WILLIAM - online children's book

More adventures of the famous 11 year old and the "outlaws"

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garden of each—an old man in the garden of Oaklands, and a young man in the garden of Beechgrove. The old man had only lately come to the village. The Outlaws did not know his name but had christened him Scraggy. The Outlaws never troubled to learn the family names of newcomers to the village. Like the savages they resembled in so many other ways, they preferred to call them by a name descriptive of their appearance or character. The owner of Oaklanda had earned his name by a neck that was longer than perfect proportions warranted and of a corrugated character. He had a grey beard and wore dark spectacles. They stood at the gate and watched him at work. The Outlaws never made the pretence affected by the super-civilised, of indifference to their neighbours' affairs. On the other hand, the Outlaws took an absorbing interest in their neighbours' affairs and had no compunction about showing it. It would have been evident to anyone more sensitive than were the Outlaws that the owner of Oaklands objected to them as interested spectators of his horticultural labours. He frequently raised his head and scowled at them. It took, however, as he soon discovered, more than a scowl to dislodge the Outlaws from any position they had taken up. So, finally, he raised himself from his stooping position, glared at them and said :
" What do you want ? "
" Nothin'," said William pleasantly.
" What are you standin' there for ? "
" Watchin' you," said William, still pleasantly.
" WeU, go away."
" A' right," said William still pleasantly but without moving.
" Go away" said the old gentleman irritably. " Did you hear me ? Go away !
Reluctantly and slowly the Outlaws moved off to the gate of Beechgrove and hung over that. The owner of Beechgrove objected to their hanging over his
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