THE RAINBOW BOOK
made of red crackling stuff, which glistened and made a noise whenever she moved.
She felt sick with fright, and sobbed and moaned at her terrible plight, and sobbing, she woke to find that it was quite dark, that the moon was shining on Maisie smiling in her sleep, and that she herself had been dreaming.
At breakfast next morning, Maisie and their mother were already seated when Hilda silently took her place next her chattering little sister ; but it seemed to her that their mother looked unusually grave. When Hilda lifted the cover off her bread and milk bowl, Maisie suddenly looked in it and exclaimed : " Oh, how pretty." But Hilda turned very red, and she hung her head ashamed. For in the bowl there was no bread and milk—nothing but a crumpled red glazed paper with a hateful picture of a smiling crocodile, something pink and green, a tiny paper ball of printed paper, and a stiff thing sticking up—easily guessed at, but now blurred and indistinct to Hilda's tearful view.
" Oh, Maisie," she sobbed, " it was your crack— cracker. I—I took it from your table. Do forgive me—I've been so—so very miserable."
And their mother, rising gently and saying nothing, quickly took the proofs of wrong-doing away, whilst Hilda felt Maisie's arm creep round her neck and Maisie's kisses on her wet cheek. . . .