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IN THE beginning, Bartholomew Cubbins didn’t have 5 hundred hats. He had only one hat. It was an old one that had belonged to his father and his father’s father prior to him. The was most likely the oldest and the plainest hat in the totality Kingdom the Didd, whereby Bartholomew Cubbins lived. Yet Bartholomew favored it — especially since of the feather that always pointed right up in the air. The Kingdom the Didd to be ruled through King Derwin. His palace stood high ~ above the optimal of the mountain. Indigenous his balcony, he looked under over the homes of all his topics — first, over the spires that the noblemen’s castles, throughout the vast roofs of the affluent men’s mansions, then over the little houses of the townsfolk, to the huts that the farmers much off in the fields. It was a mighty view and it made King Derwin feel mighty important. Far off in the fields, on the leaf of a cranberry bog, stood the hut of the Cubbins family. From the tiny door Bartholomew looked across the huts of the farmer to the homes of the townsfolk, then to the affluent men’s mansions and the noblemen’s castles, approximately the good towering royal residence of the King. It was precisely the exact same view that King Derwin observed from his balcony, but Bartholomew experienced it backward. It was a mighty view, however it make Bartholomew Cubbins feeling mighty small. I simply after sunrise one Saturday morning Bartholomew started for town. The felt very happy. A satisfied breeze whistled through the feather in his hat. In his ideal hand he brought a basket the cranberries to sell at the market. He to be anxious to offer them quickly and also bring the money ago home to his parents. That walked faster and faster till he gained to the gates of the town. The sound of silver- trumpets rang through the air. Hoof beats clattered ~ above the cobbled streets. “Clear the way! Clear the way! Make method for the King ! ” all the civilization rushed because that the pavements. They drove your carts appropriate up over the kerbstones. Bartholomew clutched his basket tighter. Approximately the comer dashed fifty trumpeters on yellow-robed horses. Behind lock on crimson-robed horses came the King’s very own Guards. “Hats turn off to the King!” shouted the Captain of the King’s own Guards. On come the king carriage — white and also gold and also purple. It rumbled prefer thunder with the narrow street. The swept past Bartholomew. Then suddenly its mighty brakes shrieked. The lurched — and then the stopped. The totality procession stand still. Bartholomew can hardly believe what he saw. With the side window of the carriage, the King self was staring back — straight earlier at him! Bartholomew started to tremble. “Back up ! ” the King commanded the imperial Coachman. The royal Coachman shouted come the royal horses. The King’s own Guards shouted to your crimson- robed horses. The trumpeters shouted to their yellow-robed horses. Really slowly the totality procession backed down the street, until the king’s carriage stopped ideal in prior of Bartholomew. The King leaned indigenous his carriage home window and resolved his eyes directly on Bartholomew Cubbins. “Well. . .? Well...?” that demanded. Bartholomew shook with fright. “I need to say something,” he thought to himself. Yet he might think the nothing to say. “Well?” inquiry the King again. “Do friend or carry out you no take off your hat prior to your King?” “Yes, indeed, Sire,” answered Bartholomew, feeling substantially relieved. “I execute take off my hat prior to my King.” “Then take it off this really instant,” commanded the King an ext loudly 보다 before. “But, Sire, my hat is off,” reply Bartholomew. “Such impudence!” shouted the King, shower an upset finger. “How challenge you stand there and also tell me her hat is off!” “I don’t prefer to speak you space wrong, Sire,” claimed Bartholomew really politely, “but girlfriend sec my hat is off.” and he confirmed the King the cap in his hand. “If that’s her hat in your hand,” request the King, “what’s the on your head?” “On my head?” gasped Bartholomew. There did it seems ~ to it is in something on his head. He got to up his hand and also touched a hat! The confront of Bartholomew Cubbins turned an extremely red. ‘It’s a hat, Sire,” the stammered, “but it can ’t it is in mine. Someone behind me must have actually put the on mine head.” “I don’t treatment how it gained there,” stated the King. “You take it it off.” and the King sat back in his carriage. Bartholomew conveniently snatched off the hat. He stared at it in astonishment. That was exactly the same as his very own hat — the very same size, the same colour. And also it had specifically the same feather. ‘ ‘By the Crown of my Fathers!” roared the King, again leaning the end of the carriage window. “Did ns or walk I no command girlfriend to take it off her hat?” “You did, Sire. ... I took the off... Ns took it off twice.” “Nonsense ! there is quiet a hat upon her head.” “Another hat?” Again Bartholomew reached up his hand and touched a hat. “Come, come, what is the meaning of every this?” inquiry the King, his face purple through rage. “I don’t know, Sire,” answer Bartholomew. “It never happened come me before.” The King was now shaking v such fury the the carriage rocked top top its wheels and also the royal Coachman could hardly sit in his seat. “Arrest this impudent trickster,” shouted the King to the Captain the the King’s own Guards. “We’ll teach that to take offhis hat.” The royal Coachman cracked his long whip. The king carriage swung front up the street towards the palace. However the Captain the the King’s very own Guards leaned under from his large brass saddle and also grabbed Bartholomew Cubbins by his shirt. Far flew Bartholomew’s basket! The cranberries bounced end the cobblestones and rolled down right into the gutter. Through a jangling that spurs and a clatter the hotseshoes, the Captain and also Bartholomew sped up the winding street towards the palace. Out of the small streets, on increase the hill! Bartholomew clung come the Captain’s vast back. On and on they galloped, previous the shining gardens that the well-off merchants. Higher and greater up the mountain, on previous the wall surfaces of the noblemen’s castles. .. . Flupp !.... The spicy wind whisked olf Bartholomew’s hat. Flupp Flupp .... Two more flew off. Flupp Flupp Flupp flew an additional . . . And also another. “... 4 ... 5 .. - 6 . .. 7 ...” Bartholomew maintained counting as the hats came faster and also faster. Lords and ladies stared indigenous the windows of your turrets, wondering what the strange currently of hats could mean. End the royal residence drawbridge lock sped — with the good gates, and into the courtyard. The Captain pulled in his reins. “His Majesty waits in the Throne Room,” stated a guard, saluting the Captain. “The Throne Room! ” The Captain reduce Bartholomew to the ground. “I’d certainly hate to be in her shoes,” he said, shower his head sadly. For a minute Bartholomew to be terribly frightened. “Still,” he thought to himself, “the King deserve to do nothing disastrous to punishment me, due to the fact that I yes, really haven’t excellent anything wrong. It would be cowardly to feeling afraid.” Bartholomew threw back his shoulders and also marched right ahead right into the palace. “Follow the black carpet,” claimed the guard at the door. All with the long hallway Bartholomew could hear the muttering of voices behind heavy doors. “He won’t take off his hat?” “No, he won’t take off his hat.” Bartholomew go on till he stood in the really middle the the Throne Room. The King, in a lengthy scarlet robe, was sitting ~ above his throne. Alongside him stood sir Aiaric, keeper of the king’s Records. He wore in his belt, instead of a sword, a long silver ruler. Lords and noblemen that the court stood solemn and also silent. The King looked under at Bartholomew severely. “Young man, I’ll provide you one much more chance. Will certainly you take off your hat for your King?” “Your Majesty,” stated Bartholomew as politely as he maybe could, “I will — yet I’m fear it won’t do any good.” and he took offhis hat — and also it no do any good. An additional hat satellite on Bartholomew’s head. He take it off cap after hat after cap after hat till he to be standing in the center of a an excellent pile the hats. The lords and also noblemen were so astonished castle couldn’t even speak. Such a thing had never taken place in the Throne Room before. “Heavens!” said Sir Alaric, keeper of the Records, blinking behind his triangle spectacles. “He’s taken turn off 45!” “And there to be 3 more down in the town,” claimed the King. “And friend must add on 87 an ext that blew off mine head together we galloped up the hill,” claimed Bartholomew, do the efforts to it is in helpful. “One hundred and thirty-five hats ! many unusual,” said Sir Alaric, composing it under on a long scroll. “Come, come,” stated the King impatiently. “Sir Alaric, what do you make of all this nonsense?” “Very severe nonsense, your Maj esty,” answered teacher Alaric. “I recommend you to call in an professional on hats.” “Excellent,” i agreeed the King. “Ho, Guard! fetch in sir Snipps, machine of hats for all the fine lords.” right into the Throne Room marched the the smallest man, put on the tallest hat that Bartholomew had ever before seen. It was teacher Snipps. Rather of a sword, the wore at his next a large pair the scissors. “Take a look at this boy’s hat,” commanded the King. Teacher Snipps looked in ~ Bartholomew Cubbins’ hat and also sniffed in disgust. Climate he turned to the King and bowed stiffly. “Your Majesty, I, teacher Snipps, to be the an equipment of hats for all the well lords. Ns make hats of fabric of gold, good si lks and gems and ostrich plumes. Girlfriend ask me what i think that this hat? Pooh! the is the most ordinary hat ns ever collection eyes on.” “In the case,” stated the King, “it should be very an easy for girlfriend to take it off.” “Simple, indeed,” mumbled teacher Snipps haughtily, and, stand on his tiptoes, he propelled his pudgy ignorance at Bartholomew’s hat and knocked it come the floor. Immediately another appeared top top Bartholomew’s head. “Screebees! ” screamed teacher Snipps, leaping in the air greater than that is tall. Climate he turned and ran shrieking out of the Throne Room. “Dear me! ” claimed the King, looking very puzzled. “If Snipps can not doit, this must be more than an simple hat.” “One hundred and also thirty-six,” created Sir Alaric wrinkling his brow. “Your Majesty, I recommend that you contact in her Wise Men.” “A good idea!” claimed the King. “Ho, Guard! carry me Nadd. Nadd knows around everything in all my kingdom.” In came an old, old man. He looked at the hat on Bartholomew’s head, and also he looked at the heap of hats on the floor. “Nadd, my way Man, deserve to you take off his hat?” asked the King. Nadd shook his head solemnly — solemnly no. “Then fetch me the father of Nadd,” commanded the King. “He knows about everything in every my kingdom and also in all the- people beyond.” In came an even older man. Yet when he looked in ~ Bartholomew’s hats, the dad of Nadd just locked his fingers across his beard and also said nothing. ‘Then bring me the dad of the father ofNadd!” notified the King. “He knows about everything in every my kingdom, in all the people beyond, and in all other worlds that may take place to be.” Then come the oldest guy of them all. However he just looked in ~ Bartholomew and also nibbled nervously at the end of his beard. “Does this typical there is no one in my totality kingdom who have the right to take off this boy’s hat?” bellowed the King in a terrifying voice. A little voice came up through the balcony window. “What’s the matter, Uncle Derwin?” to Bartholomew, it sounded favor the voice the a boy. The King stepped out on the balcony and leaned over the marble railing. “There’s aboy inhere ...just about your age,” the King said. “He won’t take turn off his hat.” Bartholomew tiptoed up behind the King and also looked down. There stood a boy with a huge lace collar — a really proud tiny boy through his nose in the air. It was the Grand fight it out Wilfred, nephew the the King. “You send him under here,” claimed the Grand fight it out Wilfred. " I"ll deal with him.” The King thought for a minute. That pushed back his crown and also scratched his head. “Well... Probably you can. Yes sir no hann in trying.” “Take him come the Grand battle each other Wilfred!” commanded the King. And two that the King’s very own Guards led Bartholomew the end of the Throne Room. “Pooh ! ” claimed the Grand fight it out Wilfred, looking in ~ Bartholomew’s hat and laughing meanly. “ that hat i will not ~ tome off? You was standing over there.” the pointed come a comer where the wall surface curved out. “I need a small target practice with my bow and arrow.” once Bartholomew saw that the Grand fight it out Wi lfr ed had actually only a children bow the didn’t feeling frightened. He spoke up proudly, “I have the right to shoot through my father ’s large bow.” “My bow’s quite huge enough because that shooting hats — specifically hats like yours,” answered Wilfred. And also he let paris an arrow. ZZZ! ... It grazed Bartholomew’s forehead and also nipped turn off his hat. Far it blew, and over the parapet. But another hat appeared on his head. ZzZ ! . . . ZzZ ! . . . ZzZ ! ... The arrows flew ... Till the Grand duke ’s whole bagful the arrows was gone. And also still a hat sat upon Bartholomew’s head. “It’s not fair,” cried the grand Duke. “It’s no fair!” that threw down his bow and also stamped top top it. “One hundred and also fifty-four hats ! ’ ’ gulped SirAlaric. “These hats space driving me mad!” The king voice rang out v all the palace. “Why waste time with a child s bow and also arrow. Fetch me the mightiest bow and also arrow in all my kingdom — bring the Yeoman of the Bowmen!” “Yeoman that the Bowmen,” echoed all the lords and noblemen the the court. A huge man strode out throughout the terrace. His bow was as big as the branch the a tree. The arrowhead was twice as long as Bartholomew, and thicker 보다 his wrist. “Yeoman of the Bowmen,” stated the King, “shoot turn off this boy’s hat... And also make it continue to be off!” G — r — r—zibb !. . . Like a mad large hornet the arrow tore with the air towards Bartholomew Cubbins. G — r — r — zapp/... The spicy arrow-head little through his hat and carried it turn off — on and also on for a full fifty percent mile. G~r — r — zoppf. . . The plunked come a protect against in the heart of one oak tree. However there ~ above Bartholomew’s head sat another hat. Bartholomew to be trembling so hard that he can scarcely stand straight. The Yeoman bent ago his mighty bow. The confront of the Yeoman of the Bowmen went as white together the palace walls. “It’s black color magic ! ” he shrieked. “Black magic, that’s simply what the is,” sighed the King with relief. “I should have actually thought of that before. That provides things simple. Back to the Throne Room! contact my magicians! ” In the entirety Throne Room there wasn’t a sound together loud together a breath. However from the spiral stairs the led down from the southwest tower came the shuffling that slow, padded feet. The magicians to be coming! Low and also slow, they were chanting words that were weird . . . “Dig a hole five furlongs deep, under to whereby the night provides creep, Mix and mould the mystic mud, Malber, Bather, Tidder, Tudd. ” In came 7 black-gowned magicians, and also beside every one stalked a lean black color cat. They circled roughly Bartholomew Cubbins muttering deep and also mysterious sounds. “Stop this useless muttering,” bespeak the King. “I desire a hymn that will charm away this boy’s hat.” The magicians huddled over Bartholomew and also chanted. “Winkibus Tinkibus Fotiches Klay, cap on this demon s head, Fly much away! Howl, men, howl away, Howl away, howl away, Yowl, cats, yowl away, Yowl away, yowl away! hat on this demon s head, action away, creep away, leap away, gleap away, never ever come back! ” “A mighty great chant,” stated the King, looking very pleased. “Are you sure it will work?” every the magicians nodded together. “But,” stated the King, feather puzzled, “there still appears to it is in a hat upon his head. How long will it take because that the chann to work?” “ be calm, oh. Sire, and also hare no fears, ” chanted the magicians. “Our charm will work in ten quick years. ” “Ten years’” gasped the King. “Away, fools!” that shouted. “Out of my sight! i can’t wait ten year to eliminate his hat. Oh, dear, what can I carry out ... What deserve to I do?” “If ns were King,” whispered the Grand fight it out Wilfred, “I’d chop turn off his head.” “A disastrous thought,” stated the King, biting his iip. “But ns afraid I’ll have actually to.” “Young man,” he claimed to Bartholomew Cubbins, and he pointed come a tiny door at the finish of the room, “march down those steps to the dungeon and tell the executioner come chop off her head.” Bartholomew’s love sank right into his boots, but he did as the King commanded. “I should take turn off my hat,” he stated to himself as he started down the lengthy black stairway. “This is my last chance.” One cap after one more he tore from his head “... 156... 157 ... 158 ...” It grew colder and damper. “. .. 217 ... 218 ... 219 ...” under . . . Under . . .down. “... 231 ... 232 ... 233.. .” It seemed to Bartholomew he need to be in the really heart of the mountain. “Who’s there?” claimed a voice native the blackness. Bartholomew turned a comer and stepped right into the dungeon. The executioner to be whistling and also swinging his axe idly, since at the minute he had actually nothing come do. Regardless of his business, the really seemed to it is in a really pleasant man. “The King says you should chop olf my head,” claimed Bartholomew. “Oh, I’d dislike to,” said the executioner, looking at him v a friendly smile. “You seem such a nice boy.” “Well ... The King states you have actually to,” stated Bartholomew, “so please obtain it over with.” “All right,” sighed the executioner, “but first you’ve obtained to take off her hat.” “Why?” inquiry Bartholomew. “I don’t know,” said the executioner, “but it’s among the rules. I can’t execute anyone v his cap on.” “All right,” said Bartholomew, “you take it it off for me.” The executioner leaned throughout the chopping block and also flipped off Bartholomew’s hat. “What’s this?” he gasped, blinking with the feet in his mask, as one more hat satellite on Bartholomew’s head. The flipped this one off... Climate another and also another. “Fiddlesticks!” grunted the executioner, cram his axe on the floor. “I can’t execute you in ~ all.” and he shook hands v Bartholomew and sent him ago upstairs come the King. The King had actually been taking a nap top top the throne. “What space you doing earlier here?” he said to Bartholomew, angry at gift awakened. “I’m sorry, your Majesty,” described Bartholomew. “My head can’t come off with my cap on. ... It’s versus the rules.” “So that can’t,” claimed the King, leaning back wearily. “Now how countless hats does that make altogether?” “The executioner knocked turn off 13... And also I left 178 much more on the dungeon steps,” reply Bartholomew. “Three hundred and forty-six hats,” mumbled teacher Alaric indigenous behind his scroll. “Uncle Derwin,” yawned the Grand fight it out Wilfred, “I expect I’ll need to do away v him. Send him approximately the highest possible turret and also I, in person, will push him off.” “Wilfred! i’m surprised in ~ you,” claimed the King. “But ns guess that a good idea.” for this reason the King and the Grand battle each other led Bartholomew Cubbins toward the highest possible turret. Up and also up and also up the turret stairs that climbed behind them. “This is my last — my very last chance,” believed Bartholomew. That snatched olThis hat. “Three hundred and also forty-seven!” he snatched off another. The pulled and also he tore and also he flung lock behind him. “. . .398 .. 399 . . .” His arms ached from pulling off hats. Yet still the hats came. Bartholomew climbed on. “.. . 448 . .. 449. . . 450 . . .” counted teacher Alaric, puffing increase the stairs behind him. Suddenly Sir Alaric stopped. He looked. The took off his triangular spectacles and also wiped castle on his sleeve. And then he looked again. The hats started to change! hat 45 1 had, not one, yet two feathers! cap 452 had actually three . . . And also 453 likewise had three and also a small red jewel! Each brand-new hat to be fancier than the hat just before. “Your Majesty! her Majesty !” cry out sir Alaric. However the King and the Grand fight it out were far up wherein they couldn’t hear. They had actually akeady reached the top of the greatest turret. Bartholomew was following just behind. “Step right out here and also get the end on the wall,” snap the Grand fight it out Wilfred. “I can’t wait to press you off.” but when Bartholomew stepped increase on the wall they gasped in amazement. He to be wearing the many beautiful hat the had ever before been checked out in the Kingdom that Didd. It had actually a ruby larger than any kind of the King himself had ever owned. It had actually ostrich plumes, and cockatoo plumes, and also mockingbird plumes, and paradise plumes. Alongside such a hat also the king Crown seemed like nothing. The Grand battle each other Wilfred took a rapid step forward. Bartholomew assumed his end had come at last. “Wait ! ” shouted the King. He might not take his eyes turn off the magnificent hat. “I won ’t wait,” the Grand fight it out talked back to the King. “I’m going to push him turn off now! the new big hat makes me madder than ever.” and he flung out his arms to push Bartholomew off. However the King was faster than Wilfred. He ordered him by the ago of his good lace collar. “This is come teach you,” His Majesty stated sternly, “that grand Dukes never talk ago to their King.” and he turn the Grand fight it out Wilfred over his knee and also spanked the soundly, best on the chair of his imperial silk pants. “And now,” smiled the King, lifting Bartholomew under from the wall, “it would certainly be pretty if you’d sell me that wonderful hat! ” “. . . 498 . . . -499 . . .” broke in the exhausted voice of teacher Alaric, who had actually just came down on the height of the steps, “and the ...” that pointed to the hat on Bartholomew’s head, “makes exactly 500!” “Five Hundred! ” exclaimed the King. “Will you sell it for 500 piece of gold?” “Anything girlfriend say, Sire,” answered Bartholomew. “You watch ... I’ve never ever sold one before.” The King’s hand trembled with pleasure as he got to for the hat. Slowly, slowly, Bartholomew felt the load of the good hat lifting indigenous his head. He held his breath. . . . Then all of sudden he feel the cool night breezes blow through his hair. His face damaged into a happy smile. The head the Bartholomew Cubbins was bare! “Look, her Majesty! Look! ” he shouted to the King. “No! you look at me, ” reply the King. And he placed the an excellent hat on best over his crown. Ann in arm, the King and also Bartholomew went down to the counting room to count out the gold. Climate the King sent Bartholomew residence to his parental ... No basket on his arm, no hat on his head, however with five hundred pieces of yellow in a bag. And also the King commanded the the hat he had bought, and also all the other hats, too, be retained forever in a an excellent crystal case by the side of his throne. Yet neither Bartholomew Cubbins, nor King Dcrwin himself, nor anyone else in the Kingdom the Didd might ever describe how the strange thing had happened.


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Castle only might say it just “happened to happen” and also was not an extremely likely to happen again. Finish