to be great friends. My name is Miss Murgatroyd. Together we must try and improve poor William."
Yes, an'—an' you—er—won't go troublin' my dear parents ? " said William anxiously.
" No, my boy, set your mind at rest. I hope they realise what a dear little protector they have in you."
William, not knowing what else to do, cleared his throat and rolled his eyes. Then to his relief she said, " Well, I must get on now as I have some other calls to pay. Good-bve, Algernon."
" Good-bye," said William.
The interview had been enjoyable but rather difficult. For one thing it had been a strain to retain his virtuous and mournful expression throughout it. His face, in fact, ached from his virtuous and mournful expression.
The visit to the Vicarage was dull except that the Vicar said to one of his guests who ejaculated " Crumbs ! " " Don't use that vulgar expression, my boy. If you wish to express surprise, say simply ' How you do surprise me ! ' or, if you wish to use stronger language, say ' Dear me!' "—and that somehow or other—no one quite knew how—a quiet spelling game organised by the Vicar became a far from quiet game of Red Indians organised by William, and finally grew so unmanageable that the Vicar retired in despair to his study to calm his mind by reading The Church Times, and his wife only restored order by distributing pieces of her treacle cake wholesale, and then packing the guests off home. They rollicked homeward down the lanes ejaculating at intervals " How you do surprise me ! " or " Dear me!" —while the Vicar was saying to his wife, " They are very trying, my dear, but I do think that they gain something of refinement and culture from their little visits here."
William, on reaching home, went straight to the shed where his aquarium was kept and counted its inhabitants. It still had only 120. There were 80 more