“Here we are,” said the witch to Sarah Brown. “At least, I suppose this City on its Tiptoes is New York. Do you think I ought to call the attention of the Captain to that largish lady on our left, who seems to be marooned upon a rock, and signalling to us for help?”
“That is the Statue of Liberty,” said three neighbouring Americans in chorus.
“How d’you mean—Liberty?” asked the witch.
The three Americans froze her with three glances.
“America is the home of Liberty,” they said all together.
“Oh yes, of course, how stupid of me,” said the witch. “I ought to have remembered that every country is the Home of Liberty. Such a pity that Liberty never seems to begin at home. Every big shop in London, you know, is labelled Patronised by Royalty, yet I have bought haberdashery by the hour without running across a single queen. I suppose if you didn’t have this big label sticking up in your harbour, you Americans might forget that America is the Home of Liberty. I know quite a lot about America from a grey squirrel who rents my may-tree on Mitten Island. It is a long time since he came over, but he still chitters with a strong New England accent. He came away because he was a socialist. I gather America is too full of Liberty to leave room for socialism, isn’t that so? My squirrel says there are only two parties in America, Republicans and Sinners—at least I think that was what he said—and anybody who belongs to neither of these parties is given penal servitude for life. So I understood, but I may be wrong. I am not very good at politics. Anyway, my squirrel had to leave the Home of Liberty and come to England, so as to be able to say what he thought. I wish I were there too. Sarah Brown, I don’t yet know why you brought me here.”
“I brought you here to escape the Law,” said Sarah Brown.
“How d’you mean—escape the Law? Didn’t you know that all magic lives and thrives on the wrath of the Law? Have you forgotten our heroic tradition of martyrdom and the stake? Isn’t the world tame enough already? What do you want Magic to become? A branch of the Civil Service?”
“I spent all I had in bringing you here,” said Sarah Brown. “I left all I loved to bring you here. I am as if dead in England now. Nobody there will ever think of me again, except as a thing that has been heard the last of.”
The witch looked kindly at her. “You know,” she said, “when you first told me to go away, after Harold made that bad landing on a policeman, I thought perhaps you were a sort of cinema villainess, driving me away from my house and heritage. At first I thought of arguing the matter, but then I remembered that villains always have a rotten time, without being bullied and persecuted by the rest of us. Besides solid things are never worth fighting over. So I have been patient with you all this time, and have fallen in courteously with all your