WILLIAM'S DOUBLE LIFE 61
Though much relieved that his own family was not taking a holiday (for William hated to be torn from his familiar pursuits and the familiar fields and ditches of his native village) he was for the first two days rather at a loss as to what to do without the other Outlaws. And then he had an inspiration. An aquarium. He'd make an aquarium. He'd already made a zoo and a circus, he'd already organised greyhound racing (all without any striking success), but he'd never yet made an aquarium. He'd make an aquarium with two hundred inhabitants in a large pail (William's mind, like the minds of all great organisers, leapt ahead, arranging even the smallest detail). He'd start at once. . . .
The first thing to do, of course, was to find a pail. He was prepared to go to any lengths to obtain one and had just conceived the bold design of carrying off the washing pail from under the cook's vigilant and hostile eyes, when to his amazement she offered it him.
" That pail's just beginning to leak, Master William," she said carelessly, " if you'd like it for any of your contraptions you can have it."
William accepted it coldly. It was disappointing to have screwed up his courage for a daring coup and then to find that the coup was unnecessary. Moreover, William preferred the cook as an enemy than a friend. Life was very dull to William when he and the cook were being polite to each other. However, he found a little comfort in making a bold daylight raid upon a workman's hod when actually in action in the workman's hand in order to obtain some mortar to mend the leak in the pail. The workman, welcoming the little diversion almost as much as did William, threw down the hod and pursued him unavailingly to the end of the road, showering threats and abuse in his wake, then returned, cheered and invigorated, to his work.
The pail was mended, filled with water and put into the shed to await its two hundred inhabitants.