Dora gazed at her plate despondently, and lost her appetite for that supper. Mrs. Ehrenreich broke out into lamentations It was provoking to have made this journey without its being of any use to her husband after all! If they had only moved away at once! However, perhaps there would be less noise over the hedge after this, and the windows could be opened! Dora’s hopes rose again, for as long as they staid, there was always a chance that she might go into that garden once, at least once.
Before and after the flood.
There were times when it seemed as if little Hunne could find no resting-place for the sole of his foot, when he wandered restlessly back and forth through the house incessantly. No one would pay any attention to him, he was sent from one person to another, and even his mother only bade him sit quietly at his own little table until she was at liberty to come to him. Of course Hunne’s restless moments were just those when everybody was particularly busy, such as Saturday morning when no one had a moment to spare. And on this particular Saturday, the child had been wandering about the passages among the sofas and chairs which, having been put out there during the weekly sweeping, looked as restless and out-of-place as Hunne himself.
He spent a long time looking for his mother and he found her at last up-stairs in the attic, but she sent him down at once, for she was busy with the clothes for the wash. “There, dear, go and find Paula; perhaps she is not busy just now.” Hunne found Paula at the piano.
“Go away, Hunne, I must practise,” said she. “I have not time to guess your riddles; there comes Miss Hanenwinkel; ask her.”
“Miss Hanenwinkel,” cried the little boy, “my first you can eat but not drink.”
“O spare me, Hunne” interrupted the governess, who seemed in a hurry. “If you break out into charades too, what will become of us? I have not a moment to waste. See, there is Mr. Julius just getting off his horse; ask him.”
Off ran Hunne.
“Jule, nobody will guess my riddle, and even Miss Hanenwinkel is too busy, so she sent me to ask you.”
“Well, what is it, my little man? out with it,” said Jule good-humoredly.
So the child repeated his “you can eat but not drink,” and then stopped short.
“Well, go on! What comes next?” said his brother, “what is the rest?”
“You must make the rest, Jule; the whole is nut-cracker.”
“Oh yes, I see; that is all right. Now look here; since Miss Hanenwinkel sent you to me to guess for her, I will send one to her by you. Now say it over and over until you have learned it. It is rather long:”
“First cut short your
laughter for me,
Then spell me a nun with an e,
Shut quickly with meaning, one eye,
Then add me an el, and—good-bye—
Good-bye till I meet you again.”