said the earnest lady with the air of a famous K.C. cross-examining a prisoner.
" Walkin' about all over the place," said William. " Camels, too."
" Nonsense ! " put in the hostess. " How can you expect us to believe such wicked stories ? "
What did you see next ? " said the earnest lady, still with an air of judicial cunning.
" Tigers," said William, " an' bears an' wolves an' hyenas an' snakes."
" Perhaps he's psychic," said the stout lady suddenly. " Perhaps he sees places as they were before the prehistoric animals were driven out. Perhaps they were spirit animals."
" You didn't see a dear little dog among them, did you ? " said Toto's mistress anxiously.
" You're a wicked, untruthful boy," said the hostess severely. " I know for a fact that there isn't a single lion in Belton-on-Sea."
" I didn't go to Belton-on-Sea," said William. " I went to the Zoo."
The look of severity on the hostess's face deepened so much that William did what he had been longing to do ever since he entered the house—dashed down the drive to the gate in precipitous flight, followed by his gallant band.
In the road, seeing that they were not being pursued, they stopped to draw breath.
Crumbs ! " said Ginger faintly, " what a norful time."
" Yes, an' think of all the time we've wasted when we might 've been makin' money," said William.
" Wonder what the ole lady meant." said Douglas thoughtfully, " wonder if she jus' made a mistake an' meant first house on the left or somethin' like that."
" Yes, I wonder," said Henry.
But they didn't wonder long. They retraced their steps to the refreshment stall and found it emptied