Author: Reda Davis
Copyright Date: 1959
Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell
Pagination: 34 p.
Dedication: for Bryce
One summer, not long ago, an American family went to visit the strange and faraway country of Wales. There were Mrs. Johns, Mr. Johns, and Martin. They went there because Mrs. Johns had heard that it is a land of castles.
In their travels they visited so many castles that Martin began to think that the people in Wales did nothing in bygone days but build castles.
One morning, very early, they were driving slowly along a quiet country road. Suddenly Mr. Johns saw a castle. Mrs. Johns had not yet seen it, as she was looking the other way.
Mr. Johns tried very hard to keep her from looking in the direction of the castle. Like Martin, Mr. Johns was very tired of castles by now.
“Look at that tiny little dog by the side of the road!” he said.
Mrs. Johns loved little dogs, and they stopped the car long enough to pet the wee little corgi.
The castle was still in sight. Mr. Johns tried to keep Mrs. Johns from seeing it.
“Look, dear,” he said. “Those hollyhocks are the tallest I have ever seen!”
It was too late. Mrs. Johns had seen the castle.
“Henry!” (Henry was Mr. Johns’s first name.) “Henry, I do believe that I see a castle. Let me look on my map.”
She looked at her map and looked at the castle.
“There is certainly not supposed to be a castle here!”
The castle stood on top of a hill, very plain to see.
“We must visit it,” she said firmly.
They drove up the steep road and stopped before the great entrance.
Martin got out of the back of the car slowly. It wasn’t that he didn’t like castles; it was just that he already had seen so many.
They crossed the moat into the castle. The moat was dry, and ferns grew in it. In long-ago times it had been full of water to keep enemies from the walls.
No one was around, so in they walked.
Mrs. Johns was very happy. “What a lovely castle,” she said, “and no one here to say ‘do this’ and ‘do that.’ We can explore in our own way.”
Mr. Johns sighed. He looked at the steps to the tower and thought there must be eight hundred and fifty of them.
Martin wanted to explore the castle by himself. While his mother and father were looking at the tower steps, Martin ran down the stairs at the back of the hall.
Down, down he went.
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