So because there didn't seem to be anything else to do, William went with her.
Mrs. Brown was in the drawing-room. She received William's return so soon after setting out with something of bewilderment and the visit of this strange neighbour with even more surprise.
I've come," began Miss Murgatroyd without wasting time on preliminaries, " to complain of your son William." William assumed his blankest expression and avoided his mother's eyes. " He has persistently and deliberately trespassed in my grounds, robbed my orchard and fished in my pond. This dear child of yours," she went on laying her hand affectionately on William's head, " has done all in his power to protect him and to spare your feelings." William, looking blanker still, studiously avoided his mother's astounded gaze. " He begged me not to complain of him to you. He has tried to induce William to stop trespassing in my grounds. He has pleaded with him—pleaded, not pled, Algernon. You are fortunate indeed in having a dear little son like Algernon."
Mrs. Brown's amazement was turning to apprehension.
" Er—just one minute," she said faintly. Then to her relief she saw her husband's figure pass the
window. " There's my husband. I'll go-----" she went
hastily from the room to warn her husband that the visitor suffered from delusions and must presumably be humoured.
William, left alone with the visitor, looked desperately about him. The window was the only possible means of escape.
" I—I think I see William in the garden," he said hoarsely. " I'll go an'-----"
He plunged through the window and disappeared.
His first thought was to carry the aquarium with its two hundred inhabitants out of the reach of paternal