"Suppose we go and hinder those new people opposite for a little."
"They might amuse you."
Freddy, whom his fellow-creatures never amused, suggested that the new people might be feeling a bit busy, and so on, since they had only just moved in.
"I suggested we should hinder them," said Mr. Beebe. "They are worth it." Unlatching the gate, he sauntered over the triangular green to Cissie Villa. "Hullo!" he cried, shouting in at the open door, through which much squalor was visible.
A grave voice replied, "Hullo!"
"I've brought some one to see you."
"I'll be down in a minute."
The passage was blocked by a wardrobe, which the removal men had failed to carry up the stairs. Mr. Beebe edged round it with difficulty. The sitting-room itself was blocked with books.
"Are these people great readers?" Freddy whispered. "Are they that sort?"
"I fancy they know how to read--a rare accomplishment. What have they got? Byron. Exactly. A Shropshire Lad. Never heard of it. The Way of All Flesh. Never heard of it. Gibbon. Hullo! dear George reads German. Um--um--Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and so we go on. Well, I suppose your generation knows its own business, Honeychurch."
"Mr. Beebe, look at that," said Freddy in awestruck tones.
On the cornice of the wardrobe, the hand of an amateur had painted this inscription: "Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes."
"I know. Isn't it jolly? I like that. I'm certain that's the old man's doing."
"How very odd of him!"
"Surely you agree?"
But Freddy was his mother's son and felt that one ought not to go on spoiling the furniture.