Once more the Baron looked slightly offended, but the Vice-Warden hastily explained that the song had
no allusion to him, and in fact had no meaning at all. "You didn't mean anything by it, now did you?" He
appealed to the Gardener, who had finished his song, and stood, balancing himself on one leg, and
looking at them, with his mouth open.
"I never means nothing," said the Gardener: and Uggug luckily came up at the moment, and gave the
conversation a new turn.
"Allow me to present my son," said the Vice-warden; adding, in a whisper, "one of the best and cleverest
boys that ever lived! I'll contrive for you to see some of his cleverness. He knows everything that other
boys don't know; and in archery, in fishing, in painting, and in music, his skill is----but you shall judge for
yourself. You see that target over there? He shall shoot an arrow at it. Dear boy," he went on aloud, "his
Adiposity would like to see you shoot. Bring his Highness' bow and arrows!"
Uggug looked very sulky as he received the bow and arrow, and prepared to shoot. Just as the arrow
left the bow, the Vice-Warden trod heavily on the toe of the Baron, who yelled with the pain.
"Ten thousand pardons! "he exclaimed. "I stepped back in my excitement. See! It is a bull's-eye!"
The Baron gazed in astonishment. "He held the bow so awkwardly, it seemed impossible!" he muttered.
But there was no room for doubt: there was the arrow, right in the centre of the bull's-eye!
"The lake is close by," continued the Vice-warden. "Bring his Highness' fishing-rod!" And Uggug most
unwillingly held the rod, and dangled the fly over the water.
"A beetle on your arm!" cried my Lady, pinching the poor Baron's arm worse than if ten lobsters had
seized it at once. "That kind is poisonous," she explained. "But what a pity! You missed seeing the fish
An enormous dead cod-fish was lying on the bank, with the hook in its mouth.
"I had always fancied," the Baron faltered, "that cod were salt-water fish?"
"Not in this country," said the Vice-Warden. "Shall we go in? Ask my son some question on the way
any subject you like!" And the sulky boy was violently shoved forwards, to walk at the Baron's side.
"Could your Highness tell me," the Baron cautiously began, "how much seven times nine would come
"Turn to the left!" cried the Vice-Warden, hastily stepping forwards to show the way--- so hastily, that he
ran against his unfortunate guest, who fell heavily on his face.
"So sorry!" my Lady exclaimed, as she and her husband helped him to his feet again. "My son was in
the act of saying 'sixty-three' as you fell!"
The Baron said nothing: he was covered with dust, and seemed much hurt, both in body and mind. However,
when they had got him into the house, and given him a good brushing, matters looked a little better.