Away went the captain to the ship, while another dinner was got ready. He put puss under his arm, and arrived at the place soon enough to see the table full of rats.
When the cat saw them, she did not wait for bidding, but jumped out of the captain’s arms, and in a few minutes laid almost all the rats and mice dead at her feet. The rest of them in their fright scampered away to their holes.
The King and Queen were quite charmed to get so easily rid of such plagues, and desired that the creature who had done them so great a kindness might be brought to them for inspection. Upon which the captain called: “Pussy, pussy, pussy!” and she came to him. He then presented her to the queen, who started back, and was afraid to touch a creature who had made such a havoc among the rats and mice. However, when the captain stroked the cat and called: “Pussy, pussy,” the Queen also touched her and cried “Putty, putty,” for she had not learned English. He then put her down on the queen’s lap, where she, purring, played with her Majesty’s hand, and then sung herself to sleep.
The King, having seen the exploits of Mrs. Puss, and being informed that her kittens would stock the whole country, bargained with the captain for the whole ship’s cargo, and then gave him ten times as much for the cat as all the rest amounted to.
The captain then took leave of the royal party, and set sail with a fair wind for England, and after a happy voyage arrived safe in London.
One morning Mr. Fitzwarren had just come to his counting-house and seated himself at the desk, when somebody came tap, tap, at the door. “Who’s there?” said Mr. Fitzwarren. “A friend,” answered the other; “I come to bring you good news of your ship Unicorn.” The merchant, bustling up instantly, opened the door, and who should be seen waiting but the captain and factor, with a cabinet of jewels, and a bill of lading, for which the merchant lifted up his eyes and thanked heaven for sending him such a prosperous voyage.
They then told the story of the cat, and showed the rich present that the king and queen had sent for her to poor Dick. As soon as the merchant heard this, he called out to his servants,
“Go fetch him—we will
tell him of the same;
Pray call him Mr. Whittington by name.”
Mr. Fitzwarren now showed himself to be a good man; for when some of his servants said so great a treasure was too much for Dick, he answered: “God forbid I should deprive him of the value of a single penny.”
He then sent for Dick, who at that time was scouring pots for the cook, and was quite dirty.
Mr. Fitzwarren ordered a chair to be set for him, and so he began to think they were making game of him, at the same time begging them not to play tricks with a poor simple boy, but to let him go down again, if they pleased, to his work.
“Indeed, Mr. Whittington,” said the merchant, “we are all quite in earnest with you, and I most heartily rejoice in the news these gentlemen have brought you; for the captain has sold your cat to the King of Barbary, and brought you in return for her more riches than I possess in the whole world; and I wish you may long enjoy them!”