WILLIAM THE SHOWMAN 115
of white silk stockings (borrowed by him from his sister without her knowledge), and over these his trousers were rolled up as far as they would go. On the upper part of his person he wore a mauve jumper (also borrowed from his sister). On his head he wore a waste-paper basket of rather a gaudy pattern and at his eye a monocle, which belonged to his father. On his feet he wore brown brogues—the property of his brother—so large that his feet came out of them at every step. Despite all this, however, he was, as I have said, under a cloud for eating his cakes, and the potatoes, though submitted to an elaborate blackening process by Ginger who mixed together ink and black paint for the purpose, were felt to be wholly inadequate.
Ginger as King George on his way to the Crusades was the piece de resistance of the whole show. He wore six tin trays, two fire guards, seven saucepan lids and a saucepan. Although a whole ball of string had been used to secure his equipment, trays and saucepan lids were continually falling off him and when he stooped to recover them others followed. William, who had continually to return from the arrangement of the others every other minute to pick up pieces of Ginger's panoply, grew irritable.
Can't you stop dropping things all over the place ? " he said.
" I can't help it," returned Ginger, " they drop off when I breathe."
' Well, then, you needn't breathe so hard," said William, " surely you needn't breathe so hard that trays and things drop off you all the time. Other people don't."
" You'd like me to die with not breathin', I s'pose," said Ginger indignantly, " and then I'd like to know what you'd do for King George."
" Oh, shut up," said William who was wrestling with King Charles's head-dress.
Henry as King Charles was magnificent in a fringed