WILLIAM - online children's book

More adventures of the famous 11 year old and the "outlaws"

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168
WILLIAM
" 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 were—was a boy."
" I thought you'd said that once," said Mr. Brown.
" Yes," said William, " I did. I was—I 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
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