Pokey Would a-Hunting Go

Another of the Peter and Pokey Adventures

NORMA PHILLIPS MUIR November 1 1923

Pokey Would a-Hunting Go

Another of the Peter and Pokey Adventures

NORMA PHILLIPS MUIR November 1 1923

Pokey Would a-Hunting Go

Another of the Peter and Pokey Adventures

NORMA PHILLIPS MUIR

"RUTH,” said Peter a few days after we went up North, "there is something I am going to tell you, and I don’t want you to say a word. See?”

"Do you mean that I’m supposed to be rendered speechless, or do you mean that all argument is prohibited? That I’m not to say a word in the matter?” “The latter," he said succinctly. “I have made up my mind on a certain subject, and I don’t wish you to try to argue me out of it. Y'understand?”

"Shoot,” I said.

"To-morrow. I'm going hunting,” announced my husband.

“How lovely,” I said, and I’m quite sure that my face didn’t register the consternation I felt, for Peter, after a quick, suspicious look at me, beamed with relief, and even went so far as to pat my shoulder approvingly.

"That’s a good kid,” he said, ‘T was afraid you’d object.”

"Well if you’re not old enough to handle a gun by this time, you’d better buy a metallic plate to protect the soft spot on your head,” I said.

"It isn't as though you’d had no experience.”

“Don't get all worked up about it, dear.” warned Peter.

'There's one question I want to ask you.” I suggested, “is the last payment on your life insurance made, and if so where is the receipt?”

“It's paid, and the receipt is on the file in my desk at home,” he said a bit tartly. “Is that all?”

"Yes.” I admitted, “except for one thing I want to tell you, and I don’t want any argument, you understand.” I mimicked him.

Peter looked apprehensive.

“What is it, dear?” he asked.

“Merely that I’m going with you,”

I said coolly.

“Why, of course, I wouldn’t dream of letting you out of my sight for that length of time,” was Peter’s barbed reply. “I’d not have a minute’s peace, wondering what you were up to.”

‘Tm twenty-two, and I’m the mother of two children, and I won’t be talked to as though I were about six,” I stormed. “I don’t get into any more trouble than you do, and if I do it’3 always when I’m doing something to please you.”

“All right, all right, all right,” agreed Peter, “now suppose we consider everything unsaid, except of course that we are going hunting to-morrow.”

“What shall I wear, Peter?” I

asked.

“It isn’t any tea fight, you know,” he intimated. “You’d better wear an

old skirt and sweater coat, a pair of heavy boots and warm stockings. It isn’t exactly summer-time now, and I don’t want to take you home with a bad cold.”

“Sniffly nose, and all that sort of thing,” I agreed brightly. “I’ll dress as warmly as I can, but you know,

Peter, I have nothing but silk stockings, and I’ll have to wear a pull-over instead of a sweater-coat. It will serve the same purpose anyway. What’ll you wear?”

Peter looked a bit guilty, and before my amazed eyes he produced a pair of khaki riding breeks, a heavy sweater to match, and puttees.

“Peter Ronald, you knew all the time you were going to hunt,” I accused him.

“Sure, but I didn’t see any sense in having you worry about it until it was necessary,” he grinned. “By the way, Pokey, don’t wear any bright colours.”

“I know, it makes them mad,” I said, proud of my knowledge.

“Makes what mad?” asked Peter.

“Why, red, for instance, always makes cows mad,” I told him, smiling to myself.

“Listen,” said Peter, “we aren’t going to shoot cows, nor pigs nor any other carnivorous animal; what we’re going after is ducks, or partridge, maybe, or grouse. Colors attract their notice—that’s all.”

WE DON’T have to go far to get a grouse,” I remarked. “I suppose my error arose from the fact that you sajd ‘hunt’ when what you really meant was ‘shoot.’ ”

“Hunt doesn’t of necessity mean big game,” explained my husband patiently.

“I’m sorry if I was cross,” I said, “but what I thought we were going to get was deer, you know, moose and caribou. See?”

“Umhm,” said Peter, intent upon his gun. “Do you know anything about a gun, Ruth?”

“I know lots about a revolver, but not much about a—a big gun. Where is that long thing going to fit in?” “This?” asked Peter, “this is the ram-rod.”

“Straight as a ram-rod?” 1 asked. “What do you mean by that?” he asked.

“You know, folks say So—and—So is ‘straight as a ram-rod,’ ” I said. “Is this the kind they mean?”

“Yes,” said Peter, “it is.”

“And what do you do with it? Does it go in that hole in the pipe?”

"Say, listen, Cutie, your dolls need dressing,” suggested Peter. “You’re the worst to ask questions I ever knew.”

“You started it,” I reminded him: “you asked me what I knew about a gun, and I am merely displaying my ignorance for your benefit.”

“Well, it’s an awful exposure," he said. "The ram-rod is used for cleaning the gun, and what you referred to as the ‘pipe’ is the barrel of the gun.” “And you drop the little bullet in that hole, and then press the tricker and it forces the bullet out. That’s right, isn’t it?”

“No, it isn’t,” snapped Peter. “You know about as much about a shot-gun as I know about having my hair dressed.”

“I thought it was a rifle, Peter!” I exclaimed.

“It isn’t, but that is beside the point,” he said. “Now watch and listen.”

“Stop! Look! Listen! a la Safety League,” I amended. “All right, let’s go. Fire away, I’m all attention, dear.” “This,” said Peter, in his Friends-Romans-and-C ountrymen voice, “this is the—”

“You forgot to bow, dear,”

I whispered. “Start over again.”

“Cut it out, Pokey,” he snorted, “I’m trying to give you a working idea of a shot-gun.”

“All right, dear heart, but you needn’t be as important as an undertaker at an inquest,” I said. “Just pretend I’ve got a couple of brains.”

“Huh,” he said, “as I was saying, this is the barrel.”

“Suppose we begin at the handle, and work back,” I said, “I think I’d remember better.”

“It isn’t called handle; that is the stock,” said Peter.

“S-t-o-c-k?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Peter.

“Capital?” I asked.

“This is a gun, not a brokerage business,” he said.

“What do you mean, ‘Capital’?”

“Capital S,” I said.

“Say,” said Peter belligerently, “any more nonsense out of you and I quit, and if I quit, then you stay home to-morrow.”

“What comes after stock?”

I asked seriously.

“This metal thing I pull out, like this,” said Peter,

“is the trigger, not tricker; then I pull this down, that’s the hammer, and put my cartridge in here. Now we’re ready to shoot! See?”

“Clear as mud,” I retorted.

“Let’s go over it again. Why do you say cartridge? Don’t you use bullets?”

“This cartridge is filled with little tiny bullets, called bird shot,” explained Peter, “and when it explodes the

small shot disperses. Other cartridges hold other sizes

of shot; there is buckshot, B shot and BB shot. We shall use bird shot to-morrow.”

“How many little bird shots are there in that cartridge?” I asked, trying to seem intelligent.

“Oh, Lord' I don’t know,” said Peter. “What difference does it make?”

“Well, I supposed that if there were ten shots, that would mean you’d get ten birds,” I figured.

“Sure; all I’d have to do would be to aim ten directions at once and if I went shooting for ten days there wouldn’t be a duck left on the North American continent. I’m going to bed; we’ll have to get up by four.”

“But Peter,” I persisted, “supposing there were ten shots in that, would you kill only one bird?”

“I mean would it take ten shots to kill one?”

“If just one of those little bullets hit a bird, would it kill it?”

“Well, if it didn’t it would seriously annoy it,” surmised Peter, getting ready to retire. “Now don’t let’s talk about it any more. You’ll see how it works tomorrow.”

Peter was just beginning to breathe deeply, with that regularity which presages sleep, when I remembered something I had wanted to ask him.

“Peter,” I said, quite loudly.

“ Ä hasamatter?” he said, sitting up.

“If there are ten little bullets in bird shot, how many, about, would there be in buck-shot?”

“My sad aunt, are you on that yet?” he demanded. “I don’t '.enow and don’t care, and if you don’t lay off the subject and go to sleep, we will call the whole show’ off. Good-night, darling.”

“Good-night, sore-head,” I returned, and then I began, in about five minutes to snufF.e and cough and blow my nose.

“Gosh!” ejaculated Peter, “what’s up now.”

“You’re so cross,” I hiccoughed.

“I didn’t mean to be,” he said contritely. "I’m sorry honey, honest I am.”

“Well, Peter,” I said, with a final convincing sniff, “after you put the cartridge in the hole and pull the trick—trigger, where does the cartridge go?”

He sighed, deeply and audibly.

“It stays where it is, but the shot goes through the barrel and out the muzzle and if you’re lucky it ends

in either the head or the heart of what you aim at. Good night.”

TT REALLY didn’t seem possible that I had more -*■ than just made the little hollow in my pillow always make to put my head in, when the alarm-clock whirred and for once in his life Peter didn’t have to be urged. He was out of bed before the clock had grown silent, and began to bully me into showing the same brand of energy.

“Come on now, Pokey. We want to be off in half an hour,” he said.

“I will in a minute,” I said sleepily.

“You’ll keep me waiting, dear,” he said kindly.

“I’ve got to get my eyes open, haven’t I?” I said. “Peter, hand me my clothes, will you?”

He handed them to me. “Good girl,” he smiled in the half light. “Good old sport.”

“Ripe old shot,” I said. “Please hand me up my walking shoes. No, not those, dear. I can’t wear white ones—the brown brogues.”

“Hop it,” said Peter, standing over me with his slipper in his hand. “Get off that bed or I’ll spank you.”

“But Peter—” I began.

Peter answered by lifting me off the bed and standing me up on the floor.

“Now, Mrs. Ronald, you get your duds on quick, if you’re going with me,” he said, and after a short scuffle we were both dressed and ready to get away.

“I’ll carry the lunch, dear, and you can carry the gun and the ammunition,” I said,“and in case I get tired of shooting I guess I’ll take a cushion and some magazines.”

“I guess you won’t,” said Peter; “this is a shooting trip, not a camping spree.”

We were both feeling awfully good, and the morning air was quite clear and nippy as we left the hotel. Peter had his shot-gun slung over his shoulder, his pockets bulged with odds and ends which wrere essential to the success of the day, while I shook a wicked lunch-basket, on the top of which was one of the forbidden books.

Peter also had one of those affairs manufactured for the specific purpose of lugging home defunct birds, and altogether we were a sporty duet.

“The place I’ve decided to go to is about a mile-and-ahalf from here,” said Peter, after we had been on the

march for fifteen minutes, “and we will have to move very carefully when we draw near to it. Then ‘we’ll lie down and wait for the birds to arrive—and all that sort of thing.”

“What do you mean, lie down?” I asked.

“You don’t think the birds will stay still while we stand up and aim and shoot them, do you?” he asked scornfully. “We have to lie down in the brush, and

shoot through a screen of leaves and boughs, and—” “All that sort of thing,” I concluded. “Well, I don’t lie down until I see what’s under me. There might be snakes or turtles or—or anything.”

“You’ll have to lie down, dear,” he pleaded, “or you’ll spoil the whole thing. I’ll tell you, I’ll light matches and show' you that everything is quite all right. How’s that?”

“How’s this?” I asked, producing the electric flashlight. “I just happened to bring it—that is, it happened to be in the pocket of this coat.”

DETER took it and with * its aid cleared a small surface of the ground for me. Then he lay dowm, flat on his tummy beside me, and resting the gun on his shoulder, trained it on the swamp, where the reeds were just beginning to be discernible in the grey light of early morning.

“Why don’t you wait until you see something,” I suggested; “you’ll get tired before wre start.”

“Shush,” whispered Peter, “I have to have it ready. If I didn’t they’d see the motion of the leaves up here, when they came, and be off.” “Fancy them having such perspicacity,” I exclaimed.

“Will you shush?” hissed Peter.

“Unless they pack eartrumpets they couldn’t hear me,” I protested. “When are you going to let me shoot?” w*

“As soon as I get my first one potted,” he said, and then, partly because Peter wouldn’t answer me, conversation languished.

If anyone had told me that it was possible to go to sleep under such uncomfortable circumstances I should have seriously doubted their veracity, but that is just what I did. What w'akened me did it very swiftly, fit was Peter’s gun going off, right beside my ear, and before I realized where I was I had hollered for all I was worth, and jumped to my feet.

“Lie down!” cried Peter, “you chump, lie down.” and he assisted me to attain the desired position.

“Did you get one?” I cried.

“No,” he snapped, “I didn’t.”

“Wliere are they?” I w-hispered.

“There aren’t any, yet,” he said. “I was just prac-

“Well of all the—after asking me to keep quiet,” I gasped. “Peter Ronald, you wrent to sleep, too!”

“Well,” he admitted, “what of it? Yrou ■weren’t so noisy yourself. Hush, Pokey, old kid, here they come.”

All I could discern was the fact that they were birds, but they settled where Peter had his aim, and I could hardly wait for him to pull the trigger.

“Go on, Peter; they may fly away,” I urged him, just above my breath. “Oh Peter, shoot!”

He didn’t act as though he heard me, and beyond the fact that he shifted his gun a fraction of an inch, nothing happened. He explained afterward that he was merely picking out his bird.

Then I saw his index finger move, and again there came that deafening bang beside me. This time it was accompanied by a flapping of wings, and a frightened squawk, as the birds rose.

“Did you get one, Peter.” I whispered, and Peter with a wide grin chuckled, “Yes.”

“Now me,” I cried, “you promised. Peter, it's my

“Wait,” said Peter, “shush, Ruth. Gosh, now, I wonder.”

“What?” I whispered.

“Ruth, did you notice any ‘No Trespassing’ signs as we came along here?” Continued on page 17

Continued fiom page 19

“It was too dark to see anything almost.” I said, “Why?”

“I saw a light over there, just now,”said Peter, “and—there it is again.”

1SAW it this time, too, and kept very still while Peter cautiously, inch by inch, lowered his gun and put it on the ground beside him.

“If they haven’t got dogs they may miss us,” he whispered. “Don’t make a sound; there’s just a chance it may be another party here to shoot, as we were. We’ll know in a minute.”

“What if it isn’t?” I whispered. “Then we’ll lie low and hope they don’t locate us,” said Peter. “If they do get us we’ll be fined for poaching, that’s all.” “Would the dogs bite us if they found us?” I asked.

“N-n-no,” hesitated my anxious spouse, “but they’d bark and growl, and what not.”

“Then let’s get out now,” I suggested. “It’s too light,” said Peter; “lie down and don’t talk any more.”

I did as I was told and after half an hour had passed we began to have more confidence.

“We’ll wait ten minutes more and then we’ll make our sneak,” decided Peter. “Can’t you get your bird, dear?’’ “No chance,” he said regretfully; “we’ll do well if we don’t get caught even yet.”

“But Peter,” I whimpered, “I don’t want to get into any more scraps. Couldn’t we go now?”

Peter’s arm fastened over mine with a grip which nearly made me cry out.

“Guess it was over on Lisbon’s point we heard it.” a strange voice, too close

by for comfort, said--

“Guess it must hare been,” said a second voice, “although I was sure it was nearer. We’ll ask Lisbon later in the day, and if any of his guests have been out then we’ll know that it was over there. I’d like to catch a guy on my land now, after all those signs I put

P‘TT1 tell you what, we might row around to the marsh later and see if there is a bird there. No one who had been trespassing would have the nerve to try and recover the game.”

The voices which had come more faintly during the last couple of sentences rumbled out of hearing, and Peter drew a breath of relief.

“Some escape,” he breathed. “We’ll lay low till we’re sure they’ve gone for good, and then we’ll make tracks.”

“Peter,” I whispered, “after breakfast let’s take our rods and stroll around to the marsh here, and maybe we could get the bird before they did. Or better yet, I’ll row around and see if I can get it, and bring home some lilies, and if they saw me they wouldn’t suspect.”

He appeared thoughtful but he didn’t say anything, and after another quarter of an hour we began to crawl out. It was slow work, pushing the lunch-basket before me, hut Peter said we mustn’t stand up yet; in fact he wouldn’t hear of our doing that until we had passed four “No Trespassing” signs, and finally came to a post where there hung a board bearing the welcome words: “Lisbon’s Point.”

“Gosh!” said Peter, standing upright by degrees, “this is more like it.”

“I don’t know, my knees feel as though they had ice on them, now that they’ve straightened out,” I said, “and my arms are stiff from that basket. Say, Peter, we didn’t have much breakfast; how about a snack?”

“That sounds like good news from home,” declared Peter, and going another five hundred yards toward home, for safety’s sake, we sat down wearily, and opened the basket.

Peter insists that if I hadn’t suggested the rest and snack it would never have happened, but I feel sure it was Kismet.

“The good Lord sent it as a lesson to you for saying I was always the one to get you into trouble,” I told him, but Peter said the Lord had precious little to do with it.

ANYWAY, we were sitting there, so contentedly, munching away at bacon sandwiches and sweet pickles, when out of a clear sky it happened.

“Hello, Adam,” I had just said to Peter, “I don’t see any snake or any apple tree, to spoil this Eden, do you?” and Peter was just about to reply when I saw him reach for the gun, and his eyes began to bulge out.

“A-h-h-h-h-” I screamed. “Peter, what is it?”

“A fox, I think,” he said. “Stop yelling and watch for any movement in the brush there.” And Peter’s gun arm described a menacing circle about my head.

“Keep the nozzle of the darned thing away from me,” I squeaked.

“What do you think this is, an atomizer or a gun?” said Peter.

“There, Peter, I saw it move, right there,” and I pointed to a spot about ten yards ahead of us, just to my right.

“Here’s where you get a new fur,” grinned Peter. “Now then, Mr. Fox, move again.”

It did, and just as it broke into the open, Peter’s gun barked.

“Peter,” I yelled, “don’t.”

But it was too late. Peter had. “W-w-what is it?” he stuttered.

“It was a dog,” I said crushingly, “and what is more it was Mrs. Slayum’s I sable Pomeranian and she valued it at ¡ five hundred dollars.”

“Holy smoke!” wheezed Peter, looking at me, “do you suppose it’s dead?” “Dead,” I cried, for Peter, after the shot, had been looking at me and steadily avoided looking at the spot where he had aimed to hit.

“Dead,” I cried, “why the poor thing hasn,’t got a sign of a head.”

“It was an awful little yapper,” he said extenuatingly.

“Yes, but it was Mrs. Slayum’s little yapper,” I reminded him. “Oh! Peter, here she comes.”

“Who, Mrs. Yapper—Mrs. Slayum?” cried Peter.

“Yes, don’t run, Peter, let me talk,” I whispered.

“Good-morning, Mrs. Ronald,” she beamed. “Have you seen my little Snookie?”

I headed her away from the spot where Snookie’s remains were scattered, and beckoned for Peter to follow us. Then I took her hands in mine, and pressing them sympathetically, I said:

“Poor little pet, it was such a blessing that we happened along just as we did. You might never have known what ¡ became of him.”

“Snookie,” she wailed, “has something happened my little one?”

“You must be calm,” I said, “or I shan’t tell you.”

She was crying by this time, and although I was sorry for her, my thoughts were only running one line ahead of my ! tongue, and I couldn’t waste time sympathising. I had to think, and think quick.

“Tell me,” she sobbed, “is it quite— | the worst?”

“Quite,” I said, “I can’t imagine anything worse—except what would have happened if Mr. Ronald hadn’t shot him,” I said. I was glad it was out anyway.

She snatched her hands away from j me and glared. “Your husband shot my j little pet?” she screamed. “Wait, just wait.”

“Be calm,” I pleaded, “be calm while I tell you what happened. He had to shoot him to protect you.”

“Oh, I don’t understand,” she sobbed.

“I am stunned.”

“So was Snookie,” I began, and then ! I thought better of it. “I mean so was I,” I said in what was meant to be a sympathetic tone. “You see this is what happened. My husband and I were coming—that is we were just going out for a little stroll, and to see if there were any wild ducks about. When we got just to the edge of the wood here, I wanted to have a little rest, and while | we sat there we decided to eat a little j of the lunch we had brought with us. | We had intended to have a picnic lunch you see,” I amended, “and then I got j hungry ahead of time. Anyway, we j were sitting there so happy, talking J about—nature—and all that sort of j thing, when—my dear—when we noticed | something.”

“Yes—?” said Mrs. Slayum.

“Ares,” I repeated, “we noticed somej thing. What we noticed was a—was a ¡ stir in the underbrush, and then before I

■we could move to see what it was, out it rushed. It was—”

“Snookie?”

“Yes,” I admitted, “it was Snookie, but such a Snookie. My dear—”

“Oh this is terrible,” she cried. “Go on.”

“He was yapping, so queerly,” I continued warming to my subject, “yapping so queerly did I say?”

“Yes, yes,” she assented.

“Yes, yes,” I went on, “he was—ahem— doing that and then we noticed that he was foaming at the mouth and running around in circles.”

“Mad,” she screamed.

“Exactly,” I said in relief, “he was mad. My husband said, ‘when he has completed his twentieth circle he will turn to the right and run in a straight line to the first person he meets, and that person he will bite.’ ”

“O-O-O-O-o-o-o-” she moaned.

“And,,I said, ‘My dear, that person is sure to be Mrs. Slayum. There is only one thing to do,’ and Peter said, T can’t bear to do it, but it is my duty, and it must be done.’ ”

“Oh, the noble fellow,” she sobbed. “Yes,” I said proudly, “he is that; he waited until Snookie had completed the nineteenth circle, and then, with a steady eye and steady arm he shot—just one.”

“Then Snookie didn’t suffer any?” she said in relief.

“No,” I said truthfully, “he never knew what hit him.”

SHE began to cry again and 'just then Peter came up, looking rather white about the gills.

“You noble, noble man,” she wept, running to him and catching hold of his arm, “how can I ever thank you for what you’ve done?”

Peter dropped everything and looked at me.

“There, there, dear, he knows, he did it gladly,” I said, patting her on the back.

“Beat it,” my lips formed, and I jerked my hand hotel-ward.

Peter patted her once, and then, picking up his impedimenta, he started off. I ran after him.

“Go right to our room and don’t say a word to anyone,” I whispered under pretence of comforting him. “Remember.” “Can I have Snookie to bury?” she asked me.

“No, dear,” I said. “Peter will see to that.”

She started to cry all over me again, but I gently broke away and seated her upon a log.

“You wait here until I go and cover him,” I said. “Then this afternoon, when you are calmer, we shall come and plant an evergreen, a little one, on the grave.”

She gave herself up to her grief while I ran back, and snaked what was left of Snookie into the bush. Then I rejoined her and led her to the hotel.

“I wouldn’t talk of it to these people,” I suggested. “Some of them were— unkind enough to not like Snookie. I’ve heard them talk, and they might only be glad that he was—gone.”

“I shall keep my sorrow locked in my own bosom,” she said. “With the exceptions of yourself and your noble husband no one shall be told of my tragedy.”

I felt as though a ton had been lifted off me when I joined Peter in our room. He was looking frenzied.

“What on earth did you tell her?” he asked. “Is she going to do anything?”

“You noble, noble fellow,” I said, "talk about scrapes. Now you listen very carefully for we’ve no time to lose.” Then I recounted my interview with Mrs. Slayum.

“What you’ve got to do is to get that pup out of the brush and bury him— deep, and do it before this afternoon,”

I said. “If the truth ever got out, she’d sue.”

“I’ll do it, darling,” he promised. “Pokey, you’re a trump.”

“Yes, and this morning I was a chump,” I remarked.

“I didn’t mean it,” said Peter. “What are you going to do, sweetheart?”

“I,” I said, “I’m going for a quiet little row, and maybe I’ll get somp water-lilies.”

With this, and a meaning look I left him.

“Pokey, be careful,” he pleaded, running after me, “where would I be without you?”

“In the cooler,” I said. “Now get your spade and bury that dog.”

AS FOR me, I had a rotten time. I gathered a lot of lilies, drawing steadily nearer to the seedy marsh where Peter had shot his duck that morning. Then just as I reached it I saw another boat round the point and I knew I had to work fast. I sighted the duck, and rowing to it I slipped a noose of rope I had ready around its one leg, and then dropped the rock, to which the other end of the rope was fastened, softly into the water. The rock and duck disappeared, and when the other boat neared me I was sitting in the bottom of my boat reading, with the oars drifting on top of the water, and water-lilies decorating the gunwale of the boat.

“Halloo,” called the other oarsman, “fishing?”

“Nothing so strenuous,” I called, “reading and decorating my boat.”

“Better keep away from that marsh,” he called, “folks shoot into it to raise ducks.”

“Goodness! Thanks!” I replied, and | throwing my book down I waved a wicked hand and rowed away.

“Get it?” asked Peter when I returned to the hotel.

“Yes. Bury it?” I asked.

“Yes. Bring it?” he asked.

“No, sunk it,” I said.

Whereupon we shook hands gravely, and sat down.

“Peter,” I said, “there’s something I want to say to you and I don’t want you to argue with me.”

“Shoot,” he grinned.

“I’ve had enough of the peace and quiet and restfulness of the North,” I said firmly. “I want my babies, and I’m going home to-morrow. Are you coming?” “Am I,” said Peter, “what do you ’spose I’ve been doing ever since I finished playing undertaker to Snookie?” and pulling it out from where he had hidden it under the bed, Peter displayed his suitcase, neatly packed.

“Now,” I said, “I’ll have a nice little rest while you pack mine.”

The next Peter and Pokey adventure will appear in an early issue