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HOME > Children's Novel > Adventures in Wallypug-Land > CHAPTER II.A STRANGE WELCOME.
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 E soon reached the Wallypug’s palace, which stood in a large park in the center of the city of Why. I had been very interested in noticing the curious architecture in the streets as we passed along, but was scarcely prepared to find the palace such a very place. It was a long, low, building, built in a most singular style, with all sorts of curious towers and gables at every point.  
Oom Hi and the Kangaroo saw me as far as the entrance, and then took their departure, saying that they would see me again another day, and I walked up the stone steps, to what I imagined to be the principal door, alone. To my great surprise, however, I found that, instead of being the way in, it was nothing more or less than a huge jam-pot, with a very large label on it marked “Strawberry Jam,” while above it were the words, “When is a door not a door?” “When is a door not a door?” I repeated, conscious of having heard the question before.
“Ha—ha—ha,” laughed a mocking voice at the bottom of the steps, and looking down I saw an enormous Cockatoo with a Paisley shawl over her shoulders and walking with the aid of a stick.
“Sold again, were you? Serve you right,” she cried. “When is a door not a door? Pooh! fancy not knowing that old . Why! when it’s a jar, of course, stupid. Bah!”
“It’s a very absurd practical joke, that’s all that I can say,” I remarked, crossly, walking down the steps again. “Perhaps you can tell me how I am going to get into this remarkable place.”
“Humph! Perhaps I can and perhaps I won’t,” said the Cockatoo. “I dare say it’s a better place than you came from, anyhow. You’re not the first man that has come down here with his superior airs and graces, and finding fault with this, that, and the other; but we’ll soon take the out of you, I can tell you. Where’s your hat?”
This was the second creature that had asked me this question, and really they threw so much scorn and contempt into the that one would imagine that it was a most disgraceful to be without a head covering.
I thought the most thing to do under the circumstances was to take no further notice of the bird, and was quietly walking away when the Cockatoo screamed out again, “Where’s your hat? Where’s your hat? Where’s your hat?” each time louder and louder, till the last inquiry ended in a perfect .
“Don’t be so ridiculous,” I cried. “I’ve left it at home, if you must know.”
“Down with the hatters!” screamed the Cockatoo , “Down with the Wallypug! Down with men without hats! Down with everybody and everything!” and the wretched bird danced about like a demented fury.
At the sound of all this a number of windows in the upper stories of the palace were thrown open, and curious heads were popped out to see what was the matter. Among them and immediately over my head, I noticed the Doctor-in-Law.
“Oh! it’s you, is it, kicking up all this fuss?” he remarked as soon as he recognized me.
“Well, really!” I replied, “I think you might have the politeness to say ‘How do you do?’ considering that it is some months since we met.”
“Oh, do you indeed?” said the Doctor-in-Law, contemptuously. “Well, supposing I don’t care one way or another. Where’s your hat?”
Before I could answer the Cockatoo had screamed out “Down with the Doctor-in-Law!” and the little man had replied by throwing a book at her head out of the palace window.
I was disgusted at this behavior and at the strange reception that I was receiving, and had to try and find some way of getting home again, when, happening to turn round, I saw his the Wallypug himself running across the lawn towards me, with both hands stretched out in welcome, and his kind little face beaming with good nature.
“How d’ye do? How d’ye do?” he cried. “So pleased to see you. Didn’t expect you quite so soon, though. Come along—this way.” And his Majesty led me to another entrance, and through a large square hall hung with and many pieces of old-fashioned armor, to a door marked “His Majesty the Wallypug. private.” I noticed, in passing, that the words, “His Majesty” had been partly painted out, and “What cheek!” written above them. Once inside the door, the Wallypug motioned me to a chair, and said, in a mysterious whisper,
“I’m so glad you came before she returned; there’s so much I want to tell you.”
“Who do you mean?” I asked.
“Sh—Madame—er, my sister-in-law,” he replied, with a sigh.
“Your sister-in-law!” I exclaimed. “Why, I didn’t know you were married.”
“Neither am I,” said his Majesty, with a puzzled frown. “That’s the awkward part about it.”
“But how on earth can you possibly have a sister-in-law, unless you have a wife or a married brother?” I asked.
“Well, I’ve never quite been able to understand how they make it out,” said the poor Wallypug, sorrowfully; “but I believe it is something mixed up with the Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Bill, and the fact that my uncle, The Grand Mochar of Gamboza, was married twice. Anyhow, when I returned from London I found this lady, who says that she is my sister-in-law, established here in the palace; and—and—” his Majesty sank his voice to a whisper, “she rules me with a rod of iron.”
I had no time to make further , for just then the door opened, and a majestic-looking person sailed into the room, and after looking me up and down with elevated , her finger at me, and said, in a stern voice:
“And who is this person, pray?”
“Oh, this,” said his Majesty, smiling , and bringing me forward, “is the gentleman who was so kind to us in London, you know. Allow me to present him, Mr. Er—er——”
“I hope you have not been picking up any acquaintances, Wallypug,” interrupted his Majesty’s Sister-in-Law . “I don’t like the look of him at all.”
“I’m sorry, madame, that my appearance doesn’t please you,” I interposed, feeling rather ; “perhaps under the circumstances I had better——”
“You had better do as you are bid and speak when you are spoken to,” remarked the lady grimly. “Where’s your hat?”
“I haven’t one,” I replied, rather , I am afraid, but I was getting quite tired of this continual cross-questioning; “and really I don’t see that it’s of the slightest consequence,” I ventured to add.
“Oh! don’t you,” said his Majesty’s Sister-in-Law, with a smile. “Well, that’s one of the many points upon which we shall disagree. Now, look here, I may tell you at once that I don’t approve of you in the least; still, as you are here now you had better remain; but mind, no putting on parts or giving yourself airs and graces, or I shall have something to say to you. Do you understand?” And with a severe glance at me, the lady folded her arms and stalked out of the room, leaving his Majesty and myself staring blankly at one another.

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