The Phoenix and the Carpet
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in through the shallowing water, and at last spread it on the sand. The cook, who had followed, instantly sat down on it, and at once the copper-coloured natives, now strangely humble, formed a ring round the carpet, and fell on their faces on the rainbow-and-gold sand. The tallest savage spoke in this position, which must have been very awkward for him; and Jane noticed that it took him quite a long time to get the sand out of his mouth afterwards. ‘He says,’ the Phoenix remarked after some
away to the cupboard under the stairs where the brooms and dustpans were kept, and the rosiny fire-lighters that smell so nice and like the woods where pine-trees grow, and the old newspapers, and the bees-wax and turpentine, and the horrid stiff dark rags that are used for cleaning brass and furniture, and the paraffin for the lamps. She came back with a little pot that had once cost sevenpence-halfpenny when it was full of redcurrant jelly; but the jelly had been all eaten long ago, and now
elephant, a bicycle, a motor-car, books with pictures, musical instruments, and many other things. But a musical instrument is agreeable only to the player, unless he has learned to play it really well; books are not sociable, bicycles cannot be ridden without going out of doors, and the same is true of motor-cars and elephants. Only two people can play chess at once with one set of chessmen (and anyway it’s very much too much like lessons for a game), and only one can ride on a rocking-horse.
eldest, said – ‘Come on,’ and turned the handle. The gas had been left full on after tea, and everything in the room could be plainly seen by the ten eyes at the door. At least, not everything, for though the carpet was there it was invisible, because it was completely covered by the 199 beautiful objects which it had brought from its birthplace. ‘My hat!’ Cyril remarked. ‘I never thought about its being a Persian carpet.’ Yet it was now plain that it was so, for the beautiful objects which
begin without the girls.’ ‘They’ll be all the morning,’ said Robert, impatiently. And then a thing inside him, which tiresome books sometimes call the ‘inward monitor’, said, ‘Why don’t you help them, then?’ Cyril’s ‘inward monitor’ happened to say the same thing at the same moment, so the boys went and helped to wash up the tea-cups, and to dust the drawing-room. Robert was so interested that he proposed to clean the front doorsteps – a thing he had never been allowed to do. Nor was he allowed