“I wish I had a cat,” thought Dick, “for she could eat up these rats and mice.”
One day Dick earned a penny by blacking a man’s shoes.
“I will try to buy a cat with this penny,” thought Dick.
So he started out and soon met a woman with a large cat.
“Will you sell me that cat?” said Dick. “I will give you this penny for her.”
“You are a good boy,” said the woman, “and you may have the cat for a penny, for I know you will treat her kindly.”
That night Dick’s bed was free from rats, and Miss Puss had a good supper.
Dick began to love his cat dearly.
Now Mr. Fitzwarren had many ships which sailed to distant lands.
When a ship sailed Mr. Fitzwarren let every one in his house send something on it.
The things were sold, and when the ship came back, each person had the money for what he had sent.
One of the ships was ready to sail.
Every one in the house except Dick had sent something.
“What is Dick going to send in the ship?” said Mr. Fitzwarren.
“Oh, that boy has nothing to send,” said the cross cook.
“It is true,” said poor Dick; “I have nothing but my dear cat.”
“Well, then you must send your cat,” said Mr. Fitzwarren.
How lonely poor Dick was without Puss!
The cook made fun of him for sending a cat on the ship.
At last Dick became so unhappy that he made up his mind to run away.
He started early in the morning, before any one in the house was up.
He had gone but a short way when he heard the sound of the six great bells of Bow.
As they rang, “Ding-dong, ding-dong!” they seemed to say:
Turn back, Whittington,
Lord Mayor of London.
“It is strange that the bells should speak to me,” said Dick, “but if I am to be Lord Mayor of London, I will gladly turn back.”
So he ran back to the house of Mr. Fitzwarren.
“I hope they have not missed me,” said Dick, as he gently opened the door and stole softly in.
Dick’s cat was taken across the ocean. The ship sailed and sailed, until at last it came to a distant country.
Now the king and queen of this country were very rich. When the captain was asked to show his goods before them he was very glad indeed to do so.
The king and queen first gave the captain a great feast.
Gold and silver dishes filled with food were brought in.
When these dishes were placed upon the table an army of rats came out.
There were white rats, and black rats, and brown rats, and big rats, and little rats.