WILLIAM - online children's book

More adventures of the famous 11 year old and the "outlaws"

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62
WILLIAM
And here William's troubles began. For the fish denizens of the neighbourhood were coy. They refused to enter the net that William held in the stream with such patience and jerked up at intervals with such sudden cunning. They ignored bis worms obtained with great labour and at the expense of some of the choicest garden plants. They scorned his bent pins. In the course of two mornings' hard work, he caught only an old tin, a curtain hook and a bottle in his net and on his bent pin a bootlace and the remnants of a grimy shirt discarded by some passing tramp. William was not the boy lightly to abandon any idea he had once taken up, but it was just as despair was descending upon him that he remembered the pond in the garden of The Laburnums. The Laburnums was a largish house at the further end of the village and in its garden just beyond the orchard was a pond—a pond teeming with potential inhabitants of William's aquarium. William and the other Outlaws had discovered it about a year ago, but the owner had then been an irate colonel who had caught the Outlaws fishing in his pond and robbing his orchard and had inflicted such condign punishment that even those bold spirits had not wooed that particular adventure again. But it occurred now to William that he had seen a " To Let " notice at the gate of The Laburnums and he set off at once—net, glass jar with string handle, worm, bent pin, stick and all—to reconnoitre. His impression turned out to be correct. There was a " To Let " notice at the gate of The Laburnums. He did not enter boldly at the front gate because in his acquaintance of empty houses (and it was a wide one) there was generally a caretaker in possession, and caretakers, though content generally to doze their lives away in the kitchen, were, never­theless, of a savage disposition when roused, and, like the wild buffaloes of Africa, attacked on sight.
So he walked down the road till he found the place in the hedge where a year ago a serviceable hole had
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