'Under the kneading-trough with you and hide', said his mother. 'Good day! said the hag, 'is your Buttercup at home to-day? 'I'm sorry to say he isn't', said his mother; 'he's out in the wood with his father, shooting ptarmigan. 'What a bore', said the hag; 'here I have a beautiful little silver spoon I want to give him. 'Pip, pip! here I am', said Buttercup, and crept out.
"Jack," said I, "if there be fresh-baked bread in the regimental ovens yonder, fetch a loaf, in God's name. I could gnaw black-birch and reindeer moss, so famished am I and the Sagamore, too, no doubt, could rattle a flam with a wooden spoon."
"Oh! do you suspect that a silly bird could go and carry off not only one spoon but three of them?" gasped the other boy. "What would a parrot want of such objects, and where would she hide them?" "Remember, this is only guess work on my part, because, so far, I haven't any positive evidence that it's so. But I remembered once reading an article about some birds having a weakness that way.
"If you think her capable of stealing your spoon, you show complete ignorance of her character. What do you know of her that you should have such suspicions?" "Never mind," said Harriet, nodding her head obstinately. There was again a long silence. Julian reflected. "We will talk about this again to-morrow," he said, "when you have had time to think. You are under some strange delusion.
'Yea, answered the Dominie, 'and I give thee thanks, sceleratissima! which means, Mrs. Margaret. 'Aweel, eat your fill; but an ye kenn'd how it was gotten ye maybe wadna like it sae weel. Sampson's spoon dropped in the act of conveying its load to his mouth.
"Oh, I was right enough," he went on, in that strange continuous and sleepy tone which always angered his hearers at acute moments, "I was right enough when I said all these people were good. They are heroes; they are saints. Now and then they may perhaps steal a spoon or two; they may beat a wife or two with the poker.
"SOMEBODY HAS BEEN AT MY PORRIDGE!" said the Middle-sized Bear, in his middle-sized voice. Then the Little Small Wee Bear looked at his, and there was the spoon in the porridge-pot, but the porridge was all gone. "SOMEBODY HAS BEEN AT MY PORRIDGE, AND HAS EATEN IT ALL UP!" said the Little Small Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.
I remember among them a spare pair of very dirty trousers, a battered tin cup, a wooden spoon such as Kaffirs use to eat their scoff with, a bottle full of some doubtful compound, sundry roots and other native medicines, an old pipe I had given him, and last but not least, a huge head of yellow tobacco in the leaf, of a kind that the Mazitu, like the Pongos, cultivate to some extent.
Far worse is it to grow up, as some men do, in wealth, and ease, and luxury, with all the pleasures of this life found ready to their hands. Some men, says the proverb, are 'born with a golden spoon in their mouth. God help them if they are!
Throughout the repast the regimental band played patriotic airs, and only the consciousness of being at a formal dinner in our best clothes restrained us from humming the music or beating time to it with fork or spoon. The table was decorated with an ornate floral design in the centre, from which trailed wreaths of green to every plate.