There was a boy called Clarence Beaucart Fraum, and he almost deserve such an unique name. His parents called him Clarence while his servants refer him as Master Scrubb. I can't tell you how his friends spoke to him, for he had none. He didn't call his Father and Mother "Father" and "Mother", but Alberto and Debra. They were very up-to-date and advanced people. They were vegetarians, non-smokers and wore special kind of underclothes. In their mansion, there was very little furniture and very few clothes on beds and the windows were always open.
Clarence Beaucart Fraum liked animals, especially beetles, if they were dead and pinned in a card. He liked books if they were books of information and had pictures of grain elevators or fat foreign children doing exercises in model schools.
Clarence Beaucart Fraum disliked his cousins the four Fraurman; Paul, Sandra, Edward and Lindsay. But he was quite glad when he heard that Edward and Lindsay were coming to stay. For deep inside him, he liked bossing and bullying; and, though he was a punny little person who couldn't have stood up even to Lindsay, let alone Edward, in a fight, he knew of a dozens or hundreds of ways to give people a bad time if you are in your own home and they are only visitors.
Edward and Lindsay did not at all want to come and stay with Uncle Alberto and Aunt Debra. But after much persuasion this was inevitable. Father had got a job lecturing in the States for sixteen weeks during summer, and Mother was to go with him because she hadn't had a real holiday for years.
Paul was working very hard for an exam and he was to spend the holidays being coached by old Professor Kirk in whose house these four children had had wonderful adventures long ago in the war times.
But somehow he had become poor since the old days and was living in a small cottage with only one bedroom to spare. It would have cost too much money to take the other three all to States, and Sandra as always was the lucky chosen one!
Edward and Lindsay tried not to grudge Sandra on her luck, but it was dreadful having to spend the summer holidays at their Aunt's. "But it's far worse for me,"said Edward,"because you'll at least have a room of your own and I shall have to share a bedroom with that record stinker, Clarence!"