AMUSEMENTS FOR EVERYBODY 109
Jack.—I daresay I shall find Towser waiting for me outside; but now, Mother, give me my breakfast or I shall be late to work.
Mother.—Help yourself; your breakfast is there on the table. I've had mine long ago. (Goes on sweeping.)
Jack.—There's nothing but bread and water. I want some butter and milk.
Mother.—Then you'll have to want, Jack, for / can't give you any. I suppose you forgot to fetch Daisy home last night, or else you must have left the cow-shed door open, for she's gone and I can't find her anywhere. So there's no milk this morning, and we're out of butter, and what's more, if Daisy doesn't come back we shall have to do without it in future, for / can't afford to buy it at thirty cents a pound. (Jack takes a drink of water and makes a wry face, cuts a hunch of- bread, picks up his cap and turns to go out, but pauses on his way to the door, seeing the empty cage.)
Jack.—Why, Mother, Dick's gone!
Mother.—Yes, poor bird, and I'm glad of it; as often as not you forgot to feed him, and I'm sure sometimes I've thought
I would set him free.
Jack.—Did you let him go then, Mother ?
Mother.—No; I don't know who opened the door, unless we've
had a visit from the fairies. Jack.—Nonsense! But there! I must be off. (Exit Jack.
Mother begins to put the breakfast things away, humming,
II Oh, dear! what can the matter be?" suddenly stops and screams.)
Mother.—Oh! how it frightened me. A mouse ran right across my foot. Ah! there it is again. (Jumps upon a chair.) We shall be overrun with rats and mice now that Muff has run away. Ah! (screams again, upsets chair, and begins running round room and making dabs at an imaginary mouse with her broom. In the midst of the uproar Jack enters, crying.)
Jack.—Boo-hoo! boo-hoo! Oh, dear! what shall I do?
(Mother, still holding her petticoats carefully togetlier, standi still to look at Jack.)