As there were the same number of boys as girls, it is clear that the number of children must be even, and, apart from a careful and exact reading of the question, there would be three different answers. There might be two, six, or fourteen children. In the first of these cases there are ten different ways in which the apples could be bought. But we were told there was an equal number of "boys and girls," and one boy and one girl are not boys and girls, so this case has to be excluded. In the case of fourteen children, the only possible distribution is that each child receives one halfpenny apple. But we were told that each child was to receive an equal distribution of "apples," and one apple is not apples, so this case has also to be excluded. We are therefore driven back on our third case, which exactly fits in with all the conditions. Three boys and three girls each receive 1 halfpenny apple and 2 third-penny apples. The value of these 3 apples is one penny and one-sixth, which multiplied by six makes sevenpence. Consequently, the correct answer is that there were six children—three girls and three boys.
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