FIREWORKS STRICTLY PROHIBITED 189
field. From behind came the voices of their parents raised excitedly, " I say, I remember letting one like this off that year that-----" came bangs and fiery sparks.
" Well!" said William bitterly, " think of that. Jus' think of it . . . an' after all the trouble we took to get 'em. I still feel choked with all those things round my neck and it's a wonder I'm not dead having no place to breathe through. An' to think of sufferin' all that orful agony jus' for them to let 'em off-----"
" I wun't have minded if they d 've jus' been mad an' thrown 'em away. I wun' 've minded what they'd 've done to us," said Ginger. "But to go an' do them themselves—well, it seems too mean to be true."
They walked drearily, silently, despondently. Life simply didn't seem to be worth living.
Then suddenly at a bend in the road they met Colonel Masters. He carried a stick and was purple with fury.
Here, you!" he bellowed, " have you seen anyone about here with any fireworks ? Fireworks in green boxes. I've had all mine stolen and I'll "—he choked with passion and then continued—" I'll show 'em. I tell you I'll show 'em. I'll find the thieves if I have to walk all night an' I'll—I'll show 'em."
The Outlaws brightened.
" There's four men havin' a firework show over there," said William with his blankest expression; " we've jus' been watchin' 'em. They've got fireworks out of green boxes with ' Tanks, London,' on them."
" They're mine, then," yelled the Colonel, dancing about with mingled excitement and fury; "they're mine. Ill show 'em. Where are they?"
" They've got a guy jus' ready to burn," went on Ginger with an expression that in blank innocence almost rivalled William's. " It's got a grey hat jus' like yours an' a brown overcoat and moustache that turns up an'—now I come to think of it—it is you—it mus' be you they've got for their guy."