Nicholas was being punished for placing a frog in his bread and milk in the morning. He was not to go to the beach with the other children, and he was not to play in the gooseberry garden. His aunt was sure he would try to get into the gooseberry garden, so she set herself up as a guard to dissuade him. Nicholas made some half-hearted attempts to go into the front garden and caught his aunt’s eye; however, he had no intention of entering the gooseberry garden. He wanted to go into the lumber room and had been planning it for a while. Nicholas wanted to enter the lumber room basically because he was told that room was forbidden to children.
“Often and often Nicholas had pictured to himself what the lumber-room might be like, that region that was so carefully sealed from youthful eyes and concerning which no questions were ever answered.” (pg 4)
What child wouldn’t want to go into such a forbidden place? He knew where the key was located and had practiced using the key for the schoolroom door for a few days. So when his aunt was suitably occupied, he stole the key and opened the door to the forbidden room. What he found inside was totally delightful.
My copy of the story comes off the internet. However, the page number should be relatively close.