It was Mrs Poppets that woke me up next morning.
She said: "Do you know that it's nearly nine o'clock, sir?"
"Nine of what?" I cried, starting up.
"I thought you wanted to get up at six?"
I woke Harris and George. Together we went downstairs to breakfast. Montmorency had invited two other dogs to come and see him off, and they were fighting on the doorstep. We calmed them with an umbrella, and sat down to breakfast.
George got hold of the paper, and read us out the weather forecast, which promised "rain, cold, wet to fine."
I do think that this "weather-forecast" fraud is unbearable13. It "forecasts" precisely what happened yesterday or at the day before, and precisely the opposite of what is going to happen today.
I remember a holiday which was completely ruined one late autumn by the weather report of the local newspaper. "Heavy showers, with thunderstorms may be expected today," it would say on Monday, and so we would give up our picnic, stay indoors all day, and wait for the rain. And people would pass the house, jolly and merry, and the sun would shine, and the sky would be cloudless.
"Ah!" we said, as we watched them through the window, "they will all come home soaked!"
And we chuckled about how wet they were going to get, and came back and stirred the fire, and got our books and made ourselves comfortable. By twelve o'clock it got really hot, and we wondered when those heavy showers and occasional thunderstorms were going to begin.
"Ah! they'll come in the afternoon," we said to each other. "Oh, those people WILL get wet!"
At one o'clock, the landlady would come in to ask if we weren't going out, as it seemed such a lovely day.
"No, no," we replied, with a knowing chuckle. "WE don't mean to get wet — no, no."
And when the afternoon was nearly gone, and still there was no sign of rain, we tried to cheer ourselves up with the idea that it would come down all at once, and people would get more soaked than ever. But not a drop ever fell, and it finished a grand day, and a lovely night after it.
The next morning we would read that it was going to be a "warm, fine day, much heat;" and we would dress ourselves in light clothes, and go out, and, half an hour later, it would start to rain hard, and a cold wind would blow, and both would keep on for the whole day, and we would come home with colds and rheumatism all over us, and go to bed.
The weather is a thing that is a mystery to me. I never can understand it.