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HE little boy pressed his face blue sky was wedged in it. “Cock-a-doo

against the window-pane and dle-doo!" cried the little boy. "Can't you looked out at the bright sun- hear me through the window, gold cocky? shiny morning. The cobble- Cock-a-doodle-doo! You should

stones of the square glistened when you see the eggs of your cousin, the like mica; in the trees a breeze danced and great roc." But the golden cock stood pranced, and shook drops of sunlight, like stock-still, with his fine tail blowing in the falling golden coins, into the brown water wind. He could not understand the litof the canal. Down-stream slowly drifted tle boy, for he said “Coquerico!" when he a long string of galiots piled with crimson said anything. But he was hung in the cheeses. The little boy thought they air to swing, not to sing. His eyes glitlooked as if they were roc's eggs, blocks of tered to the west wind, and the crimson big ruby eggs. He said, "Oh!" with de- cheeses drifted away down the canal. light, and pressed against the window with all his might.

It was very dull there in the big room.

Outside in the square the wind was playThe golden cock on the top of the stad- ing tag with some fallen leaves. A man huis gleamed; his beak was open like a passed, with a dog-cart beside him full of pair of scissors, and a narrow piece of smart, new milk-cans. They rattled out a


gay tune: "Tiddity-tum-ti-ti. Have some it never stopped spinning. It whirred and milk for your tea. Cream for your coffee whirled and gyrated and turned. It to drink to-night, thick and smooth and burned like a great colored sun. It sweet and white," and the man's sabots hummed and buzzed and sparked and beat an accompaniment: Plop! trop! darted. There were Aashes of blue and milk for your tea. Plop! trop! drink it long smearing lines of saffron and quick to-night." It was very pleasant out there, jabs of green. And over it all was a sheen but it was lonely here in the big room. like a myriad cut diamonds. Round and The little boy gulped at a tear.

round it went, the huge wind-wheel, and

the little boy's head reeled with watching It was queer how dull all his toys were.

it. The whole square was filled with its They were so still. Nothing was still in

rays, blazing and leaping round after one the square. If he took his eyes away a

another faster and faster. The little boy moment it had changed. The milkman

could not speak; he could only gaze, starhad disappeared round the corner; there

ing in amaze. was only an old woman, with a basket of green stuff on her head, picking her way The wind-wheel was coming down the over the shiny stones. But the wind


Nearer and nearer it came, a pulled the leaves in the basket this way great disk of spinning flame. It was opand that, and displayed them to beautiful posite the window now, and the little boy advantage. The sun patted them conde- could see it plainly; but it was something scendingly on their flat surfaces, and they more than the wind which he saw. A seemed sprinkled with silver. The little was carrying a huge fan-shaped boy sighed as he looked at his disordered frame on his shoulder, and stuck in it toys on the floor. They were motionless, were many little painted paper windmills, and their colors were dull. The dark each one scurrying round in the breeze. wainscoting absorbed the sun. There was They were bright and beautiful, and the none left for toys.

sight was one to please anybody, and how The square was quite empty now. Only pid, motionless toys to enjoy!

much more a little boy who had only stuthe wind ran round and round it, spinning. Away over in the corner where a The little boy clapped his hands, and his street opened into the square the wind eyes danced and whizzed, for the circling had stopped-stopped running, that is, for windmills made him dizzy. Closer and


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"Nursie, come quickly! Look! I want a windmill. See! It is never still. You will

buy me one, won't you? I want that silver one, with the big ring of blue”


closer came the windmill-man, and held "But I wanted a windmill which went up his big fan to the little boy in the win- round," cried the little boy. dow of the ambassador's house. Only a "That is the one you asked for, Master pane of glass between the boy and the Charles." Nursie was a bit impatient; windmills. They slid round before his she had mending to do. "See, it is silver, eyes in rapidly revolving splendor. There and here is the blue." were wheels and wheels of colors, big, lit- "But it is only a blue streak," sobbed tle, thick, thin, all one clear, perfect spin. the little boy; “I wanted a blue ring, and The windmill-vender dipped and raised this silver does n't sparkle." them again, and the little boy's face was "Well, Master Charles, that is what glued to the window-pane. Oh, what a you wanted; now run away and play with glorious, wonderful plaything-rings and it, for I am very busy. rings of windy color always moving! How had any one ever preferred those The little boy hid his tears against the other toys which never stirred !

friendly window-pane. On the floor lay "Nursie, come quickly! Look! I want the motionless, crumpled bit of paper on a windmill. See! It is never still. You the end of its stick; but far away across will buy me one, won't you? I want that the square was the windmill-vender, with silver one, with the big ring of blue." his big wheel of whirring splendor. It

spun round in a blaze like a whirling rainSo a servant was sent to buy that one,- bow, and the sun gleamed upon it, and silver, ringed with blue, -and smartly it the wind whipped it, until it seemed a twirled about in the servant's hands as he maze of spattering diamonds. “Coquerstood a moment to pay the vender. Then ico!” crowed the golden cock on the top he entered the house, and in another min-, of the stadhuis. "That is something ute he was standing in the nursery door, worth crowing for.” But the little boy with some crumpled paper on the end of did not hear him; he was sobbing over the a stick, which he held out to the little boy. crumpled bit of paper on the floor.


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England's Malady'
Why the Writer Believes that the British Political Party

System is Responsible for the War

Author of "The Door that has No Key,” “The Blindness of Virtue," etc.


I am

NE night, with the memory of the day is being perfected for its inevitable

South-African War still stamped use? No; I tell you, no. And yet, by upon his leonine face, a little old man God! there are a few men sitting in the whose small eyes were charged with a House of Commons not yet so warped kind of prophetism went into his study, and twisted by the dishonesty of the party threw down the notes of a speech that he system that deep down in what remains had just delivered in the House of Lords, of their souls they know that my stamsank rather feebly into a chair, and burst mering words are true. ‘Compulsory serinto tears.

vice? Yes, that is the solution,' they say; There were two younger men in the

'but what kind of fools shall we be conquiet room, tall, wiry men

on whose

sidered by our friends if we sacrifice our faces and figures discipline had laid its political careers for the sake of patriotrestraining hand-soldiers both. Their ism? No, it 's no use. Stop me ever sympathy was inarticulate. And then the from getting on my feet again. I am old man spoke.

throwing pebbles into the sea. I am hurl"Curse those fools!" he cried. "Curse ing my old body up against the brick wall them! They won't listen to me.

of a political system that one of these days a mere damn' soldier. I am talking facts, will place England under the feet of a and they know it; but the system, that determined, self-sacrificing, industrious, unique and criminal system of party poli- and brutal enemy." tics, renders them absolutely impotent That little old man was Field-Marshal even if they desired to take advantage of Earl Roberts of Kandahar. the evidence that I have Aung at their Dinner was over; the servants had left. heads. I told them that the British army The thin smoke of cigars and cigarettes has only just escaped being whipped by a rose up to the gilt ceiling of the large, digpack of farmers, that the flower of Eng- nified room when the laughter and conlish manhood, unready because of these lit- versation of the men whose faces and figtle clever people who sit at Westminster, ures formed the subject of caricatures in has manured the wide stretches of the the English papers suddenly died away. veldt, where their gravestones are mean- The host, a bearded man with a high foreingless. Will they take a lesson from this head and heavy bovine eyes, leaned fortwo-years' national disgrace? Will they ward. In his rather fine white hand he organize the whole empire by a form of held a thick amber cigar-holder, which he compulsory service to meet the menace of used as a sort of baton to enforce his words. the great Teuton machine which every "Gentlemen," he said in the peculiar

1 See “National Safety and the Party System” in Current Comment.

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