WILLIAM - online children's book

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WILLIAM'S DOUBLE LIFE                65
slightest warning. He heard no sound of her approach. Suddenly a hand was laid on his shoulder from behind and looking up with a start his eyes met the eyes of the woman with the pince-nez and elaborately-dressed hair. All about him were the signs of his guilt. His jar containing his morning's "bag" stood on one side of him together with a little pile of apples gathered for refreshment in the intervals of fishing. On the other side of him lay a little heap of cores representing refreshment already taken. His pockets bulged with apples. His mouth was full of apple. He held a half-eaten apple in one hand and his rod in the other.
" You naughty little ruffian," exploded his captor. " How dare you trespass in my grounds and steal my fruit?"
William swallowed half an apple unmasticated and by means of a gentle wriggle experimented with the grip on his shoulder. He was an expert in grips. The gentlest of wriggles could tell him whether a grip was the sort of grip he could escape from or whether it wasn't. This one wasn't. It was, William gener­ously allowed in his mind, an unusually good grip for a woman. So he abandoned himself to his late, and contented himself with glaring at his captor with unblinking ferocity. He certainly wasn't a pre­possessing sight. His face was streaked with mud. His collar (sodden and muddy) was awry. He had used his tie to repair his fishing rod. His legs were caked with mud up to the knees. His suit was so thickly covered with mud that its pattern was almost undiscernible. His captor's closer inspection evidently did nothing to modify the unfavourable opinion she had formed of him.
" What's your name ? " she said sharply.
" William Brown," said William.
He knew by experience that people always found out his name sooner or later and that to refuse to give it made ultimate proceedings more unpleasant.
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