More about Paddington, Michael Bond
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Michael Bond

More about Paddington

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“But I didn’t swallow it,” gasped Paddington. “I only nearly did. Then I put it on the side of my plate. I didn’t know it was five pence because it was all covered with Christmas pudding.”
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“I had one,” said Paddington firmly. “It was all hard—and it stuck in my throat.”
“Good gracious!” exclaimed Mrs. Bird. “The five pence! I always put a piece of silver in the Christmas pudding.”
“What!” said Paddington, nearly falling off his chair. “A five pence? I’ve never heard of a five-pence pudding before.”
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“I think so, thank you,” said Paddington as he stood up and dusted himself, “but I’ve lost my bull’s-eye somewhere.”
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The boy held out a cap containing several coppers and touched his hat respectfully. “Penny for the guy, sir.”
“Thank you very much,” said Paddington, taking a penny out of the cap. “It’s very kind of you.”
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“Oi!” said the boy as Paddington turned to go. “Oi! You’re supposed to give me a penny—not take one yourself.”
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“Cor!” repeated Mr. Briggs, mopping his brow with a spotted handkerchief. “Whatever it was, I don’t never want to see nothing like it again. Fair chilled me to the marrow it did!” With that he slammed the window shut, and the voices died away.
From behind the pile of bricks, Paddington could hardly believe his ears. He had never even dreamed that Mr. Briggs and his men could be mixed up in the affair. And yet—he had definitely heard Mr. Briggs say his marrow had been chilled.
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“I expect Mummy and Mrs. Bird gave you ten pence because they don’t want Daddy to do any more decorating,” she explained. “He always starts things and never finishes them. And I expect Daddy gave you one because he didn’t want to finish it, anyway. Now they’re getting a proper decorator in, so everyone’s happy!”
Paddington sipped his cocoa thoughtfully. “Perhaps if I did another room I’d get another thirty pence,” he said.
“Oh, no you don’t,” said Judy sternly. “You’ve done quite enough for one day. If I were you I shouldn’t mention the word decorating for a long time to come.”
“Perhaps you’re right,” said Paddington sleepily as he stretched out his paws. “But I was at a loose end.”
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Paddington was a resourceful bear, and he didn’t like being beaten by things.
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