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disaster, as indeed they were. But between all these and the sea in the distance was this stretch of waste land, looking ugly and uninviting. Only two houses stood on the shore, both uninhabited and both victims to the unruly ocean, left there gaunt and dreary, as a memento of its ravages.
They walked across the open space and found themselves on the “Parade," a narrow walk with three seats, one on its back helpless and crippled, close to the pebbly beach. A black hut for the fishermen, four public bathing-machines and a private one (at first mistaken by Trixie for a large Sedan chair : it certainly was like one), a few boats, some nets laid out to dry, and one man with an odd-looking covered cart, were all that was visible, excepting always that superb sea stretched out before them, Not one single visitor or resident was walking anywhere! It was their dinner-time, Great-heart explained. The three sat down on the soundest seat they could find. There the children joyfully noted all there was to see, and listened to what their friend had to tell them about the place. They could just make out the entrance to the harbour they had passed so close to in the morning, and which they would leave in the steamer in a day or two. One of these boats came out as they watched ; it made its way along in front of them close to the shore, and
the maidens, sitting there so happy, could hear the sound of the paddle-wheels, as they revolved round and round, thumping the quiet water and lashing it into a foam, which formed a long white trail in the steamer's wake. It was a fine boat, filled with people, standing in black masses all about it. It looked so pretty as it glided along with a flag flying behind and a column of smoke ascending upwards from its funnel. Dot hoped this was the one they would cross over in, but Great-heart could not tell her.
They thought they would like to step on to the beach and see what that man had on his truck, which was standing protected from the breeze against the remains of a tower, also washed down some time before. The owner, in the absence of custom, was reclining at full length on a seat hard by. But he soon got up when he saw the party approach. Times were not so Aourishing in those parts that he could afford to throw away the chance of earning an honest penny, by exhibiting whatever he had there under his tarpaulin.
The tramp over the hard shingle well repaid them. For what do you think they found ? Nothing more or less than a model of that beautiful place the children had visited in the great city, the Cathedral of St. Paul's! Yes, there it was, and really admirably reproduced, made out of zinc, every bit of it, by this clever old man, who dragged it about from one seaside place to another. They would not have missed the sight for anything. It had taken him four years of patience and skill to make. He seemed a mild harmless old person, in a wideawake hat; he was very sunburnt, and with a moisture about his eye that bespoke a disposition of extreme sensitiveness. Not only had he made the model of the church, but had also ingeniously fitted in underneath an organ, which, pumped by a handle, played a psalm most melodiously. Of course it would not do this for nothing, so there was a slit cut in the churchyard wide enough to drop a penny into, for which modest outlay the organ deigned to work. There was a good deal of playful banter between Great-heart and the man as to whether a smaller silver coin were large enough to effect the purpose. Such a merry twinkle sparkled in the modeller's eye, when he heard a coin drop down that long experience of such matters had taught him could be nothing less than a shilling. There were some really clever appropriate lines printed on a piece of cardboard, alluding to the edifice and to the trouble taken in reproducing it thus. The exhibitor said they were not of his own composing: a friend, an anonymous one, had been the poet, and sent the
verses to him.
The children unfortunately forgot to take a copy, but they remembered the concluding lines, which ran :
“ These civilized Darwins, though their home is a hot land,
Will play you a tune, the 'Blue Bells of Scotland'! »
These however turned out not to refer to the building at all, but to another and distinct exhibition, attached to one end of it, which the party proceeded to inspect. It was very quaint, the inside of a gilded cupola, in which, in a semicircle, sat thirteen solemn monkeys, with one, his back to the audience, conducting them. He had white kid gloves on, and wielded a stick for the purpose. In front of each animal was a metal instrument, not unlike a kettledrum, and each monkey held in his paw something akin to a saltspoon, inverted. These "civilized Darwins," as the poet had called them, sat there motionless, until you dropped a penny into a hole that really was the only proper sized coin that would do this time. Then the monkeys became suddenly electrified into life, for they rapped out a tinkling little tune from the kettledrums, encouraged by the conductor, who jerked his arm about energetically. It was a poor weak little piece after the grand strains from the organ, and died away faintly at the finish : like the life that fled with it from the monkeys, to leave them helpless and inanimate until the next penny woke them up again.
Great-heart taught the children a lesson from this model of St. Paul's, from the very great industry and perseverance this man must have bestowed upon his task, and how he fully deserved any success. he derived from it. He certainly did earn that, for he dragged his model about in all weathers, and to all sorts of places, often having to sit for hours and hours on bleak shores or windy piers, so bleak and windy at times that the dome had to be taken off bodily to save it from destruction, thus giving the public a peep down into the nave gratis.
After saying good-bye to the man, and receiving his fervent thanks for their encouragement, the party turned back and ascended the hill, or mountain, as it was called, to obtain a bird's-eye view of the place and its surroundings.
From that elevation they got a capital idea of it, lying there at their feet, basking in the afternoon sun. It certainly was small, a mere bunch of houses blown together into the hollow, clustering round the church which stood in the midst of all. They could trace all the streets and that wonderful Square they had passed through. Long-sighted Trixie was sure, too, she could see the little post-girl delivering a letter at the pretty one-storied house with the roses and