'"PUSSYCAT, Pussycat, where have you been?" [FE] [MS] "I've been to London, to see the Queen." "Pussycat, Pussycat, what did you there ?" "I caught a little mouse under the chair."' Her mother said it three times. And each time the Baby Harriett laughed. The sound of her laugh was so funny that she laughed again at that; she kept on laughing, with shriller and shriller squeals. 'I wonder why she thinks it's funny,' her mother said. Her father considered it. ' I don't know. The cat perhaps. The cat and the Queen. But no; that isn't funny.' 'She sees something in it we don't [FE] see, bless her,' said her mother. Each kissed her in turn, and the Baby Harriett stopped laughing suddenly. 'Mamma, did Pussycat see the Queen?' 'No,' said Mamma. 'Just when the Queen was passing the lithe mouse came out of its hole and ran under the chair. [MS] That's what Pussycat saw.' Every evening before bedtime she said the same rhyme, and Harriett asked the same question. When Nurse had gone she would lie still in her cot, waiting. The door would open, the big pointed shadow would move over the ceiling, the lattice shadow of the fireguard would fade and go away, and Mamma would come in carrying the [FE] lighted candle. Her face shone white between her long, hanging curls. She would stoop over the cot and lift Harriett up, and her face would be hidden in curls. That was the kiss-me-to-sleep kiss. And when she had gone Harriett lay still again, waiting. Presently Papa would come in, large and dark in the firelight. He stooped and she leapt up into his arms. That was the kiss-me-awake kiss; it was their secret. Then they played. Papa was the Pussy- cat and she was the lithe mouse in her hole under the bedclothes. They played till Papa said, 'No more!' and tucked the blankets tight in. 'Now you're kissing like Mamma- Hours afterwards they would come again together and stoop over the cot and she [FE] wouldn't see them; they would kiss her [MS] with soft, light kisses, and she wouldn't know. She thought: 'To-night I'll stay awake and see them.' But she never did. Only once she dreamed that she heard footsteps and saw the lighted candle, going out of the room; going, going away. The blue egg stood on the marble top of the cabinet where you could see it from everywhere; it was supported by a gold waistband, by gold hoops and gold legs, and it wore a gold ball with a frill round it like a crown. You would never have guessed what was inside it. You touched a spring in its waistband and it flew open, and then it was a workbox. Gold scissors and thimble and stiletto [FE] sitting up in holes cut in white velvet. The blue egg was the first thing she thought of when she came into the room. There was nothing like that in Connie Hancock's Papa's house. It belonged to Mamma. Harriett thought: 'If only she could have a birthday and wake up and find that the blue egg belonged to her--- Ida, the wax doll, sat on the drawing- [MS] room sofa, dressed ready for the birthday. The darling had real person's eyes made of glass, and real eyelashes and hair. Little finger and toe-nails were marked in the wax, and she smelt of the lavender her clothes were laid in. But Emily, the new birthday doll, smelt of composition and of gum and hay; [FE] she had flat, painted hair and eyes, and a foolish look on her face, like Nurse's aunt, Mrs Spinker, when she said ' Lawk- a-daisy! ' Although Papa had given her Emily, she could never feel for her the real, loving love she felt for Ida. And her mother had told her that she must lend Ida to Connie Hancock if Connie wanted her. Mamma couldn't see that such a thing was not possible. 'My darling, you mustn't be selfish. You must do what your little guest wants.' 'I can't.' But she had to; and she was sent out of the room because she cried. It was much nicer upstairs in the nursery with Mimi, the Angora cat. Mimi knew that [FE] something sorrowful had happened. He sat still, just lifting the root of his tail as you stroked him. If only she could have stayed there with Mimi; but in the end she had to go back to the drawing- [MS] room. If only she could have told Mamma what it felt like to see Connie with Ida in her arms, squeezing her tight to her chest and patting her as if Ida had been her child. She kept on saying to herself that Mamma didn't know; she didn't know what she had done. And when it was all over she took the wax doll and put her in the long narrow box she had come in, and buried her in the bottom drawer in the spare room wardrobe. She thought 'If I can't have her to myself I won't have her at all. I've got Emily. I shall just [FE] have to pretend she's not an idiot.' She pretended Ida was dead; lying in her pasteboard coffin and buried in the wardrobe cemetery. It was hard work pretending that Emily didn't look like Mrs Spinker.