.
						"We are going by water," said Clematis excitedly.  
					 "I hope it won't be rough. I've heard that people get
						sea-sick if the water is rough," lamented Lucy.  
					 "Don't be silly, Lucy. I never met such a silly
						frightened girl as you, always looking for trouble before you start out.
						Anyhow, we are not going on the sea, so how can you get sea sick?"
						said Myrtle Wild, who was the biggest and strongest of the bridesmaids.
						Gently Carol squeezed Lucy's hand, for she knew that when trouble really
						came her way, Lucy was braver than a great many people would be.  
					 The King was now speaking again, and everyone became silent.
						"We shall be pleased to go down to the barges without further
						delay." At the same time he drew his daughter's hand within his
						arm.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER VII.  
					 THE BRIDAL PROCESSION  
					 AFTER the Warblers' Band, at the head of the procession, amidst
						much cheering, came Sir Rain Bow Bird in all his magnifi cence. But the
						cheering grew louder as the King and the Royal Bride with their bodyguard of
						Sergeant Ant soldiers moved slowly forwards. All over the kingdom the
						national anthem was played. The cheering of the people grew louder and
						louder. Young men and maidens danced and sang merrily.  
					 "Isn't that your national anthem?" whis pered
						Carol, bewildered by so much noise.  
					 "Yes," answered Lucy. "Everyone is
						always joyful when they hear it, for it is only played jn great and joyful
						occasions."  
					 "How different from our anthem. When that is played we
						must stand very still and rev erent. But, of course, everything is different
						here," mused Carol.  
					 
					 "Listen, Carol. The Frog Sisters and their cousins the
						Bull Frogs are singing at the special request of Mayor Cockatoo
						White."  
					 Suddenly all the noise and the dancing ceased as if by magic. A
						thrill of excitement ran through the tall Trees, who stood at the back of
						the crowd, and these nobles bowed their heads as the anthem clearly rang
						out:—  
					 
						 
							 Thou art the noblest king  
							 On royal throne e'er seen,  
							 And may thy kingly blue e'er  
							 Reign amongst the forest green.  
							 Long may'st thou reign. 
						 
					 
					 As the song ended the young Trees, both men and maidens, clapped
						their hands and waved their caps and shawls. The Grass Nobles, not to be
						outdone, rustled their blades and each of their small maidens made her low
						graceful curtsey, taught them by Professor Summer Breeze, the court dancing
						master, as their Prin cess passed them with a gentle smile for one and all.
						The cheering rose tumultuously. Never had the Princess looked so lovely. Her
						gown of silk was as soft and beautiful as though a patch of summer sky had
						gently descended and draped its folds of tenderest blue around her. Her
						large hat of blue, with its long trailing creamy plume, a gift from
						Kundagor, Chief of the Zamias, was indeed the most beautiful hat that Madame
						Armee Bonnett had ever made. And her hat shops were the most stylish and
						were eagerly patronised by the fashionable ladies of Bushland. This season
						many guests had bought new hats for the wedding, so that Madame Armee
						Bonnett had soon sold all her lovely new   bonnet-like hats of
						yellow and russet silk. Of course many ladies who had left their shopping
						late were disappointed at not being able to ob- tain one of the newest
						styles, but Messrs. Bul rush and Dryd Grass had set all their workers making
						straw hats of sunburn brown, so after all every lady had a new hat in which
						to attend the royal function.  
					 Slowly the procession moved on. And I'll tell you a secret. Royal
						processions move very slowly because there are so many lovely robes,
						head-dresses and jewels to be admired. To see the King in his splendid court
						attire, with his beautiful white fur coat with its diamond shoul der clasps,
						and his magnificently glittering crown always stirred the people. And in
						this procession were the wonderful royal bride and her twenty lovely
						bridesmaids, all in pretty frocks—some of velvet, some of satin,
						some of silk and lace; and the colours of these, white, ruby, pink, mauve,
						yellow and brown.  
					 Following closely behind the bride and hold ing her bridal train
						of green satin were the twin tons of Prince Blue Wren. The little Blue Wrens
						were usually gay and frolicsome, but to day they were very solemn. When the
						wedding party was about to leave Bushingham Palace, Joe Glowworm had arived
						out of breath, with an urgent message for Sir Karak Cockatoo, the Court
						Chamberlain. The Blue Wrens had caught whispers of "Dusty
						Motes." These were rude children living in Acacia Alley, and whose
						parents were secret friends of the wicked Calosang Clan. Directly the Qualup
						bell rang out, the twins knew that it was to summon the   Red and
						Green Paw Regiment. These soldiers came hot-foot and were sent out to keep
						back the crowd while the procession passed along to Taddy Creek Jetty. In
						spite of this some small Dusky Motes had slipped between the crowd and the
						soldiers and tried with their grimy hands to clutch the bride's train, but
						the pages, who had been on the watch lest any of the crowd should get too
						near the train, suddenly lifted it up, well out of the reach of the grimy
						little rascals.  
					 When the bridesmaids descended the steps leading to the jetty a
						cry of surprise escaped them. For lying beside the jetty was the Kurra- jong
						Fleet of barges, gaily decorated. The Royal Barge was outlined in and
						decorated with long streamers of red, pink and orange coral creepers. In
						this barge the bride, the King, the pages and four of the bridesmaids,
						Carol, Lucy, Lady Bird and Clematis, were to travel downstream to Nature's
						Cathedral. As the bride stepped aboard, Miss Spider Orchid presented her
						with a charming bouquet of orchids from her father's famous nurseries. This
						particular variety had been named after Mr. Spider Orchid. The Dusty Motes
						had tried to steal these blooms, but had only succeeded in picking their
						fingers on the spears cunningly surrounding the plants. At a given signal
						the oarsmen of the royal barge slowly swung the barge out into midstream.
						The oarsmen were the champion Scarlet Runner crew of the Interbushland
						Rowers, and their caps and jerseys of red showed that they were the champion
						crew. In the second barge were Myrtle Green, Maiden Hair, Bunny White Rab
						bit, Sweet Boronia and Mauve Hovea, The oars-   men were the
						famous White Gum crew, although to Carol they looked more like Scottish
						chief tains in their finely pleated knee skirts and green satin bonnets, and
						as they waited they rested their lean, strong brown arms on their oars.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER VIII.  
					 A JOURNEY ON TADDY'S CREEK  
					 WHEN out in midstream Lady Bird saw a small man running as hard
						as his burden allowed him, and she promptly called the attention of the
						oarsmen to him. Quickly they unroped one of the gumleaf canoes and sent it
						ashore with a small boy, named Dusky Shadows, of whom you will hear more
						later. They all watched the meeting of the canoe and the burdened man.
						Swiftly Dusky Shadows swirled the boat around, and the belated passen ger
						came aboard and in next to no time was alongside the barge.  
					 "Why, it's Mr. Money Spider, the one who owns the town
						bank!" exclaimed Lady Bird, as the little man and his burden were
						helped over the side of the barge. However, when one of the men attempted to
						stow the burden, which was a large full sack, under a rear seat, Mr. Money
						Spider, although still out of breath, plainly made it understood that the
						sack was not going out of his care. Then as he regained his breath he patted
						the sack and said: "This is my   wedding gift to Prince
						Sturt Pea and his lovely bride. It is full of the finest dandelion gold and
						is so precious that I must keep it beside me until I see Prince Sturt
						Pea."  
					 While this was going on in the second boat, the wireless operator
						in the royal barge, Mr. An tennae Beetle, had received a radio from Old
						Father Moon: "Sincerest wishes for great happi ness of Princess
						Natalie and Prince Sturt Pea. Since I cannot leave my lighthouse am sending
						my moonbeams to light you on your way."  
					 Hardly had Mr. Beetle delivered the mess age, when several youths
						and maidens clad in soft silver came noiselessly aboard. With light quick
						touches they made everything look much more beautiful. Soft silver lights
						gleamed over the barge and over the water and showed the many people
						clustered along the river banks, watching the wedding procession. As the
						barges rounded a curve in the stream bells rang out joyfully, and at last
						they arrived at the cathedral. To Carol the place looked familiar. She must
						have been here before. Yes, it was exactly like the Mammoth Cave at Margaret
						River. Turning to Lucy she murmured:—  
					 "This is not a cathedral; this is the Mammoth Cave at
						Margaret River."  
					 "No. This is our cathedral," insisted Lucy.  
					 It was almost in darkness. Standing at the door, on duty, was
						Dusky Shadows' big brother, Dark Ehadows. Seeing the moonbeam maidens and
						youths he left his post and came over to talk to them. No one heard what he
						said, but some   of the moonbeams, leaving their companions took
						up their positions just inside the grated iron doorway. There they stood
						silently, and as Dark Shadows passed by and took up his position in the
						vaulted roof they sent him many a rippling smile. Soon a soft silvery light
						streamed out in a pool before the altar, giving plenty of light for the
						wedding party.  
					 On the altar Chinese candles were burning. At the organ Mr. Wynd
						Cave was playing "Here Comes the Bride." Then as the
						bridal party arrived at the altar he played something more in keeping with
						the cathedral.  
					 "Why! That's the hymn we sang in school this
						morning!" And to Lucy's dismay Carol be gan to sing in her high
						treble voice.  
					 At Lucy's shocked "Hush, hush," Carol stopped
						abruptly on a high note, and very fool ish she felt when she realised that
						she was the only singer. Her cheeks grew hot as everyone gazed at her
						curiously; then as the two pages, the Blue Wrens, grinned saucily at her,
						her face grew a bright crimson. She indeed felt very uncomfortable.  
					 However, a sudden sound in one of the back pews caused all heads
						to turn to the back of the church, and Carol and her singing were imme
						diately forgotten. At the unusual sounds of scuffling and hissing Prince
						Sturt Pea put pro tecting arms around his beloved bride and begged her not
						to be afraid, since he would not allow any harm to come near her.  
					 
					 As the sounds increased the Archbishop let the leaves of his book
						fall to the ground, and whispered something to the Bishop; the Bishop passed
						the whisper along to the Canon; the Canon to the Altar Boy; the Altar Boy to
						the Usher. The Usher looked grave, turned and walked solemnly down the aisle
						to the pew from which came the disturbing noise.  
					 By this time the two queens, mothers of the bride and bridegroom,
						Emperor and Empress Moth, and many other notable people were standing up and
						looking towards the back pews. The moonbeams had followed the usher and now
						stood with their lights turned on the scene. The noise and confusion grew
						louder. Everyone seemed to forget that they were in the cathedral. Carol and
						Lucy, by standing on tiptoe, were able to catch-glimpses of a fierce
						struggle going on between two persons.  
					 "Why! It's Chief Bob Goanna and Mrs. Tiger
						Snake!" whispered Lucy excitedly.  
					 "I thought you said that Bob was lazy and that Mrs.
						Tiger Snake was prisoner of the King?"  
					 "Oh! Not this Bob and Tiger. Those were ancestors of
						these people. Each generation has carried on the feud; and the eldest son of
						the Goanna family is always called Bob and the eld est son of the snakes is
						always called Tiger."  
					 "Yes, but their wives would not be born into the feud,
						so why should this Mrs. Tiger Snake fight?"  
					 
					 "At the weddings of the Tiger Snakes the brides have to
						swear that they will uphold the feud. If they will not, well, the Tiger
						Snakes will not marry them. As a rule the brides are proud of being allowed
						to take part in the feud. And now that Bob has been made Chief of Police
						they are more bitter than ever against him, and they are trying their
						hardest to kill him, because with this position he has more power over them
						than before."  
					 "I never did like snakes," thought Carol as she
						listened to Lucy. Then aloud she said: "That is why Tiger Snakes
						are so poisonous. They have bitter and hateful thoughts. As Mother says,
						'If you think nasty and bad thoughts, you will grow like them, and
						if you have loving and beautiful thoughts you will grow lovely. 'It
						seems quite true, Lucy, doesn't it? When you see how sly and nasty Mrs.
						Tiger Snake looks?" For at that moment she had a full view of the
						aisle. Mrs. Tiger Snake was taller than Bob and had cunningly tripped him by
						twisting her tail about him. Charlie Cricket, one of the chief's men, became
						alarmed as he saw Mrs. Tiger Snake about to strike Bob with her deadly
						fangs, so he sounded his alarm and immediately Sergeant Ant's soldiers, who
						were on guard outside the door, came clattering up the steps and entered the
						cathedral. At the sight of the soldiers Mrs. Tiger got such a fright that
						she drew in her fangs, let go of Bob and tried to glide away to the secret
						passage her people had made under the back pews. How ever, in less than a
						minute the soldiers had cut off her retreat and captured her. They bound her
						with sundew ropes and carried her away a   prisoner. As she
						passed Bob she glared angrily at him and spat at him, but could not harm
						him, and the soldiers hurried her out of the building.  
					 "Yes. She is not only vicious and hateful, but mean and
						rude," said Lucy, as they returned to their places beside the
						bride.  
					 As the sound of the soldiers' tramp died away, all the guests
						returned to their places. The altar boy gathered up the leaves of the Arch
						bishop's book, which were lying all over the floor, and with a deep bow
						handed them to the Canon. The Canon handed them to the Bishop with a bow.
						The Bishop handed them to the Archbishop with a bow. The Archbishop found
						the proper place and began to marry the Prince and Princess. Now in Bushland
						they don't have wedding rings; they use red coral wreaths. The Prince had
						given his red coral wreath to the Canon and the Canon had passed it to the
						Bishop, when Lady Bird saw that Carol had forgotten her important duty of
						removing the hat of the Princess and carrying it until they arrived back at
						Bushingham. . The Bishop was still holding the wreath until the Archbishop
						could place it on the head of the bride. Swiftly Lady Bird moved up behind
						the Princess and lifted the plumed hat from her head, as Lucy signalled to
						Carol, who at last remembered what she should have done and took the hat as
						Lady Bird passed it to her. The Archbishop placed the red coral wreath on
						the bride's head and said:—  
					 
						 
							 Now you're married I wish you joy,  
							 First a girl and then a boy.  
							 Seven years old to seven years old,  
							 Play a couple and kiss together. 
						 
					 
					 
					 Everyone cheered the bride and bridegroom and wanted to kiss the
						bride. Carol thought they ought not to have done this in a church.  
					 As the Prince was wondering how to get his bride away a moonbeam
						touched him on the shoulder and silently pointed with a silvery wand to an
						exit through a side door, guarded by several of her companions.  
					 Everywhere people looked happy and excit ed. Even the walls of
						the cathedral joined in the echo that rose up about them, and they silently
						hugged each other, so pleased were they to wit ness this great happiness.
					 
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER IX.  
					 WILLY WAGTAIL BRINGS NEWS  
					 ON the departure of the Prince and Princess Sturt Pea the wedding
						party and all the guests left the cathedral and returned to Bushingham
						Palace. There a great feast was in readiness. The court orchestra had been
						com manded to bring their musical instruments, and there they were, seated
						under a naming orange Christmas tree. Carol remembered several of them from
						her last visit to Bushland; among them, Mr. Wurgyl Frog with his trombone,
						Miss Nirrgo and Mr. Nido Mosquito, the daughter and son of General Sir Nido
						Mosquito, with their violins, the Cricket Brothers, turning up their harps
						(which seemed to take more tuning, Carol thought, than seemed
						necessary, consider ing the number of items they gave), the Misses
						Bees Brown with their coloured humming tops, the Locust Sisters with their
						castanets, and ac companying them all on the organ was Miss Theresa Toad.
						The long tables were of granite, and along each side of these lengthy tables
						were placed Bunyong seats, one for each guest. The tables were laden with
						all sorts of good things to   eat and drink. In wide brimmed,
						slender jarrah goblets dew nectar sparkled. For those who pre ferred it many
						vessels were filled with creamy thistle milk, and for others in quaint
						shell-like drinking cups was iced crystal spray direct from the Falls Ice
						Works- Then there were all man ner of fruit salads and nuts and bowls of
						rasp berry jam as well as dishes of salmon from the Salmon Gum factories. §
						When the guests had seated themselves around the tables the Zamia slaves and
						Blackboys came and attended to their needs. Zamia slaves and Blackboys
						carried blue lacquered trays of dainty cauliflower savouries on tiny pieces
						of toasted bread-fruit. Carol did not like the look of this particular
						dainty; nevertheless she was greatly interested in the ap pearance of the
						Blackboys and Zamia slaves. The Blackboy slaves wore finely pleated green
						taffeta smock or tunic garments, some of which only came down to the knee;
						they wore no hose, but this did not look strange, for their skins were a
						smooth brown in colour. They wore very smart shoes of black and brown
						adorned with large flame-coloured buckles. But it was their head-dresses
						that held Carol's attention—stiff white plumes three or four feet
						in height, bound on to their heads with several stands of ribbon grass.  
					 "Why do they wear those woolly dusters on their
						heads?" asked Carol.  
					 "Because they belonged to the Blackboy tribe. Only the
						strongest men of the tribe were allowed to wear them."  
					 "But I thought you said they were slaves."  
					 
					 "Yes. So they are. But King Leschenaultia is very kind
						and good to them. When they were brought here, he allowed them to keep their
						badges, since he knew that it would distress them and make them very unhappy
						if they were taken away. As it is, they are fairly happy and work well. One
						day when Mrs- Banksia was visiting the Queen, the Queen complained of the
						dust that collected on the ceilings of her rooms, and Mrs. Banksia asked her
						why she didn't get her slaves to brush them with their plumes. The Queen
						thought it a splendid idea. 'Yes. And think of the saving of time.
						While they are sweeping the floors, they can also do the ceil ings.
						' So the Queen told the King; he thought it a very useful idea and
						sent for more plumes and had them mounted on long sticks. And now, when the
						slaves do the housework, they wear the long-handled plumes; but when they
						wait on table, they put on the short ones, which they keep spotlessly clean.
						All the Blackboy slaves do not work in the palace; some are employed at the
						Blind Factory and the Kindling Yards."  
					 After the feast, as they sat listening to the music and watching
						the dancers, Little Dusky Shadows crept up to Carol.  
					 "There is a messenger at the gate asking for you. Shall
						I bring him here?"  
					 Greatly wondering who the messenger could be, Carol assented.  
					 Soon Dusky returned and brought with him Willy Wagtail.  
					 
					 "Hello, Willie! What brings you here?" asked
						Carol.  
					 Willie, looking brightly about him, saw a piece of lamb's wool
						lying on the ground and promptly picked it up before he replied:  
					 "Well, Miss Carol, I was passing your home tonight, and
						since the window was open I thought I'd take a peek inside, and see how
						everyone was getting on."  
					 "Willie! Don't you know that it is very rude to look
						through people's windows when they don't know you are there?"
						exclaimed Carol.  
					 "What's wrong with that? I'd never know anything if I
						didn't use me eyes."  
					 "Willy! You get worse and worse! It's no wonder you are
						called 'Cheeky 'Willy Wag tail. And you should say MY eyes
						not ME eyes."  
					 "Lots I care," he twittered, saucily rocking to
						and fro on his toes. And with his hand in his pocket he began to whistle
						cheekily. "I say, Carol I found some beaut, crumbs on your
						windowsill."  
					  'They were put there for Eliza Lizard."  
					 "Poor Elizabeth! Well—I guess it's the early
						bird that gets the worm. And, I say, do you know, I still feel a bit
						peckish."  
					 
					 Lucy, who was sitting beside her friend, sig nalled to one of the
						Zamia slaves and command ed him to bring a tray of refreshments for the
						messenger. Willy's eyes brightened at the pros pect of a whole tray of
						goodies.  
					 "Now, Willy, surely you didn't come just to tell me that
						you had eaten the crumbs we put out for Eliza Lizard."  
					 "Sure I didn't. I bet you don't know that your brother
						Michael is expected home before Bina. Yer mother didn't tell you about it
						cos she said you'd be too excited to sleep, and it would be time enough when
						he arrived."  
					 "Oh, Willy, are you perfectly sure?" she asked
						breathlessly, so surprised at the good news that she forgot to reprove him
						for using slang and saying "yer" and
						"cos."  
					 "Cross my fingers. It's the truth," replied the
						imp.  
					 "Lucy," she cried, turning to her friend.
						"Didn't General Nido take the Archbishop away in the plane? How am
						I to get home?"  
					 "Mistress River said she'd take you as far as Rivers
						Bend in one of her canoes," interrupted Willy, "and there
						you will be met by—." At that moment he caught sight of
						the slave com ing towards him, bearing a tray laden with delicacies.  
					 "Yes. By whom?" asked Carol.  
					 
					 But Willy now had only thoughts for the tray, and answered
						vaguely: "Oh, by someone. I've forgotten, but Mistress River will
						know."  
					 Then Lady Bird came flying across the grass to Lucy and Carol.  
					 "The Prince and Princess are leaving soon and she wants
						to say goodbye to you, Carol."  
					 Princess Natalie fondly kissed Carol and Lucy and Lady Bird
						goodbye, and the Prince presented each of them with a gold pen and a bottle
						of gold ink. The ink, he told them, came from the Sunset Printers, who
						always printed The Evening News. (But of that you shall hear later.
						As the Princess and Prince Sturt Pea stepped aboard their airship, Carol
						turned to her friends. "I must hurry away now and get home before
						Mother goes to my room to call me; for if I'm not there she will be
						dreadfully worried and think that I've been kidnapped. But I know people
						don't really get kidnapped; they just go away to
						fairyland—"  
					 At this moment a firefly came running to wards them, crying out:
						"Lady Bird, Lady Bird. Come fly away home. Your house is on
						fire—"  
					 "How dreadful!" said Lucy, shivering with fear
						and anxiety for her friend.  
					 Carol stood still. Where had she heard that before? she wondered.
						"Don't worry, Lucy. I think it is only a rhyme."  
					 
					 "Oh, no, Carol. It was one of the Fireflies who brought
						the message. They always attend to the fires in Bushland, and look after
						those people whose houses are on fire."  
					 At that moment Lady Bird's son came run ning up.  
					 "It's all right. Our home is saved, thanks to the
						Fireflies, who set all the windmills going and filled all the water waggons
						so quickly that the fire was put out before much damage was done. Mother
						thought you might be anxious about us and sent me along to tell you we were
						all right."  
					 The friends thanked him and asked him to convey their loving
						greetings.  
					 Willy Wagtail, now thoroughly satisfied with such dainties as
						crab mayonnaise, thistle ice cream, wild fruit salad, and dew nectar, came
						strolling over to the two girls.  
					 "Hullo. Where is Mistress River; hasn't she arrived
						yet?" "No," answered Carol and Lucy together.  
					 "Oh! She'll come all right because she
						promised," he said comfortingly.  
					 "But she doesn't know me, so why should she bother to
						come for me?" said Carol.  
					 "Because Mister Gilgee heard—"  
					 
					 Again she interrupted with: "But he doesn't know me
						either."  
					 "Well, if you'll jest listen a bit, I'll tell
						you," said Willy, looking at her reproachfully.  

					 "It was this way. Mister Gilgee, the engineer of the new
						tunnel, has a friend, Hedge Spider, who told him that he had heard over the
						wire less that Carol Cressy was lost in Slumberland, and that her people
						were looking for her, and getting very worried because they couldn't find
						her. Now I jest happened to be looking at the new tunnel, and they asked me
						if I knew any thing about a place called Slumberland. 'Of course I
						do, ' I said, and then I only waited to ask Hedge to send a
						wireless message to Mistress River to ask her to stop on her way past
						Taddy's Creek and take you aboard her bark, Carol. On my way here, when
						passing the Grasshoppers' radio station, I heard that Mistress River had got
						the message and had agreed to take you as far as Rivers Bend."  
					 "Oh, Willie—that was lovely of you. Thank you
						ever so much. I do want to get home quickly before mother and the others get
						worried about me," said Carol gratefully-  
					 Willy felt rather shy at this praise, for it was seldom that
						people praised him.  
					 Then suddenly from around the corner Mis tress River came
						striding towards them. She was very graceful and had beautiful silvery
						tresses and grey laughing eyes. As she drew near them she was surprised to
						see, instead of one little lost   girl, three small people
						chatting together. How ever Willy soon explained matters.  
					 "This is Carol Cressy. She really isn't a fairy, though
						she looks like one. You see, she got a letter from the King and Queen of
						Bush- ingham asking her to come over to Golden Land and be bridesmaid to the
						Princess. She was met at Slumberland by General Nido, who brought her here
						in Archbishop's airship, the Banksia Cone."  
					 Then as Willy paused for breath Mistress River said:  
					 "Yes, I think I remember reading about that in the
						Sunset Times" "Well, now Carol's mother,"
						continued Willy, "is worried because Keith went to Slum berland to
						find Carol, and he hasn't returned home yet."  
					 "Since that is the case, we must lose so time, so if you
						will say goodbye to your little friends, Carol, Dusky Shadows will row us
						quickly along."  
					 The two little girls threw their arms around each other, and
						kissed each other lovingly. Then Carol turned swiftly away and blinked hard
						to keep back the tears that came at the thought of parting from her little
						bush friend, and followed closely behind Mistress Rivers onto the Bark
						Canoe. Then she remembered she had not said goodbye to Willy, so she called
						out to him:  
					 
					 "Goodbye, Willy, you'll soon come to Green Timbers,
						won't you?"  
					 Willy threw his cap up in the air and cut such funny capers that
						Carol had to laugh in spite of her sorrow at parting from Lucy. As Dusky
						Shadows steered the boat out in mid stream Lucy Shiverygrass became grief
						stricken and burst into tears, trembling violently. This was very unpleasant
						for Willy. He became very uneasy. He couldn't see what there was to make
						such a fuss about. Then a bright idea came to him.  
					 "Gee, Lucy," he cried, "if you water
						your sunkisses so much they'll grow and won't be able to stop growing until
						they are great big brown freckles, that'll cover all your face, p'raps even
						your eyes, and you have to look out of two brown freckles instead of
						eyes."  
					 Lucy was so alarmed at such a dreadful fate that she stopped
						instantly, and bending over the water beside the bank anxiously gazed at her
						reflection in its still surface. To her great relief there were no brown
						freckles and her eyes were as green as ever.  
					 "That's better," said Willy, wagging his head
						impishly at her. "Let's go and hear the wireless news at Madame
						Butterfly's radio shop."  
					 On arriving there they saw a crowd of people listening in to the
						broadcast news. Willy pushed and wriggled his way to the front of the crowd,
						and since he held Lucy's hand so firmly she had to follow him. However, in
						the excitement of   hearing the news all fear of the pushing,
						jolly crowd left her. The names of the entrants and their aeroplanes for the
						Great Karak Air Race were being announced as they gained a place in the
						front row.  
					 " The Dowarn , piloted by Mr. T. E.
						Parrot."  
					 " The Gnoto , piloted by Mr. A.
						Crow."  
					 " The Jida , piloted by Miss Jenny
						Wren."  
					 " The Garro , piloted by Mr. R. O.
						S.  
					 Swallow."  
					 " The Nanyt , piloted by Mr.
						Cockatoo White."  
					 " The Korbet , piloted by Miss
						Warble Mag- pie.  
					 " The Garada , piloted by Miss
						Mardo Wag tail."  
					 "Hooray!" shouted Willy as the last name was
						announced-  
					 "What are you so excited about?" asked Lucy.  
					 "My cousin—you bet I'm excited, and I bet
						Mardo wins the race in her  Garada "  
					 "Hush! little boy," said Miss Kiddal Cricket, a
						little old lady in a grey dress and bonnet. "You must not talk of
						betting. I am surprised" —then added, "Anyway
							 The Garada  hasn't the   slightest
						chance of winning against such an aeroplane as  The
							Garro . Why, he wins races in nearly every country he
						visits."  
					 "Do you know what The Garro means?" she asked
						Lucy suddenly, and looking at her in such a bright keen way that Lucy felt a
						great dunce as she answered in a very small voice:  
					 "No, madam. I don't."  
					 "Well," said Miss Cricket briskly, "It
						means again and again, and a very good name for it, I consider. And, little
						girl, I am not a madam, I'm a spinster."  
					 "Oh!" said Lucy brightly, you spin lace like
						Garden Spider? She makes lovely patterns of lace."  
					 "Indeed, little girl, I see you haven't paid much
						attention to your lessons. I'm not a spinner but a spinster, an unmarried
						female."  
					 "Oh!" said Lucy again, quite perplexed by this
						strange person, who sniffed, and then said fussily, "a spinner
						indeed! I would have you know that I am of the famous musical Crickets, my
						ancestors were the first violinists of note in the world."  
					 Lucy, not knowing much about famous violinists, answered:
						"Yes, madam, I mean, yes, spinster."  
					 "My name is ... "  
					 
					 But Lucy was not allowed to hear what the little old lady's name
						was, for Willy, catching hold of her hand, hurried her away, saying,
						"Come on, Lucy, I've an idea. P'raps Mardo will let's go up in her
						aeroplane."  
					 On their arrival at Wattle Bower, the home of Willy's cousin,
						Mardo, they were welcomed by a small, smart woman, who greatly resembled
						Willy. He lost no time in telling her the reason of their visit.  
					 Mardo smiled gently, as she shook her head. "No, Willy,
						I'm sorry to disappoint you and your little friend, but I'm flying solo. But
						do come in, it is nearly afternoon fruit time."  
					 Readily Willy accepted for both of them. While they were seated
						around the fruit table, Mardo told them that the winner of the air race
						would be presented with a handsome pair of wings, richly engraved. Then, as
						her little maid, Ann Sparrow, cleared away the fruit table, Mardo said
						suddenly, "Perhaps Colonel Black Cockatoo would let you go up with
						him, for I know he is following the race in his red and black
						aeroplane."  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER X  
					 THE WILLOW FAMILY  
					 IN the meantime, as Mistress River and Carol, steered by Dusky
						Shadows, in the Bark Canoe, glided downstream, Mistress River, who had a
						soft, sweet, beautiful voice, sang a song that seemed very familiar to
						Carol, though she could not remember when or where she had heard it. As the
						last lingering note died away, she said:  
					 "That is the most beautiful song I have ever
						heard."  
					 "Yes," answered her friend, "we Rivers
						are always taught this song in our infancy; it is one of the oldest songs
						ever sung " After a minute's silence she added, "I am
						taking you as far as Mistress Willow Tree's home, which is called River's
						Bend. Would you like me to tell you a story of the Willow Trees of long
						ago?"  
					 "Oh! yes, please," answered Carol eagerly-
						"We have plates and cups and saucers with pic tures of a willow
						tree story."  
					 
					 "Not of this story, for this one has never been written,
						but has been told by father to son right down the ages."  
					 Then she sat still so long that Carol wondered if she was really
						going to tell her the story Everything became silent save for the little
						Water-Ripples, who, in passing, gently bade their Queen goodnight. Then
						quite suddenly her friend began the story.  
					 Many, many years (Carol thrilled with delight, for she
						loved stories that started like this), our families, the Rivers and
						the Willow- Trees, have been great friends. Indeed, their friendship began
						when this country was very young. One day, when an ancestor of mine, by name
						of Rushing Rivers, was passing the home of the Willow-Trees, he heard fresh
						young voices, he paused, and going over to the garden wall, peeped over, and
						on the green grass he saw some small maidens clad in long graceful green
						dresses, dancing and singing. When their dance was over, he clapped so
						heartily that their parents came to see who it was that stood beside their
						garden wall. And that was the beginning of a great friendship, for Mr. and
						Mrs. Willow- Tree liked his strong, clean appearance, and often they would
						invite him to come and rest under their roof tree. And that is how the
						Willow- Tree's happy home became known as River's Bend."  
					 "Then, if they are so happy, why are they called the
						Weeping Willows," asked Carol.  
					 
					 Ah, but those were days of long ago, for after that came perilous
						days. It was spring time, and Tit Willow and Blue Wren were play ing at hide
						and seek around River's Bend, when a strange, unusual sound down the road at
						tracted their attention. It sounded much heavier and much louder than the
						biggest rain drops and hail stones do when they are marching and drumming
						over the rooftrees- Tit Willow, an orphan boy, had been found almost dead by
						Mr. Carefree Willow after a heavy storm. After caring for him until he was
						well again, Mr. and Mrs. Carefree Willow told him that, since he had no one
						now to look after him, they would take him as their own son. Tit Willow at
						first grieved greatly for the loss of his dear parents. However, time
						passed, and he grew to love his adopted parents greatly, and was ever ready
						to show his gratitude towards them. Now, as he heard the strange sounds he
						ran swiftly to his adopted father and told him what he had heard.  
					 "Run, Tit, run, and summon our friends, for I fear the
						giants are coming to make war against us." Tit ran his hardest from
						house to house, summoning all their friends. Before he arrived back at the
						mansion he saw great giants carrying battle axes, advancing towards the home
						that had sheltered him so lovingly. "Take the women and children
						away," cried Carefree, to some of his friends, "while some
						of you stand guard with me over our home."  
					 Quickly the women and children were taken by Rushing Waters and
						Mother Earth and hidden where the cruel giants could not get them. Then, as
						the last woman and child were   taken to safety, Mr. Carefree
						Willow, who was bigger than any of his clan, stood and laughed at the
						oncoming enemy. His long, silky beard, which almost reached the ground,
						shook and rippled as he laughed, with long slender arms he beckoned them to
						come on. Now Rushing Rivers stood beside Carefree, and told him what Dame
						Sparrow had told Mistress Rushing River of the giants that had made war on
						the Bridge- over Willows, and that their next move was to be against the
						Riverbank Willows, of which Carefree's home was the largest.  
					 Carefree Willow Tree and his friends grew silent as they heard
						this, and stood thinking deeply of ways and means to rout their cruel
						enemies. While the women and children were being hurried away to safety, Tit
						Willow had hastened over to old Miss Bracken Fern to warn her of the
						approach of the enemy.  
					 "Ah! Tit, you're a good brave little man to run all that
						way, but, dearie, I'm only a lone old body, with a very humble little house,
						so I'm thinking they'll leave me alone since I have noth ing to arouse their
						greed. But what about Mistress Rivers and the children and the maids? Rim,
						Tit, and tell them that there is enough shel ter inside my little house
						until the enemy leaves." And she turned away, bent on making
						prepara tions for her guests.  
					 "Wait a minute," said Tit Willow, "
						they've all gone away."  
					 Holding back the green shades hanging be fore her door, she
						paused: "Why didn't you go   with them? Did you stay to
						warn me, laddie?" she asked softly.  
					 "Partly that, and I wanted to stay with my
						father."  
					 "Ah! laddie, you're a fine little man. I'm sorry that I
						scolded you so hard that day you threw your wattle seed ball through my
						window and broke one of my pretty shell ornaments."  
					 Tit smiled as he remembered how angry the little woman had been,
						when he and Blue Wren were playing golf, and his ball had gone right through
						the open window. How scared they had been, and how they took to their heels
						when she came out with her hair partly in curling pins and partly flowing on
						to her shoulders, and brandished her broom as she gave chase to them.  
					 "Well, I must hurry back, Miss Bracken Fern,"
						he said, lifting his school cap politely.  
					 "You'll be making a fine Scout Master one of these days,
						Tit, I'm sure this is not the first Scout action you're done this
						day."  
					 Carefree and his friends were still thinking out a plan of action
						to defeat the enemy, when Tit came quietly and stood beside them.  
					 "What ammunition have we?" asked Slim Willow
						Tree-  
					 "There are ever so many casks in the court yard that
						neighbour Gumtree and neighbour   Wattle sent over as soon as
						they heard that the giants were coming this way," was the reply.  
					 "How would it be if you sent word to Mr. North Wind,
						father?" asked Tit eagerly.  
					 "Tit, my lad, I thought you had gone away with the
						others, what are you doing here?" asked his father rather sternly.  
					 "I thought, father, you might need some one to run with
						messages or help to load the guns," Tit replied, squaring his
						little shoulders and looking fearlessly into his father's face. Carefree
						patted him on the back, and smiled kindly at him.  
					 "You're a good son, Tit. Do you think you can get
						through to North and tell him that we are badly in need of machine guns and
						ammuni tion?" Almost before his father had ceased speaking, Tit was
						ready to fly over with the message.  
					 As soon as Mr. North Wind heard of his friend's distress, he gave
						orders for the transport of machines and ammunition. In a very short time he
						and his assistants, Mr. Gale and Mr. Hurricane, were on their way to River's
						Bend. It needed no one to tell them that the Willow Trees and their
						neighbours were finding it diffi cult to keep back the enemy.  
					 However, Mr. North Wind at once took charge as soon as his
						machine gun was loaded, and fired it into the midst of the enemy. So
						surprised were they at this powerful ally of the   Willow Trees
						with his heavy, quick raindrops, that they ceased their attack, and then
						when Mr. Hurricane sent his fire of hailstones into their midst, they rushed
						to shelter. Then Mr. Gale buffeted them so greatly that they finally
						retreated in great disorder.  
					 Our friends and their neighbours and Mr. North Wind, Mr.
						Hurricane, and Mrs. Gale felt very happy indeed that they had routed their
						enemy. That night, after partaking of a hearty supper, the gallant ally and
						his assistants took their machine guns, and amidst many heartfelt and
						grateful thanks said goodbye and returned to their own country.  
					 Shortly after the departure of their friends, Mr. Carefree and
						Tit Willow climbed the stairs to their bedrooms, and very soon they were
						fast asleep.  
					 It seemed to Carefree that he had only been asleep for a few
						minutes when a Sunray wakened him. As he opened his eyes little Sunray
						danced on to his pillow and wished him good morning.  
					 "How soundly you sleep, Mr. Willow. All the other bush
						people have already saluted His Gracious Majesty, the Sun-father."  
					 But before Carefree had time to answer, a strange sound was heard
						out in the grounds.  
					 "What it that?" he cried, springing out of bed.
						And without delay he threw his green mantle about him and ran downstairs. As
						he drew back the bolt of the entrance door he   beheld his
						enemies of yesterday. This time they had brought a Tree-puller with them. It
						looked so monstrous and cruel that Carefree's heart failed him.  
					 With chains they bound him to the Tree- Puller, and took him away
						a captive. All the people of Bushland wept at the dreadful sight. Mrs.
						Parrot screamed at them and called them wicked names. But the White Giants
						heeded them not at all.  
					 After a long pause Carol asked gently, "Where did they
						take Mr. Carefree?" "To the saw-mills, where he was turned
						into a Beam Slave. Later on he was taken on to a great ship with several
						other Beam and Plank Slaves."  
					 "What happened to Mrs. Carefree and Tit and the
						children?" asked Carol.  
					 "After the White Giants had destroyed River Bend, the
						Carefree Willows and Tit were cared for by their kinfolk until another home
						was built for them. And it was at this time that they came by the name of
						Weeping Willows. For they were most unhappy and were always weep ing as they
						thought of the dreadful fate of their loved one."  
					 "Why did the White Giants treat them so badly?"
						asked Carol.  
					 "Because they said the Willow Trees blocked their view
						of the river."  
					 "And do they weep still?"  
					 "No, dear. Only you see they became known in these parts
						as the Weeping Willows, and the name has stuck to them and to their descend
						ants ever since."  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER XI  
					 THE CAPTURE OF KEITH  
					 AS Dusky Shadows skilfully steered the bark canoe towards River
						Bank Mistress River pointed out to Carol a mansion covered with long
						trailing greenery.  
					 "There, Carol, is the home of the Willow Tree."  
					 "I can't see any house, only a weeping wil low
						tree," exclaimed Carol, in a disappointed voice.  
					 "Look again, dear. Can't, you see the win dows gleaming
						through the green creepers? And there is the friend of all young children,
						Dark Night Shadows, coming out through the front door."  
					 Carol looked with her hardest and longest gaze, and at length
						said, "Yes. I can see some one dressed in a soft velvet mantle.
						And, oh! I can also see little people dressed in beautiful fluffy dresses.
						Who are they?"  
					 
					 "They are the Sunset Fairies. They are em ployed by the
						Evening News, the daily evening paper of Fairyland. There is just time for
						me to tell you about them before we reach the landing stage of Rivers
						Bend."  
					 "Do they have newsboys in Bushingham?"  
					 "No. For there is only one newspaper brought out each
						evening, so there are no copies for sale."  
					 "Oh!" said Carol, too polite to say that she
						thought it a silly custom. Later on she was glad she had refrained from any
						such remark.  
					 "For," continued Mistress River,
						"Everyone can read this paper. There are none so small, none so
						tall, or far away that they cannot see the news. It is out now.
						Look!"  
					 Spread out directly up and down before their gaze was a wide
						expanse of blue, on which the news was photographed in gold and saffron. It
						showed His Majesty the Sun bidding fare well to his beloved subjects. Then
						in gold print was an article relating His Majesty's wonder ful journeying;
						and announcing that he had appointed his Chief Court Jester, Full Moon, to
						keep watch and guard over his kingdom, while he went down to Saffron Bay for
						his nightly dip in the sea. The Moon has vowed to be faithful.  
					 "Oh! Look at that lady in the beautiful silver dress!
						She looks very important, Mistress River. Who is she?" interrupted
						Carol.  
					 
					 "She is a renowned personage. She is Twinkle Star. See!
						She is beckoning to Dark Night Shadows, for she has a message for him. She
						is telling him that all the children of Bush- ingham are waiting to say
						good-night to him. For he is dearly loved by everyone in Bushing- ham. They
						dearly like the touch of his soft black mantle of velvet as it brushes
						against their little faces as he stoops over their cribs and caresses them.
						Then with a kind smile he soothes them and gently closes their eyes before
						the Sandman comes along. If I had time I could tell you many tales of the
						kindly deeds of Dark Night Shadows and of his young brother Dusky Shadows.
						Perhaps on your next visit to Bushingham and Golden Land we shall meet
						again, and then I shall be able to tell you about them. But now we have come
						to the parting of the waters and we have each to go our own way."  
					 With a feeling of dismay Carol saw that the bark canoe was now
						alongside the Willow Trees landing stage, and realised that she would soon
						have to take leave of her good friend and guide. It looked so quiet and
						strange on the land. There was nobody in sight to meet or to greet her and
						it was now quite dark.  
					 "Don't be afraid, dear. Go right up to the gates and
						along the avenue until you come to a door in the south wall. There you must
						play the familiar tune of Rat-a-tat-tat on the door and friends will bid you
						welcome."  
					 For a few seconds after her friend had de parted Carol felt
						rather afraid of entering the   strange gates and walking along
						the dark ave nue. While she stood gathering up her courage she heard a tiny
						voice:  
					 "Who comes here? Mortal or friend?"  
					 Now, Carol wasn't too sure what a mortal was, but she knew that
						she wasn't an enemy, so she must be a friend. So she replied, "A
						Friend."  
					 "That is well," said the tiny voice.
						"And who brought you here?"  
					 "Mistress River," she replied.  
					 The gates slowly opened. Wonderingly Carol gazed about her. There
						was no one in sight. Again the tiny voice spake, "Enter,
						friend."  
					 Then as she remained where she was, won dering where the voice
						came from, she heard it again.  
					 "Enter, friend.  
					 In mortalsland the gates do squeak;  
					 In fairyland the gates do speak." And the gates swept a
						low bow.  
					 "Thank you," she said, and slowly stepped into
						the avenue.  
					 "Oh! How I wish I had my diary to put down all the
						wonderful things. I do hope they   won't all fade away from me
						like my dreams do," she thought as she walked beneath the trees.
						The whispering voices of the boughs above her caused Carol to look upward to
						see who the speakers were. Suddenly she bumped into a wall.  
					 "That comes from not looking where you are
						going," said a voice from the other side of the wall.  
					 Carol forgot all about the pain of the bump in her curiosity to
						see who was speaking. She walked around the wall and came to a door under
						which a light was gleaming.  
					 "I don't know whether this is the South wall or not. It
						looks like only one wall; I wonder what I had better do," she
						thought.  
					 "Take me down and play the tune you were told to
						play," said the same voice.  
					 Wonderingly she looked at the door, and there hanging on a latch
						was a tiny instrument made of twigs, with a bow made of reeds.  
					 "It looks like a violin. Whatever shall I do? I can't
						play it." Timidly she took down the instrument and drew the bow
						across the strings. She was amazed to hear "Rat-a-tat- tat-tat.
						Rat-a-tat-tat."  
					 The fiddle laughed, "Ah, ah, ah. You see I can play the
						tune myself as soon as I am lifted off the latch."  
					 
					 The door opened and a young maiden with long flowing ringlets
						welcomed her.  
					 "You are Carol. Come in. We were ex pecting you. Hedge
						Spider has just sent us word over the wireless that Mistress River was
						bringing you from Bushingham Palace. I am the only one to receive you since
						my father and my brothers are engaged at a most import ant trial. A young
						boy mortal was found prowling about our grounds and he is suspected of being
						one of the spies of the White Giants." A great trembling seized the
						maiden. "My mother is away from home visiting some rela
						tions."  
					 For a moment Carol was silent; then she said, "I don't
						think you need to be afraid that the boy will do you any harm. Probably he
						is only bird-nesting."  
					 "Then he is a thief and a robber. That is just as bad;
						almost, anyway. And, of course, we know that he won't be able to harm us,
						for he is safely locked up now."  
					 The sound of shuffling footsteps could be heard overhead.  
					 After Carol had finished her supper, the maiden said,
						"I'll show you to your room. You must be tired."  
					 Hardly had Carol's head touched the pillow than she fell asleep.  
					 
					 It seemed to her that she had only just dropped off to sleep when
						an unusual noise awakened her. It came from the room above her, and it
						sounded like something rolling over the floor. Startled, she sat up,
						listening. All was quiet now. Then she heard a low groan. It must be the
						prisoner, she thought. Springing out of bed and scrambling quickly ,into her
						clothes, Carol cautiously opened the door of her room. Taking up one of the
						Chinese candles from the dressing table she stole quietly up the stairs.
						Guided by the moans she came to a small bare room where, on the floor, in a
						corner, bound securely with sundew ropes, was a boy. Quickly she ran across
						the room and placing her Chinese candle on the floor she bent over the
						prisoner. To her horror and amazement it was her brother Keith.  
					 "Keith," she cried. "How did you get
						here and why have they done this to you?"  
					 While she was talking she was struggling to untie the sundew
						ropes.  
					 "I'll tell you all about it afterwards. Get me out of
						here, Carol, and I'll never say there is no such place as Fairyland or good
						and bad fairies."  
					 "The ends are fastened with burrs and double-
						gees," cried Carol, as she pulled out the cruel torturous
						implements. "Come, can you stand?" she said, as she undid
						the last rope and helped him to his feet.  
					 
					 "Now, wait while I go down and see if there is anyone
						about, because they think you are a spy and they won't let you get
						away."  
					 Soon she returned. "Come, there is no one
						downstairs."  
					 Silently and swiftly she led the way, Keith following closely
						behind her. Soon they were outside the house. So far, no one had seen them.  
					 "Let's get out of here quickly," Keith whis
						pered, as his sister stood thinking what to do next.  
					 "No, Keith, we daren't go out by the gate because they
						wouldn't let you go. They would keep you a prisoner. Oh, dear, what shall I
						do? You are so terribly big; it will be so diffi cult to hide you."  
					 "Carol, what has made you so small? I was in such a funk
						that I didn't notice your little ness. I was so awfully pleased to hear your
						voice and know you were near me."  
					 "That's it," whispered Carol excitedly,
						"Of course, the grow-small seeds! I'll give you one and then you
						will be the same size as I am. Oh, dear! I left the candle in the room; and
						it is so dark," lamented Carol. Vainly she peered in the darkness
						at the three small packets Mrs. Maggie had given her. A rustling noise
						startled them.  
					 "Take this," she whispered, "If it is
						the grow-big seeds you will have to take one of the others."  
					 
					 She hastily thrust a black seed into his hand. Anxiously she
						watched as he put it into his mouth.  
					 "Don't swallow it," she cried in alarm,
						"it must be the grow-big seed."  
					 But already Keith's head was lost among the boughs of the trees.
						Carol wept bitterly as she saw that he was now so big that she couldn't even
						reach his hand to give him a seed out of another packet.  
					 "What is the matter here?" inquired a voice.  
					 Carol turned about swiftly. It was Jina Lizard. Though Carol had
						not spoken to her, she had seen her at Bushingham Palace. She had been one
						of the guests and Lucy had told her that Jina was very good and kind, and
						ever ready to run to help people in trouble.  
					 "Oh, Jina, dear, will you help me?" she cried.
						"There has been such a dreadful mistake. Major Willowtree and his
						sons took my brother, Keith, for a spy and took him prisoner. I found him
						and was trying to save him from them. They will show him no mercy because
						they think he is a descendant of the White Giants who made a slave of
						Carefree Willowtree. And although that happened ever so long ago all the
						Willow tree families are still vowed to revenge their great-grandfather. And
						they, even the ladies, consider Keith guilty of spying. And now, be cause it
						was so dark that I couldn't see, I gave Keith the wrong seed and he has
						grown and grown so that I can't even reach his hands."  
					 
					 "Now, you are the little girl who was the Princess'
						first bridesmaid, aren't you? What is your name?"  
					 "Yes. And my name is Carol Cressy."  
					 "Well, Carol, don't you worry. I got first prize in the
						Interbufhland Running and Climb ing Sports. What do you want to give to your
						brother? Tell me or, rather, give it to me and I'll be there in a
						jiffy."  
					 Carol gratefully smiled through her tears at her new friend.  
					 "I want to give a grey seed. Mrs. Maggie said that they
						would be very useful if I ever was in danger from enemies."  
					 "Yes, I know the seeds," said Jina.
						"We bush people often use them when faced by foes."  
					 "But I might open the wrong packet again," said
						Carol. Then seeing someone approaching with a lantern, she became afraid
						again.  
					 "Don't worry, Carol," urged Jina,
						"that is only Wally Glowworm. We will ask him to let us use his
						lantern."  
					 Wally readily obliged them, and what was better did not ask them
						a single question. After bidding him good-night Jina quickly climbed the
						tree and was amongst the boughs near Keith.  
					 "Who are you?"  
					 
					 Carol trembled as she heard Keith speak, for not only had his
						body grown, but his voice seemed to be now as loud as thunder, so loud
						indeed that the sound of it shook the boughs.  
					 However, Jina popped the seed into his mouth before she answered,
						"Jina Lizard. This seed will give you a protective coating. Indeed
						you will so resemble the trunk against which you are leaning that it is
						quite possible that you will be unnoticed if you remain silent. Don't be
						afraid, for we, your friends, will not desert you."  
					 "Thank you," he replied in a booming voice.  
					 "Hush! Remember perfect silence is neces sary,"
						warned Jina.  
					 Jina and Carol sat beneath the trees nearby and talked softly.  
					 "How Keith ever came to Bushingham I'm sure I don't
						know," said Carol.  
					 "I do. Mrs. Jack Rabbit told me all about it. It appears
						she stopped at Green Timbers to talk with Pat Wallaby."  
					 "Yes. Pat belongs to Keith. He found him when a
						baby," interrupted Carol.  
					 "Pat, it seems, heard your mother say that you were lost
						in Slumberland and your brother decided to go in search of you. Just as he
						was setting out he remembered that he had left his cap under the Apricot
						Tree. So he turned to-   wards that portion of the garden, and
						whilst looking for his cap he heard some maidens whis pering and chuckling
						together. So he decided to see what they were laughing about. As he drew
						near Keith was surprised to see several tall stately maidens of the
						Hollyhock Family leaning over the garden wall and looking out into the
						forest surrounding Green Timbers. The maidens were all richly dressed as
						became maidens of the grand Hollyhock Family. Their dresses, with the
						exception of the colours of their dainty bod ices, were alike. The skirts
						all had flounces of rich dark green taffeta. 'I can see the aviator. I'm
						sure it is a woman/ cried one of them.  
					 " 'Yes, of course. It's Miss Warbler Magpie in
						her Korbat airship.' They were all stand ing on tiptoe looking in the
						direction indicated by the speaker, their eyes large and wide with wonder.  
					 " 'It must be an air race they're watching,'
						thought Keith, 'and I'm going to climb up and see it, too.' As he pushed his
						away between them he accidentally trod on one of the maid ens' flounces. He
						apologised; but the owner was too busy looking over the wall to notice the
						rent in her dress or the boy who had caused the damage. Presently he climbed
						the wall and sat on top of it. 'Bah! That isn't an aero plane. It's only a
						magpie,' said he scoffingly. 'Where did you come from?' demanded a maiden in
						a red bodice. 'I live here. It's my home.' 'He is the creature who was
						teasing and tor menting Madame Blackant's school children when they were out
						for their early walk before school began this morning.'  
					 
					 " 'And just look at my flounce. There is a big
						hole in a flounce of my skirt,' said a maiden in a white bodice. 'Yes,'
						cried another maiden, 'I saw him trying to break the school children's line
						when they were marching into school. He greatly annoyed Madam Blackant with
						his rude manners. 'I didn't torment them. I was only seeing if it is true,
						what people say, that you can't turn the Blackants off the track.' 'You
						were! You did! You know you were worrying them," all the maidens
						cried out together; 'Go away! We don't like cruel and grubby boys.'  
					 " 'I won't go away. I wasn't cruel. This is our
						wall and our home and tomorrow I'll get Ted to turn you all out into the
						forest,' Keith said angrily. 'He is a nasty cruel boy,' they cried; 'It is
						our wall. We've lived here all our lives.' 'Push him over into the forest,'
						cried the smallest, who was in terror of being thrust out of her home. 'Yes.
						Let's,' her sisters replied. They all crowded around him. Alto gether they
						pushed and shoved him; but he was too strong for them. Then a sudden
						whirring sound caused him to look round.  
					 " 'Now, all together,' whispered the smallest
						maiden. Their united effort, while he was un prepared, upset his balance and
						he fell—down, down, down, and collided with Miss Warbler Magpie in
						her Korbat racing plane. Miss Warb ler, the plane, and Keith all fell to the
						ground together. The plane was wrecked. Major Wil low Tree and his sons, who
						had been watching for the first arrival, saw the collision and has tened to
						the spot. Miss Warbler Magpie was unhurt but very annoyed because the race
						was   spoiled for her. When Major Willow Tree saw that it was a
						mortal who had wrecked the plane he commanded his sons to hold Keith a
						prisoner, and to make sure that his bonds were secure so that he could not
						escape. So that is how your brother became a prisoner."  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER XII  
					 MARDO WAGTAIL, AIR RACE WINNER  
					 PRESENTLY Carol and Jina were aware of several people passing
						along the road. "They must be going over to Mosspatch, the
						Riverside Aerodrome. The aeroplanes are ex pected to arrive some time before
						Bina. We shall get a very good view from here. There go Mr. and Mrs.
						Caterpillar riding in their new tractor machine, Mr. and Mrs. Parrot and
						their twenty-eight children, and that old gossip, Mrs. March Fly, and her
						noisy troublesome children, and her friend, Mrs. Midge, and her nasty for
						ward children. And I do declare, if that isn't Freddy Frog.  
					 "Come here, Freddy," she called, but Freddy
						pretended not to hear, and at her second call abruptly turned down Boulder
						Crescent.  
					 Nevertheless Jina was determined that he should not get away, and
						gave chase. When Freddy saw there was no escape for him, he retraced his
						steps and came slowly towards her.  
					 
					 "What are you doing her, when you should be on duty at
						the Post Office? You know you must not leave the office while I am away at
						supper."  
					 Jina was postmistress at the Bushingham Post Office and Freddy
						Frog was the telegraph boy. In addition to delivering wires he was required
						to remain in the office and attend to any busi ness during the absence of
						the postmistress.  
					 "There is not a soul in town, Miss Lizard. Everyone is
						going to the aerodrome," he pleaded.  
					 "That's no excuse, Freddy. People from the outlying
						districts may call for their mail on their way to the aerodrome; and if
						there's no one there "  
					 "There's no mail, Miss Lizard," replied Freddy,
						looking very guilty.  
					 "I know better than that. In fact, there was a rather
						big mail today," she said, looking at him severely.  
					 "There was," said Freddy slowly, looking even
						more guilty, "but Jack Kookaburra came in. You see," he
						continued quickly, now that he had decided to brave the truth, "we
						got argu ing as to who would win the race. He reck oned that Mr. Crow in his
						Dowarn was the most likely and when I said he hadn't a chance and that Rose
						Swallow would win, he got ex cited and banged his fist down so hard on the
						table that the letters all fell out of the rack; and the gum bottle fell
						over, and, well—the gum   got on the letters and stuck
						them all together. Then, when I saw what had happened, I put them all in a
						dish of water. Then Mr. Money Spider came in for a penny stamp; and after
						I'd given him his change I looked at the letters and there wasn't any gum
						left on them or any writing either. It was funny how the ink and the gum
						just fought it out between them. It must have been a pretty good fight, for
						you couldn't see which was ink or gum or water."  
					 "Gracious goodness! Freddy! You don't mean to tell me
						that you actually were silly enough to put the letters in a dish of
						water!"  
					 "Yes. That's exactly what I did. How was I to know
						they'd all go soft and pulpy? And when I went to take them out of the dish,
						they just fell to pieces. So that's why there wasn't any mail for me to hand
						out, so I didn't stay any longer."  
					 "Freddy! You are the silliest boy I've ever seen.
						Whatever will Mayor Cockatoo White say to you when he knows of it?"  
					 Freddy dug his toes into the soil and looked a very shamefaced
						miserable little telegraph boy.  
					 A loud cry from Keith reminded Jina of her promise to help Carol.  
					 "What's that?" cried Freddy, in alarm.  
					 "Oh, Jina! Those horrid March Fly children are
						tormenting Keith," cried Carol, picking up a switch.  
					 
					 Freddy forgot his trouble and, with a right goodwill, he helped
						Carol to attack the tormen tors; for many a time when, on his bicycle, he
						had been delivering telegrams, these rude chil dren had pounced out and hurt
						him consider ably. But they were unable to drive off this horde of wild
						spiteful children.  
					 "I'll be back in a minute," Freddy cried, as he
						ran off.  
					 True to his promise, he came back immedi ately with Mr. Stinging
						Nettle. As soon as the March Fly and Midge children saw Freddy returning
						with his friend, they stopped their pranks and ran off to join their
						mothers. But not before Mr. Stinging Nettle had cuffed them rather soundly.
						Now, Mr. Stinging Nettle was not a vicious person and never attacked people
						unless they annoyed him; but the screams of those badly behaved children
						could be heard till they were out of sight.  
					 Carol then explained how it was that her brother was in danger
						from Major Willow Tree.  
					 "Yes. I've heard all about the White Giant spy. They are
						gathering twelve judges and twelve witnesses, so he'll be given a fair
						trial. You see—Here they come now," said Mr. Nettle
						hastily, "If I can be of any use to your brother you will find me
						in Acacia Alley." "I'll stay with you, Carol,"
						said Jina kindly.  
					 "Bring forth the prisoner," cried the twelve
						judges all together.  
					 
					 "Why?" asked the witnesses all together.  
					 "So that we may see what kind of giant he is."  
					 "No," said the witnesses, "Let him be
						judged first."  
					 "That's not a fair way to try anyone," cried
						Carol hotly.  
					 "Why not?" demanded the twelve judges and the
						twelve witnesses together.  
					 "Because he can't defend himself if he isn't
						here."  
					 "That makes no difference," they all cried
						together.  
					 "The trial now begins," thundered Major Willow
						Tree. "Silence."  
					 The Major had just arrived, accompanied by Sergeant Owl.  
					 "Read the rules, Sergeant," the Major ordered.  
					 "The rules are," commenced Sergeant Owl in a
						rather mournful voice, "that during the trial of this guilty person
						the twelve witnesses must all say very clearly and very loudly all they know
						about the guilt of this person. The twelve judges must listen to what they
						are all saying, and without asking them to be silent, must ask any questions
						they consider fair. At the end of five minutes, if the judges cannot make
						any   sense of the talk of the witnesses, they, the afore said
						judges, may let the prisoner go free; but, if two of the judges have heard
						every word that each witness has said, then the prisoner will be held guilty
						and will be sold as a slave to the loudest talker."  
					 "It is entirely unfair," cried Carol, stamping
						her foot angrily. "And, anyway, he is a Brit isher and they never,
						never can be slaves."  
					 "Why," asked the twelve judges and the twelve
						witnesses together.  
					 "Because England rules the waves."  
					 "What waves? Air waves, ocean waves, or what?"
						they all asked, in unison, of each other. After a minute's silence the
						judges were still uncertain, and requested the witnesses all to say together
						what each one knew of the prisoner —only this time they were to
						whisper it. They had only just started to whisper when a whirr ing sound
						overhead attracted their attention.  
					 "The air race!" they all cried. "The
						trial can wait till tomorrow."  
					 They all hurried down the avenue to the aerodrome.  
					 Miss Mardo Wagtail was the winner. She was closely followed by
						Colonel Black Cockatoo in his red and black plane. In the plane were Willie
						Wagtail and Lucy Shiverygrass as passen gers. Willie saw Carol before she
						saw him. He made his way through the crowd, bringing Lucy   with
						him. Carol was delighted to see her friends and was sure that Willie would
						be able to help Keith.  
					 "Keith a prisoner!" he exclaimed.
						"Where have they put him?"  
					 "He is here. Look!"  
					 Willie looked up at Keith and then burst out laughing.  
					 "I don't see anything to laugh at," cried
						Carol.  
					 "Oh! ah! ah! ah!" laughed Willie, rocking on
						his heels and then on to his toes. "Fancy anyone trying to keep him
						a prisoner. See how huge he is. Why doesn't he just walk away?"  
					 "I can't," boomed Keith. "These
						branches and boughs of the Willow Trees have fast hold of me."  
					 "Well, in that case, we'll bring Tree Puller,"
						said Willie.  
					 At the mention of this dreadful thing, the boughs of the Willow
						Trees shrank back and let go of Keith.  
					 Instantly Keith stepped out of the avenue and picked up Carol in
						his arms.  
					 "Come on. Mother will be wondering why I'm so
						long," he said.  
					 
					 "But wait a minute. I want you to meet my friends, Lucy
						and Willie."  
					 Either Keith did not hear her or else he was anxious to get home
						as soon as possible, for he did not stop.  
					 However, Willie called out, "I'll be bringing Lucy to
						see you at Green Timbers, for we are going to be married at
						Mikang."  
					 Over the garden wall Keith carried Carol. When the Hollyhocks saw
						that he had returned unharmed and how greatly he had grown, they shrank back
						afraid. For they remembered that he had threatened to have them turned out
						of their homes and sent adrift and homeless into the forest.  
					 However, Keith smiled at them, one and all, and said,
						"Don't be afraid. You can have the wall for keeps. I'm going to use
						the gates always after this. If it hadn't been for you I might not have
						found my little sister. The fairies had almost made her one of
						themselves."  
					 And the Hollyhocks answered, "Give her the seeds and she
						will soon be herself again. Thank you so much for letting us have our home.
						We are so sorry we were rude."  
					 Bump, bump, bump.  
					 "Keith, whatever are you doing?" demanded
						Carol, rubbing her eyes and looking wonderingly about her. She was seated on
						the carpet, her bed-clothes trailing from the bed to the floor.  
					 
					 "Mother sent me up to waken you. Three times I've been
						in and called you. So the only thing I could do was to roll you on the
						carpet."  
					 "Keith! Wasn't it a good thing that Willie came along
						when he did?" "Whatever are you talking about? Anyhow, I'm
						going down to breakfast. I'm so hungry that if you are not quick I'll eat
						all the eggs and bacon, and drink all the coffee."  
					 As he left the room and closed the door after him, Carol
						murmured, "No wonder he's hungry. He's had nothing to eat all the
						time he was at Rivers Bend."  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER XIII  
					 NAN MARTIN  
					 Above the din and clatter Keith made as he ran whistling
						downstairs, Carol heard a horse galloping up the drive. Springing up from
						among the heap of bedclothes, she ran over to the window and, thrusting her
						head out, saw David Martin alighting from his horse, Dandy.  
					 "Hello! David," she cried.  
					 David looked up and replied as he saw the little pyjama-clad
						figure.  
					 "Hello, Miss Lazybones. Why, Nan has been up for hours.
						We went down to the fields on the first truck when it was getting light this
						morning."  
					 "I'll be down in a minute, David."  
					 "Sorry, Carol. I'm in a hurry; I'm on my way for the
						mail and just looked in to give you a message."  
					 
					 "Don't go, David; really, I'll be down in a
						jiffy."  
					 "All right, I give you three minutes," and he
						grinned up at her.  
					 For it was well known that at times Carol was rather inclined to
						dawdle. However, this morning Carol, after hastily replacing the heap of
						bedclothes on to the bed, speedily wash and dressed.  
					 In the meanwhile Mrs. Cressy had invited David to come into the
						breakfast room.  
					 David and Nan Martin lived with their par ents at Windyridge,
						which was nearly two miles from Green Timbers. The Martins were the Cressys'
						nearest neighbours, and Keith and David were as close friends as Carol and
						Nan were, and that was saying a great deal, for the little girls were never
						so happy as when they were together. Nan delighted and never tired of
						hearing Carol's adventures.  
					 As Carol came into the breakfast room David said, "Nan
						wants you to come over. Mother said we could all go and watch the reapers,
						we started harvesting today, and Keith is coming and we're going to have
						lunch in the fields."  
					 "Oh! how lovely," cried Carol. Then, turn ing
						eagerly to her mother, "I can go, can't I, mother?"  
					 Smiling at her, her mother said, "Can you,
						Carol?"  
					 
					 "Oh," laughed Carol, "Yes, I know I
						can go, but may I, please?"  
					 "Yes, Carol, you may go, but come and eat your breakfast
						now."  
					 Needless to say, Carol did not waste any time fussing over her
						plate of porridge this morning, but rather seemed to enjoy it.  
					 "You can eat porridge all right; it really doesn't make
						you ill, so that's the end of all your fussing." Then Keith added
						seriously, "Don't you think it's a bit mean of you to always make
						such a fuss about it?"  
					 Carol was too busy eating her egg and toast now, and too excited
						to waste time in talking. Nevertheless, the hint that Keith gave her was not
						lost, for now she could see that since her mind was filled with other things
						it didn't really matter much about the porridge, and in future when she had
						to eat it she would think about all the wonderful things she had seen in
						Bush- land.  
					 "Oh! Nan, I've such a lot to tell you. Prin cess Natalie
						sent a lovely airship; I thought it was only a toy one, until General Nido
						told me that it belonged to the Archbishop of Bank- sia, who offered it to
						Her Highness so that I could go to the wedding, and I did."  
					 Here Mrs. Martin came up and after greet ing Carol
						affectionately, said it was about time for them to start.  
					 
					 Keith and David, with Carol and Nan help ing, carried the
						luncheon baskets down to the fields.  
					 After watching the haymakers for a while, the boys and girls
						begged a fork each.  
					 Mr. Martin gave each of the boys one, then as Carol and Nan again
						begged to be allowed to help, he gave in, saying, "Here you are,
						but I'm afraid your little arms will soon get tired."  
					 Bravely the two girls went on long after they were tired.
						However, at last they were forced to own that Mr. Martin was right, and they
						left the forks for more capable hands.  
					 Carol and Nan went and rested in the shade of a large stook.  
					 "I thought David said that you had only started
						harvesting today."  
					 "He must have meant raking the hay. The reapers have
						been working a long time," and then Nan added, "Tell me
						about your journey in the airship. Was it a real one?"  
					 "Yes; it was lovely."  
					 Then Carol told Nan about the Princess' wedding, Sir Rainbow
						Bird, the little Brown Nun, and Bob Lizard.  
					 "And did you see Lucy Shivery Grass, and will she go and
						live as maid of honour to the Princess when they return from their wedding
						trip?"  
					 
					 "Yes, I saw her. She came and met me when Sir Nido and I
						arrived at Bushingham Palace, and look, Nan, I kept you some of the grow-
						big seeds and some of the grow-small seeds."  
					 Carefully Carel opened a small paper scruple, but she could seen
						none, even though she shook it and turned it upside down, there was not one
						to be seen. At the look of dismay and dis appointment on Carol's face, Nan
						said, "Never mind, Carol. I suppose the fairies wouldn't really let
						you take them away from behind the hills. You tell me all about the bride
						and her maids' dresses, and all the people you met there."  
					 Here behind the stook, everything seemed so peaceful that Nan
						could easily imagine all the wonders of Carol's adventures. It all sounded
						so amazing that Nan was spellbound. The air was filled with the beauty and
						wonder of it.  
					 The summer afternoon sun stole around the stook and smiled
						broadly on them. The sweet tang of the new-mown hay, the bright-winged
						butterflies flittering and fluttering around them, the distant whirring of
						heavily-laden trucks, the singing and laughter of the men and women down in
						the harvest fields, all these tended to make them feel drowsy.  
					 "Let's crawl into the hay away from the sun,"
						suggested Nan.  
					 The two girls wriggled their way into the hay and were soon sound
						asleep.  
					 They thought they must be dreaming when a loud voice said,
						"How did you come here?"  
					 
					 Carol and Nan started up and, though they rubbed their eyes, they
						could not see much, for after the brightness of the sunlight, in here it
						seemed so dark.  
					 As Carol became accustomed to the dimness of the place she saw
						that they were standing on a flat boulder, and at the same time Nan cried,
						"Look, Carol, look at these stone stairs. I wonder do they lead
						down to a cellar or a dun geon."  
					 "How and why do you come here?" roared a voice
						behind them.  
					 Both the girls jumped and saw a rather evil face peering at them.  
					 "Carol, let us get away quickly," cried Nan,
						after one look at the wicked face peering at them.  
					 "Don't be afraid, Nan; he's Amos Tar Antula and only a
						slave of King Tuart," whis pered Carol.  
					 Amos Tar Antula hissed at her, "You're wrong there. I
						ain't his slave any longer; he sold me and Silas Mouse to Peter
						Pumpkin."  
					 Nevertheless, in spite of her brave words, Carol was really
						afraid of Amos Tar Antula, but not for worlds would she allow him to guess
						how fearful she was.  
					 "Yes, Nan, let's go at once," she said, catch
						ing hold of her friend's hand, turned towards where they thought they had
						entered.  
					 
					 By this time their eyes had become accus tomed to the dim light
						of the place and they saw that they were in a round tower, and could find no
						way out. Look as they did, they could not see a door. There was a window,
						but it was so high up in the wall that it would be im possible to make an
						escape that way.  
					 "He! he! he! Ha! ha! ha!"  
					 Carol and Nan were startled and glanced fearfully in the
						direction from whence came the alarming sound, the echoes of which were
						still ringing throughout the room.  
					 "Come along, my dears, or has my voice frightened
						you?" said a huge man.  
					 Tugging at Carol's hand, Nan whispered, "An
						ogre."  
					 Carol peered at him suspiciously, and then as hand in hand they
						drew nearer and could see his face more clearly, Carol whispered,
						"No, he isn't that," and Nan had barely time to agree with
						her, for by this time they were standing in front of him.  
					 By way of an introduction, he said, "I am Peter
						Pumpkin."  
					 "Peter Pumpkin Eater, who had a
						wife—" they exclaimed together, and then suddenly stopped
						before the next words, which they con sidered would not be very flattering
						to him.  
					 
					 "No, no. That was my great—now let me
						see—I always get muddled over all the greats unless I do them on
						my fingers."  
					 Then, seeing the girls looking surprised, he commenced to tick
						off on the fingers of his left hand, as he said aloud, "My great,
						great, great, great, great, grandfather's father," he ended  
					 "How long ago was that?" asked Nan.  
					 "Let me see; I'll have to think that out."  
					 Now while Peter Pumpkin was deep in thought, a little man dressed
						in grey, with black beady eyes and pointed ears and mouth and long whiskers,
						peeped out from a pile of cream-col oured melon tiles, and at each peep he
						would twirl his whiskers and creep a little further into the room.  
					 Carol and Nan were so interested in watch ing this little grey
						man and his funny antics that they forgot what Peter Pumpkin had set himself
						to think. Then, growing braver, the little newcomer silently came right into
						the room, and with his black beady eyes fastened on Tar Antula; twirling his
						whiskers, he stood quite still. As interested as if it were a game, the both
						girls waited and watched.  
					 At last Tar Antula, scowling impatiently, peevishly made a sign
						to come over. Immedi ately the little man hunched his shoulders and
						thrusting his head forwards, raced silently across the room.  
					 
					 "You poor silly creature," hissed Tar An- tula.
						"Whatever do you want to come here for now, above all
						times?"  
					 "To rescue you and my brother Silas," said the
						little man in a high squeaky voice.  
					 "Huh — you rescue us — more likely
						you'll get us into further trouble, you miserable—" but
						the rest of the ungrateful hissing was not finished, for they were caught.  
					 "What have we here?" thundered Peter Pumpkin,
						awakened out of his deep thinking by their whispering.  
					 "Is this a conspiracy to rob my factory of the new
						tiles?" he roared. "I'm beginning to get
						suspicious," and he glared so fiercely at Carol and Nan that they
						forgot all about the games of the grey man and Tar Antula, and instead they
						began to feel sorry for themselves.  
					 "What are your names?" he asked. Then, seeing
						that they looked afraid but not guilty, said gently, "Never mind
						now."  
					 "Come here, you," he said sternly,
						"you with the long whiskers."  
					 The little man quivered and glanced nerv ously around for some
						means of escape. With a stride, Peter Pumpkin stood over him.  
					 "What is your name? Now then, answer me or not. Your
						name?" he roared. "If you answer me, and it's wrong, down
						into the trap you'll go."  
					 
					 At this the little grey man again looked at Amos Tar Antula, who,
						standing scowling and silent, never uttered a word.  
					 Seeing that there was no help forthcoming from his friend, the
						little grey man said in a stuttering voice, "M-m-m-my n-name is
						B-b- barney M-m-mouse."  
					 Peter wrote it down on a melon tile, then asked, "Any
						relation to Silas Mouse?"  
					 "Y-y-yes, his b-b-brother."  
					 "Ah! his brother, are you?" and he wrote this
						also on a melon tile. "Well, you'll find your brother Silas all
						right, Barney; he's down there for thieving. Yes, he stole my
						cheese."  
					 "He only took a few small bites out of it,"
						sullenly mumbled Tar Antula.  
					 "That was just as bad as if he had eaten the whole of
						it, for not only did he nibble pieces out of it here and there, he rolled
						the whole cheese with his dirty paws over the cellar floor until it was
						quite unfit to eat; and Mrs. Peter Pumpkin does not allow any waste, for she
						says 'Wilful waste brings woeful want. ' So now, down you both go
						and you can help Silas eat to the very last crumb, for you will get noth ing
						more until I let you out again."  
					 The two prisoners were now terrified and drew back from the dark
						stairway. However, as Peter raised his huge hand to push them down, they
						edged slowly down the stone stairs. Then,   as their heads
						disappeared from sight, Peter Pumpkin stamped on the flat boulder with his
						big heavy foot, and the boulder slid over and completely closed the
						stairway.  
					 "What a funny stone," said Nan; "It
						rolls over the stairs just like the top of father's escritoire rolls down
						over his desk."  
					  'That's not a stone, it's a trap," said Peter.  
					 Carol and Nan shuddered at the thought that they had been
						standing on it and it might have rolled black and let them down the trap.  
					 "But how dreadful for that poor little man to be shut
						down in that dreadful dark place. I do feel sorry for him," said
						Carol.  
					 "It mightn't be dark down there," answered Nan.  
					 "No, perhaps it isn't. Anyhow, I don't suppose they'll
						really mind very much, since they have a whole cheese to eat,"
						replied Carol thoughtfully.  
					 "Ha! ha! ha!" laughed Peter, "How
						would you like to eat chocolates for breakfast, then for dinner and again
						for tea?"  
					 "No. I shouldn't like it," for the memory of a
						time when, in spite of her mother's warn ing, Carol had eaten nearly the
						whole contents of a box of chocolates while swinging in a ham mock under the
						wattle trees, came back now, and how for some days afterwards she couldn't
						bear to look at or smell chocolates.  
					 
					 And Nan shuddered as she also remembered the effects of too many
						ice creams and drinks of lemonade one very hot day last summer, when they
						were staying at the seaside.  
					 "Now, we have got rid of those trouble some people, tell
						me how you got into my fac tory. Really, it wasn't very polite of you.  
					 Why, I don't even know your names."  
					 "Nan Martin is my name, but we didn't know that there
						was a house inside the haystack."  
					 "Well, well, don't they teach you that it's very rude to
						walk into one's house without first knocking?"  
					 "But we really didn't know we were com ing,"
						quickly answered Nan.  
					 Carol looked all around the walls, but could see no door.  
					 "There isn't a door," she exclaimed,
						"so we really couldn't knock."  
					 "Well, how did you get in here if you didn't know it was
						a house? Now, what are you spoil ing everything for? We were having such a
						nice time and I was telling you about my great, great—there now,
						you see, you've made me for get the greats again," said Peter
						fretfully, wrink ling up his fat face.  
					 To Carol and Nan, the light now seemed to grow brighter, and they
						looked curiously around the circular room. Down the centre  of
						it and against the wall were tall stacks of melon seeds, neatly piled.  
					 "Nan!" exclaimed Carol, "what a lot of
						jam they must make."  
					 "Yes," answered Nan, "it must be a jam
						factory."  
					 "At the same time," Peter Pumpkin ex claimed,
						"it was during the reign of Cinderella that our family received the
						title of Peter Pumpkin Eater."  
					 "And now do you own this jam factory?" asked
						Carol.  
					 "Jam factory?  This is not a jam 
						factory. It is a  tile  factory," answered
						Peter Pumpkin.  
					 A loud knocking behind the stacks along the wall disturbed them.
						Peter removed the top of a stack behind which was a window. On opening this
						he saw the regiment of Red and Green Kangaroo Paws halting before his gate.  
					 The Sergeant Major cried out as he saw Peter, "Black
						Cloud and Roaring Mayrah are approaching in their Hurry Scurry planes. These
						enemies are absolutely relentless, and will destroy all who have not taken
						cover."  
					 With a flourish of his sword and a sharp word of command, he
						wheeled his horse about face and was soon lost to sight, as he rode out on
						the road leading to the mountains, to warn Grandie Banksia.  
					 
					 Carol and Nan now were really alarmed by the Sergeant Major's
						warning.  
					 "I want to go home at once," cried Nan in a
						frightened voice.  
					 Peter Pumpkin closed the window. Then said, "Tut tut, my
						dears, violent folk won't be able to touch us. Nevertheless, I'm thinking
						that you'll have to remain here until the skirmish is over. Come now, and
						I'll show you how safe we can be."  
					 Peter Pumpkin seemed not at all alarmed, but whistled cheerily as
						he pulled a lever. Then Carol, Nan, Peter Pumpkin, the tile stacks, the
						floor and even the ceiling, commenced to move slowly down, down,
						down—then suddenly stop ped with a bump. Carol and Nan saw that
						they were in a huge cellar, made entirely of granite; then immediately there
						was a loud crashing sound. Looking around them, the girls saw that all the
						stacks of tiles were toppling on to the hard stone floor.  
					 "The wall has broken down," cried Carol.  
					 "No," laughed Peter Pumpkin, "there
						wasn't a wall behind the tiles, only doorways and win dows." 
					 "Then we must have come in before the last stack was
						piled, and we could have knocked before we entered," murmured Nan.  
					 "There weren't any doors to knock at, everything is
						different here, so we just peeped   in and here we
						were," said Carol, and she began to pick up some of the fallen
						tiles.  
					 "These aren't broken," she cried.  
					 "No," laughed Peter, "because they're
						un breakable. Now, never mind picking them up. Those lazy slaves of mine can
						set to work on them."  
					 Nan looked around fearfully as Peter Pump kin loudly roared to
						Silas Mouse and Amos Tar Antula through an open door in the opposite side of
						the wall.  
					 A shuffling noise announced the arrival of the slaves. As they
						drew near, Amas Tar Antula cast a sullen revengeful look at Carol, who would
						have been alarmed had not his master, big, strong and jolly Peter Pumpkin,
						been present.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER XIV  
					 PETER PUMPKIN TELLS A STORY  
					 Peter promptly ordered the slaves to carry all the tiles into
						another cellar.  
					 "Now sit down and make yourselves com
						fortable," said he to the girls and added, as he drew out three
						squat round stools and placed them near them, "There! Stronger or
						better stools can't be found in the kingdom, my grand father bought these
						from Gum Nut & Co., who was one of the first firms to make stools.
						Of course, Toad's stools are an ancient firm, but they are rubbish compared
						to these. Toad's stools are only fit for butterflies."  
					 "You promised to tell us about your greats grandfather
						and Cinderella," Nan shyly remind ed Peter Pumpkin as he sat down
						on the third stool.  
					 "Yes, please do," added Carol.  
					 "Well, you see so many things have hap pened since we
						made our acquaintance, that   there's been no time," he
						said. "However, as they say there's no time like the present, I'll
						start. My great, great, great, great, great grand father's
						father"—he began ticking off the greats on his
						fingers,—"name was Peter. If he had any other name he had
						never heard of it and nobody else ever spoke of him other than
						Peter."  
					 "Didn't he even have a surname?" asked Nan.  
					 "No, he was just called Peter. As a very small boy he
						used to run messages for a man who made Turks' caps. Then, as he grew a
						little bigger, he would go to the place where the pumpkin skins were tanned
						and buy rolls of them and carry them back to his employer. The skins were
						strong and smooth, and had stripes of bright orange and pale lemon, and were
						made into tight-fitting caps.  
					 "One day about Mai Jarah (the bushland time of
						noon) Peter and his employer, Mr. Meadow, heard the Town Band
						coming towards the cap shop. Now it was very unusual for the band to be
						playing at this time of day. So hastily throwing down their scissors and
						needles and threads amongst the materials on the work table, they ran to the
						street door and looked up the long straggling village road, and in the near
						distance slowly coming towards them was a procession of several motor cars.  
					 "Mr. Meadow and Peter were not the only people curious
						to see what it was all about. Mothers left off preparing dinners and fathers
						stopped work. Never before had the Town   Band been known to
						play at Mai Jarah, because the people of Bushingham and its villages were
						very industrious people and believed in working while they worked, and
						playing when they played. And now how could anyone work, when the Town Band
						was playing so that every one wanted to laugh and dance. As the band grew
						nearer and louder, men and women shuffled their feet and hummed to the music
						of the popular song, 'There was a wood in the valley green.
						'  
					 "A crowd of children, Jack Rabbit, Bobbie Bandicoot, and
						Zoie Kangaroo leading the way, raced down the road to see what it was all
						about. Mr. Tuart looked out from his window in his roof tree and beckoned to
						the other chil dren standing beneath his house, to come up and sit on his
						roof tree. Sammy Squirrel, Billy Kookaburra, Meg Magpie, and Willie Wagtail
						readily accepted the invitation and they were hardly seated when the first
						motor car carry ing the Town Band slowly passed beneath them.  
					 " 'Look, Sammy! 'cried Meg,
						'there's Wurgel Frog playing his trombone, and Charlie Cricket his
						violin. ' 
					 "'Yes,' answered Sammy, 'and
						there's Moe Mopoke and '  
					 "But the car had moved on and they couldn't see the
						other musicians.  
					 " 'Did you see Hop Kangaroo?'said
						Willy Wagtail, 'he was driving.'At a sudden burst of
						laughter from Billy Kookaburra, Willy asked, 'What's up?'
							 
					 
					 "'It isn't the King or the Royal Family. It's
						only a visitor. It's that Turkish Prince that arrived yesterday and bought
						Mary Dumpling's house.'  
					 " 'Hush!' said Meg, as the second car
						passed in which sat a splendidly garbed man, his garments were made of rich
						orange and lemon satin; fold ed around his head was a turban made from the
						same rich material. He looked very proud and haughty, as he spoke to a man
						beside him. This man was his secretary and his name was Pye Melon.  
					 "To everyone's amazement and even more so to Mr.
						Meadow's, the car containing the dis tinguished visitor stopped before his
						door.  
					 "As the Prince finished speaking to him, Pye Melon
						stepped out on to the pavement, and pointing to the sign above Mr. Meadow's
						shop said as haughtily as his master had spoken to him, 'Are you
						the cap maker?' 'Yes,' answered Mr. Meadow.
						'My master, Prince Turk, wishes to buy all the caps you have in
						your shop. How many have you?'  
					 "Rendered almost speechless at this sudden order, Mr.
						Meadow turned to Peter and said, 'Do you know how many we
						have?' 'Yes, sir,' said Peter, 'there
						are two hundred and fifty- seven and two halves.'  
					 "As Peter said, 'two halves,' Pye
						Melon looked coldly at him and said 'What do you mean by halves? It
						is of caps I'm speaking and not loaves of bread.' 
					 
					 " 'The boy is quite right,' said Mr.
						Meadow, for he didn't like the tone that was used to his assistant,
						'We are now making two caps and, as they are only half
						done—well, it stands to reason.'  
					 "At the same time Billy Kookaburra gave one of his
						sudden loud and derisive laughs. Pye Melon, who was already irritated by the
						way Mr. Meadow had upheld Peter, looked up at the roof tree and scowled
						angrily at Billy, whose cheeks were still puffed out with laughter. At the
						angry scowl, he became silent and looked very solemn. Then, as Pye Melon
						turned away and commenced to deliver his master's instruc tions which
						included that of a device which dis played the Prince's coat of arms, to be
						worked in green on the crown of the caps, Willy, see ing Billy look so
						serious, said, 'Huh, don't take any notice of that look. He can't
						hurt yer.' But in spite of his friend's comforting words Billy
						continued to look solemn.  
					 " 'You look as if butter wouldn't melt in yer
						mouth,' jeered Willy. Then, taking some of Sammy Squirrel's nuts and his
						shanghai from his pocket, he aimed and struck Pye Melon on the back of his
						neck. 'Willie,' cried Meg in an awed voice, 'you shouldn't.' Then as he was
						about to take further aim, she snatched his shanghai from him, saying,
						'You really are what people say: a cheeky street urchin. For all
						your nice looks, I'm ashamed of you.'  
					 "Pye Melon looked green with rage and vowed vengeance on
						these impudent children; making all of them feel uneasy (with the
						ex-   ception of Willy, who tried to defend his naughtiness by
						saying, 'Well, he ain't got no right to pick on Peter, and scowl at
						us'). 'You shouldn't say ain't,' mumbled Sammy Squirrel, with his
						mouth full of nuts, 'Keep quiet now, and let' hear what he's saying to Mr.
						Meadow.' "  
					 'Well, I don't know about the device, that'll take some time to
						do, as well as making five hundred caps, besides the ones here. I don't know
						whether we have sufficient material, or whether there'll be time to get
						another roll.'  
					 "Peter (afraid lest so large an order should be
						lost, and later on cause his master to rue the loss of such a
						fortune) interrupted with, 'Please, master, before you were up this
						morning I went to the weavers and brought back a roll of the orange and
						lemon satin.' 'You've the making of a great man, my boy,' said Mr. Meadow.
						But he didn't know how famous Peter would be.  
					 "As soon as the Prince's secretary took his leave, the
						children thanked Mr. Tuart for his hospitality (with the exception
						of Willy) and clambered downstairs, and ran into Mr. Mead ows'
						shop. 'Not today, children, we are going to be extremely busy.' 'Yes, we
						know and we've come to help you,' said Meg, and the others all nodded their
						heads in agreement. While Mr. Meadow was unrolling the green velvet, and
						Peter the orange and lemon satin, Meg and the others threaded a whole boxful
						of pine needles, fine ones with the finest of spun silk thread, and strong
						ones. Presently, while everyone was working hard and silently (with
						the exception of Willy, who kept hopping around the room,  
						looking first into one box and then another), the door opened and
						the Fairy Godmother of Cinderella walked into the room.  
					 " 'Good afternoon, Mr. Meadow and chil dren
						all—you all look very busy and happy.Now I know a little girl, who
						is always busy, but seldom happy, and tonight I mean that she shall be
						happy. Now, Mr. Meadow, I want a roll of your orange and lemon satin.'
						" 'But, your Fairyship, I have none to give you.' 'What is that?'
						she asked, pointing to the new roll. 'Oh, that is for an order; for the
						Turkish Prince's caps.' 'A Turkish Prince has enough to make him happy, and
						my poor little Cinder Ella has so little.' And with that she waved her wand
						and, behold! instead of the roll of silk, the velvet, the work table, the
						scissors, needles, and reels of thread, there was as grand a carriage as any
						Turkish Prince could have thought of. Everyone was spellbound with the
						wonder and beauty of it all.  
					 " 'Now, tonight, Mr. Meadow, I'll send my coachman to
						call for it and shortly after mid night, everything will be returned to you
						just as they were, and quite unspoiled,' and with that she vanished. Peter
						looked open-mouthed at Mr. Meadow and then said, 'What will we do about the
						caps?' 'You'll have to go along and tell the prince that we can't make
						them.' 'Me!' cried Peter aghast. 'Yes, my boy, you. Now run along and let
						him know,' said Mr. Meadow. 'I'll come with you, Peter,' cried Sammy
						Squirel. 'And me,' cried Willy. 'And I'll go with you,' said Meg. 'No,' said
						Sammy   and Billy, 'you're a girl and you can't go there
						—he might even take us prisoners. So you've got to stay and see if
						he keeps us there, and if he does you've got to be the rescue party.'  
					 " 'Where does he live?' asked Peter, as he took his cap
						from the peg in the wall.  
					 " 'In Mary Dumpling's cottage,' said Billy, 'I saw it
						all yesterday as I passed by there. He made her sell it to him—she
						didn't want to sell it, but his servants just took possession of it, and his
						black boys pushed her out on to the road, and Pye Melon threw her a purse of
						nectar diamonds in payment for it.'  
					 " 'The beast!' cried Willy, 'I'm glad I stung him with
						that nut.'  
					 " 'You mightn't be so pleased when we get there, and he
						sees you,' said Peter.  
					 'He can't hurt me. I'm too quick for a clumsy Pye Melon to
						catch.'  
					 "On arriving at the cottage, the door was opened by a
						black-boy who inquired of them their business.  
					 " 'We wish to see Prince Turk,' said Peter.  
					 " 'He is resting and is not to be disturbed.'  
					 " 'But it's important,' said Willie Wagtail.  
					 " 'I guess I'm not going to get myself into any trouble.
						I obey orders,' said the black-boy.  
					 
					 "At that moment Pye Melon came into the room and said,
						'Oh, the boy from the cap shop. Well, boy, what is it you want?'  
					 " 'Mr. Meadow sent me to say that he can't get the order
						done by tomorrow night.'  
					 " 'Why?' snapped Pye Melon.  
					 " 'Because the Fairy Queen used it all.'  
					 " 'Didn't he tell her that we had ordered it?'  
					 " 'Oh, yes, Mr. Pye Melon, but that doesn't make any
						difference if the Fairy Queen needs it,' murmured Peter.  
					 " 'What am I to tell His Highness?' roared Pye Melon,
						his eyes popping almost out of his head, and added as Peter and the children
						ner vously shuffled their feet and glanced uneasily towards the door, 'No,
						you don't get away until I've told the Prince.' In his unpleasant task that
						lay before him he seemed to have forgot ten his wrath against Willy and
						Billy.  
					 " 'A loud bell clanged through the cottage. 'He is
						awake,' said Pye Melon. 'His Highness wished the attendance of the
						honourable Pye Melon,' announced one of the black-boys.  
					 " 'Wait here,' hissed Pye Melon, turning a pale
						yellowish green. The children and Peter waited in nervous silence, and even
						Willy stood still. Then the door burst open and the Prince, followed by the
						cringing form of Pye Melon, came into the room.  
					 
					 " 'What is this I hear about my caps? I came all the way
						from my country to buy these caps, and the day after tomorrow I start on my
						return journey. I tell you I must have those caps. I'll not be made the
						laughing-stock of our court.'  
					 " 'But, sir, you can't get them because the weavers
						haven't any more dyes ready for that satin and we took the last roll. That's
						why her Fairyship came to us and took our one.'  
					 " 'Very well, for that you shall be locked up with
						nothing to eat, until the caps are made, so if they are long about it you'll
						starve,' said the Prince. Then, turning to Pye Melon, added, 'Lock him up
						and send these others about their business.'  
					 " 'Yes, my prince,' murmured Pye Melon almost bowing to
						his feet. But, as the door closed on the Prince he seized Willie Wagtail and
						Billy Kookaburra by the arms. 'Now we'll see who'll laugh and who'll use
						shanghai and nuts so rudely and cruelly. I only wish we were home in Turks
						Land, where there are deep dark dungeons. Never mind, this will do.' And he
						pushed Billy and Willy up the dark chimney, then called to the black-boys
						and said, 'Keep guard over the fireplace and if they attempt to come out use
						your spears on them.'  
					 "Poor Peter turned very white and fright ened as he saw
						his two friends treated so roughly. Then Pye Melon called another black-boy,
						and told him to take Peter down to the coal cellar and lock him securely
						down there. As soon   as Billy and Willy recovered from their
						fright and their eyes became accustomed to the gloom of the chimney, they
						started to climb ever so quietly towards the top. When they were half way up
						Billy commenced to laugh.  
					 " 'Stop that,' whispered Willie, 'Anyhow, what's
						tickling you now?'  
					 " 'They evidently don't know that we have wings. See the
						sky showing up there?'  
					 " 'Let's get out quick,' whispered Willie, 'and tell Mr.
						Meadow what's happened.' 
					  "In a very short time they had worked their way to the
						top of the chimney and were soon back at the cap shop. The door was locked.  
					 "'Look, there's a note pinned to the door,' cried Billy.  
					 " 'Gone to visit Mistress River, will be back next
						week.' Well, of all the grass-seeds! Now what'll we do?' said Willie
						Wagtail.  
					 "While they were standing there thinking, Mrs. Magpie
						came hurrying up to them and said, 'Have you boys seen Meg? Her dinner has
						been waiting for hours.'  
					 " 'Yes; she's waiting to see what's going to happen to
						Peter.' They had forgotten that Meg would still be waiting outside for them,
						and they told her the story. Just then Hop Kangaroo came by.  
					 
					 " 'Good morning, Mrs. Magpie, you and these young people
						look worried. That's too bad,' he said, as they told him of Peter's capture,
						and he added, 'We can't do much in the day time, but tonight before Mikang,
						we'll go there and see what we can do. In the meantime you young people
						scout round and see who you can get to help us.'  
					 " 'I know,' cried Willie, "let's go and ask Mr.
						Rabbit and Bunny to help us. My father says they're the biggest engineering
						firm here, and are the best tunnellers he's ever met.'  
					 " 'That's a jolly good idea,' said Sammy Squirrel,
						'Where is their place?'  
					 "'At the back of Mr. Meadow's place, but perhaps we'd
						better go to Burrow Grove, their house,' said Willie.  
					 " 'And where's that?' asked Sammy.  
					 " 'Around the next bend, the first house past the
						creek,' said Willie. They trudged along the road for some time in silence,
						for they were getting both very tired and hungry, for they had eaten nothing
						but a few nuts since early morning and now it was getting dark.  
					 'Here it is; leastways, I think it's the place,' said Willie,
						peering at the name over the gate way, 'Yes, this is Burrow Grove. Come on,'
						he added.  
					 "Down the garden path they went, until they came to a
						door, over which hung one of those new glow-worm lamps. Jack Rabbit   opened the door to their knock and asked in surprise, 'Hullo,
						what have you come for?' But before they could answer a voice was heard to
						say, 'No, Jack, if those little boys have come for you to go and play, you
						can't go, because we're just going to have supper.' And Mrs. Rabbit,
						following her voice, came to the door.  
					 "Billy lifted his cap, an example Sammy hastily followed
						and, seeing that Willie made no attempt to lift his, kicked him on the shin
						and whispered, 'A lady's coming to the door; take off your cap.'  
					 "Billy told Mrs. Rabbit about Peter, the Prince, and Pye
						Melon. 'Yes, and Mr. Mead ow's gone away,' joined in Willie and, sniffing
						the savoury odour of supper, added, 'And they've locked him up without
						anything to eat, and we've had nothing to eat since early morning.'  
					 " 'Oh! your poor little things, come in. Supper is ready
						and there's enough and to spare,' kindly said Mrs. Rabbit. When they entered
						the living room, they saw Mr. Rabbit and his elder son Bunny seated at the
						table.  
					 " 'Father, these little boys have something important to
						tell you, but first they must eat some supper,' said Mrs. Rabbit, as she
						gently pushed each of them into a chair, then placed before them a dish of
						roast potatoes and crisp green lettuce, and filled the goblets with de-
						liciously clear cool Barup nectar. Then when they had finished their thistle
						icecream and Sammy was cracking the last nut, Willie told Mr. Rabbit the
						reason of their visit, and added,   'You see, Mr. Rabbit, we
						thought that since you and Bunny are engineers you could tunnel under.'  
					 " 'Bunny, you get the car out and we will meet you at
						the end of the drive. Come along, boys, over to the toolhouse.'  
					 " 'Dad, can I go?' asked Jack.  
					 " 'Yes, help them pick up these,' he said, pointing to a
						hammer, a saw, and some gimlets.  
					 " 'But, Mister Rabbit, it's a stone floor,' said Willie.  
					 " 'All right, my lad, but we'll take these as well as
						spades and picks. We don't want to waste time by coming back for anything.
						That saw cuts through rock like a knife cuts an apple. Put them into the
						car,' he added, as they came to the end of the drive, 'and hop in, all of
						you. You take the wheel, Bunny.'  
					 "As they bumped out on to the road Sammy asked politely,
						'Shall I get down and shut the gates, Mr. Rabbit?' who replied, 'No, thank
						you, sonny, there are no gates to our drive.'  
					 "And Peter, all this while, sat and waited in the dark
						coal cellar for his master to demand his release. 'Perhaps,' he thought, 'he
						will get Mr. Emu, the policeman, to come with him.' The hours passed by and
						still no one came to rescue him, yet though he did not lose hope, he began
						to feel very hungry. 'I wish I had a slice of pumpkin pie.' He was quite
						unaware that he had spoken his wish aloud.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER XV.  
					 JENNY CRICKET & MARY DUMPLING  
					 NOW fancy you wishing for pumpkin pie. Here is nearly a trayful.
						I've only eaten two of them,' chirruped a little voice. Peter looked up and
						saw to his surprise and de light, little Jenny Cricket. 'Jenny! What are you
						doing here?'  
					 "I'lll tell you after I get the pies.' Soon she returned
						with several pies on a tin tray. Placing it near Peter, Jenny said, 'Now,
						while you eat the pies Til tell you all about it.'  
					 "'Umm! These pies are scrummy,' said Peter, as he ate
						one.  
					 '"Yes, I ate some last night.'  
					 " 'Last night?' said Peter. Jenny nodded and, sitting
						down on a big piece of coal, said, "Yesterday I came to spend the
						day with Mary. We were having such fun. I was playing my violin and dancing
						to it, while Mary sang and laughed, and made some delicious pumpkin pies.
						Then, while I was pivoting around the room and playing faster and^ faster,
						Mary suddenly stopped singing and ran to the window and cried out, 'Jenny,
						it's the servants of the Turk ish Prince. You remember, when I was down at
						your place the other day I told you how he wanted to buy this house and I
						said I did not want to sell it,' and as she spoke, there was a loud knocking
						at the door. 'Look after the pies, Jenny dear, lest they burn, while I see
						what they want.' They were talking a long time, so I opened the oven door
						and, seeing the pies looking nice and brown, I thought I had better take
						them out. I was walking with the tray over to the table, when I heard the
						Black- boys coming down the passage and talking roughly to Mary. I got so
						frightened that I opened the door leading down to the cellar, still holding
						the tray in the other hand, and ran down here and hid myself. Then I thought
						how silly and mean I was to run away, so I put the tray down on the beach
						under the win dow, over there—you can't see it from
						here— and crept up the stairs and ever so quietly turned the
						handle of the door, for it had banged to, when an ugly fat pale-faced man
						grabbed me by the arm. My! how I did kick him, and that made him mad with
						me. 'You little spitfire,' he said, shaking me until I was almost dizzy,
						'Now for that you'll cook the dinner.' That made me so angry that I wasn't
						any longer afraid of him. I said, 'I won't cook you a dinner. This is Miss
						Dumpling's house and she won't allow you to stay here, much less cook you a
						dinner.' 'Indeed, spitfire, she no longer has any say in the matter, for my
						mas ter, Prince Turk, bought and paid for this cot-   tage with
						a bagful of Barup diamonds. What he wants he takes, and since he's paid such
						a handsome price for it, certainly he has a right to it.' 'No, he hasn't,
						because nothing or no body would ever make her sell it, because she doesn't
						ever want to live anywhere but here. I must go and find her. I won't stay
						here another minute,' and as I crossed the room to get my violin, he
						stretched over and took it from the table where I had put it. 'If you don't
						want your violin used for firewood, you had better stay and cook our meals.'
						'You wouldn't dare,' I said, stamping my foot and hitting out at him, 'And I
						wouldn't cook your dinners.' He made me that angry I hardly knew what I was
						doing, for that violin has been in our family for ages."  
					 " 'My, you must have been angry. I just can't imagine
						you acting like that. Everyone always says how merry and sweet tempered you
						are. But I guess it was enough to make any one mad; yes, even the best girl
						in the world,' said Peter, smiling shyly at her, and added, 'Did the wretch
						burn your violin?'  
					 " 'No, I cooked the dinner, though I'm afraid it wasn't
						very nice, not that I had any of it —they didn't give me
						any—but that didn't trouble me. I was too miserable to eat any
						thing, I had burnt my thumb, and was think ing how worried mother would be
						about me, and wondering what Mary was doing. After wards, when they all went
						out and locked me in and put the black-boys to guard the windows, I knew
						they meant to keep me here, so I stole down here and, after hiding my
						violin, I looked   around to see if there was any way that I
						could get out. I bolted the door at the top of the stairs, so they can't
						come down here. But I do wish we could get away,' she added wist fully.  
					 "But, Peter did not answer. He appeared to be intently
						listening, then he said, 'What's that? Is that window over the bench
						barred?'  
					 " 'Yes, on the inside,' she answered.  
					 " 'There it is again. Don't you hear some thing?' he
						whispered.  
					 " 'Yes, look,' she cried softly, pointing to a splinter
						of light showing through a tiny chink in the floor a few feet away from
						them, 'Per haps the Black-boys through the window saw me come down here.'  
					 "Peter tiptoed over the floor and, lying face downwards,
						put his ear to the chink. Presently Peter jumped up, looking ever so
						excited. 'Jenny!' he cried aloud, 'Willy Wagtail is down there. You look
						through the crack.'  
					 " 'It's getting bigger—the crack, I mean,'
						said Jenny, keeping her eye to the hole, 'and now I can see Sammy Squirrel
						and there's Mr. Rabbit. You look, Peter.'  
					 "And all the time the engineers kept on working, and
						until at last the crack had grown into a hole. The first shaft of light was
						pierc ing the dark curtain of night, when the engi neers finished drilling a
						hole large enough for the prisoners to squeeze through.  
					 
					 "'There are two of us,' Peter joyfully whis pered as he
						beheld the face of Bunny Rabbit, and added, 'Jenny Cricket was made a
						prisoner as well.'  
					 " 'Down you come, Jenny. Don't be afraid of the tunnel,
						that was all part of the work. Without that we couldn't have drilled the
						hole in the floor,' whispered Bunny, as he held up his strong arms to help
						her down, and then as Jenny was placed on firm ground above the tunnel, Mrs.
						Hop Kangaroo, who had come during the night to see if she could be of help,
						carried her away to her car and covered her with a lambs' wool rug. Almost
						immediately Peter and his friends came walking noiselessly towards them. At
						last when it was safe to speak above a whisper, Peter earnestly expressed
						his gratitude to his rescuers.  
					 " 'That's all right, my lad. Now get in and we'll run
						you home.'  
					 " 'Thank you very much, Mr. Rabbit, but I couldn't think
						of troubling you any further. Indeed, I can't even begin to say how grateful
						I am. There's a short cut over the creek and I'll be home before any of
						you.'  
					 " 'But Mr. Meadow is away, Peter; he left a note pinned
						on the shop door. You must come and stay with us at Leaping Wall, our new
						home,' said Mrs. Hop Kangaroo.  
					 " 'Thank you kindly,' said Peter, 'but with my master
						away, that is all the more reason why I should be there.'  
					 
					 " 'Very well, Peter. You must do what is right,' said
						Mrs. Hop Kangaroo.  
					 " 'Good night, thanks, everyone," he said,
						turning away.  
					 " 'Just look where he's going,' said Jack Rab bit, as
						Peter recrossed the creek.  
					 " 'Hey!' cried Willie.  
					 " 'He won't hear you,' said Jenny, sleepily snuggling
						down on to a cushion.  
					 " 'We'd better wait and see if he is all right,' said
						Mr. Rabbit. In less than two minutes they saw Peter running up the road
						towards them. 'Whatever made you do a silly thing like that? Going back to
						that place after all the trouble we had to get you out of there,' said
						Willie. 'I remembered that we had forgotten Jenny's pies,' he said, holding
						up the tray.  
					 " 'She's asleep, Peter—anyway, she won't need
						them now. You keep them,' said Mrs. Hop Kangaroo. As the cars started
						forward, Willie and Billy called out, 'We'll be over after breakfast, Peter,
						to hear all about it.' But Sammy did not say a word, for he was as fast
						asleep as Jenny was in her lambs' wool rug.  
					 "It was almost light out of doors when Peter reached
						home. The door of his room opened outwards on to the side garden, and was un
						locked, but it was still rather dim inside, so he lighted a Chinese candle,
						and on the little table, he saw a note from Mr. Meadow. Taking it   up, he read 'Almost as soon as you had gone I received a
						message from my cousin, Mistress River, to come at once to Rivers Bend. I
						hope the Prince was not too displeased. If he still wishes us to do the caps
						and can wait until Binang, ask Hop Kangaroo to take his taxi to Rivers Bend
						for me and I'll return immediately.'  
					 " 'Whew!' said Peter, sitting down on his bed, 'Now,
						what am I to do?' The more he tried to think the sleepier he became, until
						at last he rolled back on to his pillow and was soon fast asleep, for it had
						been a long day and night crowded with work and anxiety.  
				 
				 
					 
					 CHAPTER XVI.  
					 PRINCE TURK AND PYE MELON  
					 ALOUD knocking on the shop door awak ened him. Cautiously he
						peeped through the curtains before the shop window. And a curious sight met
						his eyes. Coming down the hill at the further end of the road, he saw a
						little girl dressed in tattered garments and only one shoe, walking down the
						street, and as he hastened to the door he almost fell over a long narrow
						object. He stooped down and saw that it was a roll of orange and lemon
						satin. He picked it up and carried it into the shop, then as he turned to
						shut the shop door the little girl in the tattered clothes was slowly
						walking by, sobbing as she went.  
					 " 'What's the matter, little girl?'  
					 " 'Because I was disobedient and didn't leave the ball
						before the clock struck twelve, I've lost all my lovely clothes, and a glass
						slipper, and now I've only one of my old shoes.' And here she wept harder
						than ever. 'And now Prince Charming won't know where to find me. And   my stepmother and stepsisters will beat me, and won't give me
						any breakfast, and I'll have to sit among the dirty black cinders.'  
					 "Peter, who was very sorry for her, said, 'I've a lot of
						lovely pumpkin pies. Come in and have some. What is your name?'  
					 " 'My name is Cinderella, and my fairy god mother was so
						kind to me. She sent me to a lovely ball in a beautiful carriage and dress
						and shoes, and I danced with the Prince Charming.'  
					 " 'So it was for you that our last roll of silk was
						used. Well, never mind, come and eat some of the pumpkin pies. They're
						great— Mary Dumpling made them.' 
					  "He led the way into the kitchen and Cin derella dried
						her eyes and Peter told her, as they ate the pies, all about Prince Turk.
						Cin derella refused a third pie, but Peter ate seven more.  
					 " 'How ever can you eat so many?' she said, amazed.  
					 "'I like pumpkin pies. There's nothing tastes as good,'
						said Peter.  
					 " 'You haven't told me your name yet,' said Cinderella,
						as Peter finished the last pie.  
					 " 'Peter,' he announced.  
					 " 'Peter what?' she asked.  
					 " 'Just Peter.'  
					 
					 " 'But you must have another name—every one
						has,'  
					 " 'That's so, but I never had,'  
					 " 'Well, I call you Peter Pumpkin Eater,' and they
						laughed merrily.  
					 "Then as Cinderella wrote it down to see how it looked,
						Peter said, 'Well, it looks all right, just like other names. And it's not
						so funny either. I know a man who is called Jack Frost. He is a great
						artist. Lord Winter always en gages Mr. Jack Frost to decorate his palaces.
						He does make them look beautiful, all white and glistening, and the
						wonderful designs he puts on the windows! You should just see them.'  
					 " 'He may be clever and a great artist—but I
						don't like his children, they are so mischievous.'  
					 "'I don't think so. They all look so rosy and lovely.
						Perhaps they are a bit lively, the way they nip round.'  
					 " 'I think they are very rude and rough,' insisted
						Cinderella.  
					 " 'Why do you? I like to run with them.'  
					 " 'Because when my stepmother sends me out to gather
						herbs for the dinner, the Frost children come over and chase me. They run
						and jump all over me, and nip my nose until it's quite red, and catch hold
						of my fingers and toes until they are quite sore and stiff. Ugh! I don't
						like them, and I wish Lord Winter   wouldn't bring them here.
						Why, I think I dislike them even more than sitting among the cinders in our
						kitchen.'  
					 " 'Well, I've got to go and see Mr. Hop Kangaroo, and
						since he lives near your place, we can walk together; but here, put these
						shoes on first.' And Peter handed her a pair of shoes that had become too
						small for him.  
					 " 'Thank you, Peter,' she said, as they came to the
						crossroads, 'I feel so much better for your kindness, and if ever I can
						repay you I will. Goodbye.'  
					 "The next day there was a great stir in Bushing, for the
						Qualup Bells were ringing out joyously. Willie Wagtail was the first to hear
						the news from the wireless operator, Mr. Grass Hopper. As the chiming of the
						bells continued, people rushed to their doors and windows to see what it was
						all about.  
					 " 'What is it, Willie?' shouted Mr. Kooka burra from his
						balcony.  
					 " 'The King and Queen are returning from their holiday
						abroad, and Lord Winter and Jack Frost are to be their guests at Bushingham
						Pal ace. There goes the Town Band; they are go ing to meet them.'  
					 "A little later the Town Band returned, playing the
						National Anthem, and behind them came the King and Queen, Lord Winter and
						Jack Frost, and a bodyguard taken from the famous Red and Green Paws
						regiment. Every one cheered wildly as the Royal carriage came in sight, and
						continued until the Royal pro cession climbed the hill and entered the gates
							  of Bushingham Palace. Hardly had the people recovered from
						this surprise, when another car riage was seen coming down the road. It was
						drawn by twenty blue dragon-flies, and in it were seated Prince Charming and
						Cinderella. They were just returning from Fern Grove Cathedral, where they
						had just been married. The cheering broke out again, and people threw
						flowers over them and wished them joy. Peter became so excited that, without
						realising what he was doing, he threw cap after cap out of the shop window,
						in his joy at seeing little Cin derella looking so lovely and happy. They
						too rode up the hill, and entered Bushingham Pal ace to pay their respects
						to the King and Queen.  
					 "Not long after they had entered the gates of Bushingham
						Palace, Mr. Emu, accompanied by Sergeant Bulldog Ant, came hurrying down the
						hill towards Mary Dumpling's cottage. A still further surprise awaited the
						people, for shortly afterwards they saw them returning and with them were
						Prince Turk and Pye Melon.  
					 "Then the public wireless announcer, Mr. Kowar Parrot,
						announced a Royal command for all the King's subjects to hasten to the
						Palace. So instantly everyone left their work, or gossip, and climbed the
						hill to the Palace. The King was seated on his throne, and seated on the
						dais with him were Prince Charming and Cinderella; while in disgrace,
						standing down in front of the King, were Prince Turk and Pye Melon, guarded
						by Mr. Emu and Sergeant Bulldog Ant. Seated on bough chairs behind these
						were Peter, Willie Wagtail, Mary Dumpling, Jenny Cricket, Billy Kookaburra,
						Mr. Rabbit, and Hop Kan garoo. The Qualup Bells ceased ringing, and   the trial of Prince Turk and Pye Melon com menced.  
					 " 'What is your name?' asked the King, when Peter stood
						to tell of his capture by Prince Turk.  
					 " 'Peter, Your Majesty.'  
					 " 'Peter what?'  
					 " 'Only Peter, Your Majesty.'  
					 " 'But this is ridiculous nonsense. You must have
						another name. Everyone has.'  
					 "Peter's face burned a vivid red, and he looked so
						uncomfortable that Cinderella, who felt sorry for him, whispered to her
						husband. Prince Charming smiled at her and whispered to the King, who, after
						listening attentively, nodded kindly and said to Peter, 'So you would like
						to be called Peter Pumpkin Eater?'  
					 "Peter glanced doubtfully at Cinderella. She, however,
						though now a great lady, remem bered gratefully how kind he had been to her
						when she was returning from the ball, tired and distressed. Now she smiled
						encouragingly at him, as she saw his perplexed look. Of course, this was all
						done quicker than you could say 'Hop o' my Thumb.'  
					 " 'Yes, Your Majesty,' he answered prompt ly, encouraged
						by her friendly glance.  
					 " 'So be it, from now on you shall be called Master
						Peter Pumpkin Eater.'  
					 " 'Thank you, Your Majesty, that sounds fine,' said
						Peter and, after bowing and walking backwards, he sat down once more amongst
						his friends on the bough seats, while the King passed sentence on Prince
						Turk and Pye Melon.  
					 
					 " 'Sergeant Bulldog Ant and Mr. Emu, see to it that
						these rascals leave Bushingham before the four o'clocks strike.'  
					 "And as the prisoners were being led away, he added,
						'And never again set your foot in our country, or it will be on pain of your
						life.'  
					 " It was growing late by the time that Peter Pumpkin
						Eater had finished reading the story of his great, great, great, great,
						great grand father's father, and he carefully collected all the leaves, and
						put them back into his jarrah safe.  
					 Nan stretched herself and exclaimed, "What a lovely
						story."  
					 "And did he marry Jenny Cricket?" asked Carol.  
					 "Jenny!" he laughed, "No! she couldn't
						make pies. He married Mary Dumpling."  
					 "And were they very happy?" asked Carol and Nan
						together.  
					 "Well, they should have been, Mary liked making pies and
						he liked eating them. Only she made too many pies, and he ate too many of
						them, and became fat and too lazy to work. Then one day the Fairy Godmother,
						seeing that Mary was looking very unhappy, because Peter would not work,
						waved her wand, and all the pumpkins ran for their lives out of Bushing
						ham."  
					 "But then what did they eat?" asked Nan.  
					 "Plenty of other things, besides fruit and
						nuts," laughed Peter, "So you see he did not keep her very
						well for a while. Then one whole morning, he sat gloomily looking at the
						great   pile, of pumpkin seeds that were left after the pies had
						been made, and while he sat there the Fairy Godmother waved her wand again,
						and what do you think happened?"  
					 "The seeds turned into pumpkins," said Carol.  
					 "No, no, no. They turned into cobble stones, and that
						gave him a great idea. These stones could be used for his garden paths. Soon
						many people came and asked him to make them paths. In quite a short time, he
						had so many orders, that he began to wonder if there would be sufficient
						stones. Then one day, another idea came to him, he would set a new fashion
						in paths. Later these were known as the pretty crazy garden paths. Then the
						Fairy God mother, seeing how hard he was working and how worried he was over
						procuring more cobble stones, came and took him down to the creek at the
						foot of his garden, and there she waved her wand, and on both banks were
						millions of small reddish-brown cobble stones. And each year, when he had
						used nearly all on the banks, the water would cease to flow in the
						creek."  
					 "What a wonderful story," said Carol,
						"I've often seen little cobble stones on the banks of the creeks
						and rivers."  
					 "So he did keep her very well," said Nan.  
					 "Now, little ladies, I think Black Cloud and Roaring
						Mayrah have retreated, everything seems quiet," said Peter, opening
						a side door and look ing up/ and down the road cautiously.  
					 All was silent, save the chirpy voices of the Wagtail family over
						the way. The only one about was Mr. Moon, who, fatly smiling, peeped around
						the open door and said, "Everything is   quite
						peaceful. The 'all clear' signal was rung by Bell Bird, some time
						ago."  
					 The two girls jumped up from the stools and said, "Thank
						you so much for the won derful story. We've had such a nice time."  
					 "Goodnight, my dears, goodnight, and be sure to drop in
						some time when you are out this way again. You had better let me show you
						out the other door. Now, be careful, there are one hundred and ninety-nine
						steps. You had better count them, .so that you won't miss your
						step."  
					 "Can you see if we're nearly at the bottom,
						Nan?" asked Carol as she counted one hundred and five.  
					 Catching hold of Carol's hand, she craned her head forward to
						look. "I can't see. There's someone corning up the
						stairs," said Nan.  
					 The next minute a person carrying a laden basket was on the step
						beside them. "Make way there—I, am Green
						Beetle."  
					 Carol and Nan were so astonished at being so rudely spoken to,
						that they forgot they were walking down steps, and walked forward. Down,
						down, down, they rolled to the bottom step.  
					 "Hello! You are fine ones to come to the harvest fields.
						Come on; we're all going home now. Would you like to ride on the hay truck,
						or go back by car?" said David.  
					 "Oh! on the hay!" they both cried.  
					 On the way back the girls told him that they had been visiting
						Peter Pumpkin, whose   great, great, great, great, great
						grandfather's father was THE Peter Pumpkin Eater.  
					 "Not you," scoffed David, "Most of the
						afternoon you've been sound asleep behind the haystack."  
					 GLOSSARY OF ABORIGINAL WORDS  AND WILDFLOWERS.  
					 
						  Bina —Dawn.  
						  Barup —Dew.  
						  Binang —Tomorrow.  
						  Dotvarn —A twenty-eight parrot.  
						  Garrab —A cave.  
						  Garada —Little or short.  
						  Gnoto —A crow.  
						  Garro —Again.  
						  Gugamit —A small brown owl.  
						  Guyalla —A gadfly.  
						  Jida —A yellow-tailed wren.  
						  Jina (from
							Jinadarra) —A lizard.  
						  Kiddal —A cricket.  
						  Karak —A black cockatoo.  
						  Korbat —A magpie.  
						  Kotuar —A screaming parrot.  
						  Mikang —Moonlight.  
						  Nanyt —A white cockatoo with a sulphur
							crest.  
						  Nido —A mosquito.  
						  Wurgyl —A frog.  
						  Yyi —Today.  
						  Calosang —Death flowers (bot.
							Calothanus Sanguineas).  
						  Chinese Candles —Wildflowers
							resembling lighted candles.  
						  Sundews —Wild plants which trap flies;
							have rope-like and sticky stems.  
					 
					 
					 
					 
					 
				 
			 
		 
	 

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