The aunt arbitrarily decides to send all the children but Nicholas "to the sands at Jagborough." This trip to the beach is awarded to his younger brother and two cousins because they have not contradicted the "older, wiser, and better people." Nicholas, on the other hand, is "in disgrace" and must remain home because he complained of a frog being in his bowl of "wholesome bread and butter."
"The older, wiser, and better people" refute what he says, and even though Nicholas is proven to be correct—there really is a frog in his bowl because Nicholas put it there—he is punished. His cousins' aunt, who has appointed herself his aunt, as well, has decided that Nicholas's prank deserves punishment. Ironically, however, the aunt again defeats herself because she becomes trapped in a water tank in the gooseberry garden that Nicholas has been forbidden to enter. In addition, the other children did not have fun. When the children arrived at the beach, the tide was so high that the beach at Jagborough Cove was covered with water. Bobby did not have fun because his boots were tight and irritated him. Only Nicholas had an enjoyable afternoon; he secretly delighted in the books and tapestries of the lumber room.