"Hooyah wah!" said a deep voice inside. (That's Doggee for "Come in!")
"It's the King himself!" the Mastiff whispered in an awestruck tone. "Take off your wigs, and lay them
humbly at his paws." (What we should call "at his feet.")
Sylvie was just going to explain, very politely, that really they couldn't perform that ceremony, because
their wigs wouldn't come off, when the door of the Royal Kennel opened, and an enormous Newfoundland
Dog put his head out. "Bow wow?" was his first question.
"When His Majesty speaks to you," the Sentinel hastily whispered to Bruno, "you should prick up your
Bruno looked doubtfully at Sylvie. "I'd rather not, please," he said. "It would hurt."
"It doesn't hurt a bit!" the Sentinel said with some indignation. "Look! It's like this!" And he pricked up his
ears like two railway signals.
Sylvie gently explained matters. "I'm afraid we ca'n't manage it," she said in a low voice. "I'm very sorry: but
our ears haven't got the right----" she wanted to say "machinery" in Doggee: but she had forgotten the
word, and could only think of "steam-engine."
The Sentinel repeated Sylvie's explanation to the King.
"Can't prick up their ears without a steam-engine!" His Majesty exclaimed. "They must be curious creatures!
I must have a look at them!" And he came out of his Kennel, and walked solemnly up to the children.
What was the amazement----nor to say the horror of the whole assembly, when Sylvie actually patted
His Majesty on the head, while Bruno seized his long ears and pretended to tie them together under his
The Sentinel groaned aloud: a beautiful Greyhound who appeared to be one of the Ladies in Waiting----
fainted away: and all the other Courtiers hastily drew back, and left plenty of room for the huge Newfoundland
to spring upon the audacious strangers, and tear them limb from limb.
Only----he didn't. On the contrary his Majesty actually smiled so far as a Dog can smile----and (the other
Dogs couldn't believe their eyes, but it was true, all the same) his Majesty wagged his tail!
"Yah! Hooh hahwooh!" (that is "Well! I never!") was the universal cry.
His Majesty looked round him severely, and gave a slight growl, which produced instant silence. "Conduct
my friends to the banqueting-hall!" he said, laying such an emphasis on "my friends" that several of
the dogs rolled over helplessly on their backs and began to lick Bruno's feet.
A procession was formed, but I only ventured to follow as far as the door of the banqueting-hall, so
furious was the uproar of barking dogs within. So I sat down by the King, who seemed to have gone
to sleep, and waited till the children returned to say good-night, when His Majesty got up and shook
"Time for bed!" he said with a sleepy yawn. "The attendants will show you your room," he added, aside,
to Sylvie and Bruno. "Bring lights!" And, with a dignified air, he held out his paw for them to kiss.
But the children were evidently not well practised in Court-manners. Sylvie simply stroked the great
paw: Bruno hugged it: the Master of the Ceremonies looked shocked.
All this time Dog-waiters, in splendid livery, were running up with lighted candles: but, as fast as they put
them upon the table, other waiters ran away with them, so that there never seemed to be one for me,