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THE MYSTERY OF OAKLANDS 29
all by lettin' him see us too soon. Tell you what. I'd better wait till he's workin' in his garden an' come walkin' out of the door of ole Scraggy's house. He prob'ly murdered him in his house so that'd be quite all right. Come walkin' out of the door of his house. An' then hell be so scared he'll start tellin' all about the murder. You all got your pieces of paper an' pencils ? "
" Mine hasn't a point," admitted Douglas gloomily. " It had one when I started but it got broke in my pocket."
' Well, find the point an' write with that," suggested William.
Douglas took the larger objects out of his pocket and then began to burrow among the residuum of shaving chips, marbles, nut shells, spent matches, boiled sweets, pieces of string, and bits of putty. His search was unavailing. Moreover, so many boiled sweets adhered to the piece of paper he had brought that writing on it would have been impossible.
" I'll learn it off by heart as he says it," he said, giving up the attempt. " That'd be best. If he doesn't talk too quick, of course."
" All right," said William. " Yes, that'd do all right. You learn it off by heart as he says it."
Ginger produced a fountain pen of uncertain habits and the crumpled back of an envelope. William looked at them with the air of a general holding a review.
" If I know anythin' about that pen of yours," he said sternly, " it'll stop writin' jus' when he's got to tellin' about the murder."
" 'T oughtn't to," said Ginger, inspecting it earnestly, " it's full of ink. At least," he corrected himself as his eye fell upon his ink-soaked fingers and handker­chief, " at least it was when I started."
" Yes, but it dun't seem to know what ink's for, that's what's wrong with your pen," said William, still very sternly ; " dun't seem to know anythin' about
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