**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Betty, The Hotel Child
by [?]

I gave her an easy one to start with, wishing to work up naturally to the denouement, and she gave me a very difficult one back, not quite understanding the object of the game.

“You’ve got to go to bed,” she cried, clapping her hands. “You’ve got–to go–to bed. You’ve got–to go–to bed. You’ve–“

“All right,” I said coldly. “Don’t make a song about it.”

It was ten minutes past six. I generally go to bed at eleven-thirty. It would be the longest night I had had for years. I sighed and prepared to go.

“You needn’t go till half-past,” said Betty kindly.

“No, no,” I said firmly. “Rules are rules.” I had just remembered that there was nothing in the rules about not getting up again.

“Then I’ll come with you and see your room.”

“No, you mustn’t do that; you’d fall out of the window. It’s a very tricky window. I’m always falling out of it myself.”

“Then let’s go on playing here, and we won’t go to bed if we miss.”

“Very well,” I agreed. Really there was nothing else for it.

Robbed of its chief interest, the game proved, after ten minutes or so, to be one of the duller ones. Whatever people say, I don’t think it compares with cricket, for instance. It is certainly not so subtle as golf.

“I like playing this game,” said Betty. “Don’t you?”

“I think I shall get to love it,” I said, looking at the clock. There were still five minutes, and I rolled down a very fast googly which beat her entirely and went straight for the door. Under the old rules she would have gone to bed at once. Alas, that–

“Look out,” I said as she went after it, “there’s somebody coming in.”

Somebody came in. She smiled ruefully at us and then took Betty’s hand.

“I’m afraid my little girl has been worrying you,” she said prettily.

“I KNEW you’d say that,” said Betty.



TUESDAY.–Sometimes I think I am a very lucky girl having two big sisters to look after me. I expect there are lots of young girls who have nobody at all, and I think they must be so lonely. There is always plenty of fun going on in our house. Yesterday I heard Sister Fred telling Sister Bert something about her old man coming home very late one night–I didn’t quite understand who the old man was, or what it was all about, but I know Sister Bert thought it was very funny, and I seemed to hear a lot of people laughing; perhaps it was the fairies. And then whenever Sister Bert sits down she always pulls her skirt right up to her knees, so as people can see her stockings. I mean there’s always SOMETHING amusing happening.

Of course I have a good deal of work to do, and all the washing up, but my sisters are so big and strong that one can’t expect them to bother themselves with niggling little things like that. Besides, they have so many other things to do. Only this morning, when Sister Bert was just going to sit down, Sister Fred pulled away her chair, and she sat on the floor and her legs went up in the air. She said it was a “grand slam,” which some of us thought very funny. I didn’t laugh myself, because I never go out anywhere, and so I don’t understand topical remarks, but I do think it is nice to live in such an amusing house.

(LATER.)–A wonderful thing has happened! Two messengers came from the Prince an hour ago to invite us to the ball to-night! I’d never seen a messenger in my life, so I peeped out of the chimney corner at them and wondered if they would stay to tea. But instead of that my sisters put up what they call a “trapeze” (I never knew we had one before), and the messengers did some EXTRAORDINARY things on it, I thought they would kill themselves. After it was over, Sister Fred told them a lot of stories about the old man, and altogether it was quite different from what I expected. Ours IS a funny house.