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180                                WILLIAM
Miss Perkins shuddered.
" You like playing with your dolls here, don't you, dear ? "
" Me ? " said the child fiercely and with a glance before which Miss Perkins quailed. She hastily passed on to the next question.
" You love to be alone here with your books, don't you ? "
" No," said the child succinctly.
" What sort of books do you like best ? Your mother said you love everything beautiful. You read a lot of poetry, don't you ? "
" No," said the child. " Soppy stuff."
Again Miss Perkins shuddered. These were not the answers she had come to write down in her little note-book. She made another great effort and assumed a roguish air.
" Ah," she said, " but your mother told me a secret about you."
" Uh—huh," said the child without interest.
" You believe in fairies," said Miss Perkins, still more roguishly.
" Me ? " said the terrible child again, so terribly that Miss Perkins hastily passed on to the next question.
" W7hat's your favourite story, dear ? "
" Dick of the Bloody Hand," said the child.
Miss Perkins wrote down '- Cinderella." One did, after all, owe a duty to one's readers.
" WThat do you like doing best of all ?" went on the interviewer.
" Jus' messin' about," said the child, " messin' about an' goin' in woods an' makin' fires an' climbin' trees an' such-like."
Miss Perkins hastily closed the note-book. She was feeling rather faint. To her relief a distant clock struck, marking the end of the interview.
" It's time for the photograph now, dear," she
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