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9. CHAPTER IX
On the following Sunday, when the Vicar was making his preparations to go into the drawing-room for his nap--all the actions of his life were conducted with ceremony--and Mrs. Carey was about to go upstairs, Philip asked:
"What shall I do if I'm not allowed to play?"
"Can't you sit still for once and be quiet?"
"I can't sit still till tea-time."
Mr. Carey looked out of the window, but it was cold and raw, and he could not suggest that Philip should go into the garden.
"I know what you can do. You can learn by heart the collect for the day."
He took the prayer-book which was used for prayers from the harmonium, and turned the pages till he came to the place he wanted.
"It's not a long one. If you can say it without a mistake when I come in to tea you shall have the top of my egg."
Mrs. Carey drew up Philip's chair to the dining-room table--they had bought him a high chair by now--and placed the book in front of him.
"The devil finds work for idle hands to do," said Mr. Carey.
He put some more coals on the fire so that there should be a cheerful blaze when he came in to tea, and went into the drawing-room. He loosened his collar, arranged the cushions, and settled himself comfortably on the sofa. But thinking the drawing-room a little chilly, Mrs. Carey brought him a rug from the hall; she put it over his legs and tucked it round his feet. She drew the blinds so that the light should not offend his eyes, and since he had closed them already went out of the room on tiptoe. The Vicar was at peace with himself today, and in ten minutes he was asleep. He snored softly.
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