It had been a peaceful afternoon in Nutmouse Hall. After lunch, Nutmeg had scuttled to the sewing room to start work on a velvet smock for one of Lucy's dolls, and Tumtum had pottered off to the Library to put his feet up.
I shall have a nice long read, he had thought, flopping in an armchair in front of the fire. But the fire was so warm, and Tumtum's tumtum was so full of lunch, that it wasn't long before he had fallen asleep.
All through the house, there was not a sound to be heard save for the tick tock of the big clock in the hall. Nutmeg was so absorbed in her work that she hardly noticed the afternoon slipping by.
"Goodness," she said eventually, looking at her watch. "It's gone four o'clock, and I haven't even iced the fairy cakes."