THE MYSTERY OF OAKLANDS 85
here every day for the money but he leaves it lookin' jus' as if no one had been in it. He's one of the very clever ones. I said so right from the beginning. . . . I say, now we're here, I vote we have a try at findin' the money ourselves. Come on."
The Outlaws instituted a thorough search of the downstairs room. In one of the cupboards they found a tin of biscuits and for a few minutes they forgot the money. It was William who first remembered the stern purpose of the expedition. He was reminded of it by the sudden descent of his beard caused by the energetic movements of his mouth.
" Well," he said, swallowing half a biscuit un-masticated, " what 've we come here for ? "
" Dates ! " said Douglas excitedly. " Look ! Dates. A box of dates in the corner of that cupboard."
" We've come here to catch murd'rers," said William sternly, " not to eat dates." He replaced his wig, which had slipped over one ear, replaced his bowler hat, and assumed his air of leadership.
" Look 'n' see if you can see him in his garden again,'' he said to Ginger.
Ginger peeped from behind the blind.
" Crikey ! " he gasped, " he's comin' along."
The Outlaws hastened to the window. It was true. The incredible spectacle was there before their very eyes. Old Scraggy himself was walking up the road carrying a bag.
Anyone but William would have owned himself beaten and retreated. Not so William. When William formed a theory all the facts of the situation had to fit into it or William would know the reason why.
Well, I never," gasped William. " Someone else dressin' up like him to give him a fright. I bet it's someone from Scotland Yard. I bet it's someone from Scotland Yard who's read ' The Myst'ry of the One-Eyed Man' same as I have an' thought it was a