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Title: Peter Poodle—Toy Maker to the King
Author: Bradley, William Henry
Language: English
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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.

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive. Two missing pages with high resolution
illustrations were produced from images generously made
available by University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities,
Children's Literature Research Collections)



  PETER POODLE,
  BY WILLIAM HENRY BRADLEY



  [Illustration: _Toyville_]

  [Illustration: _A Story of the Valley of Happiness and the City of
  Toyville_]

  [Illustration: _The Banquet_]



  Peter Poodle

  _Toy Maker to the King_

  _By_

  WILL BRADLEY

  [Illustration]

  _New York_

  DODD, MEAD & COMPANY

  1906



  _Copyright 1906_

  By _Dodd, Mead & Company_

  Published in October 1906.

  [Illustration]

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



  Peter Poodle

  _Toy Maker to the King_

  [Illustration]



  [Illustration]

  _This is_

  ───────────────────

  Peter Poodle _Book_

  Please Handle _Carefully_



  [Illustration]

  _The Story_


  _The Chapter_                   _The Page_

  I.    THE TOY SHOP                       1

  II.   THE TOY LANGUAGE                   9

  III.  THE INN                           19

  IV.   A JOURNEY                         27

  V.    THE MESSENGER                     33

  VI.   THE CURLY ROAD                    39

  VII.  THE AMBUSH                        47

  VIII. THE GREETING                      53

  IX.   THE WELCOME                       63

  X.    THE MUSICIANS                     73

  XI.   RED BEARD                         81

  XII.  THE BANQUET                       87

  XIII.  THE SAIL                         97

  XIV.   THE CHASE                       105

  XV.    THE BARLEY MILL                 111

  XVI.   THE ROSE WREATH                 119

  XVII.  THE GARDEN PARTY                127

  XVIII. A SURPRISE                      133

  XIX.   THE FOUNTAIN OF THE FROG        141

  XX.    GOOD NIGHT                      149

  XXI.   JOY                             155

  _CONCLUSION_                           163

  [Illustration]



To Fern, Willie and Paul this Story is Dedicated by their Father.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



[Illustration]


_The Pictures_

  “_The BANQUET_”                  _Frontispiece_

  “_The Toy Shop_”                  _Facing Page_   3

  “_The Song_”                          “    “     11

  “_The Sign of the Black Lion_”        “    “     21

  “_The Gateway_”                       “    “     29

  “_The Capture_”                       “    “     35

  “_The Orchard_”                       “    “     41

  “_A Surprise_”                        “    “     49

  “_On to Toyville_”                    “    “     55

  “_The Arch of Welcome_”               “    “     65

  “_Professor Wow Bow_”                 “    “     68

  “_The Musicians_”                     “    “     75

  “_Stop!_”                             “    “     76

  “_The Black Rover_”                   “    “     83

  “_The House Guards_”                  “    “     89

  “_The Artillery_”                     “    “     94

  “_Fire!_”                             “    “     99

  “_To the Rescue_”                     “    “    107

  “_The Miller of Dee_”                 “    “    113

  “_The Rose Wreath_”                   “    “    121

  “_In the Gardens_”                    “    “    129

  “_The Parley_”                        “    “    135

  “_The Ducking_”                       “    “    143

  “_The Royal Guard_”                   “    “    151

  “_The Toy Box_”                       “    “    157

  “_The Sign_”                          “    “    163

¶ _Also, there are many Chapter Titles, Headings & Small Pictures, of
which no mention is made in this List._

[Illustration]

{1}



[Illustration]

Chapter I. THE TOY SHOP.


{2}

[Illustration: The Toy Shop]

{3}

  The First Chapter.

  _In which is told of a little Lad that came from out the Hills. Also
  of Peter Poodle’s wonderful Toy Shop. And how Helen had a Playfellow._

[Illustration]

Tommy stood with his little nose pressed flat against the pane. He was
very tired, and also very hungry, for he had walked ever and ever so
far. How far, he did not know. At first, he had thought it would take
only a day to reach the city, and now, he could not remember how long
it had taken. A good many days, of that he was certain.

Over hills and through fields and forests he had travelled, sleeping
at night in the lee of some rick of hay, or on the soft moss beneath
low hung fir boughs. Sometimes, a shepherd or a forester had shared
with him his simple fare of bread and cheese. At other times, he ate
berries, or such of the wild fruits as were then ripe, and once, or {4}
twice, he had gone to sleep hungry. But here he was, at last, in the
big city and before the most wonderful window into which a boy ever
looked. It was evening, and the window, with its bright lights, seemed
like a bit of fairyland, for in it were all manner of the finest games
and toys imaginable.

Tommy did not know that this was Mr. Peter Poodle’s famous toy shop.
He did not even know the toys were for sale. He had never been in a
big city and knew nothing about stores. He thought this was merely
somebody’s fine house, and when he lifted his eyes from the toys and
saw a big card that hung beneath one of the lamps, he was more than
ever filled with wonder.

  “BOY WANTED!”

Those were the words on the card. Tommy spelled the letters twice to
make sure; “I suppose the people inside must be lonely,” he thought “I
will go in and visit them, and perhaps they will tell me how to find
the King.”

Mr. Poodle, a kindly little man with gray hair and bright twinkling
eyes, answered the rap at the door.

“Please sir,” said Tommy, “do you live here and are you lonely?
Because, if you are, I can come in and play with you; but by and by,
I must go and find the King. Please, can you tell me where the King
lives? Because the kind lady, who took care of me when I was sick, is
very poor. Did you know that once I was very sick? When I was sick
the kind lady told me all about the Fairy King. I am well now, and I
am going to find the Fairy King and get some gold and jewels for the
kind lady. Would you like me to come in and play with you a little
while? I am too tired to play very much, because I have been walking
all day. {5} And tonight, when I came through a dark street, a bad,
rough man chased me, and I ran so fast that it made me more tired.
Don’t you think I am a fast runner to get away from the man? Please,
shall we play games now? Perhaps you don’t want to play with a little
boy that has such raggedy clothes. Would you rather have a little boy
that has fine clothes and wears shoes and stockings? I am sorry you are
lonesome. I think you are a nice man and I like you; but perhaps you
don’t want such a raggedy boy.”

The twinkling laughter had left the little man’s eyes and the corners
of his mouth twitched when he tried to speak. Then he quickly stooped
and held out both arms. “I do want a raggedy boy” were the words that
came from his trembling lips, and the next second, Tommy’s curly head
was nestling on the little man’s shoulder.

“What game shall we play now?” asked Mr. Poodle.

“I don’t know,” said Tommy. “Sometimes, when I was sick and the kind
lady gave me bread and milk, she said we were playing dinner party.
That is the only game I know how to play. Please, sir, shall we play
dinner party?”

The twinkle came back again into Mr. Poodle’s eyes. “Yes, my boy, we
_will_ play dinner party,” he said. “I think dinner party is a fine
game.”

Mr. Poodle now spread the cloth on the table. “O me, O my,” said he;
“this cloth has a hole right in the corner! O, well, that is soon
mended.” Then, what did he do but tear right off the whole corner.
“There!” said he; “now we have a cloth without any hole.”

“Here is a pitcher of milk,” he added, as he sat it on the table;
“and, here are two mugs. O dear, O dear, why this mug has no handle!
Now how could that handle ever {6} have jumped right off the mug and we
not see it! The first thing tomorrow, I must get a new handle.”

“Please, sir,” said Tommy, “the handle is gone from the pitcher, too.”

“No, you don’t mean to tell me that that handle also is gone?” said
Mr. Poodle, taking the pitcher. “Yes, it certainly has. Now, how could
that have happened? Oh, I know. Those two handles were lonely the same
as I was lonely, and the mug handle said to the pitcher handle: Mr.
Pitcher handle, you can stay in this house if you wish, but as for me,
why was I trimmed all up with colored paint and made so handsome, if it
wasn’t for some little boy; and now, there is no boy in this house, so
I am just going to leave! Of course, then the pitcher handle thought
he would be very lonely without the mug handle, and so they went away
together.”

Tommy laughed merrily. “You are a very funny man,” he said. “Handles
couldn’t say all that, but it was just a fine story. Please tell it to
me again.”

“Well, if I tell all that again,” said Mr. Poodle, “why then our roast
turkey will be getting cold.”

Tommy laughed gaily. “You certainly are a very funny man,” he said.
“This isn’t roast turkey, this is bread!”

“Let me see,” said Mr. Poodle. “Well, so it is. Now, how could I ever
have made such a silly mistake.”

“Never mind, sir,” said the boy. “I am sure the bread is very nice, and
I just love milk. Can we play now?”

“Yes indeed,” answered Mr. Poodle.

When Tommy had eaten the bread and milk, Mr. Poodle took him in his
arms to the big easy chair. “What shall we play now?” asked the
toymaker. {7}

[Illustration: Helen.]

Tommy’s eyes were almost closed. “I don’t know,” he answered. “Please,
sir, I am very sorry, because I wanted to play and make you happy, you
are so kind to me, but I am pretty tired. If I could go to sleep for
only a minute, then when I awake I would be all rested and could play
some more. Please, may I go to sleep for only a minute?”

“Yes, indeed you may,” said the toymaker.

Tommy’s tired eyes looked timidly up into Mr. Poodle’s. “Please sir,
may I kiss you for being so good to me?” he asked. {8}

Mr. Poodle bowed his head. “Good night, boy,” he said. “Good night,
sir,” answered Tommy.

This was the manner in which Tommy Piper came to Peter Poodle’s toy
shop. Who he was and from where he came, Mr. Poodle could not learn;
only this much—that he had been found unconscious in the forest by a
poor wood chopper, and tenderly nursed during a long illness by the
wood chopper’s good wife.

As for Mr. Poodle, he was the kindest and jolliest little man you ever
did see. His business was the making of toys for little girls and boys,
and he had a fine big shop all littered with yellow, curly shavings,
blocks of wood and bits of colored cloth. In this shop, the first thing
the next morning, Tommy went to play.

He had on a nice new suit of clothes which Mr. Poodle had provided, and
he was glad indeed to be dressed so finely, for right in the midst of
the floor, sat a little girl.

“Good morning, Helen,” said Mr. Poodle.

“Good morning, Mr. Poodle,” Helen answered, and then turning to Tommy,
she said: “Good morning, little boy.”

That was the beginning of good times in Peter Poodle’s work shop.

[Illustration]

{9}



[Illustration]

Chapter II. THE TOY LANGUAGE.


{10}

[Illustration: The Song]

{11}

  The Second Chapter.

  _Of how Peter Poodle taught Tommy & Helen the Toy Language. And of
  strange happenings in the Brick House at the Sign of the Black Lion._

[Illustration]

Helen lived in a fine big house around the corner on the next street,
but each day she came to play in the curly shavings with Tommy, and
together they watched Mr. Poodle make his toys.

Certainly those were fine toys Mr. Poodle made. Helen’s mamma said
there never was such a fine toy maker anywhere as Mr. Poodle. She said
that he loved to sit at his bench and make the toy people, and that he
put every bit of his heart into his work; and of course, when he loved
his work so much, why some of his heart and some of his love had to
pop right out and jump into the toys. Helen’s mamma said that was why
Peter {12} Poodle’s toys were the best in all the world, and moreover,
they were not painted with cheap colors that would come off the minute
you put them in your mouth, or stuck together with bad smelling glue
that would never hold more than a day or two.

Sometimes when Mr. Poodle was making a toy he would be singing such
a funny song that Tommy and Helen had to stop their play and have a
good laugh. Then Mr. Poodle would look at them over the tops of his
spectacles, and make believe he felt very cross because they laughed.
But Tommy and Helen could see the twinkle that went jumping around in
Mr. Poodle’s eyes, so they knew he wasn’t one bit cross; he wasn’t
either, for he thought it fine to hear little boys and girls laugh.
Why, sometimes he would be so glad that he would take his brush and
paint a smile right on the face of one of the toys he was making, and
the smile would always stay there, so the toy could be very happy as
long as it lived. That was the kind of a man Mr. Poodle was.

Of course, Mr. Poodle’s toys were not the common everyday sort. No,
indeed! why some of them looked as if they could truly walk and talk
like real people. Mr. Poodle said that really and truly toys could walk
and talk.

Tommy and Helen laughed when Mr Poodle spoke that way, and Tommy said:
“Why, Mr. Poodle, toys can’t talk, they haven’t any tongues.” Then you
should have heard Mr. Poodle laugh. “Prut,” he said, “didn’t you know
toys don’t have to have tongues to talk? Now you listen and I will ask
Master Rolie Polie to sing for you.” Master Rolie Polie was the name
of a little clown. Mr. Poodle had a name for every one of his toys; he
said boys and girls {13} wouldn’t like to go through the world without
names, and neither did toys; and moreover, having names made them much
more sociable. Then Mr. Poodle introduced the clown to Helen and Tommy:
“Master Rolie Polie,” he said, “this lady and gentleman would like to
have you sing them a song. Let it be something funny, something jolly.”

Tommy and Helen now listened very quietly, and Mr. Poodle tilted back
his chair and beat time with his finger while he hummed the words of a
little song, just as if he were repeating them after the clown. When
he finished, he nodded his head approvingly and said: “Very good! Very
good, indeed! Thank you, Master Rolie Polie; that was a fine song and
no mistake.”

Helen and Tommy laughed at the funny song, and thanked Mr. Poodle.
“We liked the song very much,” said Tommy. “But I think, Mr. Poodle,
we never would have heard one single word if you had not been singing
also.”

Mr. Poodle then patted both of them on the head very kindly and said:
“Never mind, it certainly is a little hard in the beginning to hear
what the toy people say, because not having any tongues they cannot
talk plainly. But by and by, if you only try to learn and are patient,
you will get to know the toy language, and then you can understand
every bit as well as I do.”

Helen and Tommy thought that would be fine, and said they were sure
they could be patient.

After that, Mr. Poodle had two little soldiers, Captain Hinkle Pinkle
of the infantry and Captain Noddle Poddle of the cavalry, lead their
armies in a wonderful battle.

During the excitement of this battle no one noticed the entrance of a
stranger. Had Tommy looked, he would {14} have seen the man to be that
same big ruffian who had chased him through the dark street the night
he came to the toy shop. A sly look appeared in the man’s eyes as he
caught sight of Tommy, and a wicked smile twisted the corners of his
mouth. Then he turned to the door, and, lifting the latch, quickly left
the toy shop.

[Illustration: After the Battle.]

Helen was glad when the war ended for it frightened her and besides she
did not like battles, so she thought she would go home to her mamma.
But Tommy said: “Don’t you be afraid Helen, I was holding your hand
and I would not let any of the soldiers hurt you.” {15}

“Did the soldiers really and truly fight, Tommy?” Helen asked, when
they were again seated in the pile of yellow, curly shavings. “Didn’t
Mr. Poodle move them about with his hand, and wasn’t it he who blew
upon the trumpet?”

“O, yes, the soldiers certainly were fighting,” said Tommy. “When Mr.
Poodle moved them, he did only what the captains ordered. Didn’t you
hear Captain Pinkle and Captain Poddle shouting their commands, Helen?”

“Yes, I think, I did,” said Helen. “Which captain do you think was the
best fighter, Tommy?”

“I believe captain Poddle was the best fighter,” said Tommy. “Don’t you
think Captain Poddle was the best, Helen?”

“I don’t know,” said Helen. “I think Captain Pinkle was a very brave
fighter, too, and I wished he had a horse to ride, like Captain
Poddle’s.”

“Yes,” said Tommy, “Captain Pinkle was a brave fighter. I think
they were both brave fighters; don’t you think they were both brave
fighters, Helen?”

When Mr. Poodle heard these words of the children, he said: “Well,
well, well, you certainly are getting clever at learning the toy
language. I think you must know it now nearly as well as I do. That is
because you love the toy people and they love you. What do you say to
our taking a trip tomorrow to Toyville?”

“Toyville?” asked Helen and Tommy. “Please, Mr. Poodle, where is
Toyville?”

Mr. Poodle laughed when he heard that question. “O, dear,” he said,
“the idea of any little boys or girls not knowing about Toyville! that
really is most absurd. Why, Toyville is the finest and jolliest little
city to be found {16} anywhere in the whole world. I thought everybody
knew about Toyville.”

“Won’t you please tell us some more?” asked Helen and Tommy. “Is it
very far away, Mr. Poodle? Can we really and truly go there?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Poodle, “we can really and truly go there. Toyville is
only a little way beyond the Hills of Troubleland; it lies in the Vale
of Joy, which, by some people is called the Valley of Happiness. Once
upon a time, so long ago, indeed, that nobody living now can remember
exactly how long, there wasn’t any Toyville. Then, one day, some of the
Toy people made the perilous trip through the Hills of Troubleland, and
upon coming into the Vale of Joy, found the land so beautiful that they
at once set about the building of a little city. By and by, other Toy
people came that way, and the city grew and grew until it covered all
the valley.”

“Will Captain Pinkle, Captain Poddle and Rolie Polie go there to live
some time?” asked Tommy.

“And will my dolly go there, too, Mr. Poodle?” asked Helen.

“Yes,” said Mr. Poodle, “all the Toy people go there sometime unless
they get lost by the way, somewhere in the Hills of Troubleland. You
see, first of all, the Toy people came into this world to live with
little boys and girls to play with them and make them happy. Some of
the Toy people go to one city, some to another, and some even go to
live in the country. The Toy people never care to what house they go if
there is only a boy or girl living there, but houses that are without
children are much too lonesome. {17}

“Sometimes boys and girls get tired of playing with the Toy people,
or they grow up and get so big feeling they think the games the Toy
people play are silly. And sometimes boys and girls are rough with the
Toy people, tossing them about until their joints get loose or even
broken, and their heads battered. Then, the Toy people, knowing there
is no longer a welcome for them, in those houses, feel sad and go off
to hide in a drawer somewhere, and by and by, even get up in the attic
hidden away behind boxes or trunks. They wait patiently for perhaps
almost a year, hoping every day to hear the children call for them;
but the children have forgotten all about their old playmates. Then,
one day, when it is raining and nobody can go out of doors, somebody
thinks about the Toy people and goes to search, first, in the drawer,
then in the attic. Alas, it is too late! the Toy people have gone, gone
for ever. Gone through the Hills of Troubleland into the Valley of
Happiness, where they are now living peacefully in their beautiful city
of Toyville.”

“Do the Toy people play and have fun in Toyville, Mr. Poodle?” asked
Tommy.

“Fun!” How Mr. Poodle did laugh when he repeated that word. “Yes,
indeed, they have fun,” he said. “Of course, the older people have
work to do; like flower gardens to plant; and orchards and such things
to tend; but the little Toy people have more fun than I can ever find
words to tell about. Why, everybody can sing and laugh and have ever
and ever so much sport. Nobody in Toyville cares one single mite how
much noise is made. They all think it the finest kind of fun to see
the little Toy people have a good time. If the little Toy people want
to, {18} they can get down on their knees and play, and never wear out
their stockings. If the little Toy people want to dig in the dirt and
make mud pies, or build forts, or play grocery store, their clothes or
their hands and faces never get at all soiled, because the dirt there
is not one bit dirty. Yes indeed, Toyville is certainly a fine place in
which to have fun.”

Mr. Poodle now looked at the clock. “O me, O my,” said he; “it is
almost supper time, and here I am talking away as if we never had to
bother about eating. Run along now, but come back early to-morrow and I
will have everything ready for our journey to Toyville.”

That night when Helen’s mamma was tucking her up cosily in bed so she
would have happy dreams, Helen said: “Mamma, to-morrow Mr. Poodle is
going to take Tommy and me for a visit to Toyville.”

“That will be lovely,” said Helen’s mamma. “Toyville is a very fine
place, indeed.” Then she kissed Helen good-night, and soon the little
girl was fast asleep.

[Illustration]

{19}



[Illustration: Captain Hinkle Pinkle]

Chapter III. THE INN.


{20}

[Illustration: The Sign of the Black Lion]

{21}

  The Third Chapter.

  _The coming of two Strangers. And of the old Inn at the hanging Sign
  of the Black Lion. Also of the hurried Command given the Soldiers by
  Tommy._

[Illustration: Capt. Noddle Poddle]

Helen was at the toymaker’s bright and early the next morning. She
brought a little basket in which were some nice chicken sandwiches and
two rosy red apples for herself and Tommy.

Helen told Tommy her mamma thought that on a trip to Toyville they
would need some lunch. “And,” she continued, “Mamma said we might
remain in Toyville all day if we wished, and Mr. Poodle is willing.”

Mr. Poodle’s eyes went twinkling again when he heard Helen talking
to Tommy. Then he told Helen her mamma was very thoughtful and kind
to prepare such a fine lunch, {22} and he said there was no telling
what might happen on a trip of this kind, though he expected to find
plenty of good things to eat in Toyville. “Everything is now ready,”
said he. “I have sent a Messenger ahead to tell the Toy people we are
coming, and I expect they will greet us with a royal welcome. The Mayor
and his councillors, or, at least, a company of the Toyville Guards
will probably meet us at the gates on the other side of the Hills of
Troubleland.”

While Tommy was busily engaged packing the lunch into a little express
wagon, Mr. Poodle left the work room to wait upon two customers who had
just entered the shop. He did not at all like their looks and began to
wonder what might be their errand, as they were certainly ruffians and
could hardly have come to buy toys.

His first thought was a desire to be rid of them, and with this in
mind, he made some apology about it being early and the shop not yet
open for business.

At first, the men seemed somewhat ill at ease, but before Mr. Poodle
could finish speaking, the smaller and coarser of the pair turned upon
him roughly. “We will stay right here until we are through with you,”
he said; “and don’t give us any more of your fine talk either. Do you
hear?”

Meanwhile his companion had glanced into the back room and saw Tommy.
“Leave this to me,” he whispered. “The boy is here and I have thought
of a plan.” Then he turned to the toymaker. “You are right, sir,” he
said, in a voice smooth and oily. “The day certainly is young. We beg
your pardon for having disturbed you so early. You see, we are about to
leave the city and would like {23} a few toys to take to the children
at home; say this, and this, and that,” and throwing, as he spoke, a
gold piece upon the counter. “Never mind the change. Perhaps you have
a boy who will deliver these. Pray send him soon, as we depart in an
hour. Send to the Inn at the sign of the Black Lion.” Then, without
waiting for a reply, they opened the door and were gone.

Mr. Poodle looked at the gold piece: “A big price to pay for a few
toys,” he thought. Then he looked at the toys. Captain Hinkle Pinkle,
Captain Noddle Poddle and Rolie Polie were the ones the man bought. Mr.
Poodle did not like to sell these, they were such friends of Tommy and
Helen. But now it was too late, he had the money and there was nothing
he could do except to put them in a box for Tommy to take to the Black
Lion Inn.

Tommy was glad to help Mr. Poodle by going the errand and said he would
hurry, so as not to delay the journey to Toyville. Then taking the box
of toys he trudged off up the street and soon came in sight of the big
Black Lion sign hanging over the door of an old brick and timbered
house.

“Why this is the street where the man chased me,” he thought, “and this
is the house where I first saw him. I will be glad when I get back
again to Mr. Poodle’s toy shop.” Just then a company of soldiers came
galloping around a corner further down the street. Tommy turned to
lift the latch, but before he could do this, the door swung open and a
hand grabbed him roughly and pulled him over the threshold, while the
door was quickly closed and barred. The big room in which he now found
himself, was lit only by one sputtering candle which winked and {24}
blinked upon the wall like the eye of some evil monster. By this dim
light he could make out four rough men.

Tommy was now thoroughly frightened. His heart was beating very loud.
He did not like to seem to be a coward, but he felt sure those rough
men meant to harm him. “I will drop the basket and run,” he thought.
Then he remembered about the door being locked.

[Illustration: Tommy.]

“Ha, ha, ha!” laughed one of the men. “So my little bird would spread
his wings and fly, would he? Well, we must clip those wings then.” As
he spoke, he clutched Tommy roughly by the shoulder.

Now whether the man pulled Tommy off his feet, or whether the little
fellow’s trembling knees would no {25} longer support him, I do not
know. But in a moment he was lying on the floor with his head against
the edge of the toy box.

His head felt very numb, and he was very sleepy, and he wondered why
the men were binding him with such a heavy cord. Then he wondered why
there were so many horses galloping out in the street, and why there
was such loud beating on the door. He thought he heard someone call to
him, but by some other name he had heard long ago. At last he went to
sleep.

  CRASH!

What was that? Tommy opened wide his eyes. There were confused voices
in his ear; then he heard a whisper. “Be quiet, be brave; we will help
you. I am Rolie Polie. Captain Hinkle Pinkle and Captain Noddle Poddle
are with me. We will rescue you.”

“Can you fight? Can you save me? Why how can you save me?” asked Tommy.
“You are only toys?”

“Hush!” said Rolie Polie. “Don’t speak, or they will hear you. Get on
your feet and follow us.”

Tommy wasn’t long in obeying. Hinkle Pinkle and Noddle Poddle had
swords drawn and led the way. Out through the back rooms they went,
into the kitchen then on into the back yard. From the yard to a side
street and off to the toy shop, they hurried with all possible speed.

“Is everything ready for the journey?” Tommy called, the minute he saw
Mr. Poodle.

“Yes, everything is ready,” answered the toymaker.

“Then we must hurry,” said Tommy. “The ruffians are after us.” {26}

“All right,” said Mr. Poodle, “give the order and we will start.”

Tommy assisted Helen to mount to the back of her beautiful horse,
called Snow White. And, after mounting Coal Black, his own fine
charger, he gave the order:

[Illustration: “Forward, March!”]

{27}



[Illustration]

Chapter IV. A JOURNEY.


{28}

[Illustration: The Gateway]

{29}

  The Fourth Chapter.

  _Telling of how a Little Company departs on a long Journey through
  the Hills. Also of the Tale told by Mr. Poodle. And of the Guards at
  the Gate._

[Illustration]

In quick response to Tommy’s command, the whole company started. First,
of all, walked Mr. Poodle; next, came Tommy and Helen riding their
beautiful horses; then, Captain Noddle Poddle, who rode at the head
of his company of cavalry; and after him, came Captain Hinkle Pinkle
leading his brave command of infantry. Next, in line, was the express
wagon; and last of all rode Rolie Polie, sitting astride a funny little
donkey.

At first, Mr. Poodle hesitated about having the little clown
accompanying them; he thought Rolie Polie was such a tricky fellow he
would be sure to get into no end of mischief. But he finally yielded to
the wishes of Helen and Tommy, much to their delight. {30}

Presently, Mr. Poodle spoke earnestly with Captain Pinkle and Captain
Poddle, cautioning them to keep their soldiers near at hand and be
ready in case of any attack from pirates, or bandits, or ruffians.

Tommy jumped when Mr. Poodle said that. “Why, Mr. Poodle,” he asked,
“are there pirates and bandits in Toyville?”

“Well,” said Mr. Poodle, “I don’t think we will find any in Toyville,
but there may be some lurking in the hills by the way. The crusty King
of Grumbletown does not like the people of Toyville very well; he is
always threatening to make war on them and keeps his ruffians and
bandits spying around to see what is happening in Toyville. I suppose
when he hears that visitors are on the road, he will be more angry than
ever, for he will not want a boy and girl to go to Toyville and teach
the Toy people new tricks.”

“Is Grumbletown near Toyville, Mr. Poodle?” inquired Tommy.

“Oh yes,” said Mr. Poodle, “Toyville is at the lower end of the valley,
and Grumbletown is at the other end, but the valley bends about a big
hill which lies between the two realms.”

“I do not think Grumbletown is a pretty name,” said Helen. “Why is it
called Grumbletown, Mr. Poodle?”

“Well dear,” said Mr. Poodle, “the name came about in this way: one
time it fell to the luck of some toys to go and live with boys and
girls who were always complaining or fault finding, and who never were
contented and happy. Of course, when this happened, the toys were
sure to learn all manner of disagreeable ways, and became {31} ill
behaved and grumbly. Then, by and by, they ran away to the Hills of
Troubleland, and in place of going on to the happy and prosperous city
of Toyville, went further up the valley and founded a new realm, which,
because of all its subjects being grumble toys was given the name of
Grumbletown.”

“Are there many people living in Grumbletown, Mr. Poodle?” asked Tommy.

“Yes, there are,” said Mr. Poodle, “I am sorry to say it is quite a
large realm and is constantly growing larger, because the toys of
children who complain and find fault always go to Grumbletown in place
of Toyville. The King of Grumbletown is a sly and crafty old pirate,
called Red Beard, and sometime, if he becomes too powerful, he will
make war on the peaceful, contented Toy people.”

It was a long, long way the happy little company now travelled; through
winding valleys they went and over towering hills until at last,
after crossing one high hill, there spread before them, all at once,
the broad walls and beautiful gate at the entrance to the Valley of
Happiness. On the gate there was painted a black rooster, and standing
on guard at each side, was a brave little soldier.

As soon as Mr. Poodle and his company came in sight, the two soldiers
saluted, then holding their muskets at present arms, waited for the
visitors to approach.

When Mr. Poodle reached the gate, he lifted the heavy knocker and gave
three loud raps. At the third rap the gate swung open, and there they
were right on the edge of the Kingdom of Toyville, with the sounds of
the city coming faintly through the hills from far down in the little
Valley of Happiness. {32}

Mr. Poodle now seemed very much surprised and the look in his eyes
showed that he was also a little worried.

“What is the matter, Mr. Poodle?” asked Tommy, kindly. “Haven’t we come
the right way?”

“Oh, yes,” said Mr. Poodle, “this is the right road to Toyville; but
I am very much surprised that none of the Toy people are waiting to
meet us. I expected to find a company of cavalry at this gate and even
thought the Mayor and some of the Nobles would come to escort us to the
city. It is certainly most strange that no one is here, for I sent a
Messenger to tell them we were coming. It is not at all like the Toy
people to treat guests in this way. I hope the Messenger has not been
captured by the bold brigands or bandits.”

When Mr. Poodle stopped speaking, Tommy and Helen thought they heard
someone laughing behind a clump of bushes not far away; but as Mr.
Poodle either did not hear it, or if he heard, he paid no attention,
they said nothing about the matter, but followed him through the gate
and into the new land.

[Illustration]

{33}



[Illustration]

Chapter V. THE MESSENGER.


{34}

[Illustration: The Capture]

{35}

  The Fifth Chapter.

  _How Three wait upon the Highway. And of the Adventure that befel
  Peter Poodle’s Messenger. Also of how the Messenger departs in much
  Joy._

[Illustration]

Now we must leave the little company, for one chapter, and tell of what
happened to that little Messenger Peter Poodle had sent on ahead to
Toyville.

It would have been as well for Peter Poodle and his happy company to
have searched a little in the bushes, before travelling further on
their journey. Had this been done, it is more than probable it would
have led to a surprising discovery.

When Mr. Poodle told Tommy and Helen that the King of Grumbletown had
ruffians and bandits lurking about, spying in the hills, he spoke what
was certainly true, but {36} he told only one half of the story. He
did not know that Red Beard had sent not only his bandits, but also his
three bold and crafty Buccaneers, who, having recently returned from
a pirate cruise, were anxious for a little fighting and plundering on
land.

Now, as oft happens in this world, a body sometimes has Luck tripping
along for his wayfellow, and sometimes it is Ill Luck that goes kicking
up the dust at his side. Ill Luck was the fellow that went travelling
with the Messenger Peter Poodle had sent to Toyville, and this is what
happened: No sooner had the three Buccaneers entered the Hills of
Troubleland than they saw coming down the road, the little Messenger.

“Oh, ho!” cried Big Bill, the captain, “here is our chance to take a
captive!” Then he ordered his men to advance, and the next minute the
messenger was captured and Big Bill had found the message to the Mayor
of Toyville.

The captain of the three Buccaneers was not much at spelling out
letters, so it took him a long while to get to the end of the message.
But finally, after reading it all, he laughed long and loudly.

“Ha, ha, ha! my hearties,” said he (which is the way a Buccaneer
captain always speaks to his men when there is something of importance
afoot). “Ha, ha, ha! Here is a fine kettle of fish for sure and
certain, and all ready to be cooked! I guess we are the fellows to
do the cooking, too! Listen, my hearties: Peter Poodle, that little
toymaker from over the hills, is going to visit Toyville. Here is a
message he sends to the Mayor, and it says he is going to bring a boy
and a girl with him. What do you think our King in Grumbletown would
say to that?” {37}

The two Buccaneers looked at Big Bill, their captain, and neither one
knew what to answer.

“I will tell you, my hearties, what our King would say. He would say,
‘We don’t want any boy and girl going to Toyville to teach the Toy
people new tricks, so Bill, you must capture them.’ That is what the
king would say. Now, what I want to ask, my hearties, is this: how are
we going to make the capture?”

The two Buccaneers again looked at Big Bill, and again neither one
could answer.

Big Bill thrust his two hands into his pockets and walked to and fro
in deep thought. Finally a bright idea came to him. “I have it now, my
hearties,” he said. “We must find a good place to hide by the roadside,
and make an ambush; then when they pass by, most likely this boy and
girl will be lagging along behind, looking at the sights, and we can
spring out and take them by surprise; after that we will carry them
captive to Grumbletown.”

The two Buccaneers looked at each other with eyes almost bulging out
of their heads. “My, oh my, Bill, but you certainly are a fine one at
making plans!” they said. Then taking hold of Big Bill’s hands the
three began to dance and skip about like crazy people.

Big Bill now unfastened the bonds of the Messenger, and bowing politely
to him, said he was very sorry they had treated him so harshly. “You
see,” said he, “there are so many ruffians and bandits lurking about
in the hills, we have to be careful whom we allow to pass. We hope
you will forgive us, and that you will accept our invitation to have
something to eat before travelling any further along the road to the
city of Toyville.” {38}

Big Bill spoke to the Messenger, just the politest that could be, for
he wanted to get rid of him without his being suspicious, and yet he
wanted to delay the delivery of the message until its arrival would be
too late for the Mayor to send anyone to meet Mr. Poodle.

The Messenger said he certainly would be glad to have something to eat
with Big Bill and his companions, and as for blaming them for handling
him so roughly, he could never think of doing that, because he knew it
must be important to have such good guards in Toyville to protect the
city from the wicked ruffians of Grumbletown.

The two Buccaneers expected Big Bill would give the Messenger a good
drubbing for speaking that way, but though their captain looked a
little glum, he did no more than order them to build a camp fire and
prepare a good dinner. After eating a hearty meal, the Messenger
thanked Big Bill for the entertainment and again took up his journey
down the road to Toyville.

Big Bill and one of his men set out to find a good place for the
ambush, the other Buccaneer was left behind at the gate to watch for
the expected visitors so he could warn Big Bill of their approach.
His laughing was the sound that Helen and Tommy heard when Mr. Poodle
expressed the hope that his little Messenger had not been captured by
bandits.

[Illustration]

{39}



[Illustration]

Chapter VI. THE CURLY ROAD.


{40}

[Illustration: The Orchard]

{41}

  The Sixth Chapter.

  _Here something is told of the fine Sights seen on a Wonderful
  Hillside. Here, too, Helen & Tommy find new Delights, and Rolie Polie
  finds Trouble._

[Illustration]

No sooner had Helen and Tommy walked through the gateway than a
peculiar shivery feeling went running up and down their backs, and even
to the tips of their fingers and toes. This lasted only for a second
or two, and its cause they could not guess. Indeed, there was no time
to give the matter any thought before something very strange happened.
When Captain Pinkle, Captain Poddle and the others passed through the
Toyville gateway, quick as a wink, every one of them grew to be as big
as Tommy and Helen. At first Tommy and Helen thought it was themselves
that had become as small as the Toy people, but after looking around a
little, {42} it could easily be seen that their companions were really
the ones who had changed.

“Duck your heads, everybody!” cried Mr. Poodle; “here comes a cloud
that will knock your hats off!” And sure enough, there was a great
fleecy white cloud, like a big ball of thistle down, rolling and
tumbling across the sky, and so close to their heads that Tommy and
Helen could almost touch it by stretching out their hands.

“This must be a very high hill,” said Tommy.

“Yes, indeed,” answered Mr. Poodle. “Why it is nearly as high as the
sky.” Then he asked Tommy to line up the soldiers, and said he would
fire a salute so the Toyville people would know of their arrival.

After the salute had been fired, the company resumed their journey, and
as there was no longer any danger of losing the way, Mr. Poodle bade
the soldiers take the lead. Tommy and Helen were sure that they had
again heard someone laughing in the bushes, but as Mr. Poodle paid no
attention, the matter was soon forgotten. A funny curly road ran down
over the hillside, twisting and turning and bobbing here and there,
just as if it wanted to get into as many nooks and corners as possible,
which was not a bit of wonder either, for nowhere in all the world
could be found a hillside as beautiful.

“We must now travel down this long curly road,” said Mr. Poodle. Then
he asked Helen and Tommy if they were glad they had come on the journey
and if they were getting at all tired.

“Yes, indeed, we are glad, Mr. Poodle,” said Helen and Tommy, both
speaking at once. “And we are not the least tiny bit tired, either.”
{43}

“That is good,” said the little toymaker. “It is a long walk down the
hill to the city of Toyville, but I think you will not mind that, for
there are so many new sights to be seen.”

At first the road wound through a grove of beautiful trees thickly
covered with sweet blossoms of every color of which a body might think.
Then it entered a wonderful orchard, where were rows and rows of trees
all loaded with ripe fruit. Fruit? Well, that is what it was called
in Toyville, but over across the hills, back where Helen and Tommy
lived, it would be called candy. There were bonbons, all of cream and
chocolate; there were lovely fat white marshmallows, luscious and ripe,
which hung in big juicy clusters, waiting to be picked; there were
sugar plums, the finest and biggest that grow on trees anywhere in the
land. Not a single tree in the whole orchard but what had this fine
fruit all bursting ripe, and so much on every branch and twig that they
were almost breaking off and tumbling to the ground.

Two funny little men were seen gathering the fruit in a great wooden
tray with long handles. “Pick all you want,” they said to Tommy and
Helen. “Eat all you want, too. It will not make you a bit ill, as city
candy would, and for every one we pick, two grow in its place.”

The men did not have to say those words twice. Indeed, they hardly
had time to say them even once, before Helen and Tommy were under the
trees and stuffing their pockets bursting full; what they couldn’t put
in theirs they stuffed in Rolie Polie’s, which were very big and held
almost as much as a quart. The grass that grew between the trees of
the orchard was nearly as soft as velvet, and {44} when any of the
ripe fruit fell to the ground, it didn’t get at all broken. There were
some shade trees growing in the orchard, too. Mr. Poodle said they were
planted there to keep the warm sun from shining on the fruit daytimes,
because the sun might make the fruit melt.

“These fleecy white clouds also help to keep the sun off,” said Mr.
Poodle. “That is why they are so big.”

“I thought clouds made it rain,” said Tommy. “Don’t the clouds make it
rain, Mr. Poodle?”

“Oh yes,” said Mr. Poodle, “of course that is the way it is back in our
land, but here it never rains. You see the Toy people do not like to be
out in the wet; it would spoil their games and all their fun, so here
it is always sunshiny.”

“And can the Toy people play out of doors all the time?” asked Helen.
“Don’t they ever need to go in the house, Mr. Poodle?”

“Not on account of rain, dear,” answered Mr. Poodle. “Of course people
go in their houses to sleep at night, but the Toy boys and girls are
never called in to go to bed at half past seven, just when they are
having the most fun; their mothers allow them to stay up until almost
nine o’clock, or at least until eight.”

Tommy and Helen thought that it would be fine to live in that kind of a
city, and told Mr. Poodle they know the Toy children must be very happy.

“You are right,” said Mr. Poodle. “I am sure the Toy children are
happy; everyone in Toyville is happy.”

While Tommy and Helen were talking in this way with Mr. Poodle, the
road went on twisting about a bend and presently brought them into a
rolling bit of pasture land, strewn with buttercups and daisies. But
that was not all {45} the pasture contained. No, for, feeding beside
a red pump was a pink barley pig, also some barley cows, and sheep,
and at the far end of the pasture were two tame barley deer. A barley
rabbit, startled by the approaching footsteps, went skipping across the
road, almost under the very toes of Rolie Polie. My, but Rolie Polie
was scared, and stopped so quickly that he almost tumbled and tucked
his nose in the dust before he could get his balance.

[Illustration: In the Pasture.]

The little clown then began to laugh and the next minute away he went
over the hedge and through the pasture, chasing the rabbit as fast as
ever his legs could carry him, with never a thought for danger.

Now Rolie Polie was dressed in his clown’s suit of red and white; and
no sooner did he enter the pasture than one of the animals lifted its
head and gave a great bellow. {46}

“Oh, the bull, the barley bull!” yelled Mr. Poodle. “Look out, Rolie
Polie! Run for a tree, or the bull will catch you!”

But Rolie Polie was thinking only of the rabbit and squirrel, and never
once heard the barley bull until it was almost upon him. Mr. Poodle now
knew that one of two things would surely happen: either Rolie Polie
would be overtaken by the bull, or, in trying to escape, he would be
forced to the edge of the cliff and tumble over.

“We must hurry to the rescue!” cried the little toymaker, and with one
bound he went through the hedge, quickly followed by Tommy. Helen stood
and watched them from the roadway. She would have gone to the rescue
too, but really, barley bulls are very scary animals, and as Helen had
on her red dress, she thought it best not to get too near.

The bull was now only a few yards behind Rolie Polie, and all the
shouting of Mr. Poodle and Tommy made not the least bit of difference
to its mad gallop. It saw only the bright colors of the little clown’s
costume, and madly bellowing, it never slackened its speed one tiny
particle. Indeed, the shouting may have made it run even faster.

What then happened to the little clown must be told in the next
chapter, for now we are at the end of this one.

[Illustration]

{47}



[Illustration]

Chapter VII. THE AMBUSH.


{48}

[Illustration: A Surprise]

{49}

  The Seventh Chapter.

  _Of the three Buccaneers. Also of the Fear that fell upon Mr. Poodle,
  and what fell upon the Ambush._

[Illustration]

While Rolie Polie chased the barley rabbit, and in turn was being
chased by the barley bull, Big Bill and his two Buccaneers were lying
in ambush further down the road. The one who had been left up the hill
at the gate, had hidden behind some bushes, and when the company came
through and Mr. Poodle spoke of the strangeness of their not being met
by any of the Toy people, he chuckled so loudly, that it was a wonder
the noise did not lead to his being discovered. After the salute had
been fired and the company started on their downward journey, the
Buccaneer, when he saw how the soldiers were sent on ahead, leaving
Helen and Tommy {50} no greater protection than that afforded by the
little old toymaker and Rolie Polie, again laughed out loud; and it was
only when the company passed from sight that the Buccaneer left his
hiding place and set forth by a short cut, which soon brought him to
the ambush and his waiting companions.

When Big Bill heard how the company had been divided, he said: “Didn’t
I tell you so? Didn’t I say that that boy and girl would have to be
lagging along behind to see the sights? I tell you, I know a thing or
two. They can’t fool Big Bill. Come, my hearties, we must get ready!
Every man see to the loading and priming of his pistols! We won’t need
to fire any shots; the sight of our swords and pistols will be enough
to frighten them. Like as not, at the first glimpse of us, Peter Poodle
and that little clown will run; then we can capture the boy and girl.”

The tramp of men and horses was now heard coming around the bend
further up the road. “We must lay low,” said Big Bill, “and keep out of
sight until these soldiers pass; then, we can poke out the muzzles of
our pistols and be ready for the others.”

Hardly had Big Bill finished speaking when to their ears came the
startling sound of a great roaring bellow. One of the Buccaneers jumped
to his feet, his legs shook and trembled while his face went white as
chalk. “It is the barley bull,” he whispered between his chattering
teeth. Again they heard the bellow, this time nearer than before.
“Listen! listen!” cried the frightened Buccaneer, his voice no more
than a hoarse croak; “listen, Big Bill, it is the barley bull; the
barley bull is after us!” Then his legs giving way, he fell in a heap
on the ground. {51}

Big Bill jumped to his feet. “Are you crazy?” he cried. “The barley
bull can’t hurt you. He is in the pasture up the hill.”

Presently, the bellow came again, and now so near that even Big Bill
trembled and turned pale, and shaking and shivering he drew his pistol,
while his two men, their faces blanched with fear, fell on their knees,
and frantically clasped their arms about his knees.

The bellowing of the barley bull now came to them again and roared in
their ears like rolling thunder. “He will get us, he will get us!”
cried the three. “We must run for our lives!” Then they heard a crash
in the bushes above them and the next second something landed right on
the head of Big Bill, tumbling him and his companions over and leaving
them sprawling on the ground.

The breath was knocked out of Big Bill. He could not speak even in a
whisper. “He has us, he has us; the barley bull has us!” was what he
tried to say, but never a single word came over his parched lips. Then
with the last ounce of strength that remained in their bodies, Big Bill
and his two men got on their feet and started to run as fast as ever
their shaking legs could carry them. Never once did any of them stop
for even a second to look back, and I very much doubt if they heard the
shouts of Captain Pinkle and Captain Poddle and their soldiers, or even
heard the reports of the musket shots that were being fired. No, they
thought the barley bull had come through the bushes tearing after them;
which was too much for the bravery of these three bold Buccaneers.

But it wasn’t the barley bull that had tumbled the three Buccaneers
to the ground; it was a no more harmful {52} creature that had come
crashing through the trees, to land on their broad backs, than the
little clown, Rolie Polie. If Big Bill and his two fellows had seen
Rolie Polie sitting on the ground and laughing at their hasty retreat,
it certainly would have made them more angry than they were now scared.

Meanwhile, having seen Rolie Polie jump, Mr. Poodle and Tommy hurried
back to the roadway, and, followed by Helen, ran hurriedly down and
around the bend.

“Have you found Rolie Polie? Is he hurt? Has he any joints broken?”
called Mr. Poodle the moment he came in sight of the soldiers.

“No,” answered Captain Pinkle, “Rolie Polie is not hurt and he
certainly has served us well this day, by saving Miss Helen and Master
Tommy from the Grumbletown Buccaneers.”

When Mr. Poodle looked at the ambush, and realized how near Helen and
Tommy had come to being captured, he was very thankful for such a lucky
escape. “We must keep together the rest of the journey,” he said to
the two captains. “These Buccaneers will get over their fright by and
by, and you may be sure they won’t give up trying to capture Helen and
Tommy; so we must be continually on the lookout for another attack.”

Finding that Rolie Polie was not at all hurt by his tumble, and that
the jolly little fellow was well able to travel, the company formed in
line and again started down the road towards the City of Toyville.

[Illustration]

{53}



[Illustration]

Chapter VIII. THE GREETING.


{54}

[Illustration: On to Toyville]

{55}

  The Eighth Chapter.

  _How the Little Company meets with a Joyous Greeting. And how a sly
  Stranger listens to the Words of the Mayor and watches the Departure._

[Illustration]

When the little Messenger from Peter Poodle arrived in Toyville, he
went at once to the residence of the Mayor.

“You have a message from Mr. Poodle,” said the Mayor, as soon as he had
shaken hands with the Messenger. “You are most welcome to our city; and
we are glad, indeed, to receive any word our good friend Mr. Poodle has
to send us.”

While the Mayor was reading the message he grew very excited. “You must
excuse me,” he said to the Messenger. “Just make yourself comfortable,
and at home. This is a very important word you have brought me, and I
must {56} assemble my councillors. Our city will be greatly honored by
a visit from such a renowned toymaker as Mr. Poodle. And, at the same
time, to have a visit from the boy and girl who are accompanying Mr.
Poodle, that, dear sir, is an occurrence of the utmost importance, and
one for which, I am sure, my councillors and the Lords and Ladies of
the realm will wish to prepare an exceptional welcome.”

[Illustration]

There was now much excitement in the council room, and soon the Heralds
were sent speeding here and there throughout the city to warn the
people of the approaching visitors. The lack of time to make plans did
not prevent their being made thoroughly. What these plans were, we
shall see presently.

As for Mr. Poodle and his little companions, when their journey had
brought them about half way down the curly road, they came to a place
where there was a little lane, or grassy opening in the trees. {57}

Mr. Poodle said: “Run down this lane and take a peep out through the
trees over the edge of the hill.”

Helen and Tommy did as Mr. Poodle had suggested and soon reached the
end of the lane, where a look-out could be had over the brow of the
hill. Never before had they seen such a wonderful sight, for below in
the valley lay as handsome a little city as was to be found in all the
world.

[Illustration: The Castle.]

In the foreground could be seen a beautiful lake, and sailing on its
crystal waters were all manner of lovely boats with pennants waving
and flags flying. Entering the lake, at its upper end, hidden here and
there by overhanging trees, was a curly, twisting river. At the lower
end of the lake there tumbled a dashing, foaming waterfall, beside
which rumbled the wheel of a quaint little mill. {58}

Mr. Poodle, who now stood back of Helen and Tommy, said that in the
quaint little mill there lived the jolly little Miller of Dee, who all
day long ground barley corn to feed the barley animals they had seen in
the pasture up on the hillside. Helen and Tommy could hear the wheel
mumbling very plainly and could even hear the mill grinding. “Look,”
said Mr. Poodle, “there is the little Miller of Dee!” And sure enough,
there he stood in the doorway, the long smock upon his back, and the
cap upon his head, powdered thickly with barley dust.

All about the edge of the lake there was a turned over marble rim, and
every little way along this rim, were pots and vases in which grew
flowering shrubs and plants, laden with beautiful blossoms. Here and
there had been built wide stairways, leading down to the very edge of
the water, and in one place there was a long pier standing on carved
and turned posts painted in pretty colors. On a gate, at the entrance
to this pier, were letters which Helen and Tommy could see, and with
much difficulty spell into words: these read—“Royal Boat Landing.”

Back of the lake the land was rolling and wavy, like little hills. On
these hills there were some fine houses, all set about with trees, and
each one having at its side, or in the front, or back, a beautiful
flower garden. There were so many of these gardens everywhere, that it
was easy to see that the people were very fond of pretty flowers and
delighted in having them about their homes.

Precisely in the center of the city was one little hill higher than all
the rest, on the tip top of which loomed a beautiful castle, circled
all about with high walls and topped with crimson towers. {59}

People could be seen hurrying to and fro in the streets. They were all
as nice looking people as one would ever wish to see; in fact they
seemed just like toys, only much bigger; as big indeed, as Helen and
Tommy. All of the houses, the boats and even the fine castle on the
hill looked like toys too, only ever and ever so much larger.

“How do you like this sight?” asked the little toymaker. Helen and
Tommy were so excited and so full of wonder that they were unable to
find a single word to put on their tongues so they could answer.

Mr. Poodle was not a bit fooled by their silence, though, for being
a very clever man, when he looked into their eyes, he could see them
brimming full of joy, so much, that it was almost bubbling out and
running over. That made it easy enough, then, for a clever man like him
to see that they thought everything just fine.

Of course Helen and Tommy could have said those words to Mr. Poodle,
only they wanted to find bigger ones. But Mr. Poodle was not even one
tiny mite provoked at their not answering his question, for he thought
it much nicer to read such a happy answer in their eyes. “Come,” said
Mr. Poodle, “it is time to be going! We have passed through the Hills
of Troubleland and entered the Vale of Joy and the Valley of Happiness;
we are now almost in Toyville.”

“Toyville! Toyville!” cried Helen and Tommy, dancing with joy. “Hurrah
for Toyville!”

Then from the roadway came the happy cry of Captain Pinkle and Captain
Poddle and all their soldiers.

  “HURRAH FOR TOYVILLE!” {60}

The last of the cheer had hardly finished echoing in the hills when
there came an answering cheer from down the road, and presently,
turning a bend in the road, the little company came into a beautiful
park at the foot of the hill and found it thronged with the happy Toy
people.

The Mayor quickly stepped forward and shook hands most cordially with
Mr. Poodle. He said the Toy people were delighted and much honored in
having such a famous toymaker come to visit them. After greeting Helen
and Tommy and presenting Helen with a bouquet of beautiful roses, he
introduced them to the Lords, Nobles and fine Ladies and Gentlemen
that had come riding up on their prancing steeds, or in their handsome
coaches.

As Helen and Tommy were talking busily with their new acquaintances,
the Mayor stood a little to one side and eyed them critically. There
was a happy, pleased expression on his face, and once or twice he
nodded his head as if in profound approval of something. Then, in a low
tone, so low that hardly anyone could hear him, he said: “We certainly
acted wisely and have made a good choice; luck has come to us to-day,
and if I am not much mistaken, it means ill luck to our enemy—the King
of Grumbletown.”

Although the Mayor had mumbled these words barely above a whisper,
there were two in that gathering who heard what was said, and not only
heard the words but understood what they meant.

The first of these two was Mr. Poodle. Of course it was all right for
Mr. Poodle to hear what the Mayor said, and the twinkle that jumped
about in his eyes showed that he thought a fine surprise awaited Helen
and Tommy. {61}

[Illustration: The Police.]

The other one who heard was a tall man, wearing a broad brimmed hat
with a long plume. People called him Long Jim, but did not know him to
be the most clever courtier in all of Grumbletown and the craftiest spy
that King Redbeard had ever sent to Toyville. Not only did this man
understand what the Mayor had said, but by his sly ways he managed to
ask of Peter Poodle’s people a question here and another there, until
finally he had {62} a complete account of what had happened to the
three Buccaneers. A cunning smile then twisted up the corners of Long
Jim’s mouth, for he thought: “These people think they have made fine
plans to get ahead of the King of Grumbletown, but they have reckoned
without Long Jim. I will show them a thing or two that will knock their
plans topsy turvy.”

There was now so much noise that Coal Black and Snow White began to get
quite wild and skittish. The two noble steeds danced about and showed
their fine mettle; but Helen and Tommy sat so firmly in the saddle,
that all the people gave them a long cheer for such a fine exhibition
of riding.

The Mayor looked at this performance with wonder, and said to Mr.
Poodle that he did not think the equal of that riding could be found in
all Toyville, even among the most skilled soldiers at the barracks of
the cavalry. Then he invited the toymaker to ride in his carriage, and,
bidding Captain Ten Pin of the police to clear the way, the procession
started for the city.

One remained behind, however, and went hurrying up the road in search
of the three Buccaneers. This was the man with the big hat, the crafty
courtier, Long Jim.

[Illustration]

{63}



[Illustration]

Chapter IX. THE WELCOME.


{64}

[Illustration: The Arch of Welcome]

{65}

  The Ninth Chapter.

  _Of a Royal Welcome. Also of a Most Marvelous and Extraordinarily
  Wonderful Entertainment._

[Illustration]

So great was the joy of the Toy people lined along the way that cheer
upon cheer greeted Tommy and Helen as they drew towards the city.

At the entrance to Toyville there was another gate, similar in
design to the one at the top of the hill, only quite a little larger
and flanked with tall red capped towers in which were windows and
portholes, quite the same as in a fortress. On each side of the gate
were huge brass cannons. The Toy people did not really expect any
enemy to attack their city on this side, fearing only the King of
Grumbletown, whose realm lay {66} beyond the hills at the far end of
the valley, but they built the gate with towers in such a formidable
way, thinking to thus make a more impressive entrance to their city.

The procession now approached the center of the city by a long avenue
which terminated at a beautiful park.

Around the other edge of the park were ranged line after line of
soldiers, both infantry and cavalry, in uniforms of scarlet and gold,
and black and gold, with officers all in white and gold; the bridles
and saddles of their chargers being richly studded in silver and
colored enamels.

At the entrance to the park there stood a great arch of wonderful
design. Across the top of this arch in tall letters of black, with
great curly capitals of red, was painted: “Welcome to the King and
Queen.”

As Tommy and Helen rode their dancing, prancing horses beneath the Arch
of Welcome, there was a mighty blast by the buglers followed by roar
upon roar from a great firing of cannon. Then the officers waved their
swords and the soldiers and people broke into one wild glad cheer,
while from all over the city could be heard the joyous peals of ringing
bells.

Presently a Herald rode forward and blew three mighty blasts upon his
bugle. Then he cried: “O, ye people of Toyville, give ear and hear the
words that have been written for ye in the great parchment!”

As soon as the Herald had said this, there stepped up two Pages,
bearing between them a great scroll of parchment, from which hung many
red ribbons and seals. Behind the two Pages there came a man dressed in
a coat of scarlet, with a long sword at his belt, and a tall hat upon
his head. {67}

The Pages now unrolled the scroll; on it were many letters of black and
red and gold. The man in red put on his big spectacles and in a loud
voice he read:

“Know all men by these presents, that whereas the Realm of Toyville
has been many years without a ruler, it is decreed that there shall be
appointed and crowned, a King and Queen. Therefore, be it now known to
all men, that the people will have no other to rule over them than he
who across the big hills is called Tommy, and the maid who bears him
company and is called Helen. These words were here written down, and
signed and sealed by the High Council of the Realm of Toyville.”

Then the man read the long list of names that were signed to the
parchment, and fine and high sounding names they were, too.

When he had finished, he turned to the people, and in a loud voice
cried out: “Hail to King Tommy! Hail to Queen Helen!”

“Hail to King Tommy! Hail to Queen Helen!” the people repeated; and
then together in chorus they shouted: “Long reign King Tommy and Queen
Helen!”

At the completion of this impressive ceremony and when the people had
ceased their glad cheering, the Mayor stepped forward, and, bowing with
much courtesy and grace, informed their Majesties that if they would be
pleased to dismount, it would be his pleasure to conduct them to the
Royal Seats, which had been prepared at the other side of the park.

When the Mayor had finished speaking, two Pages approached and held
the bridles of Coal Black and Snow White while the King and Queen
dismounted. {68}

The Mayor now walked with their Majesties across the park to directly
opposite the Arch of Welcome, where had been erected a high platform,
beautifully decorated with garlands of laurel leaves, intertwined with
beautiful flowers, and on which was the Royal Seat.

The Mayor again bowed most courteously.

“Your Majesties,” he said, “we have prepared for your special pleasure
and enjoyment, and as a slight token of welcome, some of the fine games
and sports for which our people of Toyville are so famous.”

“We thank you for the honor you have shown us,” responded King Tommy.
“My gracious Queen and myself will be pleased indeed to watch the games
of our beloved subjects.”

The Mayor was exceedingly happy at these words of the King; he quickly
turned to the waiting Herald and waved his staff, this being the sign
that the entertainment might begin.

The Herald now blew three mighty blasts upon a bugle and cried: “Let
the games commence!”

Of course, Tommy and Helen were greatly surprised at being made King
and Queen. Mr. Poodle was not surprised, though, and he said that the
people were certainly fortunate in having made such a wise choice.
He was sure too, that Tommy and Helen would make a splendid King and
Queen, and he predicted that their reign would prove a happy one.

“Yes,” said the Mayor, “it certainly will if trouble does not come from
the people of Grumbletown.”

[Illustration: Professor Wow Bow]

Tommy could see that the Mayor seemed quite a little worried about what
might be done by the Grumbletown {70} King, and was going to ask him
if he feared any immediate trouble. Before he had time to do this,
however, the games began, and proved so interesting that both Queen
Helen and he had to spend every minute watching them, and could think
of nothing else.

From the first number on the program, which was a grand parade,
consisting of a long procession of elephants, camels, lions, tigers
and nearly every animal of which one could think, led by a fine band
and followed by numerous gaily plumed horses and chariots, up to the
last when the Master of Ceremonies introduced Professor Wow Bow and his
marvellously trained dogs, the entertainment proved one long delight.
There was bareback riding, then came feats of tumblings, performing
Jacks, funny Clowns, and every other act of which one might think.

[Illustration: The Little Man and]

The little man with a funny pig made Tommy and Helen laugh so much that
they almost had to cry; or at least, they had to wipe tears out of
their eyes. {71}

[Illustration: The Performing Pig.]

Rolie Polie watched the tricks of the clowns with much interest, and,
although he laughed and applauded generously, yet it was very apparent
that he thought his own tricks to be quite superior. “They should have
a donkey to ride,” he said to the Miller of Dee, who chanced to be
standing near him. “Now-a-days, we clowns always have a donkey. When
the games are over I will show the people one or two new tricks that
will be thought comical.”

So interested were the people in the performance that but few of them
noticed the entrance into the park of three men, wearing long coats
which were bound about with broad belts and fastened with big buckles.
They were accompanied by a man in a long red coat, who, after a
moment’s whispered conversation, left them.

These three men now went to the Master of Ceremonies, and, bowing to
him, the tall one said: “We are strolling Musicians and we desire to
play one of our famous tunes for their Majesties.” {72}

“So, you want to play to the King and Queen, do you?” asked the Master
of Ceremonies. “Well, what tune can you play?”

“Oh we play upon horns,” answered the big one, poking the end of the
instrument out from under his coat.

“That looks more like a big pistol,” said the Master.

The Musician started at these words, but presently recovered himself
and showed the Master all of the instrument which in very truth proved
to be no more than a big horn.

The Master did not like the looks of the men’s faces and was suspicious
of their not being all that they pretended. Nevertheless, he saw no
harm in allowing them to play, and so led the way across the park to
the King and Queen.

[Illustration]

{73}



[Illustration]

Chapter X. THE MUSICIANS.


{74}

[Illustration: The Musicians]

{75}

  The Tenth Chapter.

  _How Three came to Play a Tune for the King & Queen. And of how the
  King was not pleased with the Music. Also more about Rolie Polie._

[Illustration]

By the time the three Musicians appeared before the King and Queen, the
entertainment was at an end, and only the few people who waited to see
the donkey riding of Rolie Polie remained in the park.

Upon Mr. Poodle hearing that Rolie Polie proposed to give a
performance, he hurried off to find the little clown, and put an end
to his plans. “There is no telling, your Honor,” he said to the Mayor,
“what that little clown of mine may do; he is apt to be up to all kinds
of tricks, and if he once gets astride his donkey and tries to perform
in this park, something serious is sure to happen.” {76}

When the Master of Ceremonies told the King about the three Musicians,
King Tommy said: “So three strolling players have come! well, that is
good. We will hear what kind of music they can play. Bid them tune up
and say to them, we are listening and desire the best selection which
they know how to render.”

The Master delivered the King’s command. Then the three whispered
together, after which they made believe to tune their instruments, and
began to play.

Well, perhaps the three were Musicians and perhaps the noise the horns
made was called music, but it sounded no better than the howling of
three cats; indeed, it sounded even worse.

“Hold!” cried King Tommy, as he placed a finger in each ear. “Stop,
stop, we have had enough of that music! If there is no other tune you
can play better than this one, you had best be going, for we can’t
stand any more.”

“There is another tune we can play!” cried the big one; and quick as a
wink he and the other two threw away their horns and thrust their hands
under their coats.

Now what tune it was the three Musicians were going to play, I can do
no more than guess; for no sooner did they get their hands inside their
coats, than around the corner of a booth came Rolie Polie, driving his
little donkey in a white and red chariot. The tooting of the horns had
been too much for the donkey, and now the little clown could do nothing
to check its wild gallop as it tore past the people and straight
towards the three Musicians. One loud bray it gave; then a kick to
the right and another to the left, and down went all three Musicians
tumbling heels over head in the dust. {77}

[Illustration: Stop!]

{78}

Musicians, did I say? Well, they were musicians no longer, for beneath
the torn and tumbled coat of each there might now be seen a broad belt
holding big pistols and a keen edged cutlass.

“The three Buccaneers from Grumbletown!” yelled the Mayor. “Capture
them quickly!”

Big Bill was on his feet in a moment. “We are discovered, we are
discovered!” he cried. “Every man run for his life!”

Hardly were these words off his tongue, when the three were scurrying
across the park and had no sooner reached the Arch of Welcome, than two
of them bounded to the back of Coal Black, while Big Bill jumped into
the saddle of Snow White, and away they rode like the wind.

The captain and soldiers followed quickly, but there was no chance of
the Buccaneers being overtaken, for not a horse in Toyville could ever
catch Coal Black and Snow White, even with Coal Black carrying double.

“Which way did the Buccaneers ride?” asked Tommy of the captain as soon
as the soldiers returned.

“Your Majesty,” answered the captain, saluting the King, “they are
headed for Grumbletown.”

“Grumbletown?” cried the Mayor. “Then we must look for trouble: Their
King will probably declare war.”

“We must post our guards and call out the army,” said King Tommy. “If
the King of Grumbletown makes an attack, he will find us ready.”

“Is there danger of war, Tommy?” asked Helen, who had been listening to
the talk of the King and Mr. Poodle. “Because if there is, I think I
would like to go home again. I don’t like battles.” {79}

“Don’t be afraid,” said Tommy. “You can go up to the Castle and stay;
nothing will harm you there, and it won’t take me long when I have the
Toyville army at my back, to defeat the soldiers of Grumbletown.”

Helen could see quite plainly that the Mayor and the captains liked
to hear their King talking that way, and thought him very brave. She
thought Tommy was brave too, when he spoke all those big words; so she
said: “May we go up to the Castle now, Tommy?”

“Yes,” said Tommy. “Mr. Mayor will you please lead the way?”

“I will be glad, indeed, to do so” answered the Mayor; “and in any
event, I think the people at the Castle are ready, by this time, to
serve their banquet.”

“A banquet?” said Helen. “Are we to have a banquet? Won’t that be
lovely!”

This was the second time Rolie Polie’s tricks had proved lucky for
everybody, and it made the little clown quite a hero. But, although,
he received an urgent invitation to attend the banquet at the castle,
he preferred to stroll about a little with the Miller of Dee, who had
invited him to see the sights of the town, and later to luncheon at the
Barley Mill.

King Tommy at first was not inclined to give his consent to this plan,
for he had been seriously considering a reward for Rolie Polie, which
he intended bestowing at the banquet. Thinking the reward could wait,
however, he gave the desired permission.

Then the King and Queen stepped into the royal coach, and followed by
the Lords and Nobles, who also were in fine coaches, started for the
Castle. Out of the park they {80} went, along the broad boulevard,
past the barracks of the cavalry, and on through winding, shady
streets; coming at last to the gateway at the entrance of the Castle
Park.

[Illustration: The Royal Coach.]

{81}



[Illustration]

Chapter XI. RED BEARD.


{82}

[Illustration: The Black Rover]

{83}

  The Eleventh Chapter.

  _How the crafty King of Grumbletown learns of Happenings in the Realm
  of Toyville. Also of the Laying of New Plans. And of the Black Rover._

[Illustration]

When the Buccaneers arrived in Grumbletown and Red Beard heard what
they had to tell, he began to make new plans. “Yo, ho, my husky lads!”
said he; “so the boy King of Toyville wasn’t clever enough to capture
you, was he? You hoisted sail and made a safe passage out of the
harbor, did you? Well these are two fine craft you have brought along,
and no mistake about that; we will find safe anchorage for them in our
own city of Grumbletown.”

Red Beard meant Snow White and Coal Black, when he spoke of the two
craft. He talked in that way to the {84} three Buccaneers, because
once having been a pirate captain, that is the kind of language he
liked best to use.

After a few minutes of thought, Red Beard spoke again.

“Listen, my hearties,” said he, “I have a new scheme to unfold to you.
We can’t afford to have a boy and girl ruling in Toyville. Do I speak
the truth, now?”

“Aye, aye, aye!” answered the three Buccaneers.

“’Tis well,” said Red Beard. “I see you are listening, and I say, ’tis
well.” As he spoke, he tapped with his knuckles the butt of a pistol
that was sticking out of his belt. “No, we can’t afford to let those
Toy people have a boy and girl for their King and Queen. They will
teach them too much skill and too many tricks, and soon make them so
clever that it will mean the end of Grumbletown. Do I speak the truth,
my bonny babies?”

“Aye, aye, aye!” answered the three Buccaneers.

“’Tis well, I see you listen,” said Red Beard; and again he tapped the
butt of his big pistol. “Now I will give you my new plan: soldiers and
cannon are all right for Kings that are used to ruling on land, but for
a King that once was a pirate captain, give us a good smart ship and
some stout rogues to man her, and that’s the way to win, say I. What
ho, my hearties?”

“Aye, aye, aye!” cried the three Buccaneers.

“What do you say the King of Toyville will be doing just now?” asked
Red Beard. “He will be eating his fine banquet up at the Castle with
his Queen, won’t he? Well, then, now is the time to act, say I. Let
someone go and spread the word in Toyville of a big battle, and tell
the Toy people about how their soldiers have been attacked and how
hundreds have been made prisoners.” {85}

“When the King and his Nobles up at the Castle hear of this, what
will they do? What will they do, I say? Listen, my sea dogs, and I
will tell you what King Tommy and his Nobles will do. They will mount
their horses and ride out into the hills, and take all the soldiers
with them. And how about Queen Helen? Will any soldiers be left at the
Castle to protect the Queen? No, my husky darlings, no one will be left
to protect the Queen. So, I say, now is our time to act; King Tommy and
his soldiers will be too clever for us; we can’t fight them, but we
can capture the Queen, and after that it won’t take long before we can
strike up a bargain with the King. Are you listening, my three little
lambs?”

“Aye, aye, aye!” cried the three Buccaneers.

“But,” grumbled Red Beard, as he took a hitch at his belt and let his
sword jingle against the barrel of his pistol, “when we are rid of the
King, how are we going to find a way to capture the Queen? that’s what
I say. How are we going to capture the Queen?”

No one answered for almost a minute. Then Long Jim stepped into the
room; the crafty courtier had arrived just in time to hear the King’s
question, and, being a clever one, this is the way he answered:

“If our noble King will permit me to speak, I will tell the Buccaneers
the plan I think our noble and kind King was about to unfold to them.”

“You may tell them my plan, old Oily Tongue,” replied Red Beard, for
that is the name he had for Long Jim.

Of course, Long Jim knew the King didn’t really have any plan, and he
just pretended, when he offered to tell what it was, because he thought
that would please Red {86} Beard, who wanted to be thought very
clever. Red Beard, however, knew the smooth ways of Long Jim, and that
is why he called the crafty courtier “Oily Tongue.”

“Most kind and gentle Buccaneers,” said the courtier, “the King’s plan
is this: he wishes you to take your pirate ship, the Black Rover,
and sail through the River into the Lake at Toyville, where you are
to await developments. Before night comes, you will have the Queen
captive.”

“Aye, aye, aye!” answered the three Buccaneers, marching off to their
ship, in which they soon were sailing down the river towards the Lake
of Toyville.

After the departure of the three Buccaneers, Long Jim and Red Beard
put their heads together, and to everything Long Jim said, the King
kept nodding approval, until in the end, Long Jim bowed good day to Red
Beard, and putting on his feathered cap, he too, set forth for Toyville.

Travelling through the hills by a secret passage, Long Jim reached
Toyville and entered the city without its once being discovered that
he was one of the enemy. As he went through the streets, he stopped to
speak first to one person and then to another, dropping a word here and
there, which very soon made the people turn pale with fright and hurry
into their houses, where they quickly barred both doors and windows.

[Illustration]

{87}



[Illustration]

Chapter XII. THE BANQUET.


{88}

[Illustration: The House Guards]

{89}

  The Twelfth Chapter.

  _In which something is told of the fine Castle on the Hill, where
  is held the Royal Banquet. Also of an Alarm that interrupted the
  Glorious Feast._

[Illustration]

On reaching the Castle Tommy and Helen had been filled with surprise
and wonder at its marvellous beauty. The decorations were all so rich
and so appropriate, that they could not refrain from expressions of the
warmest admiration. The Lords and Ladies, too, said they had never seen
anything quite so beautiful.

The Prime Minister met the King and Queen, and when he had presented
them with the Castle, in the name of the happy people of Toyville, he
announced that the banquet was ready to be served. {90}

After the King and Queen had changed their dusty, travel stained
clothes for the pretty robes that had been prepared for them, the Lords
and Ladies, led by their Majesties, entered the Royal Dining Room,
where were a number of little tables laden with all manner of good
things. Here the decorations were even more beautiful than in any other
room of the Castle, and when the company were seated in the quaint
chairs at the tables and partaking of the fine banquet that was served
for them, one and all felt that in no way could they have been blessed
with a more gracious Queen, or a more perfect hostess.

The first course, as it always should be, was ice cream, served in many
fanciful shapes and of the most delicious flavors. With the ice cream
there was served cake—light, feathery and perfectly cooked; with just
the right amount of egg, not a bit too much sugar, and flavored to the
point of nicety.

There were many kinds of cake served, so that everybody might have the
special kind which was best liked. After the cake course, there were
cream puffs, luscious eclairs, thin, delicate sugar wafers, candies,
fruits, nuts and every dainty confection which could be imagined.

The Queen, remembering what she had been told about the candy fruit in
the orchard, that it wouldn’t make them ill, as city candy did at home,
very thoughtfully told her guests that each might have two helpings of
everything, or even three, or four, if they desired.

Mr. Poodle, thinking it would be a rare treat to the Toy people to
have something from the city over the hills, reminded the Queen of the
chicken sandwiches and the {91} two rosy red apples. He said these had
come safely through the hills, and had been delivered at the Castle by
the driver of the express wagon.

The Queen hurriedly sent for the sandwiches and the apples. When these
were cut up and served to the guests, everyone spoke of them in the
highest terms of praise, and said that never before had they tasted
quite such a nice dessert.

It was as plain as it could be that everyone had spoken the truth, for
when the banquet was finished, not as much as one single crumb of the
dessert could be found on the plates.

During the progress of the banquet, Long Jim, as we already know, had
been busy spreading his news in the streets of the city.

It didn’t take long for this news to travel, I can tell you; and just
as the King and Queen and their guests were about to rise from the
tables, there was a big commotion in the Castle; and through the open
windows were heard the cries of alarm in the town.

Then the Major Domo came hurriedly into the Royal Dining Room and
announced that the city had been attacked by the army of Grumbletown.

As may well be imagined, there was now great excitement in the Castle,
and especially, among the Ladies. The Queen turned anxiously to the
King. “Is there going to be a war?” she asked, “because I don’t want a
war; battles are awfully scarey.”

“Don’t be afraid, Helen,” said King Tommy. “Nothing will harm you.
It won’t take us long, with the fine army of Toyville, to drive the
enemy out of the hills and back to {92} their own Grumbletown.” Then
mounting a chair, and being quickly surrounded by the House Guards, he
cried: “There is no time to be lost; every man will be needed among the
defenders to-day; let every man buckle on his sword and follow me!”

The Mayor also jumped up on a chair. “A cheer for Toyville!” he cried;
“long may it prosper! Three cheers for our brave and noble King; long
may he reign!”

Everybody joined in the cheering, the sweet voices of the ladies
mingling pleasantly with the strong, lusty shouts of the men.

But no time had been lost by the cheering; for all the while the
attendants were busy buckling on the swords and fetching helmets and
shields. Meanwhile, the neighing and stamping of horses in the court
outside the Castle, indicated that the grooms also were busy, and
already had the strong, noble steeds waiting for the brave and fearless
riders.

When the King and his companions reached the streets, they found
everything in commotion, with brave soldiers galloping here and there,
and frightened faces peering out of the windows of the houses.

“Ha, ha, ha!” chuckled Long Jim when he saw the King depart; “I tell
you, I am a clever one! That’s the time I fooled the King of Toyville!
And now there is no time to lose; the Queen is in the Castle without
any guards, and the three Buccaneers in the _Black Rover_ will be
waiting out on the lake.” With his face twisted in a wicked grin the
crafty courtier now entered the gates and went through the quiet,
deserted court yard, where presently, with a rap, tap, tap, he stood
waiting at the front door of the Palace. {93}

Meanwhile, King Tommy and his companions rode to the barracks of the
cavalry. As might have been anticipated, it took hard, quick work to
get out all the soldiers, cannons and ammunition wagons, and to issue
orders so that everything would go smoothly. But the King was equal to
the task, and before long, the sound of galloping cavalry, tramping
infantry, and rumbling wheels of cannons and ammunition wagons, told
the frightened Toy people that the troops were hurrying off to the
hills and to the defense of the realm.

[Illustration: In the Windows.]

When King Tommy had issued all his orders and arranged every little
detail, he mounted a fine war horse, and asking Mr. Poodle to ride with
him, the two with the King’s Guards set forth at a fast gallop for the
front. But {94} when they came to the hills where the horses were
obliged to walk, the King found time to do a little thinking. The most
he had to think about was the coming battle, but some of the time he
thought of Helen, and wondered if she would be frightened upon hearing
the cannon roaring, and if she would really be safe in the Castle.
He wished now that he had left more guards at the Castle. “I will be
glad,” he thought, “when the war is over, and I can go back again to
Helen.”

The roads were now one mass of hurrying troops, all in bright colored
uniforms, with the sun glistening on the polished gun barrels and on
the officers’ swords. The King noticed how willingly the big horses
tugged at their heavy loads, and how the drivers never used their
whips, but always spoke kindly to them.

Upon reaching the front, they found many cannons mounted on the hills,
and company upon company of soldiers waiting in battle array, but never
a sign anywhere of the enemy.

“Have you sent out scouts?” asked the King to the Commanding General.

“Yes, your Majesty,” answered the General; “and all report that none of
the enemy can be found.”

“That is strange,” said the King. “How about the prisoners, have you
rescued them?”

“There have been no prisoners taken, your Majesty,” answered the
General; “neither has there been any attack made upon our outposts.”

[Illustration: The Artillery]

While the King and the General were talking, another scout came to
report. “My General,” said the scout, “I have ridden to the very
walls of Grumbletown, where I was {96} told by a peasant that the
Grumbletown army has not ventured outside the gates of their city.”

While this scout was reporting, another came riding up as fast as his
horse could gallop.

[Illustration: A Scout]

“My General,” cried the second scout, “I have come from the high hills
yonder. There is a ship entering the Lake of Toyville. It is the
pirate ship from Grumbletown, called the _Black Rover_ manned by the
Buccaneers.”

“We have been tricked!” cried the King. “We have left the Castle
unguarded, and the Queen without protection. The Queen will be made
captive! We must ride to her rescue!”

“To the Queen’s rescue! To the Queen’s rescue!” cried an officer of the
King’s Guard; and, shaking the reins over their horses’ necks, a great
company of riders led by the King and Mr. Poodle went galloping back to
Toyville. {97}



[Illustration]

Chapter XIII. THE SAIL.


{98}

[Illustration: Fire!]

{99}

  The Thirteenth Chapter.

  _Here the Crafty Courtier plays a clever Trick on Queen Helen and her
  Ladies. Here, too, is told of an Adventure with the Three Buccaneers._

[Illustration]

Before Long Jim had time to give a second rap, tap, tap, the front door
of the Castle opened and a servant in royal livery stood ready to usher
the crafty courtier into the Audience Hall.

“You may announce to Her Majesty the Queen, that I come from the King
with a very important message,” said Long Jim.

The servant departed. “Ha, ha, ha,” chuckled Long Jim, “I certainly am
a clever one! I told the man to tell the Queen I had a message from the
King, but I didn’t tell him it was from the King of Grumbletown; and he
thinks it {100} is from his own King. He does not know what a clever
one I am and how I can fool all of them, but he will find out very
soon.”

“Her Majesty will give you an audience,” announced the servant, as he
returned. Then, he conducted Long Jim to the Royal Parlors, where the
Queen sat surrounded by her Ladies.

“Your Majesty,” said Long Jim, addressing the Queen, after taking off
his hat and bowing courteously, “the King sends you greeting, and begs
to inform you that the army of Grumbletown is being held in check and
has even been driven back in some places. He wished me to say to you
that there is no danger at present, and he hopes you and these noble
Ladies will have a good time and enjoy yourselves. He suggests that you
might find it a pleasure to go for a sail on the lake.”

The Queen was much pleased at this message. She clapped her hands and
said: “O, I dearly love to go sailing! If it pleases the Ladies to do
so, we will go at once.”

The Ladies said they certainly would enjoy taking a sail on the
beautiful lake.

But though the Ladies spoke this way, all in truth were quite a little
afraid, and wondered if it were wise for them to venture out of the
Castle, with the army of Grumbletown so near the city; they were sure,
however, the King would not have sent such a message unless he knew the
outing to be perfectly safe.

When the Queen and her Ladies had gone to their apartments to dress in
their yachting costumes, Long Jim took a careful survey of the room to
see that there was nobody near, then he broke into a villainous laugh.
“I have {101} fooled them now,” he said. “King Red Beard will reward me
for this. I tell you, I am a clever one,—too clever for these numskulls
in Toyville! When their King comes home and finds his Queen gone, won’t
he tear around and be angry though! And won’t he be twice as angry when
he learns she has been betrayed into the hands of the Buccaneers of
Grumbletown! Big Bill, the captain of the Buccaneers, will say I am a
clever one too, when he sees the boat bearing the Queen and her fine
Ladies sailing away out on the lake. It won’t take Big Bill long to
run his fine ship, the _Black Rover_, that flies the black flag, right
alongside of the Queen’s boat, and then in about two jiffies he will
have the Queen and her Ladies made captive. I tell you I am a clever
one to plan all this! Ha, ha, ha! yes, I certainly am a clever one!”

That was a long speech for the crafty courtier to make, and he had
but little breath left when he finished, so that his laugh at the end
didn’t ring nearly so loud as it did at the beginning. Lucky for his
wicked plans that his laugh wasn’t so loud either, for he had hardly
finished when he heard the Queen and the Ladies returning.

Bowing again very courteously, Long Jim said: “It is the King’s wish
that I escort the Queen and the Ladies to the lake. Is this also the
Queen’s wish?”

The Queen answered that the ladies and herself would certainly be
pleased to comply with the King’s wishes, and, as it was yet early in
the afternoon, she had no doubt that all would have a very pleasant
sail, and thoroughly enjoy their outing.

Long Jim thanked the Queen and said he was sure the sail would prove
very entertaining. {102}

When Long Jim said that, if the Queen had but glanced at his face, she
would have seen an expression, sly and crafty enough to frighten her;
for the entertainment which he meant was of a kind that would not prove
very safe for the Queen.

The Queen, however, had no suspicions, so, telling Long Jim they were
now ready to start, the little company left the Castle and set forth
for the lake. Laughing and chatting merrily, with never a thought of
danger, they came presently to the Royal Boat Landing.

Two trained sailors rowed them to the _Royal Yacht_, now riding at
anchor a little way from the shore. After assisting the last Lady to
step aboard, Long Jim ordered the sail hoisted, when, a gentle breeze
filling the canvas, the trim boat cut a way through the silver tipped
ripples, and sped rapidly out on the lake.

Long Jim was such a good sailor that Queen Helen could not help
remarking to her companions the pleasure it gave her to see the boat
handled so skilfully. The Ladies said it pleased them, too, for now
they felt perfectly safe and had not the least particle of fear of
anything happening to cause danger, or to mar the enjoyment of such a
nice afternoon, and such a delightful sail.

Long Jim chuckled to himself when he heard this conversation, for he
thought, “I guess these Ladies would sing a new tune if they knew how
this sail is going to end, and the Queen would certainly think I am a
clever one if she knew how I have kept the boat headed right up the
lake towards the river, and all the while with the sail set so not one
of them can see that black pirate ship just beyond the bend.” {103}

But if Queen Helen and her Ladies did not see the pirate ship, the
Buccaneers saw their ship, and now ran up their long black flag; and
steering a course for the mouth of the river, drew the sail taut, so
as to catch every particle of the breeze and went scudding out of the
river into the lake, laying their course straight for the _Royal Yacht_.

“Down with the helm!” cried Big Bill. “Run out the cannon, take careful
aim, I will touch the fuse, and we will put a round shot across their
bow, that will make them stop, I think. Then we can run alongside and
board their vessel. Every man to his post! There now, are you ready?”

“All ready!” yelled the two Buccaneers. “Fire!”

No sooner was the word uttered than there sprang from the mouth of the
cannon a flash of flame, followed by a great puff of black smoke and a
mighty rumbling roar, like thunder. Then skipping through the water,
not ten feet before the bow of the _Royal Yacht_ went the big ball,
sending up sheets of spray which spattered the deck of the yacht and
even reached the little group seated in the cockpit.

The Queen and her Ladies screamed with fright, which certainly was no
more than natural, for they were taken very much by surprise. Before
any of them could utter one single word, Long Jim threw over the helm
and headed the yacht into the wind so that in a moment it lost headway
and drifted with the sail flapping useless in the breeze.

Meanwhile, the pirate ship drew rapidly nearer, and presently swung
about and came alongside. The Buccaneers then threw grappling irons on
to the deck of the yacht, and lashed the two boats together. {104}

“Ha, ha, ha! We have them now!” laughed Big Bill. “Come, my little
birds, which one is your Queen?”

Not one of the Ladies answered Big Bill. No one would be so disloyal as
to betray the Queen, and none of the Ladies, at least none of the Royal
Ladies, would ever stoop so low as to speak to a pirate.

Long Jim quickly stepped forward. “This is the Queen,” he said as he
pointed to Helen. “Take her and don’t bother with the others. That
cannon shot of yours is sure to alarm the whole town, and we will have
to make rapid work of it, if we get away safely. You were a stupid old
noodle head to make such a noise.”

Big Bill scowled and drew his pistol when Long Jim said this.

“A stupid old noodle head, am I? Well, that shows how much you know
about pirating. Did you ever hear of a pirate capturing a ship without
firing a shot across her bow? Answer that now, if you can.”

But Long Jim, when he looked into the muzzle of the pistol, didn’t care
to say any more, so he jumped across to the deck of the pirate ship and
left Big Bill, who was not long in capturing Helen.

[Illustration]

{105}



[Illustration]

Chapter XIV. THE CHASE.


{106}

[Illustration: To the Rescue]

{107}

  The Fourteenth Chapter.

  _The Chase. In which is told how Big Bill sailed the Black Rover, and
  of the glee of the Buccaneers at their cunning baffling of the King &
  Mr. Poodle._

[Illustration]

When Long Jim said the shooting of the cannon would alarm the whole
town he told but the truth. It did more than that however, for it
warned King Tommy and Mr. Poodle that it was the lake and not the
castle to which their company must ride, thus saving them much valuable
time. What a clatter the horses did make galloping through the town;
out of one street and into another they went, all the while willingly
straining in every muscle to attain the utmost speed of which they were
capable, seemingly realizing the great anxiety of their riders. King
Tommy rode at the head of the column, his sword in his fist, his head
thrown back and his hair blowing in the {108} breeze, while he shouted
words of encouragement to his followers, bidding them keep stout hearts
and strong arms for the defence of the city, and the rescue of their
Queen.

When presently the little company came to the lake, the good horses
bore them almost into the water before their mad gallop could be
checked; and then only by pulling the fiery steeds back on their
haunches were the brave riders saved from getting a good ducking.

It was the work of only a moment to dismount. What to do next the King
did not quite know, for already those on the pirate craft were casting
off their grappling irons, and as soon as the _Black Rover_ could get
free from the _Royal Yacht_, with a piping breeze filling her sails she
would soon reach the mouth of the river, when all hope of capture would
be lost. Being such a cunningly built craft, and drawing so little
water, under the skilful handling of the Buccaneers, the tortuous bends
of the river would be navigated through shallow and twisting channels
where no other ship could follow.

“If we only had a gunboat,” said the King, “I could go into the conning
tower and direct the shots, so as to rake that pirate ship fore and
aft, and in about a minute sink her.”

“Yes, that would no doubt be the right thing to do,” said Mr. Poodle,
“provided there are no captives aboard. But—”

“Do you think they have captured Queen Helen?” said Tommy, never once
realizing how he had interrupted the words of Mr. Poodle. “See! There
are ladies in the _Royal Yacht_ waving to us. Every man to the rescue!”

Row boats were now quickly boarded, and with stout men tugging most
manfully at the oars, were made to skip over the water at no slow rate,
and so reached the _Royal_ {109} _Yacht_ before the _Black Rover_ had
sailed over half the distance to the river. It could now be seen with
one glance that the Queen had been captured, and even this was not
required, as the ladies were excitedly calling the news the moment the
boats came within hailing distance.

[Illustration: Off to the Yacht.]

King Tommy and Mr. Poodle were the first to reach the abandoned yacht,
and without waiting for the others, they sprang quickly to the sail and
the helm, and soon had the boat headed for the river and chasing the
pirates’ craft.

The _Royal Yacht_ was a good sailer, and under some conditions might
have overhauled the _Black Rover_. But now, King Tommy saw such a task
to be hopeless and that the Buccaneers would enter the river before
there was any chance of their being overtaken. The only hope lay in
a shot from the yacht cannon, and as this meant danger to {110} the
Queen, it was no sooner thought of than abandoned. Meanwhile the _Black
Rover_ had reached the mouth of the river, and Big Bill, in glee at
his successful capture of the Queen and no less successful escape from
the King, trained his brass cannon on the fast approaching yacht and
fired a parting shot. Buccaneers are usually fine shots, but from a
careless aim, due probably to excitement, the cannon ball went wide,
never coming within yards of doing any harm. This it did do, however:
it showed to the King the danger of continuing the pursuit, especially
when fear of hitting the Queen made it unwise to return the fire.

By this time the _Black Rover_ had reached the first bend in the river.
Once past that there would be no hope of rescuing the Queen. The
Buccaneers were again training their cannon on the approaching yacht,
this time with a more determined aim, and Tommy, as he stood manfully
at the helm, felt for the first time that he had been beaten, and for
the safety of the ladies aboard the yacht he should keep out of range
of the next shot. Quickly throwing over the helm, he allowed the yacht
to head up into the teeth of the wind, and gave up the chase. Hardly
had the yacht changed her course before there was a flash and a boom
from the deck of the _Black Rover_, and a big shot plowed through the
water only a few feet astern, drenching King Tommy with a sheet of
spray. But for this quick maneuver, the _Royal Yacht_ would undoubtedly
have been hit below the water line and sunk.

When the Buccaneers now saw that the chase had been abandoned they
waved their hats and shouted in wildest glee, and the next minute,
reaching the bend in the river, were lost to sight behind the
overhanging trees.

{111}



[Illustration]

Chapter XV. THE BARLEY MILL.


{112}

[Illustration: The Miller of Dee]

{113}

  The Fifteenth Chapter.

  _Of Rolie Polie’s visit to the Barley Mill. And of what the Miller
  of Dee saw from the Roof. Also of the threatening shouts of the Toy
  People._

[Illustration]

As King Tommy headed the _Royal Yacht_ to the wind and gave up the
chase, the ladies, almost with one voice, begged of him not to abandon
the rescue of the Queen. But upon thinking how near their boat had come
to being sunk by the shot from the cannon on the deck of the _Black
Rover_, they realized that the King had chosen the only course possible.

Tommy now held a consultation with Mr. Poodle. In their hurried talk
neither one could present a plan which promised success, or even held
any hope. Meanwhile, the _Black Rover_ being out of sight and there now
existing {114} no danger from the cannon shots, the yacht was again
headed for the river, though what would be gained by this course the
King for a moment could not see.

During this activity on board the yacht, there had been no less
activity on the land, for the sound of the firing had brought a great
gathering of people to the shore of the lake, to the roofs of houses
and to every high point from which might be had a good view.

Now, as has been told, Rolie Polie had gone off to see the town and
have luncheon with the Miller of Dee. Thus it happened that when the
Buccaneers fired their first cannon shot, the little clown was sitting
at the door of the mill, watching the great wheel turn and the barley
corns go bobbing up and down in the hopper.

“Oh, ho, Rolie Polie,” cried the Miller of Dee; “there must be a battle
out on the lake! Come in and tend the mill a minute, while I go up on
the roof and see what is causing all this firing!”

Rolie Polie jumped quickly to his feet, and didn’t say no to that
proposition, I can tell you, for he thought it would be great sport
to tend the mill. Presently the Miller of Dee was telling him to turn
this lever this way, and that lever another way, and to be sure not to
touch the third lever, and then the mill would grind, or stop grinding,
and all would be well. “Be sure, Rolie Polie, not to touch the third
lever,” finally cautioned the Miller, as he went hurrying out of the
door.

After Rolie Polie had tended the mill for a while, he too began to
wonder what was happening out on the lake. “I will shut off the mill,”
said he, “and get up on the roof and see.” {115}

“Now, was it this lever the Miller said to turn, or that one, or the
third one?” wondered Rolie Polie. Then he pushed down a lever, and no
sooner had it turned than Rolie Polie heard a great rushing and roaring
which nearly shook the mill from off its foundations.

“Oh, Rolie Polie!” cried the Miller’s wife, scaring her cat from its
nap in the sun, as she ran hurriedly into the mill, “What have you
done? What have you done? The gates to the dam are open and the water
is tearing wildly through the mill brook. We must turn the lever again
and shut the gates!”

But, work as hard as they could, the gates would not budge one inch,
and presently the Miller was heard calling loudly: “Shut the gates!
Shut the gates!”

Rolie Polie began to shake and tremble. “I think it is time for me to
go and hide,” he said. “There is no telling what the Miller might do.”
Then off he hurried and soon had tucked himself in a corner behind some
meal bags.

“Shut the gates! Shut the gates!” yelled the Miller, as he bounded
through the open door and ran across the mill to the levers. But for
all his hard tugging, the Miller of Dee never closed the gates even one
particle. Then he went outside and called for help, and presently there
was no less than a dozen stout Toy people tugging at the lever, which
little by little, as the pressure of the water grew less, began to turn
and finally shut the gates.

“It is a fine mess this little clown has made for us now,” said the
Miller. “He deserves to have a good birch twig laid upon his back,
only, of course, that is against the laws of Toyville, and besides
he is such a jolly little fellow, it would be a shame to give him a
whipping.” {116}

While the little Miller of Dee was talking this way, Rolie Polie, now
much frightened, kept creeping further into his nook behind the barley
bags.

[Illustration]

If he had not been so intent upon hiding he would have heard the Miller
laugh and say that: “Perhaps the little clown was not after all much to
blame, for he hadn’t had much experience at mill tending.” That was the
way it was with the Toy people; they never could be cross with anybody,
or, at least, they could not be cross for long.

Rolie Polie did not hear the Miller say this though, but what he did
hear was an approaching throng in the street. These, with shouts and
cries of: “Who opened the gates? Who opened the gates?” were now almost
at the mill.

[Illustration: The Levers.]

As for the little Miller, he too heard the cry. “Oh me, oh my!” said
he, “this certainly looks threatening for Rolie {117} Polie; and
really the fault was not so much his as mine. I should never have left
the mill in his care.” The next {118} minute the Miller of Dee stepped
briskly to the open door. “I am the one for whom you are looking,” said
he.

Whatever the Miller of Dee expected would happen when he made the
announcement, I do not know, but of this much I am certain, that which
did happen was without doubt a big surprise.

“The Miller of Dee! the Miller of Dee! Hurrah for the Miller of Dee!”
cried the throng as they rushed forward; and, taking hold of the little
Miller, twined a wreath of roses about his shoulders and placed him on
the back of Rolie Polie’s donkey.

“To the Castle!” they cried; and off they started.

It was as much as two minutes before the little Miller could get enough
breath to speak. “Why am I being taken to the Castle? Why is this
wreath about my neck? And why do you cheer?” he asked.

“Listen!” cried one of the Toy people to his companions. “The Miller of
Dee asks why we cheer! Why shouldn’t we cheer? Hurrah for the Miller of
Dee, who opened the gates of the dam and let the water out of the lake,
so the pirate ship was left high and dry in the river!”

When, at last, the noise had subsided enough for the little Miller to
be heard, he asked: “Is that what has really happened? Has the pirate
boat been captured and has Queen Helen been rescued?”

“Yes,” answered the Toy people; “Queen Helen has been rescued, and all
due to the Miller of Dee.”

“No,” answered the little Miller, “the honor is not mine; I did not
open the gates. They were opened by the little clown. Turn back, my
fellow Toy people, this wreath of roses is for Rolie Polie.”

{119}



[Illustration]

Chapter XVI. THE ROSE WREATH.


{120}

[Illustration: The Rose Wreath]

{121}

  The Sixteenth Chapter.

  _The bestowing of the Rose Wreath. Also of two surprising Rewards.
  And of the New Joy that came to the Miller of Dee, and the Toy
  People._

[Illustration]

Rolie Polie could not understand why the Toy people cheered, and he
wondered at their hasty departure. Then he crawled out from behind the
bags and went to the door of the mill. There the returning Toy people
found him, his clothes powdered white with barley meal and his face
full of wonderment.

Well, the end of the matter was just this: Rolie Polie, astride his
little donkey and loaded down with garlands of roses, was carried off
to the Castle. By his side walked the Miller, now wearing his best
clothes, and as happy a little body as there was in all the town. {122}

On the way the people told him of what had happened, and how, when the
gates were opened, the water ran out from the lake and made the river
so shallow, that the first thing the Buccaneers knew, the _Black Rover_
stranded high and dry on a gravelly sand bar, with no possible chance
to escape capture.

“But,” interrupted one of the Toy people, “Buccaneers are clever ones
when it comes to getting out of a tight place, and it did not take them
long to climb over the side of their ship and run for the woods.”

“The four rogues had good legs for running, too,” said another of the
Toy people.

“Had any harm come to Queen Helen?” asked the Miller of Dee.

“Oh no,” answered one of his companions. “You see the _Royal Yacht_
grounded at the mouth of the river, and King Tommy jumped quickly over
the side into the shallow water and was the first to reach the _Black
Rover_. He found Queen Helen tied to the mast with a rope. The Queen
acted bravely, and the Buccaneers, seeing that she was no cry baby, did
not treat her roughly; for although they had tied her to the mast, the
ropes were not tight enough to really hurt.”

“Buccaneers always treat brave captives that way,” said another of the
Toy people. “It is only the scarey ones that they handle roughly.”

“Probably Queen Helen couldn’t help being a little frightened though,”
said the Barley Miller.

“But perhaps she bit her lip and did not show one single particle of it
to the Buccaneers,” said Rolie Polie. “That would be just like Helen.”
{123}

“Yes,” said one of the Toy people, “I think she was somewhat
frightened, because that would be enough to scare any Queen; and
when Tommy cut her bonds and set her free, she looked so glad and so
excited, that I think she would have cried if there had not been so
many people about.”

“When the gates were closed and the lake began to fill, you should have
seen the people on the sand bar run!” said a Toy man who was walking by
the donkey; and then he laughed long and heartily. “Why, in a jiffy the
water was up to their ankles, and I think it would have soon been to
their knees had they not waded to the shore, or hastily clambered over
the side of the _Black Rover_.”

“That was a fine race the two boats had back to the landing pier,”
said another Toy man. “The pirate ship is a fast boat, but I think the
_Royal Yacht_ is faster, and I don’t believe the _Black Rover_ could
have beaten but for being so skilfully handled. Tommy certainly knows
how to get speed out of a boat.”

When Rolie Polie came into the presence of the King, and the story was
told of how everything had happened, King Tommy said: “Rolie Polie, you
shall have a fine reward for this; three times your tricks have saved
us sorrow. I am going to give you a medal and make you Captain of my
Royal Guards. Go now and change this clown’s dress for a new uniform.”

“Your Highness,” said Mr. Poodle, after Rolie Polie had thanked the
King and departed, “I think the Miller of Dee also deserves a reward,
for, from what I hear, he has acted most nobly; taking blame when he
thought that it would save Rolie Polie, and as graciously according
credit when {124} he found the opening of the gates had brought honor
and the praise of his fellow Toy people.”

“That is true,” said the King. “I will make the Miller of Dee my first
assistant Prime Minister.”

[Illustration: The Herald.]

The little Miller thanked the King, then laughed and said: “I think the
place for me is in the mill, simply grinding my barley corns.”

Mr. Poodle then told King Tommy that a good Miller was a very handy
fellow to have in the Kingdom, especially one who had something more
beneath his cap than the dust upon his hair, as without doubt this one
had. {125}

Tommy felt that there might be some truth in what the toymaker said,
but he told Mr. Poodle he thought that such a noble deed certainly
deserved a reward.

“That is true,” replied Mr. Poodle; “and now I would suggest that, as
a reward to the Miller, you make this a holiday, to be observed every
year and to be called the Miller’s Holiday.”

Tommy said that would be fine, and immediately issuing the order,
Heralds were soon proclaiming it throughout the city.

The Toy people shouted and cheered at these words of the Heralds, as
they were all fond of holidays, and so thought the King had found a
fine way to reward their friend, the good Miller of Dee.

As for the Miller, he felt very much embarrassed, but at last found
words to thank the King, and then started off home to talk it all over
with his neighbors. A big man the Miller was in his neighbors’ eyes
now, you may be sure; all were glad enough to rub shoulders with him,
and no one minded the white barley dust on his clothes, I can tell you,
which was very nice for the little Miller.

Meanwhile the three Buccaneers, led by Long Jim, the crafty courtier,
made their way back to Grumbletown. Their clothes had been badly torn
by the wild scramble through the bushes; while brambles and briars had
made sad havoc with their faces, so that altogether it was four sorry,
dilapidated looking specimens that now appeared before King Red Beard.

“Blunderheads!” That is what Red Beard called Long Jim and the three
Buccaneers, not once but a dozen times. Then he called them “noodle
skulls,” and, last of all, he {126} called them “four big cowardly
babies,” which certainly was a hard name to give, even to wicked
Buccaneers.

But, by and by, when Red Beard began to quiet down, he said: “Well, you
have now failed three times, but we can’t allow that boy and girl to
rule in Toyville.” Then ordering his spies to return to Toyville, he
set about the making of new plans.

[Illustration: The Proclamation.]

{127}



[Illustration]

Chapter XVII. THE GARDEN PARTY.


{128}

[Illustration: In the Gardens]

{129}

  The Seventeenth Chapter.

  _How the Mayor makes New Plans. And of a Delightful and happy
  Gathering in the Gardens. Also of a Parley held at the Castle Gate._

[Illustration]

Thinking there was now nothing to fear from an attack by the army of
Grumbletown, the Toyville soldiers were ordered to return from the
hills, and already the sound of rumbling wheels in the streets, told
how promptly this order had been obeyed by the Commanding General.

“We have much to make us thankful,” said the Mayor to one of his
councillors. “It certainly would have been a sad occurrence had the
capture of the Queen resulted in her being carried away to Grumbletown.
I think the occasion demands a celebration, and I should suggest that
{130} we at once prepare a big party to take place on the lawns and in
the pavilions of the Palace gardens.”

“A splendid suggestion,” cried the councillors with one accord. “Let us
lose no time in getting under way the arrangements.”

The gardens, brilliant with pots of flowering shrubs and beds of
blossoming plants, their broad stretches of lawn bordered by hedges of
box, and interlaced with white pebbled walks, formed an ideal place for
the holding of a social gathering of this nature.

When to the natural beauty of the gardens there was added the beauty of
the handsome dresses and uniforms worn by the guests, the scene thus
presented proved of untold loveliness.

In one of the pavilions sat an orchestra which rendered the most
delightful music imaginable; in another pavilion were many little
tables where were served refreshments of the daintiest confections; in
a third pavilion the highly polished and waxed floor was given over to
dancing.

Under such delightful conditions, the King and Queen, as well as the
Lords and Ladies, soon forgot their recent fears, and with Rolie Polie
in his new uniform standing guard at the front gate, one and all felt
perfectly safe.

Outside the walls of the Castle and gardens, the streets of the city
were quiet and almost deserted, for the Toy people had repaired to the
park, where they, too, were celebrating with all manner of jolly games
and sports.

Meanwhile, King Red Beard had not been idle, and by the time his spies
returned to tell how matters were going in Toyville, he had two hundred
picked ruffians ready to make a last attempt to capture the King and
Queen. {131}

How Red Beard did laugh when his spies told him of the celebration that
was being held in Toyville. “Ha, ha, ha,” said he, “those Toy people
think they have seen the last of old Red Beard, do they? Well, we will
soon show them their mistake.”

After that it wasn’t long before the Grumbletown King and his two
hundred hardy rascals had travelled through the secret passage of the
hills and were in the quiet, deserted streets of Toyville.

When the company came near the Castle and could hear the sweet strains
of music and the sound of happy laughter, King Red Beard sent Long Jim
on ahead to spy how the land lay.

Presently, Long Jim returned. He had taken a peek here and there, and
told Red Beard that there was only one soldier standing guard at the
front gate. “And your Majesty,” said he, “I think the soldier is that
stupid clown, Rolie Polie, now dressed in the uniform of the King’s
Guard.”

Red Beard gave a wild laugh when he heard what Long Jim had to say.
“Forward, march!” he cried; “we can easily fool that simpleton.” Then
away they all went, and in two jiffies Red Beard was tapping at the
front gate and parleying courteously through the wicket with Rolie
Polie.

Now, the kernel to the nut Red Beard tried to crack on Rolie Polie’s
skull, was just this: he wanted to have the gates opened so he and
his two hundred tatterdemalion followers could enter the gardens and
capture all the people.

Red Beard was good at arguing and gave all manner of reasons, but none
of these availed him in the least, for {132} Rolie Polie, now very
proud of being a King’s Guard, would never think of doing anything
untrue to his trust.

At the last, when Red Beard was about ready to give up trying trickery
and guile, and almost on the point of ordering his men to make an
assault, a brilliant idea came jumping into the brain of Rolie Polie.
“Oh, ho,” thought he, “I know King Tommy would like to have me capture
this old Red Beard, and here, the very first thing, is my chance. I
will just open the gate and let them inside the walls, then I will jump
outside, close and lock the gate, and there I shall have the whole
company safe and sound where they can’t get away.”

No sooner did this clever idea enter the brain of Rolie Polie, than the
little guard was unlocking the gate and throwing it wide open. Then
step, step, step, every man going softly on tiptoe, through the gate
went Red Beard followed by his two hundred ragamuffin ruffians.

“Ha, ha, ha,” laughed Rolie Polie, as he turned the key in the lock,
“that is the time I was too clever for Red Beard!”

“Ha, ha, ha,” laughed Red Beard, “did anyone ever see a body so stupid
as that Rolie Polie? Here I have King Tommy and Queen Helen, and all
the Lords and Ladies at my mercy. It is a fine company of captives I
will get to put in chains and march as slaves to Grumbletown.”

[Illustration]

{133}



[Illustration]

Chapter XVIII. A SURPRISE.


{134}

[Illustration: The Parley]

{135}

  The Eighteenth Chapter.

  _In which something is told of how the Page brought a Message which
  proved a Surprise. Also of what the Dame found in the Fountain of the
  Fish._

[Illustration]

With everyone enjoying such a good time in the gardens, it would not
have been surprising if the King had forgotten his guard at the gate.
This he did not do, however, and at the moment when Red Beard and his
men were entering, a page was being dispatched for Rolie Polie.

Thus, it happened then, that when the page was about to enter the court
yard, he saw it thronged with ruffians.

“We are betrayed!” he cried as he ran hurrying back to the gardens.
“The gates have been opened and the enemy is now within the walls!”
{136}

At this cry, the Ladies turned pale with fright and the Nobles sought
hastily for the swords they had laid aside at the beginning of the
dance. “Every man be brave!” shouted the King. “We must rally to the
defence of the Ladies! Let King Red Beard and his ruffians come, they
will find us ready!”

But for all King Tommy spoke so bravely, he was not at all deceived,
and realized quite the same, as did the Mayor and some others, that
any defence would prove practically useless, and at best do no more
than prolong an engagement, which in the end could result only in their
defeat and capture.

To reach the gardens from the court yard, it was necessary to go half
way around, or else right through the Castle; the Grumbletown company,
therefore, divided; one party going one way, the other going another
way.

As has been told, Red Beard and his followers, when once within the
walls of the Castle, were in high glee. “We will make a fine big
capture of prisoners to-day, my hearties,” said the King. “When this
fine boy and girl are marching to Grumbletown dragging their heavy
chains along the highway, they will wish that that old toy maker, Peter
Poodle, had never brought them on a visit to Toyville. What ho, my
brave followers, do I speak the truth?”

“Aye, aye, aye!” answered the band, barely above a whisper, not wishing
to be heard by the Toy people.

“Aye,” said Red Beard, “we will make a fine capture of prisoners and
a big haul of treasure. Every man must fill his pockets with gold and
silver and jewels, all he can carry; we will loot the whole Castle.
That will be a haul worth making; what ho, my hearties?” {137}

“Aye, aye, aye!” replied the band.

“We must make no noise,” said Red Beard. “Every man creep along
stealthily, take them by surprise. I say that’s the way to make a good
capture.”

[Illustration: The Page.]

While Red Beard was talking and creeping along so slowly, King Tommy
would have had time to make new plans for defence, had any chance
existed of such plans proving successful. “There is nothing for us to
do but depend upon our swords,” said he to Mr. Poodle. {138}

“Yes,” replied Mr. Poodle, “and our swords are far too few to withstand
an onslaught from so many big burly ruffians. I was going to suggest
that we make a dash for the Castle and bar the doors. Our chances would
then be better. But judging from the sounds, I fear that the Castle is
already occupied.”

Meanwhile, much excitement prevailed among all the Ladies who by now
were occupying one of the pavilions on the far side of the lawn.
Tommy attributed this excitement to a fear which the circumstances
rendered only natural. But now the excitement seemed to be from some
other cause, and presently the King was surprised to see Queen Helen,
accompanied by the Royal Ladies, come hurrying across the lawn.

“O, Tommy,” said the Queen, “an old lady, an old servant, I think, has
just told me she knows of a secret passage underground, through which
we can escape! come quickly!”

The old dame, a little lady wearing a tall peaked cap, had followed
immediately after the Queen. “Yes, your Majesty, I can show you the
way; come with me,” she said.

That funny little twinkle went dancing about in Mr. Poodle’s eyes
again, when he saw the old dame. There was a twinkle in her eyes, too;
but though she tipped him a courtsey and he bowed politely, neither
spoke even one word to the other.

On the lawn, midway between where the King and his men had assembled,
and the pavilion from which the Queen had just come, there foamed a
beautiful fountain, made in the manner of a great marble basin. On
the rim of the basin there was the green head of a great bronze {139}
fish, apparently just rising from out the water. On the back of the
fish sat a chubby little boy, sculptured so faithfully in marble as
almost to seem alive.

The little old dame hurriedly led the King and Queen, accompanied by
all the company, straight towards the great head of the fish. Putting
forth her hand, she three times wiggled the big toe of the chubby boy;
at the third wiggle the mouth of the fish opened, revealing a long
flight of stairs running down under the fountain. The next minute, the
little old dame stepped into this mouth and onto the stairs, being
quickly followed by all the others. The King was the last to enter. As
he did so, he turned for one look at the Castle, and saw the infuriated
Red Beard and his followers entering the gardens. Then the jaws of the
fish closed and the passage became sealed.

The way was now pitch dark. Overhead could be heard the tumbling waters
of the fountain. A scarey sound that seemed too, but not half so scarey
as the terrible wild cry of the baffled Red Beard, which could be heard
even through the thick walls of marble.

King Tommy could hear the step, step, step, of those ahead of him and
the muffled drone of their voices, as they spoke words of encouragement
to one another. “Where are we?” he wondered. Then his feet no longer
kept going down when he stepped, but travelled on a level pavement,
and he knew that the end of the stairs had been reached. Minute after
minute passed, and still the passage continued. Would its end never be
reached? Could it be possible the little old dame was a Grumbletown
spy and had deceived them? Did the way lead to some trap? With these
thoughts chasing through his mind, {140} the King came almost to the
point of wishing that the company had remained in the garden.

The next moment, however, he realized that almost any fate would be
better than that which would have befallen them at the hands of King
Red Beard and his ruffians. Then he remembered the look in the old
dame’s eyes, when she had bid them hurry, and he thought, “I won’t
believe any ill of her before it happens. She looked kind and honest,
and I am sure in the end everything will come out all right.”

Those were certainly the kind of thoughts a King should have; and the
moment Tommy let the bright sunshine of hope enter his mind and travel
along with him for wayfellow, just that very moment he came to a turn
in the path, and not a hundred feet beyond saw the bright sunshine of
day streaming into a broad space at what appeared to be the end of the
passage.

[Illustration]

{141}



[Illustration]

Chapter XIX. THE FOUNTAIN OF THE FROG.


{142}

[Illustration: The Ducking]

{143}

  The Nineteenth Chapter.

  _Of what was found at the End of the Passage. Also of the Guard at
  the Gate. And of the Happy Conclusion to an Exciting Experience._

[Illustration]

Crystal lights lit the passage, and seemed to be glowing and glimmering
through a great globe set in the black earth above their heads. At
first, no one could understand the meaning of this, but presently the
doubt was dispelled by the little old dame who led the way up a flight
of stairs cut in the solid rock, and out through an opening into a
little park, scarcely a stone’s throw from the Castle gates.

An expression of surprise now escaped from the lips of everyone, for
upon looking back, it was found that the passage had led right in under
a great crystal bowl, full to {144} the brim of tumbling, tossing,
sunkissed water. Yes, the secret passage had begun at one fountain and
ended at another; but while the basin of the first was all marble, that
of the second was all of glass, and although the entrance had been
through the mouth of a great green fish, the exit led through the mouth
of a great green frog.

Everybody now hurried and hid behind the vases and pots and shrubs
scattered through the park, not knowing how soon they might be
discovered by Red Beard. In this hurry the King held tightly to the
hand of the Queen, and close upon their heels followed Mr. Poodle.
The sun, slowly sinking, seemed now quite close to the hills of
Troubleland, and the afternoon was drawing towards evening.

“I see no sign of the Grumbletown people,” said the King. “Do you think
they have departed, Mr. Poodle? Look, Rolie Polie is standing guard at
the gate. Perhaps Red Beard is robbing the Castle. I wish we could get
word to the army.”

Meanwhile, finding no immediate danger threatening them, the Toy
people, one after another gathered about their King. Some were in favor
of arresting Rolie Polie, and putting him in irons for opening the
gates and betraying the Castle. Others counselled against this.

Although King Tommy could not understand why Rolie Polie had opened
the gates, nevertheless he felt sure the little clown had not betrayed
his trust, and that in the end a reason would be found justifying the
action. He was, therefore, glad to hear the little old lady speak,
cautioning the Toy people not to act rashly. Then, turning to the King,
she said: “Not knowing whether Red {145} Beard is within or outside
the Castle walls, it seems unwise to dispatch a messenger for the
soldiers and risk his being made captive. Why not go and speak a word
or two with yonder guard?”

King Tommy appreciated this advice; and drawing his sword, he stepped
forth boldly towards the little man at the gate.

Rolie Polie, hearing footsteps, looked about and saw the King.

“Your Majesty,” he cried, his face full of pride, his eyes dancing
with happiness, “come quickly and help guard the gate; I have the
Grumbletown King and all of his ruffians captive in the Castle. Am I
not a fine soldier?”

These words were spoken so suddenly that for a moment the King failed
to grasp their meaning. Then, all at once, it came to him why Rolie
Polie had opened the gates, and he saw that the little guard had indeed
laid a clever trap, in which, without doubt, were now captive King Red
Beard and all of his Grumbletown followers.

“Hurrah!” he cried, turning and waving his sword to Mr. Poodle and
the others. “Rolie Polie has captured the Grumbletown ruffians, come
quickly and help hold the gate.”

A glad shout greeted this cry from the King, as with one accord the
little company, each man drawing his sword, made a rush to reinforce
the clever and brave guard, Rolie Polie.

Meanwhile, much had happened within the walls of the Castle, for Red
Beard and his followers had entered the gardens at the exact moment
when King Tommy was stepping into the mouth of the fish. {146}

“Look, my men! look!” cried Red Beard, his face white with fright, his
hair standing on end. “The Green Fish of the Fountain has swallowed
all the Toy people. It is some mighty magician! Oh, why did we ever
come into this city! why did we ever leave peaceful Grumbletown!” Then,
unable longer to make his trembling legs support him, Red Beard fell
fainting with fright.

The faces of his followers were as white as their King’s, save only a
few, who were too far behind to see what had happened.

These few, when they reached the garden and found their fellows almost
fainting and Red Beard lying like one dead, upon the ground, knew not
what to do, until presently one of them, seeing the King yet breathing,
cried: “We must get water; somebody bring water to the King!”

This request was more easily asked than answered, as nowhere near at
hand could be found anything in which to carry the water. But the
ruffians were not long without a way for solving that difficulty, and
quick as a wink they had Red Beard in their arms, and the next minute
were tumbling him heels over head into the fountain.

It didn’t take long for that ducking to make the Grumbletown King open
his eyes. “Where am I? Where am I?” he cried, floundering about in the
basin and blowing the water out of his nose and mouth. Then, he looked
up and saw the green fish. “Help! help! help!” he called. “The Fish has
me! Save me from the Fish!” and with one big effort he reached the rim
of the basin, clambered over, and without once turning to look back, he
ran with all possible speed through the garden towards the Castle gate,
followed by his whole band. {147}

But now the gate was locked, and outside could be heard the cheering
Toy people.

“Open the gate, little Guard! Open the gate!” cried the shivering,
shaking Red Beard. “Open the gate little Guard! Open it quickly! The
Green Fish is after us! Open the gate, and we will lay down our swords
and pistols and go back to Grumbletown! Open the gate, little Guard,
and never again will we come to Toyville! Save us from the Green Fish!”

The jolly, laughing eyes of the little old lady twinkled at Mr. Poodle.
“King Tommy may open the gates without any fear now,” she said. “Red
Beard and his fellows are so frightened at the Green Fish that they
will never again venture near Toyville.”

Mr. Poodle quickly repeated this message to the King, and as a result,
it was not long before the Grumbletown ruffians, led by their King, had
laid their swords and guns on the lawn, and were marching out of the
gates; a crestfallen and woebegone looking fellowship they were, too,
and no mistake.

Rolie Polie and one of the Royal Guards accompanied them to the hills.
Every little while Red Beard looked back over his shoulder, fearing
constantly that he was being followed by the Green Fish. At the foot
of the hills they came upon men who were awaiting them with horses
and donkeys. Among the animals, Rolie Polie found Coal Black and Snow
White, who neighed with pleasure at seeing their old comrade. Rolie
Polie now bade good day to Red Beard, who was yet too frightened to
answer, and leading Coal Black while his companion led Snow White, took
the road back to Toyville. {148}

“That is a fine soldier, your Majesty,” said the little dame to the
King, as Rolie Polie came prancing into the court yard upon his return
from the hills. “Such a fine and clever little soldier could well fill
a higher station than that of Royal Guard. Not that I want to say a
Royal Guard is not a fine position, for it is quite true, few are
finer. But there are not many guards could capture, single handed,
such a bold ruffian as Red Beard, to say nothing of his two hundred
followers.”

“You are right,” replied the King; “and I have a reward for him which I
think will prove a big suprise.”

And a suprise it certainly was, as we shall soon see.

[Illustration]

{149}



[Illustration]

Chapter XX. GOOD NIGHT.


{150}

[Illustration: The Royal Guard]

{151}

  The Twentieth Chapter.

  _How Peace follows Trouble. And of how Happiness came at the
  Bestowing of another Reward._

[Illustration]

The suggestion of the little old dame in reference to Rolie Polie came
just in the nick of time. Tommy enjoyed very much being a King, and
Helen found no less pleasure in being a Queen; but the day had been so
full of excitement that both were feeling tired.

It was now drawing towards the close of the afternoon and Helen began
to realize that, although it was delightful to be a Queen daytimes, the
going down of the sun at the approach of evening made nothing quite so
nice as her home and her mamma. This, I am told, is a truth that has
also come to many another little girl.

“Your Majesty,” she then said to King Tommy, “do you think it is almost
time to start on our return journey?” {152}

“Yes, I do,” answered Tommy. “And, Helen, now that I am a King myself,
I need not hunt for the Fairy King to get riches for the kind lady in
the hills. I am sure the Toy people will allow me to take some of their
treasure.”

“Yes, I am sure they will,” said Helen, “because they will want to make
the kind lady happy.”

“I will go at once and find Mr. Poodle,” said Tommy. Then a look of
trouble came into his happy face and he added; “What do you think the
Toy people will do without a King and Queen when they are threatened by
the ruffians of Grumbletown? Perhaps there will be an attack to-night.
Do you think I should remain here and be their protector, Helen? Of
course you must go home, for if you are late, your mamma will worry.”

Mr. Poodle stood not far away and overheard this talk.

“You need not fear an attack from Grumbletown, at night,” said he,
laughing. “Why, King Red Beard and his subjects are such ‘fraid cats’
of the dark, that they never stir out of their houses after sunset.
Then, too, they had such a fright to-day, I do not believe they will
ever again come to Toyville.”

It was at this moment that the return of Rolie Polie called forth the
words of praise from the little old dame.

A bright idea then came to the King, and he hurried off to see his
Prime Minister. “Assemble the Lords and Nobles in the Throne Room,” he
said to that gentleman, as soon as he had found him.

The Prime Minister hurried to obey the King’s command.

A few moments later, when his Majesty stepped upon his Golden Throne,
he found such a gathering of the noblest in the land, as any King might
be proud to see. {153}

“My beloved subjects,” he said, “your Queen and your King have ruled
over this happy and joyous realm of Toyville as wisely and as loyally
as has been within their power. It is now time for us to depart for
our home over the hills. We both wish that some person worthy of your
trust could occupy the throne in our absence; some one to bear the
title, First Assistant King, and we would suggest for this high and
responsible position, the brave and clever guard, Mr. Rolie Polie.”
Then the King seated himself beside his Queen on the Golden Throne.

In a moment the Mayor was on his feet. “Three cheers for Rolie Polie!
Three cheers for the First Assistant King!” he cried, and the answer
came long and loud.

Rolie Polie was taken completely by surprise, and knew not what to say.
Mr. Poodle also was taken by surprise, but being a man of experience,
he was not embarrassed, and told the people he thought their choice was
wise.

“Order out the Royal Guard of Honor,” was the message the Mayor now
sent to the General of the army. So, not until the little company
reached the big gate at the top of the curly road did the time arrive
to say good-bye, for in addition to being accompanied by the Royal
Guard, their escort included every notable in Toyville.

“Good-bye, your Majesties, good-bye Mr. Poodle,” said Rolie, shaking
their hands warmly. Then he added: “I will be a good King and do my
best.”

“We know you will,” answered Tommy.

“Yes,” said Mr. Poodle, “do your best, Rolie Polie, then you will win,
for that is the way to get on in the world.”

These were the last words spoken as the little company passed through
the gates and the big cannon boomed {154} out a parting salute. The
sun was now low in the sky, casting a golden glow along the path, and
making blue shadows gather in the valley.

They had not ridden long, when Mr. Poodle said: “Here we are at home;”
and sure enough, as he spoke, Coal Black and Snow White went galloping
into Mr. Poodle’s back garden and over the threshold into the toy shop.

“Do you think Rolie Polie will get along all right, Mr. Poodle?” asked
Tommy, as they were bidding good night to the toy maker.

“O, yes,” said Mr. Poodle. “Nobody need worry about a King who has
Mother Goose near his throne to help him in his ruling.”

“Mother Goose?” repeated Tommy, wonderingly. “Is Mother Goose in
Toyville?” “O, yes,” answered Mr. Poodle, “she was the little old dame
who led us out of the garden and saved our being captured by Red Beard.
And, by the way, Mother Goose said that she hoped on our next journey,
we would continue through the Valley of Happiness, until we came to her
realm, where she promised there would be awaiting us the finest kind of
a good time.”

“O, Tommy, isn’t Mr. Poodle kind to us!” said Helen, her eyes moist
with little pearls of happiness. Tommy’s lips trembled when he tried to
reply. Mr. Poodle was such a clever man, though, that I guess he knew
what kind of a lump had swelled up in Tommy’s throat, for he didn’t say
one single word, but held out both his arms, and in a second there were
his playmates hugging him so tightly that it was almost as much as he
could do to breathe.

{155}



[Illustration]

Chapter XXI. JOY.


{156}

[Illustration: The Toy Box

THE WORLD IS SO FULL OF A NUMBER OF THINGS I AM SURE WE SHOULD ALL BE
AS HAPPY AS KINGS]

{157}

  The Twenty-first Chapter.

  _Of the next Morning and how Tommy found a New Joy. Also of the
  Questions asked by Helen, and of how her Mamma answered._

[Illustration]

The sun had been up some hours when Tommy awoke in his little bed
at the toymaker’s the next day. Then, oh my, what a surprise he did
have! for the moment he opened his eyes, they looked right into the
loveliest, sweetest eyes in all the world; and he knew that those eyes
belonged to—his dear mother.

Yes, Tommy’s own dear mother was leaning over his little bed in Peter
Poodle’s toy shop. She hugged him ever and ever so tight, and there
were happy tears in her eyes. And, on the other side of the bed,
was—his father!

All in a pop, Tommy’s memory had come back to him; the memory that went
away when he was so sick at the wood-chopper’s house in the hills.

Tommy didn’t know how his father and mother happened to be in Peter
Poodle’s toy shop, and he was too happy to try and think. Then he
remembered that his {158} name wasn’t Tommy. “Oh, Mr. Poodle,” he
said, as he saw the little toy maker come into the room, “I am not a
King any more, because my father is the King. But I am a Prince, Mr.
Poodle, and my name is Arthur.”

“Yes, indeed, you are a Prince,” said Mr. Poodle, “and sometime you
will be King.”

A troubled look now came into Prince Arthur’s eyes. “Will the Toy
people love me when I am a real King, Mr. Poodle?” he asked; “and will
they have me for their King, too? Because I like to be the King of
Toyville, and I want to drive away the King of Grumbletown.”

“Toy people will always love you,” said Mr. Poodle, “because you are
always very kind to them; and when you are a real King, you can ask all
the children to be kind to their toys, and then, pretty soon, there
won’t be any more Grumbletown, because no toys will go there.”

“That is what I will do the very first day I am King,” said the Prince.
“And now I will get up and send the Toyville treasure to the kind lady
in the hills.”

“No need to do that, dear,” said his mother. “The wood chopper and his
good wife are right here, and no longer poor, for the King has rewarded
their care of his boy.”

The Prince looked across the room, and there, sure enough, was the kind
lady, and the wood chopper who now wore a uniform of the King’s Royal
House Guard.

Although the Prince felt tired, from his long journey to Toyville, he
quickly jumped out of bed, and the next minute was giving the kind lady
a big hug. Then he dressed, and by that time Helen came to play with
him.

“I am not a King any more,” he said to Helen, “because, you see, I am
only a King’s son. But I am a Prince, and {159} my name is Arthur. You
may call me Tommy, though, if you wish. Some time I am going to be a
King, and then will you be my Queen, Helen?”

“Yes, I will,” said Helen, “and I am going to call you Arthur, because
that is your really truly name. I wish you would come and play now.
I have brought you Captain Pinkle and Captain Poddle, but I couldn’t
bring Rolie Polie, because he is not here any more.”

“Oh, no,” answered the Prince, “it wouldn’t be right for Rolie Polie to
come, because he must stay and be King in Toyville. Thank you, Helen,
for bringing Captain Pinkle and Captain Poddle. Why, this is the same
box I carried to the Black Lion! Did the bad men send it to Mr. Poodle?”

“The bad men were captured by the King’s soldiers and are now in
prison,” answered the Queen. “Thanks to the wood chopper’s good wife,
who followed you in your long tramp through the hills, we have our boy
again, and those who stole him away are punished.”

The Prince did not play very hard that afternoon, and by and by he said
to Helen: “I do not know why going to Toyville has made me so tired,
but I suppose being a King is hard work. Do you think it is, Helen?”

“Yes, I do,” said Helen. “I think being a King is very hard, and takes
a big man like your papa. But some time you will be a big man, and then
being a King won’t make you tired any more.”

This happy time of their playing passed all too hurriedly for Helen,
who hardly realized its ending before she found herself saying goodbye
to her little playmate.

“You will come and see me soon, won’t you Helen?” said the Prince, his
lips trembling. “Come very soon {160} Helen, because I want a little
girl to play with and to go with me on journeys; and O, Helen, now I
have a mamma of my own, and perhaps she will read us stories.”

“Yes, indeed, I will read stories to you,” said the Queen, turning from
talking earnestly with Helen’s mamma, who had come to say goodbye to
the Prince, “and Helen is coming to see us very, very soon.”

Then the goodbys were all said, and amidst the cheering of the
townspeople who were lining the streets outside the toyshop, the King
and Queen, accompanied by the Royal House Guards, bore the Prince away
to his new home in the Castle among the hills.

That evening when Helen had been tucked snugly in her little bed, she
said: “Mamma, how did Prince Arthur get lost; did somebody steal him
away from his home?”

“Yes, dear,” said Helen’s mamma. Then she snuggled down on the bed and
hugging Helen close, told her how, a while ago, the young Prince had
been stolen away by the ruffians and left in the forest where he was
found by the good wood chopper.

“Was the Prince ill when he was found?” asked Helen.

“Yes, dear,” answered her mamma, “the Prince was so ill that, when the
fever left him, it took away his memory, and he did not know that he
was a King’s son.”

“Did the wood chopper know that the little boy he found was a Prince,
mamma?”

“No,” said her mamma; “the wicked men had dressed the Prince in ragged
clothes when they left him in the forest to starve, and he did not look
at all like a Prince.”

“How did the King ever find the Prince?” asked Helen. “Did he go to the
wood chopper’s house, mamma?” {161}

“No, dear, he was hunting everywhere for some trace of his lost boy,
and the wood chopper’s wife was hunting too, and she had followed the
Prince almost to this city. Then one day the King met her, and he knew
from what she told him that his Arthur was alive; so he came riding
with his soldiers as fast as ever he could and saw the little Prince
just as he entered the Black Lion Inn. Now dear, it is time for my
little girl to go to sleep!”

But Helen wasn’t one bit sleepy. “Why was the Prince stolen away,
mamma?” she asked.

“I do not know,” answered her mamma. “Some people say that the King’s
brother, Duke Robert, who is called Robert the Red, had him stolen so
his own son would be heir to the throne, but no one knows this for
certain. If Robert the Red did have him taken away, he never can steal
him again, because the King has made the wood chopper the Prince’s own
special guard, and he and his good wife will now live in the Castle.”

“Robert the Red was a wicked man to steal away the Prince, wasn’t he,
mamma!” said Helen. “Will the Prince be a King some day, mamma, and
will he come for me and make me a Queen, like he said?”

“Listen,” said Helen’s mamma, “there is Grandpapa calling me. Good
night, little Wideawake.” Then she gave Helen a hug, and turning the
light low, left the room.

“Mamma didn’t answer my question,” thought Helen. “But never mind, I
know he will, because Tommy said he would,—Prince Arthur, I mean.” Then
she closed her eyes and soon was fast asleep.

{162}

[Illustration: The Sign

Peter Poodle

TOY MAKER TO THE KING]

{163}



_THE CONCLUSION._


Over the front door of Peter Poodle’s shop there now hangs a big and
comical sign on which is painted a chubby little soldier with a red
coat and a black hat. Right over the soldier, in black letters with
curly red capitals, appears the name _Peter Poodle_, and beneath the
soldier are the words, _Toy Maker to the King_. This is how it happened:

One day a big wagon drove up in front of Peter Poodle’s shop; in it
there was a large, flat, wooden box, sealed with the Royal Coat of
Arms. “Does Mr. Poodle live here?” asked the driver. “Yes,” answered
the toy maker.

The next minute, much to the surprise of the little man, he saw the
big box being deposited right in the middle of the floor of his shop.
Mr. Poodle unscrewed the lid with trembling fingers. Inside, packed
carefully, so it would not receive a single scratch, was the beautiful
sign. With the sign also came a great parchment, signed and sealed with
the Royal Arms. On this parchment were letters telling how Mr. Poodle
had been made Toy Maker to the King.

While Mr. Poodle was folding up the papers and wrappings that had come
about the sign, so as to put them all away neatly, a little envelope
dropped to the floor. This likewise bore the Royal Seal, and when Mr.
Poodle had it open, he found a very kind note from the Queen ordering
ever and ever so many toys for the Prince. It also contained an
invitation for Mr. Poodle to come and visit at the Castle, together
with a kind message from the Prince. {164}

And now my story is at an end. I hope you will agree with me that
Peter Poodle received what really was no more than he deserved, which,
indeed, is but the very truth; for a finer little man it would be hard
to find, as you surely would say could you know him as well as I do.

  [Illustration]        *       *       *       *       *

What became of Rolie Polie? Did the little clown make a good King? Did
Helen go to visit the Prince? And did they ever return to Toyville?

Lucky those questions were asked so quickly, for the ink upon my pen
was almost dry and I had drawn my chair to the fire for a little snooze
before dinner.

Yes, Helen visited the Prince, and with Mr. Poodle the two made many
more trips to Toyville, and to the Realm of Mother Goose. Of course,
after the Prince had been away for so long a time the King and Queen
wanted to have him in the Castle near them always, but bye and bye,
when Mr. Poodle came with the toys the Queen had ordered, and brought
Helen with him, the Queen very kindly gave her consent to another trip
to Toyville.

Much to their surprise, upon again entering the Valley of Happiness,
they found the Realm to be ruled not by Rolie Polie, but by King
Hans the First, called by some King Hans the Happy, and by others
Happy Hans. However, their surprise and wonder were soon dispelled
by the Mayor, who told Mr. Poodle how, at the first meeting of the
councillors following the departure of King Tommy and Queen Helen, it
had been suggested that the name Rolie Polie, while being a fine one
for a clown, really seemed too frivolous for a King, so by an act of
Parliament it was changed to Hans the First. {165}

Mr. Poodle highly commended this action, and then asked if the rule of
Hans the First had been a happy one.

The Mayor laughed merrily at that question. “Indeed it has,” said he;
“but you may see for yourself, as the Court Historian has recorded it
all in a big book.”

[Illustration]

Sure enough, when they reached the Castle there was the big book and on
the cover were letters spelling words which read: _A Most Marvellous
History, Wherein is Recorded the Strange and Wonderous Happenings of
Happy Hans_. {166}

Mr. Poodle has often, since then, read all of that history to Helen and
Tommy, and with them has had many a good laugh over its merry tales.
I, too, have enjoyed a laugh over those quaint pages, for Mr. Poodle
brought the book back with him from Toyville, and now keeps it in his
shop, where anybody may read the words as easily as can be, for they
are not at all big or hard to spell.

Sometime, I think I will ask Mr. Poodle to allow me to send that
_History_ to the Printer Man and have more copies made, so that other
little boys and girls can read all about Hans and his strange and
wonderful adventures, of which there is no room to tell anything here,
as anyone can see quite plainly, for there is only space enough left to
print this one little picture.

[Illustration: THE END.]

[Illustration: Toyville]

[Illustration: A Map of the Valley of Happiness and the City of
Toyville Surveyed during the Reign of Happy Hans

A.D. 1906]



TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE:

Original spelling and grammar have been generally retained, with some
exceptions noted below. Original printed page numbers are shown like
this: {52}. Original small caps are now uppercase. Italics look _like
this_. The transcriber produced the cover image from the original and
hereby assigns it to the public domain. Some liberty was taken in
converting chapter heading pages, which were full-page illustrations,
to text headings for this simple text edition, by inserting punctuation
(full stops).

Several illustrations were moved from within paragraphs to between
nearby paragraphs. This results in some slight inaccuracy in the page
references given in the “The Pictures”—the List of Illustrations—for
the images originally facing pages 68 and 94. The illustration
originally printed across facing pages 70 and 71 is marked herein as
two illustrations, with a caption divided between the two.

Original page images are available from archive.org—search for
“peterpoodletoyma00brad”. Images of two pages, including the
frontispiece _The Banquet_, were missing from the archive.org files;
these two images were provided by the Univ. of Minnesota Libraries,
Twin Cities, Children’s Literature Research Collections.

Page 16. Right quotation mark was inserted after ‘knew about Toyville.’.

Page 17. Left quotation mark inserted before ‘Sometimes boys and girls’.

Page 26. Left quotation mark was removed from the paragraph starting:
‘Tommy assisted’.

Page 31. Right quotation mark was inserted after ‘name of Grumbletown.’.

Page 32. Right quotation mark was inserted after ‘brigands or bandits.’.

Page 36. Right quotation mark was inserted after ‘city of Toyville.’.

Page 44. Right quotation mark was inserted after ‘least until eight.’.

Page 62. Right quotation mark was inserted after ‘plans topsy turvy.’.

Page 71. Right quotation mark was inserted after ‘be thought comical.’.

Page 101. Left quotation mark was removed from ‘I tell you “I am a
clever one’.

Page 113. “cannon no the deck” to “cannon on the deck”.

Page 135. “about no enter” to “about to enter”.

Page 136. Left quotation mark inserted before “We” in “shouted the
King. We must”.

Page 159. ‘bringing Captain Pinkle and Captain Poddle.” Why, this’ to
‘bringing Captain Pinkle and Captain Poddle. Why, this’.





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