" The audience is over!" cried Cedric indignantly.
Whereupon the deputation hastily withdrew.
" Guide, sire ?" inquired a gnome, suddenly presenting himself and going down on one knee. " Guide to the fairy ring ?"
" Yes, please," and he followed him to where a number of peacocks stood on guard with their tails magnificently spread.
" Have you twopence ?" asked the guide anxiously.
" I'm not sure," answered Cedric, fumbling in his pocket.
" If not, I'm afraid you can't be let in, sire." The gnome was looking afraid that the king might not fall, after all, into the little trap he was preparing.
" Not let me in ? Can't I order myself through?"
" No ' paper ' allowed ! You can only be let in by paying the entrance fee."
" I never heard of a king paying twopence to go in anywhere," said Cedric, drawing himself up. He was not unreasonable, he felt, but he was a little hurt in his dignity as sovereign.
" I'm afraid your Majesty can't go against the Office of Works."
" S'pose I ordered the peacocks to be removed," said Cedric, growing hot at the undignified posi-