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Title: Dick, Marjorie and Fidge - A Search for the Wonderful Dodo
Author: Farrow, G. E. (George Edward), 1866?-1920?
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dick, Marjorie and Fidge - A Search for the Wonderful Dodo" ***

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DICK, MARJORIE AND FIDGE

A Search for the Wonderful Dodo

by

G. E. FARROW

Author of Adventures in Wallypug Land

With Many Illustrations by Allan Wright



[Illustration: The skipper found the poor bird looking the picture of
misery. "Hope you're feeling better, sir," he said.--Page 132. _Dick,
Marjorie and Fidge_.]



A. L. Burt, Publisher, 52-58 Duane Street, New York



TO MY DEAR LITTLE FRIENDS.

Here is another book! I hope it will be as fortunate in pleasing you, as
the others seem to have been, if I may judge from the many kind and
gratifying letters which have reached me from boys and girls, of all
ages and sizes, and from all parts of the world.

And in connection with these letters, which I always try (though the
pleasurable task grows heavier year by year) to answer myself, I have
had the misfortune to lose a large packet of unanswered ones; so if any
of my little correspondents have written to me during the past year, and
have not received a reply, will he or she write to me again, and give me
an opportunity of repairing the omission?

I am getting quite proud of my gallery of photographs, which my little
friends have sent me, and which, I think, please me almost more than
anything else, if I may except a beautiful Persian kitten which has
come as a present from a little girl at Hereford, and which is a prime
favorite with every one here, including Dick, my little terrier,
who--although he ought to know better at his age, being over
eight--"galumphs" about in an absurdly clumsy manner, under the mistaken
impression that he is playing with it. He only succeeds, however, in
making himself ridiculous in the eyes of the kitten, who, despite his
years, treats him with little or no respect, and does not hesitate to
box his ears, and bite his tail whenever it feels so disposed.

But I see my space is nearly exhausted, so must conclude, with very best
wishes, and hoping to hear again from all of my old friends, and as many
new ones as care to write.

Believe me,
Your affectionate friend,
THE AUTHOR.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

         I. THE BEGINNING OF A MARVELLOUS JOURNEY                      1
        II. THE AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY                              12
       III. THE SAGE IN THE ONION FIELD                               24
        IV. STORIES AND TAILS BY THE SAGE                             35
         V. THE KING OF THE FISHES                                    47
        VI. IN THE KING'S PRESENCE                                    59
       VII. THE HUMAN RACE                                            68
      VIII. THE DODO AT LAST                                          80
        IX. AT THE NORTH POLE                                         92
         X. SOME NEW ACQUAINTANCES                                   102
        XI. THE SKIPPER OF THE "ARGONAUT"                            113
       XII. THE ARCHÆOPTERYX                                         125
      XIII. THE LITTLE PANJANDRUM'S BALLOON                          135
       XIV. THE DUFF AND DEM EXECUTIONER                             145
        XV. THE EXECUTION OF THE DODO                                155
       XVI. THE PREHISTORIC DOCTOR                                   165
      XVII. WAITING FOR THE TRAIN                                    175
     XVIII. A NIGHT IN THE TRAIN                                     185
       XIX. AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE                                    195
        XX. A DIFFICULTY WITH THE ROUNDABOUT                         216
       XXI. THE LITTLE PANJANDRUM AT LAST                            217
      XXII. TURNED TO STONE                                          228
     XXIII. THE DODO'S LITTLE RUSE                                   236
      XXIV. FIRST CLASS TO LONDON                                    245
       XXV. THE DODO OBLIGES WITH A SONG                             255
      XXVI. THE DODO DEPARTS                                         263



DICK, MARJORIE AND FIDGE.

CHAPTER I.

THE BEGINNING OF A MARVELOUS JOURNEY.


"Dick! Dick! Wake up, I want to tell you something." Marjorie stood
outside the boy's bedroom door, and called in as loud a whisper as she
dared, fearing lest she should awaken the rest of the household. There
was a scuffle and a patter of bare feet inside, and Dick appeared at the
door rubbing his eyes, evidently only half awake.

"What's up?" he demanded.

"Hush! don't make a noise. There's such a funny sound down-stairs--I
believe it's burglars. Listen!"

"Pooh! this time in the morning. What nonsense."

"Well it's been going on for ever so long, anyhow, and hark, there's
something keeps banging about like anything in the breakfast-room."

Dick ran to the top of the stairs and listened. Sure enough, there was a
most mysterious noise going on below,--a dull banging at regular
intervals, and a curious lapping sound, as though there was water in the
lower part of the house.

"Let's go and see what's up!" said Dick promptly.

"Me too," said a shrill treble voice, and a little curly-headed
apparition came running out of the bedroom, flourishing a wooden spade.

"No! you cut along into bed again, Fidge," cried Dick.

"Want to go and see the bur-ge-lers!" declared Fidge, pushing past them,
and racing down the stairs.

"Come back, you scamp," cried Dick, running after him; but with a saucy
and defiant laugh Fidge sped down to the first landing.

"Ooh!" he cried, looking over the banisters, "It's all drownded; look,
Dick! quick!"

Dick and Marjorie hurried down and leaned over the banisters too.

"Hullo! what a lark!" exclaimed Dick. "There's been a high tide, and the
house is flooded. Come on, this is ripping!" and the boy dashed
down-stairs, followed by the others.

The breakfast-room door stood open, and, wading ankle deep in water, the
children soon reached it. An extraordinary sight met their eyes.

The French windows were open, and the curtains were blowing about in the
breeze, while the sea had risen so high that the white-capped waves were
flowing quite into the room, in which the utmost confusion prevailed.
Chairs and various light articles were strewn about in all directions,
and the table, by some mysterious process, had been turned completely
over, and was floating about with its legs sticking up in the air. It
was evidently the noise which that had made, dashing against the door,
which had awakened Marjorie.

[Illustration: "The waves were flowing into the room."]

The children stood silently regarding it for a moment, and then Fidge,
with a delighted exclamation cried, "I want a ride in the boat," and
began to scramble into the overturned table.

"Oh! yes, jolly!" cried Dick, following his example; and in a moment all
three children were comfortably ensconced in the novel craft.

Dick found a stick floating about, which he used as a punting pole, and
soon had the table through the window and out into the garden.

"I'll be captain," he cried, "and you and Fidge shall be passengers,
Sis." The drawer of the table turned upside down made a capital upper
deck, and Marjorie settled herself very comfortably upon it, after Dick
had rigged up what he was pleased to call an awning with a little
table-cloth, and a piece of string which he had in the pocket of his
pyjamas.

Fidge, however, had no idea of remaining inactive, and insisted upon
taking a part in the management of the craft, and so Dick made him the
"Bosun," and set him to work rowing with his little wooden spade.

Out in the garden the water became deeper, and Captain Dick's pole would
not reach the bottom; still, owing to some mysterious influence, their
curious boat drifted merrily on, and the children did not puzzle
themselves in the least as to the cause of their progress. It was quite
enough for them to notice how strange and unnatural the gardens and all
the familiar surroundings appeared in their present inundated state. The
rosebushes and hedges looked so funny, growing out of the water, and
there were such a lot of curious things floating about--a hen-coop, a
wash-tub, and an old hamper had hurried past; and their boat had drifted
as far as the gate leading out into the roadway, when Marjorie jumped up
and pointed excitedly to something floating rapidly towards them.

"Look! Dick, look! there's an old turkey on a chair coming along."

As the object drew nearer, however, they could see that it was not a
turkey, or, indeed, any bird with which they were familiar, but a most
curious-looking creature. It had an oddly-shaped beak, webbed feet, and
a funny great tuft of feathers for a tail.

"Why, the thing has gloves on!" cried Captain Dick.

"And a blue bow around its neck," chimed in Fidge, his eyes dancing with
excitement.

"Ship ahoy!" shouted the bird, as it came close up to the table.

"Good gracious! Why it can talk," said Marjorie.

"Talk! Of course I can," answered the bird. "Why not, pray?"

"Well, birds don't generally talk, except parrots," added Marjorie, as
an afterthought.

"Parrots!" exclaimed the bird, stamping furiously on the seat of the
chair; "I hate 'em--nasty, showy, pretentious, ill-bred creatures;
regular shrieking hypocrites, that's what I call 'em."

"What sort of a bird are you, then?" asked Dick.

"I'm a Dodo," said the creature, with a consequential air.

"Oh! then you are extinct," said Dick. "I read it in a natural history
book."

"Yes, I am," admitted the Dodo. "It's lovely being extinct," he added,
complacently. "Have you ever tried it?"

"Good gracious, no," cried Dick.

"What does it mean, Dick, dear?" whispered Marjorie, who didn't like to
appear ignorant.

"Gone out, I think," explained Dick. "Anyhow, they say a volcano is
extinct when it has gone out."

"Yes, that's quite right," explained the Dodo, with a wink. "Haven't you
ever heard the vulgar expression, 'Does your mother know you're out?'
Well, where I come from, we just say, 'Is your maternal relative aware
of your extinction?' instead. It's the same thing, you know, and sounds
ever so much better. Then, again, it's most convenient, if any one calls
whom you don't wish to see, just to tell the servants to say that you
are extinct, and there is an end of the matter. But I mustn't stop all
day, I must be off to sea."

"Are you going to sea on that chair?" cried Marjorie.

"Well, it's as good as a table anyhow, as far as I can see," laughed the
Dodo. "Yes, I've an appointment with an Ichthyosaurus at the Equator at
noon, so I must be off. Good-by. Oh! while I think of it, though, if
you _do_ come across him, you might give him my love, and tell him that
I'm extinct, will you please? Ha--ha--he will be amused!"

"Who do you mean?" called out Dick, as the Dodo floated away on his
chair.

"The little Panjandrum," was the reply; "you are pretty sure to meet him
sooner or later."

"Oh, we're going to see the Pan--jan--de--lum," announced Fidge,
capering about in glee. "Hooray!"

In the meantime the table had drifted on till the house was quite out of
sight, and had reached the base of the cliffs, where the smugglers' cave
was. The children had been there ever so many times before, and knew of
a little gap in the rocks where, if only their boat would drift near
enough, they could land, and clamber up to the roadway again. The boat,
however, passed the gap, and drifted straight underneath the cave, from
whence came a confused babel of sounds.

The children looked up, and a moment afterwards a crowd of the funniest
little people imaginable came to the edge and peered over.

"What rum little beggars!" cried Dick. "Just look at their eyes!"

"I do believe they are Brownies, or else Gnomes!" declared Marjorie, who
had read a great many fairy stories.

"Nonsense!" said Dick, with a superior air; "there are no such things
now-a-days."

[Illustration: "A rope ladder was let down."]

"Who says so?" shrieked the little people from the cave. "Come up here,
and we'll soon show you."

"Oh, yes, do!" cried Marjorie, clapping her hands; "I should love to see
them."

"I don't see how we are going to get up there," said Dick, dubiously;
"we haven't got a ladder."

"We have one," shouted the little people. "Shall we let it down?"

"Oh, yes, please," clamored Marjorie, and immediately afterwards a rope
ladder was let down, and one or two of the little men hung over the
ledge to steady it.

"Come along," cried Marjorie, leading the way, while Fidge followed
next, repeating over and over, with a delighted chuckle, "We
are going to see the Pan--jan--de--lum! We are going to see the
Pan--jan--de--lum!"



CHAPTER II.

THE AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY.


At the top of the ladder the children found themselves in the midst of a
crowd of curious little pigmies, dressed in all sorts of quaint and
fantastic costumes.

They were the oddest little creatures that you can possibly imagine,
with eyes and ears that seemed to be too big for their heads, and tiny
little spindle legs that looked quite incapable of supporting their big
bodies.

They spoke in a shrill, clear, bell-like voice, which, although they
were such tiny creatures, could be heard distinctly.

"So you don't believe in fairies, eh!" they cried, clustering about the
children.

"I do," declared Marjorie, stoutly.

"Yes, and me do, too," said Fidge, looking about him delightedly.

"But," objected Dick, "I've always been told that fairies, and elves,
and gnomes, and things of that sort were merely myths, and existed only
in the imagination of story-tellers."

"He--he--he," giggled the little people. "The same old story. They told
you that to hide their ignorance, my child."

"I'm thirteen years old," declared Dick, haughtily, for he did not at
all approve of being called a child.

"Oh, are you indeed!" was the reply, amid shouts of laughter. "I suppose
you think yourself quite a man, and are consequently too old to believe
in the fairies, who are more than thirteen thousand years old."

"You know you used to believe in them, Dick," interposed Marjorie.
"Don't you remember how we used to enjoy that lovely fairy book Aunt May
gave us, and dear old 'Alice in Wonderland,' and----"

"That was years ago," interrupted Dick, turning very red. "I've had it
all explained to me since that, and I don't read those kind of books
now."

"Do you read Shakespeare?" demanded one of the little folks.

"Some of it," replied Dick, doubtfully.

"Have you ever read 'Midsummer Night's Dream?'"

"Oh, yes! Jolly! Titania, and Oberon, and Puck, and all that lot, you
know; and the jolly little chaps that----"

"Hullo! I thought you didn't believe in fairies," interrupted some one.

"Oh, well, that's different, you know; that's Shakespeare, and--and----"

"And what? I suppose you'll admit that he believed in them?"

"Well, I suppose so," said Dick, grudgingly; "but I----"

"But you imagine yourself to be cleverer than Shakespeare."

"Ha--ha--ha!" laughed a chorus of little people, derisively.

"Look here! I'll tell you what it is," said the first speaker, "you have
evidently been taught by some of those wise old know-nothings, who have
succeeded in making you as clever as themselves, and it is our intention
to show you how ignorant you all are. I think you will believe in
fairies before we have done with you. Now, we are gnomes, and have just
completed a subterranean passage between here and the land of the little
Panjandrum."

[Illustration: "Four extraordinary figures came in sight."]

The word _little_ was spoken so softly as to be quite indistinct. "The
what!" cried Dick.

"Sh! the _little_ Panjandrum," said the gnome, speaking the word almost
inaudibly.

"What do you say it like that for?" asked the children.

"Well, you see, his Magnificence and Serene Importance is somewhat
sensitive on the subject; there is the GRAND Panjandrum, you know."

"Oh, I see," said Dick, "and the other chap doesn't like to take a back
seat, that's it, is it? Well, who is the Little Panjandrum, anyhow?"

"Sh! sh!" cried the gnomes, looking about them nervously. "You really
mustn't say _little_ as loudly as that. Supposing any one heard you?"

"Well, what if they did?" asked Dick.

"O! His Serene Importance would be terribly angry, and perhaps
would----"

What the conclusion of the sentence was to have been the children never
knew, for at that moment there was a loud clattering noise in the
passage leading from the cave, and a moment afterwards four
extraordinary figures came in sight.

They were mounted upon ostriches, and one of them, more richly
caparisoned than the others, had a kind of canopy attached to his
trappings, beneath which sat a stern-faced little man with an elaborate
turban and head-dress. He wore also a very curious collar, from which
depended a large gold ornament of curious design. He carried in one hand
a long pipe, and with the other guided his strange steed.

[Illustration: "What do you know about the Dodo?"]

The others of the party, who were evidently his attendants, each carried
a banner emblazoned with mysterious signs and characters.

The silver bells attached to the head of the ostrich, and on the top of
the canopy over the grandee, tinkled merrily as he came forward.

"In the name of the little Panjandrum," he shouted, in a loud voice, and
immediately all the gnomes bowed respectfully almost down to the ground.

"His Serene Importance and Most Magnificent Greatness is grievously
distressed."

The gnomes all brought forth little pocket-handkerchiefs, and began to
cry.

"The Dodo presented to His Worshipful Gorgeousness by the Grand
Panjandrum himself has escaped!"

The gnomes all threw up their hands in dismay.

"Why, we saw it," cried Marjorie, excitedly. "Didn't we, Dick?"

The little man on the ostrich turned around sharply, and after staring
at the children for a moment, shouted--

"Who are you?"

"I am Dick Verrinder, sir, and this is my sister Marjorie, and our
little brother Fidge," said Dick politely. "We are spending our summer
holiday at Mrs. Lawrence's cottage on the other side of the cliff. The
tide rose very high this morning, and we----"

"Don't tell me all that nonsense. What do you know about the Dodo?" said
the little man, impatiently.

"Why, we met it floating about on a chair, and it told us that it was
going to the Equator to meet a--a--er--a----"

"Well?"

"It was something with a very long name," stammered Dick; "I can't quite
remember what."

"Look here," said the little man, bending forward excitedly, "that story
won't do for me. I am the Ambassador Extraordinary of his Magnificence
the little Panjandrum, and you tell me that you have seen the Dodo; that
is enough. Now then! Where is it? It's no use telling me that it has
gone off to keep an appointment with something with a long name. I say,
where is the bird? If you don't instantly produce that Dodo I shall take
you before the Court of Inquisitives, and let them deal with you."

"But I tell you," began Dick, while Marjorie clung to his arm in
affright, and Fidge scowled angrily at hearing his idolized big brother
spoken to in this peremptory manner, "I tell you that we only saw it for
a----"

"That's quite enough. Don't argue the point. I shall give you one week
from now, and if at the end of that time you do not appear at the Palace
of the little Panjandrum with the Dodo, I shall apply to the Grand
Panjandrum himself to have you subtransexdistricated, so there!"

"But----"

"Not another word. Ink! Paper! Pens!" he commanded, getting off his
ostrich and squatting down before a flat stone, while the little gnomes
ran hither and thither, getting in each other's way, and tripping and
stumbling about in all directions in their eagerness to do the
Ambassador's bidding.

"Sit down!" he ordered, and the children sat down on the ground in front
of him. There was a slight difficulty about the ink at this point, for
the gnomes, not being quite strong enough to carry the inkstand, turned
it over on its side to roll it forward, and of course spilled all the
ink. They managed, however, to gather up some of it in their caps, and
so kept the Ambassador supplied.

"Now then! Know all men by these presents," he began, writing the words
down as he spake them.

"He's going to give us some presents," whispered Fidge, giving Dick a
nudge. Dick shook his head reprovingly, and the little man continued--

"That whereas three children, named respectively--what did you say your
name was?"

"Richard Greville Verrinder, Sir."

"Richard Greville Verrinder, and--what's your sister's name?"

[Illustration: "Dick suddenly shot up to the height of over six feet."]

"Marjorie Evelyn Verrinder."

"Marjorie Evelyn Verrinder, and----"

"Harold Ellis Verrinder," prompted Dick.

"Who's that?" inquired the Ambassador, sharply.

"My little brother," was the reply.

"You said his name was Fidge."

"Oh, yes, but that's his nickname, you know."

"I don't know anything of the sort. Now then, just keep quiet while I
finish this document. There," he continued, when he had finished writing
some mysterious-looking words on the paper, and had attached two
enormous red seals to it--"that's your warrant for arresting the Dodo,
when you have found him; and it is also an authority from the little
Panjandrum for you at any time to become any size that you wish; to
float through the air at will; and to live under water if necessary. So
you have everything in your favor, and I shall expect the Dodo back in
less than a week. Do you hear? Now I'm off."

The little man mounted his ostrich, and without saying a word more to
any one, he and his followers rode off in the direction from whence they
had come.

"Well, I never!" said Dick, picking up the scrawl which had fallen at
his feet. "Here's a go! We've got to find that beastly old Dodo in less
than a week, or be--what was it?"

"I don't know," said Marjorie, dolefully, "it was something very long,
and sounded dreadful."

"But what's that he said about our being able to be any size that we
wished? I'm sure I wish I was as tall as father."

"Me, too," said Fidge, emphatically.

"And I should love to float about in the air, I'm sure!" declared
Marjorie.

The words were scarcely out of her mouth when she felt herself wafted
gently off her feet, while at the same moment Dick, to Fidge's intense
surprise, suddenly shot up to the height of over six feet, and looked so
very ridiculous, that all three of them burst out into an uncontrollable
fit of laughter.



CHAPTER III.

THE SAGE IN THE ONION FIELD.


"How absurd," laughed Dick, as he looked down from the--to him--enormous
height of six feet. "What a thin, lanky-looking creature, I am, to be
sure--and Fidge, too; he looks perfectly ridiculous"--for Fidge, also,
was growing amazingly.

"How did it happen, Dick, dear?" asked Marjorie, in an awe-stricken
voice. "It seems so funny to be up here in the air, and yet I don't feel
in the least frightened, do you?"

"Of course not," said Dick, contemptuously. "Why, we just said we wished
to be as tall as the Pater, you know, and it happened."

"Oh, yes; and I said I should like to float in the air. I suppose we can
always do what we want to now--how lovely! Like the 'Arabian Nights,'
isn't it?"

"I don't want to be thin, like a walking-stick," said Fidge, in a
dissatisfied voice.

"No, it's rather horrid," said Dick. "Let's see; we said as tall as the
Pater, didn't we?--not as _big_. I wonder if that makes any difference."

"I want to be as fat as old Mrs. Mofflet," said Fidge, mischievously.

The words were no sooner out of his mouth than he dwindled down to his
usual height, and spread out in girth till he exactly resembled, in
appearance, what one looks like in a concave mirror--that is, he was
about twice as wide as he was high.

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear! That's worse than ever!" laughed the children,
while little Fidge waddled about in an absurd way.

The gnomes were highly amused, and cut the most extraordinary antics in
their glee.

"I think perhaps the best thing to do for the present would be to wish
ourselves as we were," said Dick. "I have no doubt it wi be very
useful by and by to be any size we like, but just now it's rather
awkward."

"Oh, let's be little, like the gnomes," cried Marjorie. "It will be such
fun."

"All right," acquiesced Dick; "here goes--I wish I were as little as the
gnomes."

"So do I," cried Marjorie.

[Illustration: "He was about twice as wide as he was high."]

"Me, too!" cried Fidge.

To their great surprise, nothing happened. They waited a moment or two,
staring at each other expectantly, and then Marjorie cried in a
troubled voice--

"Oh, dear! I don't believe it's going to work, and we shall have to stay
like this forever."

"What nonsense!" cried Dick.

"I say! I want to be as small as the gnomes," he shouted.

There was no result, however, and the children remained as they were.

"Oh! I know," he cried; "I ought to have the paper that the Ambassador
gave me in my hand. Where is it?"

There was a great whispering amongst the gnomes, and at last one of them
shouted out--

"We've taken it away."

"What for?" demanded Dick. "It was given to us; you had better give it
up at once. What do you mean by it?"

There was another whispered consultation, and then one of the gnomes
said, "Let them have it for now," and the paper was put down upon the
ground at Dick's feet.

Dick stooped down and picked it up, and immediately the children began
to dwindle down till they became as small as the little people
themselves.

They had no sooner done so than the paper which the Ambassador had given
them was suddenly snatched from Dick's hand and a number of the gnomes
surrounded them, dancing about, turning somersaults, playing leap-frog,
and capering about in the maddest way.

"Well, you've done it now," said one of them, tauntingly.

"What do you mean?" inquired Dick.

"Why, we've got the paper, and you can't grow any bigger until we allow
you to."

"What a mean trick!" cried Dick, in disgust.

"Well, we don't think it at all fair," said the gnomes, "that you should
be able to grow any size that you want to, while we have to keep little,
so we are going to keep you here for a little while, and teach you to
believe in fairies, do you see?"

"But we've got to find the Dodo in a week," expostulated Dick, "and if
you keep us here, however are we to do that?"

"Oh, please give us the paper back," begged Marjorie. "I'm sure the
Pater will be so vexed if we never grow any bigger than this any more."
And she began to cry a little.

You see, such a lot of very unusual things had happened that she was a
little excited and nervous.

"Well, we'll think about it," said the gnomes, running away and hiding
among the rocks.

"Don't cry, Marjorie," said Dick, bravely, though he too felt a little
anxious himself; for, you see, eleven inches is not very tall for any
one to be, and he didn't care to admit what would happen if he went back
to school in his present state.

"Chappel Minor has always been cheeky," he thought, "and so have Martin
and Foster, and if I keep this size they will think they can do just as
they like with me, and probably will turn me out of the cricket eleven,
while that little wretch of a Castleton is sure to sneak all my
pencils--he does now when he gets a chance." However, he kept these
doleful thoughts to himself, and devoted himself to the task of
consoling his sister and Fidge, and had soon talked them into such a
cheerful frame of mind, that they really began to think that it was
rather an advantage than otherwise to have lost the paper.

"For one thing, we shall not have to hunt for that old Dodo,"
argued Dick, "because even the Grand Panjandrum himself, whoever
he may be, could not expect us to go far away while we remain as
little as this, and so we are not in such great danger of
being--er--er--thingummybobbed--you know--what the Ambassador said we
should be, if we didn't find the wretched thing."

"Supposing we try and find the Ambassador," suggested Marjorie. "I don't
think he was really very cross, only a little abrupt, you know; and we
could explain everything to him, and perhaps he would give us a new
paper."

"All right," said Dick, leading the way. "At any rate, he will be able
to make us grow bigger--that is, if we wish to," he added, with a fine
affectation of unconcern.

The children walked on for some time in the direction in which the
Ambassador and his followers had disappeared, and they soon found
themselves out of the cave and in a kind of forest.

[Illustration: "A curious little old man with a flowing beard came
toward them."]

"What funny trees," said Fidge, looking up over his head.

The others followed his example, and found that he had good cause for
his surprise; the long, smooth trunks, without any leaves, ended in a
kind of ball, while at the roots a kind of enormous bulb appeared.

"Whatever can they be?" cried Marjorie, in amazement.

"Onions!" was the reply, spoken by a strange voice.

The children turned around, and beheld a curious little old man with a
long flowing beard coming toward them.

"Have you any other questions to ask?" he inquired, pleasantly.

"It's very kind of you, Sir," said Dick, who was the first to recover
from the surprise which they had all experienced at this sudden
apparition. "Will you, please, tell us where we are?"

"Oh," said the little man, with a smile, "this is the Field of Onions.
And I am the Sage with the snowy beard who dwells in the Field of
Onions. And that is the Hut of curious build which belongs to the Sage
with the snowy beard who dwells in the Field of Onions.

"Is there anything else I can tell you? If so, pray ask me. I like it."

"What a funny man," whispered Marjorie. "Do you think he is quite right
in his head?"

"Hush!" said Dick. "Perhaps he can direct us to the Little Panjandrum's,
and then we can find the Ambassador easily."

"Little Panjandrum's, certainly," said the Sage, answering exactly as
though he had been spoken to himself--

    "'Take the first to the right on Tuesday week,
      The second to the left on Monday;
    On Friday you'll not have far to seek,
      And be sure not to travel on Sunday!'

"But it's no use going at all till you've found the Dodo," he added.

"Good gracious! how did you know that we were looking for it," cried
Dick.

"Oh, I know everything," said the Sage, complacently. "Did you ever know
a Sage who didn't?"

"I'm afraid I've never known one at all before, Sir," said Dick; "but I
should think it must be very useful to know such a lot, isn't it?"

"Yes, it isn't bad," admitted the Sage; "would you like to know how I
became so clever?"

"Oh, yes, please," cried all the children at once.

Motioning them to a seat on an onion bulb, the little man struck an
attitude, and began--

    "I was brought up on Verbs of irregular kind,
      With a Pronoun or two as a treat,
    While a strict course of Logic, to strengthen my mind,
      My pastors and masters thought meet.

    I had Lessons for breakfast, and Sums for my tea,
      Learnt to play the Arithmetic nicely,
    And gained all the prizes at School--don't you see,
      For construing Doggerel concisely.

    They were Isms, and Ologies, Science, and Cram,
      Quadratic Equations, and Butter,
    The _Pons asinorum_, and Strawberry Jam,
      And the Cane, did I mumble or mutter."



CHAPTER IV.

STORIES AND TAILS BY THE SAGE.


"Do you mean to say," inquired Dick, when the Sage had finished, "that
all those last things were prizes; because, if so, there isn't a single
one of them that I should have cared for much, except the Strawberry
Jam?"

"That only shows a great want of taste on your part," said the old Sage,
severely. "Isms and Ologies, and things of that sort, are very tasty,
when you become used to them."

"What are Isms and Ologies, if you please, Sir?" asked Marjorie.

"Oh, there are various kinds," was the reply. "There's Ge-Ology, for
instance, which is lovely spread on bread-and-butter; and Zo-Ology, with
Aphor-Ism sauce, is simply delicious."

"They don't sound very nice," said Marjorie, dubiously, making a wry
face.

"You don't know anything at all about it, I'm afraid, my dear," said the
little old man, decidedly. "You would probably prefer dolls and
foolishness of that sort!"

"Yes, I think I should," admitted Marjorie, candidly.

"Do you know _everything_, please, Mr. Sage?" inquired Fidge, who had
been very silent during this conversation, which he had not in the least
been able to understand.

"Yes, my dear," said the Sage, smiling affably.

"Stories?" inquired Fidge, his eyes wide open with excitement and
interest.

The old man nodded.

"Oh! do tell us one, please," begged the little boy. "The Three Bears,
or Little Red Riding Hood, or something of that sort."

"Fidge, Fidge," cried Dick, rebukingly, "you mustn't bother the
gentleman."

"Oh, I don't mind in the least," said the Sage, pleasantly. "I'll tell
him some stories, if he likes."

"Oh! thanks, that's jolly!" cried Fidge, clapping his hands, and they
all sat down again, while the old man began as follows:--

"It was on a dark winter's night, and the hot sun was pouring down upon
the----"

"Oh!" interrupted Marjorie, "I beg your pardon, but haven't you made a
mistake? It couldn't have been dark, you know, if the sun was shining."

The Sage frowned severely.

"Are you telling this story, or am I?" he asked, coldly.

"Oh, I beg your pardon," said Marjorie, "please go on."

"Was pouring down upon the ship," continued the Sage, "and almost
freezing the poor soldiers, who had great difficulty as it was, in
dragging the heavy cannon up the steep side of the mountain, upon which
he was standing; still leaning over the side of the balloon, she peered
down eagerly into the sky. There was not a soul in sight.

"Suddenly a cry of 'Fire!' rang through the town, and two or three of
them hastily putting on their best clothes, joined the picnic party
under the gnarled oak tree in the meadow, and their joyous laughter rang
merrily down the old staircase, where the grandfather's clock stood,
tick-tick-ticking, like the great volcano which yawned at their very
feet, and into which the two boys plunged merrily, and were soon
splashing about in the shallow water like a mahogany chest of drawers
upon the sands of time."

The Sage paused.

"Do you like it?" he inquired, anxiously.

"Not much, I'm afraid," said Dick. "You see, we can't quite understand
what it's all about."

"Well, neither do I," said the Sage, "because, you know, I'm making it
up as I go along."

"Then it isn't true?" asked Marjorie.

"True? Nonsense! You wanted a story, didn't you? This is a real story;
there isn't a particle of truth in it anywhere."

"Oh, we didn't mean that kind of story," explained Marjorie, "we meant a
tale."

"What kind of a tale would you like--a Fishes' tale, a Birds' tale, or
an Animals' tale?"

"A birds' tale, please," said Marjorie, after consulting the others.

"All right," said the Sage, "this is a lot of birds' tales all tied up
together, and is called a fable----"

[Illustration: "The gossiping goose."]

"Is it one of Æsop's?" asked Dick, who thought that it would look grand
for him to have heard of Æsop's fables.

"No, it isn't," said the Sage, rather crossly; "it's one of my own! Now
then, are you ready? I call it--"

                "THE GOSSIPING GOOSE."

    "A Crested Grebe, a Spoonbill, and a Goose,
          I beg to say,
          Met one fine day,
    And compliments were passed the most profuse.

    'How very well you look, my dear,' said one,
          'That shade of red
          Upon your head,
    So sweet; and how _delightfully_ your hair is done.'

    And each had gratifying things to say,
          With gushing smile,
          Upon the style
    Of all the others' holiday array.

    Then Mrs. Goose, with most superior sneer,
          Said, 'Have you seen
          That dress of green
    That Mrs. Peacock's wearing now, my dear?

    'She looks a perfect guy, and then--her feet
          And legs! Oh, lor!
          I never saw
    A bird so clumsy, or so indiscreet.

    'I met her at the Concert Hall last week,
          A poor affair,
          I do declare,
    I wonder that the Songsters have such cheek.

    'Miss Nightingale was singing far too loud;
          I never heard
          So harsh a bird,
    I wonder how she dared to face the crowd.

    'Miss Thrush had quite a decent voice, I hear,
          Some years ago
          (A score or so),
    But now her voice is giving way, I fear.

    'She sang as badly as did Mrs. Lark,
          Who all agreed,
          Had every need
    Of lessons, to bring _her_ up to the mark.

    'Miss Linnet had a really dreadful cough.
          As for the rest,
          They quite distressed
    The company. Well, good-by, dears. I'm off.'

    And, while the Spoonbill and the other bird
          Went on their way,
          I heard one say,
    'That Mrs. Goose is really most absurd.

    'She talks about the Peacock's gaudy dress:
          If she prefers
          That gray of hers,
    I don't admire her taste, I must confess.
    'And as for legs and feet--well, I declare,
          The pair she's got
          Are really not
    The kind that I'd be seen with anywhere.

    'While as for singing, that _she_ should complain
          Of other folk
          Is past a joke,
    I vow I'll not be friends with her again.'

    'My dear,' the other said, 'remember this:
          A critic she
          Of high degree,
    For though she can't sing well, the goose can _hiss_.'"

The Sage had scarcely finished when a sound of weeping and wailing was
heard, and presently a whole troop of gnomes appeared in the onion
field. They were crying bitterly, and to the children's great surprise
several of them had grown enormously tall and others equally stout.

They came straight up to the Sage's hut, and with tears streaming down
their faces beseeched him to help them. They had foolishly been making
use of the authority which the Little Panjandrum's Ambassador had given
to the children; and although it acted one way, and made them the size
that they wished to be, it would not turn them back again.

[Illustration: "They were crying bitterly."]

"And my wife and family refuse to have anything to do with me," said one
ridiculously tall individual.

"And I can't squeeze into my own house, anyhow," wept the stout one.

"The only way," said the Sage, after a moment's thought, with his
forehead wrinkled into deep furrows, "is to send the Ki-Wi to the Court
of the Little Panjandrum for a fresh authority. It's no use your having
this one back if it won't act properly, is it?" he inquired, turning to
the children.

"Certainly not," said Dick; "but who is the Ki-Wi, please?"

"Oh, he's the Court Messenger," explained the Sage, "and is the only one
here allowed to enter the Court of the Little Panjandrum without
permission."

"Go and fetch him," he continued.

And the gnomes disappeared, returning presently with the Ki-Wi (who
turned out to be a curious kind of bird), and the written authority,
which had been taken from the children.

"Let me look at it," said the Sage, holding out his hand for the paper.

[Illustration: "Produced a large document and began to read."]

"Why, no wonder it won't act for the gnomes," he exclaimed, when he had
read it.

"It mentions you all by name--just try it yourselves, will you?"

Dick took the paper from him, and said loudly, "We wish to be our own
size again."

To their great delight the children at once found themselves their usual
height, and the onions, which had looked before like huge trees, now
only reached a little above their heads, while the Sage and the other
gnomes looked the tiniest little creatures again.

"This is better," said Dick, shaking himself as though he had come out
of the water.

"Yes, isn't it good to be ourselves once more," said Marjorie.

While Fidge jumped about delightedly, breaking down several of the onion
plants, and almost treading on the Sage's hut.

"Don't caper about like a lot of lunatics," shouted the little man,
angrily. "Come and sit down and talk business. The Ki-Wi has something
to tell you."

All excitement to know what it could be, the children sat down again,
and the Ki-Wi after fumbling about in his coat tail for some time,
produced a large document and began to read.



CHAPTER V.

THE KING OF THE FISHES.


"Um--ah--that is to say--er--notwithstanding, nevertheless, likewise
also, and as is herein aforesaid," began the Ki-Wi, in an important
voice.

"Hold on!" cried Dick. "We can't understand all that, you know. Why
don't you say what you have to say in English?"

"It is English," declared the Ki-Wi, in an aggrieved voice, "and very
good English too."

"Of course it is," chimed in the Sage.

"Well we don't understand it, anyhow," maintained Dick. "It doesn't seem
to mean anything at all."

"Perhaps, Dick, dear," said Marjorie, "Mr. Sage will explain it to us.
Let's see--it began----"

"'Notwithstanding, nevertheless, likewise, and as is herein aforesaid,'"
repeated the Ki-Wi.

"Well, I'll explain it, if you wish with pleasure," said the Sage,
"though I can't see in the least why it should be necessary. It seems to
me to perfectly simple. To begin with--'Notwithstanding' describes our
position just now--Not-with-standing, or _not standing with_ the Ki-Wi.
He is standing, while we are sitting down, you see; then 'nevertheless'
means of course the same as _always-the-greater_, which exactly
describes me. You see, my great learning and cleverness always makes me
greater than the people I am speaking to, and consequently
_never-the-less_. The next word is also descriptive of myself.
'Likewise,' or _like a wise man_, which, I am sure, you will all agree
that I am; and 'herein' means that my brains are all _in here_," said
the Sage, tapping his head. "While 'aforesaid'--the last word--means
that I have a strong head, or a _force-head_, do you see?"

"Is the rest of the paper all about yourself, too, Sir?" asked Marjorie.

"Yes," was the complacent reply. "Go on, Ki-Wi."

"I'm afraid we can't stop," interrupted Dick.

"You see, we have got to hunt up that wretched Dodo, and perhaps we had
better be going now."

"Yes, we must be going now," chimed in Fidge, jumping up eagerly, for
all this rigmarole had been very uninteresting to him.

"Oh, I'm sorry you can't stay," said the Sage, in a disappointed voice.
"I could have told you such a lot more about myself. You do think I'm
clever though, don't you?" he asked, anxiously.

"Oh, immensely!" said the children, politely.

"Thanks!" said the Sage. "Will you take a few onions with you as a
memento of your visit?"

"No thank you," said Marjorie, hurriedly.

"They would remind you of me," suggested the Sage, wistfully; "Sage and
onions you know."

"No, thanks," said Dick, "I'm sure we shall remember you without."

"Now that's _very_ kind of you," said the Sage, "and I'll do the best I
can to help you in your search for the Dodo. Let's see, where did he say
he was going to?"

"The Equator," said Dick; "but I'm sure we can't go all that way after
him, and get back in a week."

"You could if you went by sea," said the Sage.

"What do you mean?" asked Dick.

"Why, I could give you an introduction to the King of the Fishes, you
know, and he _might_ lend you his dolphins; they travel at a rare pace,
and would get you there in no time."

"Oh, yes," cried Marjorie, "of course we _can_ go under the sea, don't
you know, the paper says so. Wouldn't it be jolly, even if we didn't
find the Dodo?"

"Don't want to be drownded, and get all deaded," objected Fidge.

"You wouldn't be, dear," said Marjorie. "Brother Dick wouldn't take us
anywhere where we should come to any harm."

"How should we get there, I wonder?" asked Dick, thoughtfully.

"I'll show you--come along," said the Sage, getting up and leading the
way.

The children followed, and the little gnomes, now all reduced to their
proper size, came trooping along after them.

Presently they reached the edge of the cliff, and the sea, sparkling in
the sunlight, lay at their feet some distance below.

The Sage, hastily scribbling a note with a piece of pencil, thrust it
into Dick's hand, and crying, "This is the quickest way!" deliberately
pushed the children, one after the other, over the cliff.

Before they had time to realize what had happened, or to become in the
least alarmed, they found themselves slowly and comfortably sinking
through the air; while a shriek of laughter from the gnomes caused them
to look up to the edge of the cliffs, where they beheld all the little
fellows leaning over and waving their pocket-handkerchiefs, while the
Sage and the Ki-Wi stood in their midst.

"Oh!" cried Marjorie, as they descended, "isn't it fortunate we have the
power to float in the air; it would have been an awful plunge otherwise,
wouldn't it?"

"Yes," agreed Dick, reaching out his hand to Fidge, who looked just a
little wee bit frightened. "I wonder what it will be like on the sea."

He had not to speculate long, however, for almost at that moment their
feet touched the water, and they sank down, down, down through the clear
green depths.

"Oh, look!" cried Fidge, excitedly. "Fishes! Fishes!" and he started off
swimming after them quite naturally.

"One's got a hat on," he called out. "Look! look! there's another; oh,
let's catch them!"

"If you don't behave yourself you'll be locked up," said a severe voice,
and, turning around, the children beheld a very stern-looking fish,
wearing a helmet, and carrying a truncheon.

"Now then, move on; don't obstruct the traffic!" he cried, angrily; and
the children swimming off as hastily as they could, mentally put him
down as a kind of sea policeman.

"You certainly mustn't try and catch any of the fishes, Fidge, or you
will be getting us all into trouble," said Dick. And Fidge, overawed by
the policeman fish, became quiet subdued, and contented himself with a
quiet "Look! look!" when they passed anything particularly strange or
interesting.

[Illustration: "The chair was floating just in front of them."]

They had very nearly reached the bottom of the sea, when they noticed a
singular-looking object floating some distance in front of them.

"It looks like a chair!" declared Marjorie. "Why, I believe," she
continued, as they drew nearer, "that it's the very one the Dodo was
floating upon when we saw him last."

"So it is!" cried Dick; "and look, there's a note on it--perhaps it's
for us."

They swam towards it as quickly as they could, and had just reached the
chair, as a curious-looking fish--with a very long nose, and wearing
shoes on the end of his long tail, and a tall hat--swam past.

He looked at them inquisitively, and then stood a little way at the back
of them, waiting till they should be disengaged.

"To all to whom it may concern," read Dick, after he had picked up the
note from off the chair. "I suppose that means us as much as any one."

"Of course it does," agreed Marjorie. "It concerns us very much to find
out where the Dodo is."

Dick hesitated no longer, but opened the note eagerly. His face fell,
however, when he beheld the contents.

"_Mind your own business!_" he read, slowly. "What a sell! I believe the
Dodo did write it, though, and intended it as a hint that we were not
to try find and him. I'm half inclined to give it up."

"But Dick, dear, remember," said Marjorie, "we shall be--er--you
know--what the Ambassador said--if we don't find him."

"Oh, ah," said Dick, "I'd forgotten that. Come on, then; let's see what
can be done."

"Can I be of any assistance?" said the thin fish, coming forward with a
polite bow. "Have you lost anything?"

"Oh, thanks," said Dick. "We're looking for a Dodo. Do you happen to
have seen one about here?"

"A Dodo," said the fish, reflectively. "I don't think I have the
pleasure of the gentleman's acquaintance. What kind of a fish is he?"

"Oh, he isn't a fish at all," explained Dick; "he is a kind of bird, you
know."

"Ah! birds we don't encourage below the surface, as a rule," said the
fish, smiling indulgently. "You are scarcely likely to meet with him
here. Perhaps His Majesty the King of the Fishes would advise you."

"Oh, I have a letter of introduction to His Majesty," said Dick. "I'm
afraid it's rather wet," he said, apologetically, drawing it from his
pocket.

"It would be unacceptable to His Majesty were it not so," said the fish.
"Well, now, I _was_ going to a football match, it being a half-holiday;
but under the circumstances, I will put it off, and escort you to the
Palace. This way, please."

Sinking down to the sand at the bottom of the sea, the fish led the way
through a beautiful forest of waving seaweed, of all the colors of the
rainbow. Exquisite shells were strewn about, and brightly-colored
anemones clung to the rocks on every side, while all kinds of
oddly-shaped fishes swam about, peering at the children curiously as
they passed.

Presently they came in sight of a kind of Palace, formed of
quaintly-shaped pieces of coral, which, the fish explained, was where
the King lived.

"Just stay here a moment, please," said he; and the children waited
outside while he went into the Palace.

[Illustration: "'Bring them forward,' said the king of the fishes."]

Fidge pulled aside a piece of seaweed, and they all peeped through a
hole in the coral, and saw a large fish wearing a crown, and with a
curious chain about his neck, to which was attached an enormous
fish-hook, seated on a throne.

Officers of State stood round about, and the little thin fish that had
been so polite to them was bowing and scraping in quite a courtly
fashion.

He was evidently telling His Majesty all about them, for, after hearing
what he had to say, the King of the Fishes nodded; and the thin fish
came out, and informed them that they were to be admitted into the
Presence.



CHAPTER VI.

IN THE KING'S PRESENCE.


"Do you understand fish-language?" whispered the little thin fish,
hurriedly, as he was conducting them into the Presence Chamber.

"I'm afraid not," replied Dick.

"Then you must remain silent, for in the King's presence nothing but the
fish-language is allowed to be spoken. I will interpret for you
afterwards."

Pushing aside some curtains of brightly-colored seaweed he led them into
the Presence Chamber.

The King received them very graciously, and held out one fin as they
approached.

"I expect we ought to kneel on one knee, and kiss it, like they do at
presentations," whispered Marjorie.

But Dick wasn't going to do anything of that sort, and just touched it
lightly with one hand, while the others followed suit. The thin fish
then motioned them to sit down on a kind of divan, upon which large
sponges took the place of cushions, and which the children found to be
most comfortable; and the audience began.

The most extraordinary part about it was that not the slightest sound
could be heard. The little thin fish opened and shut his mouth in
little, short, jerky gasps, to which the King replied by slowly opening
and shutting his, rolling his eyes about meanwhile, just as you may have
seen fishes do in an aquarium.

Then the little fish solemnly handed His Majesty the Sage's letter,
which the King put on his gold-rimmed glasses to read.

Having done so, he turned to the children and smiled, at least that's
what they afterwards found out he was doing; but, really and truly, he
made such a curious grimace that poor little Fidge was frightened, and
wanted to run away.

His Majesty then opened and shut his mouth very slowly three or four
times, to which all the other fishes replied by swimming backwards
three strokes, and then forward three strokes. Then the audience was at
an end.

[Illustration: "Some fishes were playing football."]

The little thin fish came and whispered to the children, "It is usual
for mortals, when leaving the presence of the King, to turn three
somersaults backwards. Do you think you can do that?"

"I'm afraid not," replied Dick, anxiously. "At least, I might be able to
manage, but I don't know about Marjorie and Fidge."

"Oh, never mind, then; I'll ask His Majesty to be good enough to excuse
you," said the fish, and, making a low bow to the King, he explained the
situation in a few short gasps.

His Majesty thereupon left the audience chamber, having first graciously
inclined his head towards the children.

As he swam away, two little fishes attached themselves to the tip of His
Majesty's tail, while another held the crown down on his royal head, to
prevent it from slipping off, the rest of the audience swimming behind
at a respectful distance, forming a sort of procession.

"Well," began the thin fish, after the others had all gone, "I
congratulate you. His Majesty had been good enough to place the Royal
Dolphins at your disposal, and if the Dodo you are searching for is
anywhere on, or in, the sea you ought to have no difficulty in finding
him, for the Dolphins swim very quickly indeed, and can take you
anywhere you like in a jiffy. Please follow me to the royal stables, and
we will harness them."

The children passed out after their kind little friend, and followed
him into the gardens of the Palace, which they had to cross in order to
reach the stables.

Marjorie was enraptured at the sight of the beautifully-arranged
gardens, in which brightly-colored anemones took the place of flowers.

On a lawn of the finest short green seaweed, a number of globe-shaped
fishes, with striped bodies, were playing football, and the children
stopped a few minutes to watch the game.

They were very much surprised to find that the football itself was a
fish--a little round chap, just the shape of a football--who, on the
players giving him a smart kick with their tail, shot up through the
water and over the goal in no time.

"Doesn't he object?" said Dick, after they had watched this performance
for some time; "I know I should."

"Oh, dear, no!" exclaimed their guide, "he enjoys it quite as much as
the others do. You see, it's such a delightful sensation to be shot
through the water without the effort of swimming; but, come along, we
must be off if you are going to start to-day."

"There's one little piece of advice I should like to give you in your
search for the Dodo," he continued, kindly, as they swam along. "If you
don't succeed in catching him one way, try another. Remember the bear
with a cold."

[Illustration: "And now he's quite well, thanks."]

"What do you mean?" asked the children.

"Don't you know the story of the bear with a cold?" was the reply.

"No; do tell us!" they cried.

[Illustration: "Come on, Marjorie, let's have a race."]

"Why, you see," said the fish, "there was once an old bear, who had a
dreadful cold, and his friends all advised him to try different things
to cure it. One said one thing, and one another, and although he tried
them all, one after the other, he didn't get any better; but still he
persevered, and kept trying all the remedies they suggested, and at last
he _was_ cured, and what do you think did it?"

"What?" inquired the children.

"Why, some one suggested putting his feet into hot mustard and water and
drinking gruel--and he tried it several times with no effect; and at
last he fortunately thought of reversing the process, so he put his feet
into some thick gruel, and drank a lot of mustard and water, and now
he's quite well, thanks. So don't you get discouraged if you don't find
the Dodo at once; but, as I said before, if one way doesn't succeed, try
another."

"Thanks!" said the children, "we'll remember."

Just then they found themselves before a kind of shed, built of coral,
which the fish entered, returning shortly afterwards leading three
curious-looking fishes by a simple sort of bridle.

"Here they are!" he announced; "you will find them quite docile. Just
mount them and see how you like their pace."

The children needed no second invitation, and were soon astride their
strange steeds.

With a whisk of their tails they were soon off, dashing through the
water at such a rate that the little thin fish had the greatest
difficulty in keeping up with them, even for a short distance.

"Oh! this is jolly!" cried Dick.

"Come on, Marjorie, let's have a race."

The Dolphins answered to the slightest pull at the reins, and the
children hadn't the least fear; so, getting into a line, they waited for
their friend the thin fish to come up and give them the signal to
start.



CHAPTER VII.

THE HUMAN RACE.


The little thin fish seemed to be a long while catching them up, and,
while they were waiting, Marjorie espied a curious figure poking about
among the seaweed a short distance away from them.

"I wonder what it is!" she cried, and the children dismounted from the
Dolphins, and, tying them by the reins to some coral stumps, so that
they could not swim away, they half walked and half swam over to where
Marjorie had first noticed the creature, whatever it was.

"Why, it's a man!" cried Dick, as they drew nearer, and could
distinguish him more clearly.

He was a wretched-looking old fellow, with a heavy sack upon his back,
and was clothed only in a ragged old garment, which scarcely reached to
his knees.

"Poor man," said Marjorie, in a whisper, "how unhappy he looks; perhaps
he has lost something."

The man glanced up nervously as the children approached, and, clutching
at his bag jealously, he demanded--

"Who are you? What do you want?"

"Nothing, thank you, poor old man," began Marjorie; "we were only----"

The old man burst into a peal of hoarse laughter.

"_Poor_ old man!" he exclaimed. "Do you know that I am the richest man
in the world. Look!" he exclaimed, opening his bag before the children's
astonished eyes. "Gold! jewels! riches! wealth! they are all
mine--ha--ha--ha--ha!" and he laughed discordantly, and hugged the bag
closely to himself again.

"Oh, come away!" cried Marjorie, catching at Dick's arm. "I'm so
frightened."

"I'm the Old Man of the Sea," continued the man, "and all the treasures
of the deep are mine. I have stacks of golden crowns and jewels without
number, and each day I gather more--they are all mine--mine--mine!"

"But where do they all come from?" asked Dick.

"The bottom of the sea is strewn with riches," continued the old man,
"and there is no one to reap the harvest but myself."

"You must be very happy if you are so rich," said Dick. "It must be
lovely to have all those things."

"No, I am not happy," said the Old Man of the Sea. "I am very old, and
very lonely, and there is no one here to admire my treasures but myself.
The fishes will have nothing to do with me--they do not care for gold;
it is valueless to them--and I may not go on land, so I am here alone
with my riches, and every day I gather more and more. I have piled them
high about my cave in a great circle, and some day, when it becomes
top-heavy, it will fall over and crush me beneath it, and I shall be
buried in a tomb of gold. No king, no emperor, had ever so grand a
sepulchre as I shall have, but I am not happy--no--no--not happy, not
happy."

And the old man shouldered his bag and moved away, muttering
sorrowfully.

"Poor man, poor man," said Marjorie; "for he is poor, although he has so
much wealth isn't he, Dick?"

[Illustration: "Filling his bag with all kinds of treasure."]

"Yes, jolly poor, and miserable too. I wouldn't be him for something,"
said Dick. "Come on, it makes me wretched to think about him--let's get
back to the Dolphins."

When they reached them, they found that little friend, the thin fish,
had arrived at last.

"Hullo!" cried Dick. "What a jolly long while you have been catching us
up. Wherever have you been to all this time?"

"Why," explained the fish, "I thought I heard you saying something about
a race, and suddenly I remembered what a splendid opportunity your visit
down here would afford us of witnessing a real human race--you are
human, aren't you?" he asked, anxiously.

"Yes, I suppose so," replied Dick.

"That's right," said the fish. "Come on, the King is most anxious for
the race to begin at once, and I promised to bring you back with me
immediately."

"But what _is_ a human race?" inquired Marjorie, as they mounted their
Dolphins.

"Oh, you'll see when we get back," was the reply, and, the little fish
hanging on to one of the Dolphins' tails they were soon flying through
the water at a rare rate.

When they got back to the lawn by the King's Palace, the children were
greatly astonished to see a big crowd of fishes drawn up in two lines,
with a wide path between them. The King, on a shell throne, surrounded
by his courtiers, was at one end, and several important-looking fishes
were fussing about at the other, making a straight line with some little
lumps of white chalk.

There was a cheer when the children arrived on their Dolphins, and a
rush was made to assist them to alight.

"But what are we to do?" they inquired, rather dismayed at these
elaborate preparations.

"Show us a human race," was the reply.

"Well, a human race is just like any other kind of race, I suppose,"
said Dick, "the one who reaches the goal first wins. If we are going to
race, though, we shall have to be handicapped."

"What's that?" cried the fishes.

"Why, you see," explained Dick, "it wouldn't be fair for us all to start
from the same line, for Fidge, of course, cannot run as quickly as
Marjorie or me; and Marjorie, too, being only a girl, will have to have
a start allowed her, and this is called handicapping."

"Very well, manage it your own way," was the reply. "When are you going
to start?"

"Oh, as soon as you like," said Dick. "Where's the winning-post?"

"That white line up by the King's throne," said one of the fishes. And
Dick, having given Fidge a very long start, and Marjorie a slight
advantage, declared himself ready to begin.

    "One, to make ready,
    Two, to be steady,
    Three, and--away!"

shouted one of the principal fishes, and off they scrambled. I say
scrambled, because if you have ever tried to run under water you will
know that it is a very difficult thing to do--the weight of the water
prevents you from getting along at all quickly. The fishes watching the
race became very excited, and, in their eagerness to urge them on, kept
getting in the children's way, swimming about in front of them, and
getting mixed up with their arms and legs in a most confusing manner. At
length, however, this extraordinary race came to an end, and the
children arrived at the winning-post in the same order in which they had
started.

"Oh, I've won--I've won!" shouted Fidge, delightedly. "Haven't I, Dick?"

[Illustration: "They were called before the king to receive their
prize."]

"Of course you have," said Dick, who had purposely been holding back to
give the other two a chance.

"Shall I get a prize?" whispered the little boy, anxiously.

"Perhaps," answered Dick; "wait and see."

Their little friend, the thin fish, had gone up to the King, and was
talking very earnestly to him, and presently returning said that His
Majesty had decided to give them all a prize.

"Oh, I wonder what it will be!" said Marjorie, excitedly. "Fancy, having
a prize from a real King!"

"He's only a fish," said Dick.

"Hush, dear, you'll hurt his feelings," whispered Marjorie, warningly.

Just then the thin fish put on his top hat--he was the only one allowed
to wear one in the King's presence--and began a long speech. He spoke so
very softly, though, that no one could hear a word that he said; but, at
regular intervals, all the other fishes clapped their fins, and called
out, "Hear, hear!" most enthusiastically.

"Whatever do you do that for?" inquired Dick, of one of them; "I'm sure
you cannot hear a word of what he is saying."

"Oh, no, we can't," admitted the fish, quite candidly; "but it's the
proper thing to do, you know, it encourages him so."

After the speech the children were called before the King to receive
their prize.

His Majesty did not speak to them, but motioned majestically to a large
branch of pink coral near the throne, and they were thus given to
understand that it was intended for them as a prize.

Of course, they pretended to be highly gratified, though, in reality,
they were greatly disappointed.

"Stupid old thing! it's not a bit of use, even if we could carry it,"
muttered Dick; and Fidge, too, was so cross that he nearly quarreled
outright with a perky little fish who had been standing, hat in hand,
near him, and who now came and sat down so close to him that his sharp
scales scratched the little fellow's bare legs.

A moment afterwards, however, they had all forgotten their ill-humor in
their amusement at what was happening, for the King having withdrawn,
the rest of the fishes each took a partner, and began whirling round
and round in a frantic way in a mad kind of dance, to the strains of
some weird music, provided by one or two of their number blowing through
some long shells, whilst others used some smaller flat ones as
castanets.

[Illustration: "Whirling round and round in a frantic way."]

"I suppose this is what is called a fish ball," said Dick, laughing
heartily at the strange antics which the fishes were cutting.

And just as Marjorie was about to reply a dark shadow passing overhead
caused all of the children to look up.

A pair of large webbed feet were seen slowly paddling above them, and
beyond them the outline of a bird's body could be traced.

Marjorie seized Dick's arm excitedly. "Look! look!" she exclaimed,
hastily, "the Dodo!"



CHAPTER VIII.

THE DODO AT LAST.


"I really believe it is the Dodo," said Dick. "Only I'm not quite sure
if his feet _were_ webbed."

"Oh, I don't think they were," declared Marjorie. "Now don't you think,"
she continued, excitedly, "that it would be best for us just to swim
quietly up to him, and catch hold of his legs; you see, he couldn't
possibly get away then, and----"

"All right," interrupted Dick. "Come on--steady now, so as not to alarm
him."

The feet above them were paddling leisurely along, and the children had
no difficulty in quickly catching up to the bird, and, with a triumphant
shout, Dick clutched hold of one leg, while Marjorie and Fidge hung on
to the other.

There was immediately a great outcry from above the water.

"Help! Help! Fire! Police! Thieves!" cried a voice, and the feet began
to kick so violently that the children had quite a difficulty to keep
their hold.

[Illustration: "The Dodo tried to follow their example."]

In response to the cries a number of other birds came flying to the
rescue, and "splush," "splash," sounded on all sides as they settled
down on the water.

"What is the matter?" cried several voices at once.

"Oh!" cried the bird which the children had captured, beating his wings
about violently, and creating a terrible confusion, "a crab or something
has caught hold of my legs, and I am being killed--help!--save me!--save
me!"

A confused sound of voices followed, and presently one or two heads
appeared below the water; they were hastily withdrawn, however, and with
an alarmed cry of "Sharks!" the other birds all flew away, leaving their
luckless companion to his fate.

The bird, when he found himself deserted by his friends, made more
frantic efforts than ever to escape; and the beating of his wings upon
the water caused the whole party to move slowly along.

"What are we to do now?" whispered Marjorie; "we can't drag him
underneath, or he'd be drowned, you know."

"Oh, let's hang on," cried Dick, "perhaps he will drag us along till we
come to land somewhere. I say," he shouted, "are you the Dodo, or not?"

His voice could evidently not be heard above the water, for there was no
reply from the bird, which continued making a terrific outcry, using
every effort to get away from them.

Presently, just as Dick had suggested, some rocks came in sight, and the
children could see that they were being gradually dragged tards the
shore.

In a few minutes they had the satisfaction of being able to scramble out
of the water, when they discovered, to their great dismay, that their
captive was not the Dodo at all, but a great wild goose, who, when they
hurriedly released his legs waddled awkwardly ashore, and gazed at them
with reproachful eyes.

A little way inland the Dodo himself could be seen standing, surrounded
by an excited group of birds, who, when they caught sight of the
children emerging from the water, immediately took to flight, screaming
in horrified tones--

"The Sharks! The Sharks! Here come the Sharks!"

The Dodo tried to follow their example, and for a moment it looked as
though the children would lose him after all; but it soon became evident
that the creature could not fly, for after wildly beating the air for
awhile, with his little apologies for wings, the miserable bird fell
squalling into the water, while his companions disappeared in the
distance.

"Help! Help!" he screamed, as he struggled with the waves. "Don't you
see that I'm drowning? Oh! Oh! Help! Help!"

"Swim ashore," cried the children.

"I can't," was the reply, in a faint voice. "I can't swim. Oh!--oh!
there go my poor, dear gloves." This last as his wings, which he had
been holding up out of the water, sank exhausted to his side.

Dick plunged in, and soon brought the bird to shore, where he stood for
a moment or two, ruefully regarding his white kid gloves, which the salt
water had completely ruined, while the bow of his necktie had slipped
around to the back of his neck.

"A pretty figure I shall cut now at the Ichthyosaurus' At Home," he
grumbled. "It's all your fault, too," he declared, ungratefully
disregarding the fact that Dick had just rescued him from a watery
grave. "What do you want with me, anyhow?"

"Why, you see," hastily explained Dick, "the Ambassador to the Little
Panjandrum sent us in search of you, and if we don't take you back in
less than a week we're to be--er--er--something with an awfully long
name----"

"I know--Subtransexdistricated, that's it, isn't it?" said the Dodo.
"They always threaten to do that to people. Ough! its perfectly
horrible" he cried, shuddering.

"What's it like?" asked the children, in an awe-stricken whisper.

"Why," explained the Dodo, "you are mygrylaled in pslmsms till you
saukle, and then you are taken out and gopheled on both sides for a
fortnight. Ough! it's dreadful to think about, and I wouldn't dream of
putting you to the risk of having it done to you. So I suppose I shall
have to go back," he added, with a sigh. "It's jolly awkward, though!
Oh, I _hate_ him!" he said, stamping his claw violently.

"Who?" inquired the children.

"The Little Panjandrum," was the reply. "Nasty, consequential little
prig! And who is he, I should like to know? Panjandrums are not to be
mentioned in the same breath as Dodos--we are a much more ancient family
than they are, and, besides, _we_ are extinct," he said, proudly.

"Oh, yes, of course," agreed Dick, who did not care to go into the Dodo
private grievances, and who certainly did not care to run the risk of
being "gopheled on both sides," whatever that might mean; "but don't you
think we had better be going now?"

"How are we going to get back?" demanded the Dodo, abruptly. "I can't
swim and I can't fly. You'll have to carry me."

"Good gracious!" exclaimed Marjorie, in dismay. "I'm sure we can't do
that! Why, you are as big as we are!"

"Well, I'm sure I don't know what is to be done," said the Dodo. "I
won't get into the water again for _any one_, so there."

Just then, Fidge, who had been playing on the shore, ran back with the
news that the little thin fish wanted to speak to them.

"Oh! Sorry to trouble you," he began, popping his head out of the water
and raising his hat politely; "but His Majesty sent me to inquire how
you were getting on. I see you have found him," he added, pointing to
the Dodo.

"Yes; but now we are in another fix," cried the children; "we don't know
how to get the creature home."

[Illustration: "The Dodo cut a strange figure."]

"Who are you calling a creature?" said the Dodo, sulkily.

"Well, what else are you?" demanded Dick. "You're an awful nuisance,
anyhow, and _I_ don't know how we are going to get you away from this
place, I'm sure."

"There are the Dolphins," suggested the little fish.

"Why, yes, of course," cried Dick. "I had forgotten them. I suppose you
can ride a Dolphin, can't you?" he inquired of the Dodo.

"Don't know. Never tried. Daresay I could," answered the bird, sullenly.

The fish disappeared, and returned a few minutes later with the three
Dolphins in tow.

Fidge was more than delighted to see the "horses," as he called them,
again, and lost no time in getting astride of one; the others followed
more deliberately, Marjorie taking her seat beside Fidge on the same
fish.

The Dodo cut a strange figure, and looked very nervous at first, as he
clung to the slippery back of his strange steed.

He seemed to feel at ease after a time, however, and when the children
had bade their kind little friend, the thin fish, "Good-by," the party
started off at a fine pace.

"By the bye, have you any idea where we are going to?" remarked the
Dodo, after they had been rushing along for some time.

"Good gracious, no!" exclaimed Dick. "I thought you were directing us."

"I haven't the remotest idea where we are," said the Dodo, coolly.

"Why, then, we're lost!" cried Marjorie, in dismay.

"Mother told me," said Fidge, solemnly, "that if I ever got lost, I was
to ask a policeman to take me home."

[Illustration: "At the entrance was a large walrus smoking."]

"Yes, but I'm afraid there are no policemen about here," laughed the
others.

"What we had better do," said Dick, "is to push on till we come to land
somewhere, or a ship, and inquire the way back."

This was thought to be the best plan to pursue, and the children hurried
along till Marjorie noticed that both the air and the water were growing
fresher every moment, and she was just beginning to wonder what they
were going to do if it grew much colder, when Dick cried out, in quite a
nautical style--

"Land on the larboard side!"

"Hooroy!" shouted the others, "now we shall find out where we are," and
they headed the Dolphins to where they could see a rough kind of
landing-stage.

The country looked very bleak and bare, but a little hut was visible a
short distance from the shore, and the children, having fastened up the
Dolphins to one of the wooden piles, assisted the Dodo to alight, and
made their way towards it.

At the entrance they saw a large Walrus with a pipe in his mouth, and on
the ground beside him an Esquimaux dog, also smoking.

Dick and the others hurried forward, and bowed politely.

"_Wie geths?_" said the Walrus, taking the pipe from his mouth, and
immediately putting it back again, while the little dog glanced at them
inquisitively out of the corners of his eyes.



CHAPTER IX.

AT THE NORTH POLE.


"What does he mean?" asked Marjorie, staring blankly at her brother.

"I don't know," confessed Dick. "I beg your pardon," he went on,
addressing the Walrus, "but I didn't quite hear what you said."

"_Sprechen sie Deutsch?_" inquired the Walrus, with an encouraging
smile.

"I can't tell what the chap is talking about," said Dick, turning to the
others in dismay.

"Dond't you undershtandt German, eh?" said the Walrus. "Ach! dat vos
verry bad," and he shook his head reproachfully.

"I don't know," argued Dick. "I can't see that it matters much. We are
not likely to go there, you know."

"Not?" said the Walrus, lifting his eyebrows. "Vell, dere vos some funny
peoples in der vorld. Perhaps you dond't _vant_ to go dere?"

"Not much," admitted Dick.

The Walrus shrugged his shoulders, and looked commiseratingly at the
dog, who gave a sniff, and shrugged his shoulders too.

"What we want to know," said Dick, in a businesslike way, "is, Where are
we now, and how are we to get back to England?"

"Vell, you vas in Germany now," said the Walrus.

"Germany!" exclaimed the children, in surprise. "Why, we're quite near
to England, then."

"No," said the Walrus, shaking his head.

"But we must be," persisted Dick.

"No," repeated the Walrus. "Dis is not der Germany you mean, but id is
Germany all der same--most of der vorld is Germany."

"What nonsense!" laughed Dick. "I'm sure it isn't. Why, there's heaps of
places besides Germany. There's--er--Africa, for instance----"

"Thadt's Germany!" said the Walrus, nodding violently.

"Africa is?" cried Dick.

"Yah! das is so," said the Walrus. "Africa, und China, und alle der
blaces--dey is all Germany."

"The chap is evidently a little wrong in the head," explained Dick to
the others in a whisper. "Never mind; don't take any notice. Well, to
come to the point, _can_ you direct us home again, that is the
question?" he asked, aloud.

"No," said the Walrus, shaking his head.

"Or to the Equator?" suggested the Dodo, smoothing out his gloves.

The Walrus stared for a moment, and then, pointing to the Dodo with the
stem of his pipe, inquired, "Vat is dat ting?"

The Dodo drew himself up to his full height, and gave him a withering
look. "How dare you?" he cried.

"Vell, vat _is_ id, anyhow?" chuckled the Walrus. "I never saw
somethings like id before, never!"

"Of course not," said the Dodo, with dignity, "Our family have been
extinct for some time."

[Illustration: When the children got into the clumsy fur garments, they
found them exceedingly comfortable.--Page 95. _Dick, Marjorie and
Fidge._]

"Vell, und vy didn't you keep so?" asked the Walrus. "It vas der best
ting vat you could do. Dere is no goot for such tings like you to be
aboudt."

"Come along," said the Dodo, turning to the others; "let's go. I was
never so insulted in all my life."

"Ach! don't ged in a demper," said the Walrus, complacently. "Dat is no
goot also. Come, I show you der vay to der Equador--dat is Germany,
too," he added, in parenthesis. "Bud you must haf some glothes first to
vare," he cried, looking at the children's scanty garments. "Id is so
gold dere."

"Cold at the Equator?" laughed Marjorie. "Why, I always thought that it
was very hot."

"Ach! dat is so," said the Walrus. "But id is der gedding dere dat is so
gold. Come, I gif you some oudtfids," and he led the way into the little
hut, which was hung all around with clumsy-looking fur garments, which,
however, when they had got into them, the children found to be
exceedingly comfortable.

Besides the clothes, there were all kinds of stores piled up around the
inside of the hut, and a quantity of snowshoes of various shapes, and
little sleds, like those which Dick remembered having seen in pictures
of Polar expeditions.

When the children had been accommodated with some garments, the Walrus
turned to the Dodo, and said, "Veil, now, I egspecdt dat you vant some
glothes, too, dond't id?"

"No, thank you," said the Dodo, proudly, settling his necktie and
folding his wings primly. "I have my gloves; they are quite
sufficient."

"Bud you haven't any ting on your body," said the Walrus. "You bedder
haf some glothes, eh?" and he kindly brought forth some very large
leather breeches, which the Dodo, after some hesitation, consented to
put on.

Next the Walrus took down a rough, hairy coat, with mittens attached to
the sleeves.

"Gom, put your arms in dis," he said, "and trow avay dose gloves you got
on."

"What!" cried the Dodo, "take off my gloves? Never!"

And he wouldn't either; but put his wings (such as he had) into the
coat sleeves with the gloves still on the end of them.

[Illustration: "'What' cried the Dodo, 'take off my gloves? Never!'"]

"Now you musdt haf some stores," said the Walrus, going to the cupboard,
and bringing out some tins of sardines, some jam, and other things,
which he carefully tied on to the sled.

"Now ve are ready to stardt," he said, when these preparations were
completed; and after harnessing the little dog to the sled the party
made a move.

"I haven't the least idea where we are going to," said Dick, as they
walked along; "have you?"

"Not the slightest," said the Dodo. "I don't suppose it matters much,
though, as long as we get somewhere or another."

The old Walrus was trudging along in front, leading Fidge (who seemed to
have taken a violent fancy to him) by the hand; presently he stopped in
front of a big round hole, and waited for the others to catch up to him.

"Here ve are," he said, pointing to the enormous hole, which looked like
the crater of an extinct volcano lined with ice.

"Whatever is that?" asked Marjorie, peering over the edge curiously.

"Der North Bole," said the Walrus. "Id vas German, too," he added,
emphatically.

"The North Pole!" exclaimed the children. "Why, there isn't any pole at
all!"

"No," said the Walrus, "das is so, id vas meldted all avay."

[Illustration: "'Well, good-bye,' said Dick."]

"Good gracious!" cried Dick.

"Yah! id vas mit der lightning struck, und meldted all avay, und made a
big hole in der ground all der vay trough der earth to der Equador. Id
vas made in Germany, dat pole," he added.

The children gazed with wondering eyes into the deep, dark hole, and
Marjorie clung to Dick's arm nervously. "How wonderful!" she exclaimed;
"but I'm glad we've seen where it was, aren't you, Dick?"

But Dick was thinking deeply.

"Are you sure it went right through to the Equator?" he asked of the
Walrus.

"Yah!" said that worthy, "for sure."

"Then if we slid through, we should come out at the other end?" said
Dick.

"Yah! das is so," said the Walrus, nodding violently.

"Well, then, I think we'll do it," said Dick, boldly.

"Oh, Dick!" cried Marjorie, in alarm.

"Well, why not?" said Dick, for, really, so many strange things had
happened that nothing seemed impossible to him now. "It would be rather
jolly to see what it's like at the other end, and it's no use stopping
here. Do you know your way from the Equator?" he added, turning to the
Dodo.

"Yes," said the bird, who was quite ready to start on the perilous
voyage, and, grasping Fidge by the hand, he gave a loud whoop, and began
to slide down the steep incline.

"Well, good-by," cried Dick, hurriedly, shaking hands with the Walrus.
"Thanks for all your kindness." And, jumping on the sled behind
Marjorie, he pushed off, and they shot over the edge after the others.

They just caught a glimpse of the little dog throwing up his arms in
surprise, and as they disappeared into space they heard the old Walrus
crying, in an anxious voice--

"Gom back! gom back! I forgot to tell you somedings."



CHAPTER X.

SOME NEW ACQUAINTANCES.


It was all very well for the Walrus to shout "Come back!" but _that_ was
a matter of utter impossibility, for down--and down--and down the
children sped at a terrific rate, so quickly indeed that after a moment
or two they must have lost their senses completely, for not one of them
could remember anything about the marvelous journey through the center
of the earth.

"It seemed," Dick explained afterwards, "as though we were falling
through a big black hole for hours and hours, and then, all of a sudden,
it was light again, and we shot out into the air at the other end."

The children were greatly relieved to find that they were not expected
to walk on their heads, as they had vaguely feared might have been the
case on the other side of the world. "But, of course," Marjorie
explained, "we are not really _quite_ on the other side, or we should
be at the South Pole, and that would be as cold as where we came from,
wouldn't it, Dick?"

"I suppose so," answered Dick, looking about him. "Well, this place is
hot enough, anyhow, whew!" and he unbuttoned the heavy fur coat which he
had been glad enough to put on a short time before.

"We are probably somewhere near the Equator," remarked the Dodo,
pointing to the palms and other tropical plants to be seen on every
side. "I've heard that this sort of thing grows there."

"In that case we have only to find out where the sea is, and wait on the
shore for a passing ship to come and take us back to England," said
Marjorie, who was as fond as her brother of reading books of adventure,
and so knew exactly what to expect under the circumstances.

Fidge had divested himself of his snowshoes and heavy Arctic outfit, and
was eagerly chasing some gaudy butterflies which were flitting about
amongst the bright tropical flowers, and the others, feeling the heat
very oppressive, were glad to follow his example, and get rid of their
cumbersome clothing. Marjorie made a neat little bundle of them, and hid
them behind a big stone, and then, calling Fidge to them, the party set
out to explore the surrounding country.

They had not gone far before they heard a voice crying out in a
peremptory way--

"Now then! move on, there!"

The Dodo was highly indignant at being addressed in this unceremonious
way, particularly as he once more displayed his white kid gloves and his
bright necktie, and consequently, imagined that he presented a dignified
and imposing appearance.

"Who's that?" he cried, looking about him angrily.

"Now then, move on! Do you hear?" cried the voice again.

The children stared to the right and left, in front of them, and behind
them, but no one was in sight.

"That's very strange!" exclaimed Dick. "Whoever can it be?"

"_Will_ you move on, there?" shouted the voice, louder than ever, and,
looking up into the trees, the children saw a huge green parrot, with a
red tail, hanging down from one of the branches by one claw, while he
shook the other at them menacingly.

"Bah! it's only a parrot," said the Dodo, in a contemptuous voice.

"What!" screamed the bird; "only a parrot, indeed. Who are you, I should
like to know?"

"We're tourists," said the Dodo, importantly. "These--ahem--gentlemen,
and this lady and myself, are on our way to visit the Ichthyosaurus,
while you are merely a common or garden parrot, and not at all fit and
proper person for us to be seen talking to. Come along," he added to the
others, grandly, and started to walk off with his beak in the air.

"Hoity, toity! Not so fast," said the parrot. "I've no doubt you think
yourself very grand with your kid gloves and your consequential airs;
but allow me to inform you that _I_ am some one of consequence in these
parts, too. I am a police officer, and regulate the traffic, so move
on, there, and don't block the way."

"Oh!" cried Marjorie, "if this--er--" (she was going to say "bird," but
thought perhaps the parrot might be offended, and she certainly couldn't
say "gentleman," so she got out of it this way)--"if this is a police
officer, perhaps he could be kind enough to direct us to where the
steamboats start for England."

"I daresay I _could_ if I wanted to," said the parrot, ungraciously,
"but I don't choose. Move on! You are stopping the traffic."

"What nonsense! you ridiculous bird; there is not any traffic," said
Dick.

"Oh! isn't there? A lot _you_ know about it," replied the parrot.
"There's a vehicle coming along this way now."

The children turned around, and, sure enough, there was a something
coming down the road, though what it was the children couldn't determine
till it came a little closer. They waited and waited, but it scarcely
seemed to move at all, and, at last, Dick, whose curiosity was greatly
aroused, proposed going to meet it.

"Let's go and fetch the clothes the Walrus gave us first," suggested
Marjorie, wisely, and so they ran off to the rock behind which they had
hidden them.

[Illustration: "The snowshoes seemed to puzzle them somewhat."]

To their great surprise, they found a party of apes and monkeys calmly
trying the things on, and apparently enjoying themselves very much
indeed. The snowshoes seemed to puzzle them considerably, however, and
they were undecided whether to regard them as musical instruments or a
novel form of headgear.

"Hi! Just you put those clothes down at once!" shouted Dick. "How dare
you interfere with our things!"

"They're not yours," said one of the monkeys. "Findings keepings. We
found them, and so they are ours."

"Indeed they are not. Give them back at once!" demanded Dick.

"Shan't!" screamed the monkeys, impudently, and, scampering up into the
trees beyond the children's reach, they made grimaces at them, and
openly defied them. Indeed, one of them went so far as to climb up into
a cocoanut palm and began pelting the children with the nuts.

Fortunately, none of them reached the mark, however, and the children,
hastily gathered one or two of the cocoanuts, abandoned the clothes,
which, really, were not of much value to them now, and fled.

This little incident had almost driven from their mind the recollection
of the vehicle which they had seen in the high-road, but a rumbling
sound, as they neared the place where they had last seen it, reminded
them of the fact, and they hurried up to the spot from whence the sounds
proceeded.

[Illustration: "'I shall get very angry in a minute,' said the Dodo."]

To their great astonishment, they found a clumsy-looking cart, somewhat
resembling the pictures which they had seen of the old Roman chariots,
to the shafts of which a sleepy-looking sloth-bear was attached.

"Ha! ha! what a funny horse," laughed Fidge. "It is a horse, isn't it,
Dick?"

"No," said Dick; "I don't think so."

"Horse! no, indeed," said the Dodo. "It's a kind of camel."

"I ain't," said the sloth-bear, with a yawn.

"You shouldn't say 'ain't,'" said the Dodo, rebukingly. "What are you,
then?"

There was no answer, the creature had gone to sleep.

"Wake up! wake up!" cried the Dodo, shaking him violently. "The idea of
dropping off to sleep when any one is talking to you!"

"I thought you were going to preach," explained the sloth-bear. "You
began talking about something that I shouldn't do or say, and I always
go to sleep when people talk to me like that--it's so stupid of them."

"Where are you going to?" asked the Dodo.

"I don't know," was the reply. "Where are you?"

"We want to get to the place where the steamers start for England,"
explained Marjorie.

"Jump in, then," said the sloth-bear, jerking his head in the direction
of the cart; and the children, highly delighted at the prospect of a
ride, all scrambled in.

Dick took the reins, and Marjorie made herself comfortable beside him,
while Fidge dangled his legs over the back of the "chariot," the Dodo
solemnly squatting down at his side, with his gloves carefully
displayed, and his necktie properly adjusted.

"Now then," said Dick, shaking the reins, "we are ready to start. Go on,
please."

There was no answer, and it transpired that the creature was asleep
again.

"Good gracious!" said the Dodo, impatiently, "we shall never get
anywhere at this rate. I say, do wake up," he cried, going up to the
sloth-bear and giving him a good shake.

"Oh! are you ready?" said that individual, waking up slowly. "Come on,
then!" and he took two or three steps forward, and then stopped to rest,
his eyes gradually closing, and his head beginning to sink.

"Come, come!" said the Dodo, getting in front of him, grasping the
reins, and pulling with all his might. "I shall get very angry with you
in a minute. It's perfectly ridiculous going on in this way; however do
you imagine we are to get to our destination if you waste time in this
manner?"

The answer was a loud snore from the sloth-bear, who had once more
fallen into a deep sleep.



CHAPTER XI.

THE SKIPPER OF THE ARGONAUT.


"Well, of all the stupid creatures," said the Dodo, "I think that this
is the most remarkable. Here, I say! Wake up, will you!" and he gave the
reins another sharp pull.

The sloth-bear blinked his eyes, sleepily, and muttered, "What's up?"

"Why, aren't you going to make a start?" inquired the Dodo, angrily;
"how do you suppose we shall ever get to our destination if you go on
like this?"

The sloth-bear, after staring vacantly awhile slowly shook his head.
"Speed not to exceed quarter of a mile an hour, them's my orders," he
said, "and four times nine is--er--ninety-nine, so you'll get there
about next Thursday week. Y--ah--a--a--ow," and he gave another
tremendous yawn, as his head sank between his knees again.

"Good gracious! what's to be done?" said Dick, getting down from the
chariot. "It's not the slightest use our trying to go anywhere in this
thing."

"What did he mean by saying four times nine were ninety-nine? They
ain't," said Fidge, "'cos I know my 'four times,' and four nines are
thirty-six."

"Perhaps it was something to do with the number of miles we shall have
to travel before we reach the place where the ships start from,"
suggested Marjorie.

"Wake him up again, will you, please?" she said, turning to the Dodo.
"Perhaps he will tell us."

"All right," said the Dodo, "I'll wake him up. Here!" he cried, going up
to the sloth-bear, and giving him a good shake. "Wake up! Wake up!"

The creature slowly lifted his head, and, staring reproachfully at the
Dodo, began to cry. "Boo--hoo--hoo! Boo--hoo--hoo!" he sobbed. "It's a
shame, it is."

"What's the matter now, cry-baby?" asked the Dodo.

"Why can't you let me alone?" whined the sloth-bear. "I've never done
nothing to you, have I? Why can't you let a poor beast sleep in peace?"

"Oh, for goodness' sake let the lazy old thing go to sleep if it wants
to," said Dick, impatiently, while tender-hearted Marjorie went up to
the creature and stroked and comforted it as best she could.

Her pity was wasted, however, for almost before the last words were out
of its mouth the sloth-bear was snoring peacefully with a contented
smirk on its face.

"Come on," said Dick, "let's try and find the way ourselves. Oh! I
know," he exclaimed; "of course, why we've forgotten all about the power
we have of floating in the air; we'll rise up above the trees, and then
we shall soon see where the sea is."

No sooner said than done. The children just expressed the wish, and, as
the Little Panjandrum's Ambassador had promised them, they found that
they had the power of rising at will.

"Jolly, isn't it?" said Dick, as they floated upwards, leaving the Dodo
gazing after them enviously.

"Like being in a b'loon," chuckled Fidge, clutching at the leaves of a
tree as he passed through them. Fidge never would pronounce balloon
properly.

"Oh! look!" cried Marjorie, as they passed above the trees, "there's the
sea over there, and some houses, and people on the beach. I can see them
quite distinctly. Oh, jolly, we can soon fly over there; come on."

"What about the Dodo?" asked Dick.

"Oh, of course. I'd forgotten him. Let's see, he can't fly, can he?"

"Judging by the exhibition he made of himself when we first saw him, I
should say not," laughed Dick.

"Well, perhaps we could carry him between us," suggested Marjorie, "he
doesn't look _very_ heavy."

"All right, let's try," said her brother, and, having made quite sure of
the direction in which the sea lay, they slowly descended to the ground
again.

"Find out what you wanted to?" asked the Dodo, who had taken off his
gloves, and was blowing into them to take out the creases.

"Yes," said Dick, "there are a few houses by the side of the sea about
two miles to the left; do you think you could manage to fly as far as
that?"

The Dodo smiled in a sickly sort of way. "I'm a little out of practise,"
he faltered.

"Well, do you think that if we each took hold of one of
your--ahem--wings, we could get along that way?"

"You wouldn't crush my gloves?" asked the Dodo, anxiously.

"Oh, you could take them off, you know," said Dick, "and put them in
your p----" (he was going to say pocket, but suddenly remembered that
the Dodo hadn't one)--"in my pocket till we get there, if you like," he
added.

"What!" cried the Dodo, indignantly, "travel without my gloves! Never!
It wouldn't be respectable. I shouldn't think of doing such a thing!"

"Oh, well, come, on then; let's try this way," said Dick, putting his
arm under one of the Dodo's wings, while Marjorie did the same to the
other. "Now then--one--two--three."

Slowly, very slowly, the children rose, for the Dodo was rather heavy
after all, as he dangled down clumsily and uncomfortably between them.

I think they would have managed, however, but just as they had reached
the lower branches of the trees, they heard a voice scream furiously--

"_Now_, then, what are you up to?"

In their agitation they let go of the Dodo, who, after making several
frantic efforts to support himself, fell to the ground with a dull thud.

"What are you up to, I say?" said the voice again, and the children
could see that the parrot, who had been so insolent to them before, was
sitting on one of the branches near them.

"Pretty objects you are making of yourselves, I must say," he remarked,
sneeringly. "What do you think you are doing, I should like to know?"

"I don't see what it has to do with you," said Dick, crossly, while the
Dodo, with his eyes shut and his head on one side, ran about rubbing his
back with one pinion, and crying, "Oh! oh! oh!" for he had evidently
hurt himself very much.

"You don't, do you?" said the parrot. "Well, then, it has a great deal
to do with me. Trying to fly, weren't you? Well, you are not birds, and
it isn't allowed; do you hear? The idea of mere human creatures aping
their betters in that way. Flying, indeed! Don't you let me catch you at
it again, or you will be sorry for it, I can tell you. Now move on, and
walk on your feet in a sensible way, like rational human beings. Go
along! What next, I wonder!"

He was evidently so very angry that the children thought it best not to
provoke him further, so, leading the Dodo, who hobbled along painfully,
they walked silently away in the direction of the sea, while the parrot
watched them with a severe expression, screaming out--"Move on! move
on!" every time they stopped.

"What a disagreeable bird," whispered Marjorie, when they had gone some
little distance.

"Wretch!" declared the Dodo, rubbing his back.

"For two pins I'd wring his neck," muttered Dick, angrily.

"Much obliged, I'm sure," said a mocking voice overhead, and there was
that wretched parrot, looking down from one of the upper branches.

"Listeners never hear any good of themselves," remarked the Dodo.

"Pooh!--as though I cared what _you_ thought about me," said the parrot.
"Why, if I liked, I could--oh!" he cried, looking off to the left, "the
Skipper," and, spreading his wings, he flew rapidly away with every sign
of alarm.

The children followed his glance, and saw coming towards them a very
stout, very jolly-looking sailor, with a red, hearty face and a jovial
smile. To their great surprise, they saw that he was using a
skipping-rope, and skipping towards them, smiling good-naturedly.

"Thank goodness, here's a man at last," said Dick. "Now we shall be
able to find out something as to where we are, and how we are to get
home again."

"Ship ahoy!" called out the sailor, when he first saw them.

[Illustration: "'They calls me a skipper,' said he, 'because I skips.'"]

"How do you do?" said Dick, politely offering his hand.

"Stop a bit, my hearty," said the sailor. "Salt!" and he began skipping
rather quickly. "Pepper!!" and he quickened the pace considerably.
"Mustard!!!" and the rope flew round so quickly that the children could
hardly see it, while the jolly fat sailor skipped up and down furiously.
Presently he stopped, and sank exhausted on a stone, puffing and blowing
with all his might.

"I'm a Skipper," he panted, in an explanatory tone.

"A Skipper!" exclaimed the children.

"Yes, they calls me a Skipper," said he, "because I skips."

"But I thought a Skipper was a kind of Captain or something," said
Marjorie.

"Quite right, my little dear; I'm Captain of the tidiest craft ye ever
set eyes on. She's lying out yonder. Will ye come and have a look at
her?"

"Oh, yes, please," said Dick, delightedly; "and perhaps you can tell us
the way to get to England?"

"To be sure I can," said the Skipper. "There are my men," he said,
proudly, as they came to an open space, where a dozen or more sailors,
of all ages, sat at spinning wheels, working industriously.

"Whatever are they doing?" inquired Marjorie, curiously.

[Illustration: "Each sailor was spinning a yarn."]

"Spinning yarns," explained the Skipper; "each sailor is spinning a
yarn--they always do that in their spare time, you know. Here, Bill," he
called out to one of the sailors, who answered, "Aye, aye, Sir," and
touched his forelock. "Bring some of your yarn here, and show this young
lady."

The man said, "Aye, aye, Sir," again, and came forward with some coarse
brown worsted.

"This," said the Skipper, "is the toughest yarn you will find anywhere.
We are celebrated for it here."



CHAPTER XII.

THE ARCHÆOPTERYX.


"But we always thought----" began Marjorie--

"That when people spoke of a sailor 'spinning a yarn,' they meant
telling a story," finished Dick.

"Oh! oh! how _could_ you think such a thing," said the sailors,
indignantly. "Sailors always tell the truth; don't they, Skipper?"

The Skipper winked at Dick with one eye, and answered, guardedly, "Ahem!
I _have_ heard a sailor speak the truth, certainly, but----"

"Let's change the subject," said the sailors, getting up from their
wheels. "Isn't it nearly time for us to be starting on another voyage?"

"When we get some passengers, it will be," responded the Skipper,
gruffly. "By-the-bye," he added, turning to the children; "_you_ want to
go somewhere or another, don't you?"

"Yes, to England," said Dick, eagerly. "Do you go there, please?"

"H'm! Never heard of the place as I knows of," said the Skipper,
scratching his head. "We might cruise about till we come across it, if
you like, though."

"Never heard of England!" exclaimed Dick.

"No," said the Skipper, unconcernedly. "I never had no time to study
goggerfy, I didn't, so there's lots of places I don't know, no more than
the Man in the Moon."

"But don't you find it very awkward?" cried the children; "however do
you know how to go from one place to another?"

"We don't know," said the Skipper, laughing; "that's just the fun of the
thing. We get into our ship, and just go on and on till we come to
somewhere or another, and then we land, you know. It's much the best
way, and saves such a lot of bother."

"I am afraid we should be a long while reaching England that way,"
remarked Dick, dubiously.

"Oh, I don't know," said the Skipper, "we might drop across it the first
time, you know. You see, it's not much use knowing in which direction
it lies, because, once you get out to sea, there are no roads and
things, so one way is as good as another."

"But don't you use a compass?" asked Marjorie.

"What's that, Miss?" asked the Skipper.

"Why, a little thing that always points to the North," said Marjorie.

"Blessed if I know, Miss," said the Skipper, good-naturedly. "Here,
Bill," he called to one of the sailors, "do we use a little thing that
always points to the North?"

"Not as I knows on," answered the man, sulkily. "We ain't got none of
them newfangled things, and don't want 'em."

"Dear me, what a very odd ship yours must be," said Dick. "Is it a
steamer, or a sailing vessel, please?"

"Oh, it's partly a sailing vessel and partly a rowing boat," said the
Skipper. "She's a very fine ship," he added, proudly, "come and have a
look at her."

The children followed him to a kind of rough harbor, where a most
extraordinary craft was moored. She looked very like a picture which
all the children remembered having seen in an old book at home, and
although there was a small sail, a number of gaily-painted paddles
sticking through the side of the huge boat, showed that, as the Skipper
had said, rowing played a very important part in moving it along.

"What a dear old-fashioned thing," exclaimed Marjorie, directly she saw
it.

The Skipper looked rather hurt. "It isn't more than a thousand years
old," he remarked.

"Well, that's an awful long time for a ship to last, isn't it?" said
Marjorie, pleasantly.

"Our family is much older than that," chimed in the Dodo,
consequentially. "We date back to----"

"Oh, please don't go into ancient history," said the Skipper, "I can't
bear it; it reminds me so of my younger days, when I was first learning
to skip."

"What _do_ you mean?" asked the children.

"Why, when I was a little boy, you know," explained the Skipper, "I used
to skip all the dry parts of a book--and the pages and pages I used to
skip of my ancient history you'd never believe. It was that which
decided my parents upon making me a Skipper. 'He'll never do for
anything else,' they used to say?"

"Well, are you going aboard or not?" he added, "because, if so, we ought
to be starting."

"Oh, yes, let's go," pleaded Marjorie, "we might just as well be on
board as at this place, you know, and we shall, at any rate, be going
somewhere, and perhaps we shall find some one who knows the way to
England on the sea."

So the children and the Dodo went aboard, and the Skipper blew a little
whistle, which he wore tied around his neck by a white cord, and the
sailors all came running up, bringing their spinning wheels, which they
packed away at the bow of the vessel, and then settled themselves down
at the oars. At the other end was a cosy little cabin, and above it a
small deck, upon which the little passengers made themselves quite
comfortable, and the Captain ordered the scales to be brought up from
below.

"What are they for?" asked Dick, who, boy-like, always wanted to know
the reason for everything.

"To weigh the anchor with," explained the Skipper, seriously. "We always
have to weigh it when we start on a voyage, and again when we reach our
journey's end."

"What for?" asked Dick, who certainly remembered having heard the
expression "weighing the anchor" before.

"Oh, I don't know, I'm sure," said the Skipper; "pack of nonsense, I
calls it; but it's the custom, and it's got to be done."

So the anchor was duly weighed, and the exact weight put down in a book,
and the _Argosy_, as the ship was called, slowly moved out of the
harbor.

It was a beautiful day, but there was just a little breeze blowing, and
the sea was a little "choppy" outside, and, as a consequence, the
_Argosy_ rolled a little.

After they had been out at sea for about an hour, and the Skipper had
been letting them take turns in looking through his telescope, the Dodo
suddenly muttered something about having "forgotten his
pocket-handkerchief," and hurried down into the cabin.

"Why, I didn't know he had one," said Marjorie, wonderingly.

[Illustration: "Hope you're feeling better, Sir."]

The Skipper winked, and said in a whisper behind his hand, "They always
say that; he's gone to lie down, the motion of the boat has made him
feel a little seasick."

The Dodo didn't come up for a long while and at last the Skipper said
he would go down and see if he wanted anything.

He found the poor bird looking the picture of misery, lolling limply
against the cushioned seat.

"Hope you're feeling better, Sir," he said, respectfully, tugging at his
forelock.

"Oh! oh!" groaned the Dodo. "Do throw me overboard, and let me die."

"Nonsense," said the Skipper, cheerfully. "You'll be all right in an
hour or two."

"Oh, no," said the bird; "I shall never be well again. I have never,
never felt so ill in all my life."

"Lie down, Sir, and I'll cover you up with this rug," said the Skipper,
kindly; "you'll be better presently."

"Don't tell the others," gasped the bird, faintly.

"All right, Sir," was the reply, and the Skipper went on deck again.

The breeze was quite fresh still, and the children had climbed up into
the "lookout," and were pointing eagerly into the distance.

"Land! over there!" shouted Dick, when he saw the Skipper.

"Oh! Ah! It's an island," said the Skipper. "I've been there before. The
Archæopteryx lives there."

"The what?" cried the children.

[Illustration: "'Charmed to meet you,' said the Archæopteryx."]

"The Archæopteryx," repeated the Skipper. "It's an awful name, isn't
it?"

"What is he?" demanded Dick.

"A kind of lizardish bird, or a birdish lizard, whichever you like," was
the reply. "He's a great swell, I can tell you, and fancies himself
immensely."

The children were all eagerness to see this strange creature, and could
scarcely wait until the ship reached the land.

The Skipper went down and told the Dodo, who, directly he heard that
they would meet the Archæopteryx, made a great effort to pull himself
together again.

"I mustn't let him see me in this state," he declared. "He is a distant
relative of mine, and a person of great consequence. Do you think," he
continued, addressing the Skipper, "that you could clean up my gloves a
little with some bread crumbs, they have become slightly soiled; and
would you kindly rearrange my necktie?"

These necessary preparations completed, the Dodo staggered up on deck
just as the _Argosy_ reached the shore.

The Archæopteryx was waiting for them on the beach, and recognized the
Dodo immediately.

"Charmed to meet you again," he said, hurrying forward to meet him, and
raising his hat, with a polite bow. "Pray, introduce me to your
friends."



CHAPTER XIII.

THE LITTLE PANJANDRUM'S BALLOON.


"Delighted to make your acquaintance," said the Archæopteryx, when the
necessary introductions had been made. "I've often wanted to meet some
human beings; come and have luncheon with me. I've a couple of old
friends staying here who will be delighted to see you." So saying, he
led the way to where two most extraordinary-looking creatures sat
waiting at a table, which was set for seven people.

"Both antediluvians," whispered their host, "the Palæotherium and the
Eterædarium. Capital chaps, but crotchety."

Fidge was a little alarmed at first, for they were really very ugly.
They seemed quite amiable, however; and the Palæotherium--his mouth full
of banana--motioned them to seats at the table, and, turning to the
Dodo, said, "Haven't I seen you before?"

The Dodo smirked, and, smoothing his gloves, said, in a self-conscious
voice, "Very possibly we _may_ have met before. I don't remember you,
but mine is a face which one is not likely to forget. Where did we meet,
do you think?"

"I'm trying to remember," said the Palæotherium, "it must have been
several hundreds of years ago now, and my memory is getting so bad----"

"I once stayed with the Ichthyosaurus," said the Dodo. "It may have been
there."

"Ah, that must have been it," said the Palæotherium. "I met a curious
lot of people there--very mixed lot of associates _he_ had, to be sure."

"Ahem," said the Dodo, indignantly. "I hope you don't mean that I----"

"My dear Sir," replied the other, "I'm quite sure you are highly
respectable; your gloves alone are a guarantee for that."

"Thanks," said the Dodo, looking quite happy again.

"Do you know any riddles?" asked the Eterædarium, suddenly, addressing
Dick.

"Let's see," said he, glad that the conversation had taken a turn which
they could all understand. "I think I do know a few. Why is a robin like
a waterbut?"

"First of all," said the Archæopteryx, anxiously, "what is a robin, and
who is a waterbut?"

"Oh, a robin," explained Marjorie, "is a dear little bird with a red
breast that comes in the winter----"

"Stop! stop!" said the Palæotherium, "one thing at a time. What is a
bird?"

"Oh, I say! You _must_ know what a bird is," expostulated Dick.

"I don't," said the Palæotherium, stubbornly.

"Why--why--the Dodo is a bird," explained Dick.

"Yes, but nothing like a robin, Dick, dear," added Marjorie; "a robin is
such a sweet, pretty little thing----"

"Well, I never!" exclaimed the Dodo, "do you mean to say _I'm_ not a
pretty little thing?"

"Well, you're not _quite_ like a robin, are you?" said Marjorie, getting
out of the difficulty very cleverly.

"Not _quite_, perhaps," admitted the Dodo; "but I _am_ pretty," he added
decidedly.

"I don't see what all this has to do with my conundrum," said Dick.

"Well, let's try again," said the Archæopteryx. "Why is a robin like a
waterbut?"

"A robin is a bird that comes in the winter," repeated the Eterædarium,
"and the waterbut--is that also a bird?"

"Oh, no," laughed Marjorie; "a waterbut is a tub for holding water."

"Can it fly?" asked the Eterædarium.

"Of course not!" said Dick; "who ever heard of such a thing?"

"Well, _is_ it like a robin? That's the point," said the Palæotherium.

"Not in appearance," admitted Dick. "Will you give it up?" he added,
looking around the table.

"Give what up?" asked the creatures.

"The conundrum," replied Dick.

"I haven't got it," declared the Dodo.

"Nor have I." "Nor I." "Nor I," said the others.

"No, no! I mean, will you give the answer up?" said Dick, losing
patience.

"But we haven't it," said the Archæopteryx.

"Look here, I'll tell you what we'll do," said the Palæotherium,
generously: "I'll give up the robin, and my friend here will give up the
waterbut. There!"

"Now _that's_ settled," said the Dodo, conclusively, "_I'll_ ask you a
conundrum. 'If your wife's aunt is----'"

"Stop! stop!" said the Palæotherium, "I haven't got a wife, you know."

"No," said the Eterædarium, "he hasn't, and, if he had, she very likely
would not have an aunt. Make it my wife's aunt."

"All right," said the Dodo. "If _your_ wife's aunt is my brother's son,
what relation is Dick to Tom?"

"You haven't asked it right," said Dick, who knew a riddle something
like that. "It's 'if this man's father is that man's son, what relation
is Dick to Tom?'"

"I wish you wouldn't interfere," said the Dodo. "I tell you the
question is right as I asked it."

"But your wife's aunt couldn't be anybody's son," said Marjorie, who was
trying to puzzle it out.

"Who said she _was_?" snapped the Dodo, crossly; "she is as likely to be
anybody's son as a robin is to be like a waterbut, and besides, I didn't
say she was; I said, if she was, you know."

"Well, let's work it out," said the Eterædarium, spreading out his
fingers. "Let's see, that's my wife's aunt," he continued, pointing to
his thumb, "and that's my brother's son," he added, touching the next
finger, "and the other two will do for Dick and Tom. Now--er----"

"Who is the other finger?" interrupted the Dodo, anxiously.

"Me," said the Palæotherium, solemnly and ungrammatically.

"It isn't," declared the other.

"It is," repeated the Palæotherium.

"Oh, very well! let it be so," cried the Archæopteryx, impatiently.
"What's the answer, anyhow?"

[Illustration: "'Who is the other finger?' interrupted the Dodo,
anxiously."]

"I don't know," said the Eterædarium, staring at his fingers stupidly.
"I don't see what relation those two fingers are to the other two. Well,
what relation _is_ Dick to Tom?" he asked, turning to the Dodo.

"The same relation that the robin is to the waterbut," said that bird,
conclusively. "Come on, let's get the Skipper to teach us how to dance a
hornpipe," and he led the way from the table, quite disregarding the
fact that the others had not finished.

The Skipper, who had been quite as puzzled as the others were by these
extraordinary conundrums, willingly agreed, and, first of all, danced a
hornpipe himself very successfully, and then did his best to teach the
others.

The Dodo, with his short legs and big body, very soon gave up trying,
and, thoroughly worn out by the exertion, lay panting on the shingle,
while the Eterædarium took his turn. He got along capitally, and the
children laughed heartily at the queer capers which he cut.

They were in the midst of the fun, when the Dodo suddenly jumped up,
and, pointing excitedly up into the air, cried, "Look! Look! What's
that?"

They all looked in the direction which he indicated, and after a time
discerned a tiny speck in the sky, which the Skipper declared, after
watching some time, to be a balloon.

"It's all red," cried Marjorie, whose eyesight was very keen.

"What!" exclaimed the Dodo, trembling. "Red! Are you sure?" he
inquired, anxiously.

"Certain," said Marjorie.

"Yes," said Dick, "I can see it now; it's quite red--a bright scarlet,
in fact."

[Illustration: "The Eterædarium took his turn."]

"The Little Panjandrum's State Balloon!" gasped the Dodo, in a terrible
fright. "Oh, my dear friends, hide me somewhere! If he finds me I'm done
for! I've--got--his gloves on--oh! How could I have been so foolish as
to have taken them--it's all my pride--and now I shall have to suffer
for it--oh!--oh!" And the Dodo, quite overcome with fear and anxiety,
fell upon his knees and sobbed violently.

Meanwhile the state balloon belonging to His Importance the Little
Panjandrum rapidly drew near.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE DUFF AND DEM EXECUTIONER.


"Can you see who's in it?" asked the Dodo, anxiously, when the balloon
had drawn a little nearer.

"Two gentlemen," declared Marjorie, whose eyesight was very keen. "And
one is carrying such a funny stick, with a big hand at the top of it."

"And the other one has just put on a hideous black mask, and has a
curious kind of pole with a sort of scythe at the end," chimed in Dick.

"What!" screamed the Dodo, "a black mask! Then it's the Lord High
Executioner, and the other is the Court Glover. Oh dear! oh dear! what
will become of me? I wish I'd never seen the wretched old gloves."

The balloon by this time was almost directly overhead and was descending
rapidly. Presently two ropes were thrown out, and a muffled voice cried,
"Catch hold of these, please."

Dick politely ran forward and hung on to one rope, while Marjorie and
Fidge took the other.

[Illustration: "The Court Glover arrives."]

The occupants of the balloon then lowered some wooden steps, and gravely
descended, the Lord High Executioner leading the way.

The balloon, lightened of its occupants, bounded upwards again, and the
children (who had the greatest difficulty in hanging on to the ropes)
called to the Archæopteryx and the others to come to their aid. To their
great surprise, however, they discovered that these creatures, taking
the Dodo with them, quietly slipped away.

The Court Glover and the Executioner helped the children to fasten the
balloon to one of the large palm trees, and then the Court Glover,
folding his arms, turned to them abruptly and inquired, "Where is he?"

"Who do you mean, Sir?" asked Dick.

"The Dodo," was the response.

"Oh! the Dodo! Why, he was here just now. I expect he has gone off with
the Archæopteryx and the others," said Dick.

"The what!" exclaimed the Court Glover.

"The er--Archæopteryx," said Dick, hesitatingly, fearing that he might
have mispronounced the name.

"H'm! You see," said the Court Glover, addressing the Executioner, "to
what depths this misguided bird has fallen, to actually associate with
an animal bearing a name of _that_ description. I suppose it _is_ an
animal, by-the-bye," he added, turning to the children.

"Well," laughed Marjorie, "we are not quite sure. The Dodo says it's a
kind of lizard-like bird, or bird-like lizard."

"It's got feathers," chimed in Fidge.

"Ough! The miserable creature doesn't even know what it is _itself_, I
expect," said the Court Glover, in tones of disgust.

"The others," said Dick reflectively, "are evidently animals--the
Palæotherium and the Eterædarium, you know."

"Look here," interrupted the Court Glover, severely, "you really must
_not_ use such disgraceful language. I am not accustomed to it."

"Why, they are only names," explained Dick, smilingly.

"Very well, then. Call the creatures _thingummybobs_; I shall know what
you mean--only don't use those other awful words again, they're
outrageous. Now then, to come to the point--where is that Dodo?"

"I'll try and find him," said Dick, obligingly, running off in the
direction of some bushes, behind which he imagined that he might
possibly find the runaways.

"Is your--er--chopper ready?" said the Court Glover, turning to the
executioner.

"He--he--he--ye--es!" giggled that worthy.

"Oh! If you please," pleaded Marjorie, "I do hope you are not going to
execute the poor Dodo. I'm sure he's _very_ sorry that he took the
Little Panjandrum's gloves, and he will give them back, I know. Please,
_please_, forgive him."

"He--he--he!" giggled the Executioner again.

"Do be quiet," shouted the Court Glover.

"Yes, I don't see anything to laugh at," said Marjorie indignantly.

"Oh, he's _always_ laughing," declared the Court Glover; "that's why he
has to wear a mask--so that people shan't see him laughing while he is
chopping off their heads. It's so rude, you know, to giggle at a time
like that, isn't it?"

"I should think so, indeed," cried Marjorie, in a horrified voice;
"perfectly disgraceful, I call it."

"That's what the last man who was executed said," declared the Court
Glover. After it was all over he said, "Well, I was never so
disgracefully executed before in all my life; and I hope the next time
you chop off my head, you'll get some one else to do it.'"

"I don't understand," said Marjorie, who was dreadfully puzzled. "How
_could_ he say all that after he was executed?"

"Why not?" asked the Court Glover, composedly.

"Why, people can't talk when they are killed, you know," said Marjorie.

"He--he--he!" sniggered the Executioner, putting his hand up to his
mouth under his mask.

The Court Glover frowned at him. "Bless you, they aren't _killed_!" he
said.

"Not killed, when they are executed!" cried Marjorie.

The Executioner giggled louder than ever, and shook his head.

"What do you mean?" asked Marjorie.

"Don't ask me, I'm duff and dem," said the Executioner.

"He means dem and duff," explained the Court Glover, considerately.

Marjorie laughed, and so did Fidge. "You are both wrong," she said. "You
mean deaf and dumb, I suppose. But I don't think that _can_ be the case,
for he must have heard me, because he answered my question, you know."

"I didn't say anything about being deaf or dumb, either. I simply said I
was duff and dem, and I defy you to prove to the contrary," said the
Executioner, stubbornly.

Marjorie was quite bewildered; but there was no time for further
argument, for, just then, Dick and the Archæopteryx returned, supporting
the Dodo (who appeared half dead with fright), and followed by the
Palæotherium and the Eterædarium, walking arm in arm.

"Ah! now we will settle this little matter," said the Court Glover,
placing himself in an imposing attitude, and motioning the Executioner
to stand a little way behind him.

The Dodo prostrated himself before them, the tears streaming from his
eyes, and the offending gloves thrown on the ground in front of him.

"Miserable fowl!" began the Court Glover.

The Dodo winced.

"To what degraded depths have you sunken! I find you here hob-a-nobbing
with _thingummybobs_ and _what's-his-names_."

"Here, I say, hold on!" interrupted the Archæopteryx. "If you mean us,
you know, we are----"

"_Thingummybobs_ and _what's-his-names_," repeated the Court Glover,
waving his hand contemptuously. "Was it to create an impression amongst
such creatures as _these_ that you ran off with the very best pair of
white kid gloves in the whole collection belonging to His Importance the
Little Panjandrum? Oh, Dodo! Dodo! Dodo! it is _too_ much!"

"How much too much?" inquired the Palæotherium, kindly taking out his
purse.

The Court Glover waved him aside with an impatient scowl.

"The vanity of the bird!" he went on--"white kid, above all others!
Why, you might have taken a dozen pairs of colored cotton gloves, and no
one would have minded in the least; but best white kid--oh! shocking!
shocking! And look at the state you've made them in! But there--what can
be expected of a creature that goes wandering about the world visiting
what-you-may-call-ems."

[Illustration: "'Bear up, old man,' said the Archæopteryx."]

"Of course, there's nothing to be done," continued the Court Glover,
after an impressive pause, "but to execute you."

The Dodo sobbed; and Marjorie, who was greatly concerned, began: "Oh,
please----"

But the Court Glover was inexorable, and murmured solemnly, "In one
hour's time--here," he walked off towards the balloon, followed by the
Executioner, who was giggling idiotically, and had to stuff a
handkerchief into his mouth to prevent himself from laughing outright.

"Inhuman wretch--there!" said Marjorie, bursting into tears, while the
Dodo's friends assisted him up from the ground, where he was lying in a
half-fainting condition.

"Bear up, old man," said the Archæopteryx, sympathetically, fanning him
with his tail.

"When did he say?" inquired the Dodo, faintly.

"In an hour's time," said Dick, sadly.

The Dodo shuddered.

"Stop!" said the Eterædarium, suddenly. "I think I have found a way out
of the difficulty."

"Oh! what is it? What is it?" cried the Dodo, eagerly; while the others
all crowded round to hear what the Eterædarium had to say.



CHAPTER XV.

THE EXECUTION OF THE DODO.


"Let us pretend," suggested the Palæotherium, "that the Dodo is dead.
They will readily imagine that the shock has been too much for him, and,
of course, being dead, there will be no necessity to execute him."

"He--he--he! Very nice indeed. A capital arrangement!" giggled a voice
over the children's shoulder; and, turning round, they beheld the
Executioner, who had apparently overheard everything that had been said.

"Bother!" remarked the Palæotherium; "now I shall have to invent some
other way."

"I can't think," said the Executioner, who had removed his mask, and who
the children discovered to be a very amiable-looking gentleman--"I can't
think why you are making all this fuss about the execution."

"Well, how would you like it yourself?" asked the Dodo, indignantly.

"I shouldn't mind in the least," remarked the Executioner, coolly.

"Not mind being killed!" shuddered the children.

[Illustration: "I never kill anybody when I chop their heads off."]

"Oh, _that's_ another question entirely," said the Executioner. "I never
kill anybody when I chop their heads off. It would be so cruel;
besides, that old-fashioned way is so ordinary. I am the Executioner
Extraordinary, you know."

"Well, how on earth do you execute people, then, if you don't kill
them?" demanded Dick.

"Oh, by a new method, which I have invented myself," declared the
Executioner. "I call it execution by proxy. I just make an effigy."

"What's that?" inquired Marjorie.

"Don't interrupt," said Dick. "Guy Fawkes is an effigy, you know--an old
stuffed thing, with a mask on. Go on, please."

"Well, then," continued the Executioner, "having made an effigy, as near
like my subject as possible, I just chop its head off, and there is an
end of the matter."

He looked around at the company, and smiled triumphantly.

Marjorie gave a sigh of relief. She didn't so much mind the execution
taking place if the poor Dodo was not to be killed. To her great
surprise, however, on looking at that interesting bird, she discovered
that he was weeping copiously, and wiping with an elaborate lace
handkerchief, which had evidently been concealed about his person, the
tears which trickled slowly down his great beak.

"What's the matter, poor goosey, goosey, gander?" said Fidge,
sympathetically.

"Don't!" snapped the Dodo, crossly. "I'm _not_ a goose."

"Well, what _is_ the matter, anyhow?" said Dick. "They are not going to
chop your head off it appears; so you ought to be glad, and not snivel
like that."

"I d--don't want to--to be--e m--made a guy of," sobbed the Dodo.

"What _do_ you mean?" asked the Executioner.

"Why, you said you would have to make an effigy of me; and he" (pointing
to Dick) "said it was a kind of Guy Fawkes, didn't you?" he added
appealing to Dick.

"Well, never mind," said the Archæopteryx, sympathetically; "you have
the consolation that they couldn't make you a bigger guy than you are."

Strangely enough, the Dodo seemed to derive a considerable amount of
comfort from this idea, and, wiping away the few remaining tears, he
began to take an active interest in the manufacture of the effigy, which
the others set about constructing without further delay.

"Is it like me?" he asked, conceitedly, as they bound some cloths to a
piece of stick, in such a way that they bore some slight resemblance to
a bird.

"Dear me, what a pity! I'm not moulting, or you might have had one or
two of my feathers to stick on for a tail," he added.

"H'm! I shouldn't have thought you had any to spare for moulting
purposes," said the Archæopteryx.

"Don't be unkind," retorted the Dodo; "_you_ haven't many to boast of."

"I've more than you have, anyhow," said the Archæopteryx.

"Oh, for goodness' sake leave off quarreling. What on earth does it
matter how many feathers you have?" said Dick.

"Not to a _boy_, I suppose," remarked the Dodo, somewhat insolently;
"but no respectable bird would care to be seen about with less than
five; though, undoubtedly, too many are vulgar"--this with a scornful
glance at the Archæopteryx's tail, which was decorated with quite a
number of curious flat feathers.

I don't know how much longer this wrangling would have gone on, had not
the Court Glover just then made his appearance.

"Time's up!" he announced, sternly. "Are you prepared for execution,
Dodo?"

"Not quite," answered the Executioner, who was putting the finishing
touches to the effigy; "his head keeps tumbling off."

"Never mind, it will save cutting it off," said the Court Glover, who
was evidently quite used to the Executioner's patent method of
performing his dreadful duty.

"Now then," he continued importantly. "Stand round in a ring while I
read the Warrant. 'Ahem! Nevertheless, likewise, notwithstanding,
heretofore, as is aforesaid. It having been proven that a certain bird
named the Dodo having maliciously and contemptibly worn the white kid
gloves of the Little Panjandrum, it is hereby enacted that the said
Dodo, or his heirs male, or assigns, be chopped at the neck till one or
all of their respective heads do fall off--and this to be done to their
entire satisfaction. LONG LIVE THE PANJANDRUM!'"

[Illustration: "'Alas! Alas!' murmured the Court Glover."]

"What a rigmarole!" whispered Dick, while the Executioner stretched out
the Dodo's effigy on the ground, and, resuming his hideous black mask,
made ready to strike.

"Alas! Alas!" murmured the Court Glover, covering his face with his
hands, and peeping through his fingers, while the Dodo held his sides
with suppressed laughter.

The children all looked on with interest as the Executioner performed
his terrible duty. Raising his curious scythe-like chopper, with one
mighty blow he severed the piece of wood which answered for the Dodo's
neck, and then stood gloomily aside.

"_Fiat Justitia_!" said the Court Glover, solemnly; and then, turning to
the Dodo, he inquired anxiously, "Well, how did you like it?"

"Oh! it was delightful!" replied the bird, enthusiastically. "I am sure
no one could wish to have a pleasanter or more delightful execution. I'm
much obliged to you for having it so nicely performed."

"Well, we always like to manage these little things as pleasantly as
possible, you know," said the Court Glover, deprecatingly.

"Oh! I quite enjoyed it!" said the Dodo. "That's a _very_ nice
Executioner you have."

"Yes; isn't he?" agreed the Court Glover. "Pity he laughs so much,
though, it spoils the effect. Well, having done my duty, I must be off.
Any message for the Little Panjandrum?"

"Oh! can't we go back with you in the balloon?" asked Marjorie, eagerly,
for it seemed to her a capital opportunity of getting away from this
strange place.

"H'm! I'm afraid not," said the Court Glover, reflectively. "You see, it
only holds two comfortably."

"Where do you want to go to?" asked the Archæopteryx.

"England!" said the children, all together.

"Oh! _that's_ all right. I'll tell you the way to get _there_," said the
Palæotherium.

And the Court Glover and the Executioner began to undo the cords which
held the balloon to the palm tree.

"You might leave me your card," said the Dodo to the Executioner,
pressing a small coin into his hand. "I shall probably go in for a
complete course of execution when I get back again; and, besides, the
address of a good, reliable Executioner is a handy thing to have in the
house."

The Executioner giggled, and handed the bird his card, and then both he
and the Court Glover got into the car, and the balloon was soon
vanishing in the distance.

After watching them nearly out of sight the Dodo capered wildly about
till the children began to fear that he had suddenly gone off his head.

"Whatever is the matter?" inquired Dick. "Why are you carrying on in
that absurd way?"

The Dodo fumbled beneath one wing, and drew forth a little paper
package.

"Ha! ha! ha! _They went away without the gloves after all_!" he
shrieked, and began to roll about on the ground in an uncontrollable fit
of laughter.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE PREHISTORIC DOCTOR.


"I can't imagine," said Dick, "why you think such a lot of those
wretched old gloves. They seem to have got you into quite enough trouble
already."

"They look so respectable," explained the Dodo, "and give one such an
air. You have _never_ before seen a bird wearing gloves, now, have you?"
he added, appealing to the company generally, who were obliged to
flatter his vanity by confessing that they never had.

Dick, however, in a spirit of pure mischief, decided to play him a
trick. So, when the Dodo, having put on one glove, strutted away to show
off before the Archæopteryx, leaving the other one behind him, Dick
quickly picked it up and put it on himself, then calling to aid the
power which the Panjandrum's Ambassador had given him of being able to
make himself whatever size he wished, he cried, "I wish to be as big as
the biggest giant that ever lived," and immediately became so tall that
the Palæotherium and the Eterædarium, who were standing near, fled in
dismay, while Marjorie and Fidge looked up with the greatest of
admiration to their now big--big brother.

Dick then telling them, in a voice that sounded like thunder, to stand
aside, took off the glove, which had, of course, grown with him, and
threw it on to the ground, where it lay a huge mass of coarse leather as
many _feet_ long as it had formerly been _inches_, and with buttons
almost as big as dinner plates.

It was, of course, the easiest matter imaginable for Dick to reduce
himself to his proper size again, while the glove remained as it was,
and this he very quickly did, to the evident relief of the poor
Palæotherium and the Eterædarium, who had been trembling and quaking
behind a clump of trees, and looking with the greatest disquietude at
these extraordinary proceedings.

"This is fine growing weather, Sir," remarked the Palæotherium,
respectfully, as he came forward and stood by Dick beside the enormous
glove.

[Illustration: "'Is that it?' asked Dick."]

Dick laughed, and rather delighted in the evident impression which he
had made upon the creatures by his performance, and a moment after the
Dodo returned, looking about him eagerly in search of his lost
property.

"What's the matter?" inquired Dick, solicitously.

"Er--have any of you seen a white kid glove lying about?" said the Dodo,
anxiously.

"Is that it?" asked Dick, pointing to the enormous object lying at his
feet.

The Dodo gave a start.

"Er--er--oh--my!" he exclaimed. "I do believe--why, surely it
isn't--yes--yes--bless me, if I don't believe that it really _is_ my
glove. Why, whatever has happened to it?"

"It certainly looks rather large for you," remarked the Palæotherium.

"Large! why it's prodigious!" exclaimed the Dodo.

"What size do you wear?" asked Marjorie, who was enjoying the fun.

The Dodo undid the glove which he had on and looked inside.

"Sevens," he remarked.

"And this," said Dick, kicking the enormous glove open, "is marked
ninety-nines!"

"I don't believe I _could_ wear that size," said the bird,
disconsolately. "Whatever is to be done?"

"I should get inside it altogether, if I were you," suggested Dick.

"Don't be ridiculous," said the Dodo, beginning to cry. "It's bad enough
to--to--have one's gloves car--carrying on in this fas-fashion, without
being laughed at by--by a parcel of cre--creatures that don't care
anything about their per--per--personal appearance, and who--who
nev--never wore a p--p--pair of gloves in their lives!"

"Oh!" cried Marjorie, "I'm sure _we_ wear gloves when we are at home,
don't we, Dick?"

"Of course," said he.

"And me, too," declared Fidge; "me wears goves."

"I don't believe it," sobbed the Dodo; "and if I did, I wouldn't, so
there!"

"I think you are an awful cry-baby," said Dick; "I should be ashamed, if
I were you, to be always sniveling about nothing."

The Dodo didn't answer, but sat down beside the enormous glove, and
continued to sob and cry till his eyes, which were never very beautiful,
became swollen and red, and his little lace handkerchief was wringing
wet with his tears.

Marjorie, in her kind-hearted way, tried to comfort him, and privately
suggested to Dick that, as the poor bird seemed so very much cut up
about his glove, that he should restore it to its natural size again.

This, however, Dick positively refused to do for the present, and the
Dodo becoming worse instead of better, the Archæopteryx said he should
go and fetch a doctor.

"Oh, do!" cried the Dodo, sitting up, and becoming interested at once.
"I _love_ doctors, they give you such nice stuff to take."

"Ough!" shuddered Marjorie.

"I'm sure they do, then," said the Dodo; "lovely little pills with sugar
on them, and powders in jam--oh, lovely! Don't you think powders in jam
delicious?" he asked, appealing to Dick.

"No; I certainly don't," was the reply, as the Archæopteryx, followed by
a funny-looking little old man, came running back.

The Prehistoric Doctor--for so the children found he was called--was
dressed in a coarse coat made of bear's skin, under which was a spotless
shirt-front and collar; an old-fashioned pair of horn-rimmed spectacles
completed his costume, while some dangerous-looking surgical instruments
projected from a rough pocket tacked on to the side of his coat.

[Illustration: "'Tut, tut, this is serious,' said the Doctor."]

"Ah!--h'm! and _how_ are we feeling this morning?" he said, kindly,
going up to the Dodo.

The bird turned up his eyes pathetically and gave a sigh.

"Like a dying duck in a thunderstorm," whispered Dick, and Marjorie had
to hold her handkerchief to her mouth to keep from giggling out loud.

"Ah! How is the pulse?" continued the Doctor, in a soothing voice.

The Dodo gravely extended the pinion with the glove on it.

This seemed to puzzle the Doctor a little at first, but after looking at
it for a moment through his spectacles, he fished an enormous silver
watch out of another pocket in his skin coat, and carefully pinching the
glove between his finger and thumb, regarding his timepiece anxiously.

This operation over, he shook his head gravely, and demanded to see the
Dodo's tongue.

"Oh! I couldn't!" simpered the bird; "I really couldn't; it's so rude to
put out one's tongue, you know."

A little persuasion, however, on the part of the Doctor prevailed upon
him to open his enormous beak, and the examination was proceeded with.

[Illustration: "They hurried to the station."]

"Tut! tut! this is serious!" exclaimed the Doctor, regarding the Dodo's
tongue critically. "We must have a change of air immediately, and
thorough rest. I will go and make you up a little prescription, and I
would advise you to start at once. The air at--er--the Crystal Palace
would suit you admirably. There is an excursion starting to-day. I
should certainly go by that if I were you."

"The Crystal Palace! Why, that's near London!" cried Marjorie,
excitedly. "Can't we go by the excursion, too?"

"Of course you can," chimed in the Palæotherium; "we'll all go, and make
up a nice little family party."

So, without further ado--the Doctor having made up his prescription,
consisting of a large bottle of "bull's eyes," one to be taken every
quarter of an hour--they hurried to the station, at the door of which a
most energetic porter was ringing a huge bell.



CHAPTER XVII.

WAITING FOR THE TRAIN.


They found, on reaching the station, which was a very primitive affair
with a thatched roof, that the booking-office was closed.

"Clerk be goned away for 'ees 'oliday," explained the Porter, with a
grin.

"Then whatever are we going to do about tickets?" asked Marjorie,
anxiously, for the trip to the Crystal Palace seemed to afford such an
excellent opportunity of getting home again that she was anxious not to
miss it.

"He may be back before the train comes in," said the Archæopteryx;
"there doesn't seem to be one in sight, and we often have to wait weeks
and weeks for a train here, you know."

"But what was he ringing the bell for, then?" inquired Dick, "if the
train isn't coming in."

"I seed some smoke awhile ago, over yonder," said the Porter, "and I
thought maybe 'tmight be th' train, but like as not it isn't."

"Then we have had this long run for nothing," complained the Dodo,
breathlessly.

"Calm yourself, my dear Sir," said the Doctor, patting him on the back;
"excitement of any kind is very bad for you. We will wait here quietly
till the train does come."

"But isn't there a time-table?" asked Dick, "so that we can tell when to
expect it."

"No, Sir," said the Porter. "There was a time-table when I fust come
here, nine years ago; but it got lost somehow, and we've never had
another."

By this time the platform was crowded with a number of other animals,
who had apparently come to join the excursion.

"We had better get our tents before they are all gone," whispered the
Palæotherium.

"Ah, yes, of course," said the Eterædarium. "Er--Porter, just bring us
some tents, will you?"

"Tents?" exclaimed the children.

"Yes; if we are to stay here till the train starts we shall find it very
awkward at night without tents, you know."

"Oh, yes, tents by all means," said the Archæopteryx. "I think five will
be sufficient," he added.

[Illustration: "The Dodo contented himself with fussing about and giving
directions."]

The Porter grumbled a little, and then brought forth from somewhere a
number of poles and some canvas tents, and these the creatures began
solemnly to erect on various parts of the platform.

The Dodo excused himself from assisting, on the plea that he might soil
his gloves, and contented himself with fussing about and giving
directions in a loud voice.

While the tents were being erected, the children amused themselves by
exploring their surroundings.

"Oh! there's a refreshment room!" exclaimed Marjorie, pointing to a hole
in the wall, on the ledge of which were displayed a few doubtful-looking
articles.

"Shall I join you in a little light repast?" said an insinuating voice
behind them, and turning around, they beheld the Dodo smoothing his
glove and smirking ingratiatingly.

Dick felt in his pocket, and was delighted to find that he had a
two-shilling-piece tucked away in a corner.

"Yes, we might as well have something," he said, generously. "I wonder
who attends to this department? There doesn't seem to be anybody about."

He knocked at the wall with his two-shilling-piece, and, suddenly, an
elderly lady, with a very sharp face and a shrill voice, popped her head
up and exclaimed, "Well! what do _you_ want?"

Dick was startled by her sudden appearance, and stammered a little.

"Er--er--a----" he began.

"A glass bun and a bath of milk, please," prompted the Dodo.

"No; he means a bath bun and a glass of milk," laughed Marjorie, smiling
up at the lady's face.

There was no smile in response, however, and she replied, crossly, "Why
doesn't he say what he means, then? We've no bath buns, and no milk,"
she went on. "There's a currant bun, a box of chocolates, and a bottle
of gingerbeer. You can take them or leave them, whichever you like."

"Er--how much is the bun, please?" inquired Dick.

"Shilling," snapped the waitress.

"Dear me! that's rather expensive, isn't it?" said Dick, regarding his
two-shilling-piece ruefully. "And I'm afraid it looks a little stale,
too."

"Well, I never!" said the waitress, tossing her head scornfully, and
shaking back her little corkscrew curls. "What next, I wonder? That bun
has been here on and off for seventeen years, and I never had a
complaint about it before. Stale, indeed!" And she sniffed scornfully.

"Perhaps we had better try the chocolate," suggested Marjorie. "Can you
tell us, please, how many pieces there are in the box?" she asked.

"No, I can't!" was the ungracious reply. "It's half-a-crown," she added.

That, of course, put it out of the question, and as the gingerbeer
bottle turned out to be empty, the contents having evaporated some years
since, the children were obliged to turn, somewhat disconsolately, away
from the "refreshment room," and as they left they heard the waitress
complaining, crossly--

"I can't think what people want to come bothering for refreshments for,
when I am busy reading; some folks have _no_ consideration for others."
And she disappeared as mysteriously as she had arrived.

A little further down the platform, to their great delight, they
discovered an automatic machine, but were greatly disappointed to find
that it only professed to supply "furniture polish," "tin tacks," and
"postage stamps."

"And as we have no post-office here at all," said the Archæopteryx, who
had by this time joined them, "the stamps are of no use whatever.
Fortunately," he went on, "the Palæotherium brought some banana
sandwiches in his carpet bag; so, if you come back with me to his tent,
we can have a little supper before we go to bed."

The children very gratefully accepted the invitation, and were delighted
on entering the tent to find that the Eterædarium and the Palæotherium
had arranged quite a dainty little repast with the sandwiches, some
fresh fruit, and cocoanut milk, which was served in the shell.

While the feast was progressing it began to grow quite dark, and the
Dodo suggested asking the Porter for a light.

"There's only one candle," grumbled that individual, "and I be obligated
to use that for the signal."

So there was nothing to be done but to hurry over the supper as soon as
possible, and go to rest.

Marjorie and Fidge shared a little tent next to the Dodo and Dick, and
the children made themselves as comfortable as they could, under the
circumstances, with some cushions and rugs, with which the Porter had
provided them; and, after chatting for a little while about their
strange adventures, dropped off to sleep.

They were awakened after an hour or two by the clanging of a huge bell,
and, hastily putting their heads out of the tent, beheld the Porter
rushing up and down the platform, ringing his bell violently. The candle
was flaring away at the top of the signal pole, and the children jumped
to the conclusion that the train had been signaled.

"What's up!" called out Dick, as the Porter approached.

There was no answer, and the great bell was plied more vigorously than
ever.

"Oh! _do_ leave off!" screamed the Dodo. "What's the bell for?"

"To keep you awake," shouted the Porter. "I shall keep on ringing this
bell all night to prevent you from going to sleep, in case the train
comes in and you don't hear it."

"But the noise will drive us mad," expostulated the Dodo.

[Illustration: "'Oh! Do leave off!' screamed the Dodo."]

"H'm! won't have far to drive you, then," said the Porter, rudely.
"Howsomedever, I'm going to do my duty, whatever happens, and this 'ere
bell I'm going to ring if I drops."

Remonstrance was vain, and as it was hopeless to try and sleep through
all the noise the children got up again, and had hardly done so, when,
looking towards the end of the platform they beheld a red and a green
light appearing around the curve, and a moment later the train dashed
into the station.

"Crystal Palace train! Crystal Palace train! Take your seats, there!"
shouted the Guard; and, regardless of the fact that they had no tickets,
the children and their friends scrambled in.



CHAPTER XVIII.

A NIGHT IN THE TRAIN.


"What a funny puff-puff!" exclaimed Fidge, when, all of the creatures on
the platform having entered the train, it slowly steamed out of the
station, while the Porter took down the candlestick signal and carefully
extinguished the light, remarking aloud, as he did so, "Well, thank
goodness, _they're_ gone!"

"I think," said Dick, looking about him curiously, "that it must be what
is called a sleeping car."

"Yes, of course it is," agreed the Prehistoric Doctor, who had joined
the party. "See, here are the sleeping bunks. This is mine," he added,
taking possession of one of the lower berths by throwing his carpet bag
on to it.

"I'll have the one above it," announced the Palæotherium, climbing up to
the upper berth, and clumsily treading on the Prehistoric Doctor's hand
as he did so.

"I shall have to be near my Doctor, of course, as I am an invalid,"
remarked the Dodo, plaintively, "so shall take the lower berth next to
him."

And thus each of the creatures took up their respective positions, and
the children thought it best to follow their example. Dick and Fidge
climbed up to one of the upper berths, and Marjorie made herself
comfortable in the one below them.

"It's much better than being in those horrid little tents on the
draughty station," she called out; "and we are sure to get to
_somewhere_ in this train, aren't we, Dick?"

"Yes, rather," was her elder brother's reply. "I say, Sis, what are we
going to do when they ask us for our tickets at the Crystal Palace? I
haven't got any money except this two shillings, have you?"

"Not a penny," admitted Marjorie. "However," she added, yawning
sleepily, "I suppose it will all come right; none of the other creatures
took tickets, you know. The great thing is to get back to England."

"There's a window up here, and I have just looked out," said Dick, "it's
all pitch dark."

"Yes," murmured Marjorie; "Underground Railway to Crystal Palace; that's
how we went last time, you know--part of the way, at any rate--let's go
to sleep now. Good-night, Dick."

"Good-night."

"Nighty, nighty!" shouted Fidge.

"Good-night, Fidge, dear," was his sister's reply, in a very tired
voice.

A moment afterwards the train gave a lurch, and there was a crash and a
loud cry from one of the lower berths.

Dick hastily scrambled down to ascertain what was the matter, and found
that the Dodo had tumbled out of bed.

"Bless my gloves and beak!" ejaculated the bird, as he picked himself
up; "it's enough to frighten one out of their lives, isn't it?"

"Have you hurt yourself much?" inquired Dick, kindly.

"No; I don't think so," said the Dodo, carefully feeling himself all
over to see if any bones were broken.

"How do you like my nightcap?" he inquired, suddenly and inconsequently.
"Does it suit me?"

"Oh, it's all right, I suppose," said Dick, laughing in spite of himself
at the bird's vanity. "Where did you get it?"

"Found it under my pillow," announced the bird, triumphantly. "That's
why I tumbled out of bed, so that some one at any rate, should come and
see me in it. Nobody else seems to be coming, though," he added, looking
anxiously up and down, "so I shall go to bed again; but I shall leave my
curtains wide open, so that if anybody passes by during the night, or in
the morning, they will see how beautiful I am when I am asleep."

At that moment there was an awful noise like a deep groan, which grew
and grew in volume till it sounded like distant thunder, and then faded
away and ended up with a comical little whistle. Again and again it was
repeated.

"Oh, Dick! what is it?" called Marjorie, putting her head outside the
curtains.

"I can't think," said Dick, in a puzzled voice.

"Where have I heard that sound before?" exclaimed the Dodo, putting one
finger of the glove to his forehead, and striking a thoughtful attitude.

"Ah! I have it," he cried. "Of course, it's a prehistoric snore--the
Doctor is asleep."

And, sure enough, that was what the noise was. By listening outside the
curtains of his berth they discovered, without a doubt, that it
proceeded from there.

"What a frightful row," cried Dick, indignantly. "We can't go to sleep
with all that noise going on. Let's wake him up."

"Oh, no!" cried the Dodo, "not for worlds. He is sure to be very
sensitive on the point, and would doubtless resent it very much."

"He ought to be made to sleep in another part of the train, or in a
carriage by himself," grumbled Dick, scrambling back to his berth just
in time to meet Fidge, who was trying to get down at the risk of
breaking his neck.

"Oh! Dick!" he cried, pointing to the further corner of the berth,
"Look! Look! A snake!"

"What?" cried Marjorie, from below, with a little scream.

"A snake!" repeated Fidge. "Look, look, Dick!" he cried, pointing.

Dick looked in the direction indicated, and was horrified to see what he
took to be a huge snake, slowly crawling over the partition which
divided their berth from the next.

"Give me something to hit it with, quick!" he shouted, excitedly. And
Marjorie, with another little frightened scream, handed him the
Prehistoric Doctor's umbrella, which was lying on the floor outside her
berth.

Dick seized the umbrella, and, grasping it with both hands, aimed a
mighty blow at what he took to be the snake.

An agonized scream from the next berth, and a hasty withdrawal of the
_snake_, was followed by the appearance of the Palæotherium's head over
the top of the partition.

"Who did that?" he demanded, with tears in his eyes.

"It was a snake!" cried Dick, excitedly, "and I was trying to kill it."

"Snake, indeed!" said the Palæotherium, wrathfully. "It was my tail."

"Oh! I'm _so_ sorry," exclaimed Dick, "I really _thought_ it was a
snake, you know. I beg your pardon. I _do_ hope I haven't hurt you very
much."

"H'm! Well, I can't say that it was very pleasant," said the
Palæotherium, "but if you are really sorry I'll forgive you--only you
mustn't let it happen again."

"Shouldn't have a tail like a snake," said Fidge, half crying, "and
shouldn't let it come over in our bed."

The Palæotherium muttered something that neither of the children could
understand, and retired, and, except for the Prehistoric Doctor's
snoring, all was quiet again.

This time the children really did get to sleep, and when they awoke the
carriage was quite light, and Dick, looking out through the little
window at the side of his berth, could see that they were traveling
through some very delightful country.

"Wake up! Wake up, Marjorie," he cried, "it's morning."

"I'm velly hungry," announced Fidge, sitting up and rubbing his eyes
sleepily.

"Yes, so am I," admitted Dick; "we must see what we can do to get some
food."

"The doors at the ends of the carriage are open," cried Marjorie, from
below. "I believe it's a corridor train, like that we went to
Scarborough in last year," she added. "Perhaps there's a dining-car at
the end of this one."

Dick and Fidge scrambled down, and, accompanied by Marjorie, determined
to explore.

None of the other creatures were apparently awake, and most of the
curtains were drawn.

The Dodo, however, true to his word, had left his open, and there he lay
in an affected attitude, with his gloves carefully displayed outside the
bed-clothes, and his nightcap arranged at the most becoming angle.

Dick could see that he was not really asleep, for one eye was partially
open, and as the children passed he murmured, quite loudly enough for
Dick to hear--"Ain't I _beautiful_?"

[Illustration: The Greedy Eterædarium.]

Dick laughed, and passed on to where he could see some wash-basins and a
water tap, and there the children had a most refreshing wash; and then,
to their great delight, found that the next carriage was
labeled--"BREAKFAST CAR"; and as it was the easiest matter in the world
to step from one carriage to the other, they were soon at the door.

As soon as they opened it they beheld a curious sight.

There were a number of little tables in the carriage, on each of which
were basins of steaming hot bread-and-milk.

The Eterædarium stood at one of the tables, and, with a spoon in each
hand, was greedily devouring the bread-and-milk as quickly as he
possibly could.

"Come on!" he shouted, with his mouth full. "Just in time. There are one
or two basins left; but make haste, before the others come, or you won't
get any."



CHAPTER XIX.

AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE.


The bread-and-milk was very good, and the children enjoyed it immensely.

They would have taken a second basinful had the Eterædarium been at all
pressing in his invitation for them to do so; but instead of asking them
in the usual way, "Will you have any more?" he said, in a very anxious
tone of voice, "You won't have any more, will you?" which was, of
course, a very different thing; and so they each meekly said, "No, thank
you," and watched the Eterædarium finish up the remaining basins.

"There now, I feel that I've done my duty," he said, with a sigh of
satisfaction, as he wiped his lips with a serviette, after scraping out
the very last spoonful.

"You see," he said, with a sort of half attempt at an apology, "I was
afraid the poor, dear Dodo, in his delicate state of health, might come
in to breakfast and eat more than was good for him; so, by eating the
lot myself, I have prevented him from doing that. He ought to be very
grateful to me, I'm sure."

"But what about the others?" asked Dick.

"Oh, great, strong, healthy animals like them, it will do them good to
go without for once in a way. I think, though, that in order to prevent
them from feeling any disappointment it will be better to throw the
basins out of the window, the sight of them would probably be rather
tantalizing." And the Eterædarium began hurriedly to throw all the
breakfast things out of the window--spoons, basins, tablecloths, and
serviettes, all disappeared, and only the three basins which the
children had been using remained.

They, doubtless, would have followed the others had not the Dodo,
leaning heavily on the Prehistoric Doctor's arm, entered the breakfast
car just at that moment.

"Ah! bread-and-milk--capital!" exclaimed the Doctor, rubbing his hands,
and looking at the children's basins. "I think our patient could manage
a small basinful, eh?"

The Dodo, with a great affectation of weakness, feebly nodded his head.

"I think I _could_ manage a small basinful, Doctor--er--er--not _too_
small, you know. A _very_ small quantity never agrees with me."

"No, no; of course not," said the Doctor, soothingly. "I will see that
it is not too small; and perhaps, just to encourage you, I will have a
basinful myself."

"It's all gone!" said the Eterædarium, suddenly and emphatically.

"Gone!" screamed the Dodo, in a loud voice, quite forgetting his
supposed weakness. "Do you mean to say there is _none_ left?"

The Eterædarium shook his head.

"But where's it all gone to?" asked the Doctor.

The Eterædarium solemnly pointed to the children.

"Pigs!" declared the Dodo, wrathfully.

"Here, who are you calling pigs?" demanded Dick, getting up angrily.

"Well, I must say that it was exceedingly greedy of you to devour all of
the breakfast," said the Doctor, reprovingly.

"But we didn't," said Dick. "It was the Eterædarium; he had ever so many
basinsful. We only had one each, didn't we, Marjorie?"

"No," said Marjorie; "and mine was a very small one."

"And mine was the littlest of all," said Fidge, flourishing his spoon,
"like the littlest bear's, you know, in the story of the Three Bears."

"Well, where are the other basins, then, if you say the Eterædarium had
such a lot?" demanded the Dodo.

"He threw them out of the window," declared the children.

"Oh! Oh! Well, I _never_--whatever will they say next?" cried the
Eterædarium, throwing up his hands and turning his eyes up to the
ceiling.

"I must say it doesn't seem a very probable story," said the Doctor,
looking out of the window; "and as I don't see any of the basins lying
about I am afraid I cannot believe your statement."

"But that was some time ago," argued Dick, "and as we are traveling very
rapidly they must be some miles down the line by this time."

[Illustration: The arrival at the Crystal Palace.]

"Rubbish!" exclaimed the Dodo, "you are only making matters worse by
your lame excuses. I always had my suspicions that you were a greedy
lot, like all the rest of the human creatures."

"Ahem!" coughed the Doctor, looking pained.

"Oh, you're prehistoric--that doesn't count," said the Dodo, and the
Doctor brightened up again.

Fortunately, at this moment, something occurred to prevent the argument
from continuing, or goodness knows where it might have led to, for the
children were naturally indignant at being so greatly misjudged. Dick
was particularly wroth. Their attention was diverted, however, by the
train dashing into a station, and coming to a somewhat abrupt stop,
causing the passengers to pitch forward, while a porter called in a loud
voice, "Crystal Palace! Crystal Palace! All change here!"

"Oh! here we are, at last," cried the children, hurrying on to the
platform where the animals were all turning out.

The porter had given one horrified glance at the strange creatures, and
then, with a howl of fear, had fled up the steps at the end of the
platform. The children could see that he was explaining something or
other to the ticket collector, for that worthy came to the barrier and
peeped over.

"Oh--o--o--a--aah!" the children heard him cry, and then he fled, as his
companion had done, leaving the barrier free.

"Come," laughed Dick, "that simplifies matters considerably, for we
shall not have to bother about our tickets now." And the children
hurried up the stairs, while the Dodo remained behind to adjust his
gloves, complaining loudly that notice ought to have been given that
they were nearing the station, so that he might have made himself
presentable before alighting.

On turning back, while on the steps, the children could see that,
besides their own party, the train had contained a number of other
strange animals, some of whom, the Archæopteryx whispered, impressively,
were "antediluvians."

[Illustration: "'Sh'sh! A Missionary,' whispered the Dodo, excitedly."]

The whole party having alighted, with a great deal of noise and
confusion, they proceeded at once to the Palace. Everywhere their
appearance was the signal for a wild stampede of other visitors, and by
the time they had reached the great hall no one at all was in sight,
except one old gentleman in glasses, who was consulting a guide book
while he stood before a group of wooden Hottentots.

"Sh!" whispered the Dodo, "a Missionary! I have seen them before, when
abroad. In some places they are greatly admired by the natives, some of
whom have described them enthusiastically as being simply _delicious_!
Let us be friendly to him; he is, no doubt, a very excellent man.

"My dear Sir," he continued, waddling up to the Missionary, "delighted
to see you looking so well."

The Missionary, who was very short-sighted, beamed kindly, and grasped
the Dodo's glove, while he peered up into his face through his glasses.
On catching sight of his beak, however, he gave a gasp of astonishment,
and stammered--

"I'm afraid, Sir, you've made a mistake. I--er--I--er--don't remember
your face."

"Oh, well, it is some time since we met, certainly; but perhaps you know
my friend?" said the Dodo, introducing the Eterædarium, who came forward
with an engaging grin.

The poor Missionary gave him a hasty glance through his glasses, and
then, nervously clutching his guide book and umbrella, muttered
something about "an important engagement," and fled in the direction of
the big clock.

"Strange how nervous everybody is in my presence," murmured the Dodo,
conceitedly. "It's doubtless my beauty and brilliant wit which alarms
them; but, come on, let's go out to the lake, and I'll take you for a
row."

[Illustration: "The Dodo was a muff at rowing."]

So, having met with the Palæotherium, they all three got into a boat.

The Dodo was a muff at rowing, though, and kept "catching a crab," which
disaster he accounted for by declaring that the fishes would keep
holding on to his oar when he dipped it into the water; but the
Palæotherium, who was in the bow of the boat, and consequently got all
of the splashes and knocks with the oar, declared that this was all
nonsense, and I am inclined to agree with him.



CHAPTER XX.

A DIFFICULTY WITH THE ROUNDABOUT.


While the Dodo and his friends were enjoying themselves on the lake, the
children and the others were wandering about the grounds, and
continually discovering fresh attractions. What puzzled them not a
little, however, was the fact that there seemed to be no other visitors
about, and even the attendants had disappeared in a most mysterious
manner.

At the roundabout the steam was up, but there was apparently nobody in
charge.

"What a pity," said Dick, "I should have liked very much to have gone
around on the horses, wouldn't you, Marjorie?"

"I should," chimed in Fidge.

"Yes, it would have been rather jolly," said Marjorie. "Don't you think
perhaps the Prehistoric Doctor could manage to set it going? Let's ask
him."

"Well, my dear," said the Doctor, when consulted on the subject, "I
don't know much about machinery, but I'll try, if you like."

"What's that?" inquired the Dodo, just then coming up, he having failed
to get on with the rowing to his own or anybody else's satisfaction.

"Why, we are just discussing the question of setting this roundabout
going," explained the Doctor.

"Pooh! the easiest thing in the world," said the Dodo. "You just get on,
and I'll soon start you off."

"All right," cried the Doctor, getting astride one of the horses.

"Hold on!" cried the Palæotherium; "let us get on, too."

And he and several of the others clambered up to their places.

"I think," whispered Marjorie, nervously, "that we had better wait and
see how they get on, before trying ourselves."

"That's just like a girl," cried Dick--"afraid of everything."

"I'm not," replied Marjorie, indignantly; "I'm quite ready to go on, if
you want to--only I thought----"

"All aboard!" interrupted the Dodo, pulling the lever.

"Stop! Stop!" shouted Dick; "we want to get on."

"Too late!" cried the Dodo. "You shall go on the next journey." And with
a shriek from the steam-whistle the horses began to go around.

"There you are, you see," said the Dodo, complacently regarding the
result of his efforts. "I said it was an easy matter to set them going."

Faster and faster grew the pace, till the Doctor, who at first seemed to
be enjoying his ride immensely, suddenly threw his arms around his
horse's neck, and gasped out, breathlessly--

"Oh! Oh! Stop them! They're running away?"

"Pooh! Nonsense!" cried the Dodo; "don't be a baby."

"Stop them! Stop them! Help! Help!" screamed the other poor creatures,
as the horses whirled around faster and faster.

The Dodo went to the engine and tried to push the lever back again, but,
to his great consternation, he found that he could not do so, and the
only result of pulling another lever which he discovered was to make the
machinery work more rapidly than before.

"Gracious!" cried Marjorie, wringing her hands, "whatever _is_ to be
done?" While even Dick turned a little pale, for the poor creatures were
by this time whirling around so quickly that one could scarcely be
distinguished from the other.

Every now and then the poor Palæotherium might be heard screaming above
the others, who were all calling out in their fright and alarm.

The Dodo left the engine, and came and stared at them.

"H'm!" he ejaculated. "_I_ don't know what's to be done. If they don't
stop soon, I suppose we shall have to shoot them. It's the only thing I
can think of."

"Shoot them!" exclaimed Dick, in a horrified voice.

"Well, what else is to be done, I should like to know? We can't leave
them here whirling around like that forever."

"I should think," suggested Dick, after vainly trying to push the lever
back into its place himself, "that if we raked all the fuel out of the
engine, it would probably stop of its own accord."

"Ah! happy thought," said the Dodo, and with all possible speed they set
to work to carry out Dick's suggestion.

They were delighted to find that after a time their project was
successful, and the machinery gradually ceased to work, and at last
stopped altogether.

The poor creatures looked more dead than alive as with pale faces they
clung limply to the upright supports attached to each of the horses.

The Doctor, weak though he was, was furious.

"Wretched, ungrateful creature!" he cried, getting painfully off his
horse and going up to the Dodo. "This is how you reward me for having
saved your life."

"I couldn't help it," whimpered the Dodo. "I couldn't, really."

[Illustration: "'Not any higher, please,' gasped the Dodo."]

"Bah! I've a great mind never to speak to you again," said the Doctor,
disgustedly.

The other creatures now came up, and began to abuse the Dodo, too.

Fortunately, just in time to prevent a general squabble, the
Eterædarium, who had not been one of the number to patronize the
roundabout, returned with the information that there were some swings a
little way off.

Despite their unfortunate experience on the roundabout, there was a
general rush on the part of the creatures for this new attraction, and
the Dodo and the Eterædarium had hard work to secure a swing for
themselves.

"Shall I give you a push?" asked the Doctor, kindly, though with a
curious gleam in his eye.

"Yes, please," said the Dodo, gratefully.

"All right," said the Doctor. "Hold tight!" And he gave a mighty shove,
sending the swing high above all the others.

"It's very--very nice," gasped the Dodo, "but don't push any higher,
please."

"Hold tight," said the Doctor, relentlessly, giving another shove,
harder than before.

"Oh! please--please d--don't, or we shall be upset," implored the Dodo,
nervously, as the swing shot up into the air.

"I'll teach you to twizzle me on the roundabout," cried the Doctor,
vindictively. "Will you ever do it again?"

[Illustration: "Fidge was delighted."]

"Oh! no, n--no, never!" promised the Dodo.

"Well, one good one for the last, then," cried the Doctor, giving a
final push, and then leaving the poor Dodo to his fate.

I don't think that it could have been a very dreadful one, however, for
a few minutes later he had joined the three children and the
Palæotherium in a journey on the switchback.

Fidge, who had never been on one before, was delighted with the
experience, and shouted, "Hooray! This is jolly!" as the car dashed down
the steep incline.

The poor Palæotherium, however, his nerves evidently greatly unstrung by
his unfortunate experience on the roundabout, was dreadfully upset, and
alarmed, and, hiding his eyes, he crouched at the bottom of the car till
it reached the other end, when he at once got out, and no amount of
persuasion would induce him to undertake the return journey.

He had scarcely got out into the grounds again, when he met the
Archæopteryx, who was carrying a strange-looking object, which he held
up for the Palæotherium's inspection.

"Your tail, I believe," he said.

The Palæotherium gave a hasty glance at his back, and then said, in
rather a shamefaced way--

[Illustration: "Does this belong to you?"]

"Thank you! Yes, it is. You see, I have been obliged to wear a false one
for some time; I had no idea, however, that it had become detached." And
he carefully adjusted it again, tying it on with a couple of tapes, and
artfully concealing the ends.

"Our family," he whispered, "have no tails to speak of, and, as we look
rather remarkable without them, most of us wear artificial ones; but
please don't tell the others, they are sure to make fun of me, if you
do."

"All right," promised the Archæopteryx, kindly; "I won't, if you don't
wish me to; but I----"

"Hist! hist!" interrupted a voice, and the Dodo, with a very scared
face, peeped from behind a tree. "Who _do_ you think is here?" he
gasped.

"Who?" inquired the others, curiously.

"The Little Panjandrum himself," declared the Dodo. "I have just caught
sight of him up by the Palace, and he looks _so_ angry about
something."



CHAPTER XXI.

THE LITTLE PANJANDRUM AT LAST.


"The Little Panjandrum!" exclaimed Marjorie, "I _shall_ be glad to see
him at last. What is he like?"

"Oh! don't bother me about him," cried the Dodo, impatiently; "he's all
right as Panjandrums go, I suppose, but I don't want to get into his
clutches again, I can tell you."

"Don't you, indeed?" remarked a voice, sarcastically. "Well, His
Importance is particularly anxious to see _you_ again, anyhow."

The Dodo gasped, and the children turning around beheld the Little
Panjandrum's Ambassador.

"Hullo! you here, too?" he continued, when he recognized them. "Well, I
must say, you have been long enough bringing this wretched bird along."

"I think you ought to be very grateful to us for having done so at all,"
said Dick, boldly. "What are you going to do with him now you have got
him?"

"H'm! that remains to be seen," said the Ambassador, pursing his lips up
tightly, and staring at the Dodo severely.

[Illustration: "'Come along,' said the Ambassador."]

"Come along," he continued, catching hold of what would have been the
Dodo's ear if he had had one, but which was in reality a sort of woolly
fluff growing all over his head.

"Come along, and see your friend the Little Panjandrum."

"Leave go!" screamed the Dodo, "you hurt."

"Rubbish!" exclaimed the Ambassador, dragging him along, "it doesn't
hurt _me_!"

"Oh! oh! I've dropped one of my gloves," cried the Dodo, pathetically.

"If you take my advice, you'll throw the other one away, too," said the
Ambassador; "it will only make the Little Panjandrum more angry than
ever to see them."

"They make me look so respectable," whispered the Dodo.

"Respectable!" said the Ambassador, contemptuously; "nothing would make
_you_ respectable--you ridiculous object, you."

"I think you are most un--un--ki--ki--kind," sobbed the Dodo, "you are
always pi--pi--pi--pitching into m--me, and ca--ca--calling me
n--n--nasty names. It--it--it's too bad."

"Oh, stop that noise," said the Ambassador, giving the Dodo's wool a
twist; "I'm ashamed of you. Ah, here comes His Importance," he
continued, as the sound of a drum was heard in the distance.

The children all eagerness to see the Little Panjandrum, stood in a
line by the side of the pathway, while the Ambassador, keeping a firm
hold on the Dodo, remained by their side.

The sound of the drum drew nearer, and the children could distinguish
another sound mingling with it.

The Ambassador smiled blandly, while he kept time with his foot.

Presently the children caught sight of a curious procession approaching.
The Little Panjandrum, a little fat man in Oriental costume, was
preceded by two attendants--one playing a kind of drum, and the other a
jew's harp, while a third attendant held an enormous umbrella over His
Importance's head. On the top of the umbrella were a number of curious
signs, of which the children could not possibly imagine the meaning.

"Obbly--bobblee--wallee--bobbel--ob," said the Ambassador, bowing three
times, and dragging the Dodo's head down with him each time.

"Flop!" replied the Little Panjandrum, and the two musicians fell on
their faces.

"Um--sopelee--gumbos--galapaloo--glab," remarked the Ambassador.

"Ploff!" said the Little Panjandrum, and the black slave at the back
jigged the State Umbrella up and down several times very violently.

[Illustration: The Panjandrum and suite passed along.]

"What a funny language," whispered Marjorie. "I wonder what they are
talking about?"

"Semlifee--dobbel--bingle--bingle--boff," cried the Ambassador, lifting
up one leg, while the Dodo painfully followed his example.

The Little Panjandrum gravely kicked the two musicians, who were still
prostrate on the ground before him, and they immediately arose and stood
on one leg each, like the Ambassador. Then His Importance himself
balanced himself in the same way. The black slave at the back, whose
legs were attached to those of the Little Panjandrum, imitated him.

The children were highly interested in this proceeding, when the
Ambassador, without speaking, motioned them to stand on one leg each,
too.

"Come on, let's do it," said Dick, "and see what they are going to do."

So the three children solemnly hopped upon one foot, too.

For a moment or two no one spoke. And at last the Dodo, gasping out,
"Oh! I can't keep it up any longer," fell to the ground, and everybody
else put their leg down again.

"Ough!" said the Ambassador, in a disgusted voice. "Of course, _you_
must needs spoil it all. Most disrespectful behavior to the Little
Panjandrum, I call it."

"I couldn't help it," gasped the Dodo, apologetically.

"Oh, of course not," said the Ambassador. "A bad excuse is better than
none."

"Well, _I_ couldn't have kept it up much longer," declared Marjorie;
"could you, Dick?"

"No," said Dick; "I can't think what we are doing it at all for."

"Court etiquette demands it," said the Ambassador, importantly. "Hush!
His Importance is about to speak."

"Gobloblee! grabluff!" said the Little Panjandrum.

"Go on, Dodo," said the Ambassador. "_Gobloblee, grabluff_, at once when
His Importance tells you."

The Dodo gave a sigh, and went up to the Little Panjandrum's Umbrella
and gave it a twirl. When it stopped, a little finger at the top pointed
to the word "Guilty," which was painted in large letters in one section
of the Umbrella.

"Again," said the Ambassador.

The Dodo, looking very dejected, gave the Umbrella another twirl. This
time it stopped at the words "Hard labor."

The Dodo groaned.

"Once more!" shouted the Ambassador.

For the third time the unlucky bird spun the Umbrella round, and this
time it stopped at "Fine."

"How much, your Importance?" asked the Ambassador of the Little
Panjandrum.

"_Cablofechee!_" was the reply.

"Your gloves are forfeited," declared the Ambassador.

The Dodo gave a despairing glance at the children, and began to remove
his one glove.

"What's he being tried for?" asked Dick, in a whisper.

"Contempt of Panjandrumosity," said the Ambassador. "It's a dreadful
offence. All trials are conducted by means of the State Umbrella; it
saves all the bother of judges and juries, you know. But, look out! the
Little Panjandrum is off again."

"Dumflopety--golopegee--gal--popo--sum--delopotomex," remarked the
Little Panjandrum, as he walked away, escorted by his retinue.

"He says that your 'hard labor' sentence is, to carry the State Umbrella
in future, and that you are to commence your duties in one hour from
now; in the meantime you may consider yourself at liberty till then."

The Ambassador followed after the Little Panjandrum, and the children
gathered around the poor Dodo, full of sympathy for his misfortunes.

[Illustration: "'Go it, Dodo!' cried the Palæotherium."]

"Have they gone?" whispered the Prehistoric Doctor, coming forward from
behind a bush, behind which he had been hiding.

"Yes," said Marjorie. "Isn't it a shame the poor Dodo should always be
getting into hot water?"

"Never mind," said the Doctor; "I've found something that will make him
happy. Look here!"

The Dodo raised himself up from the ground, and gave an inquiring glance
at the Doctor who held out a pair of boxing-gloves.

"Oh! what beauties!" said the Dodo. "How fat they are! Are they for me?"

"Yes, if you would like them," said the Doctor. "I have a pair, too.
Let's try a round together--shall we?"

"All right!" shouted the Dodo, getting up excitedly, and hastily
fastening on the gloves. "Now then--guard!" And he went for the Doctor
furiously. The Doctor squared up, and was soon boxing as skilfully as
the Dodo.

The Palæotherium and the Eterædarium, hearing the noise, came forward
and joined the crowd of creatures, which by this time had collected in a
ring. And amid shouts of "Go it, Dodo!" "Three cheers for the Dodo!"
the first round concluded, the ungainly bird winning a decided victory.
They were just about to begin again, when they heard a succession of
piercing screams from the direction in which the lake was situated.



CHAPTER XXII.

TURNED TO STONE.


"Good gracious! what's that?" inquired the Dodo, as the screams
continued.

"We'd better go and see," said Dick, practically running off in the
direction of the lake, followed by the others.

On passing the clump of trees and evergreens, which obstructed their
view, they discovered the Little Panjandrum, in a great state of
agitation, hiding behind the official Umbrella, his body-attendant lying
prone on the ground in a state of abject fear; while the rest of the
suite, having cast aside their musical instruments, were rushing away,
shouting lustily.

On the opposite side of the path stood a few of the prehistoric
creatures which accompanied the children on their excursion to the
Crystal Palace.

They were looking at the Little Panjandrum with a mild surprise, and
seemed quite at a loss to know what all the hullabaloo was about.

[Illustration: The Little Panjandrum and suite are alarmed.]

"Gulla--hubly--olla--bolee!" shouted the Little Panjandrum, pointing to
the animals with his umbrella.

"Oh, they're all right, your Importance," said the Dodo; "they are
friends of mine."

"Friends, indeed!" exclaimed the Ambassador, coming from where he had
been hiding behind a tree. "Pretty friends! What do you call the
creatures?"

"Oh, there's the Archæopteryx, you know, and the Eterædarium, and the
Palæo----"

"Stop! stop!" interrupted the Ambassador, as each of the animals
mentioned bowed gravely. "I absolutely decline to know creatures with
names like _those_. I'm sure they are not respectable, and I'm not at
all sure, even now, that they are not dangerous; however, I shall know
how to deal with _them_ presently. The penalty for alarming the Little
Panjandrum is a very severe one." And he frowned very sternly at the
creatures, who looked rather uncomfortable, and waddled off in the
direction of the lake, whispering together in a decidedly scared way.

"You didn't tell me you had all these hideous objects with you,"
continued the Ambassador, addressing the Dodo.

"I thought you knew," stammered the unlucky bird; "they are prehistoric,
you know," he added, apologetically.

[Illustrastion: There was some consolation, he was allowed to wear his
gloves.]

"That only makes it worse," declared the Ambassador. "In that case they
ought to be dead, every one of them, ever so long ago. They have no
right to be prowling about at a highly-respectable place like the
Crystal Palace. No wonder there's nobody about; they've frightened them
away, that's what it is. And you're to blame as much as anybody for
bringing them here."

"I didn't!" gasped the Dodo.

"You did," said the Ambassador, emphatically. "You said they were your
friends; so they _must_ have come with you. And I'll tell you what, in
order to prevent you from picking up any more undesirable acquaintances,
you shall just commence your duties as Umbrella Bearer at once," and,
untying the ribbons by which the Little Panjandrum's attendant was
attached to His Importance, the Ambassador, bringing forth a heavy pair
of chains from his capacious pockets, proceeded to chain the Dodo up to
the Little Panjandrum's waistband.

The poor Dodo looked the picture of misery as the Umbrella was put into
his hand.

"M--may I have m--my gloves?" he whimpered.

The Ambassador, after considering a minute, gave his consent, on the
score that it _might_ improve his appearance, and caused the black
attendant to hunt for the missing one, which had been thrown down on
the ground near to the roundabout.

He soon returned with it, and the Dodo, with a delighted chuckle, put
the pair on, and, after smoothing them carefully, regarded his hands
very complacently, and seemed to consider having them some compensation
for the degraded occupation to which he had been put.

"I'll go now and settle the others," declared the Ambassador. "What did
you say their names were?" he inquired, sternly, of the Dodo.

The poor bird called out the names one by one, and the Ambassador
carefully entered them in his pocket-book, and then stalked majestically
away in the direction of the lake, while the Little Panjandrum settled
himself on a gaudily-colored rug, which the black attendant carefully
spread on the ground at his feet, and with a self-satisfied smile on his
little round face gravely twiddled his thumbs and took no notice of
anybody.

"Go and see what he does to them," whispered the Dodo, referring to the
Ambassador and the creatures.

Nothing loth, the children ran off to the lake to see what was
happening. Pushing aside the bushes, they could see the Ambassador
standing on the edge of the path, waving a wand in one hand, while in
the other he flourished a legal-looking document.

[Illustration: "In the name of the Panjandrum, I command you."]

The prehistoric creatures were scrambling through the water, and getting
as far away as possible on to the islands in the middle of the lake.

"All you Palæotheriums, Eterædariums, Archæopteryx, Megatheriums,
Pleisiosauruses, Ichthyosauruses, and other prehistoric wretches, in the
name of the Panjandrum, I command you--_be turned into stone_."

When the Ambassador uttered these terrible words a most singular thing
happened. In whatever attitude the creatures were they remained so; and
gradually each assumed a stony and lifeless expression, and the spell or
incantation which the Ambassador had pronounced had evidently taken
effect.

The children were very much alarmed, and ran back to the Dodo, and in a
hurried whisper informed him of what had occurred.

"Turned all the prehistoric animals into stone, has he?" said the bird,
gleefully; "then I can see a splendid way out of my troubles. Wait till
the Ambassador returns, and you will see some capital fun." And the Dodo
struck a rigid attitude, and remained in that position, totally
disregarding the questions with which the children plied him.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE DODO'S LITTLE RUSE.


The State Umbrella, which the Dodo had been carrying, fell to the ground
with a crash, and so startled the Little Panjandrum that he jumped to
his feet and nervously tried to run away. The chains, however, by which
the Dodo was attached to his girdle, prevented him from doing so.

The bird, with his beak in the air, and his gloves extended in a most
grotesque attitude, was immovable and rigid as stone. Not a muscle
moved, and the Little Panjandrum, after staring at him a moment, called
out, angrily--

"Olla--balloo--calle--gablob?"

There was not the slightest movement on the part of the bird, and just
then the Ambassador returned.

"Hullo! What's the trouble?" he cried, staring at the Dodo.

"Gablobbee--balloo--olla--wobble!" said the Little Panjandrum,
excitedly.

"What!" exclaimed the Ambassador, "something gone wrong with the Dodo?
Here, what's the matter with you?" he continued, giving the bird a
shake.

The Dodo didn't budge an inch, but continued in the same position, his
eyes fixed in a stony stare.

"I can't think what's wrong with him," declared the Ambassador, with a
puzzled expression on his face.

"Perhaps he's turned into stone, like the others," suggested Dick,
mischievously.

"Ah!" said the Ambassador, clapping his hand to his forehead in a
dramatic manner; "_that's_ what it is, depend upon it. Good gracious!
_how_ unfortunate. Let's see, what did I say when pronouncing the
spell?"

"Why, after mentioning most of the creatures' names, you said, 'and all
other prehistoric wretches.' I remember quite well," said Marjorie,
"because I thought at the time it was rather rude of you to call them
wretches."

"H'm! Then _he_ must have been a prehistoric wretch," said the
Ambassador, absently. "Dear me! I always knew he was extinct, but I had
no idea he was antediluvian as well. That accounts for a lot of things.
No wonder he was eccentric." And he gazed at the Dodo quite sorrowfully.

"Well, well," he resumed, "it can't be helped now. We must make the best
of a bad matter; all the talking in the world won't restore him to life
again." And he turned to the Little Panjandrum and entered into a lengthy
conversation with him in their native language, which the children could
not understand in the least.

[Illustration: The Dodo was rigid, motionless.]

The Little Panjandrum seemed greatly distressed at the disaster which
had befallen the Dodo, and, it appeared, insisted upon a monument being
erected to his memory. Thereupon the Ambassador, by a brilliant
inspiration, thought of the novel plan of making the bird act as his own
statue.

"As he is turned into stone," said he, "we have only to find a pedestal
to put him on, and there we are."

A little way off, a stone Cupid, rather the worse for wear, stood beside
the pathway, and this, the Ambassador decided, should be removed to make
way for the Dodo.

The united efforts of the Little Panjandrum's suite (who had by this
time returned, having been assured that the creatures which had so
alarmed them had been rendered harmless) soon succeeded in overthrowing
Cupid from his pedestal, and after a great deal of pulling, pushing, and
straining, the Dodo, still posing in his grotesque attitude, was stuck
up in his place.

"There must be an inscription," said the Ambassador, and, rummaging
about in his pockets, he brought forth a piece of black crayon. "THE
DODO, NOW FORTUNATELY EXTINCT," he wrote in large letters, and then
stood back to admire the effect.

[Illustrastion: The Dodo's Monument.]

The Little Panjandrum beamed approval, and calling together his suite,
the Black Attendant once more raised the State Umbrella over His
Importance's head, and the tom-tom and Jew's harp began their strange
music, while the Ambassador took a hurried leave of the children, and
the cortège passed out of sight. Fainter and fainter grew the sound of
the instruments, and the children, somewhat alarmed at being left all
alone, were half undecided whether to follow or not, when their
attention was called to a smothered giggling at the back of them.

Turning around, they beheld the Dodo holding his hands to his sides, and
shaking with suppressed laughter.

"Ho! ho! ho!" he laughed, dancing about on the pedestal, "haven't I
tricked them beautifully? _Turned to stone! The Dodo, now fortunately
extinct!_ Ha! ha! ha! he! he! _what_ a lark! They'll find I'm not so
extinct as they think." And, jumping down, he made a grimace in the
direction in which the Little Panjandrum and suite had vanished.

"I think I've got the best of them _this_ time," he continued,
triumphantly.

"But come, let's get out of this as soon as possible. You want to get to
London, don't you? Let's start at once, if not sooner."

"But, I say, what are we going to do for money?" said Dick. "One can't
get to London without that, you know."

"Oh, we'll find a way somehow," said the Dodo, hopefully. "Come along."

So the children all trudged back to the Palace again. Fidge, who was
very glad to see his old friend the Dodo restored to life again,
wouldn't leave his side, but trotted along with him, chatting merrily.

"Ah!" said the Dodo, as they went up the steps leading into the great
hall, "there's my old friend the Missionary; perhaps he will be able to
help us out of our difficulty." And going up to the gentleman, he gave
him a playful pat on the shoulder, and exclaimed, pleasantly--

"Here we are again, you see!"

The Missionary started nervously, and peered at the Dodo through his
glasses.

"Oh--er--how do you do?" he cried, hurriedly, giving a rather startled
glance all round him. "Are your other friends with you?"

[Illustration:"'You're very good,' said the Dodo."]

"Oh, you mean the Eterædarium, and the Palæotherium. No--they--er,
they've met with a rather nasty accident. They've been turned into
stone."

"Bless me!" exclaimed the Missionary, looking greatly concerned. "You
don't say so! What an extraordinary thing to happen. I had no idea that
there were any petrifying waters hereabouts."

"Well, they're turned to stone, anyhow," said the Dodo, "down by the
lake there. It's rather awkward for us, you see, because we can't stop
here forever by ourselves, and we haven't any money to get home with."

"My dear Sir," said the Missionary, generously taking out his purse,
"can I be of any assistance to you?"

"It's very kind of you," said the Dodo.

"Not at all," cried the Missionary, heartily, pressing some money into
the Dodo's glove, which, of course, immediately fell off and
disconcerted the Missionary very much, while the Dodo scrambled about
and picked up the scattered coins.

The children thought it very kind of the Missionary to lend them the
money, and Dick and Marjorie went up to him and thanked him very
politely; and then, having done this, the whole party hurried off to the
train.



CHAPTER XXIV.

FIRST CLASS TO LONDON.


The railway station at the Crystal Palace was soon reached, and the Dodo
went boldly up to the booking-office and demanded some tickets for
London.

The Ticket-clerk, who could only see the top of the Dodo's head, very
naturally mistook him for an old gentleman without his hat, and
inquired, politely, "What class, Sir?"

This was a puzzler, and the Dodo went back to Dick and told him that the
gentleman in the office wanted to know what class they were in.

"What does he mean?" asked Dick.

"What class you're in at school, I suppose," said the Dodo, doubtfully.

"Why, I'm in the fourth form," said Dick; "but I don't see what he wants
to know _that_ for, unless--Oh yes, of course, I see--he wants to find
out how old we are, because up to twelve years of age you can travel
half-price, you know. Let's see--we only want halves, Marjorie and
Fidge and myself; you'll have to get a whole ticket, I suppose, though I
have seen a notice at a railway station somewhere, on which it stated,
'Soldiers and Dogs half-price.' Perhaps it applies to birds, too. You
had better ask, I think."

So the Dodo went back to the booking-office again and inquired, "Do
birds travel half-price?"

"Birds!" exclaimed the Booking-clerk. "Nonsense! There is no charge for
birds, unless you have a quantity," he added, as an afterthought. "How
many have you?"

"Oh, there's only one," said the Dodo.

"Take it in the carriage with you, no charge," said the Clerk.

"Thanks! It's awfully kind of you," said the Dodo. "I'll take three
half-tickets for London, then, please."

"First class?" inquired the Clerk.

"No! Fourth form, please," said the Dodo.

"You mean fourth _class_, I suppose," said the Clerk, laughing; "but
there _is_ no fourth class, you know. First, second, or third."

"Oh! then I'll have third; I suppose that's the best?" cried the Dodo.

[Illustration: "You can't take that into the carriage with you."]

"No," explained the Clerk, "first class is best."

"What a funny arrangement," said the Dodo. "I should have thought the
third would have been an improvement on the first; but, however, let's
have the first-class tickets, please. When does the train start?"

"There's one due in directly," said the Clerk. "Down the steps on the
right."

And the Dodo, collecting his change, and grasping his tickets, marched
off towards the barrier.

The Clerk, whose curiosity was aroused by the strange questions which
had been addressed to him, came to the window to have a better view of
his interrogator, and was just in time to catch sight of the Dodo
walking off with the three children.

"Well, I never!" he exclaimed, perfectly astounded at this strange
sight. "And he asked if birds traveled at half-price, too! Well, I've
had some odd customers here at the Crystal Palace, but never a one like
that before." And he went back to his work in a highly-bewildered frame
of mind.

Meanwhile the Dodo and the children, finding no one at the barrier to
obstruct them, went down to the platform, and a moment later the train
came dashing into the station.

"First class in the middle of the train," shouted Dick, grasping Fidge's
hand, and hurrying down the platform.

"Here! where are you going to with that bird?" shouted a voice behind
them, and Dick and the Dodo turned around and walked slowly back to
where the Guard, an elderly and very important-looking man, stood
regarding them sternly.

"Oh, it's all right; the gentleman up-stairs said there was no charge
for birds," explained the Dodo, importantly, thinking that the man was
inquiring about his ticket.

"H'm! sort of a big parrot, I suppose, Sir?" said the Guard, addressing
Dick, and not taking the slightest notice of the Dodo's remark.

"Parrot, indeed!" shouted the bird, indignantly. "Perhaps you haven't
noticed my gloves and necktie?"

The Guard smiled indulgently. "Talks well, Sir," he said to Dick, "but
you can't take _that_ into the carriage with you, you know. Better put
him in the van."

[Illustration: All crowded around, anxious to catch a glimpse.]

"How dare you?" said the Dodo. "You'll do nothing of the sort, I can
tell you." And despite the protests of the Guard he strutted up the
platform and entered a first-class carriage, followed by the children.

There was no further time for argument, as the train was even now late
in starting; so the Guard blew his whistle and waved his flag, and,
after an answering toot from the engine, they were off.

They had the carriage all to themselves, and a moment or two after
starting Marjorie discovered that somebody had left a little illustrated
Magazine on one of the seats.

They all crowded round to look at the pictures, and presently the Dodo
exclaimed, excitedly--

"Hullo! Look here! Why, here's a situation that would just suit
me:--'Typewriter wanted; must be quick and accurate, and of undoubted
respectability. Hours, nine till six. Liberal salary to suitable
person.--Apply to A. B. C., Suffolk House, Norfolk Street, Strand.' It's
the very thing! With the liberal salary, I shall be able to take a house
somewhere in London, and we can all live together, and have the jolliest
larks. We'll keep a horse and trap, you know, and I'll buy you each a
bicycle, and we'll go to the Pantomime every evening, and to Madame
Tussaud's, and the Zoo, and the Tower of London, and Masklyne and
Cook's, and other things every day--and--and----" he went on
breathlessly.

"But do you know how to do typewriting?" asked Dick, dubiously.

"Well--er, not exactly," admitted the Dodo; "but," he added, hopefully,
"I can soon learn, you know; and, besides, the advertisement fits me
exactly. I'm sure I'm quick and accurate; and as for my respectability,
look at my gloves! I'm sure any one would engage me directly they saw
what a superior person I was."

"How much do you think the salary will be?" asked Marjorie.

"Oh, I don't know. I suppose they'll be glad to pay me anything I like
to ask," replied the Dodo, "and I shall be sure to ask enough, you may
be certain of that."

"But how are we to get to Norfolk Street, Strand?" persisted Marjorie.
"We don't know where it is."

"Father said, that if we were ever lost, we were to jump into a cab, and
ask to be driven to wherever we wanted to go," suggested Dick,
practically.

[Illustration: "Kept the cabby highly amused."]

"Of course," said the Dodo, "just what I intended doing." And then he
rattled on about what he should do, and buy, when he got the situation,
till at last the train stopped, and the Porter shouted out, "Victoria!"

They all hurried out, and, disregarding the curious glances which their
unusual appearance excited, made their way to the nearest hansom, and
asked to be driven to Norfolk Street.

There was some little difficulty at first, as to how they should all
find room in the cab, but it was finally decided that the Dodo should
sit on the top, while the three children managed to find room inside.

The Dodo, from his elevated position, had a capital view of everything
of interest which they passed, and kept the cabby highly amused by his
exceedingly naïve remarks about them all; while, to every exclamation of
surprise or derision, which met them on every side from astounded street
boys, the remarkable bird had something droll and amusing to say in
reply. In fact, the driver declares to this day, that he never before or
since has had so extraordinary a fare.



CHAPTER XXV.

THE DODO OBLIGES WITH A SONG.


"Hold hard! Stop! Here we are!" cried the Dodo, soon after they had
reached Charing Cross. "There's A. B. C."

"We haven't got to Norfolk Street yet," said the cabby.

"Never mind, there's A. B. C., and that's who I want," declared the
Dodo, scrambling down from the roof. "You stay in the cab till I come
back," he called out to the children, smoothing his gloves and settling
his tie as he walked towards the door.

The children watched him enter, and through the glass door of the
shop--for it was a shop into which he had gone--saw him engaged in a
lengthy conversation with a young lady, who at first seemed afraid of
him; but, some more ladies coming up, they closed around the bird, and
seemed to be highly amused at something, while the Dodo grew more and
more excited, waving his pinions about, and stamping his claws
furiously, and finally rushing out of the shop and slamming the door too
violently.

"I never heard of such impertinence," he declared, puffing and blowing
in his excitement, "putting up A. B. C., when they are nothing of the
sort. They wanted to tell me that they have a right to use those
letters, because they are the Aerated Bread Company. What rubbish! They
might as well stick up X. Y. Z. Who's to know what's meant? Aerated
Bread Company, indeed! It might as well have stood for Antediluvian
Bottlewashing Company. Bah! I've no patience with such nonsense." And in
a highly-ruffled state of mind he scrambled back to his place on the
roof, and told the cabby to drive on to Norfolk Street.

After a few minutes' ride they stopped outside a handsome building, and
the Dodo once more alighted, and went up the steps to where a man in
brown livery, with gilt buttons, stood by the lift.

"Are you A. B. C.?" demanded the Dodo, posing in what he evidently took
to be a dignified attitude.

"N--no--second floor!" gasped the astonished attendant.

"Dear me, what a bother," said the Dodo. "Just go and tell him I'm here,
will you?" he said; "I've come about the situation, you know."

"Oh!" said the man, "you'd better go up; there are several applicants
already."

"Bless me!" cried the Dodo, in alarm. "I'd better hurry then."

"Will you go up in the lift--er--Sir?" asked the attendant.

"What's that?" demanded the Dodo.

"Oh, get in, and you'll see," said the man, unceremoniously, pushing the
bird into the lift, and getting in after him.

He pulled the rope, and up they went, the Dodo sinking to the ground
with a ridiculous sprawl as the lift ascended.

"Oh! Oh! Stop!" he screamed, shrilly.

But the lift went till the second floor was reached, when the attendant
opened the door, and bundled the bird out into the passage.

"Second door on the left," he called out, and, pulling the string, was
soon out of sight again.

"Good gracious!" gasped the bewildered Dodo, "I was never so bustled
about before in all my life. But now for this A. B. C., whoever he is. I
mustn't lose the situation if I can help it."

The second door on the left was soon found, and the Dodo knocked with
his beak.

A small youth appeared, who at first seemed rather alarmed, but
presently exploded into a half-stifled laugh. "My hat!" he exclaimed.
"Here's a go! Why, blessed if it ain't a bird with gloves on--and a
tie--oh! what a lark!"

"No," said the Dodo, with dignity, "not a lark--your education must have
been sadly neglected, my good boy--I'm a Dodo, or _the_ Dodo, in fact."

"Well, I never!" said the boy, "if it isn't talking!"

"Of course. Why not?" demanded the Dodo.

"Oh! oh! this is too good! What may your business be, Mr.--er--Dodo?"

"I've come about the situation," said the bird, smoothing his gloves
consequentially.

The boy exploded into a fit of laughter. "Oh, come in!" he cried. "This
is better than a circus--come in--I'll tell the Governor you're here."
And the Dodo was ushered into a room where two or three gentlemen were
sitting at high desks.

"Who is it, Perkins?" said one of the gentlemen.

"Some one about the situation, Sir," said Perkins, stuffing his
handkerchief into his mouth to prevent himself laughing aloud.

The gentlemen all turned around and stared at the Dodo.

"Why, it's a bird!" cried one.

"Of course it is; what else did you expect I was?" said the Dodo. "Are
you A. B. C.?"

"No--no," stammered the man. "I'm the Head Clerk, though, and--I----"

"I've no time to waste with Head Clerks," said the Dodo. "Just go and
tell A. B. C. I'm here, will you?"

"But er----"

At this moment an inner door opened, and another gentleman stepped into
the room.

"Whatever is all this noise----" he began, when he caught sight of the
Dodo.

[Illustration: "Do--o--o not--a--for--r--r--get m--e--e--e"]

"Are you A. B. C.?" said the bird, pouncing upon him at once.

"Well--really," said the gentleman, "I----"

"Don't beat about the bush. Are you A. B. C., or are you not?" demanded
the Dodo.

"Yes, I am, but----"

"Very well, then, I've come to take the situation, and I'll just draw my
first week's salary at once, if you please."

"But," said the gentleman, with an amused smile, "I must see some of
your work first. Perkins, bring the typewriter!"

The boy brought the instrument, and placed it on a small table.

"Now, then," said the gentleman, motioning the Dodo towards it.

"Oh! it's so long since I played," said the Dodo, smirking bashfully, "I
think I have almost forgotten my notes; however, I'll try." And,
throwing his head back, he shrieked out in a discordant voice--

"_Do--o--o not--a--for--r--r--get m--e--e--e_!" banging on the keys at
the same time with both pinions.

"Here! Stop! Stop!" called out the gentleman; "you'll break it! _That's_
not the way to do typewriting."

"No?" said the Dodo, innocently. "I thought it was a kind of piano. I
was singing to you, you know."

"Oh! were you?" remarked the gentleman. "Well, don't do it again,
please. I can see you won't do for us as typewriter," he added; "but
perhaps I can get you a good situation at the Zoological Gardens. What
do you say to that, eh?"

The Dodo, who during the first part of the speech looked very
crestfallen, brightened up considerably.

"Yes, I should think that would do," he said; "I'll just go and ask the
others."

"What others?" demanded the gentleman.

And the Dodo explained about Marjorie, and Dick, and Fidge, who had been
waiting in the cab all this time.

The children were at once sent for, and the whole party were shown into
the private room, where Marjorie and Dick related their marvelous
adventures, as well as the continual interruptions of the Dodo would
permit them to do.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THE DODO DEPARTS.


"It seems to me," said the gentleman, kindly, when the children had
finished the story of their adventure, and had given him their names and
addresses, "it seems to me that the first thing to be done is to get
some suitable clothes for you."

"Oh! we never thought of that," cried Marjorie, looking down at her bare
feet in dismay. "You see, there have been such a lot of strange things
happening lately that we quite forgot how we all looked. Of course," she
laughed, glancing at the others, "we must appear very funny indeed,
dressed in this fashion."

"Ah! I fancy we can soon put that right," was the kind reply. "I have
some boys and girls of my own, you know, and I think, if I send a note
to my wife, she will be able to find some garments that you can wear for
the time being. And the next thing is, to let your father and mother
know that you are here. I expect they must be very anxious about you by
this time."

[Illustration: "'Oh, Papa! Papa!' cried Marjorie."]

"Dear me!" exclaimed Dick, looking greatly troubled, "that's another
thing we never thought of, Marjorie."

"I want to see my Daddy!" announced Fidge, suddenly and decidedly.

But on being assured that he should soon do so he sat down with the
others, and looked through the picture books which Perkins found for
them, while the gentleman sent home for the clothes, and telegraphed to
their father.

In the middle of the day some luncheon was brought in for them from a
neighboring restaurant, and soon afterwards the clothes arrived.

An Eton suit for Dick, the jacket of which was just a trifle short; a
pretty, simple dress for Marjorie; and a sailor suit for Fidge.

When the children had donned these, after having had a good wash, they
looked as different as possible; and when, a little later on, they were
led into another room with the mysterious statement, "That somebody
wanted to see them," they were all eagerness to know who it possibly
could be.

As soon as the door opened, however, there could be no doubt as to who
it was, for with a delighted cry of "Oh, Papa! Papa!" Marjorie rushed
into the arms of a gentleman standing in the middle of the room, and
seemed half undecided whether to cry or to laugh, while Fidge and Dick
crowded around and joined in the excitement.

[Illustration: The Dodo was moved to tears.]

The Dodo, who had come into the room at that moment, thought that he,
too, ought to have a share in the welcoming, and, in grotesque imitation
of Marjorie, he tried to jump up into the gentleman's arms, crying
excitedly, "Oh, Papa! Papa!" just as she had done.

"Good gracious!" exclaimed the children's father, drawing back in
dismay, and gazing at the clumsy bird. "What on earth is this?"

And then, when they tried to explain--all speaking at once--they made
such a confusion that he was glad to put his hands to his ears, and to
cry out that they must reserve the story till they reached home. And
after thanking the gentleman for all his kindness, the children and
their father said good-by, and went down to the carriage which was
waiting at the door to drive them away.

It had been decided, despite the children's pleading, that the Dodo had
better _not_ go home with them; and so, with many promises to write and
invite him soon, they took an affectionate farewell of their old friend;
and the last view they had of him, as he stood at the window, meekly
flourishing a limp glove, showed that he was moved to tears at having to
part from them. What happened to him after the children had gone I have
never been able quite to find out.

It _is_ said that, later on in the day, a curious-looking bird was seen
by the people in the Strand, clumsily flying away over the tops of the
houses, clutching a roll of papers in one claw. And from away down in
the country comes a weird story of two countrymen, walking across a
field, being--to use their own description--"flabbergasted!" at seeing a
great bird flying over their heads, screaming out a lot of aggravating
personal remarks as he passed, and finally dropping, from the end of one
of his pinions, a soiled white kid glove, the loss of which seemed to
cause him great uneasiness; but whether--as I shrewdly suspect--this was
the Dodo, or not, I have never actually discovered.

The people at Suffolk House, including Perkins, maintain a most
mysterious silence on the subject, and will afford me no information
whatever; and the only consolation which I can find, in my endeavors to
ascertain whether these things really happened or not, is the fact
that, on the island of the lake at the Crystal Palace, _all the curious
animals which the Ambassador is said to have turned into stone, are
really there_--you may see them for yourself--and I hope, when next you
go to Sydenham, you will hunt them up. And if so, you will notice--what
struck me as being a very conclusive proof of the truth of the
narrative--that the Palæotherium's tail really looks as if it were
broken off, about four or five inches from the end; and decidedly as
though he _might_ have worn a false one while he was alive.


THE END.



      *      *      *      *      *      *



A. L. Burt's Catalogue of Books for Young People by Popular Writers,
52-58 Duane Street, New York

BOOKS FOR BOYS.

Joe's Luck: A Boy's Adventures in California. By Horatio Alger, Jr.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  The story is chock full of stirring incidents, while the amusing
  situations are furnished by Joshua Bickford, from Pumpkin Hollow, and
  the fellow who modestly styles himself the "Rip-tail Roarer, from Pike
  Co., Missouri." Mr. Alger never writes a poor book, and "Joe's Luck"
  is certainly one of his best.

Tom the Bootblack; or, The Road to Success. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo,
cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  A bright, enterprising lad was Tom the Bootblack. He was not at all
  ashamed of his humble calling, though always on the lookout to better
  himself. The lad started for Cincinnati to look up his heritage. Mr.
  Grey, the uncle, did not hesitate to employ a ruffian to kill the lad.
  The plan failed, and Gilbert Grey, once Tom the Bootblack, came into a
  comfortable fortune. This is one of Mr. Alger's best stories.

Dan the Newsboy. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price
$1.00.

  Dan Mordaunt and his mother live in a poor tenement, and the lad is
  pluckily trying to make ends meet by selling papers in the streets of
  New York. A little heiress of six years is confided to the care of the
  Mordaunts. The child is kidnapped and Dan tracks the child to the
  house where she is hidden, and rescues her. The wealthy aunt of the
  little heiress is so delighted with Dan's courage and many good
  qualities that she adopts him as her heir.

Tony the Hero: A Brave Boy's Adventure with a Tramp. By Horatio Alger,
Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Tony, a sturdy bright-eyed boy of fourteen, is under the control of
  Rudolph Rugg, a thorough rascal. After much abuse Tony runs away and
  gets a job as stable boy in a country hotel. Tony is heir to a large
  estate. Rudolph for a consideration hunts up Tony and throws him down
  a deep well. Of course Tony escapes from the fate provided for him,
  and by a brave act, a rich friend secures his rights and Tony is
  prosperous. A very entertaining book.

The Errand Boy; or, How Phil Brent Won Success. By Horatio Alger, Jr.
12mo, cloth illustrated, price $1.00.

  The career of "The Errand Boy" embraces the city adventures of a smart
  country lad. Philip was brought up by a kind-hearted innkeeper named
  Brent. The death of Mrs. Brent paved the way for the hero's subsequent
  troubles. A retired merchant in New York secures him the situation of
  errand boy, and thereafter stands as his friend.

Tom Temple's Career. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated,
price $1.00.

  Tom Temple is a bright, self-reliant lad. He leaves Plympton village
  to seek work in New York, whence he undertakes an important mission to
  California. Some of his adventures in the far west are so startling
  that the reader will scarcely close the book until the last page shall
  have been reached. The tale is written in Mr. Alger's most fascinating
  style.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

BOOKS FOR BOYS.

Frank Fowler, the Cash Boy. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

  Frank Fowler, a poor boy, bravely determines to make a living for
  himself and his foster-sister Grace. Going to New York he obtains a
  situation as cash boy in a dry goods store. He renders a service to a
  wealthy old gentleman who takes a fancy to the lad, and thereafter
  helps the lad to gain success and fortune.

Tom Thatcher's Fortune. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated,
price $1.00.

  Tom Thatcher is a brave, ambitious, unselfish boy. He supports his
  mother and sister on meagre wages earned as a shoe-pegger in John
  Simpson's factory. Tom is discharged from the factory and starts
  overland for California. He meets with many adventures. The story is
  told in a way which has made Mr. Alger's name a household word in so
  many homes.

The Train Boy. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price
$1.00.

  Paul Palmer was a wide-awake boy of sixteen who supported his mother
  and sister by selling books and papers on the Chicago and Milwaukee
  Railroad. He detects a young man in the act of picking the pocket of a
  young lady. In a railway accident many passengers are killed, but Paul
  is fortunate enough to assist a Chicago merchant, who out of gratitude
  takes him into his employ. Paul succeeds with tact and judgment and is
  well started on the road to business prominence.

Mark Mason's Victory. The Trials and Triumphs of a Telegraph Boy. By
Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Mark Mason, the telegraph boy, was a sturdy, honest lad, who pluckily
  won his way to success by his honest manly efforts under many
  difficulties. This story will please the very large class of boys who
  regard Mr. Alger as a favorite author.

A Debt of Honor. The Story of Gerald Lane's Success in the Far West. By
Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  The story of Gerald Lane and the account of the many trials and
  disappointments which he passed through before he attained success,
  will interest all boys who have read the previous stories of this
  delightful author.

Ben Bruce. Scenes in the Life of a Bowery Newsboy. By Horatio Alger, Jr.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Ben Bruce was a brave, manly, generous boy. The story of his efforts,
  and many seeming failures and disappointments, and his final success,
  are most interesting to all readers. The tale is written in Mr.
  Alger's most fascinating style.

The Castaways; or, On the Florida Reefs. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

  This tale smacks of the salt sea. From the moment that the Sea Queen
  leaves lower New York bay till the breeze leaves her becalmed off the
  coast of Florida, one can almost hear the whistle of the wind through
  her rigging, the creak of her straining cordage as she heels to the
  leeward. The adventures of Ben Clark, the hero of the story and Jake
  the cook, cannot fail to charm the reader. As a writer for young
  people Mr. Otis is a prime favorite.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

BOOKS FOR BOYS.

Wrecked on Spider Island; or, How Ned Rogers Found the Treasure. By
James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Ned Rogers, a "down-east" plucky lad ships as cabin boy to earn a
  livelihood. Ned is marooned on Spider Island, and while there
  discovers a wreck submerged in the sand, and finds a considerable
  amount of treasure. The capture of the treasure and the incidents of
  the voyage serve to make as entertaining a story of sea-life as the
  most captious boy could desire.

The Search for the Silver City: A Tale of Adventure in Yucatan. By James
Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Two lads, Teddy Wright and Neal Emery, embark on the steam yacht Day
  Dream for a cruise to the tropics. The yacht is destroyed by fire, and
  then the boat is cast upon the coast of Yucatan. They hear of the
  wonderful Silver City, of the Chan Santa Cruz Indians, and with the
  help of a faithful Indian ally carry off a number of the golden images
  from the temples. Pursued with relentless vigor at last their escape
  is effected in an astonishing manner. The story is so full of exciting
  incidents that the reader is quite carried away with the novelty and
  realism of the narrative.

A Runaway Brig; or, An Accidental Cruise. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

  This is a sea tale, and the reader can look out upon the wide
  shimmering sea as it flashes back the sunlight, and imagine himself
  afloat with Harry Vandyne, Walter Morse, Jim Libby and that old shell-
  back, Bob Brace, on the brig Bonita. The boys discover a mysterious
  document which enables them to find a buried treasure. They are
  stranded on an island and at last are rescued with the treasure. The
  boys are sure to be fascinated with this entertaining story.

The Treasure Finders: A Boy's Adventures in Nicaragua. By James Otis.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Roy and Dean Coloney, with their guide Tongla, leave their father's
  indigo plantation to visit the wonderful ruins of an ancient city. The
  boys eagerly explore the temples of an extinct race and discover three
  golden images cunningly hidden away. They escape with the greatest
  difficulty. Eventually they reach safety with their golden prizes. We
  doubt if there ever was written a more entertaining story than "The
  Treasure Finders."

Jack, the Hunchback. A Story of the Coast of Maine. By James Otis. Price
$1.00.

  This is the story of a little hunchback who lived on Cape Elizabeth,
  on the coast of Maine. His trials and successes are most interesting.
  From first to last nothing stays the interest of the narrative. It
  bears us along as on a stream whose current varies in direction, but
  never loses its force.

With Washington at Monmouth: A Story of Three Philadelphia Boys. By
James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price
$1.50.

  Three Philadelphia lads assist the American spies and make regular and
  frequent visits to Valley Forge in the Winter while the British
  occupied the city. The story abounds with pictures of Colonial life
  skillfully drawn, and the glimpses of Washington's soldiers which are
  given shown that the work has not been hastily done, or without
  considerable study. The story is wholesome and patriotic in tone, as
  are all of Mr. Otis' works.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

BOOKS FOR BOYS.

With Lafayette at Yorktown: A Story of How Two Boys Joined the
Continental Army. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges,
illustrated, price $1.50.

  Two lads from Portsmouth, N. H., attempt to enlist in the Colonial
  Army, and are given employment as spies. There is no lack of exciting
  incidents which the youthful reader craves, but it is healthful
  excitement brimming with facts which every boy should be familiar
  with, and while the reader is following the adventures of Ben Jaffrays
  and Ned Allen he is acquiring a fund of historical lore which will
  remain in his memory long after that which he has memorized from
  textbooks has been forgotten.

At the Siege of Havana. Being the Experiences of Three Boys Serving
under Israel Putnam in 1762. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth,
olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

  "At the Siege of Havana" deals with that portion of the island's
  history when the English king captured the capital, thanks to the
  assistance given by the troops from New England, led in part by Col.
  Israel Putnam.

  The principal characters are Darius Lunt, the lad who, represented as
  telling the story, and his comrades, Robert Clement and Nicholas
  Vallet. Colonel Putnam also figures to considerable extent,
  necessarily, in the tale, and the whole forms one of the most readable
  stories founded on historical facts.

The Defense of Fort Henry. A Story of Wheeling Creek in 1777. By James
Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

  Nowhere in the history of our country can be found more heroic or
  thrilling incidents than in the story of those brave men and women who
  founded the settlement of Wheeling in the Colony of Virginia. The
  recital of what Elizabeth Zane did is in itself as heroic a story as
  can be imagined. The wondrous bravery displayed by Major McCulloch and
  his gallant comrades, the sufferings of the colonists and their
  sacrifice of blood and life, stir the blood of old as well as young
  readers.

The Capture of the Laughing Mary. A Story of Three New York Boys in
1776. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, price $1.50.

  "During the British occupancy of New York, at the outbreak of the
  Revolution, a Yankee lad hears of the plot to take General
  Washington's person, and calls in two companions to assist the patriot
  cause. They do some astonishing things, and, incidentally, lay the way
  for an American navy later, by the exploit which gives its name to the
  work. Mr. Otis' books are too well known to require any particular
  commendation to the young."--Evening Post.

With Warren at Bunker Hill. A Story of the Siege of Boston. By James
Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

  "This is a tale of the siege of Boston, which opens on the day after
  the doings at Lexington and Concord, with a description of home life
  in Boston, introduces the reader to the British camp at Charlestown,
  shows Gen. Warren at home, describes what a boy thought of the battle
  of Bunker Hill, and closes with the raising of the siege. The three
  heroes, George Wentworth, Ben Scarlett and an old ropemaker, incur the
  enmity of a young Tory, who causes them many adventures the boys will
  like to read."--Detroit Free Press.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

BOOKS FOR BOYS.

With the Swamp Fox. The Story of General Marion's Spies. By James Otis.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  This story deals with General Francis Marion's heroic struggle in the
  Carolinas. General Marion's arrival to take command of these brave men
  and rough riders is pictured as a boy might have seen it, and although
  the story is devoted to what the lads did, the Swamp Fox is ever
  present in the mind of the reader.

On the Kentucky Frontier. A Story of the Fighting Pioneers of the West.
By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

  In the history of our country there is no more thrilling story than
  that of the work done on the Mississippi river by a handful of
  frontiersmen. Mr. Otis takes the reader on that famous expedition from
  the arrival of Major Clarke's force at Corn Island, until Kaskaskia
  was captured. He relates that part of Simon Kenton's life history
  which is not usually touched upon either by the historian or the story
  teller. This is one of the most entertaining books for young people
  which has been published.

Sarah Dillard's Ride. A Story of South Carolina in 1780. By James
Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  "This book deals with the Carolinas in 1780, giving a wealth of detail
  of the Mountain Men who struggled so valiantly against the king's
  troops. Major Ferguson is the prominent British officer of the story,
  which is told as though coming from a youth who experienced these
  adventures. In this way the famous ride of Sarah Dillard is brought
  out as an incident of the plot."--Boston Journal.

A Tory Plot. A Story of the Attempt to Kill General Washington. By James
Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  "'A Tory Plot' is the story of two lads who overhear something of the
  plot originated during the Revolution by Gov. Tryon to capture or
  murder Washington. They communicate their knowledge to Gen. Putnam and
  are commissioned by him to play the role of detectives in the matter.
  They do so, and meet with many adventures and hairbreadth escapes. The
  boys are, of course, mythical, but they serve to enable the author to
  put into very attractive shape much valuable knowledge concerning one
  phase of the Revolution."--Pittsburgh Times.

A Traitor's Escape. A Story of the Attempt to Seize Benedict Arnold. By
James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  "This is a tale with stirring scenes depicted in each chapter,
  bringing clearly before the mind the glorious deeds of the early
  settlers in this country. In an historical work dealing with this
  country's past, no plot can hold the attention closer than this one,
  which describes the attempt and partial success of Benedict Arnold's
  escape to New York, where he remained as the guest of Sir Henry
  Clinton. All those who actually figured in the arrest of the traitor,
  as well as Gen. Washington, are included as characters."--Albany
  Union.

A Cruise with Paul Jones. A Story of Naval Warfare in 1776. By James
Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  "This story takes up that portion of Paul Jones' adventurous life when
  he was hovering off the British coast, watching for an opportunity to
  strike the enemy a blow. It deals more particularly with his descent
  upon Whitehaven, the seizure of Lady Selkirk's plate, and the famous
  battle with the Drake. The boy who figures in the tale is one who was
  taken from a derelict by Paul Jones shortly after this particular
  cruise was begun."--Chicago Inter-Ocean.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

BOOKS FOR BOYS.

Corporal Lige's Recruit. A Story of Crown Point and Ticonderoga. By
James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  "In 'Corporal Lige's Recruit,' Mr. Otis tells the amusing story of an
  old soldier, proud of his record, who had served the king in '58, and
  who takes the lad, Isaac Rice, as his 'personal recruit.' The lad
  acquits himself superbly. Col. Ethan Allen 'in the name of God and the
  continental congress,' infuses much martial spirit into the narrative,
  which will arouse the keenest interest as it proceeds. Crown Point,
  Ticonderoga, Benedict Arnold and numerous other famous historical
  names appear in this dramatic tale."--Boston Globe.

Morgan, the Jersey Spy. A Story of the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. By
James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  "The two lads who are utilized by the author to emphasize the details
  of the work done during that memorable time were real boys who lived
  on the banks of the York river, and who aided the Jersey spy in his
  dangerous occupation. In the guise of fishermen the lads visit
  Yorktown, are suspected of being spies, and put under arrest. Morgan
  risks his life to save them. The final escape, the thrilling encounter
  with a squad of red coats, when they are exposed equally to the
  bullets of friends and foes, told in a masterly fashion, makes of this
  volume one of the most entertaining books of the year."--Inter-Ocean.

The Young Scout: The Story of a West Point Lieutenant. By Edward S.
Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  The crafty Apache chief Geronimo but a few years ago was the most
  terrible scourge of the southwest border. The author has woven, in a
  tale of thrilling interest, all the incidents of Geronimo's last raid.
  The hero is Lieutenant James Decker, a recent graduate of West Point.
  Ambitious to distinguish himself the young man takes many a desperate
  chance against the enemy and on more than one occasion narrowly
  escapes with his life. In our opinion Mr. Ellis is the best writer of
  Indian stories now before the public.

Adrift in the Wilds: The Adventures of Two Shipwrecked Boys. By Edward
S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Elwood Brandon and Howard Lawrence are en route for San Francisco. Off
  the coast of California the steamer takes fire. The two boys reach the
  shore with several of the passengers. Young Brandon becomes separated
  from his party and is captured by hostile Indians, but is afterwards
  rescued. This is a very entertaining narrative of Southern California.

A Young Hero; or, Fighting to Win. By Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

  This story tells how a valuable solid silver service was stolen from
  the Misses Perkinpine, two very old and simple minded ladies. Fred
  Sheldon, the hero of this story, undertakes to discover the thieves
  and have them arrested. After much time spent in detective work, he
  succeeds in discovering the silver plate and winning the reward. The
  story is told in Mr. Ellis' most fascinating style. Every boy will be
  glad to read this delightful book.

Lost in the Rockies. A Story of Adventure in the Rocky Mountains. By
Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

  Incident succeeds incident, and adventure is piled upon adventure, and
  at the end the reader, be he boy or man, will have experienced
  breathless enjoyment in this romantic story describing many adventures
  in the Rockies and among the Indians.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, A. L. BURT, 53-58 Duane Street, New York.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

BOOKS FOR BOYS.

A Jaunt Through Java: The Story of a Journey to the Sacred Mountain. By
Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  The interest of this story is found in the thrilling adventures of two
  cousins, Hermon and Eustace Hadley, on their trip across the island of
  Java, from Samarang to the Sacred Mountain. In a land where the Royal
  Bengal tiger, the rhinoceros, and other fierce beasts are to be met
  with, it is but natural that the heroes of this book should have a
  lively experience. There is not a dull page in the book.

The Boy Patriot. A Story of Jack, the Young Friend of Washington. By
Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

  "There are adventures of all kinds for the hero and his friends, whose
  pluck and ingenuity in extricating themselves from awkward fixes are
  always equal to the occasion. It is an excellent story full of honest,
  manly, patriotic efforts on the part of the hero. A very vivid
  description of the battle of Trenton is also found in this story."
  --Journal of Education.

A Yankee Lad's Pluck. How Bert Larkin Saved his Father's Ranch in Porto
Rico. By Wm. P. Chipman. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  "Bert Larkin, the hero of the story, early excites our admiration, and
  is altogether a fine character such as boys will delight in, whilst
  the story of his numerous adventures is very graphically told. This
  will, we think, prove one of the most popular boys' books this
  season."--Gazette.

A Brave Defense. A Story of the Massacre at Fort Griswold in 1781. By
William P. Chipman. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Perhaps no more gallant fight against fearful odds took place during
  the Revolutionary War than that at Fort Griswold, Groton Heights,
  Conn., in 1781. The boys are real boys who were actually on the muster
  rolls, either at Fort Trumbull on the New London side, or of Fort
  Griswold on the Groton side of the Thames. The youthful reader who
  follows Halsey Sanford and Levi Dart and Tom Malleson, and their
  equally brave comrades, through their thrilling adventures will be
  learning something more than historical facts; they will be imbibing
  lessons of fidelity, of bravery, of heroism, and of manliness, which
  must prove serviceable in the arena of life.

The Young Minuteman. A Story of the Capture of General Prescott in 1777.
By William P. Chipman. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  This story is based upon actual events which occurred during the
  British occupation of the waters of Narragansett Bay. Darius Wale and
  William Northrop belong to "the coast patrol." The story is a strong
  one, dealing only with actual events. There is, however, no lack of
  thrilling adventure, and every lad who is fortunate enough to obtain
  the book will find not only that his historical knowledge is
  increased, but that his own patriotism and love of country are
  deepened.

For the Temple: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem. By G. A. Henty. With
illustrations by S. J. Solomon. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

  "Mr. Henty's graphic prose picture of the hopeless Jewish resistance
  to Roman sway adds another leaf to his record of the famous wars of
  the world. The book is one of Mr. Henty's cleverest efforts."--
  Graphic.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

BOOKS FOR BOYS.

Roy Gilbert's Search: A Tale of the Great Lakes. By Wm. P. Chipman.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  A deep mystery hangs over the parentage of Roy Gilbert. He arranges
  with two schoolmates to make a tour of the Great Lakes on a steam
  launch. The three boys visit many points of interest on the lakes.
  Afterwards the lads rescue an elderly gentleman and a lady from a
  sinking yacht. Later on the boys narrowly escape with their lives. The
  hero is a manly, self-reliant boy, whose adventures will be followed
  with interest.

The Slate Picker: The Story of a Boy's Life in the Coal Mines. By Harry
Prentice. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  This is a story of a boy's life in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Ben
  Burton, the hero, had a hard road to travel, but by grit and energy he
  advanced step by step until he found himself called upon to fill the
  position of chief engineer of the Kohinoor Coal Company. This is a
  book of extreme interest to every boy reader.

The Boy Cruisers; or, Paddling in Florida. By St. George Rathborne.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  Andrew George and Rowland Carter start on a canoe trip along the Gulf
  coast, from Key West to Tampa, Florida. Their first adventure is with
  a pair of rascals who steal their boats. Next they run into a gale in
  the Gulf. After that they have a lively time with alligators and
  Andrew gets into trouble with a band of Seminole Indians. Mr.
  Rathborne knows just how to interest the boys, and lads who are in
  search of a rare treat will do well to read this entertaining story.

Captured by Zulus: A Story of Trapping in Africa. By Harry Prentice.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  This story details the adventures of two lads, Dick Elsworth and Bob
  Harvey, in the wilds of South Africa. By stratagem the Zulus capture
  Dick and Bob and take them to their principal kraal or village. The
  lads escape death by digging their way out of the prison hut by night.
  They are pursued, but the Zulus finally give up pursuit. Mr. Prentice
  tells exactly how wild-beast collectors secure specimens on their
  native stamping grounds, and these descriptions make very entertaining
  reading.

Tom the Ready; or, Up from the Lowest. By Randolph Hill. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

  This is a dramatic narrative of the unaided rise of a fearless,
  ambitious boy from the lowest round of fortune's ladder to wealth and
  the governorship of his native State. Tom Seacomb begins life with a
  purpose, and eventually overcomes those who oppose him. How he manages
  to win the battle is told by Mr. Hill in a masterful way that thrills
  the reader and holds his attention and sympathy to the end.

Captain Kidd's Gold: The True Story of an Adventurous Sailor Boy. By
James Franklin Fitts. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

  There is something fascinating to the average youth in the very idea
  of buried treasure. A vision arises before his eyes of swarthy
  Portuguese and Spanish rascals, with black beards and gleaming eyes.
  There were many famous sea rovers, but none more celebrated than Capt.
  Kidd. Paul Jones Garry inherits a document which locates a
  considerable treasure buried by two of Kidd's crew. The hero of this
  book is an ambitious, persevering lad, of salt-water New England
  ancestry, and his efforts to reach the island and secure the money
  form one of the most absorbing tales for our youth that has come from
  the press.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.





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