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WILLIAM THE SHOWMAN             135
" People say," said the actress, " that she's exactly
like what I was at her age."
Miss Perkins made no comment.
******
William scrambled through the hedge and ran across the field to the old barn.
A small stream of children was issuing from the old barn. A queue was lined up outside.
" It redly is like what it says on the notice," said a small child just emerging; " it redly is a mos' beau­tiful actor lady, what we've never seen before got special for the show."
" It isn't any of them—William or Douglas or Ginger or Henry ? " said the queue anxiously.
" No."
" Worth a halfpenny ? " asked the queue still more anxiously.
" Yes. Redly worth a halfpenny," said the small
child earnestly.
******
William and the Outlaws were coming home from a happy day spent in Mr. Peters' shrubbery. Mr. Peters had watched them anxiously from an upstairs window. He would have liked to have sent them away but lacked the courage. William had arrived the week before with a handsome contribution for his " society," and so Mr. Peters knew that at any rate for the next few weeks he would have to allow them to riot unchecked in his shrubbery. He watched them in an agony as they made fires and climbed his favourite trees, longing for the time when the few weeks should be up during which the moral effect of their contribution might be supposed to last.
''' It's a jolly good place to play, isn't it ? " said William happily, " an' he can't stop us for a bit yet, seein' we gave him three an' elevenpence three farthin's-----"
" Let's see the letter she wrote you again,'' said Ginger.
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