The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

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' Do you know the news in the mill ? ' asked the Parlour Cat. ' There 's a silent engagement going on in the house. Father knows nothing about it. Rudy and Babette were treading on each other's paws under the table all the evening. They trod upon me twice, but I would not mew for fear of exciting attention.'
' / should have mewed,' said the- Kitchen Cat.
' What will pass in the kitchen would never do for the parlour,' retorted the other Cat; ' but I 'm curious to know what the miller will think about it when he hears of the affair.'
Yes, indeed, what would the miller say ? That is what Rudy would have liked to know too ; and, moreover, he could not bear to remain long in suspense without knowing it. Accordingly, a few days afterwards, when the omnibus rattled across the Rhone bridge between Wallis and Waud, Rudy sat in the vehicle, in good spirits as usual, and already basking in the sunny prospect of the consent he hoped to gain that very evening.
And when the evening came, and the omnibus was making its way back, Rudy once more sat in it as a pas­senger ; but in the mill the Parlour Cat had some important news to tell.
1 Do you know it, you there out of the kitchen ? The miller has been told all about it. There was a fine end to it all. Rudy came here towards evening, and he and Babette had much to whisper and to tell each other, standing in the passage outside the miller's room. I was lying at their feet, but they had neither eyes nor thoughts for me. "I shall go to your father without more ado," said Rudy ; " that's the honest way to do it." " Shall I go with you ? " asked Babette ; "it will give you courage." " I've courage enough," replied Rudy ; " but if you are present he must be kind, whether he likes it or not." And they went in together. Rudy trod upon my tail most horribly. He 's a very awkward fellow, is Rudy. I called out, but neither he nor Babette had ears to hear me. They opened the door, and both went in, and I went on before them ; but I sprang up on the back of a chair, for I could not know where Rudy would kick. But it was the miller who kicked this time, and it was a good