Dear boy,”he went on aloud, “his Adiposity would like to see you shoot.
Bring his Highness’ bow and arrows!”
Uggug looked very sulky as he received the bow and arrow, and prepared
to shoot. Just as the arrow left the bow, the Vice-Warden trod heavily
on the toe of the Baron, who yelled with the pain.
“Ten thousand pardons! “he exclaimed. “I stepped back in my excitement.
See! It is a bull’s-eye!”
The Baron gazed in astonishment. “He held the bow so awkwardly,
it seemed impossible!” he muttered. But there was no room for doubt:
there was the arrow, right in the centre of the bull’s-eye!
“The lake is close by,” continued the Vice-warden. “Bring his Highness’
fishing-rod!” And Uggug most unwillingly held the rod, and dangled the
fly over the water.
“A beetle on your arm!” cried my Lady, pinching the poor Baron’s arm
worse than if ten lobsters had seized it at once.
“That kind is poisonous,” she explained. “But what a pity!
You missed seeing the fish pulled out!”
An enormous dead cod-fish was lying on the bank, with the hook in its
“I had always fancied,” the Baron faltered, “that cod were salt-water
“Not in this country,” said the Vice-Warden. “Shall we go in?
Ask my son some question on the way any subject you like!”
And the sulky boy was violently shoved forwards, to walk at the Baron’s
“Could your Highness tell me,” the Baron cautiously began,
“how much seven times nine would come to?”
“Turn to the left!” cried the Vice-Warden, hastily stepping forwards to
show the way—so hastily, that he ran against his unfortunate guest,
who fell heavily on his face.
“So sorry!” my Lady exclaimed, as she and her husband helped him to his
feet again. “My son was in the act of saying ‘sixty-three’ as you fell!”
The Baron said nothing: he was covered with dust, and seemed much hurt,
both in body and mind. However, when they had got him into the house,
and given him a good brushing, matters looked a little better.
Dinner was served in due course, and every fresh dish seemed to
increase the good-humour of the Baron: but all efforts, to get him to
express his opinion as to Uggug’s cleverness, were in vain, until that
interesting youth had left the room, and was seen from the open window,
prowling about the lawn with a little basket, which he was filling with
“So fond of Natural History as he is, dear boy!” said the doting
mother. “Now do tell us, Baron, what you think of him!”
“To be perfectly candid, said the cautious Baron, “I would like a
little more evidence. I think you mentioned his skill in–”
“Music?” said the Vice-Warden. “Why, he’s simply a prodigy!
You shall hear him play the piano? And he walked to the window.
“Ug–I mean my boy! Come in for a minute, and bring the music-master
with you! To turn over the music for him,” he added as an explanation.
Uggug, having filled his basket with frogs, had no objection to obey,
and soon appeared in the room, followed by a fierce-looking little man,
who asked the Vice-Warden “Vot music vill you haf?”
“The Sonata that His Highness plays so charmingly,” said the Vice-Warden.
“His Highness haf not–” the music-master began, but was sharply
stopped by the Vice-warden.
“Silence, Sir! Go and turn over the music for his Highness.
My dear,” (to the Wardeness) “will you show him what to do?
And meanwhile, Baron, I’ll just show you a most interesting map we
have–of Outland, and Fairyland, and that sort of thing.”
By the time my Lady had returned, from explaining things to the
music-master, the map had been hung up, and the Baron was already much
bewildered by the Vice-Warden’s habit of pointing to one place while he
shouted out the name of another.
[Image…The map of fairyland]
My Lady joining in, pointing out other places, and shouting
other names, only made matters worse; and at last the Baron,
in despair, took to pointing out places for himself, and feebly asked
“Is that great yellow splotch Fairyland?”
“Yes, that’s Fairyland,” said the Vice-warden: “and you might as well