ADVENTURES IN WIZARD-LAND
King kindly, in order to change the subject—"just see if you've got a copy of the Financial Market about you, will you ? Or maybe you know what the Financial Time is ? That would do quite as well. Oh, beg pardon—I see you've no watch on ; pawnbroken, eh ?"
" I'm afraid I don't know what you mean; I've never heard of all that," admitted Cyril.
" But you have heard there's been another slump!"
" What ?" ventured Dulcie.
" In what ? Why, in Sea-weed, of course. Just my luck. Fishy transactions never do pay, though they always promise to. But," he added, rousing himself, dismal still, " you must both come down soon and have a cup of sea or something—it's my birthday, and there's going to be jinks below."
" Birthday ! How delightful! " said Dulcie.
" Why, how old can you possibly be ?" asked Cyril, " if it's not impolite to ask."
" Quite right. Let me see," said the Fish-King thoughtfully. " Ah, now I remember. I'm just several millions of years—it takes a little time to fix the number exactly—and eleven days."
" That is old, Sire," murmured Dulcie as she regained her breath, which had been taken away at the idea of so many birthdays.
" Old ? Nonsense, my lady."