“Thank you,” replied the girl. “I’m right hungry, jus’ now.” She waited until the snubnosed sextette had pranced haughtily away, and then she came out, followed by all the pets, and found her way to the servants’ quarters.
THE KING’S TREASURE CHAMBER
All the Blueskins assembled in the servants’ hall were amazed to see the pets of the Princesses trailing after the strange little girl, but Trot took her place next to Button-Bright at the table, and the parrot perched upon her shoulder, while the peacock stood upon one side of her chair, and the lamb upon the other, and the cat and dog lay at her feet and the blue rabbit climbed into her lap and cuddled down there. Some of the Blueskins insisted that the animals and birds must be put out of the room, but Ghip-Ghisizzle said they could remain, as they were the favored pets of the lovely Snubnosed Princesses.
Cap’n Bill was delighted to see his dear little friend again, and so was Button-Bright, and now that they were reunited—for a time, at least—they paid little heed to the sour looks and taunting remarks of the ugly Blueskins and ate heartily of the dinner, which was really very good.
The meal was no sooner over than Ghip-Ghisizzle was summoned to the chamber of his Majesty the Boolooroo, but before he went away, he took Trot and Cap’n Bill and Button-Bright into a small room and advised them to stay there until he returned so that the servants and soldiers would not molest them. “My people seem to dislike strangers,” said the Majordomo thoughtfully, “and that surprises me because you are the first strangers they have ever seen. I think they imagine you will become favorites of the Boolooroo and of the Princesses, and that is why they are jealous and hate you.”
“They needn’t worry ’bout that,” replied Trot. “The Snubnoses hate me worse than the people do.”
“I can’t imagine a bootblue becoming a royal favorite,” grumbled Button-Bright.
“Or a necktie mixer,” added Cap’n Bill.
“You don’t mix neckties; you’re a nectar mixer,” said Ghip-Ghisizzle correcting the sailor. “I’ll not be gone long, for I’m no favorite of the Boolooroo, either, so please stay quietly in this room until my return.”
The Majordomo found the Boolooroo in a bad temper. He had finished his dinner, where his six daughters had bitterly denounced Trot all through the meal and implored their father to invent some new and terrible punishment for her. Also, his wife, the Queen, had made him angry by begging for gold to buy ribbons with. Then, when he had retired to his own private room, he decided to send for the umbrella he had stolen from Button-Bright and test its magic powers. But the umbrella, in his hands, proved just as common as any other umbrella might be. He opened it and closed it, and turned it this way and that, commanding it to do all sorts of things, but of course the Magic Umbrella would obey no one but a member of the family that rightfully owned it. At last the Boolooroo threw it down and stamped upon it and then kicked it into a corner, where it rolled underneath a cabinet. Then he sent for Ghip-Ghisizzle.