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 +<html>
 +    <p>
 +      <br /><br />
 +    </p>
 +    <h1>
 +      THE STORY OF THE AMULET
 +    </h1>
 +    <p>
 +      <br />
 +    </p>
 +    <h2>
 +      by E. Nesbit
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      <br /><br />
 +    </p>
 +    <h4>
 +      TO<br /><br /> Dr Wallis Budge<br /> of the British Museum as a<br /> small
 +      token of gratitude for his<br /> unfailing kindness and help<br /> in the
 +      making of it
 +    </h4>
 +    <p>
 +      <br /> <br />
 +    </p>
 +    <hr />
 +    <p>
 +      <br /> <br />
 +    </p>
 +    <h2>
 +      Contents
 +    </h2>
 +    <table summary="" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto">
 +      <tr>
 +        <td>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0001"> CHAPTER 1. THE PSAMMEAD </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0002"> CHAPTER 2. THE HALF AMULET </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0003"> CHAPTER 3. THE PAST </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0004"> CHAPTER 4. EIGHT THOUSAND YEARS AGO </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0005"> CHAPTER 5. THE FIGHT IN THE VILLAGE </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0006"> CHAPTER 6. THE WAY TO BABYLON </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0007"> CHAPTER 7. &lsquo;THE DEEPEST DUNGEON BELOW THE
 +            CASTLE MOAT&rsquo; </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0008"> CHAPTER 8. THE QUEEN IN LONDON </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0009"> CHAPTER 9. ATLANTIS </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0010"> CHAPTER 10. THE LITTLE BLACK GIRL AND
 +            JULIUS CAESAR </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0011"> CHAPTER 11. BEFORE PHARAOH </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0012"> CHAPTER 12. THE SORRY-PRESENT AND THE
 +            EXPELLED LITTLE BOY </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0013"> CHAPTER 13. THE SHIPWRECK ON THE TIN
 +            ISLANDS </a>
 +          </p>
 +          <p class="toc">
 +            <a href="#link2HCH0014"> CHAPTER 14. THE HEART&rsquo;S DESIRE </a>
 +          </p>
 +        </td>
 +      </tr>
 +    </table>
 +    <p>
 +      <br /> <br />
 +    </p>
 +    <hr />
 +    <p>
 +      <br /> <br /> <a name="link2HCH0001" id="link2HCH0001">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 1. THE PSAMMEAD
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      There were once four children who spent their summer holidays in a white
 +      house, happily situated between a sandpit and a chalkpit. One day they had
 +      the good fortune to find in the sandpit a strange creature. Its eyes were
 +      on long horns like snail&rsquo;s eyes, and it could move them in and out like
 +      telescopes. It had ears like a bat&rsquo;s ears, and its tubby body was shaped
 +      like a spider&rsquo;s and covered with thick soft fur&mdash;and it had hands and
 +      feet like a monkey&rsquo;s. It told the children&mdash;whose names were Cyril,
 +      Robert, Anthea, and Jane&mdash;that it was a Psammead or sand-fairy.
 +      (Psammead is pronounced Sammy-ad.) It was old, old, old, and its birthday
 +      was almost at the very beginning of everything. And it had been buried in
 +      the sand for thousands of years. But it still kept its fairylikeness, and
 +      part of this fairylikeness was its power to give people whatever they
 +      wished for. You know fairies have always been able to do this. Cyril,
 +      Robert, Anthea, and Jane now found their wishes come true; but, somehow,
 +      they never could think of just the right things to wish for, and their
 +      wishes sometimes turned out very oddly indeed. In the end their unwise
 +      wishings landed them in what Robert called &lsquo;a very tight place indeed&rsquo;,
 +      and the Psammead consented to help them out of it in return for their
 +      promise never never to ask it to grant them any more wishes, and never to
 +      tell anyone about it, because it did not want to be bothered to give
 +      wishes to anyone ever any more. At the moment of parting Jane said
 +      politely&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish we were going to see you again some day.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the Psammead, touched by this friendly thought, granted the wish. The
 +      book about all this is called Five Children and It, and it ends up in a
 +      most tiresome way by saying&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The children DID see the Psammead again, but it was not in the sandpit;
 +      it was&mdash;but I must say no more&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The reason that nothing more could be said was that I had not then been
 +      able to find out exactly when and where the children met the Psammead
 +      again. Of course I knew they would meet it, because it was a beast of its
 +      word, and when it said a thing would happen, that thing happened without
 +      fail. How different from the people who tell us about what weather it is
 +      going to be on Thursday next, in London, the South Coast, and Channel!
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The summer holidays during which the Psammead had been found and the
 +      wishes given had been wonderful holidays in the country, and the children
 +      had the highest hopes of just such another holiday for the next summer.
 +      The winter holidays were beguiled by the wonderful happenings of The
 +      Phoenix and the Carpet, and the loss of these two treasures would have
 +      left the children in despair, but for the splendid hope of their next
 +      holiday in the country. The world, they felt, and indeed had some reason
 +      to feel, was full of wonderful things&mdash;and they were really the sort
 +      of people that wonderful things happen to. So they looked forward to the
 +      summer holiday; but when it came everything was different, and very, very
 +      horrid. Father had to go out to Manchuria to telegraph news about the war
 +      to the tiresome paper he wrote for&mdash;the Daily Bellower, or something
 +      like that, was its name. And Mother, poor dear Mother, was away in
 +      Madeira, because she had been very ill. And The Lamb&mdash;I mean the baby&mdash;was
 +      with her. And Aunt Emma, who was Mother&rsquo;s sister, had suddenly married
 +      Uncle Reginald, who was Father&rsquo;s brother, and they had gone to China,
 +      which is much too far off for you to expect to be asked to spend the
 +      holidays in, however fond your aunt and uncle may be of you. So the
 +      children were left in the care of old Nurse, who lived in Fitzroy Street,
 +      near the British Museum, and though she was always very kind to them, and
 +      indeed spoiled them far more than would be good for the most grown-up of
 +      us, the four children felt perfectly wretched, and when the cab had driven
 +      off with Father and all his boxes and guns and the sheepskin, with
 +      blankets and the aluminium mess-kit inside it, the stoutest heart quailed,
 +      and the girls broke down altogether, and sobbed in each other&rsquo;s arms,
 +      while the boys each looked out of one of the long gloomy windows of the
 +      parlour, and tried to pretend that no boy would be such a muff as to cry.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      I hope you notice that they were not cowardly enough to cry till their
 +      Father had gone; they knew he had quite enough to upset him without that.
 +      But when he was gone everyone felt as if it had been trying not to cry all
 +      its life, and that it must cry now, if it died for it. So they cried.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Tea&mdash;with shrimps and watercress&mdash;cheered them a little. The
 +      watercress was arranged in a hedge round a fat glass salt-cellar, a
 +      tasteful device they had never seen before. But it was not a cheerful
 +      meal.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      After tea Anthea went up to the room that had been Father&rsquo;s, and when she
 +      saw how dreadfully he wasn&rsquo;t there, and remembered how every minute was
 +      taking him further and further from her, and nearer and nearer to the guns
 +      of the Russians, she cried a little more. Then she thought of Mother, ill
 +      and alone, and perhaps at that very moment wanting a little girl to put
 +      eau-de-cologne on her head, and make her sudden cups of tea, and she cried
 +      more than ever. And then she remembered what Mother had said, the night
 +      before she went away, about Anthea being the eldest girl, and about trying
 +      to make the others happy, and things like that. So she stopped crying, and
 +      thought instead. And when she had thought as long as she could bear she
 +      washed her face and combed her hair, and went down to the others, trying
 +      her best to look as though crying were an exercise she had never even
 +      heard of.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She found the parlour in deepest gloom, hardly relieved at all by the
 +      efforts of Robert, who, to make the time pass, was pulling Jane&rsquo;s hair&mdash;not
 +      hard, but just enough to tease.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Look here,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s have a palaver.&rsquo; This word dated from the
 +      awful day when Cyril had carelessly wished that there were Red Indians in
 +      England&mdash;and there had been. The word brought back memories of last
 +      summer holidays and everyone groaned; they thought of the white house with
 +      the beautiful tangled garden&mdash;late roses, asters, marigold, sweet
 +      mignonette, and feathery asparagus&mdash;of the wilderness which someone
 +      had once meant to make into an orchard, but which was now, as Father said,
 +      &lsquo;five acres of thistles haunted by the ghosts of baby cherry-trees&rsquo;. They
 +      thought of the view across the valley, where the lime-kilns looked like
 +      Aladdin&rsquo;s palaces in the sunshine, and they thought of their own sandpit,
 +      with its fringe of yellowy grasses and pale-stringy-stalked wild flowers,
 +      and the little holes in the cliff that were the little sand-martins&rsquo; 
 +      little front doors. And they thought of the free fresh air smelling of
 +      thyme and sweetbriar, and the scent of the wood-smoke from the cottages in
 +      the lane&mdash;and they looked round old Nurse&rsquo;s stuffy parlour, and Jane
 +      said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, how different it all is!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was. Old Nurse had been in the habit of letting lodgings, till Father
 +      gave her the children to take care of. And her rooms were furnished &lsquo;for
 +      letting&rsquo;. Now it is a very odd thing that no one ever seems to furnish a
 +      room &lsquo;for letting&rsquo; in a bit the same way as one would furnish it for
 +      living in. This room had heavy dark red stuff curtains&mdash;the colour
 +      that blood would not make a stain on&mdash;with coarse lace curtains
 +      inside. The carpet was yellow, and violet, with bits of grey and brown
 +      oilcloth in odd places. The fireplace had shavings and tinsel in it. There
 +      was a very varnished mahogany chiffonier, or sideboard, with a lock that
 +      wouldn&rsquo;t act. There were hard chairs&mdash;far too many of them&mdash;with
 +      crochet antimacassars slipping off their seats, all of which sloped the
 +      wrong way. The table wore a cloth of a cruel green colour with a yellow
 +      chain-stitch pattern round it. Over the fireplace was a looking-glass that
 +      made you look much uglier than you really were, however plain you might be
 +      to begin with. Then there was a mantelboard with maroon plush and wool
 +      fringe that did not match the plush; a dreary clock like a black marble
 +      tomb&mdash;it was silent as the grave too, for it had long since forgotten
 +      how to tick. And there were painted glass vases that never had any flowers
 +      in, and a painted tambourine that no one ever played, and painted brackets
 +      with nothing on them.
 +    </p>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +     &lsquo;And maple-framed engravings of the Queen, the Houses of
 +  Parliament, the Plains of Heaven, and of a blunt-nosed
 +  woodman&rsquo;s flat return.&rsquo; 
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      There were two books&mdash;last December&rsquo;s Bradshaw, and an odd volume of
 +      Plumridge&rsquo;s Commentary on Thessalonians. There were&mdash;but I cannot
 +      dwell longer on this painful picture. It was indeed, as Jane said, very
 +      different.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s have a palaver,&rsquo; said Anthea again.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What about?&rsquo; said Cyril, yawning.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There&rsquo;s nothing to have ANYTHING about,&rsquo; said Robert kicking the leg of
 +      the table miserably.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t want to play,&rsquo; said Jane, and her tone was grumpy.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea tried very hard not to be cross. She succeeded.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Look here,&rsquo; she said, &lsquo;don&rsquo;t think I want to be preachy or a beast in any
 +      way, but I want to what Father calls define the situation. Do you agree?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Fire ahead,&rsquo; said Cyril without enthusiasm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well then. We all know the reason we&rsquo;re staying here is because Nurse
 +      couldn&rsquo;t leave her house on account of the poor learned gentleman on the
 +      top-floor. And there was no one else Father could entrust to take care of
 +      us&mdash;and you know it&rsquo;s taken a lot of money, Mother&rsquo;s going to Madeira
 +      to be made well.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane sniffed miserably.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes, I know,&rsquo; said Anthea in a hurry, &lsquo;but don&rsquo;t let&rsquo;s think about how
 +      horrid it all is. I mean we can&rsquo;t go to things that cost a lot, but we
 +      must do SOMETHING. And I know there are heaps of things you can see in
 +      London without paying for them, and I thought we&rsquo;d go and see them. We are
 +      all quite old now, and we haven&rsquo;t got The Lamb&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane sniffed harder than before.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I mean no one can say &ldquo;No&rdquo; because of him, dear pet. And I thought we
 +      MUST get Nurse to see how quite old we are, and let us go out by
 +      ourselves, or else we shall never have any sort of a time at all. And I
 +      vote we see everything there is, and let&rsquo;s begin by asking Nurse to give
 +      us some bits of bread and we&rsquo;ll go to St James&rsquo;s Park. There are ducks
 +      there, I know, we can feed them. Only we must make Nurse let us go by
 +      ourselves.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hurrah for liberty!&rsquo; said Robert, &lsquo;but she won&rsquo;t.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes she will,&rsquo; said Jane unexpectedly. &lsquo;<i>I</i> thought about that this
 +      morning, and I asked Father, and he said yes; and what&rsquo;s more he told old
 +      Nurse we might, only he said we must always say where we wanted to go, and
 +      if it was right she would let us.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Three cheers for thoughtful Jane,&rsquo; cried Cyril, now roused at last from
 +      his yawning despair. &lsquo;I say, let&rsquo;s go now.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So they went, old Nurse only begging them to be careful of crossings, and
 +      to ask a policeman to assist in the more difficult cases. But they were
 +      used to crossings, for they had lived in Camden Town and knew the Kentish
 +      Town Road where the trams rush up and down like mad at all hours of the
 +      day and night, and seem as though, if anything, they would rather run over
 +      you than not.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They had promised to be home by dark, but it was July, so dark would be
 +      very late indeed, and long past bedtime.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They started to walk to St James&rsquo;s Park, and all their pockets were
 +      stuffed with bits of bread and the crusts of toast, to feed the ducks
 +      with. They started, I repeat, but they never got there.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Between Fitzroy Street and St James&rsquo;s Park there are a great many streets,
 +      and, if you go the right way you will pass a great many shops that you
 +      cannot possibly help stopping to look at. The children stopped to look at
 +      several with gold-lace and beads and pictures and jewellery and dresses,
 +      and hats, and oysters and lobsters in their windows, and their sorrow did
 +      not seem nearly so impossible to bear as it had done in the best parlour
 +      at No. 300, Fitzroy Street.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Presently, by some wonderful chance turn of Robert&rsquo;s (who had been voted
 +      Captain because the girls thought it would be good for him&mdash;and
 +      indeed he thought so himself&mdash;and of course Cyril couldn&rsquo;t vote
 +      against him because it would have looked like a mean jealousy), they came
 +      into the little interesting criss-crossy streets that held the most
 +      interesting shops of all&mdash;the shops where live things were sold.
 +      There was one shop window entirely filled with cages, and all sorts of
 +      beautiful birds in them. The children were delighted till they remembered
 +      how they had once wished for wings themselves, and had had them&mdash;and
 +      then they felt how desperately unhappy anything with wings must be if it
 +      is shut up in a cage and not allowed to fly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It must be fairly beastly to be a bird in a cage,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;Come on!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They went on, and Cyril tried to think out a scheme for making his fortune
 +      as a gold-digger at Klondyke, and then buying all the caged birds in the
 +      world and setting them free. Then they came to a shop that sold cats, but
 +      the cats were in cages, and the children could not help wishing someone
 +      would buy all the cats and put them on hearthrugs, which are the proper
 +      places for cats. And there was the dog-shop, and that was not a happy
 +      thing to look at either, because all the dogs were chained or caged, and
 +      all the dogs, big and little, looked at the four children with sad wistful
 +      eyes and wagged beseeching tails as if they were trying to say, &lsquo;Buy me!
 +      buy me! buy me! and let me go for a walk with you; oh, do buy me, and buy
 +      my poor brothers too! Do! do! do!&rsquo; They almost said, &lsquo;Do! do! do!&rsquo; plain
 +      to the ear, as they whined; all but one big Irish terrier, and he growled
 +      when Jane patted him.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Grrrrr,&rsquo; he seemed to say, as he looked at them from the back corner of
 +      his eye&mdash;&lsquo;YOU won&rsquo;t buy me. Nobody will&mdash;ever&mdash;I shall die
 +      chained up&mdash;and I don&rsquo;t know that I care how soon it is, either!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      I don&rsquo;t know that the children would have understood all this, only once
 +      they had been in a besieged castle, so they knew how hateful it is to be
 +      kept in when you want to get out.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Of course they could not buy any of the dogs. They did, indeed, ask the
 +      price of the very, very smallest, and it was sixty-five pounds&mdash;but
 +      that was because it was a Japanese toy spaniel like the Queen once had her
 +      portrait painted with, when she was only Princess of Wales. But the
 +      children thought, if the smallest was all that money, the biggest would
 +      run into thousands&mdash;so they went on.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And they did not stop at any more cat or dog or bird shops, but passed
 +      them by, and at last they came to a shop that seemed as though it only
 +      sold creatures that did not much mind where they were&mdash;such as
 +      goldfish and white mice, and sea-anemones and other aquarium beasts, and
 +      lizards and toads, and hedgehogs and tortoises, and tame rabbits and
 +      guinea-pigs. And there they stopped for a long time, and fed the
 +      guinea-pigs with bits of bread through the cage-bars, and wondered whether
 +      it would be possible to keep a sandy-coloured double-lop in the basement
 +      of the house in Fitzroy Street.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t suppose old Nurse would mind VERY much,&rsquo; said Jane. &lsquo;Rabbits are
 +      most awfully tame sometimes. I expect it would know her voice and follow
 +      her all about.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;She&rsquo;d tumble over it twenty times a day,&rsquo; said Cyril; &lsquo;now a snake&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There aren&rsquo;t any snakes, said Robert hastily, &lsquo;and besides, I never could
 +      cotton to snakes somehow&mdash;I wonder why.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Worms are as bad,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;and eels and slugs&mdash;I think it&rsquo;s
 +      because we don&rsquo;t like things that haven&rsquo;t got legs.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Father says snakes have got legs hidden away inside of them,&rsquo; said
 +      Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes&mdash;and he says WE&rsquo;VE got tails hidden away inside us&mdash;but it
 +      doesn&rsquo;t either of it come to anything REALLY,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;I hate things
 +      that haven&rsquo;t any legs.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s worse when they have too many,&rsquo; said Jane with a shudder, &lsquo;think of
 +      centipedes!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They stood there on the pavement, a cause of some inconvenience to the
 +      passersby, and thus beguiled the time with conversation. Cyril was leaning
 +      his elbow on the top of a hutch that had seemed empty when they had
 +      inspected the whole edifice of hutches one by one, and he was trying to
 +      reawaken the interest of a hedgehog that had curled itself into a ball
 +      earlier in the interview, when a small, soft voice just below his elbow
 +      said, quietly, plainly and quite unmistakably&mdash;not in any squeak or
 +      whine that had to be translated&mdash;but in downright common English&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Buy me&mdash;do&mdash;please buy me!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril started as though he had been pinched, and jumped a yard away from
 +      the hutch.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Come back&mdash;oh, come back!&rsquo; said the voice, rather louder but still
 +      softly; &lsquo;stoop down and pretend to be tying up your bootlace&mdash;I see
 +      it&rsquo;s undone, as usual.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril mechanically obeyed. He knelt on one knee on the dry, hot dusty
 +      pavement, peered into the darkness of the hutch and found himself face to
 +      face with&mdash;the Psammead!
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It seemed much thinner than when he had last seen it. It was dusty and
 +      dirty, and its fur was untidy and ragged. It had hunched itself up into a
 +      miserable lump, and its long snail&rsquo;s eyes were drawn in quite tight so
 +      that they hardly showed at all.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Listen,&rsquo; said the Psammead, in a voice that sounded as though it would
 +      begin to cry in a minute, &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t think the creature who keeps this shop
 +      will ask a very high price for me. I&rsquo;ve bitten him more than once, and
 +      I&rsquo;ve made myself look as common as I can. He&rsquo;s never had a glance from my
 +      beautiful, beautiful eyes. Tell the others I&rsquo;m here&mdash;but tell them to
 +      look at some of those low, common beasts while I&rsquo;m talking to you. The
 +      creature inside mustn&rsquo;t think you care much about me, or he&rsquo;ll put a price
 +      upon me far, far beyond your means. I remember in the dear old days last
 +      summer you never had much money. Oh&mdash;I never thought I should be so
 +      glad to see you&mdash;I never did.&rsquo; It sniffed, and shot out its long
 +      snail&rsquo;s eyes expressly to drop a tear well away from its fur. &lsquo;Tell the
 +      others I&rsquo;m here, and then I&rsquo;ll tell you exactly what to do about buying
 +      me.&rsquo; Cyril tied his bootlace into a hard knot, stood up and addressed the
 +      others in firm tones&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Look here,&rsquo; he said, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m not kidding&mdash;and I appeal to your honour,&rsquo; 
 +      an appeal which in this family was never made in vain. &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t look at that
 +      hutch&mdash;look at the white rat. Now you are not to look at that hutch
 +      whatever I say.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He stood in front of it to prevent mistakes.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now get yourselves ready for a great surprise. In that hutch there&rsquo;s an
 +      old friend of ours&mdash;DON&rsquo;T look!&mdash;Yes; it&rsquo;s the Psammead, the
 +      good old Psammead! it wants us to buy it. It says you&rsquo;re not to look at
 +      it. Look at the white rat and count your money! On your honour don&rsquo;t
 +      look!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The others responded nobly. They looked at the white rat till they quite
 +      stared him out of countenance, so that he went and sat up on his hind legs
 +      in a far corner and hid his eyes with his front paws, and pretended he was
 +      washing his face.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril stooped again, busying himself with the other bootlace and listened
 +      for the Psammead&rsquo;s further instructions.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Go in,&rsquo; said the Psammead, &lsquo;and ask the price of lots of other things.
 +      Then say, &ldquo;What do you want for that monkey that&rsquo;s lost its tail&mdash;the
 +      mangy old thing in the third hutch from the end.&rdquo; Oh&mdash;don&rsquo;t mind MY
 +      feelings&mdash;call me a mangy monkey&mdash;I&rsquo;ve tried hard enough to look
 +      like one! I don&rsquo;t think he&rsquo;ll put a high price on me&mdash;I&rsquo;ve bitten him
 +      eleven times since I came here the day before yesterday. If he names a
 +      bigger price than you can afford, say you wish you had the money.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But you can&rsquo;t give us wishes. I&rsquo;ve promised never to have another wish
 +      from you,&rsquo; said the bewildered Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be a silly little idiot,&rsquo; said the Sand-fairy in trembling but
 +      affectionate tones, &lsquo;but find out how much money you&rsquo;ve got between you,
 +      and do exactly what I tell you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril, pointing a stiff and unmeaning finger at the white rat, so as to
 +      pretend that its charms alone employed his tongue, explained matters to
 +      the others, while the Psammead hunched itself, and bunched itself, and did
 +      its very best to make itself look uninteresting. Then the four children
 +      filed into the shop.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;How much do you want for that white rat?&rsquo; asked Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Eightpence,&rsquo; was the answer.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;And the guinea-pigs?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Eighteenpence to five bob, according to the breed.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;And the lizards?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ninepence each.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;And toads?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Fourpence. Now look here,&rsquo; said the greasy owner of all this caged life
 +      with a sudden ferocity which made the whole party back hurriedly on to the
 +      wainscoting of hutches with which the shop was lined. &lsquo;Lookee here. I
 +      ain&rsquo;t agoin&rsquo; to have you a comin&rsquo; in here a turnin&rsquo; the whole place outer
 +      winder, an&rsquo; prizing every animile in the stock just for your larks, so
 +      don&rsquo;t think it! If you&rsquo;re a buyer, BE a buyer&mdash;but I never had a
 +      customer yet as wanted to buy mice, and lizards, and toads, and guineas
 +      all at once. So hout you goes.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh! wait a minute,&rsquo; said the wretched Cyril, feeling how foolishly yet
 +      well-meaningly he had carried out the Psammead&rsquo;s instructions. &lsquo;Just tell
 +      me one thing. What do you want for the mangy old monkey in the third hutch
 +      from the end?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The shopman only saw in this a new insult.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Mangy young monkey yourself,&rsquo; said he; &lsquo;get along with your blooming
 +      cheek. Hout you goes!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh! don&rsquo;t be so cross,&rsquo; said Jane, losing her head altogether, &lsquo;don&rsquo;t you
 +      see he really DOES want to know THAT!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ho! does &lsquo;e indeed,&rsquo; sneered the merchant. Then he scratched his ear
 +      suspiciously, for he was a sharp business man, and he knew the ring of
 +      truth when he heard it. His hand was bandaged, and three minutes before he
 +      would have been glad to sell the &lsquo;mangy old monkey&rsquo; for ten shillings. Now&mdash;&lsquo;Ho!
 +      &lsquo;e does, does &lsquo;e,&rsquo; he said, &lsquo;then two pun ten&rsquo;s my price. He&rsquo;s not got his
 +      fellow that monkey ain&rsquo;t, nor yet his match, not this side of the equator,
 +      which he comes from. And the only one ever seen in London. Ought to be in
 +      the Zoo. Two pun ten, down on the nail, or hout you goes!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children looked at each other&mdash;twenty-three shillings and
 +      fivepence was all they had in the world, and it would have been merely
 +      three and fivepence, but for the sovereign which Father had given to them
 +      &lsquo;between them&rsquo; at parting. &lsquo;We&rsquo;ve only twenty-three shillings and
 +      fivepence,&rsquo; said Cyril, rattling the money in his pocket.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Twenty-three farthings and somebody&rsquo;s own cheek,&rsquo; said the dealer, for he
 +      did not believe that Cyril had so much money.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      There was a miserable pause. Then Anthea remembered, and said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh! I WISH I had two pounds ten.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;So do I, Miss, I&rsquo;m sure,&rsquo; said the man with bitter politeness; &lsquo;I wish
 +      you &lsquo;ad, I&rsquo;m sure!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea&rsquo;s hand was on the counter, something seemed to slide under it. She
 +      lifted it. There lay five bright half sovereigns.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Why, I HAVE got it after all,&rsquo; she said; &lsquo;here&rsquo;s the money, now let&rsquo;s
 +      have the Sammy,... the monkey I mean.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The dealer looked hard at the money, but he made haste to put it in his
 +      pocket.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I only hope you come by it honest,&rsquo; he said, shrugging his shoulders. He
 +      scratched his ear again.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well!&rsquo; he said, &lsquo;I suppose I must let you have it, but it&rsquo;s worth
 +      thribble the money, so it is&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He slowly led the way out to the hutch&mdash;opened the door gingerly, and
 +      made a sudden fierce grab at the Psammead, which the Psammead acknowledged
 +      in one last long lingering bite.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Here, take the brute,&rsquo; said the shopman, squeezing the Psammead so tight
 +      that he nearly choked it. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s bit me to the marrow, it have.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The man&rsquo;s eyes opened as Anthea held out her arms.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t blame me if it tears your face off its bones,&rsquo; he said, and the
 +      Psammead made a leap from his dirty horny hands, and Anthea caught it in
 +      hers, which were not very clean, certainly, but at any rate were soft and
 +      pink, and held it kindly and closely.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But you can&rsquo;t take it home like that,&rsquo; Cyril said, &lsquo;we shall have a crowd
 +      after us,&rsquo; and indeed two errand boys and a policeman had already
 +      collected.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I can&rsquo;t give you nothink only a paper-bag, like what we put the tortoises
 +      in,&rsquo; said the man grudgingly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So the whole party went into the shop, and the shopman&rsquo;s eyes nearly came
 +      out of his head when, having given Anthea the largest paper-bag he could
 +      find, he saw her hold it open, and the Psammead carefully creep into it.
 +      &lsquo;Well!&rsquo; he said, &lsquo;if that there don&rsquo;t beat cockfighting! But p&rsquo;raps you&rsquo;ve
 +      met the brute afore.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; said Cyril affably, &lsquo;he&rsquo;s an old friend of ours.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;If I&rsquo;d a known that,&rsquo; the man rejoined, &lsquo;you shouldn&rsquo;t a had him under
 +      twice the money. &lsquo;Owever,&rsquo; he added, as the children disappeared, &lsquo;I ain&rsquo;t
 +      done so bad, seeing as I only give five bob for the beast. But then
 +      there&rsquo;s the bites to take into account!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children trembling in agitation and excitement, carried home the
 +      Psammead, trembling in its paper-bag.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      When they got it home, Anthea nursed it, and stroked it, and would have
 +      cried over it, if she hadn&rsquo;t remembered how it hated to be wet.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      When it recovered enough to speak, it said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Get me sand; silver sand from the oil and colour shop. And get me
 +      plenty.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They got the sand, and they put it and the Psammead in the round bath
 +      together, and it rubbed itself, and rolled itself, and shook itself and
 +      scraped itself, and scratched itself, and preened itself, till it felt
 +      clean and comfy, and then it scrabbled a hasty hole in the sand, and went
 +      to sleep in it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children hid the bath under the girls&rsquo; bed, and had supper. Old Nurse
 +      had got them a lovely supper of bread and butter and fried onions. She was
 +      full of kind and delicate thoughts.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      When Anthea woke the next morning, the Psammead was snuggling down between
 +      her shoulder and Jane&rsquo;s.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You have saved my life,&rsquo; it said. &lsquo;I know that man would have thrown cold
 +      water on me sooner or later, and then I should have died. I saw him wash
 +      out a guinea-pig&rsquo;s hutch yesterday morning. I&rsquo;m still frightfully sleepy,
 +      I think I&rsquo;ll go back to sand for another nap. Wake the boys and this
 +      dormouse of a Jane, and when you&rsquo;ve had your breakfasts we&rsquo;ll have a
 +      talk.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t YOU want any breakfast?&rsquo; asked Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I daresay I shall pick a bit presently,&rsquo; it said; &lsquo;but sand is all I care
 +      about&mdash;it&rsquo;s meat and drink to me, and coals and fire and wife and
 +      children.&rsquo; With these words it clambered down by the bedclothes and
 +      scrambled back into the bath, where they heard it scratching itself out of
 +      sight.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well!&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;anyhow our holidays won&rsquo;t be dull NOW. We&rsquo;ve found
 +      the Psammead again.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No,&rsquo; said Jane, beginning to put on her stockings. &lsquo;We shan&rsquo;t be dull&mdash;but
 +      it&rsquo;ll be only like having a pet dog now it can&rsquo;t give us wishes.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, don&rsquo;t be so discontented,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;If it can&rsquo;t do anything else
 +      it can tell us about Megatheriums and things.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      <a name="link2HCH0002" id="link2HCH0002">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <div style="height: 4em;">
 +      <br /><br /><br /><br />
 +    </div>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 2. THE HALF AMULET
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      Long ago&mdash;that is to say last summer&mdash;the children, finding
 +      themselves embarrassed by some wish which the Psammead had granted them,
 +      and which the servants had not received in a proper spirit, had wished
 +      that the servants might not notice the gifts which the Psammead gave. And
 +      when they parted from the Psammead their last wish had been that they
 +      should meet it again. Therefore they HAD met it (and it was jolly lucky
 +      for the Psammead, as Robert pointed out). Now, of course, you see that the
 +      Psammead&rsquo;s being where it was, was the consequence of one of their wishes,
 +      and therefore was a Psammead-wish, and as such could not be noticed by the
 +      servants. And it was soon plain that in the Psammead&rsquo;s opinion old Nurse
 +      was still a servant, although she had now a house of her own, for she
 +      never noticed the Psammead at all. And that was as well, for she would
 +      never have consented to allow the girls to keep an animal and a bath of
 +      sand under their bed.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      When breakfast had been cleared away&mdash;it was a very nice breakfast
 +      with hot rolls to it, a luxury quite out of the common way&mdash;Anthea
 +      went and dragged out the bath, and woke the Psammead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It stretched and shook itself.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You must have bolted your breakfast most unwholesomely,&rsquo; it said, &lsquo;you
 +      can&rsquo;t have been five minutes over it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We&rsquo;ve been nearly an hour,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;Come&mdash;you know you
 +      promised.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now look here,&rsquo; said the Psammead, sitting back on the sand and shooting
 +      out its long eyes suddenly, &lsquo;we&rsquo;d better begin as we mean to go on. It
 +      won&rsquo;t do to have any misunderstanding, so I tell you plainly that&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, PLEASE,&rsquo; Anthea pleaded, &lsquo;do wait till we get to the others. They&rsquo;ll
 +      think it most awfully sneakish of me to talk to you without them; do come
 +      down, there&rsquo;s a dear.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She knelt before the sand-bath and held out her arms. The Psammead must
 +      have remembered how glad it had been to jump into those same little arms
 +      only the day before, for it gave a little grudging grunt, and jumped once
 +      more.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea wrapped it in her pinafore and carried it downstairs. It was
 +      welcomed in a thrilling silence. At last Anthea said, &lsquo;Now then!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What place is this?&rsquo; asked the Psammead, shooting its eyes out and
 +      turning them slowly round.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s a sitting-room, of course,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then I don&rsquo;t like it,&rsquo; said the Psammead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Never mind,&rsquo; said Anthea kindly; &lsquo;we&rsquo;ll take you anywhere you like if you
 +      want us to. What was it you were going to say upstairs when I said the
 +      others wouldn&rsquo;t like it if I stayed talking to you without them?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It looked keenly at her, and she blushed.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be silly,&rsquo; it said sharply. &lsquo;Of course, it&rsquo;s quite natural that you
 +      should like your brothers and sisters to know exactly how good and
 +      unselfish you were.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish you wouldn&rsquo;t,&rsquo; said Jane. &lsquo;Anthea was quite right. What was it you
 +      were going to say when she stopped you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll tell you,&rsquo; said the Psammead, &lsquo;since you&rsquo;re so anxious to know. I
 +      was going to say this. You&rsquo;ve saved my life&mdash;and I&rsquo;m not ungrateful&mdash;but
 +      it doesn&rsquo;t change your nature or mine. You&rsquo;re still very ignorant, and
 +      rather silly, and I am worth a thousand of you any day of the week.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course you are!&rsquo; Anthea was beginning but it interrupted her.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s very rude to interrupt,&rsquo; it said; &lsquo;what I mean is that I&rsquo;m not going
 +      to stand any nonsense, and if you think what you&rsquo;ve done is to give you
 +      the right to pet me or make me demean myself by playing with you, you&rsquo;ll
 +      find out that what you think doesn&rsquo;t matter a single penny. See? It&rsquo;s what
 +      <i>I</i> think that matters.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I know,&rsquo; said Cyril, &lsquo;it always was, if you remember.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well,&rsquo; said the Psammead, &lsquo;then that&rsquo;s settled. We&rsquo;re to be treated as we
 +      deserve. I with respect, and all of you with&mdash;but I don&rsquo;t wish to be
 +      offensive. Do you want me to tell you how I got into that horrible den you
 +      bought me out of? Oh, I&rsquo;m not ungrateful! I haven&rsquo;t forgotten it and I
 +      shan&rsquo;t forget it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Do tell us,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;I know you&rsquo;re awfully clever, but even with
 +      all your cleverness, I don&rsquo;t believe you can possibly know how&mdash;how
 +      respectfully we do respect you. Don&rsquo;t we?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The others all said yes&mdash;and fidgeted in their chairs. Robert spoke
 +      the wishes of all when he said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I do wish you&rsquo;d go on.&rsquo; So it sat up on the green-covered table and went
 +      on.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;When you&rsquo;d gone away,&rsquo; it said, &lsquo;I went to sand for a bit, and slept. I
 +      was tired out with all your silly wishes, and I felt as though I hadn&rsquo;t
 +      really been to sand for a year.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;To sand?&rsquo; Jane repeated.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Where I sleep. You go to bed. I go to sand.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane yawned; the mention of bed made her feel sleepy.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;All right,&rsquo; said the Psammead, in offended tones. &lsquo;I&rsquo;m sure <i>I</i>
 +      don&rsquo;t want to tell you a long tale. A man caught me, and I bit him. And he
 +      put me in a bag with a dead hare and a dead rabbit. And he took me to his
 +      house and put me out of the bag into a basket with holes that I could see
 +      through. And I bit him again. And then he brought me to this city, which I
 +      am told is called the Modern Babylon&mdash;though it&rsquo;s not a bit like the
 +      old Babylon&mdash;and he sold me to the man you bought me from, and then I
 +      bit them both. Now, what&rsquo;s your news?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There&rsquo;s not quite so much biting in our story,&rsquo; said Cyril regretfully;
 +      &lsquo;in fact, there isn&rsquo;t any. Father&rsquo;s gone to Manchuria, and Mother and The
 +      Lamb have gone to Madeira because Mother was ill, and don&rsquo;t I just wish
 +      that they were both safe home again.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Merely from habit, the Sand-fairy began to blow itself out, but it stopped
 +      short suddenly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I forgot,&rsquo; it said; &lsquo;I can&rsquo;t give you any more wishes.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No&mdash;but look here,&rsquo; said Cyril, &lsquo;couldn&rsquo;t we call in old Nurse and
 +      get her to say SHE wishes they were safe home. I&rsquo;m sure she does.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No go,&rsquo; said the Psammead. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s just the same as your wishing yourself
 +      if you get some one else to wish for you. It won&rsquo;t act.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But it did yesterday&mdash;with the man in the shop,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ah yes,&rsquo; said the creature, &lsquo;but you didn&rsquo;t ASK him to wish, and you
 +      didn&rsquo;t know what would happen if he did. That can&rsquo;t be done again. It&rsquo;s
 +      played out.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then you can&rsquo;t help us at all,&rsquo; said Jane; &lsquo;oh&mdash;I did think you
 +      could do something; I&rsquo;ve been thinking about it ever since we saved your
 +      life yesterday. I thought you&rsquo;d be certain to be able to fetch back
 +      Father, even if you couldn&rsquo;t manage Mother.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And Jane began to cry.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now DON&rsquo;T,&rsquo; said the Psammead hastily; &lsquo;you know how it always upsets me
 +      if you cry. I can&rsquo;t feel safe a moment. Look here; you must have some new
 +      kind of charm.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s easier said than done.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not a bit of it,&rsquo; said the creature; &lsquo;there&rsquo;s one of the strongest charms
 +      in the world not a stone&rsquo;s throw from where you bought me yesterday. The
 +      man that I bit so&mdash;the first one, I mean&mdash;went into a shop to
 +      ask how much something cost&mdash;I think he said it was a concertina&mdash;and
 +      while he was telling the man in the shop how much too much he wanted for
 +      it, I saw the charm in a sort of tray, with a lot of other things. If you
 +      can only buy THAT, you will be able to have your heart&rsquo;s desire.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children looked at each other and then at the Psammead. Then Cyril
 +      coughed awkwardly and took sudden courage to say what everyone was
 +      thinking.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I do hope you won&rsquo;t be waxy,&rsquo; he said; &lsquo;but it&rsquo;s like this: when you used
 +      to give us our wishes they almost always got us into some row or other,
 +      and we used to think you wouldn&rsquo;t have been pleased if they hadn&rsquo;t. Now,
 +      about this charm&mdash;we haven&rsquo;t got over and above too much tin, and if
 +      we blue it all on this charm and it turns out to be not up to much&mdash;well&mdash;you
 +      see what I&rsquo;m driving at, don&rsquo;t you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I see that YOU don&rsquo;t see more than the length of your nose, and THAT&rsquo;S
 +      not far,&rsquo; said the Psammead crossly. &lsquo;Look here, I HAD to give you the
 +      wishes, and of course they turned out badly, in a sort of way, because you
 +      hadn&rsquo;t the sense to wish for what was good for you. But this charm&rsquo;s quite
 +      different. I haven&rsquo;t GOT to do this for you, it&rsquo;s just my own generous
 +      kindness that makes me tell you about it. So it&rsquo;s bound to be all right.
 +      See?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be cross,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;Please, PLEASE don&rsquo;t. You see, it&rsquo;s all
 +      we&rsquo;ve got; we shan&rsquo;t have any more pocket-money till Daddy comes home&mdash;unless
 +      he sends us some in a letter. But we DO trust you. And I say all of you,&rsquo; 
 +      she went on, &lsquo;don&rsquo;t you think it&rsquo;s worth spending ALL the money, if
 +      there&rsquo;s even the chanciest chance of getting Father and Mother back safe
 +      NOW? Just think of it! Oh, do let&rsquo;s!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;<i>I</i> don&rsquo;t care what you do,&rsquo; said the Psammead; &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll go back to
 +      sand again till you&rsquo;ve made up your minds.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, don&rsquo;t!&rsquo; said everybody; and Jane added, &lsquo;We are quite mind made-up&mdash;don&rsquo;t
 +      you see we are? Let&rsquo;s get our hats. Will you come with us?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course,&rsquo; said the Psammead; &lsquo;how else would you find the shop?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So everybody got its hat. The Psammead was put into a flat bass-bag that
 +      had come from Farringdon Market with two pounds of filleted plaice in it.
 +      Now it contained about three pounds and a quarter of solid Psammead, and
 +      the children took it in turns to carry it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s not half the weight of The Lamb,&rsquo; Robert said, and the girls sighed.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead poked a wary eye out of the top of the basket every now and
 +      then, and told the children which turnings to take.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;How on earth do you know?&rsquo; asked Robert. &lsquo;I can&rsquo;t think how you do it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the Psammead said sharply, &lsquo;No&mdash;I don&rsquo;t suppose you can.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      At last they came to THE shop. It had all sorts and kinds of things in the
 +      window&mdash;concertinas, and silk handkerchiefs, china vases and
 +      tea-cups, blue Japanese jars, pipes, swords, pistols, lace collars, silver
 +      spoons tied up in half-dozens, and wedding-rings in a red lacquered basin.
 +      There were officers&rsquo; epaulets and doctors&rsquo; lancets. There were tea-caddies
 +      inlaid with red turtle-shell and brass curly-wurlies, plates of different
 +      kinds of money, and stacks of different kinds of plates. There was a
 +      beautiful picture of a little girl washing a dog, which Jane liked very
 +      much. And in the middle of the window there was a dirty silver tray full
 +      of mother-of-pearl card counters, old seals, paste buckles, snuff-boxes,
 +      and all sorts of little dingy odds and ends.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead put its head quite out of the fish-basket to look in the
 +      window, when Cyril said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There&rsquo;s a tray there with rubbish in it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And then its long snail&rsquo;s eyes saw something that made them stretch out so
 +      much that they were as long and thin as new slate-pencils. Its fur
 +      bristled thickly, and its voice was quite hoarse with excitement as it
 +      whispered&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s it! That&rsquo;s it! There, under that blue and yellow buckle, you can
 +      see a bit sticking out. It&rsquo;s red. Do you see?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Is it that thing something like a horse-shoe?&rsquo; asked Cyril. &lsquo;And red,
 +      like the common sealing-wax you do up parcels with?&rsquo; &lsquo;Yes, that&rsquo;s it,&rsquo; 
 +      said the Psammead. &lsquo;Now, you do just as you did before. Ask the price of
 +      other things. That blue buckle would do. Then the man will get the tray
 +      out of the window. I think you&rsquo;d better be the one,&rsquo; it said to Anthea.
 +      &lsquo;We&rsquo;ll wait out here.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So the others flattened their noses against the shop window, and presently
 +      a large, dirty, short-fingered hand with a very big diamond ring came
 +      stretching through the green half-curtains at the back of the shop window
 +      and took away the tray.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They could not see what was happening in the interview between Anthea and
 +      the Diamond Ring, and it seemed to them that she had had time&mdash;if she
 +      had had money&mdash;to buy everything in the shop before the moment came
 +      when she stood before them, her face wreathed in grins, as Cyril said
 +      later, and in her hand the charm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was something like this: [Drawing omitted.] and it was made of a red,
 +      smooth, softly shiny stone.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve got it,&rsquo; Anthea whispered, just opening her hand to give the others
 +      a glimpse of it. &lsquo;Do let&rsquo;s get home. We can&rsquo;t stand here like stuck-pigs
 +      looking at it in the street.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So home they went. The parlour in Fitzroy Street was a very flat
 +      background to magic happenings. Down in the country among the flowers and
 +      green fields anything had seemed&mdash;and indeed had been&mdash;possible.
 +      But it was hard to believe that anything really wonderful could happen so
 +      near the Tottenham Court Road. But the Psammead was there&mdash;and it in
 +      itself was wonderful. And it could talk&mdash;and it had shown them where
 +      a charm could be bought that would make the owner of it perfectly happy.
 +      So the four children hurried home, taking very long steps, with their
 +      chins stuck out, and their mouths shut very tight indeed. They went so
 +      fast that the Psammead was quite shaken about in its fish-bag, but it did
 +      not say anything&mdash;perhaps for fear of attracting public notice.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They got home at last, very hot indeed, and set the Psammead on the green
 +      tablecloth.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now then!&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      But the Psammead had to have a plate of sand fetched for it, for it was
 +      quite faint. When it had refreshed itself a little it said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now then! Let me see the charm,&rsquo; and Anthea laid it on the green
 +      table-cover. The Psammead shot out his long eyes to look at it, then it
 +      turned them reproachfully on Anthea and said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But there&rsquo;s only half of it here!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      This was indeed a blow.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It was all there was,&rsquo; said Anthea, with timid firmness. She knew it was
 +      not her fault. &lsquo;There should be another piece,&rsquo; said the Psammead, &lsquo;and a
 +      sort of pin to fasten the two together.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Isn&rsquo;t half any good?&rsquo;&mdash;&lsquo;Won&rsquo;t it work without the other bit?&rsquo;&mdash;&lsquo;It
 +      cost seven-and-six.&rsquo;&mdash;&lsquo;Oh, bother, bother, bother!&rsquo;&mdash;&lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be
 +      silly little idiots!&rsquo; said everyone and the Psammead altogether.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then there was a wretched silence. Cyril broke it&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What shall we do?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Go back to the shop and see if they haven&rsquo;t got the other half,&rsquo; said the
 +      Psammead. &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll go to sand till you come back. Cheer up! Even the bit
 +      you&rsquo;ve got is SOME good, but it&rsquo;ll be no end of a bother if you can&rsquo;t find
 +      the other.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So Cyril went to the shop. And the Psammead to sand. And the other three
 +      went to dinner, which was now ready. And old Nurse was very cross that
 +      Cyril was not ready too.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The three were watching at the windows when Cyril returned, and even
 +      before he was near enough for them to see his face there was something
 +      about the slouch of his shoulders and set of his knickerbockers and the
 +      way he dragged his boots along that showed but too plainly that his errand
 +      had been in vain.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well?&rsquo; they all said, hoping against hope on the front-door step.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No go,&rsquo; Cyril answered; &lsquo;the man said the thing was perfect. He said it
 +      was a Roman lady&rsquo;s locket, and people shouldn&rsquo;t buy curios if they didn&rsquo;t
 +      know anything about arky&mdash;something or other, and that he never went
 +      back on a bargain, because it wasn&rsquo;t business, and he expected his
 +      customers to act the same. He was simply nasty&mdash;that&rsquo;s what he was,
 +      and I want my dinner.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was plain that Cyril was not pleased.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The unlikeliness of anything really interesting happening in that parlour
 +      lay like a weight of lead on everyone&rsquo;s spirits. Cyril had his dinner, and
 +      just as he was swallowing the last mouthful of apple-pudding there was a
 +      scratch at the door. Anthea opened it and in walked the Psammead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well,&rsquo; it said, when it had heard the news, &lsquo;things might be worse. Only
 +      you won&rsquo;t be surprised if you have a few adventures before you get the
 +      other half. You want to get it, of course.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Rather,&rsquo; was the general reply. &lsquo;And we don&rsquo;t mind adventures.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No,&rsquo; said the Psammead, &lsquo;I seem to remember that about you. Well, sit
 +      down and listen with all your ears. Eight, are there? Right&mdash;I am
 +      glad you know arithmetic. Now pay attention, because I don&rsquo;t intend to
 +      tell you everything twice over.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      As the children settled themselves on the floor&mdash;it was far more
 +      comfortable than the chairs, as well as more polite to the Psammead, who
 +      was stroking its whiskers on the hearth-rug&mdash;a sudden cold pain
 +      caught at Anthea&rsquo;s heart. Father&mdash;Mother&mdash;the darling Lamb&mdash;all
 +      far away. Then a warm, comfortable feeling flowed through her. The
 +      Psammead was here, and at least half a charm, and there were to be
 +      adventures. (If you don&rsquo;t know what a cold pain is, I am glad for your
 +      sakes, and I hope you never may.)
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now,&rsquo; said the Psammead cheerily, &lsquo;you are not particularly nice, nor
 +      particularly clever, and you&rsquo;re not at all good-looking. Still, you&rsquo;ve
 +      saved my life&mdash;oh, when I think of that man and his pail of water!&mdash;so
 +      I&rsquo;ll tell you all I know. At least, of course I can&rsquo;t do that, because I
 +      know far too much. But I&rsquo;ll tell you all I know about this red thing.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Do! Do! Do! Do!&rsquo; said everyone.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, then,&rsquo; said the Psammead. &lsquo;This thing is half of an Amulet that can
 +      do all sorts of things; it can make the corn grow, and the waters flow,
 +      and the trees bear fruit, and the little new beautiful babies come. (Not
 +      that babies ARE beautiful, of course,&rsquo; it broke off to say, &lsquo;but their
 +      mothers think they are&mdash;and as long as you think a thing&rsquo;s true it IS
 +      true as far as you&rsquo;re concerned.)&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Robert yawned.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead went on.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The complete Amulet can keep off all the things that make people unhappy&mdash;jealousy,
 +      bad temper, pride, disagreeableness, greediness, selfishness, laziness.
 +      Evil spirits, people called them when the Amulet was made. Don&rsquo;t you think
 +      it would be nice to have it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Very,&rsquo; said the children, quite without enthusiasm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;And it can give you strength and courage.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s better,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;And virtue.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I suppose it&rsquo;s nice to have that,&rsquo; said Jane, but not with much interest.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;And it can give you your heart&rsquo;s desire.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now you&rsquo;re talking,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course I am,&rsquo; retorted the Psammead tartly, &lsquo;so there&rsquo;s no need for
 +      you to.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Heart&rsquo;s desire is good enough for me,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes, but,&rsquo; Anthea ventured, &lsquo;all that&rsquo;s what the WHOLE charm can do.
 +      There&rsquo;s something that the half we&rsquo;ve got can win off its own bat&mdash;isn&rsquo;t
 +      there?&rsquo; She appealed to the Psammead. It nodded.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; it said; &lsquo;the half has the power to take you anywhere you like to
 +      look for the other half.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      This seemed a brilliant prospect till Robert asked&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Does it know where to look?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead shook its head and answered, &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s likely.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Do you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then,&rsquo; said Robert, &lsquo;we might as well look for a needle in a bottle of
 +      hay. Yes&mdash;it IS bottle, and not bundle, Father said so.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not at all,&rsquo; said the Psammead briskly-, &lsquo;you think you know everything,
 +      but you are quite mistaken. The first thing is to get the thing to talk.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Can it?&rsquo; Jane questioned. Jane&rsquo;s question did not mean that she thought
 +      it couldn&rsquo;t, for in spite of the parlour furniture the feeling of magic
 +      was growing deeper and thicker, and seemed to fill the room like a dream
 +      of a scented fog.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course it can. I suppose you can read.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh yes!&rsquo; Everyone was rather hurt at the question.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, then&mdash;all you&rsquo;ve got to do is to read the name that&rsquo;s written
 +      on the part of the charm that you&rsquo;ve got. And as soon as you say the name
 +      out loud the thing will have power to do&mdash;well, several things.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      There was a silence. The red charm was passed from hand to hand.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There&rsquo;s no name on it,&rsquo; said Cyril at last.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Nonsense,&rsquo; said the Psammead; &lsquo;what&rsquo;s that?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, THAT!&rsquo; said Cyril, &lsquo;it&rsquo;s not reading. It looks like pictures of
 +      chickens and snakes and things.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      This was what was on the charm: [Hieroglyphics omitted.]
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve no patience with you,&rsquo; said the Psammead; &lsquo;if you can&rsquo;t read you
 +      must find some one who can. A priest now?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We don&rsquo;t know any priests,&rsquo; said Anthea; &lsquo;we know a clergyman&mdash;he&rsquo;s
 +      called a priest in the prayer-book, you know&mdash;but he only knows Greek
 +      and Latin and Hebrew, and this isn&rsquo;t any of those&mdash;I know.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead stamped a furry foot angrily.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish I&rsquo;d never seen you,&rsquo; it said; &lsquo;you aren&rsquo;t any more good than so
 +      many stone images. Not so much, if I&rsquo;m to tell the truth. Is there no wise
 +      man in your Babylon who can pronounce the names of the Great Ones?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There&rsquo;s a poor learned gentleman upstairs,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;we might try
 +      him. He has a lot of stone images in his room, and iron-looking ones too&mdash;we
 +      peeped in once when he was out. Old Nurse says he doesn&rsquo;t eat enough to
 +      keep a canary alive. He spends it all on stones and things.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Try him,&rsquo; said the Psammead, &lsquo;only be careful. If he knows a greater name
 +      than this and uses it against you, your charm will be of no use. Bind him
 +      first with the chains of honour and upright dealing. And then ask his aid&mdash;oh,
 +      yes, you&rsquo;d better all go; you can put me to sand as you go upstairs. I
 +      must have a few minutes&rsquo; peace and quietness.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So the four children hastily washed their hands and brushed their hair&mdash;this
 +      was Anthea&rsquo;s idea&mdash;and went up to knock at the door of the &lsquo;poor
 +      learned gentleman&rsquo;, and to &lsquo;bind him with the chains of honour and upright
 +      dealing&rsquo;.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      <a name="link2HCH0003" id="link2HCH0003">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <div style="height: 4em;">
 +      <br /><br /><br /><br />
 +    </div>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 3. THE PAST
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      The learned gentleman had let his dinner get quite cold. It was mutton
 +      chop, and as it lay on the plate it looked like a brown island in the
 +      middle of a frozen pond, because the grease of the gravy had become cold,
 +      and consequently white. It looked very nasty, and it was the first thing
 +      the children saw when, after knocking three times and receiving no reply,
 +      one of them ventured to turn the handle and softly to open the door. The
 +      chop was on the end of a long table that ran down one side of the room.
 +      The table had images on it and queer-shaped stones, and books. And there
 +      were glass cases fixed against the wall behind, with little strange things
 +      in them. The cases were rather like the ones you see in jewellers&rsquo; shops.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The &lsquo;poor learned gentleman&rsquo; was sitting at a table in the window, looking
 +      at something very small which he held in a pair of fine pincers. He had a
 +      round spy-glass sort of thing in one eye&mdash;which reminded the children
 +      of watchmakers, and also of the long snail&rsquo;s eyes of the Psammead. The
 +      gentleman was very long and thin, and his long, thin boots stuck out under
 +      the other side of his table. He did not hear the door open, and the
 +      children stood hesitating. At last Robert gave the door a push, and they
 +      all started back, for in the middle of the wall that the door had hidden
 +      was a mummy-case&mdash;very, very, very big&mdash;painted in red and
 +      yellow and green and black, and the face of it seemed to look at them
 +      quite angrily.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      You know what a mummy-case is like, of course? If you don&rsquo;t you had better
 +      go to the British Museum at once and find out. Anyway, it is not at all
 +      the sort of thing that you expect to meet in a top-floor front in
 +      Bloomsbury, looking as though it would like to know what business YOU had
 +      there.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So everyone said, &lsquo;Oh!&rsquo; rather loud, and their boots clattered as they
 +      stumbled back.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The learned gentleman took the glass out of his eye and said&mdash;&lsquo;I beg
 +      your pardon,&rsquo; in a very soft, quiet pleasant voice&mdash;the voice of a
 +      gentleman who has been to Oxford.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s us that beg yours,&rsquo; said Cyril politely. &lsquo;We are sorry to disturb
 +      you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Come in,&rsquo; said the gentleman, rising&mdash;with the most distinguished
 +      courtesy, Anthea told herself. &lsquo;I am delighted to see you. Won&rsquo;t you sit
 +      down? No, not there; allow me to move that papyrus.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He cleared a chair, and stood smiling and looking kindly through his
 +      large, round spectacles.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;He treats us like grown-ups,&rsquo; whispered Robert, &lsquo;and he doesn&rsquo;t seem to
 +      know how many of us there are.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hush,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;it isn&rsquo;t manners to whisper. You say, Cyril&mdash;go
 +      ahead.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We&rsquo;re very sorry to disturb you,&rsquo; said Cyril politely, &lsquo;but we did knock
 +      three times, and you didn&rsquo;t say &ldquo;Come in&rdquo;, or &ldquo;Run away now&rdquo;, or that you
 +      couldn&rsquo;t be bothered just now, or to come when you weren&rsquo;t so busy, or any
 +      of the things people do say when you knock at doors, so we opened it. We
 +      knew you were in because we heard you sneeze while we were waiting.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not at all,&rsquo; said the gentleman; &lsquo;do sit down.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;He has found out there are four of us,&rsquo; said Robert, as the gentleman
 +      cleared three more chairs. He put the things off them carefully on the
 +      floor. The first chair had things like bricks that tiny, tiny birds&rsquo; feet
 +      have walked over when the bricks were soft, only the marks were in regular
 +      lines. The second chair had round things on it like very large, fat, long,
 +      pale beads. And the last chair had a pile of dusty papers on it. The
 +      children sat down.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We know you are very, very learned,&rsquo; said Cyril, &lsquo;and we have got a
 +      charm, and we want you to read the name on it, because it isn&rsquo;t in Latin
 +      or Greek, or Hebrew, or any of the languages WE know&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;A thorough knowledge of even those languages is a very fair foundation on
 +      which to build an education,&rsquo; said the gentleman politely.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh!&rsquo; said Cyril blushing, &lsquo;but we only know them to look at, except Latin&mdash;and
 +      I&rsquo;m only in Caesar with that.&rsquo; The gentleman took off his spectacles and
 +      laughed. His laugh sounded rusty, Cyril thought, as though it wasn&rsquo;t often
 +      used.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course!&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;I&rsquo;m sure I beg your pardon. I think I must have
 +      been in a dream. You are the children who live downstairs, are you not?
 +      Yes. I have seen you as I have passed in and out. And you have found
 +      something that you think to be an antiquity, and you&rsquo;ve brought it to show
 +      me? That was very kind. I should like to inspect it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m afraid we didn&rsquo;t think about your liking to inspect it,&rsquo; said the
 +      truthful Anthea. &lsquo;It was just for US because we wanted to know the name on
 +      it&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, yes&mdash;and, I say,&rsquo; Robert interjected, &lsquo;you won&rsquo;t think it rude
 +      of us if we ask you first, before we show it, to be bound in the
 +      what-do-you-call-it of&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;In the bonds of honour and upright dealing,&rsquo; said Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m afraid I don&rsquo;t quite follow you,&rsquo; said the gentleman, with gentle
 +      nervousness.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, it&rsquo;s this way,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;We&rsquo;ve got part of a charm. And the
 +      Sammy&mdash;I mean, something told us it would work, though it&rsquo;s only half
 +      a one; but it won&rsquo;t work unless we can say the name that&rsquo;s on it. But, of
 +      course, if you&rsquo;ve got another name that can lick ours, our charm will be
 +      no go; so we want you to give us your word of honour as a gentleman&mdash;though
 +      I&rsquo;m sure, now I&rsquo;ve seen you, that it&rsquo;s not necessary; but still I&rsquo;ve
 +      promised to ask you, so we must. Will you please give us your honourable
 +      word not to say any name stronger than the name on our charm?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The gentleman had put on his spectacles again and was looking at Cyril
 +      through them. He now said: &lsquo;Bless me!&rsquo; more than once, adding, &lsquo;Who told
 +      you all this?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I can&rsquo;t tell you,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;I&rsquo;m very sorry, but I can&rsquo;t.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Some faint memory of a far-off childhood must have come to the learned
 +      gentleman just then, for he smiled. &lsquo;I see,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;It is some sort of
 +      game that you are engaged in? Of course! Yes! Well, I will certainly
 +      promise. Yet I wonder how you heard of the names of power?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We can&rsquo;t tell you that either,&rsquo; said Cyril; and Anthea said, &lsquo;Here is our
 +      charm,&rsquo; and held it out.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      With politeness, but without interest, the gentleman took it. But after
 +      the first glance all his body suddenly stiffened, as a pointer&rsquo;s does when
 +      he sees a partridge.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Excuse me,&rsquo; he said in quite a changed voice, and carried the charm to
 +      the window. He looked at it; he turned it over. He fixed his spy-glass in
 +      his eye and looked again. No one said anything. Only Robert made a
 +      shuffling noise with his feet till Anthea nudged him to shut up. At last
 +      the learned gentleman drew a long breath.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Where did you find this?&rsquo; he asked.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We didn&rsquo;t find it. We bought it at a shop. Jacob Absalom the name is&mdash;not
 +      far from Charing Cross,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We gave seven-and-sixpence for it,&rsquo; added Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It is not for sale, I suppose? You do not wish to part with it?
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      I ought to tell you that it is extremely valuable&mdash;extraordinarily
 +      valuable, I may say.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; said Cyril, &lsquo;we know that, so of course we want to keep it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Keep it carefully, then,&rsquo; said the gentleman impressively; &lsquo;and if ever
 +      you should wish to part with it, may I ask you to give me the refusal of
 +      it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The refusal?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I mean, do not sell it to anyone else until you have given me the
 +      opportunity of buying it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;All right,&rsquo; said Cyril, &lsquo;we won&rsquo;t. But we don&rsquo;t want to sell it. We want
 +      to make it do things.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I suppose you can play at that as well as at anything else,&rsquo; said the
 +      gentleman; &lsquo;but I&rsquo;m afraid the days of magic are over.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They aren&rsquo;t REALLY,&rsquo; said Anthea earnestly. &lsquo;You&rsquo;d see they aren&rsquo;t if I
 +      could tell you about our last summer holidays. Only I mustn&rsquo;t. Thank you
 +      very much. And can you read the name?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes, I can read it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Will you tell it us?&rsquo; &lsquo;The name,&rsquo; said the gentleman, &lsquo;is Ur Hekau
 +      Setcheh.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ur Hekau Setcheh,&rsquo; repeated Cyril. &lsquo;Thanks awfully. I do hope we haven&rsquo;t
 +      taken up too much of your time.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not at all,&rsquo; said the gentleman. &lsquo;And do let me entreat you to be very,
 +      very careful of that most valuable specimen.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They said &lsquo;Thank you&rsquo; in all the different polite ways they could think
 +      of, and filed out of the door and down the stairs. Anthea was last.
 +      Half-way down to the first landing she turned and ran up again.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The door was still open, and the learned gentleman and the mummy-case were
 +      standing opposite to each other, and both looked as though they had stood
 +      like that for years.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The gentleman started when Anthea put her hand on his arm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I hope you won&rsquo;t be cross and say it&rsquo;s not my business,&rsquo; she said, &lsquo;but
 +      do look at your chop! Don&rsquo;t you think you ought to eat it? Father forgets
 +      his dinner sometimes when he&rsquo;s writing, and Mother always says I ought to
 +      remind him if she&rsquo;s not at home to do it herself, because it&rsquo;s so bad to
 +      miss your regular meals.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So I thought perhaps you wouldn&rsquo;t mind my reminding you, because you don&rsquo;t
 +      seem to have anyone else to do it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She glanced at the mummy-case; IT certainly did not look as though it
 +      would ever think of reminding people of their meals.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The learned gentleman looked at her for a moment before he said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Thank you, my dear. It was a kindly thought. No, I haven&rsquo;t anyone to
 +      remind me about things like that.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He sighed, and looked at the chop.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It looks very nasty,&rsquo; said Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; he said, &lsquo;it does. I&rsquo;ll eat it immediately, before I forget.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      As he ate it he sighed more than once. Perhaps because the chop was nasty,
 +      perhaps because he longed for the charm which the children did not want to
 +      sell, perhaps because it was so long since anyone cared whether he ate his
 +      chops or forgot them.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea caught the others at the stair-foot. They woke the Psammead, and it
 +      taught them exactly how to use the word of power, and to make the charm
 +      speak. I am not going to tell you how this is done, because you might try
 +      to do it. And for you any such trying would be almost sure to end in
 +      disappointment. Because in the first place it is a thousand million to one
 +      against your ever getting hold of the right sort of charm, and if you did,
 +      there would be hardly any chance at all of your finding a learned
 +      gentleman clever enough and kind enough to read the word for you.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children and the Psammead crouched in a circle on the floor&mdash;in
 +      the girls&rsquo; bedroom, because in the parlour they might have been
 +      interrupted by old Nurse&rsquo;s coming in to lay the cloth for tea&mdash;and
 +      the charm was put in the middle of the circle.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The sun shone splendidly outside, and the room was very light. Through the
 +      open window came the hum and rattle of London, and in the street below
 +      they could hear the voice of the milkman.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      When all was ready, the Psammead signed to Anthea to say the word. And she
 +      said it. Instantly the whole light of all the world seemed to go out. The
 +      room was dark. The world outside was dark&mdash;darker than the darkest
 +      night that ever was. And all the sounds went out too, so that there was a
 +      silence deeper than any silence you have ever even dreamed of imagining.
 +      It was like being suddenly deaf and blind, only darker and quieter even
 +      than that.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      But before the children had got over the sudden shock of it enough to be
 +      frightened, a faint, beautiful light began to show in the middle of the
 +      circle, and at the same moment a faint, beautiful voice began to speak.
 +      The light was too small for one to see anything by, and the voice was too
 +      small for you to hear what it said. You could just see the light and just
 +      hear the voice.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      But the light grew stronger. It was greeny, like glow-worms&rsquo; lamps, and it
 +      grew and grew till it was as though thousands and thousands of glow-worms
 +      were signalling to their winged sweethearts from the middle of the circle.
 +      And the voice grew, not so much in loudness as in sweetness (though it
 +      grew louder, too), till it was so sweet that you wanted to cry with
 +      pleasure just at the sound of it. It was like nightingales, and the sea,
 +      and the fiddle, and the voice of your mother when you have been a long
 +      time away, and she meets you at the door when you get home.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the voice said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Speak. What is it that you would hear?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      I cannot tell you what language the voice used. I only know that everyone
 +      present understood it perfectly. If you come to think of it, there must be
 +      some language that everyone could understand, if we only knew what it was.
 +      Nor can I tell you how the charm spoke, nor whether it was the charm that
 +      spoke, or some presence in the charm. The children could not have told you
 +      either. Indeed, they could not look at the charm while it was speaking,
 +      because the light was too bright. They looked instead at the green
 +      radiance on the faded Kidderminster carpet at the edge of the circle. They
 +      all felt very quiet, and not inclined to ask questions or fidget with
 +      their feet. For this was not like the things that had happened in the
 +      country when the Psammead had given them their wishes. That had been funny
 +      somehow, and this was not. It was something like Arabian Nights magic, and
 +      something like being in church. No one cared to speak.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was Cyril who said at last&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Please we want to know where the other half of the charm is.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The part of the Amulet which is lost,&rsquo; said the beautiful voice, &lsquo;was
 +      broken and ground into the dust of the shrine that held it. It and the pin
 +      that joined the two halves are themselves dust, and the dust is scattered
 +      over many lands and sunk in many seas.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, I say!&rsquo; murmured Robert, and a blank silence fell. &lsquo;Then it&rsquo;s all
 +      up?&rsquo; said Cyril at last; &lsquo;it&rsquo;s no use our looking for a thing that&rsquo;s
 +      smashed into dust, and the dust scattered all over the place.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;If you would find it,&rsquo; said the voice, &lsquo;You must seek it where it still
 +      is, perfect as ever.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t understand,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;In the Past you may find it,&rsquo; said the voice.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish we MAY find it,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead whispered crossly, &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t you understand? The thing existed
 +      in the Past. If you were in the Past, too, you could find it. It&rsquo;s very
 +      difficult to make you understand things. Time and space are only forms of
 +      thought.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I see,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, you don&rsquo;t,&rsquo; said the Psammead, &lsquo;and it doesn&rsquo;t matter if you don&rsquo;t,
 +      either. What I mean is that if you were only made the right way, you could
 +      see everything happening in the same place at the same time. Now do you
 +      see?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m afraid <i>I</i> don&rsquo;t,&rsquo; said Anthea; &lsquo;I&rsquo;m sorry I&rsquo;m so stupid.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, at any rate, you see this. That lost half of the Amulet is in the
 +      Past. Therefore it&rsquo;s in the Past we must look for it. I mustn&rsquo;t speak to
 +      the charm myself. Ask it things! Find out!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Where can we find the other part of you?&rsquo; asked Cyril obediently.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;In the Past,&rsquo; said the voice.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What part of the Past?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I may not tell you. If you will choose a time, I will take you to the
 +      place that then held it. You yourselves must find it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;When did you see it last?&rsquo; asked Anthea&mdash;&lsquo;I mean, when was it taken
 +      away from you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The beautiful voice answered&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That was thousands of years ago. The Amulet was perfect then, and lay in
 +      a shrine, the last of many shrines, and I worked wonders. Then came
 +      strange men with strange weapons and destroyed my shrine, and the Amulet
 +      they bore away with many captives. But of these, one, my priest, knew the
 +      word of power, and spoke it for me, so that the Amulet became invisible,
 +      and thus returned to my shrine, but the shrine was broken down, and ere
 +      any magic could rebuild it one spoke a word before which my power bowed
 +      down and was still. And the Amulet lay there, still perfect, but enslaved.
 +      Then one coming with stones to rebuild the shrine, dropped a hewn stone on
 +      the Amulet as it lay, and one half was sundered from the other. I had no
 +      power to seek for that which was lost. And there being none to speak the
 +      word of power, I could not rejoin it. So the Amulet lay in the dust of the
 +      desert many thousand years, and at last came a small man, a conqueror with
 +      an army, and after him a crowd of men who sought to seem wise, and one of
 +      these found half the Amulet and brought it to this land. But none could
 +      read the name. So I lay still. And this man dying and his son after him,
 +      the Amulet was sold by those who came after to a merchant, and from him
 +      you bought it, and it is here, and now, the name of power having been
 +      spoken, I also am here.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      This is what the voice said. I think it must have meant Napoleon by the
 +      small man, the conqueror. Because I know I have been told that he took an
 +      army to Egypt, and that afterwards a lot of wise people went grubbing in
 +      the sand, and fished up all sorts of wonderful things, older than you
 +      would think possible. And of these I believe this charm to have been one,
 +      and the most wonderful one of all.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Everyone listened: and everyone tried to think. It is not easy to do this
 +      clearly when you have been listening to the kind of talk I have told you
 +      about.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      At last Robert said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Can you take us into the Past&mdash;to the shrine where you and the other
 +      thing were together. If you could take us there, we might find the other
 +      part still there after all these thousands of years.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Still there? silly!&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t you see, if we go back into the
 +      Past it won&rsquo;t be thousands of years ago. It will be NOW for us&mdash;won&rsquo;t
 +      it?&rsquo; He appealed to the Psammead, who said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You&rsquo;re not so far off the idea as you usually are!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;will you take us back to when there was a shrine and
 +      you were safe in it&mdash;all of you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; said the voice. &lsquo;You must hold me up, and speak the word of power,
 +      and one by one, beginning with the first-born, you shall pass through me
 +      into the Past. But let the last that passes be the one that holds me, and
 +      let him not lose his hold, lest you lose me, and so remain in the Past for
 +      ever.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s a nasty idea,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;When you desire to return,&rsquo; the beautiful voice went on, &lsquo;hold me up
 +      towards the East, and speak the word. Then, passing through me, you shall
 +      return to this time and it shall be the present to you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But how&mdash;&rsquo; A bell rang loudly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh crikey!&rsquo; exclaimed Robert, &lsquo;that&rsquo;s tea! Will you please make it proper
 +      daylight again so that we can go down. And thank you so much for all your
 +      kindness.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We&rsquo;ve enjoyed ourselves very much indeed, thank you!&rsquo; added Anthea
 +      politely.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The beautiful light faded slowly. The great darkness and silence came and
 +      these suddenly changed to the dazzlement of day and the great soft,
 +      rustling sound of London, that is like some vast beast turning over in its
 +      sleep.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children rubbed their eyes, the Psammead ran quickly to its sandy
 +      bath, and the others went down to tea. And until the cups were actually
 +      filled tea seemed less real than the beautiful voice and the greeny light.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      After tea Anthea persuaded the others to allow her to hang the charm round
 +      her neck with a piece of string.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It would be so awful if it got lost,&rsquo; she said: &lsquo;it might get lost
 +      anywhere, you know, and it would be rather beastly for us to have to stay
 +      in the Past for ever and ever, wouldn&rsquo;t it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      <a name="link2HCH0004" id="link2HCH0004">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <div style="height: 4em;">
 +      <br /><br /><br /><br />
 +    </div>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 4. EIGHT THOUSAND YEARS AGO
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      Next morning Anthea got old Nurse to allow her to take up the &lsquo;poor
 +      learned gentleman&rsquo;s&rsquo; breakfast. He did not recognize her at first, but
 +      when he did he was vaguely pleased to see her.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You see I&rsquo;m wearing the charm round my neck,&rsquo; she said; &lsquo;I&rsquo;m taking care
 +      of it&mdash;like you told us to.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s right,&rsquo; said he; &lsquo;did you have a good game last night?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You will eat your breakfast before it&rsquo;s cold, won&rsquo;t you?&rsquo; said Anthea.
 +      &lsquo;Yes, we had a splendid time. The charm made it all dark, and then greeny
 +      light, and then it spoke. Oh! I wish you could have heard it&mdash;it was
 +      such a darling voice&mdash;and it told us the other half of it was lost in
 +      the Past, so of course we shall have to look for it there!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The learned gentleman rubbed his hair with both hands and looked anxiously
 +      at Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I suppose it&rsquo;s natural&mdash;youthful imagination and so forth,&rsquo; he said.
 +      &lsquo;Yet someone must have... Who told you that some part of the charm was
 +      missing?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I can&rsquo;t tell you,&rsquo; she said. &lsquo;I know it seems most awfully rude,
 +      especially after being so kind about telling us the name of power, and all
 +      that, but really, I&rsquo;m not allowed to tell anybody anything about the&mdash;the&mdash;the
 +      person who told me. You won&rsquo;t forget your breakfast, will you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The learned gentleman smiled feebly and then frowned&mdash;not a
 +      cross-frown, but a puzzle-frown.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Thank you,&rsquo; he said, &lsquo;I shall always be pleased if you&rsquo;ll look in&mdash;any
 +      time you&rsquo;re passing you know&mdash;at least...&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I will,&rsquo; she said; &lsquo;goodbye. I&rsquo;ll always tell you anything I MAY tell.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He had not had many adventures with children in them, and he wondered
 +      whether all children were like these. He spent quite five minutes in
 +      wondering before he settled down to the fifty-second chapter of his great
 +      book on &lsquo;The Secret Rites of the Priests of Amen Ra&rsquo;.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It is no use to pretend that the children did not feel a good deal of
 +      agitation at the thought of going through the charm into the Past. That
 +      idea, that perhaps they might stay in the Past and never get back again,
 +      was anything but pleasing. Yet no one would have dared to suggest that the
 +      charm should not be used; and though each was in its heart very frightened
 +      indeed, they would all have joined in jeering at the cowardice of any one
 +      of them who should have uttered the timid but natural suggestion, &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t
 +      let&rsquo;s!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It seemed necessary to make arrangements for being out all day, for there
 +      was no reason to suppose that the sound of the dinner-bell would be able
 +      to reach back into the Past, and it seemed unwise to excite old Nurse&rsquo;s
 +      curiosity when nothing they could say&mdash;not even the truth&mdash;could
 +      in any way satisfy it. They were all very proud to think how well they had
 +      understood what the charm and the Psammead had said about Time and Space
 +      and things like that, and they were perfectly certain that it would be
 +      quite impossible to make old Nurse understand a single word of it. So they
 +      merely asked her to let them take their dinner out into Regent&rsquo;s Park&mdash;and
 +      this, with the implied cold mutton and tomatoes, was readily granted.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You can get yourselves some buns or sponge-cakes, or whatever you
 +      fancy-like,&rsquo; said old Nurse, giving Cyril a shilling. &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t go getting
 +      jam-tarts, now&mdash;so messy at the best of times, and without forks and
 +      plates ruination to your clothes, besides your not being able to wash your
 +      hands and faces afterwards.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So Cyril took the shilling, and they all started off. They went round by
 +      the Tottenham Court Road to buy a piece of waterproof sheeting to put over
 +      the Psammead in case it should be raining in the Past when they got there.
 +      For it is almost certain death to a Psammead to get wet.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The sun was shining very brightly, and even London looked pretty. Women
 +      were selling roses from big baskets-full, and Anthea bought four roses,
 +      one each, for herself and the others. They were red roses and smelt of
 +      summer&mdash;the kind of roses you always want so desperately at about
 +      Christmas-time when you can only get mistletoe, which is pale right
 +      through to its very scent, and holly which pricks your nose if you try to
 +      smell it. So now everyone had a rose in its buttonhole, and soon everyone
 +      was sitting on the grass in Regent&rsquo;s Park under trees whose leaves would
 +      have been clean, clear green in the country, but here were dusty and
 +      yellowish, and brown at the edges.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We&rsquo;ve got to go on with it,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;and as the eldest has to go
 +      first, you&rsquo;ll have to be last, Jane. You quite understand about holding on
 +      to the charm as you go through, don&rsquo;t you, Pussy?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish I hadn&rsquo;t got to be last,&rsquo; said Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You shall carry the Psammead if you like,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;That is,&rsquo; she
 +      added, remembering the beast&rsquo;s queer temper, &lsquo;if it&rsquo;ll let you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead, however, was unexpectedly amiable.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;<i>I</i> don&rsquo;t mind,&rsquo; it said, &lsquo;who carries me, so long as it doesn&rsquo;t
 +      drop me. I can&rsquo;t bear being dropped.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane with trembling hands took the Psammead and its fish-basket under one
 +      arm. The charm&rsquo;s long string was hung round her neck. Then they all stood
 +      up. Jane held out the charm at arm&rsquo;s length, and Cyril solemnly pronounced
 +      the word of power.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      As he spoke it the charm grew tall and broad, and he saw that Jane was
 +      just holding on to the edge of a great red arch of very curious shape. The
 +      opening of the arch was small, but Cyril saw that he could go through it.
 +      All round and beyond the arch were the faded trees and trampled grass of
 +      Regent&rsquo;s Park, where the little ragged children were playing
 +      Ring-o&rsquo;-Roses. But through the opening of it shone a blaze of blue and
 +      yellow and red. Cyril drew a long breath and stiffened his legs so that
 +      the others should not see that his knees were trembling and almost
 +      knocking together. &lsquo;Here goes!&rsquo; he said, and, stepping up through the
 +      arch, disappeared. Then followed Anthea. Robert, coming next, held fast,
 +      at Anthea&rsquo;s suggestion, to the sleeve of Jane, who was thus dragged safely
 +      through the arch. And as soon as they were on the other side of the arch
 +      there was no more arch at all and no more Regent&rsquo;s Park either, only the
 +      charm in Jane&rsquo;s hand, and it was its proper size again. They were now in a
 +      light so bright that they winked and blinked and rubbed their eyes. During
 +      this dazzling interval Anthea felt for the charm and pushed it inside
 +      Jane&rsquo;s frock, so that it might be quite safe. When their eyes got used to
 +      the new wonderful light the children looked around them. The sky was very,
 +      very blue, and it sparkled and glittered and dazzled like the sea at home
 +      when the sun shines on it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They were standing on a little clearing in a thick, low forest; there were
 +      trees and shrubs and a close, thorny, tangly undergrowth. In front of them
 +      stretched a bank of strange black mud, then came the browny-yellowy
 +      shining ribbon of a river. Then more dry, caked mud and more greeny-browny
 +      jungle. The only things that told that human people had been there were
 +      the clearing, a path that led to it, and an odd arrangement of cut reeds
 +      in the river.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They looked at each other.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well!&rsquo; said Robert, &lsquo;this IS a change of air!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was. The air was hotter than they could have imagined, even in London
 +      in August.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish I knew where we were,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Here&rsquo;s a river, now&mdash;I wonder whether it&rsquo;s the Amazon or the Tiber,
 +      or what.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s the Nile,&rsquo; said the Psammead, looking out of the fish-bag.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then this is Egypt,&rsquo; said Robert, who had once taken a geography prize.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t see any crocodiles,&rsquo; Cyril objected. His prize had been for
 +      natural history.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead reached out a hairy arm from its basket and pointed to a heap
 +      of mud at the edge of the water.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What do you call that?&rsquo; it said; and as it spoke the heap of mud slid
 +      into the river just as a slab of damp mixed mortar will slip from a
 +      bricklayer&rsquo;s trowel.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh!&rsquo; said everybody.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      There was a crashing among the reeds on the other side of the water.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;And there&rsquo;s a river-horse!&rsquo; said the Psammead, as a great beast like an
 +      enormous slaty-blue slug showed itself against the black bank on the far
 +      side of the stream.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s a hippopotamus,&rsquo; said Cyril; &lsquo;it seems much more real somehow than
 +      the one at the Zoo, doesn&rsquo;t it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m glad it&rsquo;s being real on the other side of the river,&rsquo; said Jane. And
 +      now there was a crackling of reeds and twigs behind them. This was
 +      horrible. Of course it might be another hippopotamus, or a crocodile, or a
 +      lion&mdash;or, in fact, almost anything.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Keep your hand on the charm, Jane,&rsquo; said Robert hastily. &lsquo;We ought to
 +      have a means of escape handy. I&rsquo;m dead certain this is the sort of place
 +      where simply anything might happen to us.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I believe a hippopotamus is going to happen to us,&rsquo; said Jane&mdash;&lsquo;a
 +      very, very big one.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They had all turned to face the danger.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be silly little duffers,&rsquo; said the Psammead in its friendly,
 +      informal way; &lsquo;it&rsquo;s not a river-horse. It&rsquo;s a human.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was. It was a girl&mdash;of about Anthea&rsquo;s age. Her hair was short and
 +      fair, and though her skin was tanned by the sun, you could see that it
 +      would have been fair too if it had had a chance. She had every chance of
 +      being tanned, for she had no clothes to speak of, and the four English
 +      children, carefully dressed in frocks, hats, shoes, stockings, coats,
 +      collars, and all the rest of it, envied her more than any words of theirs
 +      or of mine could possibly say. There was no doubt that here was the right
 +      costume for that climate.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She carried a pot on her head, of red and black earthenware. She did not
 +      see the children, who shrank back against the edge of the jungle, and she
 +      went forward to the brink of the river to fill her pitcher. As she went
 +      she made a strange sort of droning, humming, melancholy noise all on two
 +      notes. Anthea could not help thinking that perhaps the girl thought this
 +      noise was singing.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The girl filled the pitcher and set it down by the river bank. Then she
 +      waded into the water and stooped over the circle of cut reeds. She pulled
 +      half a dozen fine fish out of the water within the reeds, killing each as
 +      she took it out, and threading it on a long osier that she carried. Then
 +      she knotted the osier, hung it on her arm, picked up the pitcher, and
 +      turned to come back. And as she turned she saw the four children. The
 +      white dresses of Jane and Anthea stood out like snow against the dark
 +      forest background. She screamed and the pitcher fell, and the water was
 +      spilled out over the hard mud surface and over the fish, which had fallen
 +      too. Then the water slowly trickled away into the deep cracks.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be frightened,&rsquo; Anthea cried, &lsquo;we won&rsquo;t hurt you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Who are you?&rsquo; said the girl.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Now, once for all, I am not going to be bothered to tell you how it was
 +      that the girl could understand Anthea and Anthea could understand the
 +      girl. YOU, at any rate, would not understand ME, if I tried to explain it,
 +      any more than you can understand about time and space being only forms of
 +      thought. You may think what you like. Perhaps the children had found out
 +      the universal language which everyone can understand, and which wise men
 +      so far have not found. You will have noticed long ago that they were
 +      singularly lucky children, and they may have had this piece of luck as
 +      well as others. Or it may have been that... but why pursue the question
 +      further? The fact remains that in all their adventures the muddle-headed
 +      inventions which we call foreign languages never bothered them in the
 +      least. They could always understand and be understood. If you can explain
 +      this, please do. I daresay I could understand your explanation, though you
 +      could never understand mine.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So when the girl said, &lsquo;Who are you?&rsquo; everyone understood at once, and
 +      Anthea replied&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We are children&mdash;just like you. Don&rsquo;t be frightened. Won&rsquo;t you show
 +      us where you live?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane put her face right into the Psammead&rsquo;s basket, and burrowed her mouth
 +      into its fur to whisper&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Is it safe? Won&rsquo;t they eat us? Are they cannibals?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead shrugged its fur.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t make your voice buzz like that, it tickles my ears,&rsquo; it said rather
 +      crossly. &lsquo;You can always get back to Regent&rsquo;s Park in time if you keep
 +      fast hold of the charm,&rsquo; it said.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The strange girl was trembling with fright.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea had a bangle on her arm. It was a sevenpenny-halfpenny trumpery
 +      thing that pretended to be silver; it had a glass heart of turquoise blue
 +      hanging from it, and it was the gift of the maid-of-all-work at the
 +      Fitzroy Street house. &lsquo;Here,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;this is for you. That is to
 +      show we will not hurt you. And if you take it I shall know that you won&rsquo;t
 +      hurt us.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The girl held out her hand. Anthea slid the bangle over it, and the girl&rsquo;s
 +      face lighted up with the joy of possession.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Come,&rsquo; she said, looking lovingly at the bangle; &lsquo;it is peace between
 +      your house and mine.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She picked up her fish and pitcher and led the way up the narrow path by
 +      which she had come and the others followed.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;This is something like!&rsquo; said Cyril, trying to be brave.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes!&rsquo; said Robert, also assuming a boldness he was far from feeling,
 +      &lsquo;this really and truly IS an adventure! Its being in the Past makes it
 +      quite different from the Phoenix and Carpet happenings.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The belt of thick-growing acacia trees and shrubs&mdash;mostly prickly and
 +      unpleasant-looking&mdash;seemed about half a mile across. The path was
 +      narrow and the wood dark. At last, ahead, daylight shone through the
 +      boughs and leaves.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The whole party suddenly came out of the wood&rsquo;s shadow into the glare of
 +      the sunlight that shone on a great stretch of yellow sand, dotted with
 +      heaps of grey rocks where spiky cactus plants showed gaudy crimson and
 +      pink flowers among their shabby, sand-peppered leaves. Away to the right
 +      was something that looked like a grey-brown hedge, and from beyond it blue
 +      smoke went up to the bluer sky. And over all the sun shone till you could
 +      hardly bear your clothes.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That is where I live,&rsquo; said the girl pointing.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I won&rsquo;t go,&rsquo; whispered Jane into the basket, &lsquo;unless you say it&rsquo;s all
 +      right.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead ought to have been touched by this proof of confidence.
 +      Perhaps, however, it looked upon it as a proof of doubt, for it merely
 +      snarled&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;If you don&rsquo;t go now I&rsquo;ll never help you again.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;OH,&rsquo; whispered Anthea, &lsquo;dear Jane, don&rsquo;t! Think of Father and Mother and
 +      all of us getting our heart&rsquo;s desire. And we can go back any minute. Come
 +      on!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Besides,&rsquo; said Cyril, in a low voice, &lsquo;the Psammead must know there&rsquo;s no
 +      danger or it wouldn&rsquo;t go. It&rsquo;s not so over and above brave itself. Come
 +      on!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      This Jane at last consented to do.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      As they got nearer to the browny fence they saw that it was a great hedge
 +      about eight feet high, made of piled-up thorn bushes.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What&rsquo;s that for?&rsquo; asked Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;To keep out foes and wild beasts,&rsquo; said the girl.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I should think it ought to, too,&rsquo; said he. &lsquo;Why, some of the thorns are
 +      as long as my foot.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      There was an opening in the hedge, and they followed the girl through it.
 +      A little way further on was another hedge, not so high, also of dry thorn
 +      bushes, very prickly and spiteful-looking, and within this was a sort of
 +      village of huts.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      There were no gardens and no roads. Just huts built of wood and twigs and
 +      clay, and roofed with great palm-leaves, dumped down anywhere. The doors
 +      of these houses were very low, like the doors of dog-kennels. The ground
 +      between them was not paths or streets, but just yellow sand trampled very
 +      hard and smooth.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      In the middle of the village there was a hedge that enclosed what seemed
 +      to be a piece of ground about as big as their own garden in Camden Town.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      No sooner were the children well within the inner thorn hedge than dozens
 +      of men and women and children came crowding round from behind and inside
 +      the huts.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The girl stood protectingly in front of the four children, and said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They are wonder-children from beyond the desert. They bring marvellous
 +      gifts, and I have said that it is peace between us and them.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She held out her arm with the Lowther Arcade bangle on it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children from London, where nothing now surprises anyone, had never
 +      before seen so many people look so astonished.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They crowded round the children, touching their clothes, their shoes, the
 +      buttons on the boys&rsquo; jackets, and the coral of the girls&rsquo; necklaces.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Do say something,&rsquo; whispered Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We come,&rsquo; said Cyril, with some dim remembrance of a dreadful day when he
 +      had had to wait in an outer office while his father interviewed a
 +      solicitor, and there had been nothing to read but the Daily Telegraph&mdash;&lsquo;we
 +      come from the world where the sun never sets. And peace with honour is
 +      what we want. We are the great Anglo-Saxon or conquering race. Not that we
 +      want to conquer YOU,&rsquo; he added hastily. &lsquo;We only want to look at your
 +      houses and your&mdash;well, at all you&rsquo;ve got here, and then we shall
 +      return to our own place, and tell of all that we have seen so that your
 +      name may be famed.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril&rsquo;s speech didn&rsquo;t keep the crowd from pressing round and looking as
 +      eagerly as ever at the clothing of the children. Anthea had an idea that
 +      these people had never seen woven stuff before, and she saw how wonderful
 +      and strange it must seem to people who had never had any clothes but the
 +      skins of beasts. The sewing, too, of modern clothes seemed to astonish
 +      them very much. They must have been able to sew themselves, by the way,
 +      for men who seemed to be the chiefs wore knickerbockers of goat-skin or
 +      deer-skin, fastened round the waist with twisted strips of hide. And the
 +      women wore long skimpy skirts of animals&rsquo; skins. The people were not very
 +      tall, their hair was fair, and men and women both had it short. Their eyes
 +      were blue, and that seemed odd in Egypt. Most of them were tattooed like
 +      sailors, only more roughly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What is this? What is this?&rsquo; they kept asking touching the children&rsquo;s
 +      clothes curiously.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea hastily took off Jane&rsquo;s frilly lace collar and handed it to the
 +      woman who seemed most friendly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Take this,&rsquo; she said, &lsquo;and look at it. And leave us alone. We want to
 +      talk among ourselves.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She spoke in the tone of authority which she had always found successful
 +      when she had not time to coax her baby brother to do as he was told. The
 +      tone was just as successful now. The children were left together and the
 +      crowd retreated. It paused a dozen yards away to look at the lace collar
 +      and to go on talking as hard as it could.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children will never know what those people said, though they knew well
 +      enough that they, the four strangers, were the subject of the talk. They
 +      tried to comfort themselves by remembering the girl&rsquo;s promise of
 +      friendliness, but of course the thought of the charm was more comfortable
 +      than anything else. They sat down on the sand in the shadow of the
 +      hedged-round place in the middle of the village, and now for the first
 +      time they were able to look about them and to see something more than a
 +      crowd of eager, curious faces.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They here noticed that the women wore necklaces made of beads of different
 +      coloured stone, and from these hung pendants of odd, strange shapes, and
 +      some of them had bracelets of ivory and flint.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I say,&rsquo; said Robert, &lsquo;what a lot we could teach them if we stayed here!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I expect they could teach us something too,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;Did you notice
 +      that flint bracelet the woman had that Anthea gave the collar to? That
 +      must have taken some making. Look here, they&rsquo;ll get suspicious if we talk
 +      among ourselves, and I do want to know about how they do things. Let&rsquo;s get
 +      the girl to show us round, and we can be thinking about how to get the
 +      Amulet at the same time. Only mind, we must keep together.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea beckoned to the girl, who was standing a little way off looking
 +      wistfully at them, and she came gladly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Tell us how you make the bracelets, the stone ones,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;With other stones,&rsquo; said the girl; &lsquo;the men make them; we have men of
 +      special skill in such work.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Haven&rsquo;t you any iron tools?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Iron,&rsquo; said the girl, &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t know what you mean.&rsquo; It was the first word
 +      she had not understood.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Are all your tools of flint?&rsquo; asked Cyril. &lsquo;Of course,&rsquo; said the girl,
 +      opening her eyes wide.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      I wish I had time to tell you of that talk. The English children wanted to
 +      hear all about this new place, but they also wanted to tell of their own
 +      country. It was like when you come back from your holidays and you want to
 +      hear and to tell everything at the same time. As the talk went on there
 +      were more and more words that the girl could not understand, and the
 +      children soon gave up the attempt to explain to her what their own country
 +      was like, when they began to see how very few of the things they had
 +      always thought they could not do without were really not at all necessary
 +      to life.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The girl showed them how the huts were made&mdash;indeed, as one was being
 +      made that very day she took them to look at it. The way of building was
 +      very different from ours. The men stuck long pieces of wood into a piece
 +      of ground the size of the hut they wanted to make. These were about eight
 +      inches apart; then they put in another row about eight inches away from
 +      the first, and then a third row still further out. Then all the space
 +      between was filled up with small branches and twigs, and then daubed over
 +      with black mud worked with the feet till it was soft and sticky like
 +      putty.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The girl told them how the men went hunting with flint spears and arrows,
 +      and how they made boats with reeds and clay. Then she explained the reed
 +      thing in the river that she had taken the fish out of. It was a fish-trap&mdash;just
 +      a ring of reeds set up in the water with only one little opening in it,
 +      and in this opening, just below the water, were stuck reeds slanting the
 +      way of the river&rsquo;s flow, so that the fish, when they had swum sillily in,
 +      sillily couldn&rsquo;t get out again. She showed them the clay pots and jars and
 +      platters, some of them ornamented with black and red patterns, and the
 +      most wonderful things made of flint and different sorts of stone, beads,
 +      and ornaments, and tools and weapons of all sorts and kinds.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It is really wonderful,&rsquo; said Cyril patronizingly, &lsquo;when you consider
 +      that it&rsquo;s all eight thousand years ago&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t understand you,&rsquo; said the girl.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It ISN&rsquo;T eight thousand years ago,&rsquo; whispered Jane. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s NOW&mdash;and
 +      that&rsquo;s just what I don&rsquo;t like about it. I say, DO let&rsquo;s get home again
 +      before anything more happens. You can see for yourselves the charm isn&rsquo;t
 +      here.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What&rsquo;s in that place in the middle?&rsquo; asked Anthea, struck by a sudden
 +      thought, and pointing to the fence.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s the secret sacred place,&rsquo; said the girl in a whisper. &lsquo;No one
 +      knows what is there. There are many walls, and inside the insidest one IT
 +      is, but no one knows what IT is except the headsmen.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I believe YOU know,&rsquo; said Cyril, looking at her very hard.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll give you this if you&rsquo;ll tell me,&rsquo; said Anthea taking off a bead-ring
 +      which had already been much admired.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; said the girl, catching eagerly at the ring. &lsquo;My father is one of
 +      the heads, and I know a water charm to make him talk in his sleep. And he
 +      has spoken. I will tell you. But if they know I have told you they will
 +      kill me. In the insidest inside there is a stone box, and in it there is
 +      the Amulet. None knows whence it came. It came from very far away.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Have you seen it?&rsquo; asked Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The girl nodded.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Is it anything like this?&rsquo; asked Jane, rashly producing the charm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The girl&rsquo;s face turned a sickly greenish-white.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hide it, hide it,&rsquo; she whispered. &lsquo;You must put it back. If they see it
 +      they will kill us all. You for taking it, and me for knowing that there
 +      was such a thing. Oh, woe&mdash;woe! why did you ever come here?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be frightened,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;They shan&rsquo;t know. Jane, don&rsquo;t you be
 +      such a little jack-ape again&mdash;that&rsquo;s all. You see what will happen if
 +      you do. Now, tell me&mdash;&rsquo; He turned to the girl, but before he had time
 +      to speak the question there was a loud shout, and a man bounded in through
 +      the opening in the thorn-hedge.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Many foes are upon us!&rsquo; he cried. &lsquo;Make ready the defences!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      His breath only served for that, and he lay panting on the ground. &lsquo;Oh, DO
 +      let&rsquo;s go home!&rsquo; said Jane. &lsquo;Look here&mdash;I don&rsquo;t care&mdash;I WILL!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She held up the charm. Fortunately all the strange, fair people were too
 +      busy to notice HER. She held up the charm. And nothing happened.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You haven&rsquo;t said the word of power,&rsquo; said Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane hastily said it&mdash;and still nothing happened.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hold it up towards the East, you silly!&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Which IS the East?&rsquo; said Jane, dancing about in her agony of terror.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Nobody knew. So they opened the fish-bag to ask the Psammead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the bag had only a waterproof sheet in it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead was gone.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hide the sacred thing! Hide it! Hide it!&rsquo; whispered the girl.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril shrugged his shoulders, and tried to look as brave as he knew he
 +      ought to feel.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hide it up, Pussy,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;We are in for it now. We&rsquo;ve just got to
 +      stay and see it out.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      <a name="link2HCH0005" id="link2HCH0005">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <div style="height: 4em;">
 +      <br /><br /><br /><br />
 +    </div>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 5. THE FIGHT IN THE VILLAGE
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      Here was a horrible position! Four English children, whose proper date was
 +      A.D. 1905, and whose proper address was London, set down in Egypt in the
 +      year 6000 B.C. with no means whatever of getting back into their own time
 +      and place. They could not find the East, and the sun was of no use at the
 +      moment, because some officious person had once explained to Cyril that the
 +      sun did not really set in the West at all&mdash;nor rise in the East
 +      either, for the matter of that.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead had crept out of the bass-bag when they were not looking and
 +      had basely deserted them.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      An enemy was approaching. There would be a fight. People get killed in
 +      fights, and the idea of taking part in a fight was one that did not appeal
 +      to the children.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The man who had brought the news of the enemy still lay panting on the
 +      sand. His tongue was hanging out, long and red, like a dog&rsquo;s. The people
 +      of the village were hurriedly filling the gaps in the fence with
 +      thorn-bushes from the heap that seemed to have been piled there ready for
 +      just such a need. They lifted the cluster-thorns with long poles&mdash;much
 +      as men at home, nowadays, lift hay with a fork.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane bit her lip and tried to decide not to cry.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Robert felt in his pocket for a toy pistol and loaded it with a pink paper
 +      cap. It was his only weapon.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril tightened his belt two holes.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And Anthea absently took the drooping red roses from the buttonholes of
 +      the others, bit the ends of the stalks, and set them in a pot of water
 +      that stood in the shadow by a hut door. She was always rather silly about
 +      flowers.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Look here!&rsquo; she said. &lsquo;I think perhaps the Psammead is really arranging
 +      something for us. I don&rsquo;t believe it would go away and leave us all alone
 +      in the Past. I&rsquo;m certain it wouldn&rsquo;t.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane succeeded in deciding not to cry&mdash;at any rate yet.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But what can we do?&rsquo; Robert asked.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Nothing,&rsquo; Cyril answered promptly, &lsquo;except keep our eyes and ears open.
 +      Look! That runner chap&rsquo;s getting his wind. Let&rsquo;s go and hear what he&rsquo;s got
 +      to say.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The runner had risen to his knees and was sitting back on his heels. Now
 +      he stood up and spoke. He began by some respectful remarks addressed to
 +      the heads of the village. His speech got more interesting when he said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I went out in my raft to snare ibises, and I had gone up the stream an
 +      hour&rsquo;s journey. Then I set my snares and waited. And I heard the sound of
 +      many wings, and looking up, saw many herons circling in the air. And I saw
 +      that they were afraid; so I took thought. A beast may scare one heron,
 +      coming upon it suddenly, but no beast will scare a whole flock of herons.
 +      And still they flew and circled, and would not light. So then I knew that
 +      what scared the herons must be men, and men who knew not our ways of going
 +      softly so as to take the birds and beasts unawares. By this I knew they
 +      were not of our race or of our place. So, leaving my raft, I crept along
 +      the river bank, and at last came upon the strangers. They are many as the
 +      sands of the desert, and their spear-heads shine red like the sun. They
 +      are a terrible people, and their march is towards US. Having seen this, I
 +      ran, and did not stay till I was before you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;These are YOUR folk,&rsquo; said the headman, turning suddenly and angrily on
 +      Cyril, &lsquo;you came as spies for them.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We did NOT,&rsquo; said Cyril indignantly. &lsquo;We wouldn&rsquo;t be spies for anything.
 +      I&rsquo;m certain these people aren&rsquo;t a bit like us. Are they now?&rsquo; he asked the
 +      runner.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No,&rsquo; was the answer. &lsquo;These men&rsquo;s faces were darkened, and their hair
 +      black as night. Yet these strange children, maybe, are their gods, who
 +      have come before to make ready the way for them.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      A murmur ran through the crowd.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, NO,&rsquo; said Cyril again. &lsquo;We are on your side. We will help you to
 +      guard your sacred things.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The headman seemed impressed by the fact that Cyril knew that there WERE
 +      sacred things to be guarded. He stood a moment gazing at the children.
 +      Then he said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It is well. And now let all make offering, that we may be strong in
 +      battle.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The crowd dispersed, and nine men, wearing antelope-skins, grouped
 +      themselves in front of the opening in the hedge in the middle of the
 +      village. And presently, one by one, the men brought all sorts of things&mdash;hippopotamus
 +      flesh, ostrich-feathers, the fruit of the date palms, red chalk, green
 +      chalk, fish from the river, and ibex from the mountains; and the headman
 +      received these gifts. There was another hedge inside the first, about a
 +      yard from it, so that there was a lane inside between the hedges. And
 +      every now and then one of the headmen would disappear along this lane with
 +      full hands and come back with hands empty.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They&rsquo;re making offerings to their Amulet,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;We&rsquo;d better give
 +      something too.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The pockets of the party, hastily explored, yielded a piece of pink tape,
 +      a bit of sealing-wax, and part of the Waterbury watch that Robert had not
 +      been able to help taking to pieces at Christmas and had never had time to
 +      rearrange. Most boys have a watch in this condition. They presented their
 +      offerings, and Anthea added the red roses.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The headman who took the things looked at them with awe, especially at the
 +      red roses and the Waterbury-watch fragment.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;This is a day of very wondrous happenings,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;I have no more room
 +      in me to be astonished. Our maiden said there was peace between you and
 +      us. But for this coming of a foe we should have made sure.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children shuddered.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now speak. Are you upon our side?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;YES. Don&rsquo;t I keep telling you we are?&rsquo; Robert said. &lsquo;Look here. I will
 +      give you a sign. You see this.&rsquo; He held out the toy pistol. &lsquo;I shall speak
 +      to it, and if it answers me you will know that I and the others are come
 +      to guard your sacred thing&mdash;that we&rsquo;ve just made the offerings to.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Will that god whose image you hold in your hand speak to you alone, or
 +      shall I also hear it?&rsquo; asked the man cautiously.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You&rsquo;ll be surprised when you DO hear it,&rsquo; said Robert. &lsquo;Now, then.&rsquo; He
 +      looked at the pistol and said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;If we are to guard the sacred treasure within&rsquo;&mdash;he pointed to the
 +      hedged-in space&mdash;&lsquo;speak with thy loud voice, and we shall obey.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He pulled the trigger, and the cap went off. The noise was loud, for it
 +      was a two-shilling pistol, and the caps were excellent.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Every man, woman, and child in the village fell on its face on the sand.
 +      The headman who had accepted the test rose first.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The voice has spoken,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;Lead them into the ante-room of the
 +      sacred thing.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So now the four children were led in through the opening of the hedge and
 +      round the lane till they came to an opening in the inner hedge, and they
 +      went through an opening in that, and so passed into another lane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The thing was built something like this, and all the hedges were of
 +      brushwood and thorns: [Drawing of maze omitted.]
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s like the maze at Hampton Court,&rsquo; whispered Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The lanes were all open to the sky, but the little hut in the middle of
 +      the maze was round-roofed, and a curtain of skins hung over the doorway.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Here you may wait,&rsquo; said their guide, &lsquo;but do not dare to pass the
 +      curtain.&rsquo; He himself passed it and disappeared.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But look here,&rsquo; whispered Cyril, &lsquo;some of us ought to be outside in case
 +      the Psammead turns up.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t let&rsquo;s get separated from each other, whatever we do,&rsquo; said Anthea.
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s quite bad enough to be separated from the Psammead. We can&rsquo;t do
 +      anything while that man is in there. Let&rsquo;s all go out into the village
 +      again. We can come back later now we know the way in. That man&rsquo;ll have to
 +      fight like the rest, most likely, if it comes to fighting. If we find the
 +      Psammead we&rsquo;ll go straight home.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It must be getting late, and I don&rsquo;t much like this mazy place.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They went out and told the headman that they would protect the treasure
 +      when the fighting began. And now they looked about them and were able to
 +      see exactly how a first-class worker in flint flakes and notches an
 +      arrow-head or the edge of an axe&mdash;an advantage which no other person
 +      now alive has ever enjoyed. The boys found the weapons most interesting.
 +      The arrow-heads were not on arrows such as you shoot from a bow, but on
 +      javelins, for throwing from the hand. The chief weapon was a stone
 +      fastened to a rather short stick something like the things gentlemen used
 +      to carry about and call life-preservers in the days of the garrotters.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then there were long things like spears or lances, with flint knives&mdash;horribly
 +      sharp&mdash;and flint battle-axes.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Everyone in the village was so busy that the place was like an ant-heap
 +      when you have walked into it by accident. The women were busy and even the
 +      children.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Quite suddenly all the air seemed to glow and grow red&mdash;it was like
 +      the sudden opening of a furnace door, such as you may see at Woolwich
 +      Arsenal if you ever have the luck to be taken there&mdash;and then almost
 +      as suddenly it was as though the furnace doors had been shut. For the sun
 +      had set, and it was night.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The sun had that abrupt way of setting in Egypt eight thousand years ago,
 +      and I believe it has never been able to break itself of the habit, and
 +      sets in exactly the same manner to the present day. The girl brought the
 +      skins of wild deer and led the children to a heap of dry sedge.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;My father says they will not attack yet. Sleep!&rsquo; she said, and it really
 +      seemed a good idea. You may think that in the midst of all these dangers
 +      the children would not have been able to sleep&mdash;but somehow, though
 +      they were rather frightened now and then, the feeling was growing in them&mdash;deep
 +      down and almost hidden away, but still growing&mdash;that the Psammead was
 +      to be trusted, and that they were really and truly safe. This did not
 +      prevent their being quite as much frightened as they could bear to be
 +      without being perfectly miserable.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I suppose we&rsquo;d better go to sleep,&rsquo; said Robert. &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t know what on
 +      earth poor old Nurse will do with us out all night; set the police on our
 +      tracks, I expect. I only wish they could find us! A dozen policemen would
 +      be rather welcome just now. But it&rsquo;s no use getting into a stew over it,&rsquo; 
 +      he added soothingly. &lsquo;Good night.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And they all fell asleep.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They were awakened by long, loud, terrible sounds that seemed to come from
 +      everywhere at once&mdash;horrible threatening shouts and shrieks and howls
 +      that sounded, as Cyril said later, like the voices of men thirsting for
 +      their enemies&rsquo; blood.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It is the voice of the strange men,&rsquo; said the girl, coming to them
 +      trembling through the dark. &lsquo;They have attacked the walls, and the thorns
 +      have driven them back. My father says they will not try again till
 +      daylight. But they are shouting to frighten us. As though we were savages!
 +      Dwellers in the swamps!&rsquo; she cried indignantly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      All night the terrible noise went on, but when the sun rose, as abruptly
 +      as he had set, the sound suddenly ceased.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children had hardly time to be glad of this before a shower of
 +      javelins came hurtling over the great thorn-hedge, and everyone sheltered
 +      behind the huts. But next moment another shower of weapons came from the
 +      opposite side, and the crowd rushed to other shelter. Cyril pulled out a
 +      javelin that had stuck in the roof of the hut beside him. Its head was of
 +      brightly burnished copper.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then the sound of shouting arose again and the crackle of dried thorns.
 +      The enemy was breaking down the hedge. All the villagers swarmed to the
 +      point whence the crackling and the shouting came; they hurled stones over
 +      the hedges, and short arrows with flint heads. The children had never
 +      before seen men with the fighting light in their eyes. It was very strange
 +      and terrible, and gave you a queer thick feeling in your throat; it was
 +      quite different from the pictures of fights in the illustrated papers at
 +      home.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It seemed that the shower of stones had driven back the besiegers. The
 +      besieged drew breath, but at that moment the shouting and the crackling
 +      arose on the opposite side of the village and the crowd hastened to defend
 +      that point, and so the fight swayed to and fro across the village, for the
 +      besieged had not the sense to divide their forces as their enemies had
 +      done.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril noticed that every now and then certain of the fighting-men would
 +      enter the maze, and come out with brighter faces, a braver aspect, and a
 +      more upright carriage.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I believe they go and touch the Amulet,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;You know the Psammead
 +      said it could make people brave.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They crept through the maze, and watching they saw that Cyril was right. A
 +      headman was standing in front of the skin curtain, and as the warriors
 +      came before him he murmured a word they could not hear, and touched their
 +      foreheads with something that they could not see. And this something he
 +      held in his hands. And through his fingers they saw the gleam of a red
 +      stone that they knew.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The fight raged across the thorn-hedge outside. Suddenly there was a loud
 +      and bitter cry.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They&rsquo;re in! They&rsquo;re in! The hedge is down!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The headman disappeared behind the deer-skin curtain.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;He&rsquo;s gone to hide it,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;Oh, Psammead dear, how could you
 +      leave us!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Suddenly there was a shriek from inside the hut, and the headman staggered
 +      out white with fear and fled out through the maze. The children were as
 +      white as he.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh! What is it? What is it?&rsquo; moaned Anthea. &lsquo;Oh, Psammead, how could you!
 +      How could you!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the sound of the fight sank breathlessly, and swelled fiercely all
 +      around. It was like the rising and falling of the waves of the sea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea shuddered and said again, &lsquo;Oh, Psammead, Psammead!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well?&rsquo; said a brisk voice, and the curtain of skins was lifted at one
 +      corner by a furry hand, and out peeped the bat&rsquo;s ears and snail&rsquo;s eyes of
 +      the Psammead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea caught it in her arms and a sigh of desperate relief was breathed
 +      by each of the four.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh! which IS the East!&rsquo; Anthea said, and she spoke hurriedly, for the
 +      noise of wild fighting drew nearer and nearer.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t choke me,&rsquo; said the Psammead, &lsquo;come inside.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The inside of the hut was pitch dark.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve got a match,&rsquo; said Cyril, and struck it. The floor of the hut was of
 +      soft, loose sand.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve been asleep here,&rsquo; said the Psammead; &lsquo;most comfortable it&rsquo;s been,
 +      the best sand I&rsquo;ve had for a month. It&rsquo;s all right. Everything&rsquo;s all
 +      right. I knew your only chance would be while the fight was going on. That
 +      man won&rsquo;t come back. I bit him, and he thinks I&rsquo;m an Evil Spirit. Now
 +      you&rsquo;ve only got to take the thing and go.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The hut was hung with skins. Heaped in the middle were the offerings that
 +      had been given the night before, Anthea&rsquo;s roses fading on the top of the
 +      heap. At one side of the hut stood a large square stone block, and on it
 +      an oblong box of earthenware with strange figures of men and beasts on it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Is the thing in there?&rsquo; asked Cyril, as the Psammead pointed a skinny
 +      finger at it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You must judge of that,&rsquo; said the Psammead. &lsquo;The man was just going to
 +      bury the box in the sand when I jumped out at him and bit him.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Light another match, Robert,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;Now, then quick! which is the
 +      East?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Why, where the sun rises, of course!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But someone told us&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh! they&rsquo;ll tell you anything!&rsquo; said the Psammead impatiently, getting
 +      into its bass-bag and wrapping itself in its waterproof sheet.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But we can&rsquo;t see the sun in here, and it isn&rsquo;t rising anyhow,&rsquo; said Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;How you do waste time!&rsquo; the Psammead said. &lsquo;Why, the East&rsquo;s where the
 +      shrine is, of course. THERE!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It pointed to the great stone.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And still the shouting and the clash of stone on metal sounded nearer and
 +      nearer. The children could hear that the headmen had surrounded the hut to
 +      protect their treasure as long as might be from the enemy. But none dare
 +      to come in after the Psammead&rsquo;s sudden fierce biting of the headman.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now, Jane,&rsquo; said Cyril, very quickly. &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll take the Amulet, you stand
 +      ready to hold up the charm, and be sure you don&rsquo;t let it go as you come
 +      through.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He made a step forward, but at that instant a great crackling overhead
 +      ended in a blaze of sunlight. The roof had been broken in at one side, and
 +      great slabs of it were being lifted off by two spears. As the children
 +      trembled and winked in the new light, large dark hands tore down the wall,
 +      and a dark face, with a blobby fat nose, looked over the gap. Even at that
 +      awful moment Anthea had time to think that it was very like the face of Mr
 +      Jacob Absalom, who had sold them the charm in the shop near Charing Cross.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Here is their Amulet,&rsquo; cried a harsh, strange voice; &lsquo;it is this that
 +      makes them strong to fight and brave to die. And what else have we here&mdash;gods
 +      or demons?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He glared fiercely at the children, and the whites of his eyes were very
 +      white indeed. He had a wet, red copper knife in his teeth. There was not a
 +      moment to lose.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Jane, JANE, QUICK!&rsquo; cried everyone passionately.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane with trembling hands held up the charm towards the East, and Cyril
 +      spoke the word of power. The Amulet grew to a great arch. Out beyond it
 +      was the glaring Egyptian sky, the broken wall, the cruel, dark, big-nosed
 +      face with the red, wet knife in its gleaming teeth. Within the arch was
 +      the dull, faint, greeny-brown of London grass and trees.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hold tight, Jane!&rsquo; Cyril cried, and he dashed through the arch, dragging
 +      Anthea and the Psammead after him. Robert followed, clutching Jane. And in
 +      the ears of each, as they passed through the arch of the charm, the sound
 +      and fury of battle died out suddenly and utterly, and they heard only the
 +      low, dull, discontented hum of vast London, and the peeking and patting of
 +      the sparrows on the gravel and the voices of the ragged baby children
 +      playing Ring-o&rsquo;-Roses on the yellow trampled grass. And the charm was a
 +      little charm again in Jane&rsquo;s hand, and there was the basket with their
 +      dinner and the bathbuns lying just where they had left it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;My hat!&rsquo; said Cyril, drawing a long breath; &lsquo;that was something like an
 +      adventure.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It was rather like one, certainly,&rsquo; said the Psammead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They all lay still, breathing in the safe, quiet air of Regent&rsquo;s Park.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We&rsquo;d better go home at once,&rsquo; said Anthea presently. &lsquo;Old Nurse will be
 +      most frightfully anxious. The sun looks about the same as it did when we
 +      started yesterday. We&rsquo;ve been away twenty-four hours.&rsquo; &lsquo;The buns are quite
 +      soft still,&rsquo; said Cyril, feeling one; &lsquo;I suppose the dew kept them fresh.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They were not hungry, curiously enough.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They picked up the dinner-basket and the Psammead-basket, and went
 +      straight home.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Old Nurse met them with amazement.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, if ever I did!&rsquo; she said. &lsquo;What&rsquo;s gone wrong? You&rsquo;ve soon tired of
 +      your picnic.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children took this to be bitter irony, which means saying the exact
 +      opposite of what you mean in order to make yourself disagreeable; as when
 +      you happen to have a dirty face, and someone says, &lsquo;How nice and clean you
 +      look!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We&rsquo;re very sorry,&rsquo; began Anthea, but old Nurse said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, bless me, child, I don&rsquo;t care! Please yourselves and you&rsquo;ll please
 +      me. Come in and get your dinners comf&rsquo;table. I&rsquo;ve got a potato on
 +      a-boiling.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      When she had gone to attend to the potatoes the children looked at each
 +      other. Could it be that old Nurse had so changed that she no longer cared
 +      that they should have been away from home for twenty-four hours&mdash;all
 +      night in fact&mdash;without any explanation whatever?
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      But the Psammead put its head out of its basket and said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What&rsquo;s the matter? Don&rsquo;t you understand? You come back through the
 +      charm-arch at the same time as you go through it. This isn&rsquo;t tomorrow!&rsquo; 
 +      &lsquo;Is it still yesterday?&rsquo; asked Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, it&rsquo;s today. The same as it&rsquo;s always been. It wouldn&rsquo;t do to go mixing
 +      up the present and the Past, and cutting bits out of one to fit into the
 +      other.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then all that adventure took no time at all?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You can call it that if you like,&rsquo; said the Psammead. &lsquo;It took none of
 +      the modern time, anyhow.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      That evening Anthea carried up a steak for the learned gentleman&rsquo;s dinner.
 +      She persuaded Beatrice, the maid-of-all-work, who had given her the bangle
 +      with the blue stone, to let her do it. And she stayed and talked to him,
 +      by special invitation, while he ate the dinner.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She told him the whole adventure, beginning with&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;This afternoon we found ourselves on the bank of the River Nile,&rsquo; and
 +      ending up with, &lsquo;And then we remembered how to get back, and there we were
 +      in Regent&rsquo;s Park, and it hadn&rsquo;t taken any time at all.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She did not tell anything about the charm or the Psammead, because that
 +      was forbidden, but the story was quite wonderful enough even as it was to
 +      entrance the learned gentleman.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You are a most unusual little girl,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;Who tells you all these
 +      things?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No one,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;they just happen.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Make-believe,&rsquo; he said slowly, as one who recalls and pronounces a
 +      long-forgotten word.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He sat long after she had left him. At last he roused himself with a
 +      start.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I really must take a holiday,&rsquo; he said; &lsquo;my nerves must be all out of
 +      order. I actually have a perfectly distinct impression that the little
 +      girl from the rooms below came in and gave me a coherent and graphic
 +      picture of life as I conceive it to have been in pre-dynastic Egypt.
 +      Strange what tricks the mind will play! I shall have to be more careful.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He finished his bread conscientiously, and actually went for a mile walk
 +      before he went back to his work.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      <a name="link2HCH0006" id="link2HCH0006">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <div style="height: 4em;">
 +      <br /><br /><br /><br />
 +    </div>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 6. THE WAY TO BABYLON
 +    </h2>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +   &lsquo;How many miles to Babylon?
 +   Three score and ten!
 +   Can I get there by candle light?
 +   Yes, and back again!&rsquo; 
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane was singing to her doll, rocking it to and fro in the house which she
 +      had made for herself and it. The roof of the house was the dining-table,
 +      and the walls were tablecloths and antimacassars hanging all round, and
 +      kept in their places by books laid on their top ends at the table edge.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The others were tasting the fearful joys of domestic tobogganing. You know
 +      how it is done&mdash;with the largest and best tea-tray and the surface of
 +      the stair carpet. It is best to do it on the days when the stair rods are
 +      being cleaned, and the carpet is only held by the nails at the top. Of
 +      course, it is one of the five or six thoroughly tip-top games that
 +      grown-up people are so unjust to&mdash;and old Nurse, though a brick in
 +      many respects, was quite enough of a standard grown-up to put her foot
 +      down on the tobogganing long before any of the performers had had half
 +      enough of it. The tea-tray was taken away, and the baffled party entered
 +      the sitting-room, in exactly the mood not to be pleased if they could help
 +      it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So Cyril said, &lsquo;What a beastly mess!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And Robert added, &lsquo;Do shut up, Jane!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Even Anthea, who was almost always kind, advised Jane to try another song.
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m sick to death of that,&rsquo; said she.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was a wet day, so none of the plans for seeing all the sights of London
 +      that can be seen for nothing could be carried out. Everyone had been
 +      thinking all the morning about the wonderful adventures of the day before,
 +      when Jane had held up the charm and it had turned into an arch, through
 +      which they had walked straight out of the present time and the Regent&rsquo;s
 +      Park into the land of Egypt eight thousand years ago. The memory of
 +      yesterday&rsquo;s happenings was still extremely fresh and frightening, so that
 +      everyone hoped that no one would suggest another excursion into the past,
 +      for it seemed to all that yesterday&rsquo;s adventures were quite enough to last
 +      for at least a week. Yet each felt a little anxious that the others should
 +      not think it was afraid, and presently Cyril, who really was not a coward,
 +      began to see that it would not be at all nice if he should have to think
 +      himself one. So he said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I say&mdash;about that charm&mdash;Jane&mdash;come out. We ought to talk
 +      about it, anyhow.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, if that&rsquo;s all,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane obediently wriggled to the front of her house and sat there.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She felt for the charm, to make sure that it was still round her neck.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It ISN&rsquo;T all,&rsquo; said Cyril, saying much more than he meant because he
 +      thought Robert&rsquo;s tone had been rude&mdash;as indeed it had.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We ought to go and look for that Amulet. What&rsquo;s the good of having a
 +      first-class charm and keeping it idle, just eating its head off in the
 +      stable.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;M game for anything, of course,&rsquo; said Robert; but he added, with a fine
 +      air of chivalry, &lsquo;only I don&rsquo;t think the girls are keen today somehow.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, yes; I am,&rsquo; said Anthea hurriedly. &lsquo;If you think I&rsquo;m afraid, I&rsquo;m
 +      not.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I am though,&rsquo; said Jane heavily; &lsquo;I didn&rsquo;t like it, and I won&rsquo;t go there
 +      again&mdash;not for anything I won&rsquo;t.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We shouldn&rsquo;t go THERE again, silly,&rsquo; said Cyril; &lsquo;it would be some other
 +      place.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I daresay; a place with lions and tigers in it as likely as not.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Seeing Jane so frightened, made the others feel quite brave. They said
 +      they were certain they ought to go.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s so ungrateful to the Psammead not to,&rsquo; Anthea added, a little
 +      primly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane stood up. She was desperate.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I won&rsquo;t!&rsquo; she cried; &lsquo;I won&rsquo;t, I won&rsquo;t, I won&rsquo;t! If you make me I&rsquo;ll
 +      scream and I&rsquo;ll scream, and I&rsquo;ll tell old Nurse, and I&rsquo;ll get her to burn
 +      the charm in the kitchen fire. So now, then!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      You can imagine how furious everyone was with Jane for feeling what each
 +      of them had felt all the morning. In each breast the same thought arose,
 +      &lsquo;No one can say it&rsquo;s OUR fault.&rsquo; And they at once began to show Jane how
 +      angry they all felt that all the fault was hers. This made them feel quite
 +      brave.
 +    </p>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +   &lsquo;Tell-tale tit, its tongue shall be split,
 +   And all the dogs in our town shall have a little bit,&rsquo; 
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      sang Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s always the way if you have girls in anything.&rsquo; Cyril spoke in a cold
 +      displeasure that was worse than Robert&rsquo;s cruel quotation, and even Anthea
 +      said, &lsquo;Well, I&rsquo;M not afraid if I AM a girl,&rsquo; which of course, was the most
 +      cutting thing of all.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane picked up her doll and faced the others with what is sometimes called
 +      the courage of despair.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t care,&rsquo; she said; &lsquo;I won&rsquo;t, so there! It&rsquo;s just silly going to
 +      places when you don&rsquo;t want to, and when you don&rsquo;t know what they&rsquo;re going
 +      to be like! You can laugh at me as much as you like. You&rsquo;re beasts&mdash;and
 +      I hate you all!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      With these awful words she went out and banged the door.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then the others would not look at each other, and they did not feel so
 +      brave as they had done.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril took up a book, but it was not interesting to read. Robert kicked a
 +      chair-leg absently. His feet were always eloquent in moments of emotion.
 +      Anthea stood pleating the end of the tablecloth into folds&mdash;she
 +      seemed earnestly anxious to get all the pleats the same size. The sound of
 +      Jane&rsquo;s sobs had died away.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Suddenly Anthea said, &lsquo;Oh! let it be &ldquo;pax&rdquo;&mdash;poor little Pussy&mdash;you
 +      know she&rsquo;s the youngest.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;She called us beasts,&rsquo; said Robert, kicking the chair suddenly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, said Cyril, who was subject to passing fits of justice, &lsquo;we began,
 +      you know. At least you did.&rsquo; Cyril&rsquo;s justice was always uncompromising.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m not going to say I&rsquo;m sorry if you mean that,&rsquo; said Robert, and the
 +      chair-leg cracked to the kick he gave as he said it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, do let&rsquo;s,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;we&rsquo;re three to one, and Mother does so hate
 +      it if we row. Come on. I&rsquo;ll say I&rsquo;m sorry first, though I didn&rsquo;t say
 +      anything, hardly.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;All right, let&rsquo;s get it over,&rsquo; said Cyril, opening the door.&lsquo;Hi&mdash;you&mdash;Pussy!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Far away up the stairs a voice could be heard singing brokenly, but still
 +      defiantly&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +   &lsquo;How many miles (sniff) to Babylon?
 +   Three score and ten! (sniff)
 +   Can I get there by candle light?
 +   Yes (sniff), and back again!&rsquo; 
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      It was trying, for this was plainly meant to annoy. But Anthea would not
 +      give herself time to think this. She led the way up the stairs, taking
 +      three at a time, and bounded to the level of Jane, who sat on the top step
 +      of all, thumping her doll to the tune of the song she was trying to sing.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I say, Pussy, let it be pax! We&rsquo;re sorry if you are&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was enough. The kiss of peace was given by all. Jane being the youngest
 +      was entitled to this ceremonial. Anthea added a special apology of her
 +      own.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m sorry if I was a pig, Pussy dear,&rsquo; she said&mdash;&lsquo;especially because
 +      in my really and truly inside mind I&rsquo;ve been feeling a little as if I&rsquo;d
 +      rather not go into the Past again either. But then, do think. If we don&rsquo;t
 +      go we shan&rsquo;t get the Amulet, and oh, Pussy, think if we could only get
 +      Father and Mother and The Lamb safe back! We MUST go, but we&rsquo;ll wait a day
 +      or two if you like and then perhaps you&rsquo;ll feel braver.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Raw meat makes you brave, however cowardly you are,&rsquo; said Robert, to show
 +      that there was now no ill-feeling, &lsquo;and cranberries&mdash;that&rsquo;s what
 +      Tartars eat, and they&rsquo;re so brave it&rsquo;s simply awful. I suppose cranberries
 +      are only for Christmas time, but I&rsquo;ll ask old Nurse to let you have your
 +      chop very raw if you like.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I think I could be brave without that,&rsquo; said Jane hastily; she hated
 +      underdone meat. &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll try.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      At this moment the door of the learned gentleman&rsquo;s room opened, and he
 +      looked out.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Excuse me,&rsquo; he said, in that gentle, polite weary voice of his, &lsquo;but was
 +      I mistaken in thinking that I caught a familiar word just now? Were you
 +      not singing some old ballad of Babylon?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No,&rsquo; said Robert, &lsquo;at least Jane was singing &ldquo;How many miles,&rdquo; but I
 +      shouldn&rsquo;t have thought you could have heard the words for&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He would have said, &lsquo;for the sniffing,&rsquo; but Anthea pinched him just in
 +      time.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I did not hear ALL the words,&rsquo; said the learned gentleman. &lsquo;I wonder
 +      would you recite them to me?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So they all said together&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +   &lsquo;How many miles to Babylon?
 +   Three score and ten!
 +   Can I get there by candle light?
 +   Yes, and back again!&rsquo; 
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish one could,&rsquo; the learned gentleman said with a sigh.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Can&rsquo;t you?&rsquo; asked Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Babylon has fallen,&rsquo; he answered with a sigh. &lsquo;You know it was once a
 +      great and beautiful city, and the centre of learning and Art, and now it
 +      is only ruins, and so covered up with earth that people are not even
 +      agreed as to where it once stood.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He was leaning on the banisters, and his eyes had a far-away look in them,
 +      as though he could see through the staircase window the splendour and
 +      glory of ancient Babylon.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I say,&rsquo; Cyril remarked abruptly. &lsquo;You know that charm we showed you, and
 +      you told us how to say the name that&rsquo;s on it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, do you think that charm was ever in Babylon?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s quite possible,&rsquo; the learned gentleman replied. &lsquo;Such charms have
 +      been found in very early Egyptian tombs, yet their origin has not been
 +      accurately determined as Egyptian. They may have been brought from Asia.
 +      Or, supposing the charm to have been fashioned in Egypt, it might very
 +      well have been carried to Babylon by some friendly embassy, or brought
 +      back by the Babylonish army from some Egyptian campaign as part of the
 +      spoils of war. The inscription may be much later than the charm. Oh yes!
 +      it is a pleasant fancy, that that splendid specimen of yours was once used
 +      amid Babylonish surroundings.&rsquo; The others looked at each other, but it was
 +      Jane who spoke.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Were the Babylon people savages, were they always fighting and throwing
 +      things about?&rsquo; For she had read the thoughts of the others by the unerring
 +      light of her own fears.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The Babylonians were certainly more gentle than the Assyrians,&rsquo; said the
 +      learned gentleman. &lsquo;And they were not savages by any means. A very high
 +      level of culture,&rsquo; he looked doubtfully at his audience and went on, &lsquo;I
 +      mean that they made beautiful statues and jewellery, and built splendid
 +      palaces. And they were very learned&mdash;they had glorious libraries and
 +      high towers for the purpose of astrological and astronomical observation.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Er?&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I mean for&mdash;star-gazing and fortune-telling,&rsquo; said the learned
 +      gentleman, &lsquo;and there were temples and beautiful hanging gardens&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll go to Babylon if you like,&rsquo; said Jane abruptly, and the others
 +      hastened to say &lsquo;Done!&rsquo; before she should have time to change her mind.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ah,&rsquo; said the learned gentleman, smiling rather sadly, &lsquo;one can go so far
 +      in dreams, when one is young.&rsquo; He sighed again, and then adding with a
 +      laboured briskness, &lsquo;I hope you&rsquo;ll have a&mdash;a&mdash;jolly game,&rsquo; he
 +      went into his room and shut the door.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;He said &ldquo;jolly&rdquo; as if it was a foreign language,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;Come on,
 +      let&rsquo;s get the Psammead and go now. I think Babylon seems a most
 +      frightfully jolly place to go to.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So they woke the Psammead and put it in its bass-bag with the waterproof
 +      sheet, in case of inclement weather in Babylon. It was very cross, but it
 +      said it would as soon go to Babylon as anywhere else. &lsquo;The sand is good
 +      thereabouts,&rsquo; it added.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then Jane held up the charm, and Cyril said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We want to go to Babylon to look for the part of you that was lost. Will
 +      you please let us go there through you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Please put us down just outside,&rsquo; said Jane hastily; &lsquo;and then if we
 +      don&rsquo;t like it we needn&rsquo;t go inside.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be all day,&rsquo; said the Psammead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So Anthea hastily uttered the word of power, without which the charm could
 +      do nothing.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ur&mdash;Hekau&mdash;Setcheh!&rsquo; she said softly, and as she spoke the
 +      charm grew into an arch so tall that the top of it was close against the
 +      bedroom ceiling. Outside the arch was the bedroom painted chest-of-drawers
 +      and the Kidderminster carpet, and the washhand-stand with the riveted
 +      willow-pattern jug, and the faded curtains, and the dull light of indoors
 +      on a wet day. Through the arch showed the gleam of soft green leaves and
 +      white blossoms. They stepped forward quite happily. Even Jane felt that
 +      this did not look like lions, and her hand hardly trembled at all as she
 +      held the charm for the others to go through, and last, slipped through
 +      herself, and hung the charm, now grown small again, round her neck.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children found themselves under a white-blossomed, green-leafed
 +      fruit-tree, in what seemed to be an orchard of such trees, all
 +      white-flowered and green-foliaged. Among the long green grass under their
 +      feet grew crocuses and lilies, and strange blue flowers. In the branches
 +      overhead thrushes and blackbirds were singing, and the coo of a pigeon
 +      came softly to them in the green quietness of the orchard.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, how perfectly lovely!&rsquo; cried Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Why, it&rsquo;s like home exactly&mdash;I mean England&mdash;only everything&rsquo;s
 +      bluer, and whiter, and greener, and the flowers are bigger.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The boys owned that it certainly was fairly decent, and even Jane admitted
 +      that it was all very pretty.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m certain there&rsquo;s nothing to be frightened of here,&rsquo; said Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t know,&rsquo; said Jane. &lsquo;I suppose the fruit-trees go on just the same
 +      even when people are killing each other. I didn&rsquo;t half like what the
 +      learned gentleman said about the hanging gardens. I suppose they have
 +      gardens on purpose to hang people in. I do hope this isn&rsquo;t one.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course it isn&rsquo;t,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;The hanging gardens are just gardens
 +      hung up&mdash;<i>I</i> think on chains between houses, don&rsquo;t you know,
 +      like trays. Come on; let&rsquo;s get somewhere.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They began to walk through the cool grass. As far as they could see was
 +      nothing but trees, and trees and more trees. At the end of their orchard
 +      was another one, only separated from theirs by a little stream of clear
 +      water. They jumped this, and went on. Cyril, who was fond of gardening&mdash;which
 +      meant that he liked to watch the gardener at work&mdash;was able to
 +      command the respect of the others by telling them the names of a good many
 +      trees. There were nut-trees and almond-trees, and apricots, and fig-trees
 +      with their big five-fingered leaves. And every now and then the children
 +      had to cross another brook.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s like between the squares in Through the Looking-glass,&rsquo; said Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      At last they came to an orchard which was quite different from the other
 +      orchards. It had a low building in one corner.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;These are vines,&rsquo; said Cyril superiorly, &lsquo;and I know this is a vineyard.
 +      I shouldn&rsquo;t wonder if there was a wine-press inside that place over
 +      there.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      At last they got out of the orchards and on to a sort of road, very rough,
 +      and not at all like the roads you are used to. It had cypress trees and
 +      acacia trees along it, and a sort of hedge of tamarisks, like those you
 +      see on the road between Nice and Cannes, or near Littlehampton, if you&rsquo;ve
 +      only been as far as that.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And now in front of them they could see a great mass of buildings. There
 +      were scattered houses of wood and stone here and there among green
 +      orchards, and beyond these a great wall that shone red in the early
 +      morning sun. The wall was enormously high&mdash;more than half the height
 +      of St Paul&rsquo;s&mdash;and in the wall were set enormous gates that shone like
 +      gold as the rising sun beat on them. Each gate had a solid square tower on
 +      each side of it that stood out from the wall and rose above it. Beyond the
 +      wall were more towers and houses, gleaming with gold and bright colours.
 +      Away to the left ran the steel-blue swirl of a great river. And the
 +      children could see, through a gap in the trees, that the river flowed out
 +      from the town under a great arch in the wall.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Those feathery things along by the water are palms,&rsquo; said Cyril
 +      instructively.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, yes; you know everything,&rsquo; Robert replied. &lsquo;What&rsquo;s all that
 +      grey-green stuff you see away over there, where it&rsquo;s all flat and sandy?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;All right,&rsquo; said Cyril loftily, &lsquo;<i>I</i> don&rsquo;t want to tell you
 +      anything. I only thought you&rsquo;d like to know a palm-tree when you saw it
 +      again.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Look!&rsquo; cried Anthea; &lsquo;they&rsquo;re opening the gates.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And indeed the great gates swung back with a brazen clang, and instantly a
 +      little crowd of a dozen or more people came out and along the road towards
 +      them.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children, with one accord, crouched behind the tamarisk hedge.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t like the sound of those gates,&rsquo; said Jane. &lsquo;Fancy being inside
 +      when they shut. You&rsquo;d never get out.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You&rsquo;ve got an arch of your own to go out by,&rsquo; the Psammead put its head
 +      out of the basket to remind her. &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t behave so like a girl. If I were
 +      you I should just march right into the town and ask to see the king.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      There was something at once simple and grand about this idea, and it
 +      pleased everyone.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So when the work-people had passed (they WERE work-people, the children
 +      felt sure, because they were dressed so plainly&mdash;just one long blue
 +      shirt thing&mdash;of blue or yellow) the four children marched boldly up
 +      to the brazen gate between the towers. The arch above the gate was quite a
 +      tunnel, the walls were so thick.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Courage,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;Step out. It&rsquo;s no use trying to sneak past. Be
 +      bold!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Robert answered this appeal by unexpectedly bursting into &lsquo;The British
 +      Grenadiers&rsquo;, and to its quick-step they approached the gates of Babylon.
 +    </p>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +   &lsquo;Some talk of Alexander,
 +   And some of Hercules,
 +   Of Hector and Lysander,
 +   And such great names as these.
 +   But of all the gallant heroes...&rsquo; 
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      This brought them to the threshold of the gate, and two men in bright
 +      armour suddenly barred their way with crossed spears.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Who goes there?&rsquo; they said.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      (I think I must have explained to you before how it was that the children
 +      were always able to understand the language of any place they might happen
 +      to be in, and to be themselves understood. If not, I have no time to
 +      explain it now.)
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We come from very far,&rsquo; said Cyril mechanically. &lsquo;From the Empire where
 +      the sun never sets, and we want to see your King.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;If it&rsquo;s quite convenient,&rsquo; amended Anthea. &lsquo;The King (may he live for
 +      ever!),&rsquo; said the gatekeeper, &lsquo;is gone to fetch home his fourteenth wife.
 +      Where on earth have you come from not to know that?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The Queen then,&rsquo; said Anthea hurriedly, and not taking any notice of the
 +      question as to where they had come from.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The Queen,&rsquo; said the gatekeeper, &lsquo;(may she live for ever!) gives audience
 +      today three hours after sunrising.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But what are we to do till the end of the three hours?&rsquo; asked Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The gatekeeper seemed neither to know nor to care. He appeared less
 +      interested in them than they could have thought possible. But the man who
 +      had crossed spears with him to bar the children&rsquo;s way was more human.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Let them go in and look about them,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll wager my best sword
 +      they&rsquo;ve never seen anything to come near our little&mdash;village.&rsquo; He
 +      said it in the tone people use for when they call the Atlantic Ocean the
 +      &lsquo;herring pond&rsquo;.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The gatekeeper hesitated.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They&rsquo;re only children, after all,&rsquo; said the other, who had children of
 +      his own. &lsquo;Let me off for a few minutes, Captain, and I&rsquo;ll take them to my
 +      place and see if my good woman can&rsquo;t fit them up in something a little
 +      less outlandish than their present rig. Then they can have a look round
 +      without being mobbed. May I go?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh yes, if you like,&rsquo; said the Captain, &lsquo;but don&rsquo;t be all day.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The man led them through the dark arch into the town. And it was very
 +      different from London. For one thing, everything in London seems to be
 +      patched up out of odds and ends, but these houses seemed to have been
 +      built by people who liked the same sort of things. Not that they were all
 +      alike, for though all were squarish, they were of different sizes, and
 +      decorated in all sorts of different ways, some with paintings in bright
 +      colours, some with black and silver designs. There were terraces, and
 +      gardens, and balconies, and open spaces with trees. Their guide took them
 +      to a little house in a back street, where a kind-faced woman sat spinning
 +      at the door of a very dark room.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Here,&rsquo; he said, &lsquo;just lend these children a mantle each, so that they can
 +      go about and see the place till the Queen&rsquo;s audience begins. You leave
 +      that wool for a bit, and show them round if you like. I must be off now.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The woman did as she was told, and the four children, wrapped in fringed
 +      mantles, went with her all about the town, and oh! how I wish I had time
 +      to tell you all that they saw. It was all so wonderfully different from
 +      anything you have ever seen. For one thing, all the houses were dazzlingly
 +      bright, and many of them covered with pictures. Some had great creatures
 +      carved in stone at each side of the door. Then the people&mdash;there were
 +      no black frock-coats and tall hats; no dingy coats and skirts of good,
 +      useful, ugly stuffs warranted to wear. Everyone&rsquo;s clothes were bright and
 +      beautiful with blue and scarlet and green and gold.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The market was brighter than you would think anything could be. There were
 +      stalls for everything you could possibly want&mdash;and for a great many
 +      things that if you wanted here and now, want would be your master. There
 +      were pineapples and peaches in heaps&mdash;and stalls of crockery and
 +      glass things, beautiful shapes and glorious colours, there were stalls for
 +      necklaces, and clasps, and bracelets, and brooches, for woven stuffs, and
 +      furs, and embroidered linen. The children had never seen half so many
 +      beautiful things together, even at Liberty&rsquo;s. It seemed no time at all
 +      before the woman said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s nearly time now. We ought to be getting on towards the palace. It&rsquo;s
 +      as well to be early.&rsquo; So they went to the palace, and when they got there
 +      it was more splendid than anything they had seen yet.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      For it was glowing with colours, and with gold and silver and black and
 +      white&mdash;like some magnificent embroidery. Flight after flight of broad
 +      marble steps led up to it, and at the edges of the stairs stood great
 +      images, twenty times as big as a man&mdash;images of men with wings like
 +      chain armour, and hawks&rsquo; heads, and winged men with the heads of dogs. And
 +      there were the statues of great kings.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Between the flights of steps were terraces where fountains played, and the
 +      Queen&rsquo;s Guard in white and scarlet, and armour that shone like gold, stood
 +      by twos lining the way up the stairs; and a great body of them was massed
 +      by the vast door of the palace itself, where it stood glittering like an
 +      impossibly radiant peacock in the noon-day sun.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      All sorts of people were passing up the steps to seek audience of the
 +      Queen. Ladies in richly-embroidered dresses with fringy flounces, poor
 +      folks in plain and simple clothes, dandies with beards oiled and curled.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And Cyril, Robert, Anthea and Jane, went with the crowd.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      At the gate of the palace the Psammead put one eye cautiously out of the
 +      basket and whispered&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I can&rsquo;t be bothered with queens. I&rsquo;ll go home with this lady. I&rsquo;m sure
 +      she&rsquo;ll get me some sand if you ask her to.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh! don&rsquo;t leave us,&rsquo; said Jane. The woman was giving some last
 +      instructions in Court etiquette to Anthea, and did not hear Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be a little muff,&rsquo; said the Psammead quite fiercely. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s not a
 +      bit of good your having a charm. You never use it. If you want me you&rsquo;ve
 +      only got to say the name of power and ask the charm to bring me to you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;d rather go with you,&rsquo; said Jane. And it was the most surprising thing
 +      she had ever said in her life.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Everyone opened its mouth without thinking of manners, and Anthea, who was
 +      peeping into the Psammead&rsquo;s basket, saw that its mouth opened wider than
 +      anybody&rsquo;s.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You needn&rsquo;t gawp like that,&rsquo; Jane went on. &lsquo;I&rsquo;m not going to be bothered
 +      with queens any more than IT is. And I know, wherever it is, it&rsquo;ll take
 +      jolly good care that it&rsquo;s safe.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;She&rsquo;s right there,&rsquo; said everyone, for they had observed that the
 +      Psammead had a way of knowing which side its bread was buttered.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She turned to the woman and said, &lsquo;You&rsquo;ll take me home with you, won&rsquo;t
 +      you? And let me play with your little girls till the others have done with
 +      the Queen.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Surely I will, little heart!&rsquo; said the woman.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And then Anthea hurriedly stroked the Psammead and embraced Jane, who took
 +      the woman&rsquo;s hand, and trotted contentedly away with the Psammead&rsquo;s bag
 +      under the other arm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The others stood looking after her till she, the woman, and the basket
 +      were lost in the many-coloured crowd. Then Anthea turned once more to the
 +      palace&rsquo;s magnificent doorway and said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s ask the porter to take care of our Babylonian overcoats.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So they took off the garments that the woman had lent them and stood amid
 +      the jostling petitioners of the Queen in their own English frocks and
 +      coats and hats and boots.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We want to see the Queen,&rsquo; said Cyril; &lsquo;we come from the far Empire where
 +      the sun never sets!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      A murmur of surprise and a thrill of excitement ran through the crowd. The
 +      door-porter spoke to a black man, he spoke to someone else. There was a
 +      whispering, waiting pause. Then a big man, with a cleanly-shaven face,
 +      beckoned them from the top of a flight of red marble steps.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They went up; the boots of Robert clattering more than usual because he
 +      was so nervous. A door swung open, a curtain was drawn back. A double line
 +      of bowing forms in gorgeous raiment formed a lane that led to the steps of
 +      the throne, and as the children advanced hurriedly there came from the
 +      throne a voice very sweet and kind.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Three children from the land where the sun never sets! Let them draw
 +      hither without fear.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      In another minute they were kneeling at the throne&rsquo;s foot, saying, &lsquo;O
 +      Queen, live for ever!&rsquo; exactly as the woman had taught them. And a
 +      splendid dream-lady, all gold and silver and jewels and snowy drift of
 +      veils, was raising Anthea, and saying&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t be frightened, I really am SO glad you came! The land where the sun
 +      never sets! I am delighted to see you! I was getting quite too dreadfully
 +      bored for anything!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And behind Anthea the kneeling Cyril whispered in the ears of the
 +      respectful Robert&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Bobs, don&rsquo;t say anything to Panther. It&rsquo;s no use upsetting her, but we
 +      didn&rsquo;t ask for Jane&rsquo;s address, and the Psammead&rsquo;s with her.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well,&rsquo; whispered Robert, &lsquo;the charm can bring them to us at any moment.
 +      IT said so.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, yes,&rsquo; whispered Cyril, in miserable derision, &lsquo;WE&rsquo;RE all right, of
 +      course. So we are! Oh, yes! If we&rsquo;d only GOT the charm.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then Robert saw, and he murmured, &lsquo;Crikey!&rsquo; at the foot of the throne of
 +      Babylon; while Cyril hoarsely whispered the plain English fact&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Jane&rsquo;s got the charm round her neck, you silly cuckoo.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Crikey!&rsquo; Robert repeated in heart-broken undertones.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      <a name="link2HCH0007" id="link2HCH0007">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <div style="height: 4em;">
 +      <br /><br /><br /><br />
 +    </div>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 7. &lsquo;THE DEEPEST DUNGEON BELOW THE CASTLE MOAT&rsquo; 
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      The Queen threw three of the red and gold embroidered cushions off the
 +      throne on to the marble steps that led up to it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Just make yourselves comfortable there,&rsquo; she said. &lsquo;I&rsquo;m simply dying to
 +      talk to you, and to hear all about your wonderful country and how you got
 +      here, and everything, but I have to do justice every morning. Such a bore,
 +      isn&rsquo;t it? Do you do justice in your own country?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, said Cyril; &lsquo;at least of course we try to, but not in this public
 +      sort of way, only in private.&rsquo; &lsquo;Ah, yes,&rsquo; said the Queen, &lsquo;I should much
 +      prefer a private audience myself&mdash;much easier to manage. But public
 +      opinion has to be considered. Doing justice is very hard work, even when
 +      you&rsquo;re brought up to it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We don&rsquo;t do justice, but we have to do scales, Jane and me,&rsquo; said Anthea,
 +      &lsquo;twenty minutes a day. It&rsquo;s simply horrid.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What are scales?&rsquo; asked the Queen, &lsquo;and what is Jane?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Jane is my little sister. One of the guards-at-the-gate&rsquo;s wife is taking
 +      care of her. And scales are music.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I never heard of the instrument,&rsquo; said the Queen. &lsquo;Do you sing?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, yes. We can sing in parts,&rsquo; said Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That IS magic,&rsquo; said the Queen. &lsquo;How many parts are you each cut into
 +      before you do it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We aren&rsquo;t cut at all,&rsquo; said Robert hastily. &lsquo;We couldn&rsquo;t sing if we were.
 +      We&rsquo;ll show you afterwards.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;So you shall, and now sit quiet like dear children and hear me do
 +      justice. The way I do it has always been admired. I oughtn&rsquo;t to say that
 +      ought I? Sounds so conceited. But I don&rsquo;t mind with you, dears. Somehow I
 +      feel as though I&rsquo;d known you quite a long time already.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Queen settled herself on her throne and made a signal to her
 +      attendants. The children, whispering together among the cushions on the
 +      steps of the throne, decided that she was very beautiful and very kind,
 +      but perhaps just the least bit flighty.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The first person who came to ask for justice was a woman whose brother had
 +      taken the money the father had left for her. The brother said it was the
 +      uncle who had the money. There was a good deal of talk and the children
 +      were growing rather bored, when the Queen suddenly clapped her hands, and
 +      said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Put both the men in prison till one of them owns up that the other is
 +      innocent.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But suppose they both did it?&rsquo; Cyril could not help interrupting.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then prison&rsquo;s the best place for them,&rsquo; said the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But suppose neither did it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s impossible,&rsquo; said the Queen; &lsquo;a thing&rsquo;s not done unless someone
 +      does it. And you mustn&rsquo;t interrupt.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then came a woman, in tears, with a torn veil and real ashes on her head&mdash;at
 +      least Anthea thought so, but it may have been only road-dust. She
 +      complained that her husband was in prison.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What for?&rsquo; said the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They SAID it was for speaking evil of your Majesty,&rsquo; said the woman, &lsquo;but
 +      it wasn&rsquo;t. Someone had a spite against him. That was what it was.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;How do you know he hadn&rsquo;t spoken evil of me?&rsquo; said the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No one could,&rsquo; said the woman simply, &lsquo;when they&rsquo;d once seen your
 +      beautiful face.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Let the man out,&rsquo; said the Queen, smiling. &lsquo;Next case.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The next case was that of a boy who had stolen a fox. &lsquo;Like the Spartan
 +      boy,&rsquo; whispered Robert. But the Queen ruled that nobody could have any
 +      possible reason for owning a fox, and still less for stealing one. And she
 +      did not believe that there were any foxes in Babylon; she, at any rate,
 +      had never seen one. So the boy was released.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The people came to the Queen about all sorts of family quarrels and
 +      neighbourly misunderstandings&mdash;from a fight between brothers over the
 +      division of an inheritance, to the dishonest and unfriendly conduct of a
 +      woman who had borrowed a cooking-pot at the last New Year&rsquo;s festival, and
 +      not returned it yet.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the Queen decided everything, very, very decidedly indeed. At last she
 +      clapped her hands quite suddenly and with extreme loudness, and said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The audience is over for today.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Everyone said, &lsquo;May the Queen live for ever!&rsquo; and went out.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the children were left alone in the justice-hall with the Queen of
 +      Babylon and her ladies.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There!&rsquo; said the Queen, with a long sigh of relief. &lsquo;THAT&rsquo;S over! I
 +      couldn&rsquo;t have done another stitch of justice if you&rsquo;d offered me the crown
 +      of Egypt! Now come into the garden, and we&rsquo;ll have a nice, long, cosy
 +      talk.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She led them through long, narrow corridors whose walls they somehow felt,
 +      were very, very thick, into a sort of garden courtyard. There were thick
 +      shrubs closely planted, and roses were trained over trellises, and made a
 +      pleasant shade&mdash;needed, indeed, for already the sun was as hot as it
 +      is in England in August at the seaside.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Slaves spread cushions on a low, marble terrace, and a big man with a
 +      smooth face served cool drink in cups of gold studded with beryls. He
 +      drank a little from the Queen&rsquo;s cup before handing it to her.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s rather a nasty trick,&rsquo; whispered Robert, who had been carefully
 +      taught never to drink out of one of the nice, shiny, metal cups that are
 +      chained to the London drinking fountains without first rinsing it out
 +      thoroughly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Queen overheard him.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not at all,&rsquo; said she. &lsquo;Ritti-Marduk is a very clean man. And one has to
 +      have SOME ONE as taster, you know, because of poison.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The word made the children feel rather creepy; but Ritti-Marduk had tasted
 +      all the cups, so they felt pretty safe. The drink was delicious&mdash;very
 +      cold, and tasting like lemonade and partly like penny ices.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Leave us,&rsquo; said the Queen. And all the Court ladies, in their beautiful,
 +      many-folded, many-coloured, fringed dresses, filed out slowly, and the
 +      children were left alone with the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now,&rsquo; she said, &lsquo;tell me all about yourselves.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They looked at each other.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You, Bobs,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No&mdash;Anthea,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No&mdash;you&mdash;Cyril,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t you remember how pleased
 +      the Queen of India was when you told her all about us?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril muttered that it was all very well, and so it was. For when he had
 +      told the tale of the Phoenix and the Carpet to the Ranee, it had been only
 +      the truth&mdash;and all the truth that he had to tell. But now it was not
 +      easy to tell a convincing story without mentioning the Amulet&mdash;which,
 +      of course, it wouldn&rsquo;t have done to mention&mdash;and without owning that
 +      they were really living in London, about 2,500 years later than the time
 +      they were talking in.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril took refuge in the tale of the Psammead and its wonderful power of
 +      making wishes come true. The children had never been able to tell anyone
 +      before, and Cyril was surprised to find that the spell which kept them
 +      silent in London did not work here. &lsquo;Something to do with our being in the
 +      Past, I suppose,&rsquo; he said to himself.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;This is MOST interesting,&rsquo; said the Queen. &lsquo;We must have this Psammead
 +      for the banquet tonight. Its performance will be one of the most popular
 +      turns in the whole programme. Where is it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea explained that they did not know; also why it was that they did not
 +      know.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, THAT&rsquo;S quite simple,&rsquo; said the Queen, and everyone breathed a deep
 +      sigh of relief as she said it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ritti-Marduk shall run down to the gates and find out which guard your
 +      sister went home with.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Might he&rsquo;&mdash;Anthea&rsquo;s voice was tremulous&mdash;&lsquo;might he&mdash;would
 +      it interfere with his meal-times, or anything like that, if he went NOW?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course he shall go now. He may think himself lucky if he gets his
 +      meals at any time,&rsquo; said the Queen heartily, and clapped her hands.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;May I send a letter?&rsquo; asked Cyril, pulling out a red-backed penny
 +      account-book, and feeling in his pockets for a stump of pencil that he
 +      knew was in one of them.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;By all means. I&rsquo;ll call my scribe.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, I can scribe right enough, thanks,&rsquo; said Cyril, finding the pencil
 +      and licking its point. He even had to bite the wood a little, for it was
 +      very blunt.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, you clever, clever boy!&rsquo; said the Queen. &lsquo;DO let me watch you do it!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Cyril wrote on a leaf of the book&mdash;it was of rough, woolly paper,
 +      with hairs that stuck out and would have got in his pen if he had been
 +      using one, and ruled for accounts.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hide IT most carefully before you come here,&rsquo; he wrote, &lsquo;and don&rsquo;t
 +      mention it&mdash;and destroy this letter. Everything is going A1. The
 +      Queen is a fair treat. There&rsquo;s nothing to be afraid of.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What curious characters, and what a strange flat surface!&rsquo; said the
 +      Queen. &lsquo;What have you inscribed?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve &lsquo;scribed,&rsquo; replied Cyril cautiously, &lsquo;that you are fair, and a&mdash;and
 +      like a&mdash;like a festival; and that she need not be afraid, and that
 +      she is to come at once.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Ritti-Marduk, who had come in and had stood waiting while Cyril wrote, his
 +      Babylonish eyes nearly starting out of his Babylonish head, now took the
 +      letter, with some reluctance.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;O Queen, live for ever! Is it a charm?&rsquo; he timidly asked. &lsquo;A strong
 +      charm, most great lady?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;YES,&rsquo; said Robert, unexpectedly, &lsquo;it IS a charm, but it won&rsquo;t hurt anyone
 +      until you&rsquo;ve given it to Jane. And then she&rsquo;ll destroy it, so that it
 +      CAN&rsquo;T hurt anyone. It&rsquo;s most awful strong!&mdash;as strong as&mdash;Peppermint!&rsquo; 
 +      he ended abruptly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I know not the god,&rsquo; said Ritti-Marduk, bending timorously.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;She&rsquo;ll tear it up directly she gets it,&rsquo; said Robert, &lsquo;That&rsquo;ll end the
 +      charm. You needn&rsquo;t be afraid if you go now.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Ritti-Marduk went, seeming only partly satisfied; and then the Queen began
 +      to admire the penny account-book and the bit of pencil in so marked and
 +      significant a way that Cyril felt he could not do less than press them
 +      upon her as a gift. She ruffled the leaves delightedly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What a wonderful substance!&rsquo; she said. &lsquo;And with this style you make
 +      charms? Make a charm for me! Do you know,&rsquo; her voice sank to a whisper,
 +      &lsquo;the names of the great ones of your own far country?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Rather!&rsquo; said Cyril, and hastily wrote the names of Alfred the Great,
 +      Shakespeare, Nelson, Gordon, Lord Beaconsfield, Mr Rudyard Kipling, and Mr
 +      Sherlock Holmes, while the Queen watched him with &lsquo;unbaited breath&rsquo;, as
 +      Anthea said afterwards.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She took the book and hid it reverently among the bright folds of her
 +      gown.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You shall teach me later to say the great names,&rsquo; she said. &lsquo;And the
 +      names of their Ministers&mdash;perhaps the great Nisroch is one of them?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t think so,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;Mr Campbell Bannerman&rsquo;s Prime Minister
 +      and Mr Burns a Minister, and so is the Archbishop of Canterbury, I think,
 +      but I&rsquo;m not sure&mdash;and Dr Parker was one, I know, and&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No more,&rsquo; said the Queen, putting her hands to her ears. &lsquo;My head&rsquo;s going
 +      round with all those great names. You shall teach them to me later&mdash;because
 +      of course you&rsquo;ll make us a nice long visit now you have come, won&rsquo;t you?
 +      Now tell me&mdash;but no, I am quite tired out with your being so clever.
 +      Besides, I&rsquo;m sure you&rsquo;d like ME to tell YOU something, wouldn&rsquo;t you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;I want to know how it is that the King has gone&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Excuse me, but you should say &ldquo;the King may-he-live-for-ever&rdquo;,&rsquo; said the
 +      Queen gently.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I beg your pardon,&rsquo; Anthea hastened to say&mdash;&lsquo;the King
 +      may-he-live-for-ever has gone to fetch home his fourteenth wife? I don&rsquo;t
 +      think even Bluebeard had as many as that. And, besides, he hasn&rsquo;t killed
 +      YOU at any rate.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Queen looked bewildered.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;She means,&rsquo; explained Robert, &lsquo;that English kings only have one wife&mdash;at
 +      least, Henry the Eighth had seven or eight, but not all at once.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;In our country,&rsquo; said the Queen scornfully, &lsquo;a king would not reign a day
 +      who had only one wife. No one would respect him, and quite right too.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then are all the other thirteen alive?&rsquo; asked Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course they are&mdash;poor mean-spirited things! I don&rsquo;t associate
 +      with them, of course, I am the Queen: they&rsquo;re only the wives.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I see,&rsquo; said Anthea, gasping.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But oh, my dears,&rsquo; the Queen went on, &lsquo;such a to-do as there&rsquo;s been about
 +      this last wife! You never did! It really was TOO funny. We wanted an
 +      Egyptian princess. The King may-he-live-for-ever has got a wife from most
 +      of the important nations, and he had set his heart on an Egyptian one to
 +      complete his collection. Well, of course, to begin with, we sent a
 +      handsome present of gold. The Egyptian king sent back some horses&mdash;quite
 +      a few; he&rsquo;s fearfully stingy!&mdash;and he said he liked the gold very
 +      much, but what they were really short of was lapis lazuli, so of course we
 +      sent him some. But by that time he&rsquo;d begun to use the gold to cover the
 +      beams of the roof of the Temple of the Sun-God, and he hadn&rsquo;t nearly
 +      enough to finish the job, so we sent some more. And so it went on, oh, for
 +      years. You see each journey takes at least six months. And at last we
 +      asked the hand of his daughter in marriage.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes, and then?&rsquo; said Anthea, who wanted to get to the princess part of
 +      the story.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, then,&rsquo; said the Queen, &lsquo;when he&rsquo;d got everything out of us that he
 +      could, and only given the meanest presents in return, he sent to say he
 +      would esteem the honour of an alliance very highly, only unfortunately he
 +      hadn&rsquo;t any daughter, but he hoped one would be born soon, and if so, she
 +      should certainly be reserved for the King of Babylon!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What a trick!&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes, wasn&rsquo;t it? So then we said his sister would do, and then there were
 +      more gifts and more journeys; and now at last the tiresome, black-haired
 +      thing is coming, and the King may-he-live-for-ever has gone seven days&rsquo; 
 +      journey to meet her at Carchemish. And he&rsquo;s gone in his best chariot, the
 +      one inlaid with lapis lazuli and gold, with the gold-plated wheels and
 +      onyx-studded hubs&mdash;much too great an honour in my opinion. She&rsquo;ll be
 +      here tonight; there&rsquo;ll be a grand banquet to celebrate her arrival. SHE
 +      won&rsquo;t be present, of course. She&rsquo;ll be having her baths and her
 +      anointings, and all that sort of thing. We always clean our foreign brides
 +      very carefully. It takes two or three weeks. Now it&rsquo;s dinnertime, and you
 +      shall eat with me, for I can see that you are of high rank.&rsquo; She led them
 +      into a dark, cool hall, with many cushions on the floor. On these they sat
 +      and low tables were brought&mdash;beautiful tables of smooth, blue stone
 +      mounted in gold. On these, golden trays were placed; but there were no
 +      knives, or forks, or spoons. The children expected the Queen to call for
 +      them; but no. She just ate with her fingers, and as the first dish was a
 +      great tray of boiled corn, and meat and raisins all mixed up together, and
 +      melted fat poured all over the tray, it was found difficult to follow her
 +      example with anything like what we are used to think of as good table
 +      manners. There were stewed quinces afterwards, and dates in syrup, and
 +      thick yellowy cream. It was the kind of dinner you hardly ever get in
 +      Fitzroy Street.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      After dinner everybody went to sleep, even the children.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Queen awoke with a start.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Good gracious!&rsquo; she cried, &lsquo;what a time we&rsquo;ve slept! I must rush off and
 +      dress for the banquet. I shan&rsquo;t have much more than time.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hasn&rsquo;t Ritti-Marduk got back with our sister and the Psammead yet?&rsquo; 
 +      Anthea asked.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I QUITE forgot to ask. I&rsquo;m sorry,&rsquo; said the Queen. &lsquo;And of course they
 +      wouldn&rsquo;t announce her unless I told them to, except during justice hours.
 +      I expect she&rsquo;s waiting outside. I&rsquo;ll see.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Ritti-Marduk came in a moment later.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I regret,&rsquo; he said, &lsquo;that I have been unable to find your sister. The
 +      beast she bears with her in a basket has bitten the child of the guard,
 +      and your sister and the beast set out to come to you. The police say they
 +      have a clue. No doubt we shall have news of her in a few weeks.&rsquo; He bowed
 +      and withdrew.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The horror of this threefold loss&mdash;Jane, the Psammead, and the Amulet&mdash;gave
 +      the children something to talk about while the Queen was dressing. I shall
 +      not report their conversation; it was very gloomy. Everyone repeated
 +      himself several times, and the discussion ended in each of them blaming
 +      the other two for having let Jane go. You know the sort of talk it was,
 +      don&rsquo;t you? At last Cyril said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;After all, she&rsquo;s with the Psammead, so SHE&rsquo;S all right. The Psammead is
 +      jolly careful of itself too. And it isn&rsquo;t as if we were in any danger.
 +      Let&rsquo;s try to buck up and enjoy the banquet.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They did enjoy the banquet. They had a beautiful bath, which was
 +      delicious, were heavily oiled all over, including their hair, and that was
 +      most unpleasant. Then, they dressed again and were presented to the King,
 +      who was most affable. The banquet was long; there were all sorts of nice
 +      things to eat, and everybody seemed to eat and drink a good deal. Everyone
 +      lay on cushions and couches, ladies on one side and gentlemen on the
 +      other; and after the eating was done each lady went and sat by some
 +      gentleman, who seemed to be her sweetheart or her husband, for they were
 +      very affectionate to each other. The Court dresses had gold threads woven
 +      in them, very bright and beautiful.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The middle of the room was left clear, and different people came and did
 +      amusing things. There were conjurers and jugglers and snake-charmers,
 +      which last Anthea did not like at all.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      When it got dark torches were lighted. Cedar splinters dipped in oil
 +      blazed in copper dishes set high on poles.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then there was a dancer, who hardly danced at all, only just struck
 +      attitudes. She had hardly any clothes, and was not at all pretty. The
 +      children were rather bored by her, but everyone else was delighted,
 +      including the King.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;By the beard of Nimrod!&rsquo; he cried, &lsquo;ask what you like girl, and you shall
 +      have it!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I want nothing,&rsquo; said the dancer; &lsquo;the honour of having pleased the King
 +      may-he-live-for-ever is reward enough for me.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the King was so pleased with this modest and sensible reply that he
 +      gave her the gold collar off his own neck.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I say!&rsquo; said Cyril, awed by the magnificence of the gift.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s all right,&rsquo; whispered the Queen, &lsquo;it&rsquo;s not his best collar by any
 +      means. We always keep a stock of cheap jewellery for these occasions. And
 +      now&mdash;you promised to sing us something. Would you like my minstrels
 +      to accompany you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, thank you,&rsquo; said Anthea quickly. The minstrels had been playing off
 +      and on all the time, and their music reminded Anthea of the band she and
 +      the others had once had on the fifth of November&mdash;with penny horns, a
 +      tin whistle, a tea-tray, the tongs, a policeman&rsquo;s rattle, and a toy drum.
 +      They had enjoyed this band very much at the time. But it was quite
 +      different when someone else was making the same kind of music. Anthea
 +      understood now that Father had not been really heartless and unreasonable
 +      when he had told them to stop that infuriating din.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What shall we sing?&rsquo; Cyril was asking.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Sweet and low?&rsquo; suggested Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Too soft&mdash;I vote for &ldquo;Who will o&rsquo;er the downs&rdquo;. Now then&mdash;one,
 +      two, three.
 +    </p>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +   &lsquo;Oh, who will o&rsquo;er the downs so free,
 +   Oh, who will with me ride,
 +   Oh, who will up and follow me,
 +   To win a blooming bride?
  
 +   Her father he has locked the door,
 +   Her mother keeps the key;
 +   But neither bolt nor bar shall keep
 +   My own true love from me.&rsquo; 
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane, the alto, was missing, and Robert, unlike the mother of the lady in
 +      the song, never could &lsquo;keep the key&rsquo;, but the song, even so, was
 +      sufficiently unlike anything any of them had ever heard to rouse the
 +      Babylonian Court to the wildest enthusiasm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;More, more,&rsquo; cried the King; &lsquo;by my beard, this savage music is a new
 +      thing. Sing again!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So they sang:
 +    </p>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +   &lsquo;I saw her bower at twilight gray,
 +   &lsquo;Twas guarded safe and sure.
 +   I saw her bower at break of day,
 +   &lsquo;Twas guarded then no more.
 +
 +   The varlets they were all asleep,
 +   And there was none to see
 +   The greeting fair that passed there
 +   Between my love and me.&rsquo; 
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      Shouts of applause greeted the ending of the verse, and the King would not
 +      be satisfied till they had sung all their part-songs (they only knew
 +      three) twice over, and ended up with &lsquo;Men of Harlech&rsquo; in unison. Then the
 +      King stood up in his royal robes with his high, narrow crown on his head
 +      and shouted&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;By the beak of Nisroch, ask what you will, strangers from the land where
 +      the sun never sets!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We ought to say it&rsquo;s enough honour, like the dancer did,&rsquo; whispered
 +      Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, let&rsquo;s ask for IT,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, no, I&rsquo;m sure the other&rsquo;s manners,&rsquo; said Anthea. But Robert, who was
 +      excited by the music, and the flaring torches, and the applause and the
 +      opportunity, spoke up before the others could stop him.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Give us the half of the Amulet that has on it the name UR HEKAU SETCHEH,&rsquo; 
 +      he said, adding as an afterthought, &lsquo;O King, live-for-ever.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      As he spoke the great name those in the pillared hall fell on their faces,
 +      and lay still. All but the Queen who crouched amid her cushions with her
 +      head in her hands, and the King, who stood upright, perfectly still, like
 +      the statue of a king in stone. It was only for a moment though. Then his
 +      great voice thundered out&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Guard, seize them!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Instantly, from nowhere as it seemed, sprang eight soldiers in bright
 +      armour inlaid with gold, and tunics of red and white. Very splendid they
 +      were, and very alarming.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Impious and sacrilegious wretches!&rsquo; shouted the King. &lsquo;To the dungeons
 +      with them! We will find a way, tomorrow, to make them speak. For without
 +      doubt they can tell us where to find the lost half of It.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      A wall of scarlet and white and steel and gold closed up round the
 +      children and hurried them away among the many pillars of the great hall.
 +      As they went they heard the voices of the courtiers loud in horror.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You&rsquo;ve done it this time,&rsquo; said Cyril with extreme bitterness.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, it will come right. It MUST. It always does,&rsquo; said Anthea
 +      desperately.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They could not see where they were going, because the guard surrounded
 +      them so closely, but the ground under their feet, smooth marble at first,
 +      grew rougher like stone, then it was loose earth and sand, and they felt
 +      the night air. Then there was more stone, and steps down.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s my belief we really ARE going to the deepest dungeon below the
 +      castle moat this time,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And they were. At least it was not below a moat, but below the river
 +      Euphrates, which was just as bad if not worse. In a most unpleasant place
 +      it was. Dark, very, very damp, and with an odd, musty smell rather like
 +      the shells of oysters. There was a torch&mdash;that is to say, a copper
 +      basket on a high stick with oiled wood burning in it. By its light the
 +      children saw that the walls were green, and that trickles of water ran
 +      down them and dripped from the roof. There were things on the floor that
 +      looked like newts, and in the dark corners creepy, shiny things moved
 +      sluggishly, uneasily, horribly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Robert&rsquo;s heart sank right into those really reliable boots of his. Anthea
 +      and Cyril each had a private struggle with that inside disagreeableness
 +      which is part of all of us, and which is sometimes called the Old Adam&mdash;and
 +      both were victors. Neither of them said to Robert (and both tried hard not
 +      even to think it), &lsquo;This is YOUR doing.&rsquo; Anthea had the additional
 +      temptation to add, &lsquo;I told you so.&rsquo; And she resisted it successfully.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Sacrilege, and impious cheek,&rsquo; said the captain of the guard to the
 +      gaoler. &lsquo;To be kept during the King&rsquo;s pleasure. I expect he means to get
 +      some pleasure out of them tomorrow! He&rsquo;ll tickle them up!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Poor little kids,&rsquo; said the gaoler.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, yes,&rsquo; said the captain. &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve got kids of my own too. But it doesn&rsquo;t
 +      do to let domestic sentiment interfere with one&rsquo;s public duties. Good
 +      night.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The soldiers tramped heavily off in their white and red and steel and
 +      gold. The gaoler, with a bunch of big keys in his hand, stood looking
 +      pityingly at the children. He shook his head twice and went out.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Courage!&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;I know it will be all right. It&rsquo;s only a dream
 +      REALLY, you know. It MUST be! I don&rsquo;t believe about time being only a
 +      something or other of thought. It IS a dream, and we&rsquo;re bound to wake up
 +      all right and safe.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Humph,&rsquo; said Cyril bitterly. And Robert suddenly said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s all my doing. If it really IS all up do please not keep a down on me
 +      about it, and tell Father&mdash;Oh, I forgot.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      What he had forgotten was that his father was 3,000 miles and 5,000 or
 +      more years away from him.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;All right, Bobs, old man,&rsquo; said Cyril; and Anthea got hold of Robert&rsquo;s
 +      hand and squeezed it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then the gaoler came back with a platter of hard, flat cakes made of
 +      coarse grain, very different from the cream-and-juicy-date feasts of the
 +      palace; also a pitcher of water.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There,&rsquo; he said.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, thank you so very much. You ARE kind,&rsquo; said Anthea feverishly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Go to sleep,&rsquo; said the gaoler, pointing to a heap of straw in a corner;
 +      &lsquo;tomorrow comes soon enough.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, dear Mr Gaoler,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;whatever will they do to us tomorrow?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They&rsquo;ll try to make you tell things,&rsquo; said the gaoler grimly, &lsquo;and my
 +      advice is if you&rsquo;ve nothing to tell, make up something. Then perhaps
 +      they&rsquo;ll sell you to the Northern nations. Regular savages THEY are. Good
 +      night.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Good night,&rsquo; said three trembling voices, which their owners strove in
 +      vain to render firm. Then he went out, and the three were left alone in
 +      the damp, dim vault.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I know the light won&rsquo;t last long,&rsquo; said Cyril, looking at the flickering
 +      brazier.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Is it any good, do you think, calling on the name when we haven&rsquo;t got the
 +      charm?&rsquo; suggested Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I shouldn&rsquo;t think so. But we might try.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So they tried. But the blank silence of the damp dungeon remained
 +      unchanged.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What was the name the Queen said?&rsquo; asked Cyril suddenly. &lsquo;Nisbeth&mdash;Nesbit&mdash;something?
 +      You know, the slave of the great names?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Wait a sec,&rsquo; said Robert, &lsquo;though I don&rsquo;t know why you want it. Nusroch&mdash;Nisrock&mdash;Nisroch&mdash;that&rsquo;s
 +      it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then Anthea pulled herself together. All her muscles tightened, and the
 +      muscles of her mind and soul, if you can call them that, tightened too.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;UR HEKAU SETCHEH,&rsquo; she cried in a fervent voice. &lsquo;Oh, Nisroch, servant of
 +      the Great Ones, come and help us!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      There was a waiting silence. Then a cold, blue light awoke in the corner
 +      where the straw was&mdash;and in the light they saw coming towards them a
 +      strange and terrible figure. I won&rsquo;t try to describe it, because the
 +      drawing shows it, exactly as it was, and exactly as the old Babylonians
 +      carved it on their stones, so that you can see it in our own British
 +      Museum at this day. I will just say that it had eagle&rsquo;s wings and an
 +      eagle&rsquo;s head and the body of a man.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It came towards them, strong and unspeakably horrible.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, go away,&rsquo; cried Anthea; but Cyril cried, &lsquo;No; stay!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The creature hesitated, then bowed low before them on the damp floor of
 +      the dungeon.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Speak,&rsquo; it said, in a harsh, grating voice like large rusty keys being
 +      turned in locks. &lsquo;The servant of the Great Ones is YOUR servant. What is
 +      your need that you call on the name of Nisroch?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We want to go home,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, no,&rsquo; cried Anthea; &lsquo;we want to be where Jane is.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Nisroch raised his great arm and pointed at the wall of the dungeon. And,
 +      as he pointed, the wall disappeared, and instead of the damp, green, rocky
 +      surface, there shone and glowed a room with rich hangings of red silk
 +      embroidered with golden water-lilies, with cushioned couches and great
 +      mirrors of polished steel; and in it was the Queen, and before her, on a
 +      red pillow, sat the Psammead, its fur hunched up in an irritated,
 +      discontented way. On a blue-covered couch lay Jane fast asleep.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Walk forward without fear,&rsquo; said Nisroch. &lsquo;Is there aught else that the
 +      Servant of the great Name can do for those who speak that name?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No&mdash;oh, no,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s all right now. Thanks ever so.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You are a dear,&rsquo; cried Anthea, not in the least knowing what she was
 +      saying. &lsquo;Oh, thank you thank you. But DO go NOW!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She caught the hand of the creature, and it was cold and hard in hers,
 +      like a hand of stone.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Go forward,&rsquo; said Nisroch. And they went.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, my good gracious,&rsquo; said the Queen as they stood before her. &lsquo;How did
 +      you get here? I KNEW you were magic. I meant to let you out the first
 +      thing in the morning, if I could slip away&mdash;but thanks be to Dagon,
 +      you&rsquo;ve managed it for yourselves. You must get away. I&rsquo;ll wake my chief
 +      lady and she shall call Ritti-Marduk, and he&rsquo;ll let you out the back way,
 +      and&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t rouse anybody for goodness&rsquo; sake,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;except Jane, and
 +      I&rsquo;ll rouse her.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She shook Jane with energy, and Jane slowly awoke.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ritti-Marduk brought them in hours ago, really,&rsquo; said the Queen, &lsquo;but I
 +      wanted to have the Psammead all to myself for a bit. You&rsquo;ll excuse the
 +      little natural deception?&mdash;it&rsquo;s part of the Babylonish character,
 +      don&rsquo;t you know? But I don&rsquo;t want anything to happen to you. Do let me
 +      rouse someone.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, no, no,&rsquo; said Anthea with desperate earnestness. She thought she knew
 +      enough of what the Babylonians were like when they were roused. &lsquo;We can go
 +      by our own magic. And you will tell the King it wasn&rsquo;t the gaoler&rsquo;s fault.
 +      It was Nisroch.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Nisroch!&rsquo; echoed the Queen. &lsquo;You are indeed magicians.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane sat up, blinking stupidly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hold It up, and say the word,&rsquo; cried Cyril, catching up the Psammead,
 +      which mechanically bit him, but only very slightly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Which is the East?&rsquo; asked Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Behind me,&rsquo; said the Queen. &lsquo;Why?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ur Hekau Setcheh,&rsquo; said Jane sleepily, and held up the charm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And there they all were in the dining-room at 300, Fitzroy Street.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Jane,&rsquo; cried Cyril with great presence of mind, &lsquo;go and get the plate of
 +      sand down for the Psammead.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Jane went.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Look here!&rsquo; he said quickly, as the sound of her boots grew less loud on
 +      the stairs, &lsquo;don&rsquo;t let&rsquo;s tell her about the dungeon and all that. It&rsquo;ll
 +      only frighten her so that she&rsquo;ll never want to go anywhere else.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Righto!&rsquo; said Cyril; but Anthea felt that she could not have said a word
 +      to save her life.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Why did you want to come back in such a hurry?&rsquo; asked Jane, returning
 +      with the plate of sand. &lsquo;It was awfully jolly in Babylon, I think! I liked
 +      it no end.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, yes,&rsquo; said Cyril carelessly. &lsquo;It was jolly enough, of course, but I
 +      thought we&rsquo;d been there long enough. Mother always says you oughtn&rsquo;t to
 +      wear out your welcome!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      <a name="link2HCH0008" id="link2HCH0008">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <div style="height: 4em;">
 +      <br /><br /><br /><br />
 +    </div>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 8. THE QUEEN IN LONDON
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now tell us what happened to you,&rsquo; said Cyril to Jane, when he and the
 +      others had told her all about the Queen&rsquo;s talk and the banquet, and the
 +      variety entertainment, carefully stopping short before the beginning of
 +      the dungeon part of the story.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It wasn&rsquo;t much good going,&rsquo; said Jane, &lsquo;if you didn&rsquo;t even try to get the
 +      Amulet.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We found out it was no go,&rsquo; said Cyril; &lsquo;it&rsquo;s not to be got in Babylon.
 +      It was lost before that. We&rsquo;ll go to some other jolly friendly place,
 +      where everyone is kind and pleasant, and look for it there. Now tell us
 +      about your part.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh,&rsquo; said Jane, &lsquo;the Queen&rsquo;s man with the smooth face&mdash;what was his
 +      name?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ritti-Marduk,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; said Jane, &lsquo;Ritti-Marduk, he came for me just after the Psammead
 +      had bitten the guard-of-the-gate&rsquo;s wife&rsquo;s little boy, and he took me to
 +      the Palace. And we had supper with the new little Queen from Egypt. She is
 +      a dear&mdash;not much older than you. She told me heaps about Egypt. And
 +      we played ball after supper. And then the Babylon Queen sent for me. I
 +      like her too. And she talked to the Psammead and I went to sleep. And then
 +      you woke me up. That&rsquo;s all.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead, roused from its sound sleep, told the same story.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But,&rsquo; it added, &lsquo;what possessed you to tell that Queen that I could give
 +      wishes? I sometimes think you were born without even the most rudimentary
 +      imitation of brains.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children did not know the meaning of rudimentary, but it sounded a
 +      rude, insulting word.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t see that we did any harm,&rsquo; said Cyril sulkily.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, no,&rsquo; said the Psammead with withering irony, &lsquo;not at all! Of course
 +      not! Quite the contrary! Exactly so! Only she happened to wish that she
 +      might soon find herself in your country. And soon may mean any moment.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then it&rsquo;s your fault,&rsquo; said Robert, &lsquo;because you might just as well have
 +      made &ldquo;soon&rdquo; mean some moment next year or next century.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s where you, as so often happens, make the mistake,&rsquo; rejoined the
 +      Sand-fairy. &lsquo;<i>I</i> couldn&rsquo;t mean anything but what SHE meant by &ldquo;soon&rdquo;.
 +      It wasn&rsquo;t my wish. And what SHE meant was the next time the King happens
 +      to go out lion hunting. So she&rsquo;ll have a whole day, and perhaps two, to do
 +      as she wishes with. SHE doesn&rsquo;t know about time only being a mode of
 +      thought.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well,&rsquo; said Cyril, with a sigh of resignation, &lsquo;we must do what we can to
 +      give her a good time. She was jolly decent to us. I say, suppose we were
 +      to go to St James&rsquo;s Park after dinner and feed those ducks that we never
 +      did feed. After all that Babylon and all those years ago, I feel as if I
 +      should like to see something REAL, and NOW. You&rsquo;ll come, Psammead?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Where&rsquo;s my priceless woven basket of sacred rushes?&rsquo; asked the Psammead
 +      morosely. &lsquo;I can&rsquo;t go out with nothing on. And I won&rsquo;t, what&rsquo;s more.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And then everybody remembered with pain that the bass bag had, in the
 +      hurry of departure from Babylon, not been remembered.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But it&rsquo;s not so extra precious,&rsquo; said Robert hastily. &lsquo;You can get them
 +      given to you for nothing if you buy fish in Farringdon Market.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh,&rsquo; said the Psammead very crossly indeed, &lsquo;so you presume on my sublime
 +      indifference to the things of this disgusting modern world, to fob me off
 +      with a travelling equipage that costs you nothing. Very well, I shall go
 +      to sand. Please don&rsquo;t wake me.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And it went then and there to sand, which, as you know, meant to bed. The
 +      boys went to St James&rsquo;s Park to feed the ducks, but they went alone.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea and Jane sat sewing all the afternoon. They cut off half a yard
 +      from each of their best green Liberty sashes. A towel cut in two formed a
 +      lining; and they sat and sewed and sewed and sewed. What they were making
 +      was a bag for the Psammead. Each worked at a half of the bag. jane&rsquo;s half
 +      had four-leaved shamrocks embroidered on it. They were the only things she
 +      could do (because she had been taught how at school, and, fortunately,
 +      some of the silk she had been taught with was left over). And even so,
 +      Anthea had to draw the pattern for her. Anthea&rsquo;s side of the bag had
 +      letters on it&mdash;worked hastily but affectionately in chain stitch.
 +      They were something like this:
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      PSAMS TRAVEL CAR
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She would have put &lsquo;travelling carriage&rsquo;, but she made the letters too
 +      big, so there was no room. The bag was made INTO a bag with old Nurse&rsquo;s
 +      sewing machine, and the strings of it were Anthea&rsquo;s and Jane&rsquo;s best red
 +      hair ribbons. At tea-time, when the boys had come home with a most
 +      unfavourable report of the St james&rsquo;s Park ducks, Anthea ventured to
 +      awaken the Psammead, and to show it its new travelling bag.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Humph,&rsquo; it said, sniffing a little contemptuously, yet at the same time
 +      affectionately, &lsquo;it&rsquo;s not so dusty.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead seemed to pick up very easily the kind of things that people
 +      said nowadays. For a creature that had in its time associated with
 +      Megatheriums and Pterodactyls, its quickness was really wonderful.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s more worthy of me,&rsquo; it said, &lsquo;than the kind of bag that&rsquo;s given away
 +      with a pound of plaice. When do you propose to take me out in it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I should like a rest from taking you or us anywhere,&rsquo; said Cyril. But
 +      Jane said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I want to go to Egypt. I did like that Egyptian Princess that came to
 +      marry the King in Babylon. She told me about the larks they have in Egypt.
 +      And the cats. Do let&rsquo;s go there. And I told her what the bird things on
 +      the Amulet were like. And she said it was Egyptian writing.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The others exchanged looks of silent rejoicing at the thought of their
 +      cleverness in having concealed from Jane the terrors they had suffered in
 +      the dungeon below the Euphrates.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Egypt&rsquo;s so nice too,&rsquo; Jane went on, &lsquo;because of Doctor Brewer&rsquo;s Scripture
 +      History. I would like to go there when Joseph was dreaming those curious
 +      dreams, or when Moses was doing wonderful things with snakes and sticks.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t care about snakes,&rsquo; said Anthea shuddering.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, we needn&rsquo;t be in at that part, but Babylon was lovely! We had cream
 +      and sweet, sticky stuff. And I expect Egypt&rsquo;s the same.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      There was a good deal of discussion, but it all ended in everybody&rsquo;s
 +      agreeing to Jane&rsquo;s idea. And next morning directly after breakfast (which
 +      was kippers and very nice) the Psammead was invited to get into his
 +      travelling carriage.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The moment after it had done so, with stiff, furry reluctance, like that
 +      of a cat when you want to nurse it, and its ideas are not the same as
 +      yours, old Nurse came in.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, chickies,&rsquo; she said, &lsquo;are you feeling very dull?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, no, Nurse dear,&rsquo; said Anthea; &lsquo;we&rsquo;re having a lovely time. We&rsquo;re just
 +      going off to see some old ancient relics.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ah,&rsquo; said old Nurse, &lsquo;the Royal Academy, I suppose? Don&rsquo;t go wasting your
 +      money too reckless, that&rsquo;s all.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She cleared away the kipper bones and the tea-things, and when she had
 +      swept up the crumbs and removed the cloth, the Amulet was held up and the
 +      order given&mdash;just as Duchesses (and other people) give it to their
 +      coachmen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;To Egypt, please!&rsquo; said Anthea, when Cyril had uttered the wonderful Name
 +      of Power.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;When Moses was there,&rsquo; added Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And there, in the dingy Fitzroy Street dining-room, the Amulet grew big,
 +      and it was an arch, and through it they saw a blue, blue sky and a running
 +      river.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, stop!&rsquo; said Cyril, and pulled down jane&rsquo;s hand with the Amulet in it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What silly cuckoos we all are,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;Of course we can&rsquo;t go. We
 +      daren&rsquo;t leave home for a single minute now, for fear that minute should be
 +      THE minute.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What minute be WHAT minute?&rsquo; asked Jane impatiently, trying to get her
 +      hand away from Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The minute when the Queen of Babylon comes,&rsquo; said Cyril. And then
 +      everyone saw it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      For some days life flowed in a very slow, dusty, uneventful stream.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children could never go out all at once, because they never knew when
 +      the King of Babylon would go out lion hunting and leave his Queen free to
 +      pay them that surprise visit to which she was, without doubt, eagerly
 +      looking forward.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      So they took it in turns, two and two, to go out and to stay in.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The stay-at-homes would have been much duller than they were but for the
 +      new interest taken in them by the learned gentleman.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He called Anthea in one day to show her a beautiful necklace of purple and
 +      gold beads.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I saw one like that,&rsquo; she said, &lsquo;in&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;In the British Museum, perhaps?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I like to call the place where I saw it Babylon,&rsquo; said Anthea cautiously.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;A pretty fancy,&rsquo; said the learned gentleman, &lsquo;and quite correct too,
 +      because, as a matter of fact, these beads did come from Babylon.&rsquo; The
 +      other three were all out that day. The boys had been going to the Zoo, and
 +      Jane had said so plaintively, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m sure I am fonder of rhinoceroses than
 +      either of you are,&rsquo; that Anthea had told her to run along then. And she
 +      had run, catching the boys before that part of the road where Fitzroy
 +      Street suddenly becomes Fitzroy Square.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I think Babylon is most frightfully interesting,&rsquo; said Anthea. &lsquo;I do have
 +      such interesting dreams about it&mdash;at least, not dreams exactly, but
 +      quite as wonderful.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Do sit down and tell me,&rsquo; said he. So she sat down and told. And he asked
 +      her a lot of questions, and she answered them as well as she could.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Wonderful&mdash;wonderful!&rsquo; he said at last. &lsquo;One&rsquo;s heard of
 +      thought-transference, but I never thought <i>I</i> had any power of that
 +      sort. Yet it must be that, and very bad for YOU, I should think. Doesn&rsquo;t
 +      your head ache very much?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He suddenly put a cold, thin hand on her forehead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No thank you, not at all,&rsquo; said she.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I assure you it is not done intentionally,&rsquo; he went on. &lsquo;Of course I know
 +      a good deal about Babylon, and I unconsciously communicate it to you;
 +      you&rsquo;ve heard of thought-reading, but some of the things you say, I don&rsquo;t
 +      understand; they never enter my head, and yet they&rsquo;re so astoundingly
 +      probable.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s all right,&rsquo; said Anthea reassuringly. &lsquo;<i>I</i> understand. And
 +      don&rsquo;t worry. It&rsquo;s all quite simple really.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was not quite so simple when Anthea, having heard the others come in,
 +      went down, and before she had had time to ask how they had liked the Zoo,
 +      heard a noise outside, compared to which the wild beasts&rsquo; noises were
 +      gentle as singing birds.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Good gracious!&rsquo; cried Anthea, &lsquo;what&rsquo;s that?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The loud hum of many voices came through the open window. Words could be
 +      distinguished.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;&rsquo;Ere&rsquo;s a guy!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;This ain&rsquo;t November. That ain&rsquo;t no guy. It&rsquo;s a ballet lady, that&rsquo;s what
 +      it is.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not it&mdash;it&rsquo;s a bloomin&rsquo; looney, I tell you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Then came a clear voice that they knew.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Retire, slaves!&rsquo; it said.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What&rsquo;s she a saying of?&rsquo; cried a dozen voices. &lsquo;Some blamed foreign
 +      lingo,&rsquo; one voice replied.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children rushed to the door. A crowd was on the road and pavement.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      In the middle of the crowd, plainly to be seen from the top of the steps,
 +      were the beautiful face and bright veil of the Babylonian Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Jimminy!&rsquo; cried Robert, and ran down the steps, &lsquo;here she is!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Here!&rsquo; he cried, &lsquo;look out&mdash;let the lady pass. She&rsquo;s a friend of
 +      ours, coming to see us.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Nice friend for a respectable house,&rsquo; snorted a fat woman with marrows on
 +      a handcart.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      All the same the crowd made way a little. The Queen met Robert on the
 +      pavement, and Cyril joined them, the Psammead bag still on his arm.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Here,&rsquo; he whispered; &lsquo;here&rsquo;s the Psammead; you can get wishes.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;<i>I</i> wish you&rsquo;d come in a different dress, if you HAD to come,&rsquo; said
 +      Robert; &lsquo;but it&rsquo;s no use my wishing anything.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No,&rsquo; said the Queen. &lsquo;I wish I was dressed&mdash;no, I don&rsquo;t&mdash;I wish
 +      THEY were dressed properly, then they wouldn&rsquo;t be so silly.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead blew itself out till the bag was a very tight fit for it; and
 +      suddenly every man, woman, and child in that crowd felt that it had not
 +      enough clothes on. For, of course, the Queen&rsquo;s idea of proper dress was
 +      the dress that had been proper for the working-classes 3,000 years ago in
 +      Babylon&mdash;and there was not much of it.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Lawky me!&rsquo; said the marrow-selling woman, &lsquo;whatever could a-took me to
 +      come out this figure?&rsquo; and she wheeled her cart away very quickly indeed.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Someone&rsquo;s made a pretty guy of you&mdash;talk of guys,&rsquo; said a man who
 +      sold bootlaces.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, don&rsquo;t you talk,&rsquo; said the man next to him. &lsquo;Look at your own silly
 +      legs; and where&rsquo;s your boots?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I never come out like this, I&rsquo;ll take my sacred,&rsquo; said the
 +      bootlace-seller. &lsquo;I wasn&rsquo;t quite myself last night, I&rsquo;ll own, but not to
 +      dress up like a circus.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The crowd was all talking at once, and getting rather angry. But no one
 +      seemed to think of blaming the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea bounded down the steps and pulled her up; the others followed, and
 +      the door was shut. &lsquo;Blowed if I can make it out!&rsquo; they heard. &lsquo;I&rsquo;m off
 +      home, I am.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And the crowd, coming slowly to the same mind, dispersed, followed by
 +      another crowd of persons who were not dressed in what the Queen thought
 +      was the proper way.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We shall have the police here directly,&rsquo; said Anthea in the tones of
 +      despair. &lsquo;Oh, why did you come dressed like that?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Queen leaned against the arm of the horse-hair sofa.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;How else can a queen dress I should like to know?&rsquo; she questioned.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Our Queen wears things like other people,&rsquo; said Cyril.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, I don&rsquo;t. And I must say,&rsquo; she remarked in an injured tone, &lsquo;that
 +      you don&rsquo;t seem very glad to see me now I HAVE come. But perhaps it&rsquo;s the
 +      surprise that makes you behave like this. Yet you ought to be used to
 +      surprises. The way you vanished! I shall never forget it. The best magic
 +      I&rsquo;ve ever seen. How did you do it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, never mind about that now,&rsquo; said Robert. &lsquo;You see you&rsquo;ve gone and
 +      upset all those people, and I expect they&rsquo;ll fetch the police. And we
 +      don&rsquo;t want to see you collared and put in prison.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You can&rsquo;t put queens in prison,&rsquo; she said loftily. &lsquo;Oh, can&rsquo;t you?&rsquo; said
 +      Cyril. &lsquo;We cut off a king&rsquo;s head here once.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;In this miserable room? How frightfully interesting.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No, no, not in this room; in history.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, in THAT,&rsquo; said the Queen disparagingly. &lsquo;I thought you&rsquo;d done it with
 +      your own hands.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The girls shuddered.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What a hideous city yours is,&rsquo; the Queen went on pleasantly, &lsquo;and what
 +      horrid, ignorant people. Do you know they actually can&rsquo;t understand a
 +      single word I say.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Can you understand them?&rsquo; asked Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course not; they speak some vulgar, Northern dialect. I can understand
 +      YOU quite well.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      I really am not going to explain AGAIN how it was that the children could
 +      understand other languages than their own so thoroughly, and talk them,
 +      too, so that it felt and sounded (to them) just as though they were
 +      talking English.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well,&rsquo; said Cyril bluntly, &lsquo;now you&rsquo;ve seen just how horrid it is, don&rsquo;t
 +      you think you might as well go home again?&rsquo; &lsquo;Why, I&rsquo;ve seen simply nothing
 +      yet,&rsquo; said the Queen, arranging her starry veil. &lsquo;I wished to be at your
 +      door, and I was. Now I must go and see your King and Queen.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Nobody&rsquo;s allowed to,&rsquo; said Anthea in haste; &lsquo;but look here, we&rsquo;ll take
 +      you and show you anything you&rsquo;d like to see&mdash;anything you CAN see,&rsquo; 
 +      she added kindly, because she remembered how nice the Queen had been to
 +      them in Babylon, even if she had been a little deceitful in the matter of
 +      Jane and Psammead.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;There&rsquo;s the Museum,&rsquo; said Cyril hopefully; &lsquo;there are lots of things from
 +      your country there. If only we could disguise you a little.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I know,&rsquo; said Anthea suddenly. &lsquo;Mother&rsquo;s old theatre cloak, and there are
 +      a lot of her old hats in the big box.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The blue silk, lace-trimmed cloak did indeed hide some of the Queen&rsquo;s
 +      startling splendours, but the hat fitted very badly. It had pink roses in
 +      it; and there was something about the coat or the hat or the Queen, that
 +      made her look somehow not very respectable.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, never mind,&rsquo; said Anthea, when Cyril whispered this. &lsquo;The thing is to
 +      get her out before Nurse has finished her forty winks. I should think
 +      she&rsquo;s about got to the thirty-ninth wink by now.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Come on then,&rsquo; said Robert. &lsquo;You know how dangerous it is. Let&rsquo;s make
 +      haste into the Museum. If any of those people you made guys of do fetch
 +      the police, they won&rsquo;t think of looking for you there.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The blue silk coat and the pink-rosed hat attracted almost as much
 +      attention as the royal costume had done; and the children were uncommonly
 +      glad to get out of the noisy streets into the grey quiet of the Museum.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Parcels and umbrellas to be left here,&rsquo; said a man at the counter.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The party had no umbrellas, and the only parcel was the bag containing the
 +      Psammead, which the Queen had insisted should be brought.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;M not going to be left,&rsquo; said the Psammead softly, &lsquo;so don&rsquo;t you think
 +      it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll wait outside with you,&rsquo; said Anthea hastily, and went to sit on the
 +      seat near the drinking fountain.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t sit so near that nasty fountain,&rsquo; said the creature crossly; &lsquo;I
 +      might get splashed.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea obediently moved to another seat and waited. Indeed she waited, and
 +      waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. The Psammead dropped into an
 +      uneasy slumber. Anthea had long ceased to watch the swing-door that always
 +      let out the wrong person, and she was herself almost asleep, and still the
 +      others did not come back.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was quite a start when Anthea suddenly realized that they HAD come
 +      back, and that they were not alone. Behind them was quite a crowd of men
 +      in uniform, and several gentlemen were there. Everyone seemed very angry.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Now go,&rsquo; said the nicest of the angry gentlemen. &lsquo;Take the poor, demented
 +      thing home and tell your parents she ought to be properly looked after.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;If you can&rsquo;t get her to go we must send for the police,&rsquo; said the
 +      nastiest gentleman.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But we don&rsquo;t wish to use harsh measures,&rsquo; added the nice one, who was
 +      really very nice indeed, and seemed to be over all the others.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;May I speak to my sister a moment first?&rsquo; asked Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The nicest gentleman nodded, and the officials stood round the Queen, the
 +      others forming a sort of guard while Robert crossed over to Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Everything you can think of,&rsquo; he replied to Anthea&rsquo;s glance of inquiry.
 +      &lsquo;Kicked up the most frightful shine in there. Said those necklaces and
 +      earrings and things in the glass cases were all hers&mdash;would have them
 +      out of the cases. Tried to break the glass&mdash;she did break one bit!
 +      Everybody in the place has been at her. No good. I only got her out by
 +      telling her that was the place where they cut queens&rsquo; heads off.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, Bobs, what a whacker!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You&rsquo;d have told a whackinger one to get her out. Besides, it wasn&rsquo;t. I
 +      meant MUMMY queens. How do you know they don&rsquo;t cut off mummies&rsquo; heads to
 +      see how the embalming is done? What I want to say is, can&rsquo;t you get her to
 +      go with you quietly?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll try,&rsquo; said Anthea, and went up to the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Do come home,&rsquo; she said; &lsquo;the learned gentleman in our house has a much
 +      nicer necklace than anything they&rsquo;ve got here. Come and see it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Queen nodded.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You see,&rsquo; said the nastiest gentleman, &lsquo;she does understand English.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I was talking Babylonian, I think,&rsquo; said Anthea bashfully.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;My good child,&rsquo; said the nice gentleman, &lsquo;what you&rsquo;re talking is not
 +      Babylonian, but nonsense. You just go home at once, and tell your parents
 +      exactly what has happened.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea took the Queen&rsquo;s hand and gently pulled her away. The other
 +      children followed, and the black crowd of angry gentlemen stood on the
 +      steps watching them. It was when the little party of disgraced children,
 +      with the Queen who had disgraced them, had reached the middle of the
 +      courtyard that her eyes fell on the bag where the Psammead was. She
 +      stopped short.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish,&rsquo; she said, very loud and clear, &lsquo;that all those Babylonian things
 +      would come out to me here&mdash;slowly, so that those dogs and slaves can
 +      see the working of the great Queen&rsquo;s magic.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, you ARE a tiresome woman,&rsquo; said the Psammead in its bag, but it
 +      puffed itself out.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Next moment there was a crash. The glass swing doors and all their
 +      framework were smashed suddenly and completely. The crowd of angry
 +      gentlemen sprang aside when they saw what had done this.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      But the nastiest of them was not quick enough, and he was roughly pushed
 +      out of the way by an enormous stone bull that was floating steadily
 +      through the door. It came and stood beside the Queen in the middle of the
 +      courtyard.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      It was followed by more stone images, by great slabs of carved stone,
 +      bricks, helmets, tools, weapons, fetters, wine-jars, bowls, bottles,
 +      vases, jugs, saucers, seals, and the round long things, something like
 +      rolling pins with marks on them like the print of little bird-feet,
 +      necklaces, collars, rings, armlets, earrings&mdash;heaps and heaps and
 +      heaps of things, far more than anyone had time to count, or even to see
 +      distinctly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      All the angry gentlemen had abruptly sat down on the Museum steps except
 +      the nice one. He stood with his hands in his pockets just as though he was
 +      quite used to seeing great stone bulls and all sorts of small Babylonish
 +      objects float out into the Museum yard.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      But he sent a man to close the big iron gates.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      A journalist, who was just leaving the museum, spoke to Robert as he
 +      passed.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Theosophy, I suppose?&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;Is she Mrs Besant?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;YES,&rsquo; said Robert recklessly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The journalist passed through the gates just before they were shut.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He rushed off to Fleet Street, and his paper got out a new edition within
 +      half an hour.
 +    </p>
 +<pre xml:space="preserve">
 +   MRS BESANT AND THEOSOPHY
 +
 +   IMPERTINENT MIRACLE AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
 +</pre>
 +    <p>
 +      People saw it in fat, black letters on the boards carried by the sellers
 +      of newspapers. Some few people who had nothing better to do went down to
 +      the Museum on the tops of omnibuses. But by the time they got there there
 +      was nothing to be seen. For the Babylonian Queen had suddenly seen the
 +      closed gates, had felt the threat of them, and had said&mdash;
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish we were in your house.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And, of course, instantly they were.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead was furious.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Look here,&rsquo; it said, &lsquo;they&rsquo;ll come after you, and they&rsquo;ll find ME.
 +      There&rsquo;ll be a National Cage built for me at Westminster, and I shall have
 +      to work at politics. Why wouldn&rsquo;t you leave the things in their places?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What a temper you have, haven&rsquo;t you?&rsquo; said the Queen serenely. &lsquo;I wish
 +      all the things were back in their places. Will THAT do for you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead swelled and shrank and spoke very angrily.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I can&rsquo;t refuse to give your wishes,&rsquo; it said, &lsquo;but I can Bite. And I will
 +      if this goes on. Now then.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Ah, don&rsquo;t,&rsquo; whispered Anthea close to its bristling ear; &lsquo;it&rsquo;s dreadful
 +      for us too. Don&rsquo;t YOU desert us. Perhaps she&rsquo;ll wish herself at home again
 +      soon.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not she,&rsquo; said the Psammead a little less crossly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Take me to see your City,&rsquo; said the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children looked at each other.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;If we had some money we could take her about in a cab. People wouldn&rsquo;t
 +      notice her so much then. But we haven&rsquo;t.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Sell this,&rsquo; said the Queen, taking a ring from her finger.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They&rsquo;d only think we&rsquo;d stolen it,&rsquo; said Cyril bitterly, &lsquo;and put us in
 +      prison.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;All roads lead to prison with you, it seems,&rsquo; said the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The learned gentleman!&rsquo; said Anthea, and ran up to him with the ring in
 +      her hand.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Look here,&rsquo; she said, &lsquo;will you buy this for a pound?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh!&rsquo; he said in tones of joy and amazement, and took the ring into his
 +      hand. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s my very own,&rsquo; said Anthea; &lsquo;it was given to me to sell.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll lend you a pound,&rsquo; said the learned gentleman, &lsquo;with pleasure; and
 +      I&rsquo;ll take care of the ring for you. Who did you say gave it to you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We call her,&rsquo; said Anthea carefully, &lsquo;the Queen of Babylon.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Is it a game?&rsquo; he asked hopefully.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;ll be a pretty game if I don&rsquo;t get the money to pay for cabs for her,&rsquo; 
 +      said Anthea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I sometimes think,&rsquo; he said slowly, &lsquo;that I am becoming insane, or that&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Or that I am; but I&rsquo;m not, and you&rsquo;re not, and she&rsquo;s not.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Does she SAY that she&rsquo;s the Queen of Babylon?&rsquo; he uneasily asked.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; said Anthea recklessly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;This thought-transference is more far-reaching than I imagined,&rsquo; he said.
 +      &lsquo;I suppose I have unconsciously influenced HER, too. I never thought my
 +      Babylonish studies would bear fruit like this. Horrible! There are more
 +      things in heaven and earth&mdash;&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;heaps more. And the pound is the thing <i>I</i> want
 +      more than anything on earth.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He ran his fingers through his thin hair.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;This thought-transference!&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s undoubtedly a Babylonian ring&mdash;or
 +      it seems so to me. But perhaps I have hypnotized myself. I will see a
 +      doctor the moment I have corrected the last proofs of my book.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes, do!&rsquo; said Anthea, &lsquo;and thank you so very much.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      She took the sovereign and ran down to the others.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And now from the window of a four-wheeled cab the Queen of Babylon beheld
 +      the wonders of London. Buckingham Palace she thought uninteresting;
 +      Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament little better. But she
 +      liked the Tower, and the River, and the ships filled her with wonder and
 +      delight.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;But how badly you keep your slaves. How wretched and poor and neglected
 +      they seem,&rsquo; she said, as the cab rattled along the Mile End Road.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They aren&rsquo;t slaves; they&rsquo;re working-people,&rsquo; said Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Of course they&rsquo;re working. That&rsquo;s what slaves are. Don&rsquo;t you tell me. Do
 +      you suppose I don&rsquo;t know a slave&rsquo;s face when I see it?
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Why don&rsquo;t their masters see that they&rsquo;re better fed and better clothed?
 +      Tell me in three words.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      No one answered. The wage-system of modern England is a little difficult
 +      to explain in three words even if you understand it&mdash;which the
 +      children didn&rsquo;t.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You&rsquo;ll have a revolt of your slaves if you&rsquo;re not careful,&rsquo; said the
 +      Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Oh, no,&rsquo; said Cyril; &lsquo;you see they have votes&mdash;that makes them safe
 +      not to revolt. It makes all the difference. Father told me so.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What is this vote?&rsquo; asked the Queen. &lsquo;Is it a charm? What do they do with
 +      it?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t know,&rsquo; said the harassed Cyril; &lsquo;it&rsquo;s just a vote, that&rsquo;s all!
 +      They don&rsquo;t do anything particular with it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I see,&rsquo; said the Queen; &lsquo;a sort of plaything. Well, I wish that all these
 +      slaves may have in their hands this moment their fill of their favourite
 +      meat and drink.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Instantly all the people in the Mile End Road, and in all the other
 +      streets where poor people live, found their hands full of things to eat
 +      and drink. From the cab window could be seen persons carrying every kind
 +      of food, and bottles and cans as well. Roast meat, fowls, red lobsters,
 +      great yellowy crabs, fried fish, boiled pork, beef-steak puddings, baked
 +      onions, mutton pies; most of the young people had oranges and sweets and
 +      cake. It made an enormous change in the look of the Mile End Road&mdash;brightened
 +      it up, so to speak, and brightened up, more than you can possibly imagine,
 +      the faces of the people.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Makes a difference, doesn&rsquo;t it?&rsquo; said the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;That&rsquo;s the best wish you&rsquo;ve had yet,&rsquo; said Jane with cordial approval.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      just by the Bank the cabman stopped.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I ain&rsquo;t agoin&rsquo; to drive you no further,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;Out you gets.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They got out rather unwillingly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wants my tea,&rsquo; he said; and they saw that on the box of the cab was a
 +      mound of cabbage, with pork chops and apple sauce, a duck, and a spotted
 +      currant pudding. Also a large can.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You pay me my fare,&rsquo; he said threateningly, and looked down at the mound,
 +      muttering again about his tea.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;We&rsquo;ll take another cab,&rsquo; said Cyril with dignity. &lsquo;Give me change for a
 +      sovereign, if you please.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      But the cabman, as it turned out, was not at all a nice character. He took
 +      the sovereign, whipped up his horse, and disappeared in the stream of cabs
 +      and omnibuses and wagons, without giving them any change at all.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Already a little crowd was collecting round the party.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Come on,&rsquo; said Robert, leading the wrong way.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The crowd round them thickened. They were in a narrow street where many
 +      gentlemen in black coats and without hats were standing about on the
 +      pavement talking very loudly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;How ugly their clothes are,&rsquo; said the Queen of Babylon. &lsquo;They&rsquo;d be rather
 +      fine men, some of them, if they were dressed decently, especially the ones
 +      with the beautiful long, curved noses. I wish they were dressed like the
 +      Babylonians of my court.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And of course, it was so.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The moment the almost fainting Psammead had blown itself out every man in
 +      Throgmorton Street appeared abruptly in Babylonian full dress.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      All were carefully powdered, their hair and beards were scented and
 +      curled, their garments richly embroidered. They wore rings and armlets,
 +      flat gold collars and swords, and impossible-looking head-dresses.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      A stupefied silence fell on them.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I say,&rsquo; a youth who had always been fair-haired broke that silence, &lsquo;it&rsquo;s
 +      only fancy of course&mdash;something wrong with my eyes&mdash;but you
 +      chaps do look so rum.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Rum,&rsquo; said his friend. &lsquo;Look at YOU. You in a sash! My hat! And your
 +      hair&rsquo;s gone black and you&rsquo;ve got a beard. It&rsquo;s my belief we&rsquo;ve been
 +      poisoned. You do look a jackape.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Old Levinstein don&rsquo;t look so bad. But how was it DONE&mdash;that&rsquo;s what I
 +      want to know. How was it done? Is it conjuring, or what?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I think it is chust a ver&rsquo; bad tream,&rsquo; said old Levinstein to his clerk;
 +      &lsquo;all along Bishopsgate I haf seen the gommon people have their hants full
 +      of food&mdash;GOOT food. Oh yes, without doubt a very bad tream!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Then I&rsquo;m dreaming too, Sir,&rsquo; said the clerk, looking down at his legs
 +      with an expression of loathing. &lsquo;I see my feet in beastly sandals as plain
 +      as plain.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;All that goot food wasted,&rsquo; said old Mr Levinstein. A bad tream&mdash;a
 +      bad tream.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Members of the Stock Exchange are said to be at all times a noisy lot.
 +      But the noise they made now to express their disgust at the costumes of
 +      ancient Babylon was far louder than their ordinary row. One had to shout
 +      before one could hear oneself speak.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I only wish,&rsquo; said the clerk who thought it was conjuring&mdash;he was
 +      quite close to the children and they trembled, because they knew that
 +      whatever he wished would come true. &lsquo;I only wish we knew who&rsquo;d done it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And, of course, instantly they did know, and they pressed round the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Scandalous! Shameful! Ought to be put down by law. Give her in charge.
 +      Fetch the police,&rsquo; two or three voices shouted at once.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Queen recoiled.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What is it?&rsquo; she asked. &lsquo;They sound like caged lions&mdash;lions by the
 +      thousand. What is it that they say?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;They say &ldquo;Police!&rdquo;,&rsquo; said Cyril briefly. &lsquo;I knew they would sooner or
 +      later. And I don&rsquo;t blame them, mind you.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish my guards were here!&rsquo; cried the Queen. The exhausted Psammead was
 +      panting and trembling, but the Queen&rsquo;s guards in red and green garments,
 +      and brass and iron gear, choked Throgmorton Street, and bared weapons
 +      flashed round the Queen.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;m mad,&rsquo; said a Mr Rosenbaum; &lsquo;dat&rsquo;s what it is&mdash;mad!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s a judgement on you, Rosy,&rsquo; said his partner. &lsquo;I always said you were
 +      too hard in that matter of Flowerdew. It&rsquo;s a judgement, and I&rsquo;m in it
 +      too.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The members of the Stock Exchange had edged carefully away from the
 +      gleaming blades, the mailed figures, the hard, cruel Eastern faces.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      But Throgmorton Street is narrow, and the crowd was too thick for them to
 +      get away as quickly as they wished.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Kill them,&rsquo; cried the Queen. &lsquo;Kill the dogs!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The guards obeyed.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It IS all a dream,&rsquo; cried Mr Levinstein, cowering in a doorway behind his
 +      clerk.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It isn&rsquo;t,&rsquo; said the clerk. &lsquo;It isn&rsquo;t. Oh, my good gracious! those foreign
 +      brutes are killing everybody. Henry Hirsh is down now, and Prentice is cut
 +      in two&mdash;oh, Lord! and Huth, and there goes Lionel Cohen with his head
 +      off, and Guy Nickalls has lost his head now. A dream? I wish to goodness
 +      it was all a dream.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      And, of course, instantly it was! The entire Stock Exchange rubbed its
 +      eyes and went back to close, to over, and either side of seven-eights, and
 +      Trunks, and Kaffirs, and Steel Common, and Contangoes, and Backwardations,
 +      Double Options, and all the interesting subjects concerning which they
 +      talk in the Street without ceasing.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      No one said a word about it to anyone else. I think I have explained
 +      before that business men do not like it to be known that they have been
 +      dreaming in business hours. Especially mad dreams including such dreadful
 +      things as hungry people getting dinners, and the destruction of the Stock
 +      Exchange.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The children were in the dining-room at 300, Fitzroy Street, pale and
 +      trembling. The Psammead crawled out of the embroidered bag, and lay flat
 +      on the table, its leg stretched out, looking more like a dead hare than
 +      anything else.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Thank Goodness that&rsquo;s over,&rsquo; said Anthea, drawing a deep breath.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;She won&rsquo;t come back, will she?&rsquo; asked Jane tremulously.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;She&rsquo;s thousands of years ago. But we spent a whole
 +      precious pound on her. It&rsquo;ll take all our pocket-money for ages to pay
 +      that back.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not if it was ALL a dream,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;The wish said ALL a dream, you know, Panther; you cut up and ask if he
 +      lent you anything.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I beg your pardon,&rsquo; said Anthea politely, following the sound of her
 +      knock into the presence of the learned gentleman, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m so sorry to trouble
 +      you, but DID you lend me a pound today?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;No,&rsquo; said he, looking kindly at her through his spectacles. &lsquo;But it&rsquo;s
 +      extraordinary that you should ask me, for I dozed for a few moments this
 +      afternoon, a thing I very rarely do, and I dreamed quite distinctly that
 +      you brought me a ring that you said belonged to the Queen of Babylon, and
 +      that I lent you a sovereign and that you left one of the Queen&rsquo;s rings
 +      here. The ring was a magnificent specimen.&rsquo; He sighed. &lsquo;I wish it hadn&rsquo;t
 +      been a dream,&rsquo; he said smiling. He was really learning to smile quite
 +      nicely.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Anthea could not be too thankful that the Psammead was not there to grant
 +      his wish.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      <a name="link2HCH0009" id="link2HCH0009">
 +      <!--  H2 anchor --> </a>
 +    </p>
 +    <div style="height: 4em;">
 +      <br /><br /><br /><br />
 +    </div>
 +    <h2>
 +      CHAPTER 9. ATLANTIS
 +    </h2>
 +    <p>
 +      You will understand that the adventure of the Babylonian queen in London
 +      was the only one that had occupied any time at all. But the children&rsquo;s
 +      time was very fully taken up by talking over all the wonderful things seen
 +      and done in the Past, where, by the power of the Amulet, they seemed to
 +      spend hours and hours, only to find when they got back to London that the
 +      whole thing had been briefer than a lightning flash.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      They talked of the Past at their meals, in their walks, in the
 +      dining-room, in the first-floor drawing-room, but most of all on the
 +      stairs. It was an old house; it had once been a fashionable one, and was a
 +      fine one still. The banister rails of the stairs were excellent for
 +      sliding down, and in the corners of the landings were big alcoves that had
 +      once held graceful statues, and now quite often held the graceful forms of
 +      Cyril, Robert, Anthea, and Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      One day Cyril and Robert in tight white underclothing had spent a pleasant
 +      hour in reproducing the attitudes of statues seen either in the British
 +      Museum, or in Father&rsquo;s big photograph book. But the show ended abruptly
 +      because Robert wanted to be the Venus of Milo, and for this purpose pulled
 +      at the sheet which served for drapery at the very moment when Cyril,
 +      looking really quite like the Discobolos&mdash;with a gold and white
 +      saucer for the disc&mdash;was standing on one foot, and under that one
 +      foot was the sheet.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Of course the Discobolos and his disc and the would-be Venus came down
 +      together, and everyone was a good deal hurt, especially the saucer, which
 +      would never be the same again, however neatly one might join its uneven
 +      bits with Seccotine or the white of an egg.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I hope you&rsquo;re satisfied,&rsquo; said Cyril, holding his head where a large lump
 +      was rising.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Quite, thanks,&rsquo; said Robert bitterly. His thumb had caught in the
 +      banisters and bent itself back almost to breaking point.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I AM so sorry, poor, dear Squirrel,&rsquo; said Anthea; &lsquo;and you were looking
 +      so lovely. I&rsquo;ll get a wet rag. Bobs, go and hold your hand under the
 +      hot-water tap. It&rsquo;s what ballet girls do with their legs when they hurt
 +      them. I saw it in a book.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;What book?&rsquo; said Robert disagreeably. But he went.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      When he came back Cyril&rsquo;s head had been bandaged by his sisters, and he
 +      had been brought to the state of mind where he was able reluctantly to
 +      admit that he supposed Robert hadn&rsquo;t done it on purpose.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      Robert replying with equal suavity, Anthea hastened to lead the talk away
 +      from the accident.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I suppose you don&rsquo;t feel like going anywhere through the Amulet,&rsquo; she
 +      said.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Egypt!&rsquo; said Jane promptly. &lsquo;I want to see the pussy cats.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Not me&mdash;too hot,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s about as much as I can stand
 +      here&mdash;let alone Egypt.&rsquo; It was indeed, hot, even on the second
 +      landing, which was the coolest place in the house. &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s go to the North
 +      Pole.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t suppose the Amulet was ever there&mdash;and we might get our
 +      fingers frost-bitten so that we could never hold it up to get home again.
 +      No thanks,&rsquo; said Robert.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I say,&rsquo; said Jane, &lsquo;let&rsquo;s get the Psammead and ask its advice. It will
 +      like us asking, even if we don&rsquo;t take it.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The Psammead was brought up in its green silk embroidered bag, but before
 +      it could be asked anything the door of the learned gentleman&rsquo;s room opened
 +      and the voice of the visitor who had been lunching with him was heard on
 +      the stairs. He seemed to be speaking with the door handle in his hand.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You see a doctor, old boy,&rsquo; he said; &lsquo;all that about thought-transference
 +      is just simply twaddle. You&rsquo;ve been over-working. Take a holiday. Go to
 +      Dieppe.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I&rsquo;d rather go to Babylon,&rsquo; said the learned gentleman.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish you&rsquo;d go to Atlantis some time, while we&rsquo;re about it, so as to
 +      give me some tips for my Nineteenth Century article when you come home.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I wish I could,&rsquo; said the voice of the learned gentleman. &lsquo;Goodbye. Take
 +      care of yourself.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The door was banged, and the visitor came smiling down the stairs&mdash;a
 +      stout, prosperous, big man. The children had to get up to let him pass.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hullo, Kiddies,&rsquo; he said, glancing at the bandages on the head of Cyril
 +      and the hand of Robert, &lsquo;been in the wars?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;It&rsquo;s all right,&rsquo; said Cyril. &lsquo;I say, what was that Atlantic place you
 +      wanted him to go to? We couldn&rsquo;t help hearing you talk.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;You talk so VERY loud, you see,&rsquo; said Jane soothingly.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Atlantis,&rsquo; said the visitor, &lsquo;the lost Atlantis, garden of the
 +      Hesperides. Great continent&mdash;disappeared in the sea. You can read
 +      about it in Plato.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Thank you,&rsquo; said Cyril doubtfully.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Were there any Amulets there?&rsquo; asked Anthea, made anxious by a sudden
 +      thought.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Hundreds, I should think. So HE&rsquo;S been talking to you?&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Yes, often. He&rsquo;s very kind to us. We like him awfully.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Well, what he wants is a holiday; you persuade him to take one. What he
 +      wants is a change of scene. You see, his head is crusted so thickly inside
 +      with knowledge about Egypt and Assyria and things that you can&rsquo;t hammer
 +      anything into it unless you keep hard at it all day long for days and
 +      days. And I haven&rsquo;t time. But you live in the house. You can hammer almost
 +      incessantly. Just try your hands, will you? Right. So long!&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      He went down the stairs three at a time, and Jane remarked that he was a
 +      nice man, and she thought he had little girls of his own.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;I should like to have them to play with,&rsquo; she added pensively.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      The three elder ones exchanged glances. Cyril nodded.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;All right. LET&rsquo;S go to Atlantis,&rsquo; he said.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s go to Atlantis and take the learned gentleman with us,&rsquo; said
 +      Anthea; &lsquo;he&rsquo;ll think it&rsquo;s a dream, afterwards, but it&rsquo;ll certainly be a
 +      change of scene.&rsquo; 
 +    </p>
 +    <p>
 +      &lsquo;Why not take him to nice Egypt?&rsquo; asked Jane.
 +    </p>
 +    <p>