already taken place and the only drawback to it as a fight was that the combatants persisted in fraternising and refused, despite all the efforts of the organisers, to display any signs of hostility.
"I'm goin' to try wavin' a red handkerchief at 'em as they do in bull fights," said Ginger.
And just then they passed Hubert Lane's house. The Hubert Laneites never attempted verbal hostilities except when within easy reach of the parental roof, because the Outlaws were fleet of foot and sure of hand and in open warfare they had no chance against them.
" Yah ! " jeered Hubert Lane from half-way up the drive, his plump body already poised for flight. " Yah ! A lot o' money you'll get for the new wing ! You with your twopence a week ! "
It was well known that Hubert Lane received five shillings a week.
William foolishly stopped to reply to this challenge despite the efforts of the other Outlaws to drag him on. William always hated to leave a challenge unanswered. He answered it with a scornful laugh.
" We'll jolly well get more'n' you" he said contemptuously.
"Oh, will you ? " said Hubert Lane with a snigger; " p'raps you don't know that we're goin' to get five pounds for it."
William's laugh was yet more scornful.
" Only five ?" he said. " What a bit. We're goin' to get ten."
And he walked on with a swagger leaving the Hubert Lanites gaping.
The Outlaws didn't recover the power of speech till they'd reached the end of the road. Then Ginger said faintly:
" Crumbs, William, what'd you say that for ? "
"I dunno," said William, who was also feeling rather aghast at his temerity; then with the ghost of his old