of an electoral contest. Of his own accord, and under the delighted eyes of half a dozen camera operators, he had gone up to the Jutterly children and presented them with a packet of butterscotch; ‘we needn’t be enemies because we’re wearing the opposite colours,’ he said with engaging friendliness, and the occupants of the donkey-cart accepted his offering with polite solemnity. The grown-up members of both political camps were delighted at the incident—with the exception of Mrs Panstreppon, who shuddered.

‘Never was Clytemnestra’s kiss sweeter than on the night she slew me,’ she quoted, but made the quotation to herself.

The last hour of the poll was a period of unremitting labour for both parties; it was generally estimated that not more than a dozen votes separated the candidates, and every effort was made to bring up obstinately wavering electors. It was with a feeling of relaxation and relief that every one heard the clocks strike the hour for the close of the poll. Exclamations broke out from the tired workers, and corks flew out from bottles.

‘Well, if we haven’t won, we’ve done our level best.’ ‘It has been a clean, straight fight, with no rancour.’ ‘The children were quite a charming feature, weren’t they?’

The children? It suddenly occurred to everybody that they had seen nothing of the children for the last hour. What had become of the three little Jutterlys and their donkey-cart, and, for the matter of that, what had become of Hyacinth? Hurried, anxious embassies went backwards and forwards between the respective party headquarters and the various committee-rooms, but there was blank ignorance everywhere as to the whereabouts of the children. Every one had been too busy in the closing moments of the poll to bestow a thought on them. Then there came a telephone call at the Unionist Women’s Committee-rooms, and the voice of Hyacinth was heard demanding when the poll would be declared.

‘Where are you, and where are the Jutterly children?’ asked his mother.

‘I’ve just finished having high-tea at a pastry-cook’s,’ came the answer; ‘and they let me telephone. I’ve had a poached egg and a sausage roll and four meringues.’

‘You’ll be ill. Are the little Jutterlys with you?’

‘Rather not. They’re in a pigsty.’

‘A pigsty? Why? What pigsty?’

‘Near the Crawleigh Road. I met them driving about a back road, and told them they were to have tea with me, and put their donkeys in a yard that I knew of. Then I took them to see an old sow that had got ten little pigs. I got the sow into the outer sty by giving her bits of bread, while the Jutterlys went in to look at the litter, then I bolted the door and left them there.’

‘You wicked boy, do you mean to say you’ve left those poor children there alone in the pigsty?’

‘They’re not alone, they’ve got ten little pigs in with them; they’re jolly well crowded. They were pretty mad at being shut in, but not half as mad as the old sow is at being shut out from her young ones. If she gets in while they’re there she’ll bite them into mincemeat. I can get them out by letting a short ladder down through the top window, and that’s what I’m going to do if we win. If their blighted father gets in, I’m just going to open the door for the sow, and let her do what she dashed well likes to them. That’s why I want to know when the poll will be declared.’

Here the narrator rang off. A wild stampede and a frantic sending-off of messengers took place at the other end of the telephone. Nearly all the workers on either side had disappeared to their various club- rooms and public-house bars to await the declaration of the poll, but enough local information could be secured to determine the scene of Hyacinth’s exploit. Mr John Ball had a stable yard down near the

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