across the flower-bed, and produced a handful of keys–one large one,
and a number of small ones.
“But look here, Professor dear!” whispered Sylvie. “He needn’t open
the door for us, at all. We can go out with you.”
“True, dear child!” the Professor thankfully replied, as he replaced
the coins in his pocket. “That saves two shillings!” And he took the
children’s hands, that they might all go out together when the door was
opened. This, however, did not seem a very likely event, though the
Gardener patiently tried all the small keys, over and over again.
At last the Professor ventured on a gentle suggestion. “Why not try
the large one? I have often observed that a door unlocks much more
nicely with its own key.”
The very first trial of the large key proved a success: the Gardener
opened the door, and held out his hand for the money.
The Professor shook his head. “You are acting by Rule,” he explained,
“in opening the door for me. And now it’s open, we are going out by
Rule–the Rule of Three.”
The Gardener looked puzzled, and let us go out; but, as he locked the
door behind us, we heard him singing thoughtfully to himself
“He thought he saw a Garden-Door
That opened with a key:
He looked again, and found it was
A Double Rule of Three:
‘And all its mystery,’ he said,
‘Is clear as day to me!'”
“I shall now return,” said the Professor, when we had walked a few
yards: “you see, it’s impossible to read here, for all my books are in
But the children still kept fast hold of his hands. “Do come with us!”
Sylvie entreated with tears in her eyes.
“Well, well!” said the good-natured old man. “Perhaps I’ll come after
you, some day soon. But I must go back now. You see I left off at a
comma, and it’s so awkward not knowing how the sentence finishes!
Besides, you’ve got to go through Dogland first, and I’m always a
little nervous about dogs. But it’ll be quite easy to come, as soon as
I’ve completed my new invention–for carrying one’s-self, you know.
It wants just a little more working out.”
“Won’t that be very tiring, to carry yourself?” Sylvie enquired.
“Well, no, my child. You see, whatever fatigue one incurs by carrying,
one saves by being carried! Good-bye, dears! Good-bye, Sir!” he added
to my intense surprise, giving my hand an affectionate squeeze.
“Good-bye, Professor!” I replied: but my voice sounded strange and far
away, and the children took not the slightest notice of our farewell.
Evidently they neither saw me nor heard me, as, with their arms
lovingly twined round each other, they marched boldly on.
A VISIT TO DOGLAND.
“There’s a house, away there to the left,” said Sylvie, after we had
walked what seemed to me about fifty miles. “Let’s go and ask for a
“It looks a very comfable house,” Bruno said, as we turned into the
road leading up to it. “I doos hope the Dogs will be kind to us,
I is so tired and hungry!”
A Mastiff, dressed in a scarlet collar, and carrying a musket,
was pacing up and down, like a sentinel, in front of the entrance.
He started, on catching sight of the children, and came forwards to meet
them, keeping his musket pointed straight at Bruno, who stood quite
still, though he turned pale and kept tight hold of Sylvie’s hand,
while the Sentinel walked solemnly round and round them, and looked at
them from all points of view.
“Oobooh, hooh boohooyah!” He growled at last. “Woobah yahwah oobooh!
Bow wahbah woobooyah? Bow wow?” he asked Bruno, severely.
Of course Bruno understood all this, easily enough. All Fairies
understand Doggee—that is, Dog-language. But, as you may find it a
little difficult, just at first, I had better put it into English for
you. “Humans, I verily believe! A couple of stray Humans!
What Dog do you belong to? What do you want?”
“We don’t belong to a Dog!” Bruno began, in Doggee.
(“Peoples never belongs to Dogs!” he whispered to Sylvie.)