was as cross as ever.


By the time they reached the lake, Gardener

He struck the ice with his stick, but made no attempt to see if it really did bear — though he would not allow the children to go one step upon it until he had tried.

Just then there was seen jumping across it a creature which certainly had never been seen on ice before. It made the most extraordinary bounds on its long hind legs, with its little forelegs tucked


in front of it as if it wanted to 10 carry a muff, and its stiff tail sticking out straight behind to balance itself with, apparently. The children at first started with surprise, and then burst out laughing, for it was the funniest creature, and had the funniest way of getting along, that they had ever seen in their lives.

“ It's the kangaroo !” cried Gardener in great excitement. “ It has got loose

and it's sure to be lost and what a way Mr. Giles will be in! [ must go and tell him. Or stop, I'll try and 20 catch it.”

But in vain it darted once or twice across the ice, dodging him, as it were; and once he came so



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close that he nearly caught it by the tail — to the

children's great delight — then it vanished. .

“I must go and tell Mr. Giles directly,” said Gardener, and then stopped. For he had prom6 ised not to leave the children and it was such a

wild-goose chase after an escaped kangaroo. But he might get half-a-crown as a reward, and he was sure of another glass of cider.

“ You just stop quiet here, and I'll be back in 10 five minutes," said he to the children.

go a little way on the ice — I think it's sound enough; only mind you don't tumble in, for there'll be nobody to pull you out.”

“Oh, no," said the children, clapping their 15 hands.

Off they darted, the three elder boys, with a good run; the biggest of the girls followed after them, and soon the whole four were skimming one after the other, as fast as a railway train, across the slippery ice. And like a railway train, they had a collision, and all came tumbling one over the other, with great screaming and laughter, to the high bank on the other side.


The two younger ones stood mournfully watching the others from the opposite bank — when there stood beside them a small brown man.

“Ho-ho! little people,” said he, coming between them and taking hold of a hand of each. 5 His was so warm and theirs so cold, that it was



quite comfortable. And then somehow they found in their open mouths a nice lozenge — I think it was peppermint, but am not sure — which conforted them still more.

“ Did you want me to play with you?” cried

• the Brownie. “Then here I am! What shall we do? Have a turn on the ice together ? ”

No sooner said than done. The two little chil

them, up

dren felt themselves floating along — it was more like floating than running with Brownie between

the lake, and down the lake, and across the lake, not at all interfering with the sliders—indeed, 5 it was a great deal better than sliding. Rosy and breathless, their toes so nice and warm, and their hands feeling like mince pies just taken out of the

the little ones came to a standstill.


in the way

Australia (Aus trā'lya)
collision (col lizh'un): bumping to-

comfortable (kum'fert a ble)
dodging (dõj'ing): avoiding
extraordinary (eks trôr'di na rý):

strange, unusual gossip (gõs'sip): idle conversation half-a-crown: an English silver coin,

worth about sixty cents

interfering (in'ter fēr'ing): getting

kangaroo (kan'ga roo'): if you have

never seen one, look in the diction

ary for a picture of it.
lozenge (lõz'enj)
mournfully (mõrn'ful lý): sadly
reward (re wôrd'): pay, recompense


When all had had their fair turns, they began 10 to be frightfully hungry. “Well,” said Brownie, “what would


like to have ? Let the little one choose.”

She said, after thinking a minute, that she should like a currant cake.


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“ And I'd give you all a bit of it - a very large

à bit - I would indeed!” added she - almost with the tears in her eyes she was so very hungry.

“ Do it then!” said the Brownie in his little squeaking voice. Immediately the stone that the 5 little girl was sitting on, a round hard stone and so cold! turned into a nice hot cake - so hot that

a sh: jumped up directly. As soon as she saw what it was, she clapped her hands for joy.

Oh, what a beautiful, beautiful cake! only we 10 haven't got a knife to cut it.”

The boys felt in all their pockets, but somehow their knives never were there when they were wanted.

“Look! you've got one in your hand!” said 15 Brownie to the little one; and that minute a bit of stick she held turned into a bread knife silver, with an ivory handle — big enough, and sharp enough, without being too sharp. For the youngest girl was not allowed to use sharp 20 knives, though she liked cutting things excessively, especially cakes.

That will do. Sit you down and carve the

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