The Holy Terror

The Holy Terror

The Holy Terror

The Holy Terror


IT'S a Holy Terror," said Betsy Barnacle, the monthly nurse. "I never heard such a baby. Scream and scream it does. And its little fists!"

"There ain't nothing wrong with it?" asked cook.

"Only it's a little Turk," said Betsy. "Goes stiff it does and if you tried to stop it, there'd be convulsions. Hark at it now! You'd think it would rupture itself."

The two women listened judicially. Their eyes met in a common wonder.

"I shouldn't have thought its father had it in him," said cook.

§ 2

The baby grew into an incessantly active, bilious little boy with a large white face, a slight scowl and the devil of a temper. He was a natural born kicker; he went straight for the shins. He was also a wrist-twister, but he bit very little. On the other hand he was a great smasher of the cherished possessions of those who annoyed him, and particularly the possessions of his brothers Samuel and Alf. He seemed to have been born with the idea of "serving people out." He wept very little, but when he wept he howled aloud, and jabbered wild abuse, threats and recriminations through the wet torrent of his howling. The neighbours heard him. Old gentlemen stopped and turned round to look at him in the street.

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