THE GOLDEN TREASURE 887
and tumbled over, and the others took their legs off with themselves very rapidly.
The town musician was very genteel and fine. He was the son of the royal plate-washer. He was very fond of Peter, and would sometimes take him to his home, and he gave him a violin, and taught him to play it. It seemed as if the whole art lay in the boy's fingers ; and he wanted to be more than a drummer—he wanted to become musician to the town.
1 I'll be a soldier/ said Peter ; for he was still quite a little lad, and it seemed to him the finest thing in the world to carry a gun, and to be able to march ' left, right, left, right/ and to wear a uniform and a sword.
1 Ah, you must learn to obey the drum-skin, drum, dum, dum ! ' said the Drum.
1 Yes, if he could only march his way up to be a general ! ' observed his father ; ' but before he can do that there must be war.'
' Heaven forbid ! ' said his mother.
' We have nothing to lose/ remarked the father.
' Yes, we have my boy/ she retorted.
' But suppose he came back a general ! r said the father.
' Without arms and legs ! ' cried the mother. ' No, I would rather keep my golden treasure whole.'
' Drum, dum, dum !' The Fire-drum and all the other drums were beating, for war had come. The soldiers all set out, and the son of the drummer followed them. ' Redhead. Golden treasure ! '
The mother wept; the father in fancy saw him ' famous'; the town musician was of opinion that he ought not to go to war, but should stay at home and learn music.
1 Red-head/ said the soldiers, and little Peter laughed ; but when one of them sometimes said to another, ' Foxey/ he would bite his teeth together and look another way— into the wide world : he did not care for the nickname.
The boy was active, pleasant of speech, and good humoured ; and these qualities are the best canteen, said his elder comrades.
And many a night he had to sleep under the open sky, wet through with the driving rain or the falling mist; but his good humour never forsook him. The drum-sticks