A Prisoner in Fairyland HTML version

Chapter 17
The stars ran loose about the sky,
Wasting their beauty recklessly,
Singing and dancing,
Shooting and prancing,
Until the Pole Star took command,
Changing each wild, disordered band
Into a lamp to guide the land--
A constellation.
And so, about my mind and yours,
Thought dances, shoots, and wastes its powers,
Coming and going,
Aimlessly flowing,
Until the Pole Star of the Will
Captains them wisely, strong, and still,
Some dream for others to fulfil
With consecration.
Selected Poems, Montmorency Minke.
There was a certain air of unreality somewhere in the life at Bourcelles that
ministered to fantasy. Rogers had felt it steal over him from the beginning. It was
like watching a children's play in which the scenes were laid alternately in the
Den, the Pension, and the Forest. Side by side with the grim stern facts of
existence ran the coloured spell of fairy make-believe. It was the way they
mingled, perhaps, that ministered to this spirit of fantasy.
There were several heroines for instance--Tante Jeanne, Mademoiselle Lemaire,
and Mother; each played her role quite admirably. There were the worthy sterling
men who did their duty dumbly, regardless of consequences--Daddy, the
Postmaster, and the picturesque old clergyman with failing powers. There was
the dark, uncertain male character, who might be villain, yet who might prove
extra hero--the strutting postman of baronial ancestry; there was the role of
quaint pathetic humour Miss Waghorn so excellently filled, and there were the
honest rough-and-tumble comedians--half mischievous, half malicious--the
retired governesses. Behind them all, brought on chiefly in scenes of dusk and
moonlight, were the Forest Elves who, led by Puck, were responsible for the
temporary confusion that threatened disaster, yet was bound to have a happy
ending--the children. It was all a children's play set in the lovely scenery of
mountain, forest, lake, and old-world garden.
Numerous other characters also flitted in and out. There was the cat, the bird, the
donkey as in pantomime; goblin caves and haunted valleys and talking flowers;
and the queer shadowy folk who came to the Pension in the summer months,
then vanished into space again. Links with the outside world were by no means
lacking. As in the theatre, one caught now and again the rumble of street traffic