The Doves' Nest and Other Stories
That afternoon they were allowed to cut jugs and basins out of a draper's catalogue, and page 170 at tea-time they had real tea in the doll's tea set on the table. This was a very nice treat, indeed, except that the doll's tea-pot wouldn't pour out even after you'd poked a pin down the spout and blown into it.
But the next afternoon, which was Saturday, Father came home in high feather. The front door banged so hard that the whole house shook, and he shouted to Mother from the hall.
" Oh, how more than good of you, darling ! " cried Mother, " but how unnecessary too. Of course, they'll simply love it. But to have spent all that money! You shouldn't have done it, Daddy dear ! They've totally forgotten all about it. And what is this! Haifa-crown ? " cried Mother. " No ! Two shillings, I see," she corrected quickly, " to spend as well. Children! Children ! Come down, downstairs! "
Down they came, Phyllis and Sylvia leading, Susannah holding on. " Do you know what Father's done ? " And Mother held up her hand. What was she holding ? Three cherry tickets and a green one. " He's bought you tickets. You're to go to the circus, this very afternoon, all of you, with Miss Wade. What do you say to that ? "
" Oh, Mummy! Lovely ! Lovely! " cried Phyllis and Sylvia.
" Isn't it ? " said Mother. " Run upstairs.page 171
Run and ask Miss Wade to get you ready. Don't dawdle. Up you go ! All of you."
Away flew Phyllis and Sylvia, but still Susannah stayed where she was at the bottom of the stairs, hanging her head.
" Go along," said Mother. And Father said sharply, " What the devil's the matter with the child ? "
Susannah's face quivered. " I don't want to go," she whispered.
" What! Don't want to go to the Exhibition ! After Father's— You naughty, ungrateful child ! Either you go to the Exhibition, Susannah, or you will be packed off to bed at once."
Susannah's head bent low, lower still. All her little body bent forward. She looked as though she was going to bow down, to bow down to the ground, before her kind generous Father and beg for his forgiveness. . .