WILLIAM - online children's book

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

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170                                WILLIAM
good lot for five shillin's. I bet we can get some of all the sorts in the world for five shillin's. An' we'll wait till nearer the time to see who's been worst to us before we fix on who we'll have for a guy."
They watched Colonel Masters with interest during the days that followed. The thought of his firework display fascinated them. They were convinced that their own display would be superior to it in every way and yet they were consumed with curiosity to see what his was to be like. They dogged his footsteps as he went to and fro in the village—a conspicuous figure in his grey bowler hat and brown overcoat. They followed him whenever he set forth from his gate, hoping that he was going to the village shop to buy his fireworks. They began to feel that it was absolutely imperative that they should know what fireworks Colonel Masters was having, in order to surpass them. There was, they felt, nothing in the world in the way of fireworks that couldn't be bought for five shillings. They even had glorious visions of Colonel Masters creeping near to watch their display and their turning the hose pipe on to him. It was, of course, useless to approach him directly and ask him what fireworks he was going to have. He possessed an excessively military temper and went purple at the mere sight of the Outlaws. He had first made their acquaintance in his orchard, and had met them subsequently on several occasions in his strawberry beds. So terrible had he been on those occasions that they fled him now on sight, following him very discreetly on his expedi­tions to the village and scattering whenever he turned round. His sister—a little old lady as mild as she was choleric—lived with him and kept house for him. She was of a nervous temperament and spent her life cherishing him. She was easier to approach, of course, than her brother, but she was uncommunicative. She refused to enter into conversation with the Out­laws. All she would say to them was " Go away, you
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