portance would be terribly angry, and perhaps would----"
What the conclusion of the sentence was to have been the children never knew, for at that moment there was a loud clattering noise in the passage leading from the cave, and a moment afterwards four extraordinary figures came in sight.
They were mounted upon ostriches, and one of them, more richly caparisoned than the others, had a kind of canopy attached to his trappings, beneath which sat a stern-faced little man with an elaborate turban and head-dress. He wore also a very curious collar, from which depended a large gold ornament of curious design. He carried in one hand a long pipe, and with the other guided his strange steed.
[Illustration: "What do you know about the Dodo?"]
The others of the party, who were evidently his attendants, each carried a banner emblazoned with mysterious signs and characters.
The silver bells attached to the head of the ostrich, and on the top of the canopy over the grandee, tinkled merr