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178                                WILLIAM
Although the five shillings that Ginger's aunt was to give them was not yet in their possession, they had allotted every penny of it in imagination. They had discussed its expenditure for literally days together. They had spent whole mornings and afternoons with their noses glued to the window of the village shop. They had decided on their purchases down to the smallest squibs.
They could hardly believe that they weren't actually in possession of them. As William said :
It'll only jus' be a case of goin' out to fetch 'em. We've got 'em settled on all right. It won't take a minute once Ginger's aunt's given us the money. We've as good as got 'em now."
Meantime they prepared the old barn and sat round their guy gazing at it proudly.
" Of course, if it catches alight," said William again dreamily, " I don't see how we can help it. It's only ole clothes for a rubbish sale. Well, it'll be savin' my mother the trouble of sellin' 'em if they do happen to catch fire. It'll look jolly fine all burnin' up."
On the morning of November the fifth they were in a state of barely concealed exuberance.
William's father looked at him suspiciously during breakfast.
" You haven't forgotten what I said about those fireworks, have you ? " he said.
William hastily assumed his smug expression and said with perfect truth, " No, father."
" A silly, childish habit," said Mr. Brown. " I'd grown out of it long before I'd reached your age. Noisy and dangerous and extravagant and of no earthly use to anyone."
"Yes, father," agreed William. "That's what I think."
"I'm very glad to hear it," said Mr. Brown grimly, " very glad indeed."
" Yes, father," said William.
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