tablecloth and a paper crown that was just a little
too big for him, and moustaches that arose with a
flourish from either lip to perform symmetrical
revolutions just under his eyes.
* * * * * *
The audience was seated on turned up boxes in various stages of insecurity on the floor of the old barn. Douglas, Ginger and Henry were posed in suitable attitudes behind a string that was tied from wall to wall to prevent a too near approach of the audience. William as showman made his speech.
" Ladies an' gentlemen," he began, " I've gotter message first of all for you from Ginger an' Henry an' Douglas. They're very sorry not to be able to be here. They'd all hoped they'd be able to be here, but they all of them aren't very well an' have to stay in bed havin' their temperature took an' such-like. Well, I've got three very good waxworks for you here. Made by the best waxwork maker in the world an' sent down from London jus' for the performance."
The sheer impudence and ingenuity of this deprived the audience temporarily of breath and he continued unchallenged. " The first waxwork you see before you, ladies an' gentlemen, is Doug—is King Alfred, I mean, what burnt the cakes. You see the waxworks of the cakes too."
" Looks like potatoes to me," said a member of the audience sceptically, " dirty potatoes with bits of their skin scraped off."
Ginger's ink and black-paint treatment had certainly been less successful than he had imagined.
" Those are the sorts of cakes people had in those days," said William coldly; "it was before the sort of cakes people have nowadays was invented. D'you think that people ate the sort of cake people have nowadays in anshunt times ? How could they when the modern sort of cakes people have nowadays weren't invented ? It was very expensive gettin' a waxworks