WHAT LUCY FOUND THERE
“GOOD EVENING,” said Lucy. But the Faun was so busy picking up its parcels that at first it did not reply. When it had finished it made her a little bow.
“Good evening, good evening,” said the Faun. “Excuse me – I don’t want to be inquisitive – but should I be right in thinking that you are a Daughter of Eve?”
“My name’s Lucy,” said she, not quite understanding him.
“But you are – forgive me – you are what they call a girl?” said the Faun.
“Of course I’m a girl,” said Lucy.
“You are in fact Human?”
“Of course I’m human,” said Lucy, still a little puzzled.
“To be sure, to be sure,” said the Faun. “How stupid of me! But I’ve never seen a Son of Adam or a Daughter of Eve before. I am delighted. That is to say – ” and then it stopped as if it had been going to say something it had not intended but had remembered in time. “Delighted, delighted,” it went on. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tumnus.”
“I am very pleased to meet you, Mr Tumnus,” said Lucy.
“And may I ask, O Lucy Daughter of Eve,” said Mr Tumnus, “how you have come into Narnia?”
“Narnia? What’s that?” said Lucy.
“This is the land of Narnia,” said the Faun, “where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea. And you – you have come from the wild woods of the west?”
“I – I got in through the wardrobe in the spare room,” said Lucy.
“Ah!” said Mr Tumnus in a rather melancholy voice, “if only I had worked harder at geography when I was a little Faun, I should no doubt know all about those strange countries.
It is too late now.”
“But they aren’t countries at all,” said Lucy, almost laughing. “It’s only just back there – at least – I’m not sure. It is summer there.”
“Meanwhile,” said Mr Tumnus, “it is winter in Narnia, and has been for ever so long, and we shall both catch cold if we stand here talking in the snow. Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?”
“Thank you very much, Mr Tumnus,” said Lucy. “But I was wondering whether I ought to be getting back.”
“It’s only just round the corner,” said the Faun, “and there’ll be a roaring fire – and toast – and sardines – and cake.”
“Well, it’s very kind of you,” said Lucy. “But I shan’t be able to stay long.”
“If you will take my arm, Daughter of Eve,” said Mr Tumnus, “I shall be able to hold the umbrella over both of us. That’s the way. Now – off we go.”
And so Lucy found herself walking through the wood arm in arm with this strange creature as if they had known one another all their lives.
They had not gone far before they came to a place where the ground became rough and there were rocks all about and little hills up and little hills down. At the bottom of one small valley Mr Tumnus turned suddenly aside as if he were going to walk straight into an unusually large rock, but at the last moment Lucy found he was leading her into the entrance of a cave. As soon as they were inside she found herself blinking in the light of a wood fire. Then Mr Tumnus stooped and took a flaming piece of wood out of the fire with a neat little pair of tongs, and lit a lamp. “Now we shan’t be long,” he said, and immediately put a kettle on.
Lucy thought she had never been in a nicer place.