At that moment she heard a gasp, and she looked up to see the gay and charming Selina, no longer gay and charming but trembling with rage, staring at them in horror over the compost heap.
"You - you - you murderess!" she cried in a terrible voice. "What have you done to my baby's hair?"
"Oh, hallo, Selina!" cried Peregrine. "Isn't it fun, she's cutting my hair. I'm Samson and she's Delilah!"
"I - I -" began Susan, lowering the shears. At the same moment Midge, disturbed in her practising by the raised voices, popped her head over the fence and goggled at the sight of Peregrine and Susan with the shears in her hand.
Mrs. Gascoigne was nearly crying with rage. She grabbed the scissors out of Susan's nerveless hand and flung them down; she seized Peregrine in one hand and Susan in the other and began dragging them through the tumbledown gate that led to the Carmichaels' garden. "Come with me!" she cried, like a tragedy queen, Midge said afterwards. "Until I show your aunt and uncle what you have done to my child!"
"I - I - I -" said Susan.
They met Aunt Lucy at the back door, hanging out some stockings to dry. Mrs. Gascoigne stormed and ranted and pointed to her boy and covered her eyes with her hands while Peregrine hung his head - to hide a grin as a matter of fact - and kicked at a tuft of grass in the yard and Susan stood like a fish, opening her mouth and saying nothing, supported by Midge, who had tagged along behind and who had nothing to say either. Finally Mrs. Gascoigne, after one last wild look of hatred at Susan, put her handkerchief to her face and ran towards her own house and Peregrine, now quite solemn again, gave a little sort of formal bow to Aunt Lucy, said good afternoon and followed his mother.
"Susan!" said Aunt Lucy aghast. "How could you?"
From SUSAN RUSHES IN, Chapter 3, Samson. Pea-green gets Susan into trouble for the first time. The Carmichaels' house at 12 Tollgate Road in Wichwood Village is a memorable feature in the Susan series. It is, in fact, based on the house where Jane Shaw lived with her husband, Robert Evans, during their time in London. It is a thin disguise of 11 College Road in Dulwich. However, unlike the Carmichaels, who occupied the whole house, the Evans family had only a flat on the top floor.