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instead of them there were pictures of babies without faces. She drew them
when she should have been totting up. they were Mrs darling’s guesses.
wendy came first, then John, then Michael.
For a week or two after wendy came it was doubtful whether they would
be able to keep her, as she was another mouth to feed. Mr darling was
frightfully proud of her, but he was very honourable, and he sat on the edge
of Mrs darling’s bed, holding her hand and calculating expenses, while she
looked at him imploringly. She wanted to risk it, come what might, but that
was not his way; his way was with a pencil and a piece of paper, and if
she confused him with suggestions he had to begin at the beginning again.
‘now don’t interrupt,’ he would beg of her. ‘I have one pound seventeen
here, and two and six at the office; I can cut off my coffee at the office, say
ten shillings, making two nine and six, with your eighteen and three makes
three nine seven, with five naught naught in my cheque-book makes eight
nine seven,-who is that moving?-eight nine seven, dot and carry seven-don’t
speak, my own-and the pound you lent to that man who came to the door-
quiet, child-dot and carry child-there, you’ve done it!-did I say nine nine
seven? yes, I said nine nine seven; the question is, can we try it for a year
on nine nine seven?’
‘Of course we can, George,’ she cried. But she was prejudiced in
wendy’s favour, and he was really the grander character of the two.
‘Remember mumps,’ he warned her almost threateningly, and off he
went again. ‘Mumps one pound, that is what I have put down, but I daresay
it will be more like thirty shillings-don’t speak-measles one five, German
measles half a guinea, makes two fifteen six-don’t waggle your finger-
whooping-cough, say fifteen shillings’-and so on it went, and it added
up differently each time; but at last wendy just got through, with mumps
reduced to twelve six, and the two kinds of measles treated as one.
there was the same excitement over John, and Michael had even a
narrower squeak; but both were kept, and soon you might have seen
the three of them going in a row to Miss Fulsom’s kindergarten school,
accompanied by their nurse.
Mrs darling loved to have everything just so, and Mr darling had

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