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I went in on the weekend and can't stop thinking about how respectful and kind they were: even though they were busy, the woman behind the counter patiently listened to my toddler stuttering her way through "we we we looking for a book for a baby" and how they asked if the book I'd chosen was for "a new person". There is just something so kind, respectful and magical about this bookshop. Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility Help.

The Little Bookroom

Remove To help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. By clicking or navigating the site, you agree to allow our collection of information on and off Facebook through cookies. Learn more, including about available controls: Cookies Policy. Email or Phone Password Forgot account? Mailing List. See more of The Little Bookroom on Facebook. There I saw a big black felt slipper, and in the slipper was a foot; beside it was a second foot inside another slipper.

I dragged them out into the light, and found them attached to the body of Your Majesty's Housekeeper. She fled; I gave chase; and the end of the chase you saw. She is probably a dangerous criminal who, having stolen your daughter, came back for loot. I think we can safely say, Your Majesty, that we are on the track! The King was delighted; the False Housekeeper was condemned to death on the First of April; the Second Detective was promoted; and the Court went to bed and to sleep.

But nobody else did; for by now everybody knew that a thousand Detectives in Disguise were let loose in the streets, and that at any moment you might be arrested by anybody. Before morning, half the people in the City were under lock and key, and the other half was running away as hard as it could from everybody else. Instead of knocking, he beat a special tattoo that brought his Mother running. As soon as she set eyes on him she threw up her hands for joy, and then flung her arms round his neck, crying, 'It's never you, Johnny!

But we can guess. There's something big afoot.

Some of us think it's war with the King of the North, and some think it's war with the King of the South. But my opinion is——' He paused, because he hadn't made up his opinion yet. What's for supper? Mrs John Jenkinson threw her apron over her head, and wept aloud. The cook's given notice. You do the cooking in this house, ma! The King's Cook gave notice the day before yesterday, and every other cook in the country stopped cooking within twenty-four hours.

It would be a sort of treason for us to go on cooking when the King's Cook won't. And there it is. Johnny sat down by his Father on the third stair. You wouldn't believe what a chap's meals mean to a chap on leave. At the Inn they found every man in the village assembled.

It was the only place for the Men to go now that the Women had stopped cooking.

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Feeling against the Women was beginning to run high. As the Men got hungrier and hungrier, they also got angrier and angrier; and the Women, on their part, got stubborner and stubborner. So in all the Inns all over the land the men gathered and talked furiously about the Women: and they took a resolution, that as long as the Women wouldn't cook, they wouldn't work.

But it wasn't only Women that were talked of in the Inns; for now that the soldiers had come home on leave, they began to talk furiously about War as well. Like Johnny the Drummer-Boy, each soldier came back looking very important, as though he alone knew what it all meant; and some said they were going to war with the King of the North, and others with the King of the South.


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The arguments raged high, for this King and that; every Monarch in the world was named by one soldier or another. And the Spies of the Monarchs heard what was said, and hurried back to their own countries with the news; and as soon as they heard it, all the Kings of the World gave orders for their armies to be mustered, and their ships to set sail, on the First of April. The King sipped his coffee and said: 'This is the day for the Suspicious Characters to be beheaded.

And the Colonel-in-Command buttered his toast and said: 'This is the day for the Boy who cleans the Silver to be arrested. And the Moon summoned the Children of the Dark and said: 'The hour is come to prove Night in the wrong.

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So the Colonel went to the Army and flashed his sword at them, and asked, 'Why not? Then up spoke Johnny the Drummer-Boy. As soon as the King's Cook goes back, and we've had a square meal, we'll do our jobs again.

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The Colonel rattled his medals at them, and went to tell the King that he must get back his Cook at any price. The Cook was sent for, looked at the kitchen grate, said the chimney was still dripping and the kitchen fire wouldn't light, and refused to come back till it did. Then the King said, 'Send for the Plumber! Then the King sent for the Second Detective, because the Chief Detective had entirely disappeared, no one knew where.

When the Second Detective came, the King commanded him to arrest the Cook for not cooking, and the Plumber for not plumbing, and the Second Detective scratched his chin and said, 'I'm sorry, I can't. A Detective may be a Detective, but he is also a man, and until my wife begins cooking again I can't go on detecting. The King put his fingers in his ears and burst into tears. But the next moment he took them out again and said, 'What's that? And no wonder! For the sound of cannons and trumpets was ringing through the air, and the Nurse rushed in to say that all the Monarchs of the World were marching on the City, and the coast was entirely surrounded with their ships.

Call out the Army! But the Colonel shrugged his epaulettes at him and said, 'They won't!

The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon, from Project Gutenberg Canada

And the larks flew down instead of up, and the daisies turned black, and the dogs mewed like cats, and the stars came down and walked upon the earth, and a mouse came and pushed the King off his throne, and a seagull came and sat on his footstool, and the clocks struck midnight at noon, and dawn broke in the West, and the wind blew the other way, and the sea ran backwards at high tide, and the cocks crowed for the Moon to rise, and the Moon rose inside out, showing her black lining, and Day fell down flat, and Night was all wrong. And in the midst of all the confusion, the door opened, and the King's daughter came in in her nightdress.

The King flew at her and caught her to his heart, crying, 'My child, my child, where have you been? The Nurse took her by the shoulders, shook her severely, and said, 'You've got your nightdress damp, you naughty little girl. I cried all down me, and all down the chimney. The chimney had stopped dripping, so she lighted the fire and began to cook as hard as she could. At the same moment, the mouse and the seagull went hurrying to the Children of the Dark and of the Light, crying together:. The children of the Dark turned in a body upon the bat, and shouted, 'You told us she had black hair, grey eyes, and a white skin!

The Children of both Light and Dark then said, 'This puts us in a difficult position. We have been supporting a creature who is not one of us.

We must set Day on his feet again at once, and tell Night that she is entirely in the right. No sooner said than done. The stars went back to their places, the sea reversed itself, time straightened itself out, and everything did what it ought to do; and when, last of all, the Sun came out, he shone upon the Kings of the World sailing home in their ships as fast as they could.

For they said they had never seen anything like it, and you couldn't go to war with everything as topsy-turvy as that , could you? The good news was brought to the King in the Palace, and he clapped his hands and said to the Colonel-in-Command, 'Now they've gone we shan't want the Army for them , so let it arrest the Boy who cleans the Silver. And I suppose we must let off all the people who were going to be beheaded too.