THE MAGIC SWEET SHOP
" We've never been this way," said Betty. " What shall we do? Climb over the gate? We are nearly at the top of the hill."
" Yes, let's," said Robin. So over the gate they climbed. They walked on down a lane lined on each side by great hedges of hawthorn, whose blossoms were as thick as snow. It was lovely.
They came to the top of the hill and looked down. To their great surprise they saw quite a town on the other side!
" How queer! " said Betty. " There has never been anything on the other side of this hill before. Now there are houses and shops everywhere!"
They went on down the hill towards the town, and soon came to some most peculiar-looking people. They were very round, and their arms were very long indeed. Their faces were as red as tomatoes and they all wore big white ruffs round their necks, which made their faces seem redder than ever.
Some of them were riding in small motor-cars, rather like toy-motors but with hoods like sun-shades instead of proper hoods. Betty and Robin stared in astonishment.
They stood in the middle of the road and looked about at the queer folk. A motor-car with a bright yellow hood came along at a tremendous pace. Robin jumped to one side, but Betty was just too late and the Httle car ran into her. To her great amazement it exploded like an air-balloon and flew up into the air in a hundred pieces! She wasn't hurt at all, but simply fell over into the road.
The little round man in the car shot up in the air and down again. He landed with a bump by Betty and he was cross!
" You silly, stupid, foolish, ridiculous girl! " he cried. " Why didn't you get out of my way? Look what you've done to my car. It's gone pop!"
" Well," said Betty, getting up and dusting herself. " I'm sorry about it, but you had no right to come along at such a dreadful pace. You didn't even hoot."
" You horrid, nasty, rude, selfish girl! " cried the man, looking as if he was going to smack Betty. But Robin was not going to have his sister spoken to like that, so he pushed the man away and spoke sharply to him.
" Now then, now then! Don't speak to Betty like that! Haven't you any manners? You might have hurt her very much running into her like that! It's a good thing your car has gone pop because you won't be able to drive like that again for a little while! "