This is the next part of my children’s story about two girls, Peggy who is the narrator and her younger sister Barbara. They have gone to stay with their grandma who lives by the sea, not far from a lighthouse. Peggy is an avid reader and is forever trying to please people, especially adults; her sister Barbara is their mother’s favourite and very spoiled. There has been an accident and one of grandma’s ornaments, a little juggler has been broken. Barbara says Peggy did it, Peggy is so upset that she says the wrong thing and Granny believes her sister.
“What have you got to say for yourself, Peggy?” Granny asked sternly.
“I’m very sorry Granny,” I said and then I wished I hadn’t. I’d made the same mistake downstairs, sounding as if I was saying sorry for breaking the juggler, I was sorry for – well for everything. I should have been mature and when Barbara was being silly, I should have just sat on the window seat.
“I’m very surprised at you Peggy, it’s not what I expect of you. I know you love the juggler -”
“I do!” I burst out looking up at her, and then realised I had interrupted Granny. Her eyebrows went down.
She didn’t say ‘don’t interrupt me‘, she just waited a moment. I was desperate to say it wasn’t me, I didn’t do it, but that would sound like a fib and I should have said it straight away downstairs.
I know you love the juggler, and I have always let you hold him when I am with you. But I have also always told you not to touch unless I’m there. He belonged to my Aunty Effie -”
“I know,” and my voice was a horrible wail and more tears came. I wasn’t being manly at all.
“I can see you’re very upset, but you must stay in your bedroom until tea time and then I shall come and get you. Do you understand?”
She shut the door quietly, which in a way was worse than slamming because it showed although she was really upset with me she hadn’t lost her temper.
“Pull yourself together, Peggy,” I said. I put the juggler on the dressing table, very carefully. I wondered if I could mend him if I had some glue. But I didn’t have any glue.
Suddenly I heard an awful noise, it was Barbara crying in that silly show-off way and i could hear Grandma talking really firmly and quite cross. What had Barbara done now? I waited by the door in case Granny came in and told me it was all a mistake and she was sorry she’d thought I had broken the juggler.
I heard Barbara’s door shut really quite firmly and Granny telling her she was to stay there until teatime. I hurried back to sit on my bed, but Granny didn’t come in, and I heard the stairs squeaking, and then the door into the sitting room opening.
I went and stood by the window; it was round like a porthole but there was no window seat. I kept thinking about mending the juggler, if only I had some glue. I had another look at him,, and very carefully put the broken bits next to each other. It would be easy to mend him if I had some glue. He wouldn’t look the same but maybe I could save some pocket money and buy some paint, if only I had any pocket money. It had been stopped because I had been naughty, or I had been rude… or had I been mean to Barbara, I couldn’t remember now, but it didn’t matter, I had no pocket money.
Granny had told me to stay in my room, but supposing I went downstairs and knocked on the sitting room door and very politely and respectfully asked Granny if she had some glue? Would she be very cross? If I was very polite, maybe she would just be stern and send me back to my bedroom if she didn’t have any glue.
I though about this. My teacher told me sometimes I am too hasty so I had a think. If I was very polite…
I opened my door quietly and stood on the landing. The window at the end is shaped like a church window. I could hear Barbara singing. As usual she soon got over her upset. When I am upset it worries me for a long time. I would be upset about the juggler for a long time.
I went down the stairs quietly . I was holding my breath, ready to be brave to knock on the door but as I got to the bottom step I could hear voices. Was Granny listening to the radio? No, she was talking, she was talking to me Mr Benbow. Oh no! She must be talking about me and how bad she thinks I’ve been. Oh no! Supposing she decides I must go home and not stay here with her!