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HOME > Children's Novel > Adventures in Wallypug-Land > CHAPTER IV.LATE FOR BREAKFAST.
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 I awoke very early in the morning, just as it was daylight, and being unable to get to sleep again amid my strange surroundings, I arose and crept down-stairs as noiselessly as possible, intending to go for a long walk before breakfast.  
At the bottom of the stairs I came upon a strange-looking white object, which, upon closer , turned out to be the , asleep on the floor.
He was not sleeping as any respectable bird would have done, with his head tucked under his wing; but was lying stretched out on a rug in the hall, with his head resting on a cushion. His enormous was wide open, and he was snoring violently, and muttering uneasily in his sleep.
I did not disturb him for fear lest he should make a noise; but hurrying past him I made my way to the hall door, which after a little difficulty I succeeded in unfastening. An ancient-looking turtle with a white was busily cleaning the steps, and started violently as I made my appearance at the door.
“Bless my shell and !” he muttered; “what’s the creature wandering about this time of the morning for; they’ll be getting up in the middle of the night next. Just mind where you’re treading, please!” he called out. “The steps have been cleaned, and I don’t want to have to do them all over again.”
I managed to get down without doing much damage, and then remarked pleasantly:
“Good morning; have you——”
“No, I haven’t,” interrupted the Turtle snappishly; “and what’s more, I don’t want to.”
“What do you mean?” I inquired, in surprise.
“Soap!” was the reply.
“I don’t understand you,” I exclaimed.
“You’re an advertisement for somebody’s soap, aren’t you?” asked the Turtle.
“Certainly not,” I replied, indignantly.
“Your first remark sounded very much like it,” said the Turtle suspiciously. “‘Good morning, have you used——’”
“I wasn’t going to say that at all,” I interrupted. “I was merely going to ask if you could oblige me with a light.”
“Oh, that’s another thing entirely,” said the Turtle, handing me some matches from his waistcoat pocket, and accepting a cigarette in return. “But really we have got so sick of those advertisement catchwords since the Doctor-in-Law returned from London with agencies for all sorts of things, that we hate the very sound of them. We are continually being told to ‘Call a spade a spade,’ which will be ‘grateful and comforting’ to ‘an ox in a teacup’ who is ‘worth a guinea a box,’ and who ‘won’t be happy till he gets it.’”
“It must be very trying,” I murmured sympathetically.
“Oh, it is,” remarked the Turtle. “Well,” he continued in a business-like tone, “I’m sorry you can’t stop—good morning.”
“I didn’t say anything about going,” I ejaculated.
“Oh, didn’t you? Well, I did then,” said the Turtle emphatically. “Move on, please!”
“You’re very rude,” I remarked.
“Think so?” said the Turtle pleasantly. “That’s all right then—good-by,” and he down on his knees and resumed his scrubbing.
There was nothing for me to do but to walk on, and seeing a quaint-looking old rose garden in the distance, I to go over and explore.
I was walking slowly along the path leading to it, when I heard a curious noise behind me, and turning around I the Troubadour, still in his armor, dragging a large standard rosebush along the ground.
“As if it were not enough,” he , “to be maltreated as I am every night, without having all this trouble every morning. I declare it is enough to make you throw stones at your grandfather.”
“What’s the matter?” I ventured to ask of the little man.
“Matter?” was the reply. “Why, these wretched rosebushes, they will get out their beds at night, and wander about. I happened to leave the gate open last night, and this one got out, and goodness knows where he would have been by this time if I hadn’t caught him about near the Palace.”
“Why! I’ve never heard of such a thing as a rosebush walking about,” I exclaimed in surprise.
“Never heard of a——. Absurd!” declared the Troubadour, incredulously. “Of course they do. That’s what you have hedges and fences around the gardens for, isn’t it? Why, you can’t have been in a garden at night-time, or you wouldn’t talk such nonsense. All the plants are allowed to leave their beds at midnight. They are expected to be back again by daylight, though, and not go wandering about goodness knows where like this beauty,” and he shook the rosebush violently.
“In you go,” he continued, digging a hole with the point of his mailed foot, and sticking the rosebush into it.
“Hullo!” he exclaimed, going up to another one, at the foot of which were some broken and leaves. “You’ve been fighting, have you? I say, it’s really too bad!”
“But what does it matter to you?” I inquired. “It’s very sad, no doubt, but I don’t see why you should upset yourself so greatly about it.”
“Well, you see,” was the reply, “I’m the head gardener here as well as Troubadour, and so am responsible for all these things. I do troubing as an extra,” he explained. “Three shillings a week and my armor. Little enough, isn’t it, considering the risk?”
“Well, the office certainly does not seem overpopular, judging from last night,” I laughed. “Who were you serenading?”
“Oh, any one,” was the reply. “I give it to them in turns. If any one offends me in the daytime I pay them out at night, see?
“I serenaded the Sister-in-Law mostly, but I shall give that up. She doesn’t play fair. I don’t mind people shying things at me in the least, for you see I’m pretty well protected; but when it comes to chivying me round the garden with a pair of , it’s more than I bargained for. Look out! Here comes the Wallypug,” he continued.
Sure enough his was walking down the path, attended by A. Fish, Esq., who was wearing a cap and gown and carrying a huge book.
“Ah! good morning—good morning,” cried his Majesty, hurrying towards me. “I’d no idea you were out and about so early. I’m just having my usual morning lesson.”
“Yes,” said A. Fish, Esq., smiling, and offering me a . “Ever sidse I god rid of by cold I’ve been teaching the Wallypug elocutiod. We have ad ‘our every bordig before breakfast, ad he’s geddig on spledidly.”
“I’m sure his Majesty is to be congratulated on having so admirable an instructor,” I remarked, politely, if not very truthfully.
“Thags,” said A. Fish, Esq., looking very pleased. “I say, Wallypug, recide that liddle thig frob Richard III., jusd to show hib how well you cad do id, will you? You doe thad thig begiddidg ’Ad ’orse, ad ’orse, by kigdob for ad ’orse.’”
“Yes, go on, Wallypug!” chimed in the Troubadour, indulgently.
“Oh, I don’t know,” said his Majesty, simpering . “I’m afraid I should break down.”
“Doe you wondt, doe you wondt,” said A. Fish, Esq. “Cub alog, try id.”
So his Majesty stood up, with his hands folded in front of him, and was just about to begin, when a bell in a cupola on the top of the palace began to ring violently.
“Good gracious, the breakfast bell! We shall be late,” cried the Wallypug, anxiously grasping my hand and beginning to run towards the palace.
A. Fish, Esq., also along behind us as quickly as possible, taking three or four steps, and then giving a funny little with his tail, till, and out of breath, we arrived at the palace just as the bell stopped ringing.
His Majesty hastily rearranged his disordered crown, and led the way into the dining hall.
A turtle carrying a large dish just inside the door whispered warningly to the Wallypug as we entered, “Look out! You’re going to catch it,” and hurried away.
A good many creatures were seated at the table which ran down the center of the room, and at the head of which his Majesty’s Sister-in-Law presided, with a steaming before her. The Doctor-in-Law occupied a seat near by, and I heard him remark:
“They are two minutes late, madame. I hope you are not going to overlook it,” to which the lady replied, grimly, “You leave that to me.”
“Sit there,” she remarked coldly, motioning me to a vacant seat, and the Wallypug and A. Fish, Esq., into the two other unoccupied chairs on the other side of the table.

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