"'Just let's wait a minute or two,' said Hildeguard. 'Let them get
used to me. Well, Baby,' she said, turning to the ayah, and holding
out her arms.
"With a great leap and a gurgle Baby precipitated himself towards
her, his strong little hands clutching uncertainly at the brooch at
her throat. Then the buttons distracted him, and then, after a
serious look at her face, his eyes suddenly caught sight of the hat
above it, and the irresistible gleam of some ornament on it. With
wildly working hands he pulled himself to his feet, and, with one
fat little hand on her face, grabbed at the shining jet.
"Hildeguard, laughing, and submitting herself half resistingly to
the onslaught, felt her hat dragged sideways by the uncertain little
"She held the little one close to her, still laughing, kissing the
firm little arms and hands, and talking baby nonsense as if it had
been her mother-tongue for years.
"The brooch again caught Baby's eye, and he made another determined
raid on it. He seized it and pricked his finger. Down went the
corners of his mouth.
"'There now,' said Hildeguard, 'I knew you'd do that, you duckie
boy,' kissing the pricked hand over and over again. 'And good little
sonnie is not to cry. A watch is much safer than a brooch: now let's
see if we can get at it,' feeling in her belt.
"The watch was grabbed at and went straight to his mouth.
"'Does your watch blow open?' asked Rex.
"'Come and see,' said Hildeguard.
"Rex came without a moment's hesitation. Eileen was forgotten in the
interest of a new investigation. The watch did blow open. How
exceedingly exciting! He leaned both arms on Hildeguard's knee while
he defended the watch from Baby's greedy attacks. Then he suddenly
remembered something of more importance.
"'I've got a watch too.' He wriggled wildly with excitement, and
pulled out a Waterbury.
"'Well, you are a lucky boy!' said Hildeguard.
"Eileen had come forward too, but Hildeguard waited for her to speak
before noticing the advance. Rex was standing near to her, pointing
out the beauties of the watch, the hands, etc.
"'And—and—bigger like that'—stretching his arms wide—'bigger like
that than your watch.'
"'Your watch,' said Eileen, 'is little and tiny, like Mummy's watch.
But Mummy's watch pins on here,' dabbing at Hildeguard's blouse.
Then suddenly she raised swimming eyes to Hildeguard's: 'I do want
Mummy,' she said.
"'Darling,' cried Hildeguard, catching Baby with her right arm, so
as to free the other to draw Eileen to her—'Darling, so we all do.'"