THE OUTLAWS DELIVER THE GOODS 149
Just as this was happening Bertie Franks passed. He gazed with goggle-eyed amazement and interest at the scene. Bertie Franks was Hubert Lane's chief supporter.
" How's business ? " said the cyclist.
" Fine," said William exuberantly.
The cyclist mounted and rode off again. ' Bertie saw us," said William with satisfaction. " Hell begin to feel a bit small at their mingy ole five pounds now."
" We've only got twopence yet," put in Henry mildly.
" Yes," said William, " but it only took about a second gettin' it. An' there's all the rest of the day. Hours an' hours. About a second gettin' twopence. An' there's sixty seconds in an hour. That's sixty
twopences. That's-----" William wrestled for a
moment with the mighty sum and finally gave it up. " That's ever so much money. We'll soon have the ten pounds."
Henry and Douglas had run down to the village with the twopence and now returned with four more halfpenny buns which they placed upon the packing-case. ' It's a jolly easy way of makin' money," said William thoughtfully. " I wonder more people don't go in for bein' shopkeepers. You'd get rich this way ever so much quicker than any other. ..."
He stopped. An old lady was coming down the road. Alas ! The Outlaws should have been prepared for treachery once Bertie Franks had seen their wayside stall with all its evidences of prosperity. But they had not been invited to Bertie Frank's Fancy Dress dance in the winter when Hubert Lane had won the first prize as an old lady. Hubert's podgy little figure even normally suggested that of an old lady. He wore a long full skirt and a cape. His bonnet was tied under his ears. A veil hid his face, showing only rosy cheeks (his usually pasty cheeks were heavily rouged), and grey