ALL ON A FIFTH OF NOVEMBER
It might have been the middle of the night; but it wasn't—it was Guy Fawkes' Day, and eight o'clock on a foggy morning. The London square was more than usually hushed and mournful, except for a warning call or whistle as a van cautiously lumbered along, or blundered on to the pavement. The nursery fire did its best to look cheerful: the lights were all on too, showing up the bright pictures on the walls and the bright faces of the three children who were chattering gaily at the breakfast-table. And they all looked so smart! Alec and Frank in their best suits, and tiny Molly wore her prettiest white frock and her coral necklace, just as if she were going to a party.
They soon scrambled off their chairs, and Molly, standing on tiptoe, seized hold of a bunch of lilies tied up with ribbon that was on the side table, and each of her brothers eagerly possessed himself of a neat brown paper parcel.
It was Father's birthday. The occasion was always kept as a holiday, and the children were waiting