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142                                WILLIAM
" All right," said William aggressively, " I jolly well will, then. Ten pounds isn't much. I mean"— in answer to their gasp of increduUty—" it isn't much when you think of a hundred pounds or a thousand pounds or a million pounds. Why, when you think of a million pounds, ten pounds is hardly anythin'."
" An' when you think of twopence, which is all we get for pocket money," said Douglas gloomily, " it's a jolly lot."
This reflection brought William down to earth.
" All right," he said irritably, " it's nothin' for you to get fussed up over. It was me who said I'd do it."
But they weren't going to leave William in the lurch. With William they would stand or fall as they'd always done. In this particular case they'd probably fall. After all, it was generally more exciting falling with William than standing alone.
" We'd 've prob'ly said it, if you hadn't," said Ginger carelessly. " We'll all try'n' get it anyway. An' if we don't we can fight the ones that start talkin' about it. It won't be so bad, anyway. How'll we start ? "
" We'll start with easy ways," said William, secretly touched and cheered by their loyalty, " we'll start with the ways he said. S'lic'ting subscriptions an' doin' services an' such-like. We'll start with s'lic'tin' subscriptions. That's his way of sayin' askin' for money, of course."
" Why can't he say askin' for money ? " said Henry rather irritably. The magnitude of their undertaking was weighing heavily upon his spirit.
" They never do," said William indulgently. " They've gotter say things in a way that's harder to understand than the ornery way or else they'd never get to be headmasters. It's a spechal sort of langwidge that gets 'em to be headmasters. . . . Well, let's start goin' round our relations askin' for money an' we'll meet to-morrow night an' see how we've got on."
So they spent the next day going round their relations
"
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