The Other Professor
"We were looking for you!" cried Sylvie, in a tone of great relief. "We do want you so much, you ca'n't think!"
"What is it, dear children?" the Professor asked, beaming on them with a very different look from what Uggug ever got from him.
"We want you to speak to the Gardener for us," Sylvie said, as she and Bruno took the old man's hands and led him into the hall.
"He's ever so unkind!" Bruno mournfully added. "They's all unkind to us, now that Father's gone. The Lion were much nicer!"
"But you must explain to me, please," the Professor said with an anxious look, "which is the Lion, and which is the Gardener. It's most important not to get two such animals confused together. And one's very liable to do it in their case----both having mouths, you know---"
"Doos oo always confuses two animals together?" Bruno asked.
"Pretty often, I'm afraid," the Professor candidly confessed. "Now, for instance, there's the rabbit-hutch and the hall-clock." The Professor pointed them out. "One gets a little confused with them----both having doors, you know. Now, only yesterday----would you believe it?----I put some lettuces into the clock, and tried to wind up the rabbit!"
"Did the rabbit go, after oo wounded it up?" said Bruno.
The Professor clasped his hands on the top of his head, and groaned. "Go? I should think it did go! Why, it's gone? And where ever it's gone to----that's what I ca'n't find out! I've done my best----I've read all the article 'Rabbit' in the great dictionary----Come in!"
"Ah, well, I can soon settle his business," the Professor said to the children, "if you'll just wait a minute. How much is it, this year, my man?" The tailor had come in while he was speaking.
"Well, it's been a doubling so many years, you see," the tailor replied, a little gruffly, "and I think I'd like the money now. It's two thousand pound, it is!"
"Oh, that's nothing!" the Professor carelessly remarked, feeling in his pocket, as if he always carried at least that amount about with him. "But wouldn't you like to wait just another year, and make it four thousand? Just think how rich you'd be! Why, you might be a King, if you liked!"
"I don't know as I'd care about being a King," the man said thoughtfully. "But it; dew sound a powerful sight o' money! Well, I think I'll wait----"
"Of course you will!" said the Professor. "There's good sense in you, I see. Good-day to you, my man!"
"Will you ever have to pay him that four thousand pounds?" Sylvie asked as the door closed on the departing creditor.
"Never, my child!" the Professor replied emphatically. "He'll go on doubling it, till he dies. You see it's always worth while waiting another year, to get twice as much money! And now what would you like to do, my little friends? Shall I take you to see the Other Professor? This would be an excellent opportunity for a visit," he said to himself, glancing at his watch: "he generally takes a short rest---of fourteen minutes and a half ----about this time."
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