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The Missing Prince

G. E. Farrow

  Produced by David Widger from page images generouslyprovided by the Internet Archive


  By G. E. Farrow

  Author Of "The Wallypug Of Why" And "The King's Gardens."

  With Page Illustrations By Harry Furniss

  And Vignettes By Dorothy Furniss





  Dedicated To

  My Little Friend

  Ralph Cyril Lockhart Brandon.

  Known As "Boy."



  In the Preface to my last book I told you that when I closed my eyes Iseemed to see hundreds of dear Children's faces turned towards me askingfor a story; and now, as so many copies of that book have been sold, Iam bound to believe that not hundreds, but thousands, of little friends,to whom I was this time last year a stranger, are expecting anotherstory from my pen.

  Some of you may perhaps have seen the very kind things which so many ofthe papers said about "The Wallypug of Why." Now I am going to tell youa secret, even at the risk of seeming ungrateful to them. It is this.Much as I value their kind opinion, and proud and happy as I am thatmy book has met with their approval, I value your criticism even morehighly than theirs, and I am going to ask you to do me a great favour. Ihave had so many letters from little friends about "The Wallypug of Why"that it has made me greedy, and, like Oliver, I want more. So will youplease write me a letter too, your very own self, telling me just whatyou think of these two books, and also what kind of story you want aftermy next one, which is to be a School story, called "Schooldays at St.Vedast's," and which will be published almost as soon as this one is?I did think of writing a story about pet animals, for I am very fondof them; so if you can tell me anything interesting about your dogsor cats, rabbits, or other favourites, I may perhaps find room for theaccount in my book. You can always address letters to me in this way,and then they will be sure to reach me wherever I am:--

  ``"Mr. G. E. Farrow,

  `"C/o Messrs. Hutchinson & Co.,


  ```"34, Paternoster Row,

  ````"London, E.C."=

  Besides being a very great pleasure to me to receive these letters fromyou, it will help you, I hope, to feel that the Author of this book isin a measure a personal friend.

  You will be pleased, I am sure, to see that Mr. Harry Furniss has againbeen able to give us some of his delightful pictures, and that hisclever little daughter Dorothy has helped him.

  I see that she has drawn, at the beginning of this Preface, some littlefolks with letters in their hands. I hope that they are for me, and thatthere are some from you amongst them.

  ```Your affectionate Friend,

  ````The Author.





  OY was far too excited to go to sleep, so he lay gazing at the crescentMoon which shone through the window opposite his bed and thought of allthe wonderful things which had happened on this most eventful of days.To begin quite at the beginning, he had, in his thoughts, to go rightback to yesterday, when he had been sent to bed in the middle ofthe day, so that he might be rested for his long night journey toScarborough with his Uncle. Then after having been asleep all theafternoon, he had been awakened in the evening just about the time whenhe usually went to bed, and, treat of treats, had been allowed to sit upto the table to late dinner with his Aunt and Uncle.

  Soon after dinner they had started for their long drive to the Stationthrough the brightly lighted streets which Boy had never before seen atnight time, and when at last King's Cross Station was reached, theyhad been hurried into a carriage with rugs and pillows and were soonsteaming through the suburbs of London.

  Boy had found plenty of amusement in watching the flashing lights outof the window till, as the train got further and further away from thetown, the lights became fewer and fewer, and he drew the curtain andsettled himself comfortably in a corner with a pillow and a rug.

  His Uncle was deeply buried in his paper, and Boy did not like todisturb him, so he picked up _Punch_, which had fallen to the floor,and began to look at the pictures. He must have fallen asleep soonafterwards, for he did not remember anything else till they reachedYork, where they had to change trains, and where they had hot coffee andsandwiches. Then when the train started again Boy's Uncle had pointedout to him the square towers of York Minster showing clearly againstthe green and gold sky of early morning; and then Boy had gone tosleep again and did not wake up till they reached Scarborough, wherea carriage was waiting to take them to the Hotel. Boy looked about himwith great interest as they drove through the half-deserted streets, forit was still very early in the morning. He could see the ruins of anold castle at the end of the street, and as they turned a corner the seaflashing in the morning sunlight burst into view.

  Boy thought that he had never before seen anything so beautiful. Therewas the great bay with the castle at one end and Oliver's Mount at theother, the quay and the little lighthouse, and a lot of ships, while outat sea was a whole fleet of brown sailed fishing-smacks coming in withtheir spoil of fish. Hundreds of sea-gulls were wheeling round andround uttering their peculiarly shrill cry, and altogether it was a mostbeautiful sight.

  Boy's Uncle had stopped the carriage for a few moments so that theymight admire it, and then they had driven to the Hotel at the top of thecliffs, and after having a refreshing wash had gone down to a large roomwhere a number of ladies and gentlemen were having breakfast Boy hadbeen far too excited to eat much, particularly as his Uncle had promisedhim a pony ride at eleven. So as soon as breakfast was over he had stoodby the window watching the people passing, till oh! joy of joys! therecame to the door of the Hotel the loveliest little pony with such a longtail and mane and his Uncle's big chestnut horse Rajah, which had beensent down by train the day before.

  What a delightful time it had been, to be sure, as they rode downthrough the Valley Park to the seashore, and what a splendid canter theyhad on the hard sand! And then as they rode slowly back again Boy hadnoticed some beautiful sand castles which the children were building onthe shore, collecting pennies in boxes for the hospitals from thosewho stopped to admire them; lovely castles with flags and trees and toyanimals out of Noah's Ark, and quaint little rustic bridges and gardenseats in the gardens belonging to them, and Boy had thought how jolly itwould be if one could be small enough to walk about in them. Then hehad heard some one singing, and his Uncle had taken him to where alarge crowd was gathered around some curiously dressed people in whitecostumes with big black buttons and with big frills around their necksand at their wrists; they wore black skull caps with white conical capsover these. They were called, so Boy found out, the Pierrot Troupe, andone of them was singing about a little Tin Soldier who was in love witha beautiful Doll with eyes that opened and shut with a wire, butwho would not have anything to say to him because he was only marked_one-and-nine_, while another soldier on the shelf above him was marked_two-and-three_, till presently some one changed the labels and markedhim two-and-three, and the other one one-and-nine. Then the little Dollhad altered her mind, and had promised to marry him, and had forsakenthe other poor fellow, who was now marked only one-and-nine. Boy wasvery much amused at the song, but felt very sorry for poor one-and-nine,and kept talking about it all the way back to the Hotel as they wentback to luncheon, which was of course Boy's dinner.

  In the afternoon they had gone for a lovely drive in an open carriageall through the beautiful Forge Valley, and then after tea Boy hadbeen taken to the Spa to hear the band play; and now after all thesewonderful treats he was lying, as I said before
, wide awake in hislittle strange bed watching the Moon through the half-open window.

  What a big Moon it was, to be sure--quite the largest Boy had ever seen,he thought, and surely, yes, surely there is some one sitting in itplaying upon a banjo! Why, it's Pierrot! and the Moon is coming nearerand nearer till Boy can hear that he is still singing about the littleTin Soldier. In a great state of excitement Boy sat up in bed.

  "I wonder if he is coming here," he thought, as he watched eagerly. Yes!closer and closer came the Moon, till presently Pierrot stepped on tothe window-sill and, pushing the window further open, jumped lightly onto the floor and made Boy a polite bow.

  "I've brought you an invitation," he said, "to the wedding festivitiesin connection with the little Tin Soldier's marriage with theDolly-girl"; and he handed Boy a large envelope with a red seal.


  "Oh! _how_ kind of you!" said Boy, forgetting even his surprise in thedelight of receiving such a novel invitation. He hastily opened theenvelope and found a card within bearing the following words:--

  "Mr. and Mrs. Waxxe-Doll request the pleasure of Master Boy's company atthe wedding festivities celebrating the marriage between their daughter,Miss Dolly-girl, and Captain Two-and-Three, Royal Tin Hussars.


  "Sand Castle,

  "The Shore, Scarborough."

  "How splendid!" said Boy. "Can you please tell me, sir, what R.S.V.P.means? I've seen it on invitation cards before?"

  "I am not quite certain," replied Pierrot; "but in this case I thinkit must mean Ridiculous Society and Violent Papa. You see, being a toywedding, they are obliged by toy etiquette to ask all the articles onthe same shelf as the bride and bridegroom, and so the company is boundto be rather mixed, and the bride's father is afflicted with the mostviolent temper you have ever heard of."

  "Dear me!" said Boy, "perhaps I had better not go."

  "Oh, it will be all right," said Pierrot. "Whenever he feels his tempergetting the better of him he very wisely shuts himself up in a room byhimself till it's all over, so you need not be in the least afraid. But,I say, we had better be starting, you know; it's getting rather late."


  Boy hurriedly dressed himself, and taking Pierrot's hand he steppedfrom the window-sill into the Moon, which was conveniently close to thewindow. It was very much like a boat, Boy thought, as he sat down andmade himself comfortable on one of the little cushioned seats whichstretched from one side of the Moon to the other. They had only floateda very little way down the street, however, when the Moon began todescend and then stopped, just at the top of the long flight of stepsnear the Spa, which led to the seashore. Pierrot jumped out, and, afterhelping Boy to alight, told him that at the bottom of the steps he wouldfind somebody waiting to conduct him to Sand Castle.

  "Aren't you coming too?" asked Boy in surprise.

  "No," replied Pierrot, "we must be off, the Moon and I, or people willwonder what has become of us. Goodbye!" and getting into the Moon againhe was soon floating rapidly away.

  Boy was somewhat alarmed at his sudden disappearance, and felt halfinclined to run back to the Hotel. "Perhaps I had better go down to thebottom of the steps, though," he thought, "and see who is there;" andhe had got half way down when he suddenly stopped in dismay. Why, he wasgrowing shorter! There could be no doubt about it. He could see to hisgreat surprise that he was only about half as tall as he had been whenhe started running down the steps.

  Whatever should he do? Boy now felt really alarmed. Why, if he went onat that rate there would soon be nothing at all left of him.

  "What's the matter, sonny?" said a tiny voice near him.

  Boy looked around, but could see no one.

  "What's the matter, I say?" said the voice again.

  "I'm sure I don't know," said Boy, who thought that it was only politeto speak when spoken to, even although he could not see the speaker. "Iam growing smaller and smaller, and I don't know whatever to do."

  "Well, my little man," said the voice, "you are going to the toy party,aren't you? How do you expect to get into Sand Castle the ridiculoussize that you are at present? You will keep on getting smaller andsmaller each step you take till you reach the bottom, when you will bethe respectable height of six inches or so."

  "Six inches!" exclaimed Boy. "Oh dear! oh dear! What a tiny mite I shallbe, to be sure, and I did so want to be big like Uncle!"

  "Do you call six inches small?" said the voice. "Why, I am twenty timesas small as that."

  "Are you really? No wonder I can't see you, then," remarked Boy. "Ishould think it isn't very nice to be so insignificant as that, is it?"


  A sudden pain in his arm made him shout "Oh!" and while he was wonderingwhatever could have caused it, he heard the voice repeating thesewords:--=

  ``"You need not think because I'm small

  ```That I've no reputation,

  ``I do not hesitate to say

  ```I'm known throughout the nation.=

  ``"By every lady in the land

  ```I'm held in high esteem,

  ``The strongest men require my aid,

  ```However weak I seem.=

  ``"And even you must fain admit

  ```That I'm both _sharp_ and _bright_,

  ``And probably will want my help

  ```Yourself before to-night.=

  ``"So don't attempt to 'sit' on me,

  ```'Twould not be wise of you.

  ``'My name?' An ordinary Pin.

  ```_D'ye see the point?_ Adieu."=

  "Good gracious!" exclaimed Boy; "just fancy a pin talking to one! Iwonder whatever will happen next. Well, I certainly _felt_ the point ifI didn't see it," he continued, rubbing his arm and hurrying down thesteps, for he didn't so much mind now he really knew what to expectabout his size.