FIREWORKS STRICTLY PROHIBITED
" We've got to have fireworks this year," said William in his most Napoleonic manner, " we've simply got to."
In previous Novembers the pyrotechnical attempts of the Outlaws had been doomed to frustration by various unkind strokes of fate. On several occasions they had had all their fireworks confiscated on the very Fifth itself in retribution for what the Outlaws considered trifling misdemeanours. On one occasion Douglas, who was carrying them to the scene of the display, had fallen into the stream while executing a dance of anticipatory exultation on the plank that served as a bridge. The other Outlaws had immediately concentrated all their energy on rescuing the fireworks, leaving Douglas to his fate, but all the virtue had gone out of them when rescued, and though the Outlaws used upon them half a dozen boxes of matches (" borrowed " from Ginger's mother's store cupboard) they refused to function.
But last year had been the most glorious fiasco of all. Last year, inspired by a chapter in a book called " Things a Boy Can Do," that someone had given to Henry, they had decided to make their own fireworks. They had managed to secure some gunpowder, and though they persisted that they had followed most faithfully the directions given in the book, the shed in which they were manufacturing them had been completely wrecked, and the Outlaws themselves had narrowly escaped with their lives.
" How're we goin' to get any ?" said Henry.