" I say I expect you used to have a jolly good time when you was a boy."
Mr. Brown, who was once more lost in the financial news, emerged from it again, vaguely aware that someone was addressing him.
" What did you say ? " he said irritably.
" I say I expect you used to have a jolly good time when you werewas a boy."
" I thought you'd said that once," said Mr. Brown.
" Yes," said William, " I did. I wasI was jus' sayin' it again."
" What do you want ? " said Mr. Brown shortly.
" Fireworks," said William, abandoning finesse.
" Well," said Mr. Brown with a simplicity as beautiful as his son's, " you won't get any out of me. Or out of anyone else if I can help it. When I remember-----"
At this point William, rightly suspecting that a highly coloured description of his abortive career as a firework manufacturer was about to follow, crept from the room.
He met the other Outlaws in the old barn.
" Wasn't any good with mine," he said morosely. " Simply no good at all. He jus' started rememberin' that time when they gave us the wrong sort of gunpowder. Jus' as if it'd been our faults.''
" So did mine," said Henry.
" So did mine," said Douglas.
" So did mine," said Ginger.
" I hope," said Ginger sadly, " that it won't come to jus' tryin' to watch ole Colonel Masters same as it had done some years."
Colonel Masters was a choleric old gentleman who lived with his sister at the other end of the village. Every November he had an elaborate firework display to which he invited a small band of his intimate friends, among whom he did not include the Outlaws. Moreover, he disliked the Outlaws and strongly objected to them as uninvited spectators. The back garden where his firework display was always held was surrounded