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CHAPTER XVI FIAM’S SILVER ARMOUR
After this to protect Fiam whenever we went out in bad or threatening weather, I covered him with a magnificent waterproof made from the tin-foil I had taken off of some chocolate. I wrapped him up well, and I can’t tell you how proud he was to see himself clad in silver like an ancient prince in armour. I put a cap made of the same material on his head, which was exactly like a microscopic medieval helmet.

In this outfit Fiam was a little clumsy at first, but soon he could move with ease, and at last he was able to walk. He was never ready to take off the brilliant suit, and even when the sun shone gloriously he would say:

“Put on my waterproof; the weather is threatening.”

“It doesn’t seem so to me.”

[126]

“Yes, yes. I feel the dampness in my joints.”

I indulged his little vanity and made him happy. But he glistened so brightly that a Japanese officer once asked politely:

“What is that you wear in the band of your hat?”

“Oh, nothing,” I replied evasively; “a little pencil.”

Also I noticed that the general who commanded the troop looked at me curiously, but said nothing, because he was afraid it was beneath his dignity.

It was the first time I had been with the general. It was the day before a battle, and he had invited me to breakfast in a tent as ............
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