THE MYSTERY OF OAKLANDS 31
then. I mean, with one thing like that it won't matter the others not havin' proper things. One'll be enough. ltd prob'ly only be muddlin' havin' three people takin' it all down, anyway. I vote that jus' Henry takes it down an' the rest of you jus' listen an' tell him how to spell the words he doesn't know."
" I bet I c'n spell as well as them" said Henry indignantly, and with perfect truth.
" Well, wed better be gettin' on with the plan," said William briskly. " We've gotter find some way of gettin' into his house an' then I've gotter walk out of his door when he's workin' in the garden. An' you be hid behind the door to take down what he says when he's all scared stiff at seein' me. He's sure to let out all about the murder same as the man did in ' The Mystery of the One-eyed Man.' "
" How're we goin' to get into his house ? " said Ginger.
William had entered the little back garden gate and the others had followed. Fortunately the lane was empty and so their operations were undisturbed and unchallenged. Had anyone come down the lane, William's strange appearance would certainly have attracted comment and investigation.
" I bet if I climbed up that pipe an' over that little roof I could get into that little window. I bet it isn't locked."
He was quite right. It wasn't locked. After a precarious ascent, during which both beard and wig (with bowler hat attached) were dislodged and rolled down to his watching assistants, he managed to make his way up to the little window, open it and tumble through. Then, after tying the string of his trousers (which his efforts had broken) round his neck again, and brushing off some of the dust from his person, he went downstairs to unlock the back door. Cautiously the Outlaws crept into the little kitchen and handed