FIREWORKS STRICTLY PROHIBITED 167
shootin' right up into the air like that. So they started havin' fireworks to sort of comfort themselves with. You know—tryin' to see a bit what it 'd 've been like if he hadn't made a mess of it. An'"—with a rush of inspiration—" that's why they burn him. 'Cause they're so fed up with him makin' such a mess of it."
" I see," said William, completely satisfied with the explanation. " Course we'll have to have a guy too. We mustn't forget a guy."
" Who'll we have ? " said Ginger.
" We'll wait to see nearer the time who's been worst
to us," said William with an air of calm, judicial
William approached his requests for fireworks with over-elaborate tact.
He went into the morning-room after lunch when his father was there alone reading the paper, and sat down in an arm-chair opposite him on the other side of the fireplace.
Father," he said brightly, " I expect you used to have a jolly good time when you was a boy, didn't you ? "
" Uh ? " said his father without looking up from the paper.
I say, I expect you used to have a jolly good time when you was a boy, din' you ? "
' Were a boy," said Mr. Brown absently. " You were a boy. I was a boy."
" Yes, I know," said William patiently, " that's jus' what I'm trvin' to talk about. About when you was a boy."
Mr. Brown groaned but said nothing.
William tried again.
" I expect you used to have a jolly good time," he said.
" Uh ? " said his father again, absently turning over a page of his paper.