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chambermaid's annoyance. But Great-heart said it was a dangerous toy for the child to meddle with. He begged his charges not to go up alone on any account in it, or with the adventurous youth in question, who would be sure to try and entice them. Trixie looked disappointed, as she rather fancied that boy. But she, with Dot, nevertheless promised to obey their friend to the letter.
A nimble-footed waiter here announced that breakfast was retty," so the party adjourned to the large room to discuss the meal. Everybody, of course, stared unmercifully at the children, and there were many whispered comments passed from group to group. Dot felt very shy; Trixie had quite recovered her self-command.
Breakfast over, it became necessary to make arrangements for the day. It was quite hopeless to attempt to go out then. But Great-heart said he thought he knew enough of the climate to predict that it would clear up later. This cheered the children somewhat.
Yet they were destined not to find the time dull at all, for a gentleman came up and claimed acquaintance with their mentor, on the score of some meeting in foreign parts years before. He was the head of a party of sons and daughters, some being quite juveniles. Great-heart was glad of the recognition, for he hoped the children would prove companionable to those he had under his own charge. Things turned out as he wished, for, before long, they were all a very merry party, sitting in a row on a leathern sofa. These people possessed a great attraction, they owned one of the funniest little dogs you ever saw. At first he was not at all disposed to be friendly, barking incessantly, and quite refusing comfort. But he recovered after a while, and went through some most diverting tricks. He was white and shaggy; you could hardly see his eyes; he had a coat on him, being very delicate. He was a "Manilla poodle," and appropriately named Snap."
Whilst Great-heart, with his newly-found friend, paced the floor and re-awakened many old and pleasant memories in the minds of each, the others were striking up a violent friendship, which, had they been older, might have led to an equally abrupt disruption. It is so often thus in like cases; but with little people, as a rule, how different. What more healthy sight than to watch the sweet, unfettered confidences of children, the seed sown, to ripen, in after life, into its full strength of unflinching devotion and attachment.
Many people were kept indoors by the rain, and most walked up and down that floor which formed
so excellent a promenade for them. Some, however, had an incurable habit of standing in the doorway and watching for the first hopeful break in the clouds, as if all the gazing in the world could make any difference. Besides, had the necessity for outdoor exertion been so imperative, they might easily have popped out and got a sheltered walk under the arcades, or in the passages close by.
There was plenty of "life" to be seen at the entrance there ; lots of people going in and out continually with messages or parcels; military-looking postmen, too, who carried the letters and papers in front of them in a trough, not unlike the plan the youth adopted on board the steamer. Sometimes a gay Frenchwoman, wearing no bonnet, only a
would come in with an enormous bandbox, containing some startling novelty, no doubt, for
Madame,” in “ Numero quinze entresol,” for whom she inquired, and to whose apartments she would disappear with the finery for an hour or two. Then friends stopping elsewhere came to make calls on others staying at this hotel, and either left cards for them, or were shown to their rooms, as they either found them at home or absent. Frenchmen came in, and could do nothing with their hats on their heads, but always keeping them in their hands as something to illustrate their arguments with. Dwarf
omnibuses drove up at times and dropped more luggage and travellers, or took them off to the railways. Most of these latter would be going "further south,” a somewhat vague expression, that might mean a great deal, or nothing much, but if luggage were any index to their destination, they were going a very long way indeed. Besides all this business, there was a perpetual tinkling of electric bells, and it almost took up one young man's time entirely to attend to them. When he was not busy in that way, he was talking into long snake-like tubes, with ivory mouthpieces, that reached down below. If they wanted him when he was not at hand, they whistled for him of their varied accord, which struck the children as being a very clever contrivance. Waiters also were running about all the time, one in particular beinig often bidden to the smoking-room, with lots of piled-up boxes of cigars. It seemed this man enjoyed a monopoly for the sale of them, and the profits therefrom brought him in a good sum every year, besides his salary.
As Great-heart had predicted, the rain did not last long, for there was presently a stir at the door amongst the anxious watchers, the place grew lighter, umbrellas of passers-by were shut up, or only held aloft to keep off the drops falling from the house-tops, people's faces brightened, and about half-an-hour after noon there shot forth a ray of sunshine from the sky, now gradually changing from dull grey to blue. This change was hailed with delight by everybody, the children especially. Of course Trixie, with characteristic energy, was for going out at once, but Great-heart suggested that they had better wait half-an-hour or so, until the place dried up a bit, which they did, although, it must be owned, with some slight impatience. So, as the hands of the clock pointed to the hour of one, the three stepped forth, two of them to gain their first impressions of this wonderful city they visited.
“ Where shall we go ?” inquired Trixie, in a great state of excitement.
“ It is all so new to you that I think it can hardly matter much, dear,” replied Great-heart, with a smile. Suppose we take a walk on the boulevards ?”
"Oh, the street we crossed over last night, all lighted up, full of people, with trees growing down the side of it?" cried the maiden, in a breath.
“ The same," said the man.
So they turned to the left a little way, then to the right, which led them into a fine square, with a column in its centre, which had once been pulled down by a silly mob of people, but was now put up again, although the ornament on its top had been