ALL ON A FIFTH OF NOVEMBER
The children ran through the garden entrance unobserved, and had just got their outdoor things off when the tea-bell rang.
When Alec, Frank, and Molly entered the drawing-room, where their parents were in readiness, for the great annual frolic with Father, they didn't tumble in as was their usual habit; they walked in sedately. They had something important to say.
" Truly, Daddy, how old are you ?" asked Molly, running up to him. She wouldn't be hushed down by the boys. She felt she wanted to make sure of what she already knew.
" I told you I was twenty-one, of course ! One always expects such a nice lot of presents when one is twenty-one! But you two young rascals evidently think I really must be a very old man of forty at least!" he replied, smiling.
" And does he never grow older, Mummy ? "
" I don't see it, Molly darling."
" Do you ever see the Times, boys ?" he inquired.
" That's just what's so queer," said Alec. " I've got it here." Alec noticed the glance which his parents exchanged, and their expression of astonishment when Frank remarked—