THE MYSTERY OF OAKLANDS 13
gate (one hinge was already broken) as much as did his neighbour, but he wasted less time in roundabout methods. He filled his syringe with water from a bucket that stood near him and levelled it at them with a curt " Clear off ! " Hastily the Outlaws cleared off.
" Might have killed us," said William indignantly. " You could drown anyone like that. Stands to reason. Givin' 'em a great mouthful of water so's they can't get their breath. Then when you can't get your breath you die. Stands to reason. No one can go on livin' without breathin'. Then he'd 've got hung for murder an' jolly well serve him right."
" I bet he wouldn't've got hung for murder," said Ginger gloomily, " what with the police bein' so stupid they'd prob'ly think we died natural unless some ord'n'ry man came along same as they did in all those books an' got hold of a clue. Found our mouths full of water an' his syringe buried in the garden or some-thin' like that."
" D'you remember in ' The Myst'ry of the Lighted Room,' " said William excitedly, " when the man found that the top of the murd'rer's umbrella unscrewed into a dagger an' that was what he murdered folks with. I think that was jolly clever. I'd never have thought of that. I wouldn't before I read that book, I mean. I would now, of course. I'd always look to see if a person's umbrella unscrewed into a dagger first thing now if I thought they'd murdered someone. Then I'd look to see if they'd got poison at the end of their tie-pin same as the man in ' The Myst'ry of the Empty House.' I think that was a jolly clever thing to think of. If I wanted to kill anyone now I know lots of clever ways of doin' it after reading all those books. I bet I could do it so's the police wouldn't find out too, now, after reading all those books. And I bet if I found anyone murdered I'd pretty soon find out who did it. It's always the one you wouldn't 've thought did it and of