The Cricket on the Hearth
CHAPTER I - Chrip the First
THE kettle began it! Don't tell me what Mrs. Peerybingle said. I
know better. Mrs. Peerybingle may leave it on record to the end of
time that she couldn't say which of them began it; but, I say the
kettle did. I ought to know, I hope! The kettle began it, full
five minutes by the little waxy-faced Dutch clock in the corner,
before the Cricket uttered a chirp.
As if the clock hadn't finished striking, and the convulsive little
Haymaker at the top of it, jerking away right and left with a
scythe in front of a Moorish Palace, hadn't mowed down half an acre
of imaginary grass before the Cricket joined in at all!
Why, I am not naturally positive. Every one knows that. I
wouldn't set my own opinion against the opinion of Mrs.
Peerybingle, unless I were quite sure, on any account whatever.
Nothing should induce me. But, this is a question of act. And the
fact is, that the kettle began it, at least five minutes before the
Cricket gave any sign of being in existence. Contradict me, and
I'll say ten.